Big shifts have occurred in the art that matters. What constitutes a landscape has shifted internal, and focused on human-scale details. Subject matter has regained a hold on those still drawn to printmaking. Fun is again kin to aesthetic appreciation.
And yet grand old talents, and the consistency in an artist’s longevity, remain important.
How do we surmise all this? The Woodstock Artists Association and Museum presented its year-end artist awards, most chosen by the WAAM Exhibition Committee, Saturday, December 8, as part of the annual Holiday Show opening reception.
Winners were Tracy Phillips for the Mary Wilson Award for Outstanding Landscape or Still, this year a sweet almost abstract piece. David Holt wins the Robert Angeloch Award in Excellence in Printmaking for a stunning piece based on classic images of high-rise workers from the early half of the 20th century, when his medium was also in its American prime. Rob Penner received the Leilani Claire Award for Outstanding Photograph of the Year, a stunning butcher’s apron captured in subtle color before an all black background.
Susan Spencer Crowe, who works in playful yet exacting collage formats, won the Yasuo Kuniyoshi Award.
And yet the Sally Jacobs/Phoebe Towbin Award for lifetime achievement, selected by a committee of previous winners of the award, went to Staats Fasoldt by quoting Ulster Publishing art writer Lynn Woods’ observation that the noted watercolorist, “eliminates all the superfluous detail that clogs our vision to reveal the bare-bones patterns of light against shadow, translated into the spare-but-sensuous language of transparent washes.”
In other words, the committee added, Staats made the grade not for his artistry but the way he surreptitiously “become a great ‘minimalist’ painter, and this matters the most.”
Congrats to all.