Hamilton, Ohio – With an open call to artists already in action, the Fitton Center for Creative Arts announced the second juror for its upcoming 51st Hamilton Current art competition.
Andrew Au joins Mallory Feltz to spearhead the selection of pieces for the exhibition that runs May 6 to July 7.
Au is an Associate Professor of Art at Miami University Regionals. He has an MFA in printmaking from the University of Cincinnati and maintains FUSE Press with his wife - Jennifer Purdum - in Cincinnati. (Some of their work was on display during the critically acclaimed Cut Fire Fuse exhibition last fall.)
Feltz joined the staff at the Kennedy Heights Arts Center in January 2015 and became Director of Exhibitions and Public Art in 2019. She earned her BFA in sculpture from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture and Planning in 2006 and her MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University in 2009. Feltz is a practicing multidisciplinary artist working in a range of materials.
Together they will review all the submissions – past competitions garnered between 150 and 250 artworks – with an eye toward selecting 75 to 100 pieces for inclusion in the show.
Jurors not only select entries based on originality, concept, design, technique, craftsmanship and presentation, they also award $1,000 in cash prizes - $500 for best of show, $300 for second prize and $200 for third prize – and several honorable mentions. All the artists who receive cash prizes and honorable mention awards, also receive a family-level Fitton Center Membership.
Fitton Center Director of Exhibitions Cathy Mayhugh said the jurors fulfill a crucial role in creating a successful exhibition.
“For each iteration of the competition, I work to find and invite two jurors with diverse artistic backgrounds and practices and who are working with networks of artists in the region,” she said.
“This year, one juror is a university professor and printmaker. The other is a gallery director at a community art center who works primarily with sculpture and textiles. They both offer backgrounds with a great deal of engagement in - and understanding of - the visual arts communities in the region.”
Mayhugh likes the idea of artists serving as jurors.
“Art critics and art historians are absolutely options for jurors,” she said. “Especially if they are immersed in visual arts as teachers or community arts administrators. “However, practicing artists often have a different kind of sensitivity toward other artists because they have gone through the competition process themselves. Being artmakers, their hands-on understanding of media and process can be exceptionally broad and deep. “I hope that jurors select works that represent original ideas and spark questions and discussion, in addition to being examples of excellent craft and design.”
That’s right in line with what Feltz is looking for, describing herself as “passionate about building a strong community, providing opportunities to its residents, and exhibiting artworks that spark dialogue.”
If Au’s judging reflects his work, expect a whimsical approach. He considers most of his work “to be illustrations for parallel and fictitious experiences, academic research of the absurd, and artifacts of the intangible.”
Full submission criteria and application forms for the 51st Hamilton Current are online here. Deadline for submission is Sunday, March 26. Submitting artists receive notification of juror selections by April 11. The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.
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