"Americas 2012: Paperworks," the annual international juried art show at Minot State University's Northwest Art Center, opens this week. There are several differences in the way the show's juror is managing it this year.
Avis Veikley, executive director for the galleries, said the juror this year is Michael Barnes, a printmaker teaching at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
"He's picked two pieces from a lot of the entries," she said. "He'll be choosing the Best of Show and five merit awards once he's gotten here."
Photos by Terry J. Aman/MDN - - From top: “Trench” and “Dahlia” by Linda Stoudt of Stevensville, Mont.; “MG08 Sledge I” and “MG08 Sledge III” by Ryder Richards of Princeton, Texas; and “Matriarch Series Number 2” and “Matriarch Series Number 3” by Don Robson of Seward, Neb.
Barnes will be present at the public reception Jan. 12 from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., when he will give a gallery talk at 7 p.m. announcing the winners and explaining his selections. He selected 56 pieces for the installation from 552 submissions by 180 artists from around the country and the world, including Ireland and Poland. The exhibit will hang in the Hartnett Hall Gallery through Feb. 22.
The artist whose work is named Best of Show will have a solo exhibit next year, and several of the pieces will likely be purchased for the center's permanent collection. "One of Michael's pieces from an earlier 'Americas' competition is part of our permanent collection," Veikley said.
Artists can submit up to five pieces, each of which must be "on or of paper," and not larger than 60 inches in size.
"His idea behind selecting two pieces is to compare the style of the artist," she said. "It's a nice educational thing, and of course that's part of this competition, too. The students here can learn from every aspect of this, including how a 'working' artist works. They're all contemporary works, completed within the last two years, and we encourage experimental things."
Barnes had just about a month to make his selection from the slides submitted, when the entrants are notified and the works shipped to the center for display.
"It's like Christmas all over again to open these," Veikley said. "And sometimes we're surprised by the sizes. When you see the slides, you also see the dimensions, but then when we unpack them, they can be different than we expect."
The Northwest Art Center Library Gallery display also marks a change from past years' shows.
Each year, the Best of Show winner from the previous year's competition is invited to present a gallery show in the Library Gallery. Last year's Best of Show winner Angela Young -- who has a piece in the current "Paperworks" competition -- was unable to submit a full gallery show for the dates of this year's show.
So instead, the library gallery will feature an exhibit titled "Paintings and Traditional Crafts" by Bismarck artist Lauren "Good Day Woman" Giago. Giago's work will be on display in the Gordon B. Olson Library gallery Friday through Feb. 8, and she will also be on hand for the reception.
Young is scheduled to present a display at the college in August.
The Northwest Art Center is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and by special appointment by calling 858-3264.