About the Juror - Courtney A. McNeil


Juror CourtneyMcNeil

Juror Courtney A. McNeil
Curator of Fine Arts & Exhibitions
Telfair Museums in Savannah, Georgia

At Telfair, the oldest public art museum in the South, she is responsible for the care of the museum's permanent collection of over 4,000 fine art objects, including primarily American and European painting, sculpture, and works on paper from the 19th century through the present.

Ms. McNeil has served as lead curator for exhibitions including Spanish Sojourns: Robert Henri and the Spirit of Spain; Dan Winters’s America: Icons and Ingenuity; and Beyond Whistler: Modern and Contemporary Prints from the Telfair’s Collection. In 2015, she will be responsible for the presentation of Monet and American Impressionism, among several other exhibitions.
Before coming to the Telfair, she was employed at Childs Gallery in Boston, where she specialized in American and European prints and 19th- and early 20th-century American painting. Ms. McNeil holds a B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A from the Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

Juror's statement. 

If the number and quality of entries submitted for Explore This! 11 are any indication, the Colored Pencil Society of America must surely be a robust and thriving organization. I was struck by the innovative and varied ways in which the submitting artists utilized their chosen medium, and it was truly a pleasure reviewing these works in order to select the pieces to be included in the show.

In a medium as exacting as colored pencil, the fundamental skills of draughtsmanship and composition have an opportunity to truly shine through. Many of the accepted works excelled in these areas, demonstrating a mastery of light and shadow, perspective, landscape, or the human form. The exhibition is also populated by works possessing effective use of composition, whether harmonious and fluid, dynamic and powerful, or tightly-controlled.

A number of the pieces selected for the exhibition are also noteworthy for their ability to tap into a range of human emotion. Some evoke loneliness or longing, while others radiate vitality and warmth, creating a feeling of kinship with the viewer. Still others contain an element of wry humor that is a welcome change of pace in the art world of today, which is often far too solemn and serious.

Although the works in the show are unified by their use of colored pencil, they vary tremendously in style, technique, and subject matter. It is my hope that viewers of the exhibition will come away with a renewed appreciation for the creative limits to which this medium can be pushed. I can confidently say that my own appreciation for the medium has been greatly enhanced by my exposure to the varied and innovative drawings submitted to this exhibition.

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