Peninsula Fine Arts Center's Biennial 2012 Showcases New Art
This year’s edition of the Pfac Biennial was distinguished by an impressive number of entries – 211 artists submitted 673 works. Though many states were represented in both the submissions and the selection, some 80% of the artists have a regional connection. The juror chose 86 works by 84 artists.
The juror for Biennial 2012 was David Mickenberg, Director of the new Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke. Known for its diverse exhibition programming and strong American collection – not to mention its extraordinary architecture – the the Taubman Museum has become the newest cultural destination in Virginia. The Taubman Museum will also be hosting 50 Great American Artists in 2013, after it closes at the Peninsula Fine Arts Center.
Within this broad range of selections, you’ll find some familiar names and styles and several surprises. For those who follow gallery activities in the region and outside Virginia, you’ll recognize a continued dedication to a variety of forms of realist painting. It is comforting to know that artists remain invested in describing and interpreting the world around us. Though Abstract Expressionism set a standard for American abstraction three-quarters of a century ago, abstract art is still vibrant and a favorite among many artists, sometimes following earlier traditions, others finding a new language of abstraction. And Biennial 2012 has that “wow” factor – still plenty of works to perk up and astound the senses.
Artists were invited to submit a statement that would help put their selection in context. Those received have been displayed; I suspect others will soon follow.
This year’s Biennial Installation Competition was won by two New Hampshire artists (and husband and wife), Rebecca Kelly and Kevin Kelly. Pfac Curator Michael Preble selected their 9-part literary-mixed media work, The Life of Numm, to be displayed in the Ranhorne Gallery.
On behalf of the Peninsula Fine Arts Center, we are grateful to our sponsors for their support of Biennial 2012:
Kaufman & Canoles
Newport News Arts Commission
Virginia Commission for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts