49th TAG Annual

The TAG Annual, Trumbull Art Gallery’s longest-offered show, also will be the last show at its current location.

Trumbull Art Gallery will be moving at the end of August from its current space on East Market Street to a new storefront on North Park Avenue, where it is slated to reopen in the fall.

Rather than delay the 49th TAG Annual, organizers decided to offer an abbreviated show, which will run only three weeks instead of the originally scheduled two months.

Karen Fry, coordinator of the juried show, said this year’s annual brought in 178 submissions from 97 area artists. Those numbers were down somewhat from 2012, when the 48th Annual attracted 241 works from 132 artists.

The shorter run may have had some effect, Fry said, but there also are more juried shows available to artists.

“I think it’s wonderful that artists have so many opportunities to show in the area,” Fry said. “That wasn’t true not so long ago.”

Even with fewer submissions, the 49th TAG Annual will display two more pieces than were shown in 2012.

Juror M.J. Albacete, executive director of the Canton Museum of Art, selected 117 works by 79 artists for inclusion.

In his juror’s statement, Albacete wrote, “I am compelled to look at each entry in its own context: the first impression, then the subject (if any), the brushwork technique, composition, a search for certain conditions that make the work compelling. So it is often possible, even likely, that a skillfully labored panel layered with symbolic meaning and rich colorations may find a place next to a simple line drawing; the former was an easy choice, but the latter tells me that this artist reveals considerable potential … give him a chance!”

Albacete, who will give a gallery talk on his selection process at 1 p.m. Aug. 11, picked 17 works for cash awards with a total prize pool of $1,900. The gallery received 14 in memoriam donations to help finance the prize pool, Fry said. Best in show will receive $500, the next three places will receive $350, $250 and $150 respectively and 14 artists will receive $50 each for honorable mention recognition.

The winners will be announced at 8 p.m. Saturday during the opening reception.

Another 35 works not selected for the Annual will be displayed at the Nissen Gallery at Trumbull Memorial Hospital in Warren, and Albacete had words of encouragement for those artists in his statement.

“Artists not included in the current show should take comfort in the realization that all juried choices are subjective, and had there been two judges, or three, there would have been full agreement on only few choices,” he wrote. “There will be other opportunities, other shows, other awards. The experience of any artist is an evolving process, and as long as you remain committed to your art, future awards and honors await you!”

Fry said she is very happy with this year’s show, but she also admitted she already is thinking about next year.

“The first TAG Annual at the new place is particularly celebratory, because it will be the 50th TAG Annual,” she said. “We’re hoping to have a really spectacular show.”