Finalists Announced for the 63rd Art of the Northeast

Every Sun, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat until May 24, 2013 at 1:00pm

Silvermine Arts Center

1037 Silvermine Road, New Canaan, CT 06840


Art of the Northeast (AoNE), now in its 63rd year, is one of the most anticipated regional exhibitions. Hosted by the Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan, the exhibition was open to all media and artists throughout New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This year’s exhibition, which opened on Saturday, April 13th, was curated by David A. Ross, Chair of the School of Visual Arts’ MFA Program, New York. The curated competition/exhibition will run through May 24th, 2013.

This year’s show featured a new format and was tightly curated, with 26 artists selected, rather than a general survey that is found in a traditional juried format. In previous years show exhibited a single work by an artist, often limiting the viewers’ ability to understand a work. This year, the curator, David Ross, had at his discretion the ability to select a suite of three to five works by an individual artist. While some works of art can stand alone, others require the context of multiple works by an artist in order to present their ideas. The combination of single works and groupings in Art of the Northeast gives a richer experience for the viewer that allows them to think more critically about what they are seeing. David felt that while the nature of a show like this doesn’t allow for an overarching theme, the multiple groups allows people the chance to understand the individual ideas explored by an artist. This exhibition was completely curated by Mr. Ross. Not only did he select the artists, with complete anonymity of the artists, but he also designed the flow of the exhibition.

Of the total number selected this year, there were 16 multiple works and 10 individual works accepted. Of the finalists, all but one were multiple works. In addition to the change in format, new this year was the Best in Show prize which includes a future solo exhibition at the arts center.

Best in Show was awarded to Mary Jo McGonagle, a Silvermine Guild Artist member from Southport, CT, for her installation “Get Out.” About her work McGonagle states, “My art practice is a multi-disciplinary exploration of the many issues happening in the home…..I strive to make people aware of the complexities that take place within one’s ‘private’ space and bring these issues forward to the ‘public’ space.” Her installation uses decorative wallpapers, patterning and colorful language to conceal contemporary phrases, which are camouflaged within the wallpaper patterning giving an element of discovery, revealing innermost feelings. In addition she combines video and sound in creating her installations, reflecting her fascination with how our relationships take place in our everyday lives, hovering between humor and desperation.

Other award winners include Charles Geiger of Poughkeepsie, NY who received the Silvermine Board of Trustees Award for his acrylic on canvas “Fossil Fruit;” the Mollie & Albert Jacobson Award in Sculpture was awarded to Joseph Madrigal of Purchase, NY for “Offal Pink;” the Carole Eisner Award for Sculpture went to Brooklyn, NY resident, Phoenix Lindsey-Hall for “Bone, Bat and Slab;” the Steven Madwed Memorial Prize for Photography was awarded to David Ottenstein from New Haven, CT for his grouping of photographs entitled “House,” “35 Acres,” “Grain Co-Op” and “Cornfield;” the Prutting and Co. Award for Mixed Media went to Naya Bricher of South Kent, CT for “Bundle Blowup;” the Tom Ayoub & Christie Dombrowski Award went to Silvermine Guild Artist Ann Hodgdon-Cyr from Windsor, CT for her grouping of photographs “The Other Side Eight,” “The Other Side Four,” and “The Other Side One;” and Jerry’s Artarama Honorable Mention for Painting was awarded to Susan Sharp, Silvermine Guild Artist from Easton, CT for “Stumbling Stones.”

There were 1,489 entries this year submitted by 398 artists. Of those submissions, a total of 55 works by 26 artists were accepted into the exhibition. It is important to note that the nationally regarded curator had no idea whether or not someone was a Guild member, so the fact that nine of these 26 artists selected were Guild Artist members, is a great testimony to the quality of work created by the Silvermine Guild of Artists. Exhibiting Guild artists include: Kathy Conway (North Haven, CT), Ann Hodgdon-Cyr (Windsor, CT), Kristina Kuester-Witt (Woodbridge, CT), Linda Kuehne (Pound Ridge, NY), Mary Jo McGonagle (Southport, CT), Karen Neems (Stamford, CT), Marilyn Richeda (South Salem, NY), Gerald Saladyga (New Haven, CT) and Susan Sharp (Easton, CT).

There will be an artist talk on Tuesday, April 30th at 6:00pm with Gallery Director, Jeffrey Mueller and selected Art of the Northeast exhibiting artists. This will be an informal discussion about the works in this exhibit.

“Over the 63 years Silvermine Arts Center has been organizing the annual Art of the Northeast Exhibition, the galleries have shown hundreds of dynamic works of art that reflect the changing aesthetics and ideas of contemporary art produced in the region,” stated Gallery Director, Jeffrey Mueller. “We are very excited with the changes we brought to the competition/exhibition this year because it gives visitors the chance to get a more in-depth look into the ideas explored by an individual artist and helped the curator to present a more cohesive and thought provoking look at Art of the Northeast.”

Begun in 1949 as the New England Exhibition, the competition was founded by Guild members Miriam Broudy and Revington Arthur to showcase art from the region. Over the years, this distinguished exhibition has presented over 6,000 works of art. Throughout its history, Art of the Northeast has been a platform for both established and emerging artists, many of whom have gone on to receive national acclaim. Jurors have included major critics, curators and directors from some of the most influential contemporary art institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, MOMA, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum.

The Silvermine Galleries are recognized as one of New England’s most respected showcases for artists. Frequently changing exhibitions include one-person shows by Guild Artist members, national and regional juried competitions and curated shows including prominent artists such as Christo and Jeanne Claude, Faith Ringgold, Robert Gober, Kiki Smith and Jasper Johns.

This year’s curator, David A. Ross, has a 40-year career as an art museum professional and educator. He has served as director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art and the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, as well as having curatorial and senior leadership positions at the Everson Museum of Art, the Long Beach Museum of Art, and the University Art Museum at UC Berkeley. Co-Founder and President of the Artists’ Pension Trust (a pioneering financial planning program for working artists), Ross has lectured at various museums and universities across the country, has served as juror and commissioner at a broad range of international shows and exhibitions, organized over 100 exhibitions of 20th century art, and is widely published.

The AoNE committee was chaired by Silvermine Guild Artist member Cecilia Fradet, a resident of Weston, who works in printmaking. Her formal art training began at New York City’s High School of Art and Design, continued at Goldsmiths University of London. She received her BA in sculpture from New York’s City College. Fradet has also studied at Parsons School of Design and The New School earning a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Sponsors of the 63rd Art of the Northeast include: Lead Sponsor, First County Bank, Francos Wine Merchants, Silver Hill Hospital, Silvermine Community Association and Still River Editions/Connecticut Photographics. Exclusive Media sponsor is Venü Magazine.

For more information about the 63rd Art of the Northeast and for other upcoming events at Silvermine, please visit our website at and or call 203-966-9700.

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