Exploring the intimate territories of personal experience and the global landscapes of place and environment
Sherry Leedy, Juror
The content of a work of art contains the thoughts, ambitions and skill of the artist, and often reveals more than a literal self-portrait ever could. Initially, a sensitive drawing, a bold painting, an embellished ceramic cup, or an ambitious sculpture may appear to have little in common. However, what they share is an intimate relationship with the personal truth of their maker. Thus, the process of being a juror for the exhibition Visual Territory was one I took seriously. My search was for the essence of quality. I did not know who the artists were.
My process involved a commitment of time, energy, and focus and, in my case, lots of coffee. My method was to study the submitted images once, twice, and often three times or more over the course of a few days. The experience felt as if I was running my hand over a distilled version of what is happening in art today.
Each image revealed the heart and mind of an individual artist and by looking, looking, looking, gradually the images seeped into me. Eventually some resonated more profoundly than others did. Of the 378 images submitted by 125 artists from 28 states, most were highly skilled and thoughtful, but some were truly exceptional. Ultimately the 37 artworks chosen for Visual Territory were distinguished by their maker's ability to transform and transcend purely personal meaning, to reach toward what is universal, and speak to us all.
Early last week, I drove to Pittsburg, Kansas to see the Visual Territory exhibition in person. The show was impressive. Beautifully installed and lit, the work, happily, looked better in physical reality than in digital facsimile. The experience of seeing the exhibition was similar to greeting familiar friends and finding that they had never before looked so well.
Congratulations to all the artists that participated in this exhibition and to all the award winners. I look forward to seeing you again in the art world.
Since 1985, Sherry Leedy has championed the Kansas City art scene as owner and director of Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art. Leedy has highlighted critically acclaimed artists, as well as emerging talent, in over 200 gallery exhibitions. In addition to the gallery's prominence in Kansas City, it has a national presence through its participation in prestigious international art fairs, including Art Chicago, SOFA Chicago and New York.
Sherry Leedy holds an MFA degree from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, and a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute, Missouri. She is a past recipient of a National Endowment for the Art/Mid Ameircan Arts Alliance Fellowship and her personal artwork is held in various public collections including the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas.
Meet The Visual Territory Artists
- Misha Kligman
- Pantea Karimi
- Ariel Bowman
- Cecil Howell
- Joey Borovicka
- Gordon Sherman
- Roberto Lugo
- Ray Ogar
- Sharon Harper
- Stephanie Kantor
- Khara Koffel
- Anna-Mária Vág
- Tess Stilwell
- Amanda Smith
- Nuala Creed
- John Utgaard
- Laura Blumenberg
- Kendra Bulgrin
Meet the Award Winners
- 1st Place - Amy Kligman & Misha Kligman
- Juror's Honorable Mention - Melissa Wilkinson
- Juror's Selection Cash Award - Ariel Bowman
- Mission Clay Purchase Award - John Utgaard