Exhibition Dates: July 8 - September 1, 2023
Public Opening Reception: Saturday, July 8 | 7-9:30pm
The Associates of Brand Library & Art Center in Glendale, California, announces its 51st Annual National Juried Exhibition of Works on Paper.
Welcome to Brand 51:
Welcome to our new summer location on the Brand Library & Art Center calendar! We are thrilled that so many artists responded to an open call that followed close on the heels of Brand 50. This year we feature 98 artworks of amazing variety, chosen for us by Juror Ara Oshagan from among 1,222 entries. Some artists will be familiar from previous years but we welcome many new faces and we continue to draw artists not just from California, but from
across the country. We are a truly national exhibition!
You will find artworks of very large scale and of smaller more intimate dimensions. Two- and three-dimensional artworks are included, as are installations. By reading the catalog, you will learn why artists choose paper as their medium and how they manipulate and engage with the unique qualities of paper in different ways. There is something here for everyone to enjoy and we thank you for supporting our artists, Brand Library & Art Center, and the Associates of Brand.
— Debra Thompson, Brand 51 Chair
About the Juror:
This year’s juror is internationally known photographer, curator, author, and speaker, Ara Oshagan. A resident of Glendale, Ara is the co-curator of ReflectSpace Gallery. Since 2017, ReflectSpace Gallery has installed nearly forty exhibitions focused on current and historical social issues that have local, national and international impact. As co-curator, Ara exhibits contemporary art as well as archives, employing a vast range of media from drawing to photography, to painting, projection, sound, installation, public art, technology-based and interactive media. His artistic practice demonstrates a keen eye and appreciation for conceptual as well as representational art.
In an urban center’s art ecosystem, juried exhibitions occupy an important niche. They create a space to display works that may not get much visibility and often bring artists and curators together who otherwise may not meet. They can spark collaborations and friendships; I met a very good friend and collaborator of over two decades at a juried show. They are one of the important mainstays of a healthy art ecosystem.
In the best possible scenario, a juried show can bring recognition to an artist’s work. In rare cases, it can kick off an artist’s career, but more commonly a juried show provides inspiration for the artist to keep going, to keep making art despite all the obstacles, despite life. Because for most artists, it’s a constant and uphill battle to continue making art. As a curator as well as an artist, I myself am forced to balance these issues, to fi nd inspiration in unlikely places and to imagine a future and a belonging for the work I create. Being included in a very competitive juried show, like Brand 51, gives an artist a certain momentum that can buoy them up and keep them ever so slightly aloft. This is critical in an artist’s trajectory.
Emotional states of mind are as critical as the physical or financial.
It is important to remember that Brand Library & Art Center is a municipal art space. In an art environment aggressively driven by markets and capital, a municipal art space is a kind of oasis where work without apparent commercial value can be displayed and celebrated. This is a critical niche not only in the art world but in society in general—where ideas and processes outside the juggernaut of the marketplace can be foregrounded and discussed, possible other futures can be contemplated, and the marginal and invisible can be acknowledged. This has been central to my approach as the juror of Brand 51.
It was at once wonderful to know that over 1,200 submissions were made to Brand 51 and also daunting to wade into the selection process. I was also a bit sad that I could only select fewer than 100 artworks. For artists who were not selected, it is important to note that the process of judging is supremely subjective: another judge could and would select a completely different set of works. My selections leaned into the social and political space, into works that showed a delicate and compelling balance between the idea and the aesthetic, between content and texture, and the work as object and as conduit. Eclectic, textured, and experimental works that strove to break bounds either through process or construction or in the ideas presented also tended to grab my attention, as were culturally expansive and diverse works that often are not as visible in our art world ecosystem.
By its very nature an open call exhibition of this scale will be eclectic. The artworks in Brand 51 are unique and powerful and each stands on its own merit but is also a critical piece of the exhibit as a whole.
— Ara Oshagan, Curator and Artist
The Brand Associates are also offering a printed exhibition catalog for purchase at Brand Library & Art Center for $27.
Unless specified not for sale (NFS), all artworks are offered for sale. A portion of all sales will benefit the Associates of Brand Library & Art Center.
The Associates of Brand Library & Art Center is an all-volunteer non-profit that raises funds to support the extensive free and public events offered at Brand including gallery exhibitions, classical and popular music performances, film screenings, dance performances, and activities for people of all ages. Entry fees and commissions from the sale of artworks from Brand 51 will be used to continue the important cultural programming that Brand Library & Art Center brings to the community.
Do you love Works on Paper as much as we do? Learn more by reading a book! Click the button below for book suggestions from our Brand Library Specialists.