Jurying this exhibition was tough, but more importantly, exciting. The caliber of work submitted was outstanding, and everyone gave me a run for my money. As an artist and current graduate student, I know how difficult beginning new projects can be. Thank you for submitting and allowing me to see your art, it was a humbling experience.
My choice for "Best In Show" is Gioncarlo Valentine’s Butch and Buffalo. There is something deeply engaging and inescapable about Valentine’s portraiture, and during the jurying process, I continued to come back to it and spend more time with it. The subjects are tender and vulnerable – and Valentine translates that human connection to us as viewers. He masterfully uses light, color, and gaze to raise critical questions about community and belongingness – a small act of humanity much needed in these tumultuous times.
— Zora J Murff, juror for HATCH