Museum of Art’s Juried Members’ Exhibition draws record numbers

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

The community won’t have to wait until summer for the Springfield Museum of Art’s (SMoA) biggest and most anticipated annual celebration of member talent.

This spring, visitors will find the 78th Annual Juried Members’ Exhibition the largest yet, with a record 250 submissions by 150 artist members from nine states and both coasts. SMoA staff is excited for the response as there were only 110 participants in 2023.

“We were curious as to how it would go and the turnout has been overwhelming. The record-breaking numbers have been nice,” said SMoA executive director Jessimi Jones. “The craftsmanship is outstanding, a beautiful range of art.”

The earlier deadline and the interest in several events at the SMoA earlier this year, including the opening of the renovated north wing, inspired member artists to create and share their art with the community.

Jennifer Wenker, the SMoA’s new curator of collections and exhibitions, said visitors can look forward to a variety of works in various mediums.

“Color has become more exuberant and there are more abstracts. This could be from the joy and relief of coming out of COVID or being spring. Never underestimate the power of spring,” said Wenker.

There are also more collaged and mixed media pieces along with unusual media that resist classification, according to Wenker.

The 2024 juror is Sienna Brown, curator of the Cleveland Clinic Art Collection.

Given there are 153 works, Jones and Wenker hope visitors will be inspired to revisit the exhibition multiple times to explore how visual language elements can spark conversation. They may also see something different or revisit a piece and see in a different way.

“This is a way artists and community can connect together,” Wenker said.

Jones said the Juried Members’ Exhibition was moved up this year to accommodate other exhibitions the SMoA has to schedule months in advance. She’s reminded that this exhibition is what led to the creation of the SMoA all those years ago by community artists and citizens who valued what it brings.

“It’s a way for the community to celebrate itself,” Jones said.

The public can make its own contribution to the exhibition by voting for the people’s choice award. Voting will continue through the last few weeks of the run, closing July 21.

The SMoA is located at 107 Cliff Park Rd. and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 12:30-4:30 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 for non-members and free to members and students.

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