Kingston Arts Council’s 11th Annual Juried Art Salon

Kingston Arts Council, 11th Annual Juried Art Salon, Kingston, OntarioLast night the Kingston Arts Council hosted the grand opening of the 11th Annual Juried Art Salon in the packed Wilson Room of KFLA’s Central Branch. The evening included presentation of awards in categories such as: the Linda Morris Award (Grand Prize), Hilary Scanlon Award (Best Use of Colour), People’s Choice Award, Nan Yeomans Award as well as 3 Youth Artist Awards; a speech from Adjudicator Michael Davidge; as well as 40 carefully curated pieces of art ranging from photography to paintings and mixed media. Of course, some pieces drew more attention than others, including the carefully disguised painting above.  Can you guess the public figure depicted naked?

The program included comments from Adjudicator Gary Michael Dault, who had this to say about the selection process associated with this year’s exhibition:

…our task was select, from the several hundred works submitted for possible inclusion in the current JAS exhibition.  The task sounds daunting and it was.  It was one thing – rather enjoyable in itself – to scroll through screenfuls of electronic images of all the possible works and sift out the ones we couldn’t bear without.  It was quite a different matter, however, to meet a week later in the Wilson Room of the Kingston Public Library and confront our initial choices in the flesh as it were…

If you missed the grand unveiling last night, rest assured you can check out all of the artists featured via 11th Annual Juried Art Salon until May 29th.  Admission is free.

Harvey Kirkpatrick

Harvey Kirkpatrick is Kingstonist's Co-Founder. His features curiously explore urban planning, what if scenarios, the local food scene and notable Kingstonians. Loves playing tourist and listening to rap music. Learn more about Harvey...

33 thoughts on “Kingston Arts Council’s 11th Annual Juried Art Salon

  • My painting (pictured) is entitled "Emperor Haute Couture" which will give another clue as its content. I'm starting to get very ticked off at the library. First they wanted to cover it during certain room rentals because they were affraid of giving offense. Then I heard from several people that they were actually taking it off the wall and then forgetting to put it back up again. I've now provided them with a cloth to cover the painting to lessen the chances they will damage it taking it down and putting it who knows where to sit who knows how long. However, with this kind of behaviour I have little confidence they will actually use it. Where does this fit in with the mission of the library???

    • I had heard rumblings regarding the removal of "certain works" on the day of the event as a result of children visiting the exhibition. Sorry to hear that the rumours are true.

      Parents: what do you have to say about this sort of thing? Having seen the piece (pun intended), do you think the removal is warranted or simply overkill?

  • When it is in this form of art it is overkill in covering up. You have all the sex on TV and no one really seams to care. How about parents explain why the "naughty bits" are showing in this context. No one seems to have a problem with michelangelo's David statue. Or on a local level the Jimmy ( Signals) aka FTD man that his naughty bits showing on two statues at CFB Kingston

  • That is ridiculous. I can't believe the library, of all people, would condone censorship. What does the Arts Council have to say about that?

  • I'm actually surprised this didn't happen sooner…It is not hard to imagine some some startled parent getting their nickers in a knot at the prospect of little Jack or Jill asking some difficult questions. While I am against censorship we must remember this is Kingston after all – all of that old limestone and those quaint buildings do come at a price. And I couldn't help but notice the censorship of this same painting on this very page.

    • W, funny you mention the black dots we strategically placed on the photo above. I initially had an uncensored image there, but after review I was encouraged to cover up and disguise the identity. The logic to cover up the genitals was moreso to ensure that the image was safe for work. We didn't want our regular readers (nor their bosses) to be surprised in a bad way. The disguise on the other hand was designed to create a bit of intrigue and entice people to check out the Juried Art Salon. Of course, out of respect for the artist, I didn't want to assume that I could simply post a photo of her work…although I really wanted to!

  • Good news !!!! the infamous painting is still hanging in full view…. bad news – price of the work has increased from $2500 to $5000. Way more then I am willing to pay for the "Emperor", who, though wearing no clothes, does offer a glimpse of the Crown Jewels.

  • Ouch! I'd like to say that the notoriety has created a bidding war, but the price was always the higher amount. Whoever labelled it got it mixed up with the other smaller painting "My River Tis" in the other room. Nice photos, by the way… too bad they're stuck behind the piano. BTW, Harvey, you could have made the spot over the "Jewels" about a quarter of that size… talk about inflation! :-)

  • Thanks Maggie …. the positioning behind the piano is unfortunate… saw some poor woman almost fall off the riser trying to get a better look at the pics … I have actually gone into the Wilson room a couple of times to push the piano back from the photos. Not a mean feat for one person. I love your painting by the way … but hanging a painting of our Fearless Leader in my home would, I'm afraid, be more then I could or should bare..

  • I have attempted to see this years exhibition twice with no success. The day after the openeing the room was closed for RMC examinations. The second time a meeting was going on. I think this venue presents a disservice to artists and their work. I hope that KAC would seriously think about moving this annual event elsewhere.

