Earth Day 2021: Restore the Earth Gallery

Juror's Statement, "Restore the Earth"

     A juror has to have the same kind of toughness as a thick-skinned artist whose submission will or will not be included in an exhibit. Particularly so for me, who thinks "great art" sounds redundant. It is not easy to sit down knowing that great works of art will be rejected.

     Over the years and in various countries, I've set eyes upon and studied exquisite works of art. Art draws me toward it, whether I am fond or not of the subject or the method. Again, and again, I've seen artists as relevant in their communities; they serve as healers, as creators and conduits to emotions people might not otherwise experience. In "Restore the Earth," the message's relevance is all-encompassing because we all share this planet.

     This past year, we've seen art predominantly in books or computers or on television because of the pandemic. While thinking excitedly at first that I could view the art submitted to this exhibit in situ, finally, instead, I viewed the work on a computer, so I did not have the whole experience or responding to the artists' works. Indeed, some stunning pieces made me yearn to see them up close, and I hope someday I can. Still, it provided an opportunity and the delight to view more art, new work I hadn't seen yet. I received a link to take me to view it. Clicking on that link was like walking through the doors of a newly opened exhibit, and I had no idea what I was to see. There were no parameters except the title of the show, "Restore the Earth."

     So, I decided to set my criteria for selection under a broad umbrella. There were no statements from the artists to guide me while exploring their work, and that broad umbrella gave me space to attempt to understand them. Ultimately, I sought a clear message or communication concerning restoring Earth. I left it to the artist to submit work that was of high quality in composition, technique, etc., preferring to focus on a message that spoke of nature's restoration.

     Their art made my eyes light up with admiration of the aesthetics and quality — plus the message for the urging for conservation. To those, I clapped my hands and said, "Bravo!" Other works had a subtle message about conservation, perhaps none at all, but the image showed relevance to Earth's health. The artists' hard work and deep emotions showed in the beauty of their submissions — I felt deep respect for them. To other works that gave me the same response but did not have the message of Earth restoration, I hope the artists will submit them to other exhibits.

     Congratulations to all.

Elizabeth Hawley, Juror. "Restore the Earth."