When you're a natural fan and prompter of regional artists, sometimes the big challenge of assembling a large juried show isn't always deciding which artists are selected. It can be more about laboring over who has to be cut. There's only so much room in a gallery, after all.
That was the struggle for Brian R. Jobe, the juror for Number: magazine's fifth annual Art of the South exhibit. As the co-director of the state-wide not-for-profit Locate Arts, Jobe is regularly engaged in promoting contemporary art in Tennessee. "There's excellent work being made here that stacks up with the best art being made elsewhere," he says. Jobe describes the opportunity to choose work for this show as "an invitation to extend [the enthusiasm] to an even wider block of states."
- Art of the South
For this year's exhibit, the magic number is 57. From 170 submissions from states across the Southeast and the District of Columbia, that's how many artists Jobe finally selected. Most of the selected pieces hang on a wall, but the generous exhibit also includes a healthy collection of sculpture and three films.
"If there is a theme, it's a willingness to explore any theme, any narrative, and any material in a way that feels tied into a global contemporary art dialogue," Jobe says. "It's exciting to see just how connected [Southern artists] are with the world."