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Regional Selections 30


New Englanders do not need to travel far to encounter regional art successes. The art objects featured in the Hood Museum of Art's exhibition Regional Selections 30 represent the Hood's best efforts to bring diverse works of art together to engage local audiences. On view from June 7 through August 3, 2003, Regional Selections 30 celebrates thirty years of Dartmouth College's dedication to exhibiting the work of Vermont and New Hampshire artists. With this exhibition, the Hood has chosen to recognize not only outstanding regional artists but also the many regional institutions dedicated to supporting them. A total of sixteen artists-ten from Vermont and six from New Hampshire-were chosen by eleven jurors who represent nonprofit arts organizations in the two states. The art ranges from easel painting, printmaking, and sculpture in wood, glass, steel, plaster, and granite to digital and mixed media installations-the largest and most diverse snapshot of the region's artistic contributions ever shown in the museum's galleries.

An open house and reception with the artists and participating jurors will be held in the galleries on Saturday, June 7, from 4 pm to 6 pm. Refreshments will be served.

The jurors-Maureen Ahern, Catherine Amidon, Gerald Auten, Emmie Donadio, Henry Duffy, Christine Holderness, Christopher J. Madkour, Andrew Spahr, Pascal Spengemann, Bente Torjusen, and Vicki C. Wright-represent various museums, galleries, and arts organizations in the two states. In choosing artists to be represented in the exhibition, jurors considered the artists' nonconventional use of materials; art that speaks to the local landscape, recreation, and industry; and regional artists with an international reputation.

This exhibition features the work of Ria Blaas, Bob Boemig, Peter Paedra Bramhall, Kris Calnan, Amparo Carvajal-Hufschmid, James McGarrell, Jerry MacMichael, The Main Street Museum (David Fairbanks Ford), MANUAL (Ed Hill and Suzanne Bloom), Petria Mitchell, Andy Moerlein, Lawrence J. Nowlan, Rebecca Purdum, Gary Haven Smith, and George Tooker. Large-scale, abstract sculptures of human forms, a monotype woodcut featuring black birds rising into the sky, a miniature sculpture of a "bobhouse," a mysterious gathering of personal artifacts, an ethereal painting of the Vermont landscape, and a stunning sculpture inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Icarus are only a few of the more than twenty unique artistic works included in the exhibition.

The first regional art exhibition at Dartmouth College was held in Alumni Hall in the Hopkins Center in 1973. The competition was open to all artists within a fifty-mile radius of Hanover. Using a traditional model associated with nineteenth-century exhibition practices, five jurors selected 123 artists from 419 entries and awarded prizes for the four works considered "best in show." In the decades that followed, the format of the exhibition changed by extending the fifty-mile radius to include all artists in New Hampshire and Vermont and adding mixed media and drawing to the original categories of painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking. Over time, and with the opening of the Hood Museum of Art in 1985, the format shifted to a more focused exhibition that became known as Regional Selections. The most dramatic change occurred in 1997, when Hood Museum of Art director Timothy Rub changed Regional Selections to an invitational exhibition with the hope of gaining greater flexibility by having the artists and their work chosen by an independent curator.

As the Hood celebrates three decades of a vital and highly intentional regional arts program, it unveils yet another variation on the exhibition format with the decision to use eleven curators acting as jurors of sixteen artists and their diverse body of work. Director Derrick Cartwright notes that "the opportunity to study regional art up close and over time reflects a commitment to finding out for ourselves what matters most to us today."

This exhibition was organized by the Hood Museum of Art and is generously supported by the Cissy Patterson Fund. An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is available in the Hood Museum Shop.

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