We’re so excited about the three individuals who agreed to judge the applicants for our 20th year Tour. As usual, our jury is comprised of a working artist, an art educator and a gallerist.
Our art educator this year is Victor Maldonado, also a working interdisciplinary artist who creates conceptually driven multidisciplinary works. He is an Assistant Professor and Inclusions Specialist at the Pacific Northwest College of Art, a freelance writer and an independent curator of Northwest art. He received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from the California College of Art and his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Victor draws his inspiration from his upbringing in California and Mexico in a family of migrant field workers. Deploying both traditional mediums including painting, printmaking and drawing alongside contemporary strategies such as performances, installations and interventions, Victor expresses the challenge and power of identity to author experience and perception. His work has been acquired by the Tacoma Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. He is represented exclusively by Froelick Gallery, Portland.
Arvie Smith, our ‘working artist’ jurist, also qualifies as an art educator, as he is a Professor Emeritus of Painting at Pacific Northwest College of Art where he taught since the mid 80’s. He spent his childhood in rural Texas and South Central and Watts Los Angles, California. He received his BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and his MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, Hoffberger School of Painting under Grace Hartigan. During a sojourn in Italy in 1983, Arvie studied at Il Bisonte and SACI in Florence. From 1998 to the present he has traveled extensively through Ghana, Senegal, Mali and Burkina Faso, West Africa.
Arvie Smith transforms the history of oppressed and stereotyped segments of the American experience into lyrical two-dimensional master works. His paintings are commonly of psychological images revealing deep sympathy for the dispossessed and marginalized members of society in an unrelenting search for beauty, meaning, and equality. His work reflects powerful injustices and the will to resist and survive. His memories of growing up in the South add to his awareness of the legacy that the slavery of the African American has left with all Americans today. His intention is to solidify the memory of atrocities and oppression so they will never be forgotten or duplicated. Arvie says he creates this work “because he must”.
Our gallerist this year is Donna Guardino of The Guardino Gallery. For most of her life, art has been Donna Guardino’s livelihood. In the 1970’s she applied to the Mill Valley Festival and was turned down. The next year, she was asked by the same organization to be a juror for their show. This experience gave her a life-long lesson: There are so many variables in the jury process, you can’t take it personally. You just have to try again. This is the advice she is still giving artists today as she looks at work from hundreds of artists as the curate for Guardino Gallery.
With her history as a painter, printer, etcher and sculptor she was exposed to many art forms. Helping set up two non-profit art organizations, running several galleries and ultimately her own gallery, seeing art makes her curious about each artist’s process. She saw that for her, there wasn’t a strict boundary between fine art and craft. Now, as a curator, she looks for art that has a visual impact on her.