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Visual Arts Week Galleries

This year’s Mayor’s Art Show, Salon des Refusés and Eugene Biennial will be made available as virtual galleries starting August 7. For those of you who’d like to see the work up close and personal, the Mayor’s Art Show is presenting a series of downtown storefront satellite installations featuring selected artworks and the Karin Clarke Gallery (Eugene Biennial) and New Zone Gallery (Salon des Refusés) are open limited hours for exhibition viewing. Galleries are included on our Downtown Art Tour map.

Critical MAS

Art writing serves as a cord of communication, extending from the art to the viewer. During a time when our viewing must be mediated by a screen and we miss the solid presence of art, writers bring us gifts of insight and connection to the work. A project called Critical MAS (acronym for Mayor’s Art Show) launched last year as an effort to generate more art writing in Eugene. You can find that writing here.

2020 brings us a mostly virtual Visual Arts Week and a new adaptation of Critical MAS. Curator Chanin Santiago, Eugene Cultural Services, Eugene Contemporary Art, and I partnered once again to continue the project. I could not ask writers to respond to a single digital image in a meaningful way, so in order to delve deeper, the writers reached out to three awarded artists from the Mayor’s Art Show: Jurors’ Choice, Mayor’s 3-D Choice, and Curator’s Choice. The three writers, Leah Wilson, Sandra Honda and Agnese Cebere, are also accomplished visual artists. They contacted the awardees in late July to conduct interviews and potentially visit the work in person.

Critical art writing reflects careful viewing, to describe something well is to look critically. Art writers do the sustained work of examining and questioning; they illuminate pathways into art for the reader. Our personal viewpoint is widened due to the efforts of their study. We honor artists by paying attention to the worlds they open. 

-- Vicki Krohn Amorose, Director/Editor of Critical MAS

This year's Critical MAS writings will be available on the Eugene Contemporary Art website starting August 15.