Katherine Nelson Art: Artist Blog

New and Upcoming Projects, Exhibitions, Creative Process, Inspiration

Jurying for the Upcoming Art Saint Louis Exhibit "From Light to Dark" April 2015

From Light to Dark  April 18-May 21, 2015
FREE opening reception Saturday, April 18, 6-8 p.m.

Please join Art Saint Louis for our third exhibition of 2015, From Light to Dark, a juried group exhibit presented in the Art Saint Louis Gallery in downtown St. Louis. Art Saint Louis will host a free opening reception Saturday, April 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. The exhibit will remain on view through Thursday, May 21, 2014.  For this all media juried exhibition, we asked St. Louis regional artists (includes a 200-mile radius) to submit artworks that focus on the monochromatic—with artworks in black and white... and the grey between. All explorations & interpretations of the theme were invited and works in all styles, techniques and media were encouraged.  For this exhibit, 130 St. Louis regional artists submitted 239 artworks in all media for our Jurors' consideration from which they selected 58 works by 56 Missouri, Illinois and Indiana artists for the final show. Works selected for this show include paintings, printmaking, mixed media, photography, sculpture, video, and more.

Serving as Jurors for this exhibition are Katherine Nelson, nationally exhibited artist & educator based in the Baltimore/Washington, DC area. Katherine earned her B.S. in Art Education from Skidmore College in 1985 and M.A. from SUNY Albany in Drawing in 1990. With her 25-year focus on drawing iconic landscapes in charcoal, she has exhibited in numerous solo, invitational and juried exhibitions in the U.S. and Europe. Her works are collected privately and have been featured in TV commercials, ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover,” and a “Hub” short artist feature film; and David R. Hanlon, artist, author and Professor, St. Louis Community College Meramec, where he leads instruction in photography & photographic history. Hanlon has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past 30 years and his works are included in numerous museums & private collections throughout the country. His book, Illuminating Shadows: The Calotype in Nineteenth-Century America, was recently released by Carl Mautz Publishing.

Juror Statements:  From Light to Dark

"I thoroughly enjoyed jurying the exhibition From Light to Dark. I wish to thank Art Saint Louis for the honor and privilege to jury one of the gallery exhibitions and to work in collaboration with my co-juror, artist and author David Hanlon. I took great care in my consideration of the artworks from a large group of entries while developing a collaborative vision. Many talented artists submitted works within the exhibition’s guidelines which was to express themselves in black and white artworks through their use of light, dark, and the gray in between. The variety of artworks and media submitted for consideration covered a full of range of styles, subject matter, and thoughtful approaches to making art. We looked for artworks in a wide variety that collectively formed an interesting presentation because their interplay within the exhibition is, in itself, an artwork.

As we worked together in discussion, I leaned toward art which was evocative on multiple levels while the artist’s use of the medium was also technically strong. I searched for artistic compositions and expressions that revealed “the unseen” subject.  Uncovering the unseen occurs by allowing one’s unique artistic visual voice to push through barriers of observation to create an artwork that blends unique vision, emotional response, and a personal style, so that what results, is something new to the viewer. The unseen and uncovered image leaves me wanting to see more and learn about an artist and their work. Uncovering is about revealing both the familiar and the strange in a unique way.

I am a firm believer that artworks do not “need” color. Black, white, and gray are enough to express oneself on many levels. Eliminating color allows one to focus on different priorities. When color is absent from the image, the viewer is forced to look into another “realm of reality” blended with that unique artist’s creativity.  For me, art that is evocative is created by use of powerful composition in a medium which portrays a unique combination of some or all of the following: range of value, contrast, texture, rhythm, movement, and, of course, the artist’s own emotional expression of their subject.

Without light there is no form. Without dark there is nothing to reveal and uncover. The manner in which light to dark is creatively expressed has the potential to send a viewer deep into thought. Darkness enhances mystery and perhaps elicits dark emotions. Light emerges hopefully revealing positive emotions. Gray is the delicate dance between the two. The infinite ways to discover light in the darkness spurs the urge in the search and the multitude of creative responses. Without light and dark life is flat."       Katherine Nelson    


"It was certainly a privilege to be able to consider the fine group of submissions by artists exploring the graphic and emotional qualities of the monochromatic palette for the exhibition From Light to Dark. The boundaries of working without color hues allow for a concentration on the elements of design, the balance of forms, conflicting textures and/or the delicate variances of light. Those characteristics can be seen in the examples here, handled deftly in a variety of media. These visual components–along with an exploration of what dark and light implies in a psychological or metaphorical sense–gives this type of art great resonance and lasting power.

Having worked for a long period primarily with black-and-white imagery, I can attest to the fact that it is a tricky (and often unforgiving) medium to grapple with. The artists whose work is represented in this show have found an elevated understanding of these borders and materials, allowing them to go beyond the surface of the subject. Being able to work with Katherine Nelson in discussing and selecting pieces for this show enhanced this wonderful jurying experience. Even though we utilize different materials, our ideas of the vision and craft that constitute a successful piece are remarkably similar. Studying the work presented here also reinforced my long-held belief that the St. Louis region is home to many first-rate artists who explore the many dynamics and subtleties between both ends of the visible spectrum.”  David R. Hanlon

LINK to ART ST. LOUIS "From Light to Dark" Exhibition.