Juror’s Notes

For an exhibition titled, (Not) Strictly Painting, I wanted to make sure I selected a wide range of works that represented the variety of submissions that were received. Variety adds visual interest to an exhibition, which is something I also took into consideration. The works I selected run the gamut of size, shape and material, and reflect the diversity of artistic production. While my background is in historical art, I have found immense pleasure curating contemporary art exhibitions during my time at The National Museum of Women in the Arts. I have particularly enjoyed getting to know so many of the talented artists who reside in the D.C. metro area, all of whom are doing extraordinary things. We live in a culturally rich area, and this is reflected in the many submissions sent into the McLean Project for the Arts. We are so fortunate to have artists from all over the globe and all walks of life producing powerful art here.
The more I think and write about contemporary art, particularly over the past year and a half, the more convinced I am that it is artists to whom we should look for ideas about how to confront our challenges, how to think about things from a different perspective, and, perhaps most of all, how to learn to truly empathize with other people, cultures, and even other species. So many of the issues we face are incredibly complicated and, often, everyday language is not enough to encompass the thoughts and feelings these issues elicit. This is the role of art – to evoke, to provoke, to question, to comfort, to soothe. And to remind us of the beauty and creativity of which the human mind is capable.
-Virginia Treanor
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