BAYarts Annual Juried Exhibition

BAYarts 2020 Juried Exhibition had been installed just days before the COVID-19 shutdown

It has been almost a year since our world changed, and the way we do business at BAYarts changed with it. This milestone seems like a good time to reflect on what we have learned as an organization and to share how we will continue to support artists and our community as we move forward with our Annual Juried Exhibition opening Friday, March 12.

Last March, when we were forced to close our doors due to COVID-19, I had just hung 73 pieces of art in our Sullivan Family Gallery for our Annual Juried Exhibition, which is a favorite at BAYarts for both artists and the public. As I look back, currently this memory is bittersweet. The jurors were Shari Wilkins of the Cleveland Print Room and John W. Carlson, local artist and dear friend to BAYarts. John died suddenly in December, and we are all still reeling from the loss. I will always remember how Shari and John made the process of reviewing the work for the exhibition and selecting the pieces such a true joy and learning experience—this is a bit of the sweet. More bitter is the thought that the public would not see the work as it hung in a closed gallery. We rallied the best we could with our limited technology at the time and did an online walkthrough of the show, sharing the awards and commending the artists for their participation.

This year, BAYarts will be using an online format for submission of work to the Annual Juried Exhibition. The juror this year is local fiber artist Rebecca Cross. At BAYarts, we have been one of the few organizations to have artists deliver work physically for review. We always felt that work is best judged seen in person, allowing the jurors to connect directly with the art without the danger of poor photographs and other limitations of the online format. We will use technology this year to limit exposure, but we still plan to have selected work hung physically in the gallery. We are learning to adapt, change our practices, and still run a gallery that supports artists of all levels at BAYarts. The mission is the same as it has always been: the way we get there is new. Our plan at BAYarts is to continue to evolve as an organization to best serve the public and the local artists who are our foundation.