Regional Selections 30

Posted on June 01, 2003 by Kristin Swan

Hood Quarterly, summer 2003
Juliette Bianco, Exhibitions Manager

What is regional about regional art? The Hood Museum of Art's exhibition Regional Selections 30 celebrates three decades of thought about that very question through the Dartmouth community's ongoing dedication to exhibiting the work of Vermont and New Hampshire artists. To mark this anniversary and to recognize not only our outstanding regional artists but also the many regional institutions devoted to supporting them, the Hood has developed a special exhibition juried by curators and museum and gallery directors who represent nonprofit arts organizations in the two states.

Eleven of these arts professionals were invited to the Hood in May 2002 to discuss the possibilities for a collaboration among all of the organizations represented.The enthusiasm for such a project was overwhelming, and everyone present agreed to act as jurors for this exhibition, each person choosing one or two artists that they felt best exemplified the vitality of Vermont and New Hampshire arts. A second meeting held three months later brought all of the jurors together again, this time with slides of the artists' work that each was contemplating. The jurors and the Hood staff determined a checklist, and each juror wrote a statement about the artist or artists selected. These statements, and reproductions of the works of art chosen for the exhibition, form the core of the accompanying catalogue.

In the same publication, Derrick Cartwright, Director of the Hood Museum of Art, considers the issues surrounding regionalism in art, while Barbara MacAdam, Curator of American Art, explores the thirty-year history of Regional Selections at Dartmouth College. The catalogue is available for purchase in the Hood Museum of Art Gift Shop.

In form, Regional Selections 30 represents a departure for the Hood from both the juried exhibitions of the 1980s and early 1990s and the thematic or medium-based exhibitions of 1998 (Post–Pastoral: New Images of the New England Landscape) and 2000 (The Art of Craft: Expressive Works by New Hampshire and Vermont Artists). The current exhibition certainly presents the greatest diversity of art making. Nine Vermont and six New Hampshire artists were chosen by the jurors, and their art ranges from easel painting, printmaking, and sculpture in wood, glass, steel, plaster, and granite to digital and mixed media installations.

Conceptually, the jurors were attracted to artists' non-conventional use of materials; to art that speaks to the local landscape, recreation, and industry; and to regional artists with an international reputation. The breadth of perspectives presented by these jurors is as thought-provoking as the art itself.

Related Exhibitions