annual members’ show, judge’s statement

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WCAC 2021 Annual Members’ Show

Merrilee Cleveland – Judge

Merrilee Cleveland’s fine sculpture is imbued with a mysterious quality, seemingly both ancient and contemporary at the same time. It is influenced by ancient art, literature, mythology, and cultural studies. It is whimsical, yet sublime. Merrilee Cleveland graduated from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1992 with a BFA in Sculpture. Merrilee’s work is lost wax cast bronze. She has been creating sculpture for over 30 years. After earning her BFA she partnered with a group of artists in Milwaukee, WI to form a full service art foundry. In 2000, she left that business in their good hands and embarked on her solo career as a sculptor. Since then her personal odyssey has taken her across the US and abroad. Merrilee has lived in Williamsburg, VA since late 2013, with her husband and daughter.

The Gemini Twins by Merrilee Cleveland

Judging Process and Statement

I am so honored to be selected to judge this show & I want you all to know how difficult of a task it has been! As an artist, myself, I have participated in many shows where I did not receive any award, and a few shows where I was selected to receive an award. In an effort to be as fair as possible, I used a point system 1-10 in 4 categories. Creativity/Originality, Design/Composition, Technical Expertise & Presentation. This is such a strong show and my list of finalists was way too long. The final cut was extremely challenging! Ultimately my top picks are works that made me ask a question and also create a sense of wonder for me, personally. For all of you who have not received an award, I want to encourage each and every one of you to continue working on your art; perfecting, honing, and most of all, taking joy in the process and the journey. Each one of you deserves to be honored for taking the time to add your artistic contribution to our world.

Thank you!



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