    • I agree about moving the venue for the JAS. It's always a good show, but the venue is a problem…but where is an alternative? Kingston lacks a decent sized exhibition place for art…even the Kingston Prize is relegated to looking elsewhere. The Wilson room is poorly lit for hanging and viewing art; most often it's occupied for meetings, recitals, etc making it unavailable to the public most of the time to view the JAS.

      • I agree that the Wilson room is less than ideal. We tried to go see the show on this long weekend, and it was occupied for a meeting. I did manage to sneak in for a moment when the meeting took a break, but was shooed out by the rather irritated group renting the room (I'm sure I wasn't the first to try that tactic that morning). The experience was so annoying, I doubt I will go back for a second attempt- who knows if the room would be booked then anyways.

        Because I only had about 90 seconds to take in the show, I did sneak a quick peek at the painting in question, and have to say I enjoyed the artist's irreverence. I'm rather surprised at comments on here promoting censorship or claiming offense at the subject matter. Art is meant to push the envelope and get people talking, and I think Maggie Sutherland has succeeded in spades.

  • Don't rag on the library too much. The National Gallery (Ottawa) draped several Klimt drawings during a show a few years ago. One could choose to lift & look – or not.

  • I totally appreciate the artist's frustration here but this is a coup for the Juried Art Salon and Kingston. Although it's a shame that the real thing is not on display under great circumstances, the image is already being spread around in a way that's really exciting. I think this might even hold some potential for a productive conversation about local art that is "controversial", "difficult" or otherwise challenging in terms of presentation, and how we can do a better job supporting it.

    It is a great painting and I hope there are more opportunities for people to see it after this.

    • I certainly agree that this is great painting! Having said that, after talking to a few of the other artists featured in this year's JAS, the love is not necessarily shared. The most common concern is that this painting is drawing the wrong kind of attention whereby people come to see this painting and nothing else, or don't come at all because of it, or even worse they don't get to see anything because it's stowed away in a closet. Sure it's great for the Arts Council and the JAS to be getting coverage and all this attention…but I doubt any of the other media outlets out there actually mentioned who won this year, nor any of the other, fine artists. With that in mind, I don't know if I would define this kind of attntion as a coup for an organization who is supposed to be representative of the community at large.

      • Well, this is a bit like the worrisome opposition of "professional vs. amateur" that was evoked while discussing Building Arts Communities in Kingston. It's not a zero sum game. One artist does not gain attention and success at the expense of another. This fake controversy is only adding to the JAS publicity, not using up space that would have been dedicated to lauding the other artists.

        In general I would say that emerging artists, and other people who want to show their creativity in a public and/or professional setting, should probably get ready for a lifetime of "the wrong kind of attention" (ie., misinterpretation, misuse and poor contextualization of their work, etc.). You've got to accept that there are limits upon your control over how your art gets received and discussed. If we were good at talking (caring?) about art we probably wouldn't need juries and salons in the first place.

  • Now that I have seen what the painting is about, I have changed my opinion on it. I am offended because it is our Prime Minister. I would be just as offended is it was and NDP or Liberal.

    • Well, Harper offends me on a daily basis. I think a bit of humour is just what we need right now.

  • OMG…..hilarious…lol…..Artists can be soooo narcissistic.What did she think would happen with such a piece ?
    I'm still laughing. Can't wait for a comedy show to get a hold of this one…..:)

  • More good news. Was back in to the Wilson room today (Saturday) to take another look at the Kingston Arts Council Juried Art Salon…. And the exposed Emperor was still there basking in the gaze of a steady stream of visitors. As is almost always the case the protestations of the narrow minded have succeeded in garnering even more attention to the offending material and no doubt compounding the damage to otherwise unsullied young minds… Our painting has according to one librarian even illicited an angry email from Victoria B.C.

  • I loved some of the letters in the local press, several of which started with phrases like 'I am an artist and I am offended'. Yeah, probably the kind of 'artist' who paints sad kittens by numbers… art requires some intelligence along with technical craft. Writing letters to the local paper about the offense caused to you by another artist's work is evidence that you lack the former. You don't have to like the painting but being offended is really a reflection on your own limitations.

  • So… after all this hiatus, do we actually know who won First, Second and Third Prize? There has been absolutely no mention of the winners either in the Whig, or by the Arts Council. What gives??

  • Sorry, I'm with Harold H on this. Whether or not you are a Harper fan, this man is the leader of our country, and it brings shame to all Canadians that this would even be considered "art". To compare this to Michelangelo's "David" is a joke. I don't paint by numbers, nor do I consider myself narrow-minded, but I do feel art should be a reflection of an artist's passion, and speak to onlookers with depth, mystery and volume. This painting does none of that. It disrespects and ridicules, and, just because it hangs in a gallery, it doesn't make it art. Perhaps Ms. Sutherland would feel differently if someone painted her nude without her consent in the same unflattering, irreverent manner. And then everyone could poke a little fun at her. Art? Really? If she had used a cellphone, it would have been called "sexting." Seriously, wake up, Maggie!

