|Kyle Hackett "Forward Restraint"|
The Rehoboth Art League’s 7th Regional Juried Biennial Exhibition is a significant step in the League’s continuing evolution to a regional art force. The work is bold, resolutely modern and abstract.
The juror, George Ciscle, focused on the unique and mastery of technique. His emphasis on craft is part of what makes the exhibit current. After decades of the art world emphasizing concept over technique, the quality of execution is increasingly valued. Kyle Hackett’s oil painting “Forward Restraint” was chosen as Best in Show partly because it stood out from the crowd of portraits and partly because of the artist’s command of his medium. In his detached view of the subject, Hackett distresses part of the sitter’s face and leaves part of the background apparently unfinished, reminding us that this is his interpretation of the subject, not a copy of reality.
|Amani Lewis "The Conversation"|
Some current perspectives in contemporary art are not evident here. On display is what
|Sondra Arkin "Shadow Drawing"|
Missing in their entirety from the exhibition are examples of video and performance art.
It is estimated that there are more than 2.5 million professional artists in the US -- nearly 1% of the population. Taking into consideration the additional number of amateur artists, it is easy to understand the challenge for artists to have their work seen and sold. George Ciscle’s curation demonstrates the value of artists who analyze what has gone before, both in terms of technique and theory, and seek that unique variation that lifts one’s work above the fray. The exhibit is among the best that I have seen at the RAL, but still leaves room to grow.