Thursday, August 27, 2009

Words From Dean Mitchell of Juror of Awards and Invitational Exhibitor

The 28th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors will be open August 22 - October 4 2009. Our Juror of Awards Dean Mitchell, AWS, NWS wrote the following about the show.

The Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors is one of the finest shows in the country today promoting the advancement of watermedia. It was an honor to serve as this year’s juror. The variety of expressions and high artistic quality in this years show is a testimony to exploration of a medium long overlooked by most museums. It is with great pride that I become a part of the Old Forge Art Center history in promoting this beautiful medium. The award judging process is never an easy task, especially with so many fine examples of excellence. The show covers realism, expressionism and pure abstraction with depth and emotional content that gives us a small glimpse into the world around us. I trust that each person who views this exhibition will come away touched beyond technique and mere familiar imagery, but moved by the creativity of some of the finest artists living today working in watercolor. I want to thank each artist who entered this year’s competition because each of you moves us closer to a more profound appreciation of the visual arts.

 Dean Mitchell, AWS, NWS Biography 

Recognized as one of the finest painters in America, Mitchell has been awarded almost every major painting award in the country.  Dean Mitchell has been called a "Virtual modern-day Vermeer," by the New York Times.  He has also been named a "Best Bet" for collectors in ARTnews by R. Crosby Kemper Jr., founder of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  Just a few of his literally hundreds of awards are first prize at the T.H. Saunders International Artist and Watercolor Show held in London, top prize from The National Watercolor Society Show in California, the House of Heydenryk Award at the National Arts Club Annual Watercolor Exhibition, and the Art for the Parks medal for overall excellence.  Although many of his awards are for watercolor, Mitchell also works in oil, pastel, acrylic, and several other media, while painting landscapes, portraits, street scenes, and still life. He is a member of The American Watercolor Society, and The National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, among others.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Words from Jeanne Dobie our Juror of Selection

 The 28th Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors will be open August 22 - October 4 2009. Our Juror of Selection Jeanne Dobie, AWS, NWS wrote the following to provide insight about her selection process.

 “What does a juror look for when judging an exhibition?”


This is the question I am asked most frequently.  I believe that an artist can elevate an ordinary subject into a work of art through his or her unique vision.  This “intangible” ingredient is often called the “master’s touch”.


With that said, I searched each entry looking for the artists that conveyed thoughtful approaches or individual concepts versus a reliance upon technical ability.  An Artist’s goal should encompass more than a way to paint; it should include a way of thinking, interpreting and recreating a personal experience.


The artists I chose mixed a certain “magic” into their paintings by interacting with their works.  They were able to transmit those intangible emotions of “innocence”, “mystery”, “wind” in the sky, “decay” and “dignity”, along with stunning compositions that send chills up the spine.  With so many highly creative paintings worthy of award status in this exhibition, the importance of mastering these qualities can set an artist’s work apart from the crowd.  The most difficult task was choosing only one painting from those artists who submitted two entries, both equally superb.  In this case, the painting that contributed to the diversity of the exhibition was chosen.  For the artists not represented, I was pleased to notice several were also working with unique ideas that show future potential.  For the viewers, get ready to enjoy looking and relooking at the paintings and see what reactions you receive.


As I judge exhibitions around the country, I hear the jurors complain that artists are becoming more and more “technically” efficient, but sadly, “emotionally” deficient.  This is not true in this magnificent 2009 Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors!

Jeanne Dobie, AWS, NWS Biography

Jeanne Dobie, AWS, NWS is a nationally known watercolorist, juror, educator, and author of the bestselling book, Making Color Sing.  Her instructional DVD series features Dobie teaching a course on watercolor similar to her curriculum while serving on the faculty of Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA.  The American Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society, and the Transparent Watercolor Society of America among others have all awarded Jeanne Dobie with medals. Her paintings are represented in prominent collections and have been featured on the covers and in articles in American Artist and The Artist's Magazine, as well as in many U.S. and European publications. Among her many honors Watercolor magazine deemed her one of the “20 Great Teachers”. Dobie is a signature member of both the American and National Watercolor Societies, and a frequent juror of major national exhibitions.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Personal Perspective 

