Command and control. Craftsmanship. A unique voice. Those were the guiding requisites of Contemporary Arts Center’s 26th annual juried show, curated by sculptor Rebekah Bogard and painter Max Presneill. The 45 selected works reflect Presneill’s large, colorful abstracts and Bogard’s whimsical yet subversive animal sculptures. This year, CAC added a second juror and a people’s choice award, given to Mikayla Whitmore (photo coordinator for the Weekly) for “We’ll Miss You,” a photo of a balloon peeking from a dumpster at the Grand Canyon.
“There’s a little some-thing for everybody,” says CAC VP Erin Stellmon. “There’s wildly abstract gigantic pieces, and there are more realistic, intimate pieces and figurative works. There are headscratchers that make you think, ‘I’m not sure if I like this, but I kinda like that I’m not sure.”
“Sky Is a Landfill,” an ethereal mixed-media skyscape by Rachel Stiff, won best in show for being contemporary and experimental with strong control of materials and color. Janie Askew took first place for “Nose Bleed,” an “oddball” graphite and watercolor piece showing a bleeding woman at the end of a staircase. “It has a strong original voice, and the artist seems to have a formal understanding of art history,” Bogard says, pointing to the subject’s body type and pose. “It’s also comical; there’s an inordinate amount of blood.”
Las Vegas expat (and former Weekly writer) Abigail Goldman and Las Vegan Chris Bauder took second and third. Nevada artists represented 40 percent of selected works. “We were looking for work that was really professional,” Bogard says. “We were looking for things that didn’t look like student work or didn’t look like assignments.”
CAC Juried Show Through May 1; Saturday & Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Alios Gallery, 1217 S. Main St.