The last exhibit at the Larson Galley before lockdown was “The Artist Within,” artwork created by people with Alzheimer’s disease. As we opened the exhibit, the news was just reaching us that the threat of COVID-19 was escalating. Within the first week of the exhibit, we closed the gallery.
The walls are now empty, but freshly painted and ready for a new show, so it came as exciting news that on Aug. 20, Gov. Jay Inslee issued COVID-19 requirements for how museums will operate once the county goes into Phase 2. Patrons will be required to wear masks, and the total capacity of the gallery cannot be more than 25 percent.
Although the Larson Gallery is awaiting direction from the state and from Yakima Valley College, it will be hosting the “65th Annual Central Washington Artists’ Exhibition.” This will be the final time this particular exhibit will be held in the current space, as plans are to move into the new gallery on 16th Avenue and Nob Hill Boulevard by 2021.
Plans are for the exhibit to be shown virtually, then hopefully by appointment if new requirements are put into place for Phase 2 and 3.
The prospectus for the exhibit, which outlines the requirements for artists, has been mailed. The juror for the exhibit is Lauren Lessing, director of the University of Iowa Stanley Art Museum. Lessing is an art historian and educator with more than 25 years of experience working in museums, including the Art Institute of Chicago and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City.
Artists who are interested in submitting work for consideration in the exhibition must live in Benton, Chelan, Douglas, Franklin, Grant, Kittitas, Klickitat, Okanogan, Walla Walla or Yakima counties. Eligible media can be acrylic, ceramic, drawing, fiber, glass, metal, mixed media, nontraditional materials, oil, print, watercolor, wood and photography.
For artists who have not shown previously, and many who do not consider themselves accomplished artists, juried shows are often a way to get your work exhibited. Just know that if you are not accepted, it does not necessarily mean that your work is not good, or that you should not enter other juried shows. The selection is made by a juror who sets his or her own criteria for selection -— there is no direction from the Larson Gallery. The only limitation is the amount of work that can fit on the walls.
If you are interested in submitting artwork, visit larsongallery.org and download a prospectus. Submissions are accepted online and by mail, but must reach the gallery by Sept. 24.
• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. His column runs weekly in SCENE. Learn more at www.larsongallery.org.