Portfolio presentation/ interview Guidelines: Artists applying for SOAG membership

A thorough portfolio should consist of your resume, including any art-related activity you’ve been involved in over the years, your art background and education, your bio and artist statement. This gives us an idea of your art experience, as does a list of exhibitions, if you have one.  This is a list of the places you’ve shown work and how long you’ve been exhibiting.  The number of years making art or the number of exhibitions are not necessarily factors in determining membership, but it’s nice to see what the artist has been up to.  Younger, or less experienced artists may not have shown much, but one can usually spot serious intent.  Art school helps, but obviously does not an artist make. These things give us an idea of who you are, and where you’re coming from.

The points below are stated to help artists applying for membership in the State of the Art Gallery understand how the process works. When reviewing new membership applications, the gallery strives to maintain a balance of styles and media. We also value persons who support the cooperative nature of the gallery and the responsibility of membership. We use the points in A-E as guides for discussion. They are not hard and fast rules, rather, they give us a framework in which to discuss an applicant’s work. It should be noted that a decision not to accept is sometimes accompanied by suggestions for future work with a hope that the applicant will reapply after an appropriate period. In fact, several successful, current members have been through a similar process of applying more than once.


  1. Originality/Vision

Is there something that makes this person’s work unique and/or memorable?

  1. High Technical Craftsmanship

Does the work demonstrate skillful use of the media, good composition, use of color where applicable, value and form?

  1. Seriousness of Purpose/Maturity/Record of Accomplishment

Is there consistency that distinguishes the work? Is there a record of exhibition/shows or other evidence of serious intent? Has the artist clearly expressed his/her ideas clearly and/or creatively?

  1. Presentation of Work

Is the work framed/based/mounted in a professional way?

  1. Commitment to the Mission of the gallery.

Has the applicant expressed knowledge of gallery member responsibilities and willingness to perform them? Is there an expectation of long-term membership and financial commitment?


Spitznagel and Vrana

The prints and paintings that make up Vrana & Spitznagel create personal moments that give visibility to emotions and the psyche. By applying abstraction, both artists develop forms that do not follow logical criteria, but are based on imagination and subjective thought. This artwork invites the viewer into a conversation between the conscious and the subconscious.

Ethel Vrana has been an artist in the Tompkins County area for over 30 years. “My paintings,” she comments, “continue to explore color, form, and space using an abstract approach, evoking meaningful fictive worlds for viewers to experience.”

James Spitznagel has been living and creating art in Ithaca for nearly twenty years. Regarding this exhibit, Spitznagel states, “I am happy and honored to be a member of State of the Art Gallery. I am excited about sharing a show with Ethel; it will give both of us an opportunity to have our art seen locally, in the place where we live and work.”
The reception, Friday, August 7, 5-8pm, free to the public, will be part of First Friday Gallery Night, a monthly, walkable tour of downtown Ithaca art galleries. Gallery hours are Wed.– Fri., 12-6pm and Sat. & Sun., 12-5pm.

Vrana & Spitznagel will be on view until August 30, 2015. In addition, the exhibition will be supported by new artwork from State of the Art Gallery members, including paintings, drawings, and sculpture. For more information, contact Mr. Spitznagel at james@levelgreen.com or 607-200-4046 or Ms. Vrana at ev12@cornell.edu or 607-273-9252. SOAG info: 607-277-1626 and www.soag.org.

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