by Jesma Reynolds
Numbers and art may make an unlikely pairing. But in this case, the numbers bear repeating. Beginning March 12, the largest juried art exhibition in the state featuring 72 pieces from 61 North Carolina artists will be exhibited at the Duke Center for Performing Arts.
Sponsored by the Raleigh Fine Arts Society, the show is in its 38th consecutive year. It’s part of the nonprofit group’s effort to promote the visual, literary, and performing arts, as it has for the past 51 years. This year’s juror, Michael Rooks, the Wieland Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum in Atlanta, reviewed 607 pieces by 353 artists from 105 cities and towns across the state before making his final selections.The large number of submissions reinforces the depth of talent in the region, says Rooks, who also also says that skill is the common denominator in the works. Rooks writes in the accompanying exhibition catalog, “being highly skilled is an essential artistic attribute and is critically important in facilitating an exchange with audience.”
Following a lecture at 4 p.m. on March 12, Rooks will present five awards: a grand prize, three juror’s choice awards, and a student artist award. A reception will follow in the center’s Betty Ray McCain Gallery. The exhibition runs until April 27.