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Exhibit fails to attract many emerging artists


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POSTED: Sunday, August 23, 2009

While hundreds of pieces of artwork were submitted for the “;Commitment to Excellence”; exhibit, one of the few annual statewide juried shows in Hawaii, the number of works by new artists was rather low, says juror Carol Khewhok.

“;I'm surprised there wasn't a younger crowd. I would have liked to have seen more emerging artists,”; she says. “;I want to see new things I haven't seen before.”;

Pieces were presented anonymously, Khewhok says, yet many submissions were recognizable stylistically as works by specific artists.

Khewhok, program manager at Shangri La and former curator of the Academy Art Center, was joined in jurying duties by art consultant Greg Northrop and art appraiser Wayne Morioka.

The trio picked fewer than 60 works for the exhibit, but Khewhok says they weren't being overly selective. Gallery space is at a premium since the show features not just juried works, but pieces by 21 invited artists and several by a distinguished artist honored for a lifetime of work. (This year's honoree is Shige Yamada.)

“;We were all pretty much in agreement throughout the process. After about two hours we felt we had a good, solid show,”; she says. “;There are traditional and contemporary works that display good craftsmanship, good concepts and solid delivery.”;

Khewhok says that in the face of the recession and subsequent cuts to the arts, she's gratified that the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce is continuing to present this exhibit.

“;This is a very important show,”; she says. “;Opportunities for artists in Honolulu are disappearing at an alarming rate. If young artists are trying to make their way in Honolulu, it's harder than ever for them to break into the exhibition circuit. I tip my hat to the chamber that they keep doing this.”;