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The original item was published from 10/15/2020 11:44:00 AM to 10/15/2020 11:44:50 AM.

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Life at the Library

Posted on: September 29, 2020

[ARCHIVED] NorthStar Watermedia art exhibition at Wildwood Library

watercolor painting of people at a farmer's market

From October 3 to November 13, stop by Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi to see paintings on display with the NorthStar Watermedia Society's 6th annual National Juried Art Exhibition. 

Artists from 18 states will be represented in the exhibition. Juror Nicole Watson, director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, has selected 58 paintings from a total of 271 submitted paintings. The exhibition may be viewed at the library and online starting October 3. The award-winning artists and their paintings along with the juror’s comments will be posted online starting October 12.

Hard work, excitement, anticipate at opening of show

woman looking at a book of watercolor paintingsSeven years ago, NorthStar Watermedia Society started planning an annual national juried watermedia exhibition to be held in the Twin Cities region. At that time the Twin Cities was home to no competitive national watermedia exhibition and we thought that should change. Our members were experimenting with a wide variety of new techniques, supports, and mediums which were not regularly acknowledged by traditional watercolor societies and competitions. It was time to try something new.  

Our intent was to present a high quality, juried show of contemporary watermedia art with enough prize money to attract national and local artists of high calibur. And to showcase the art in a wide variety of geographic and interesting locations to attract the attention of the populace. As of this year we will have given away over $45,000 in cash and prizes and shown art work in six very different locations. Everywhere from theaters, to regional arts organizations, to city halls.

Engaging new viewers and making the show accessible is a priority when we choose our locations. For NorthStar Watermedia’s Sixth Annual National Juried Exhibition we are delighted to be hanging our show in the beautiful new Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi, Minnesota.

As Janice LaRue Anderson, our Exhibition Chair has said, “Our Exhibition Committee members and work crews are excited to get the show up and running! Our Registrar has informed us it is an outstanding collection of art this year.  We are all working hard and anticipating a wonderful 2020 show.”

Hundreds of hours of organizational work have gone into making this show a success. We all invite you to take time to view the show and enjoy artwork from across the nation and Midwest regions.

October 15 Update: Meet Exhibition Juror Nicole Watson


Juror viewing watercolor paintings at Wildwood LIbrary.When choosing a juror, the National Juried Exhibition Committee looks for an experienced art professional to assist us in producing a carefully crafted show with a broad array of materials, styles, techniques and subject matter.  Our ideal show demonstrates high quality, balance and variety. This type of criteria provides a challenge for our jurors which we hear they truly enjoy.  This is especially true when it comes to choosing our Award winners. Many times this is the first chance our juror gets to see their selected show up close and hanging in the gallery. What are some things a juror might be looking for in a winning painting? When we asked several of them, they repeatedly came up with similar philosophies. The first thing many of the jurors looked for was sincerity and creativity.  Did the painting express an emotional idea in a new way?  Was the artist painting from their heart or merely submitting a piece they thought the judge would like? The second thing a juror looks at is quality. Does the painting “hang together” in its use of design, color, value, shapes and edges.  And the third criteria most jurors consider is mastery of technique.  Basically, does the artist show advanced understanding and competence in his or her chosen medium.

Our juror for the exhibition, now showing at Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi, is Nicole Watson who is currently the Director of the Catherine G. Murphy Gallery at St. Catherine University in St. Paul.  Nicole spent many hours choosing the paintings for the NSWS National Juried Exhibition and many more selecting 14 lucky Award winners this year. Artists and committee members alike are all looking forward to hearing Ms. Watson’s comments on the award winning paintings and her overall critique of the show coming on Friday, October, 16th.  A video of the critique and the winning paintings will be posted online at Washington County after that date.  Would you have chosen the same winners?  The winning paintings will be at Wildwood Library in Mahtomedi until November 13.

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