Editor’s Letter | Long Live Realism

Two events support a robust art movement

By Kristin Hoerth

Artist’s Model by John Nava, one of the participants in The Representational Art Conference.

Artist’s Model by John Nava, one of the participants in The Representational Art Conference.

This story was featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art November 2015 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story

For collectors who love realism, it’s an exciting time to be in the art market. Representational art has been growing in popularity and respect for quite some time now, and the momentum shows no signs of slowing down. From where I sit, there are more highly regarded artists creating representational work now than ever before; there are more thriving, traditional ateliers providing artists with classical training; and there are more and more institutions and organizations making an effort to support this burgeoning art movement.

In fact, this month’s issue includes two such organizations, which you may not have heard about but which will play important roles in promoting representational fine art. The first is the four-year-old Representational Art Conference happening this month in Ventura, CA, which you can read about on page 74. The conference brings together all sides of the art world: artists, collectors, students, academics, critics, and museum professionals—all to participate in a conversation about today’s representational artwork. There will be lectures, artists’ demonstrations, and a variety of scholarly papers presented. This kind of critical attention in an academic setting—the conference is presented by California Lutheran University—is vital to the movement’s success and longevity.

The second event happening this month is the Renaissance of Realism show and symposium in Denver, CO, which you can read about on page 34. The symposium, held at the Denver Art Museum the afternoon before the show opens, features a keynote presentation on the museum’s highly anticipated exhibition Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio by curator Timothy Standring. Other programs follow, including an overview of the history of realism, a panel discussion among master realist artists, and a second panel discussion on the art market. I’ll be one of the participants on that second panel, and I’m looking forward to a lively conversation. I couldn’t agree more with symposium chairperson and all-around art advocate Shannon Robinson, who says, “There is a resurgence of meaningful art celebrating masterful imagery along with effective skills and concepts. We think realism is going to be a major direction for art in the decades to come.”

Featured in the November 2015 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art November2015 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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