Juror’s Choice Award for “Recess at Freeman School”
Linda Stephen’s “Recess at Freeman School” paper construction of invented origami and Japanese washi papers was awarded the Juror’s Choice Award at the American Landscapes Reception at Circle Gallery at Maryland Federation of Art in September 2018. More than 70 artworks in all media from artists across the country were part of the exhibition. The juror was Joann Moser, curator emerita, Smithsonian Museum of Art.
On the visual arts exhibit, the juror said:
“If beauty alone had been the primary criterion for selecting works of art for this exhibition, the task would have been even more challenging than it was. So many of the entries were beautiful in the traditional sense of the word that this consideration became secondary to other factors. Among the many exquisite views of breathtaking landscapes, I favored images that said or implied something meaningful about the landscape. The mundane ordinariness of traffic on a freeway heading into a glorious sunset, the power and elegance of a bridge abutted to a rocky mountainside, a single small figure on a ledge of the Grand Canyon, all made me want to keep looking at the scene and contemplate its meaning.
With abstract works of art, I looked for compositions that stimulated my imagination to consider landscape from a non literal point of view. A shape that suggested a map with topographical features intrigued me. The energy of bright red curves over a subdued background conveyed the sense of freedom and emotional release that one often feels in a landscape. The unseen layers of earth beneath a house have little to do with visual reality but instead emerged strictly from the artist’s imagination.
As a curator, I always think of the final exhibition. I wanted to represent the broad spectrum of landscape possibilities: urban and rural, dramatic and serene, magnificent and mundane, abstract and detailed, with figures and without. I saw themes that emerged and juxtapositions that complemented each other. I wanted to include as many techniques and styles as I could while still maintaining the high standards and cohesion I wished to preserve.” – Joann Moser’s Juror’s Statement.