Blue Nocturne - Award Winnners

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dfdfgdd"It's A Coming..." (c) 2007 Cathy Spann

We are happy to have Stu Jenks of Fezziwig Music & Photography serve as the Juror for Blue Nocturne! Stu is a returning Jurist, having served dutifully for A Little Night Music in 2001 - one of our first online shows.

His ďno-holds-barredĒ commentary, taken from both sides of the Juror's computer monitor, is insightful, a little irreverent, and "true-blue."

[ Curator's Note :
CLICK! on above portrait to enlarge. Also, see some of Stu's "tasteful" Nocturnes, to the right!

Here is what he had to say:

"Right now, three jpegs with my name on them rests in a computer at the Tucson Museum of Art, awaiting a juror from Florida to judge them and others for this summer's Arizona Biennial Show. (I got in a while back; haven't for a few years now.) Likewise, on my computer resides the jpegs from all of you who have entered The Nocturnes'"Blue Nocturne" show. The irony doesnít escape me. In other words, I feel your pain.

"The curator for the AZ Biennial will probably give a little talk regarding his choices and his art theory, but frankly I expect it to be the usual Contemporary Art gobbledygook: lots of big words and high-minded ideas, but he probably won't really tell me what was on his mind when he picked the show, but I will tell you.

"Here's the deal. No matter what anyone says, it's all about taste. And some other things too, but bottom line? Itís taste. As a Kansas farmer might say, " I don't know anything about Art, but I know what I like." Well, the Doctor of Art History from large university might use 50-dollar words but he's really just saying the same thing. I know what I like.

"But besides visual taste, here are some of the other things I looked for, when I juried this show:

1) I looked for good design, good composition, and good craftsmanship. If I saw some dust, unintentional smutz or what I affectionately call a Visual Turd (that thing that doesn't belong in the image but you can't help looking at it anyway), then I gave it the boot. If the composition was a bit dull and static, or the design was pedestrian, that hurt you too. Iím a sucker for movement.

2) I looked for nocturnal images that showed the world at night. I know this sound obvious but some nocturnal photography looks just like daylight photography, except at night. I wanted to see a new world. If I didnít, I tended to sigh.

3) I looked for things I hadn't seen much before. Now, here's where it isn't your fault. I've seen a lot of photographs in my day, both nocturnal and sunshiny. But I've grown tired of old rusted cars, ancient roadside signs and anything shot at the Salton Sea. I know a number of great photogs have made careers out of shooting the Salton Sea, but it just doesn't float my boat anymore. Nor do images of city lights from across a river. Sorry.

4) When it came to the Blue in "Blue Nocturne" I looked for the emotion of Blue as much, if not more, than the color blue. If your image was the color blue, it didn't hurt you, but I looked for more than just the hue.

5) And here's a big one. (Again, not your fault if you didn't do this, for many artists don't even consider the following important. But I do.) I looked for the Story. I looked for the Magic. I looked for the Mystery. I looked for what I couldnít see that lay outside of the boundaries of the photographs. I tried to sense what the photographer may have been experiencing emotionally and spiritually at the time she or he took the image, and what she or he was trying to have me feel with their work, besides just showing me a cool photograph. I look for something inexplicable, something wondrous, something with a soundtrack. And you three, who I picked for either Best of Show and for the two Honorable Mentions, had some, if not all of the above. (Many of the other images had it too, by the way, but not so strong as these three, to me at least.) There was a Story in your images, either projected there by me or intended by you. There was a sense of the mysterious, or emotional blueness, or perhaps a journey there and back. And finally I could see beyond the edges of your photographs. I could imagine what was down that city lane, or in that field over there, or beyond that eddy in the icy river.

"And isnít what Iíve just described Ďtasteí? But with just fancier language? I think so. I just know what I like.

"So if you didn't get chosen, don't feel too bad. Sure, it might have been that your technique could have been sharper or your composition was a little flat, but it could have simply been that, you just discovered old cars in weeds at night, but that just doesn't resonate with me anymore. Iím not wrong, nor are you. It just is.

"And finally, what is most important is that in this time of vulgar reality shows, cut and paste entertainment, and twenty-four hour propaganda, you, my fellow nocturnal photographers, pack up your gear and your tripod, and go out into the night. Keep going into the night. You will find Magic there. But you all know that. "

Best of Show
Icy Swirl
by Szymon Seweryn

Honorable Mention # 1
Window, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland
by Linda Fitch

Honorable Mention # 2
Colors of the Night
by Jody Miller

Stu Jenks
March 2009

Curator's Choice
Blue dream #1
by Marco Susla

"Blue Hotel,
On a lonely highway . . ."
(Chris Isaak)

"This image was edged out (it was very close) for an Honorable Mention, so it becomes my "Curator's Choice" - which it was (it struck me right from the start)! It's not your typical nocturnal fare, i.e. wide angle landscape or 'moonscape,' this image makes a man-made household lamp and the cloud-enshrouded moon the story in a strange sort of architectural interior image - aren't porches and other external living areas of our home extensions of our living spaces, 'Interiors?' Where we contemplate venturing (adventuring?) out into the night. When we see this image, we ask ourselves: 'Who is the light left on for? How late at night is it? Will the cloud cover clear, any time soon? Could this image be from the Blue Hotel'"

Tim Baskerville

Your Choices / Thoughts
For participants and viewers alike - Be sure to drop by The Nocturnes NPy Blog - where we posted an announcement this weekend - and leave a comment or two (we're sure you'll have some!) re: this exhibit.

And, to see what we might have been looking for read the original Prospectus for this show.

We hope you enjoy the show!

A Ruined Bridge on the Old Sonoita Highway, Arizona
by Stu Jenks ©2009

Teepee #6, Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona by Stu Jenks ©2009

Best of Show

Icy Swirl
by Szymon Seweryn (Poland) ©2009

Honorable Mention

Window, Stromness, Orkney, Scotland

by Linda Fitch (Northern California) ©2008-09

Honorable Mention

Colors of the Night
by Jody Miller (Southern California) ©2009

Curator's Choice

Blue Dream #1
by Marko Susla (New Jersey) ©2009