Disclaimer: I am no art critic. Just an uneducated enthusiast who ignores everything but her own aesthetic preferences.
I can’t count how many times I’ve been to the senior art shows at Alfred University. Or how many times I ran around Harder Hall as a kid during various events. But every year during the art shows, I find myself completely disoriented in the building. I feel like there’s never a methodical way to see everything and so some shows inevitably get missed. I kind of love the chaos. It’s liberating.
Some years, the quality of work seems better than others. But amongst the seemingly ho-hum stuff (I don’t want to be mean because it’s not like I could do better myself but I can’t describe it any other way), there are always a few shows which are simply astounding.
Oh, Alfred, you are my joy.
2010 first prize winner (according to me): Kaye Waltman.
I was absolutely blown away by her pottery. I honestly wish I had a link or a picture or something to provide to you right now so that you could be blown away too. I tried to find her work on the internet but to no avail. Mostly I just want to visually covet the pottery from a distance, knowing that I will never be able to have nice things because I’m a gypsy. A girl can dream though. Summarization: I want those pots. And if you could have seen them, you would have wanted them too. Gorgeous.
Obviously those names mean nothing to you without visual aid. But commit them to memory (or at least the most basic recognition so you’re subconsciously drawn to them at a show someday) because they will be worth your time.
For whatever reason, all my favorites this year were women. And their work was “pretty” for lack of a better word. Pretty is such an awful term because it sounds demeaning or lacking in depth. But that’s not what I mean at all. I don’t even know what I mean. I used to like work that was entirely inaccessible (e.g. the “weird” shit). But now I’m drawn to things that immediately make sense to me. Art can be approachable and pleasing without lacking talent or vision or innovation.
If I could show you pictures, you would understand.