From curator Olivia "Libby" Lumpkin's OPTIONS 2005 statement -
"The artists themselves represent a wildly diverse demographic" and "among the twenty artists represented in the WPA\Corcoran OPTIONS 2005 exhibition, the connecting thread may be somewhat difficult to find". It continues with - "some are still tethered to parental beneficence, while others have day jobs. One has abandoned a career as an architect; another appears to have made his way from the street. Still others were found in the most domestic netherworld of the bourgeois suburbs that constitutes the culture most foreign to the edgy domain of contemporary art."
Well... six of the seven included Richmond artists were found on a visit to VCU's MFA program, so I'm not too sure of what she is talking about. The connecting thread is pretty obvious to me. How many of the others were found on visits to MICA or elsewhere? It is pretty ridiculous that she doesn't mention the grad program studio visits in that message about how she selected work.
I haven't seen the show and most probably won't be going up, but I'll link here to all of the coverage mentioning the Richmond artists:
Michael O'Sullivan's review for the Washington Post - positive on Tim Devoe, negative on Judith Baumann.
JT Kirkland writes a response to O'Sullivan's review - agrees with O'Sullivan on Baumann and Devoe, but very much disagrees on a non-Richmond artist, Susan Noyes Vaughan.
JT Kirkland on individual works - JT has posted a bunch of photos of individual works from the show and is writing a short review of each directly below each photo. So far he has talked about Randy Toy (+), Tim Devoe, Suzanna Fields, and Ryan Mulligan (-). Still to come is Emily Hall, probably next week.
Here are some photos from the opening, including a couple from Ryan's performance.
Alexandra Silverthorne - is doing one artist a day, alphabetically. She is critical of Baumann and really liked Jorge Benitez.
James Bailey is anti-OPTIONS and anti-Lumpkin.
Although I haven't seen the show I am more than a little disappointed to note that both Judith Baumann and Emily Hall are showing the same work they exhibited six months ago at their thesis shows in April, especially considering the fact that both of them were recipients of $8,000 VMFA professional grants. Money well spent? I liked Emily's thesis installation of six or seven little "homes" in that little room with that title, but the one red structure removed and included in radius250 was a bit of a letdown, and now here it is again in the OPTIONS show.
I'd like to suggest to the VMFA that for their next round of grants they give the undergrad grants to undergrads, grad grants to grads, and the professional grants to artists who can demonstrate that they might be in it for the long haul. Also, if maybe they didn't choose a juror doing private studio visits with VCU grads that year, that might be nice.