Florida Artists Group


Comments from the Judge of the 2014 Exhibition at the Saint Augustine Art Association

Judges Comments FLAG Juried Exhibition 2014

By Stephen Knudsen

My thanks to all for participating in this exhibition.   There was a lot of very good work that exceeded the number of awards and it made my job delightfully difficult.  I did put ribbons on ten works that stood out for their good balance of technical craftsmanship, design, tension, and most important:  moments of unpredictability.

You may have practiced the technique of researching the judge to predict the outcome.  I appreciate that, but I must admit that may not have worked out because I went into this hoping that I would surprise myself with some of my selections.

I think I did just that with my choice of Best in Show. Ron Vellucci’s   Journey to the Land of Ammonite Droids took that honor. Craftsmanship was good in an almost futuristic kind of way—what Dave Bowman might have made in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey had he not been into pencil sketching.  

Stephen Knudsen is the senior editor of ARTPULSE magazine. He is an artist and professor of Painting at then Savannah College of Art and Design and is a contributing writer to the Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, and others. His Anthology, The Art of Critique will be published by University of Chicago Press in 2014. He is also a PhD candidate in philosophy and art theory at the Institute of Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts. (IDSVA)


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 Ron Vellucci

Best in Show — The Florida Artists Group Award
Journey To The Land of the Ammonite Droids
by Ron Vellucci

Vellucci’s process delivered content. The title is mischievous and flirts with Max Earnst as much as an Arthur C. Clarke novel.   Clearly the piece is a signifier of a stainless steel portal. If the door opened, its moving panels would be as complicated as gears in a clock.   A bit of Zoomorphic looking slice of wood and   found ammonite seemed to me to be signifiers of the natural world in relationship with the polished, the artificial, and the future.  

So many questions are conjured up here:
What of Baudrillard’s   portal into the simulacra of postmodernism? What of the relationship of our consciousness and our machines?  What of Lyotard’s The Inhuman?    I have a wish for this work: that it becomes a portal that I could fit through – and thus the imagined space on the other side is not a doll house but SPACE.  Next time I write my Huffington Post top ten….who knows.

To learn all about Ron Click Here

  Barre Barrett

Elizabeth Morse Genius Award
by David Cumbie

David Lee’s Angel was a serious Bronze guitar with plenty of familiar accouterments: angels, cherubs, and animals all presented in a great symmetry.  But then I saw something not so familiar. The angel—it looked to me as male—had a perfectly asymmetrical smile, a smirk.  All of a sudden the piece said to me, “This ain’t quite what you thought it was. I am Glam Rock baby.  I’ve got barnacles on my spikes, and attitude. Put my electric on my grave when I die. It is the only marker that I’ll need.”

To learn all about David Click Here


  Cheryl Anne

The Cornish-DeBarba & Dimmett Award
by Muffy Clark Gill

Muffy Clark Gill’s work on silk,  Agau XVIII : Ripple, had an elegance and ease married with precision. The split of the   watery rings into a diptych out of perfect register was right on.  Beauty needs some interference unless you have the “sales man’s saliva” to sell it straight up.  I don’t.

To learn all about Muffy Click Here


 Candy Childrey

The Fonchen Lord Award
Bound to
by Nadine Saitlin

Nadine Meyer’s  Bound To  surprised me when its good composition evoked both a Chicago Hairy Who aesthetic and an Alexander Calder

To learn all about Nadine Click Here


  Cecily Hangen

The Ru Israels Award
Floater II
by Janis Brothers

Janis Brother’s color photograph, Floater II, is familiar to us. We know beauties in water and Hamlet’s Ophelia is only for starters.  Think also of Lars van Trier’s recent film Melancholia. Eduard Weston’s Floating Nude is the best of what we’re up against in this lineage.  In Floater II the light passes through clear yet green water making the piece feel like illuminated stained glass with the figure as a beautiful la mort vitrined as if in formeldehyde.  But the hair is not familiar. It is not rising in the water. It looks perfectly fixed as if in air. 

What is it exactly that we are looking at? Mischievousness? Or a memory of real tragedy?  I did come to learn after the judging that Janis Brothers had submitted a video piece of this underwater happening.  I also learned that there was history of a drowning in her family. That video piece is something I would very much like to see.

To learn all about Janis Click Here


 Joan Lyon

Judges Choice Award
Lures 2
by Joan Duff-Bohrer

Joan Duff-Bohrer’s painting Lure’s 2 has painterly guts likede Kooning’s  Rosy Finger Dawn. The unpredictable here was restraint: little passages that in and of themselves would seem unfinished if not for the authority of the whole piece.

To learn all about Joan Click Here


 Pam Miles

The Blick Art Materials Award
Evening Theater
by Sydney McKenna

Sydney McKenna’s painting “Evening Theater” picks up where romanticism left off with its love of the Kantian Mathematical and Dynamical Sublime.  What business does contemporary art have overlaying these ideas?Well, post-pomo, specifically metamodernism, is sympathetic to Romanticism. Check out my writings on that or better yet the theorist Timothy Vermuelen.   Mckenna is more purely Romantic than what we think of as metamodern artists, David Thorpe, for one, but the impulse in her work relates.


To learn all about Sydney Click Here


  Cheryl Bogdanowitsch

The Blick Art Materials Award
Miss Long Hair
by Cheryl Bogdanowitsch

Cheryl Bogdanowitsch’s sculpture Miss Long Hair clearly has nothing against a sense of humor. High Art isn’t so high and mighty that it can’t be about a laugh. But I took the craftsmanship seriously.

To learn all about Cheryl Click Here


  Sydney McKenna

The Blick Art Materials Award
by Roberta Schofield

Robertta Shoffield’s Digital Manipulation gave me a doorway, an entrance into a huge paper work that was big enough to walk through. I took her up on the invitation and it was psychedelic in a binary code sort of way.

To learn all about Roberta Click Here

  Peter Zell

Honorary Membership Award for Outstanding Service
Sydney Mckenna

To learn all about Sydney Click Here



Cecily Hangen Outstanding Service Award
Susan Stair Stevens

To Learn all about Susan Click Here