The de Young Museum is celebrating its 20th year of the Annual New Generations Student Showcase. The goal of the exhibit is to highlight student artworks from local universities. This is a unique opportunity not found in other museums or institutions. Students witness firsthand the laborious physical and intellectual time spent to provide a platform supporting future artists.
A few months ago, I was part of a committee that met to brainstorm ideas and a theme. From the museum: “Join us for this dynamic three-day event at the de Young, including a juried showcase of visual art and film with museum object talks, an art history symposium, music, and performance by university and college art and art history students, inspired by the theme, Sanctuary, and by the de Young’s permanent collections and special exhibitions.” With current international events, a place of refuge, safety, or sanctuary is timely and appropriate.
This is my third year supporting and participating through a committee, jurying, providing an artist talk, or encouraging students to apply. Prior to the showcase, the museum has an artist orientation workshop to explain procedures, provide motivational speakers, and answer questions. On Saturday, I had the honor to introduce Piero Spadaro, director and owner of HANG ART gallery. He generously shared valuable insights into his background, helpful tips, and current art market trends. Hope the emerging artists were listening!
The competition was highly selective this year with only 51 artworks of 365 selected for the showcase. That is only 14%! Writing with the submissions was very important. How the artwork fit the Sanctuary theme provided a higher chance of acceptance. It’s the artist’s job to communicate not the juror to guess.
The beautiful Piazzoni Murals Room will be holding the Sanctuary exhibit. In November of 2013, I created a painting inspired by it for an artist residency at the museum. Description: “JBP.9.13.103378 draws inspiration from the sage green ocean, the white clouds, and copper-colored land in The Sea panels in the Piazzoni mural room at the de Young. Like Piazzoni, Northern California deeply influences my art and its abundant natural beauty is a constant inspiration.”
Revisiting the de Young to explore its collections is a sanctuary. It’s a place for mental refuge and clarity amongst a world of relentless spam. It felt reassuring to be back to support and encourage a future generation. It felt hopeful and right…
Sanctuary: 20th Annual New Generations Student Showcase, de Young Museum, San Francisco, April 22-24, 2016.