The prestigious and ultra-competitive Crocker Kingsley Exhibition returns to Blue Line Arts from January 8th to February 20th, 2021. With generous cash prizes for the top juried artists, and a rare chance to have their work exhibited by the Crocker Art Museum, the show has long attracted California’s established artists as well as those just emerging on the scene. The exhibition’s rich history dates back to 1927 when it was first launched by the Kingsley Art Club. Past exhibitors have included many of the premier names in American and Californian art, including Robert Arneson, Kathryn Uhl Ball, Elmer Bischoff, Fred Dalkey, David Gilhooly, Gregory Kondos, Roland Petersen, Mel Ramos, Ruth Rippon, and Wayne Thiebaud.
The tradition of the show continues for its 80th iteration at Blue Line Arts in partnership with the Kingsley Art Club and the Crocker Art Museum. Traditionally open only to Californian artists, this year, the competition was opened up nationally, and features more than 145 artists from around the U.S.
Works selected by Crocker curators will be displayed in the Crocker Art Museum in the winter of 2021. Prize winners will be announced on Saturday, January 16th, when over $5600 in prizes will be awarded during a virtual reception event. To browse the artwork online, or to tune into the virtual awards event, visit bluelinearts.org or follow @bluelinearts. The gallery will remain open to visitors while remaining within safety guidelines Tuesday through Saturday, 11-5. To schedule a private appointment, please contact the gallery.
Support for this exhibition comes from WiZiX Technology Inc.
Award Winners & Crocker Selections
From the Juror
There is no single way to characterize the work in this year’s Crocker-Kingsley Exhibition. More than 145 artists from around the U.S. have shared their work, and the breadth of media is remarkably gratifying—from painting, sculpture and printmaking, to photography, ceramic, glass and textiles. There is also a diverse exploration of genre that includes abstract, conceptual, figurative and narrative expressions. Some artworks combine elements of several genres.
The ideas behind the work in this show create a vast survey of daily life and address concepts of memory, human nature, identity, politics, history, the environment and social concerns.
The Story Tellers
Many artists in the Crocker-Kingsley Exhibition have used a wide variety of images and elements to create stories in their artworks. They join the human tradition of sharing our individual life stories through art. Our life stories are an amalgam of our experiences. Passed along from generation to generation, stories reinforce our connection to community and universal experience. Family stories, bedtime stories, love stories, war stories—everyone has a story to tell.
Shelter and Habitat
As we muscle through a year of sheltering in place, artists are imagining and re-thinking notions of space, place and home in our current world. Artists are investigating the role that home, habitat and environment play in our modern lives—all the design aspects, cultural trends, and social concepts that make a home. No matter what form they take, our homes provide physical shelter and emotional protection. They can comfort us, help define us, and sometimes become monuments to our lives after we’ve left.
Route 66 Blues #40. Antihome
Embrace of Nature and Our Environment
Mother Nature has inspired artists for centuries, providing an alphabet of sound, texture, color and light. I was drawn to the numerous artists who share my fascination with translating and transforming the natural world. Sometimes the work is nearly abstract, yet it evokes physical and emotional sensations of place, atmosphere and season. The natural elements that inspire the artworks in this show are often centered on the essence of nature, as we experience it.
Exploring the Alternate Universe
A number of artists in this exhibition explore ideas of illusion, outer space and inner space. In this realm, they are doing what artists do best: leaving conventional reality behind to create an alternate universe. These artists use Magic Realism, Surrealism, and Fantasy—they entice us to join them on a captivating visual adventure. Artists using these genres often present surprising narratives that fall outside the expectations of our everyday reality. They can evoke notions of mystery, humor, fear and love that turn our human experience on its head. And it’s not unusual to find socio-political ideas embedded in the conceptual ideas of surrealist artworks.
Woven and Sewn
I must give an enthusiastic nod to the textile artworks in this exhibition. These artists have built a bridge. They’ve transported us away from the idea that textiles and needle arts are women’s work and craft, and have given us a new appreciation for the endless artistic potential found in the stitch. The textile arts demonstrate a rich cross-fertilization between crafts and contemporary art. Whether abstract, surreal or conceptual, the work focuses on the multifaceted connotations of domesticity, handicraft, social statement and machine-produced art. The juxtaposition of traditional techniques and new materials is only one aspect of the duality found in works where personal experience or nostalgia often becomes simultaneously ironic, political, feminist and funny.
There is an ardent group of artists whose creative approach is as much about expressing sensation and spirit as it is about suggesting time and place. While their abstract works are moored by many sources of inspiration, the brushstrokes do not delineate an image: they are the image. There is no one monolithic definition of abstraction—as we can see by the work in this exhibition, the imagery draws on elements from a wide range of styles including op art, expressionism, minimalism, or layering different styles together.
Behind My Right Eye
The enormous variety of the artworks in the Crocker-Kingsley Exhibition is a celebration of our universal human response and the wonders of our daily lives. It is also a testament to human creativity as an avenue for the expression of powerful ideas and feelings.
Artist, Independent Curator
About the Juror
Carrie Lederer is a painter, sculptor and installation artist who exhibits her nature-inspired work across the United States. Lederer is a recipient of the prestigious Fleishhacker Foundation Eureka Award, and she has completed commissions for Facebook, UCSF Medical Center, Art Source and private collection. She has built site-specific installations for Turtle Bay Museum, de Rosa Center for Contemporary Art, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and many others. Her work was profiled in a cover story for MUSES, published by Michigan State University Department of Arts and Letters, and included in New American Paintings. Lederer’s work has been widely reviewed in publications that include ARTnews, San Francisco Chronicle, Diablo Magazine, and SquareCylinder.com. Lederer earned her BFA in Sculpture from Michigan State University. She lives and works in Oakland.
Lederer was also Curator of Exhibitions at the Bedford Gallery for 25 years. During her tenure she curated over 75 informative and provocative exhibitions, many of which have traveled nationally including Cut Up / Cut Out, Tradition Interrupted, The World of Frida, BLOW UP: Contemporary Inflatable Sculpture, Full Deck: A Short History of Skate Art, My Hero: Contemporary Art and Superhero Action. Under her guidance, the gallery consistently presented diverse and inspiring work by a broad range of local, national, and international artists. Lederer’s special talent lies in creating a contextual framework for individual works of art, whether historical, contemporary, or community focused. She constructed a program that is a living weave of exhibitions, many stretching beyond conventional constraints of subject matter and approach to installation. Lederer is now an independent curator.
God Shot Me in the Face and Then I Saw (Green Shirt)
About the Kingsley Art Club
The Kingsley Art club was founded in 1892, and continues today, as an arts education organization. Our mission is to promote the knowledge and appreciation of art among the members and the community. Today, our members are interested in broadening their own knowledge and appreciation of the arts as well as increasing art awareness and teaching of the arts throughout the region. Our activities (in non-pandemic years) include monthly lectures, the Merit Award program for community colleges, the High School student artists show at the Crocker Art Museum, and the Elementary School Docent program as well as the Crocker-Kingsley exhibition.
We invite you to join us in learning more about the arts. If you would like to attend our lectures or learn more about our group, please visit our website at www.kingsleyartclub.org.
Queen of the Night
Congratulations to the 2021 Accepted Artists
Laura Konecne & Nate Ditzler
Linda Fitz Gibbon
M. Mark Bauer
Mary Jane Elmore
Robert Bagnasco Murray
Shingo Shaun Yamazaki
Thank you to our Exhibition Sponsors