Last night was the reception for the Missouri Top 50 show at the Missouri state fair. I was pleasantly surprised. The top 50 show is in the upstairs gallery of the fine arts building. I didn't know what to expect as far as art at the show but there were some really strong pieces.
Bruno David from Bruno David Gallery in St. Louis selected and judged the pieces for the show. He gave a speech at the beginning that was really an admonishment of the artists that who won prizes but hadn't showed for the gallery opening. I think maybe two people that had won awards were in attendance. This doesn't really surprise me because the work comes from all over Missouri. I have not been at every opening of every show that has my work in it. But Bruno also talked about the lonely place that a studio is, how much time it takes to make work for a show and how opening receptions are a time to party. I fully agree, which is why I love going to opening receptions. And free wine.
I think there was a good showing of pieces. A lot of diversity of mediums. It was mostly two dimensional but I think that's fairly common. I was a little sad to see that there were no fiber pieces. Bruno did say that he would only select one of the pieces from a particular artist, even though we entered two. So there were 50 artists shown and not say fifty pieces by 25 artists.
I was talking with my friend about how you would go about selecting works for a show like the Top 50. You don't have a theme, or a unifying medium. It must be really tough not just to pick work that's really technically well executed or is from one of your favorite genres. Everyone would be sad if all the artworks ended up being landscape themed. Maybe part of it would be picking works that you don't particularly like. There were a couple of paintings that made me cringe. Every piece of work has it's value, right?
If you are a Missouri artist reading this, enter the Top 50 next year! The prize money is ridiculous, the reception is a lot of fun, and the bunny barn is a hop away.