It is gratifying to see new work by emerging artists. In jurying the Rowayton Arts Center Focus Under Forty exhibition I was pleased to explore work by a roster of artists using a variety of materials and who have diverse styles. I tend to gravitate toward artists who exhibit original thinking and risk taking. Consequently, I prioritized work that felt experimental and showed a unique approach to imagery, technique, or subject. Of course, execution is also important, but that was a secondary consideration when I reviewed the work. The artists I chose have a combined sense of play and studio practice. In other words, they appear to be seriously inquisitive about what their voice as an artist should communicate while also regularly returning to the act of making in order to develop their technical skills.
I am grateful to the Rowayton Arts Center for inviting me to jury this exhibition. In our collectively difficult and troubled times, the voices of artists and other creative folks are essential for critiquing the status quo, creating spaces for discussion, and encouraging community. I am grateful to all of the artists who entered for sharing their work with me.
Terri C. Smith
Creative Director, Franklin Street Works