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A letter from the President

2012 certainly has started off on a high note with the hanging of the 2012 Merit exhibition on Thursday 26 January and the wonderful Critique session at our Monthly Meeting also on the 26th.   The opening of the Merit took place the following evening, the 27th, so it was a busy 2 days.
The exhibition – which contains the work of SASA’s top 44 artists – per the judging for the Annual exhibition late last year – was opened by Derric van Rensburg who delivered a thoughtful, amusing and most entertaining speech.  Sales at the Merit have been good – 47 in total – and in next month’s newsletter we’ll be able to provide a full analysis of the exhibition and sales.  We’ll also be able to show cumulative statistics for the year up to and including this Merit exhibition.  ’It was curated very well, and the standard of the works speaks for themselves’ said Natalie Hirschman.
Natalie, Andrew and Derric
For those of you who missed the Critique session – well, you missed a marvellous evening, one of the best ever – based on the enthusiastic feedback received!   The 3 judges from Selection Day last August – Natalie Hirschman, Andrew Lamprecht and Derric van Rensburg – came back and shared with us their reasons for the scores they awarded.   In addition, they provided invaluable advice and constructive criticism as to how the paintings could be improved. 
Each participating member brought up to 3 of their Selection Day works. A member’s works were displayed on easels on the stage, each bearing the total score awarded.   Each judge then discussed their views and opinions on the works.  It was unanimously agreed that their crits were honest, fair, passionate and well-informed.  It was also notable that the judges sometimes differed in opinion on some works and this fact illustrated that art is indeed subjective and that viewpoints do vary.  Importantly, their crits were constructive and kind.   ‘It was most interesting, informative and inspiring, filled with insight and with gentle but constructive critiques, from which we can all learn’ wrote member Adele Galgut.   It was the most informative and valuable art lesson that I for one, have probably ever attended.   SASA’s mission statement includes the words [SASA is there] ‘for the advancement of Art’.  That night really lived up to our goal, and also broke our Monthly Meeting attendance record – with 113 members attending.
Natalie made an interesting comment that night, noting that her own art has changed as she ‘has learnt so much through the whole experience’ of being a judge for us.  She too enters many competitions and had always believed that the most important aspect was technical excellence.  But, after looking at over 470 paintings on our Selection day, many of which were indeed technically faultless, she has come to realise that a painting needs something else, something more, something that makes one stop and want to look again … that indefinable ‘WOW!’ factor.  It could be a certain glow of light or use of colour or …. that’s the thing, it’s beyond description … but one recognises it when one sees it.
Lorna Jakins

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