Juror’s Comment: Hartford Art School Alumni Exhibition

It’s hard to believe that there’s only one week left before the close of the Hartford Art School Juried Alumni Exhibition.  It is a terrific show and I hope that everyone gets a chance to see it before it comes down.  At the opening reception on October 17, three awards and an honorable mention were presented by Nancy Stuart, dean of the Hartford Art School, and a statement written by our guest juror, Judith Tolnick Champa was read.  We thought we’d share the statement and offer another round of congratulations to the evening’s prize-winners:

1st prize: Cara DeAngelis
2nd prize: Dan Roe
3rd prize: Bob Gregson
Honorable mention: Colleen MacMillan


I was struck by the range of work, across media and style, and the commitment to art practice by so many HAS alumni—over some 50 years in certain cases.

Kudos, ALL, on the tenacity of your commitment to art making, and your persistence in that effort, no matter what the nominal field in which you may be employed.

In this exhibition, those who have received special juror’s recognition demonstrate personal, individualistic passion for conjoining content and their chosen media and materials. To this artistic language—meaningfully merging form and content—they further bring a vivid sense of audience engagement.

Distinctively, Cara DeAngelis and Colleen MacMillan both reach back in time to comment on contemporary life. Traditions of still life and early photographic portraiture, respectfully re-evoked, are mined with passion.

Dan Roe’s very physical humor speaks outstandingly in his clever ceramic spitting cup. Bob Gregson’s painted slat works are made for manipulating. Through our rearranging them we discover again that spectatorship is an active part of understanding.

To borrow from Mr. Roe’s vocabulary, all of these awarded works have teeth. But I’d add they also all have legs—they strive for excellence and hold much promise for future work.

Enjoy the 2013 Alumni Show in all its variety.

Thank you, Hartford, for inviting me into your extended, impressive art community.

-Judith Tolnick Champa


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