Bernard Jacobson at CVG

Noted music and restaurant reviewer Bernard Jacobson, show below viewing Everything All The Time by Harold Nelson of Port Townsend, gives us his review of the 2013 CVG Show.

Reminder: First Friday Artwalk is tonight



The CVG Show 2013


Reviewed by Bernard Jacobson


If the first question we ask ourselves, in judging the merit of a work of art, is "What was the artist aiming to create?" and the second is "How well was the aim achieved," the third may well be: "Was the effort worth it?" For myself, I am inclined to expand on that third question by changing it to: "Would the world be a poorer place if this work did not exist?" That is not to suggest that a worthwhile piece must necessarily deal with cosmic issues-simply that any painting, sculpture, photograph, or what you will, whether serious or light-hearted, needs to add to the sum of human enjoyment if it is to engage my enthusiasm.


Of the 127 works on display in the CVG Show, 2013 edition, there were twenty that had me answering my own portentous question in the affirmative, which may be taken to imply that, once again, this is a show well worth a visit-or even, if like me you can only absorb a limited number of artistic messages at one time, repeated visits. Interestingly, the success rate seemed to me highest in the category of "photo/digital art," where 27 pieces on display yielded eight that made my personal final cut. Of 72 exhibits in the other "2 dimensional art" category, it was similarly eight out of 28 that I really liked, and I picked four of the 28 "3 dimensional" pieces.


Interestingly again, none of my own choices coincided with any of the first-place winners selected by the various "official" choosers and listed on the gallery's web site-proof again, if any such be needed, that critical judgement is an essentially subjective business. Judgements, after all, are made by people, and echoing what George Bernard Shaw asserted in his music-critic days, I am happy to declare that "I never penned an objective criticism in my life, and I trust I never may."


So, then, what did this particular person enjoy most? Among the photographic entries, Janette Ryan's "Reclamation" and Pam Walker's "Ancient Doorway" are both skillfully composed and impeccably realized. Merle Jones offers a neat riff on a fairly familiar idea with "Constellations." "The Village Band," by Janthina DuSavage, is full of life. Damon Edwards's "Light (at the end of the tunnel)" and Matthew Worden's "First and Last Chance" both draw strong atmospheric effect from the core of the photographic medium, light itself. Jean Burnett's "Cat on a Fence," quite apart from its inevitable appeal to an ailurophile like me, is expertly shot and, apparently, "enhanced." And "Between the Lines," by Robert Dash, exploits contrast of visual textures with a mastery not evident in another photograph similar in conception.


My personal winners among the 3-dimensional pieces included C. Peltz's subtly imaginative "Agoraphobia" and Margaret Murch's well-observed "Glacial Expression"-artists' chosen titles don't always seem to enhance or even really fit the works they are attached to, but this one did. The other two entries in this category that I found especially attractive were Rachel Dorn's nicely imagined "Gears" and Anita Feng's no less witty and highly individual "Balding Buddha with Goatee," which takes an iconic subject and turns it on its (bearded) head.


Witty again, in the remaining "2 dimensional" category, were Deborah Scott's gently satirical "Postnuptial" and Naoko Morisawa's seemingly conventional but actually neatly subversive "Illusionist." For the second year in a row, I found William Walcott's work-this time "Fruit in a Crystal Bowl"-by some margin the best of the still-life offerings. I can't say I particularly liked Jonelle Johnson's "Self Portrait in Oakland," but its very personal and offbeat character compelled admiration.


Richard Fourbears, with "What's Inside?", Newel Hunter, with "Clandestine," and Janie Olsen, with her beautifully executed "Innocent Thieves," all brought impressive technique to bear on perhaps less individualistic subjects. And-again for the second year running-Harold Nelson bowled me over: his virtuoso (and aptly titled!) paper collage, "Everything All the Time," was preeminently the piece in the show that I could look at for hours on end, continually finding neat and amusing new details, while at the same time its overall composition has a clarity and rightness about it that seems but can hardly have been effortless.


CVG show poster   

The annual CVG Show is one of the largest and most prestigious art competitions in the Northwest. This year over 325 artists from 79 Washington cities submitted 896 artworks for consideration. Of these only 127 pieces were selected for inclusion in the show. Alfredo Arreguin, an internationally known painter from Seattle is the juror for this year's competition. Once the exhibit is installed, Arreguin will choose the recipients of $7,000 in prizes going to 11 artists in multiple categories. Additional prizes include a purchase award by the Kitsap County Arts Board, a $300 People's Choice Award and a $1,000 Best of Kitsap Award sponsored by the Cultural Arts Foundation Northwest.

            The opening of the 2013 CVG Show will be Saturday, January 19, 2013 at 1 pm, one week earlier and one week longer than in previous years. The exhibit continues until Saturday, Feb. 23. The gallery will be open Tuesdays - Saturdays 10 to 5 and Sundays 1 to 5.

Voting for the People's Choice Award will start when the show opens and run through Thursday,

February 21 at 5 pm. The exhibit will be open for a public reception on the evening of Feburay 1, from 5 to 9 pm, Bremerton's traditional First Friday Gallery Walk.


            Other events include a panel on the Thursday, February 7 to discuss "Who puts the art in heart." This Guest Artist Panel includes artist and leader Linley Logan; art patron Dr. Michael Huey; Tacoma gallery owner and fiber artist, Ms. Deborah Boone; and Olympia artist and appraiser Marianne Partlow; a concert by The Ray Ohls Jazz Quintet; and on February 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm, a ceremony to announce the winner of the People's Choice Award combined with a guest lecture by Rock Hushka, Tacoma Art Museum Chief Curator and Pacific Northwest Collection curator, will discuss the regional impact of the 2013 CVG Exhibition. The exhibit closes at 5 pm on Saturday February 23.


          The Collective Visions Gallery is located in downtown Bremerton at 331 Pacific Avenue, just 3 blocks from the ferry terminal. Phone: 360 377 8327


331 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton


CVG Show hours:

 10 to 5 Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 on Sundays

Closed on Mondays