Juror, Sophie Brenneman
Sophie Brenneman (b. 1989) is a visual artist, poet, and educator. She earned her BFA in Drawing & Painting from The University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, and her MFA from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, PA. She is an Assistant Teaching Professor of Visual Arts at Penn State Altoona and lives in State College, PA.
Central to Sophie’s visual and written work is the concept of place, both as a state of mind and as a physical experience. Using primarily charcoal and graphite, she merges psych0logical spaces with inhabited ones, rendering a sense of place that is as real as it is remembered.
Untitled Figure Study
Juror’s Comments: The spirit and beauty of figurative art is powerfully represented by Breanne Goldsmith’s pastel figure study. Drawing from observation is one of the most important skills an artist can practice and refine. Goldsmith’s piece demonstrates a mastery of both technical skill and understanding of material, wowing viewers with an expressive use of color and a confidence in her linework.
Inside/Outside, Anni Matsick
Juror’s Comments: Inside/Outside weaves technical skills with conceptual themes, evoking narratives about identity, self-reflection, and the passage of time. Each side of the mirror-image composition is treated differently, creating a visually complex, yet balanced work of art. Matsick’s layering of line and shape, and her clever use of color and composition create a beautiful framework on which the narrative can unfold. The direct gaze of the figure immediately draws the viewer in and offers a peek into her psychology, which seems to be fluctuating between self-doubt and self-confidence. I think this piece touches on universal feelings of apprehension and excitement that accompany periods of transition and growth, highlighting the beauty and mystery inherent in life’s many phases.
Snow Bound, Dotty Ford
Juror’s Comments: Dotty Ford’s Snowbound is as intriguing in its textures, materials, and process as it is in its meaning. A beautiful monochromatic palette of blues situates this piece in a dreamlike state. Ford further engages the curiosity of the viewer by connecting the top and bottom image with a single thread. The top image presents a figure, as tangible as she is ghostly, walking out toward the viewer. The bottom image, a threaded grid, counters her delicateness with a solid, repetitive foundation. The juxtaposition between the two, in both structure and material, urge the viewer to begin creating connections, ultimately discovering a variety of possible interpretations.
Ambiguity, Linda Hale
Juror’s Comments: Linda Hale’s mixed-media sculpture Ambiguity evokes the structure and strength of the human body through assembled found objects. The raw and subtle beauty of the found materials she chose is strengthened by her attention to form and composition. I appreciate how this piece evokes the figure, but denies further categorization, working to represent the connectedness between every body.
Sunset at the Pond, Joanne Landis
Juror’s Comments: The large scale and bold color of Joanne Landis’ Sunset at the Pond command the room’s attention. Refreshingly bright colors confidently outline shape and form; rich textures and patterns reveal themselves as the viewer’s eye travels across the painting. The figure—embodying the essence of an archetype rather than that of a specific individual—warmly gestures, inviting the viewer to escape into the beauty of the world Landis created.
Jemima, Peter Frantz
Juror’s Comments: Peter Frantz’s Jemima is a work of sensorial curiosity. A plethora of textures burst forward from each material used— melted wax, wrapped metals, draped fabric, sculpted clay, found wood—all work to hold the viewer’s attention in suspense as they witness the raw beauty of this powerful woman. Jemima evokes tones of sorrow and struggle, but also, and perhaps more importantly, strength and perseverance. Frantz’s combination of found materials with ones that he has meticulously sculpted and crafted come together to create a work of art that defies classification; she is there, and she is not. The impressive scale of Jemima further communicates her power and beauty. Even though she is securely attached to a post that is anchored to the floor, Jemima emanates a feeling of movement and momentum—she is on a mission, best help her or stay out of her way.