Art Space/Artifact Exhibition at Art Space Maynard

Juror’s Statement, by Katherine French

Artifact: An idea or object, historical or contemporary that may represent or remind one of someone or something… a fragment, an experience. An object created by human action, often for a practical purpose.

I was honored to be invited to jury Art Space Maynard’s Artifact exhibition, particularly as a way of engaging with an art center that I’ve long admired.  Organizers had chosen an intriguing title that promised that as a juror I would be looking at a wide range of skillfully made objects.  I was not disappointed.  Although the uniformly high quality of the 210 submissions by 71 artists sometimes made selection difficult, I was pleased to consider them all—and proud of results.  In the end, Artifact supports a visual conversation about craft and materials, as well as methods and process.

The hand of the artist was repeatedly evident, from Miranda Aisling’s diminutive Cabled Mittens to Brian Alves’ monumental installation exploring the effects of PTSD.  Other works seemed naturally paired: Meredith Abenaim’s Life from Within with Neil Wilkins Shadow Transience; Valerie Maser-Flanagan’s geometrically crafted fiber pieces with Kimberly Quint’s collage work.  Works such as Roy DiTosi’s photographs contained complex memories and thoughts about experience.  And finally, Magdalen Abe’s beautifully painted Heirloom not only portrays artistic skill, but also comments upon the underlying premise of the show itself—that artifacts are vitally important to us as a culture and worthy of being passed down.

Congratulations to all the artists selected and to all those who applied.  Their collective engagement and commitment to making art is inspirational.  Thanks go to Art Space Maynard’s Director Fred Batstone and Administrator Linda Spear for their dedication to hosting the best show possible.  Artifact demonstrates their success.  Thanks also to graphic designer Andrew Child for technical expertise that made it possible to jury from afar, as well as the volunteers who helped install the show.  I know from experience how challenging Artifact might have been to realize (although I saw no evidence of this challenge), and applaud the efforts of Art Space Maynard to showcase artistic talent within its own community