Chuck Smart


Chuck Smart

Bremerton artist Chuck Smart won Best of Show in last year's CVG statewide juried art show.
Photo by
Carolyn J. Yaschur | Kitsap Sun

Entering Inaugural CVG Show Was a Smart Move

by Michael C. Moore
Kitsap Sun
Tuesday, October 28, 2008

It really was no surprise that respected local artist won "Best of Show" honors in last year's inaugural CVG statewide juried art exhibition. Except maybe to Smart himself.

"I was completely surprised," Smart said of the honor bestowed on his digital piece "Garden of Eve." "I couldn't believe it. I was off the planet."

Smart wasn't being humble about the achievement. He just thought that digital work might receive short shrift in the collection of largely more traditional media.

"I think digital still is frowned on by many members of the art community," said Smart, who also paints and does improvisational art and music with one of his downtown Bremerton studio partners, M. Anne Sweet. Juror Susan Parke wasn't doing any frowning, though, and Smart walked away with the $1,500 Best-in-Show prize. "Garden of Eve" later was purchased, adding to the reward.

"The show helped get me a lot of attention," Smart said of perhaps the biggest benefit of his CVG Show experience. "It was an opportunity to put some work in a statewide show, see what my peers are doing."

The show was established last year by Bremerton's Collective Visions Art Gallery, with massive support from the city and its art and business communities. The chance that Smart mentioned — to "hang" with the best of the hundreds of works submitted by painters, sculptors and photographers from around the state — and the $6,000 total purse made the show a tremendous success right out of the starting gate.

But it was a show Smart almost didn't submit to.

"I'd been rejected by enough shows," shrugged Smart, who lives with his wife, Dawn, and maintains a studio in the basement of their Rocky Point home. "I thought this was going to be another rejection show, but it didn't turn out that way."

The Smarts gravitated to West Sound (a homecoming, actually, for Dawn) when Chuck was on the wrong end of a downsizing at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. They lived in a borrowed house on Hood Canal for a year, then moved into Bremerton to be closer to the ferry.

"We had thought about moving to Brazil," he said. "But we came out here, and liked it. We've been here 15 years now."

Smart will submit several pieces for this year's CVG show and the scrutiny of juror Gary Faigin, cofounder and artistic director of Seattle's Gage Academy of Art. He and Sweet currently are working on a collaborative piece in his basement that he said might well end up being submitted, as well.

"I'll do something with it, and then she'll come and add something, and we go back and forth," he said. "We're improvising."

The 2009 CVG Show will be on display at Collective Visions in February. The submission deadline for the 2009 CVG Show is Nov. 20. Entry guidelines and other information are available from the Collective Visions Art Gallery, 331 Pacific Ave. in Bremerton, (360) 373-8327.



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