Daggi Wallace, the judge for the California Art League’s Gold Medal Exhibition, discussed what she’ll be looking for in the entries she’ll soon be perusing. The deadline for the competition is August 12.

Lead Image: “Eclipse,” by Daggi Wallace, pastel, 14 x 14 in. Wallace will serve as judge for the exhibition.

Here are some of the things that I want to see:

— Strong abstract design and shapes: This is what pulls me in when viewing from a distance (or in a thumbnail online).

— Excellent composition and values: Is my eye guided by the artist’s use of skillfully placed light patterns and shapes throughout the painting?

— Unusual subject matter and uncommon perspective: With so many motifs repeated over and over, an artist can grab my attention by choosing a subject matter not often represented or painting a common scene from an unusual viewpoint.

— Confident handling of the medium

— Interesting mark-making

— Color: Whether a piece is almost monochromatic or full of strong bright colors does not matter, but how I respond to it on an emotional level makes all the difference.

— Content/Story: This is where the artist’s voice shines through, where one can make the audience linger, stir emotion, and stimulate thought. In my opinion, titles are also important for this because they add one more layer of connection to the viewer, whether they arouse curiosity, clarify intention, or make us smile. It does not matter much to me whether the work is abstract, impressionistic, or realistic. If it pulls me in, holds my attention, inspires strong feelings, and leaves me in awe, it makes the short list.

The pieces in the show will be on display from September 13 to October 4 at the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center, in Tarzana, California. To enter, click here.


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