CHANGES TO THE SHOW
Why were changes made to this year’s exhibition?
The Toledo Museum of Art is one of only a few museums in the country that has continued to host a local artists exhibition. This is a tradition the Museum is proud to continue. The changes to this year’s Toledo Area Artists (TAA) exhibition have been made to meet the evolving needs of the local artistic community and to inject new life into the exhibition.
The intent of these changes is threefold:
- To work more closely with selected artists to make TAA a career advancing opportunity
- To offer a true representation of the diverse artists in the region
- To elevate the caliber of the exhibition by incorporating a thoughtful, curated approach to the selection process
How does TAA differ this year from past exhibitions?
The submission process was based on an artist’s portfolio rather than individual works. It is a curated exhibition, much like other exhibitions presented by the Toledo Museum of Art.
The selection process took place in two stages. The first was completed by Andrew W. Mellon Fellow Dr. Halona Norton-Westbrook. During this process, the artists who will be in the exhibition were selected and studio visits took place to determine the actual objects that will appear in the show.
The second stage, the juror review, will be conducted by Los Angeles Times art critic and former Toledo Museum of Art fellow Christopher Knight. During this stage, Mr. Knight will select the prize winners.
What does it mean that TAA is now a curated exhibition?
Past TAA exhibitions have been selected by a juror or jurors who chose specific works of art to include. This year, artists were selected based on the body of work they submitted, rather than particular works. This approach allows the curator to form a deeper partnership with the artist in order to present his or her work to the best advantage. It also allows for the work of each artist to speak to that of the other artists in the show. This year’s curator, Dr. Halona Norton-Westbrook, said she was looking for three things while evaluating artist portfolios:
- A strong personal voice
- Excellent craftsmanship
- A key idea that will resonate with visitors
Will there be a solo exhibition awarded to one TAA artist?
Museum staff has been experimenting with the format of TAA over the past several years to see what combination of incentives will motivate top regional artists to enter their work in the show. While not ruling out a solo artist exhibition in the future, that is not one of the incentives for this year’s show.
Why all the changes this year?
The Museum is experimenting with ways to make the show a more cohesive and compelling exhibition, while at the same time providing greater career advancing opportunities to participating artists. One of the Museum’s strategic objectives is Working with Artists and TAA is just one way that we affirm that commitment. The Museum not only pays all expenses related to the show, it commits hundreds of hours of staff time to its curation, promotion, and installation.
THE SELECTION PROCESS
Who was permitted to submit a portfolio for consideration?
Any artist within a 150-mile radius of the Toledo Museum of Art was eligible: http://bit.ly/1nO4Bkf.
How were portfolios submitted?
From June 1 to 30, 2014 a call for entry for TAA was hosted at callforentry.org. Artists needed to provide an artist statement, a CV (resume) and up to ten images that best represent their body of work.
Was there an entry fee?
All artists who entered their portfolio were required to pay a $30 entry fee.
What type of work could be included in the portfolio?
There were no restrictions on the type of work that could be included in the portfolios. All media could be submitted, regardless of shape, size, etc.
Is anyone excluded from submitting a portfolio to TAA?
Anyone living within a 150-mile radius of the Toledo Museum of Art is eligible, no matter what stage they are at in their career. This includes Toledo Museum of Art employees. Not surprisingly, the Museum attracts many artists as employees and contractors. We believe these staff members should have equal opportunity to display their work in a venue like TAA. This year, two were accepted into the show and several others were not.
Was there a limit to the number of artists or works included in TAA?
Due to the curated nature of the exhibition, there was not a limit to the number of artists or works included.
When and how were artists notified?
Announcements were sent on July 15, 2014 to all artists who entered, notifying them whether they had been selected or not.
INFORMATION ABOUT THIS YEAR’S TAA
When will the exhibition take place?
The 95th Toledo Area Artists Exhibition opens on November 21, 2014 and will be on view through January 4, 2015.
Where will the exhibition take place?
Canaday Gallery will be the primary space for this year’s exhibition.
Will awards be handed out this year?
A variety of awards will be allocated. Christopher Knight will select a number of the prize winners, including Best in Show, first, second, and third place. The prize money for these awards has been significantly increased this year. Between Best in Show, first, second and third place, $10,000 will be awarded.
The Toledo Federation of Art Societies will also administer its own set of awards.
Why was eligibility expanded to a 150-mile radius of the Museum? Aren’t there enough good Toledo artists?
There is a vibrant artistic community in and around the Toledo metropolitan community including many artists who show nationally and internationally. However, the way the region was previously defined (by county) was not representative of Museum visitation. In particular, only two counties in Michigan were eligible for TAA and the counties that include Ann Arbor and Detroit were excluded.
Two years ago, it was decided to expand eligibility to a 150-mile radius to better reflect the Museum’s primary area of service. The distance of 150 miles was chosen due to the demographic data of the Museum’s visitorship. Museum visitors reside not only in Toledo but Grand Rapids, Fort Wayne, Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Ann Arbor, and the areas in between these cities and the Museum. This distance also allowed the curator to easily make day trips to visit artist studios.
Nearly 40% of the artists selected are from the traditional boundaries, but there were no limits or quotas on the number of artists selected or where they reside.
What is the involvement of the Toledo Federation of Artist Societies (TFAS)?
For many years, TFAS organized the TAA exhibition while the Museum hosted and administered the show. The Toledo Museum of Art took over operation of the TAA exhibition in 2011, but continues to partner with TFAS on certain artist awards, an artist dinner, and workshops associated with TAA.
How many works of art will be included in this year’s exhibition?
This year’s TAA exhibition features 73 objects. These works of art were selected via a collaborative process between the curator, Dr. Halona Norton-Westbook, and each of the artists.
Are the works featured in the exhibition available for purchase?
Yes, some are. Information about which works of art are available for sale along with their associated cost is available from The Museum Store.
Where can artists find additional information about TAA?
Information about TAA is available at toledomuseum.org. Artists can also contact Dr. Halona Norton-Westbrook, curator of TAA, at firstname.lastname@example.org.