by Miriam ‘Mirnie’ Kashiwa, Director Emeriti

Visitors and part-time residents in the Adirondacks’ community value the area as a place of sanctuary where one can shed for a time life’s stresses and breathe deeply of Peace. Local folks live ‘their’ time in a scenic paradise accompanied similarly by life’s day to day stresses (that others vacation from), in order to raise families…that their children may benefit from the nearness of all the Adirondacks attributes: unique environmental beauty, opportunities for healthful outdoor pastimes, small communities where one knows neighbors, small caring schools, maintained infrastructure, convenient social services, and on.

 Residents stay and embrace the struggles believing that the benefits outweigh the hardships. However, there is more.  Many of us in this generation believe we have an obligation to plan for ways to ensure that another generation of families can thrive here.

  In changing times, what’s to say that the future will not see this community revert to ‘horrors’...a ghost town without services, schools, groceries, movie house, building

supply stores, gift shops…a beautiful town with a dried up economy? Even second homeowners could find vacationing here without local services inconvenient.

  After more than fifty years of existence, The Arts Guild in 2006 spearheaded a community effort to create a ‘Legacy of Learning’ for the region within a cultural complex: recreational-education non-invasive to the NY State mandate that ‘the Adirondacks Park remain ‘forever wild’.

 Demonstrating the kinship between the arts and sciences sprang from an idea of 58 years in observation and action. The undertaking would follow sound ecological principles in construction and land use: a green building with surrounding natural landscape… considered a demonstration project for alternative energy with low toxic emissions, recycled materials, natural materials, one which would honor the planet and even be emulated by other rural communities.

 Now, 70% toward completion, the building stands ready to move forward: exterior siding, recycled-tire and metal roofs, windows all in place, generator operational, shell poised for the next round of enthusiastic investor participation noting the natural  environmental locus and rationale of the vision: government and others agreeing with science that GREEN construction matters and in an age eager for information, the arts and sciences  do offer stimulating topics to consider on life’s journey at home or while traveling.

            Our 48 geothermal ‘pipes’ are ready to be connected to the utility panel; our Studio Barn roof is measured for solar panels and the two free-standing, sun-folllowing photo voltaics are awaiting an order; our state of the art storm drain system is partially in place; the Wetlands Nature Walk is marked out; the Eco Gallery to be kept current by  our future separate  and collaborating corporation, CAASA,  in its  ‘LABORATORY FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES’, is on hold with all else …galleries, theater,  Pre-School Suite, teaching kitchen, resident-artist suite… as we wait to open the doors of the Main Building.

 Our Complex can be a seed for broader future educational pursuits bringing young people to the region. The trickle-down is endless: employment, new recreational and mercantile opportunities. These and more can open into that hoped for situation: that families can continue to enjoy, as we have, the luxury of raising courageous children, here, in the West Central Adirondack Mountains.

 No promoter of self interests alone. The Arts Guild is a spearhead for this important regional community work for today and tomorrow which is still compatible with the ‘Forever Wild ‘ state mandate.  Our ‘grassroots leadership’ is tireless and of the highest moral integrity. It lacks only the assistance of a magic wand to speed a complicated process  -while fielding questions by nay-sayers.

  I ask: who among the many readers of this piece have written to Congressmen, Senators, Governors, the President bringing to their attention our goals and hard work to help ourselves?  and how many, at no personal cost or gain, have mentioned to contacts and well positioned investors outside the ‘blue line’  that their investments could give positive  cultural and economic impact  to the future of an unique region?  They would serve as a force for  bringing  current trends in the arts and environmental science research to  hundreds; they would be adding their seal of approval to constructing with the  best principles of green building technology for the good of the planet ?

 The families of and visitors to the West Central Adirondack Corridor joining the Blue Mountain Museum and the Tupper Lake Wild Center as their Gateway will be the happy beneficiaries of  this enriching resource. Together we need to make this happen, soon.

 Miriam Kashiwa