The deYoung Open 2023

In June of 2023 I was notified of this local and rather prestigious call for art. An open call to the second triennial juried community art exhibition, the 2023 de Young Open.

Building on the tremendous success of the inaugural de Young Open in 2020, the second triennial of this juried community art exhibition celebrates the voices and visions of Bay Area artists. The 883 works on view were created by artists who live in the nine counties surrounding San Francisco Bay: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma. This year, 7,766 talented artists each submitted an artwork. Submissions were juried by eight curators, along with distinguished Bay Area artists Clare Rojas, Sunny Smith, Stephanie Syjuco, and Xiaoze Xie. Artworks are hung “salon style” — installed nearly edge to edge and floor to ceiling — and grouped by theme: political and social issues, the urban environment, the human figure, nature, abstraction, as well as surreal imagery.

Designed to support local arts communities, this exhibition allows artists to offer their works for sale and retain the proceeds. As in 2020, The museum also acquired a selection of exhibition artworks for their permanent collection. Artists from diverse backgrounds, ranging from self-taught amateurs to trained professionals, were encouraged to apply, and their work was juried anonymously and solely on the merits of the work itself. The Museums provided participants the opportunity to offer their works for sale and retain the proceeds, as a gesture of support for the Bay Area’s artist communities.

I Submitted. . .

It was very exciting to consider and conceive of such a large piece: 42 x 84 inches.

My Artist’s Statement

Drawn from the pages of the 2022 MAKE MORE COMICS arts grant winning graphic novel A TIGER’S TALE volume 1 this triptych translates the Buddhist parable “Taming the Tiger” as interpreted by a martial lyric of the same name and taught in many traditional Kung Fu styles. As art director to the iconic Bay Area publication KUNG FU TAI CHI magazine along side a career’s work of research, I received oral history and lore passed through generations of martial arts masters and monks. These pieces represent my understanding of the conveyance of those lessons as seen through the pop-art filter of modern young reader comics.

The Results

The exhibit runs from September 30, 2023 to January 7, 2024. Had my piece been accepted I would have made room in my schedule to promote and attend its opening. Looking back, there’s a hidden blessing in not having had to do so. It’s been a very full year as it is, and while there’s no doubt I would have embraced the prestige that would accompany acceptance into this show, it’s not like I haven’t had plenty to do in 2023. Besides, rejections like these build character and a thicker skin – both essential qualities to a working artist.