    • So, Saturday Night Live has had it wrong all these years? My goodness, the things they've done to their presidents, not to mention the Queen and the Prince…and in most cases, those made fun of actually love it. Sarah Palin and countless other butts of jokes have made appearances on the show and other shows like it. Even Harper's office Tweeted in response to the painting: "On the Sutherland painting: we're not impressed. Everyone knows the PM is a cat person."

  • Prize Winners, as posted at the library:
    Grand Prize (Linda Morris Award): $1300 – Rose Stewart
    Second Prize: $700 – Lee Hull
    Third Prize: $300 – Hennie Marsh
    Best Use of Colour (Hilary Scanlon Award): $100 – Julie Davidson-Smith
    3 Youth Artist Awards $100 each: Max Hyett, Jennifer Epprecht, Michelle MacKinnon

  • Thanks Josh.
    Since I live in New York, a return trip to the library would be a bit of an inconvenience. Is the Whig going to do a feature article on the winners, including comments from the judges as to why they chose these three submissions?

    • Michael Davidge spoke briefly about the selection process during the opening reception. I can't recall if he spoke directly about the three winners, but he did provide details regarding the selection process at large, moreso to outline how difficult it was and the quality of submissions received.

  • Since when did we have a duty to 'respect' politicians or leaders? The point of satire, as a form of art, is to ridicule the powerful, and disrespect the pretensions of the arrogant and overmighty. All you are doing is trying to redefine 'art' to suit your political views.

  • Since the traditional nude in art was an object of beauty, health, and desire, I don't see why this male nude should make people think that it looks ridiculous. The actual male body in the painting isn't ridiculous at all, but healthy, comfortable and relaxed. The woman in "Olympia" by Manet that Sutherland's nude makes reference to by its position on the couch wasn't painted to be ridiculed because of its nakedness either, it was the viewer that was being ridiculed, because the nude subject (who was actually a fellow painter friend of Manet's) is a whore – though a classy one -and she's looking with strength and self confidence straight at you the viewer. She might be saying " Why do you stand there? Come into my room". She has let one high healed courtesan slipper drop onto the floor, her sheets are mussed, and she has put a flower into her hair, all signs for the viewer of her profession. We can't look at his painting without looking into her welcoming eyes. Is Manet calling us buyers of sex for sale? The painting caused a really big fuss. The painted figures in Sutherland's work that I am very very uneasy about stand behind that healthy body, suited, painted flatly, headless, subservient, and passive. You can almost hear them saying "Whatever you say. Yessir. Nosir." Who are they? In the painting they are the suits, the ones who support this powerful man. That is what the painting actually shows us. They might actually be us, the people who elected this nude guy, the ones who do what he says, and never protest or complain. The painting just puts the helpers there, in suits, unidentified. The fact that it is the one woman (also suited up and anonymous, not very womanly) who brings him a coffee, diminishes her even more than the others. There she is similar to the serving woman in Manet's painting, near the black cat, the animal of the "bad" woman. I'm not sure whether the dog is an Emperor's animal in any significant way, or why it's there? It doesn't strike any bells for me. The dog, like the nude man, looks pretty happy though. Why isn't the coffee or a cool espresso brought in a nice cup or a silver and glass cup on a silver tray? In a work of art, if it is true, serious and deeply thought out, every part bears a significance. We have to think about a work of art. They aren't the same as an easy bit of entertainment, a cartoon, or a "pretty picture" . Everything is important. For me, the paper cup of Timmy's on a saucer (who's ever seen such a thing?) brought by the faceless row of suits is the active centre of the painting, that and the rather horrifying smile of the nude. Undressing the Prime Minister has nothing to do with Manet's "Olympia" and has proved to be the only thing people are thinking about in this one. For me that makes it into a cartoon with a caption and not a work of art. A cheap thrill. Sutherland's protest against the government's arts cuts, which according to her, was the purpose of the painting, has slipped by the wayside it seems. Shocking us by imagining Harper naked surely wasn't really the subject and the purpose of the work. "Hey, here's your Prime Minister with no clothes on." Sutherland could paint Harper nude and leave everything else in the painting out, if that was all she wanted to say! But if, as in Manet's "Olympia" there was a great deal more she wanted to mean by her painting, ideas worth studying and thinking about perhaps for a few hundred years, then it might have been better if she'd painted a different painting using an unknown, anonymous male nude rather than the most recognized face (not body) in Canada.

    • A comic and/or cartoon with a caption is art.

      Value judgments of "easy" and "cheap" aren't limited to a medium, nor are they excluded from Manet's body of work.

      "Peanuts" by Charles Schulz is true, serious and deeply thought out, and every part bears a significance.

      This painting owes as much to the Simpsons episode "Brush With Greatness" as it does to "Olympia."

  • I LOVE THE PAINTING -and I think Stephen Harper should love it too -I never thought of him as beddable and sexy ,but by god ;even if hes stuffy ,and misguided and in the process of returning this country to a feudal,state of slavery,hes damn cuddly here and quite yummy-i just wish they hadnt covered up his bird.Thank you Maggie,and thank you Stephen for posing-youre as cute as a button.By the way -is it still for sale?

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