With a half hour to go, 11 paintings were spread out along the movable wall of the grand ballroom at The Regent in Riverview for "The Greater Brandon Edition" of the art show known as, "So You Think You Can Paint."
It’s the fourth such effort of artist Vincent Kral, a graduate of the University of South Florida, who conceptualized the idea for the show after graduating from the school in 2007.
His idea was to explore further the sentiments of the gallery-goer who,upon viewing a piece of work, often can be heard saying: "Oh, I can paint that!"
Kral said he was sitting in on interviews for a new art director at USF when “the light bulb went off in my head.” He submitted an application to have a show at the Centre Gallery at USF, a student-run gallery, which led to a second show, both with the same theme: “So You Think You Can Paint.”
A third show was staged at the Spoke Gallery in Chicago and now, for his fourth show, the Brandon Community Advantage Center’s board of directors has opened space at The Regent, offering as a grand prize for Best in Show a month-long exhibit at the center.
Judging of the works will take place today, Feb. 8, followed by a grand reception Feb. 10, from 6-8 p.m., with prizes awarded at 7 p.m.
Prizes are supplied by AOE Art Supply.
The judges are Peter Abrami, Eric Jonas and Kral, who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in electronic media from USF. As an artist, Kral “strives to give a total experience to the viewer, using video, audio and sculptural installations to challenge societal pressures and preconceptions.”
Jonas graduated from USF in 2010, with a degree Bachelor of Arts degree in studio art, focusing primarily on drawing and painting. He works at the USF Contemporary Art Museum as an assistant in preparations and museum collections.
Abrami in 2010 received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from USF and a fellowship from The Vermont Studio Center. His work currently is on display at The Crossroad Gallery.
“We’re going to be really careful about the judging,” Kral said. “We don’t want it to be cynical or negative. We want to encourage, not discourage.”
Works will not be judged on concept, he added, but rather on the handling of the medium, which brings to bear many options. In one case, artist Constance B. Davis, in her piece entitled, "Sunset," used ink left over in "old toner cartridges from printers," Kral said.
Comparing the photorealism painting of an animal to the abstract interpretation of a like subject will not be at issue. Rather what will be judged, Kral noted, is technique, such as how the artist handled the paint and the rendering of the image they are trying to capture in whatever form it takes.
Novices “get the chance to have their art work hang next to an accomplished painter,” Kral said. “The accomplished painter gets to be in another show and get some good art supplies, if they win.”
Categories for judging will depend on the types of paintings submitted.
“If you have a landscapes category and no landscapes are submitted, that won’t work,” Kral said. “One show we got a lot of miniatures, so we had Best Miniature and the prize was mini-canvases and stands and fine-detail brushes.”
The judging is closed to the public but will be videotaped for a showing at the grand reception.
The Regent is at 6437 Watson Road in the southwest corner of the Winthrop community, off Bloomingdale Avenue, between Watson and Providence Roads.