The Quincy Art Center was proud to host a luncheon with a variety of special guests on Tuesday! Artists, donors and board members enjoyed the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the exhibit featuring the artists selected for this annual event. The cherry on top of the gathering was the appearance of this year’s judge, Miranda Krajiniak! After a brief meet-and-greet, Miranda spoke to guests about her selection process for the competition, and shared her views of some of the pieces.
For the past 13 years, Miranda has lived in Grand Rapids, MI and for the past two years has worked as the executive director of the Urban Institute for the Contemporary Arts. She is also on the Michigan Humanities Council that is invested in capturing the history within small towns. Miranda judges an average of 4 shows every year, including regional, online, and children’s competitions all over the Midwest. When beginning the selection process, Miranda selected 101 pieces of artwork from 464 submitted artworks.
Before visiting, she researched the Art Center and the city of Quincy to not only learn about the area, but to also solidify a theme. She explained how every place matters because it is a reflection of the people. “People are the place,” she stated; her theme would need to represent the city of Quincy.
While studying Quincy, Miranda found it is a transitional location. People are moving through, or stopping before a journey, such as the Native Americans or the Mormons from decades ago. The rich history of the city also fascinated her. She described how there is so much history and hospitality that allows for a change, making things new. The underlying theme of the exhibition became transition.
Next, she looked at color. For the cohesiveness of the exhibition, Miranda focused on red as a primary and yellow as a secondary. She printed off every piece, laid it out, and looked for color. Various contemporary artworks were also chosen to balance out the transition theme. Once the 101 works where chosen, she made the trip down to Quincy to inspect the pieces in person.
In total, Miranda spent about 5 hours selecting the artwork for the exhibition as well as the award winners! During her presentation, she emphasized how nothing in art is accidental, everything is purposeful.
In a one-on-one interview, Miranda shared some personal thoughts on art in local areas and how everyone can get involved. When asked about the importance of art on future generations, she embraced the question, saying, “Children’s education is number 1! I’m one of those people that never had arts education growing up. I went to one art museum my whole life before I started interning! There’s a definite difference from those students who have had many years of art appreciation because studies have shown again and again that art education expands a child’s brain capacity. Art is a business, it’s an industry and you can work in art and be quite happy.”
The importance of art education within artists’ lives is critical to their growth over time. For those invested in the arts, that is easy to relate to, but how can people not invested in the arts still keep it a central aspect? “You can reflect art in your life by buying pieces of art,” Miranda states. “There’s something about purchasing a piece of art that someone has put themselves into, then you have that in your home as a dedication to art. There’s a huge difference between having a painting compared to a poster. For me, art just seems more intimate, like a collector’s item. When I have people in my house, I have a story for each piece I own. That connection to artists, even for people who don’t have that arts background, I think is one of the most essential ways to do it. Even something small has a memory.”
Finally, Miranda shared her thoughts on the city of Quincy. “I really loved my time in Quincy! The hospitality is wonderful! I walked around downtown Quincy, and it makes me want to move here and buy a Victorian building. The history is there and so within reach!”
We thank Miranda for her time and talents in helping to create our exhibit!
You are invited to the Biennial Quad-State Exhibit Saturday, July 18 from 7-9 p.m. At 7:30 p.m., the award recipients will be announced. It is truly a highlight of the 2015 year!