Timothy Rub Statement

Eva G. Farris Reading Room, W. Frank Steely Library, Northern Kentucky University

April 13, 2009 – August 28, 2009

Juror’s Statement

One of the greatest challenges that faces art students today–and here I mean those who are engaged primarily in making works of art, not in studying its history–is the task of finding their own means of expression, of giving visual form to ideas and feelings that are uniquely theirs. Anyone who has tried to make a work of art knows this to be true. Yes, the mastery of techniques and choice of subject are important parts of the mix; but they are not enough. In the end, what stands out–what is most keenly felt by virtue of its presence or its absence–is the strength, the passion, and the authenticity of the artist’s voice.

Nothing stirs the passions of young people more, and nothing gives rise to the more powerful feelings than the issues of freedom and social justice. With the works that they submitted to this competition, these artists made the important decision to enter a debate that is fundamental to the workings of a democratic society, one that reveals our greatest strengths and our greatest weaknesses both as individuals and as a people. They also joined a discussion–some, perhaps, for the first time–that has informed the practice of contemporary art over the past several decades. Some say that art and politics make strange and, in the final analysis, incompatible bedfellows, while others have argued that the creation of a work of art, especially in our day, is in essence a political act. I’ll let you be the judge.

Timothy Rub


Cincinnati Art Museum

Steely Library phone number:  859.572.5457