Salutations and Happy New Year to all my readers, from The Knapp Gallery and The Director’s Chair. Thanks for a remarkable '09. I appreciate all your comments, both published and non-published. You have all helped me grow tremendously. I look forward to spending a prosperous and healthy 2010 with you. I just want to stop for a few moments and share some thoughts, moving into the New Year. We are making some changes and some exciting additions.
Let me start off by updating Ashley’s show. Day one of our releasing Ashley’s work we had commitments to four paintings!!!! The Expelled from Eden opening enjoyed just over 100 visitors, despite frigid temperatures and non-first Friday exhibit. The streets were dead but we enjoyed ourselves and outstanding art until nearly ten PM.
The bar has been raised. Unfortunately for some of my artists, I’ve had to say Good bye. Holding to the notion of quality over quantity, I am reducing the size our stable. This is tough for me. Not one to enjoy saying “no”, I am compelled to prune back, desiring a higher quality yield. How does this play out in the practicum? Firstly, my rejection percentage of art submittals will most likely increase to 85 percent from 75%. I did a few favors this year and paid some costs for kindness. No more favors. Either an artist makes the grade or they don’t.
The boss and I are dialoguing about my position on allowing New York artists to show here at the Knapp Gallery. In my attempt to honor the bosses concerns, I will accept one New York artist for my 2011 calendar. So New Yorkers send me your stuff. But know this; I am going to be tough. I will accept New York portfolio submittals until Apr 30, 2010. Consequently, as I have rethought my New York position, or had my New York position rethought for me, I will re-accept NYC portfolios that I have dismissed since my taking over the Director’s chair.
I have one guaranteed out -of-state spot to North Carolina based Artist Matt Baumgardner. Beyond a friend for nearly twenty years, Matt is an accomplished internationally recognized painter; http://www.baumgardnerart.com/index.html One might consider this a favor that Matt is doing for me and the Knapp Gallery. Matt and I have talked a lot this past year ironing out logistics and believe we have it all but worked out. I’ll keep you posted.
I am keeping one other 2011 non -New York, out of state opportunity available for what I’ll call a walk-in applicant. I want the freedom to pick an artist on the spot, either in my travels or an actual walk-in.
Enough of housekeeping, let’s get back to Philadelphia and 2010. Two very exciting additions on the 2010 horizon: City Year and The Knapp Gallery City-Wide Graduate Student Juried Art exhibition.
In concert with the national City-Year team http://www.cityyear.org/default_ektid13307.aspx , the Knapp gallery is dedicating a partial spot geared to Philadelphia’s high school artists. In our continued attempt to participate in the maintaining, developing and nurturing of the Philadelphia Art Community we are affording two June weekend exhibitions for participants of City Year events.
A most exciting addition to our 2010 calendar is our City-Wide Graduate Student Juried Art exhibition, developed by my new assistant Tereza Gowen. Tereza’s goal is to create a yearly competitive award that Philadelphia Graduate Art Students come to covet, expect and pursue. The winner of this show will be the recipient of their first solo show on what I call the “Boulevard.”
Just for the record, we are employing a unique method of selecting our jury. Each juror must be nominated anonymously. We are accepting nominations through May 31, 2010. Our hope is there will be multiple nominations. From this pool of multiple nominations, we will select a seven person jury.