Grand Jury prize finalist

Breakfast With Golden Raspberries, oil on linen, 22″ x 46″

I was humbly surprised to be informed recently that I’m a finalist for the Manifest Grand Jury Prize, with a cash award of $2,500, which will be bestowed on the best single work exhibited in the entire 13th season at Manifest Gallery. This means the organization’s panel picked Breakfast with Golden Raspberries as the best work in its particular exhibit earlier this year. The final award will involve the contribution of as many as 20 jurors and the few dozen works under consideration will have been culled from more than 15,000 entries to all of the Manifest shows throughout the past season.

Here’s a summary of the process from the notification:

I’m writing to notify you that, now that our 13th season has concluded (and we’ve gotten #14 off to a good start) we’re launching the final stage of the Manifest Grand Jury Prize for your exhibition season, and your work is among the finalists to be considered.
Since we announced the MGJP partway through the season you may or may not be aware of all it entails. Rest assured, there is little you will have to do, although we hope you’ll chat about it in your networks, share your success to this stage, and, if you win, shout it from the rooftops. If you would like further information and background, rather than belabor it  here, I’ll ask that you read up on the prize at http://www.manifestgallery.org/about/awards/grand_jury_prize.
In short, your works were scored the highest by our jury (either alone or tied with others) in the exhibition in which you participated. The entire pool of works, out of many hundred we exhibited across 30 exhibits during the season, are those which did likewise. This pool comprises approximately 40 works.
I’m delighted to have gotten this recognition for a painting that won awards in two other shows last year, including a best in show at Marin MOCA.
I recently told Jim Hall, at Oxford Gallery, that I loved this painting. He laughed and said, “If you do say so yourself.” I laughed along with him, because what I really meant is that there is nothing in this painting that bugs me. To say I love it is, in my lexicon, essentially to say it doesn’t trouble me. (It’s a little more than that, but not much.) Normally, in almost every painting I complete, something continues to bother me about it, something I am at a loss for how to fix–or too cowardly to risk messing up the painting by attempting to fix it. In this painting there is nothing that needs fixing, and that’s a very rare quality in one of my paintings. In a painting I’m finishing now, another small still life with a patterned bowl–I keep going back to them–I’m very happy and surprised by much of the canvas, but one particular area of the background continues to bother me. It doesn’t look wrong or bad, but something in it just subliminally nags at me as not quite right. It’s fine, and few other people would see anything amiss, but something about those distant kitchen cabinets keeps asking for adjustment. I went after it this morning but even as I completed the amendment, I was wondering how to neutralize, just slightly, the color of that sector. As Sam Kinison said so immortally, it never ends.
Sometimes it does end, though–as with this award winner. No matter how often I look at it, I know it’s done. And nothing about it bugs me.
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