A Mix of Media: The 42nd Juried Art Exhibit
Ever since the 1960’s, the Durango Arts Center (DAC) has worked tirelessly to promote growth, exploration and appreciation for art, not just in Durango but on a larger, national scale. The non-profit has gladly accepted the role as a community resource for unique art exhibits and workshops and is a home for upcoming, local artists. Currently, the DAC is hosting their 42nd Annual Juried Art Exhibit, an invitation for artists that specialize in a variety of media to compete and showcase their masterpieces. In terms of accessibility, DAC has instituted some sweeping changes as of late.
The event had “never been promoted nationally until last year. This year we had an online, digital platform to apply from outside the area. So, it was a bit of a revolutionary change that happened,” Peter Hay, Exhibit Director said.
And it definitely called some attention to DAC. They received over 291 entries for the show, filled with artists from all over the country, proving that our quaint Durango Arts Center is gaining some national coverage. In the end, only 41 submissions made the cut to be “the best of the best,” with about half of the artists being locals. It’s no doubt that the intrigue of the exhibit is the vast array of styles that make it to the show. The exhibit boasts gorgeous landscape paintings, clever collages, stunning sketches, modern 3D sound art, sculptures, jewelry and more. Hay mentioned that the ever-changing variety is possibly the show’s greatest strength, and artists that submit work next year might be inspired by this year’s quirky pieces.
“It’s never going to get stagnate,” Hay said.
Every year, the Exhibit Director chooses a guest curator to judge the event. This year, DAC welcomed Josie Lopez from 516 Arts, a nonprofit based in Albuquerque. The art museum is arguably the most contemporary art space in our region and is actively engaged in social projects. For Hay, the option to choose Lopez was a no-brainer.
“She’s ‘regional’, but doesn’t necessarily know our membership, which eliminates a bias. I’ve always been impressed with what they are able to pull off and their quality of work in their space,” Hay said about 516 Arts and Lopez.
Spoiler alert: the winners have already been chosen for the competition, all the way from Best in Show to Honorable Mentions. But until June 30th, these crafted pieces of art are still on display for you to enjoy, critique and appreciate. If you’re feeling up to it, harness your inner creative abilities and send a submission for next year; DAC welcomes artists and spectators of all levels and skills.
“Even if people don't know anything about art, or if they have a doctorate in art history, they're going to find something they enjoy,” Hay said.
The exhibit is just one of the numerous events that DAC puts on every month. Roughly 8,300 patrons enjoy over 20 art exhibits a year, not to mention their summer camps for kids and 5,000 theatre goers who attend adult and youth productions. When DAC members and others from the community attend these events, they are supporting the largest art center in the Four Corners area. If you’re a member, give yourself a pat on the back for helping to foster an exceptional home for art, theatre and growth. If you’re not a member, becoming one is an easy process that can make a monumental difference.
“These sort of shows, what we’re doing in the gallery, we simply could not do without the support from members,” Hay said.
Learn more about how you can support our Durango Arts Center here.