Brava to all the artists who submitted work in this challenging time. We have all been thrust into learning new ways of dealing with a shut down of our usual activities. We feel lucky to be here in the Berkshires and luckier still we can make art. For many of us it offers solace as well as an opportunity to find our own way to choose from, account for and comment on what the beauty of a themed art exhibit is that even if the accepted work is widely diverse, the exhibit has a sense of cohesion.

In jurying this show we looked for work that in one way or another connected to the theme. We also found ourselves consistently attracted to work that expressed a distinct point of view and took some chances. We looked for work that kept holding our attention, that made us want to look at it again, that perhaps, put us a little off balance, and tweaked our perceptions. If it was a choice between two pieces, we chose the one that communicated the artist'sintentions more clearly, the combination of concept and craft. Craft isn't the point but it still matters, and allows one's ideas to speak out.

It is always exciting to look at new work, especially to see what is going on in the geographic area in which one resides. That said, digital images fall far short of the pleasure we take in seeing artwork in person (but so much better than throwing up our hands and doing nothing!). We miss the sense of scale-everything seemed to be the same size- small, and perhaps the hardest thing is the absence of physical surfaces to read. We wouldn't be surprised if our choices were different had we been able to see the work in person. But not withstanding those challenges we applied our experience and full attention to getting a sense of what was before us. We went over the submissions many times on our own before meeting to finalize choices. The experience of working with each other, as two dedicated artists whose work is so different, was smooth and enjoyable because we speak a common language.

We both value the freedom art gives us, and the depth of enjoyment and meaning which making art brings to our lives. We didn't always agree. We listened to each other and worked it out. Judging art exhibits in our experience is a very imperfect process. We took a few more pieces than the suggested, in an effort to represent the breadth of work we saw, but still tried to keep the number manageable for focus and viewing. Selecting the prize winners may have been the most difficult part. Again, we looked for work that intrigued us, surprised us and was well crafted. We hope you enjoy the exhibition.

Ann Getsinger and Julie Shapiro

Ann Getsinger's home and studio is in New Marlborough, MA. She also works regularly in the mid-coast area of Maine and has a lifelong connection to both communities. Beside having her work in many private collections, Ann's paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries including The Springfield Museum (Springfield, MA), Seven Bridges Foundation (Greenwich, CT), Dowling Walsh Gallery(Rockland, Maine), Camilla Richman Gallery (Osterville, MA) Hoorn- Ashby (NYC), ART 101 (Brooklyn, NY), Carrie Haddad (Hudson, NY), and many more. She is currently represented by Arundel Farm Gallery in Kennebunk, ME, and Camilla Richman Fine Arts, in Osterville, MA.

Julie Shapiro, who received her MFA from Yale University, lives and works in Monterey, MA. The recipient of many honors, awards and grants, she has shown her work in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the country. In addition, her work is in several private collections and museums and has been covered in various art publications. She has extensive teaching experience and has been a visiting artist at several colleges and universities.