Mary Rezny points to the juror's statement for the new exhibit at her M.S. Rezny Studio/Gallery and says, "We're going to hang it over there, strategically over the thermostat."
Otherwise, she says with a laugh, the thermostat might be mistaken for art.
After all, this show is called not(2)BIG, in which some of the pieces are roughly the size of a thermostat.
That's by design.
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"Most artists have small works," Rezny says. "They're easy to ship, and the price point is usually reasonable. Anyone who likes art can find a small corner for a new piece of art."
So it's a financial win-win for artists and collectors.
"I'm really trying to create an environment here where artists can make money because artists should be reimbursed for their work," she said.
There was only one requirement for the works in not(2)BIG: they couldn't be larger than 12 inches in any direction. Rezny received more than 370 entries that were juried by fiber artist and University of Kentucky professor Arturo Alonzo Sandoval.
"There was a plethora of images, textures, surfaces and forms for me to adjudicate," Sandoval said in his juror's statement, slated to be concealing the thermostat.
That was another point of the exhibit's format, Rezny says: With 12 inches as the only parameter, there is a wide variety of works: ceramics, multimedia, painting, photography, acrylics. The artists also represent a wide variety of experience levels, from established artists and academics to relative newcomers.
A quick tour around the gallery reveals Waco, Texas, artist Mary Ruth Smith's Now Here's the Real Dirt ..., which uses stitch work to create its picture; Lexington artist James Burgett's Secret Room, a photograph with colors so vivid it looks like a painting; Laramie, Wyo., artist Dan Toro's oil painting T&B with lighting so realistic it looks like a photograph; and Paris artist Lyndsey Fryman's sculpture Through My Eyes, Past My Toes.
"I thought he would pick more fiber works because of his own background," Rezny says of Sandoval's curation, "but it is a real variety he chose."
After choosing 40 pieces from digital images, Sandoval came in to see the actual works and picked a grand prize winner, which will receive $500, and three $100 honorable mentions. The winners will be announced about 6 p.m. during Friday's opening reception, part of the June Gallery Hop. One other award will wait until the end of the exhibit: the audience choice award, in which patrons will pay $1 each to vote for their favorites; the winning artist will receive that pot of cash.
As for the buying public, the pieces range in price from $75 to $2,000, with many works at the lower end of the spectrum.
The first not(2)BIG show was in 2011. Given a decisively positive response from artists and audience, Rezny says, she expects to make the competition and show a biennial event for the gallery.
"It is very manageable and people really like it," she says, noting two pieces had been sold as of Tuesday afternoon.
Not(2)BIG seems to be a perfect fit.
IF YOU GO
What: Exhibit of small works, juried by Arturo Alonzo Sandoval.
When: June 21-July 31. Opening reception and awards announcement, 5-8 p.m. June 21.
Where: M.S. Rezny Studio/ Gallery, 903 Manchester St.
Learn more: Msrezny.com
Gallery Hop: The opening is part of Lexington Gallery Hop, 5-8 p.m. June 21. Visit Galleryhoplex.com for more information.