WAG New Impressions 2021 Jurors

New Impressions: High School Juried Exhibition - The Jurors

Mercedes Schuster

Black and white photo of a woman with long hair

Creating art is a continuous journey of uncovering truths and reaching insight. My process begins with a realization which is translated into a concept, and finally created and presented as a drawing. I enjoy working with details, finding links between them and my own thoughts. Through my drawings, I dig into the human mind to try and understand how we choose to process the mountain of information we are constantly being fed. My work has been showcased in many juried exhibitions and has won numerous awards including Best in Show, Juror’s Choice, and the Lloyd Minshall Award. 

Juror's Choice Award: Chloe, Imposter Syndrome

Juror's Statement:

“Well done to all the young artists who submitted! Although it would have been great to jury this exhibition in person, the Woodstock Art Gallery did a fantastic job of making the virtual process as seamless as possible. As this was my first experience as a juror, I didn't know what to expect, but I was truly blown away with the range of pieces and the talent that was displayed. It was a breath of fresh air to see the works and be brought into the thought processes of some of the young artists during this strange time we now live in so I would like to thank each and every artist for sharing a small part of themselves with us. Keep exploring and keep creating!”

Marla Botterill

Woman with long dark hair wearing a winter hat and coat


Marla Botterill (MFA) is a visual artist and professor of Fine Art at Fanshawe College in London, ON. She is active in artist-run culture and previously served six terms on the board of directors at Forest City Gallery and is currently on the board of the London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA). She is a grant recipient from both the Ontario Arts Council and the London Arts Council. Her work has been featured in exhibitions both nationally and in Germany and she has participated in international conferences and residencies in Germany and Barbados.

Juror's Choice Award: Henny, Greenhouse, March 1

Juror's Statement:

"It’s an honour and pleasure to be one of the jurors for the first high school juried exhibition at the Woodstock Art Gallery. It was a new challenge to jury the work without the benefit of reviewing it in person and I’m sure it would have been equally difficult for all of you that applied to learn how to document and submit your work online. It can be a vulnerable experience to put your work out into the broader world and I want to commend all of you that made that effort and applied to showcase your work in a professional and public forum. There is some truly excellent art being created in this region and thank you to the teachers, parents and other community members for supporting these budding artists and to the Woodstock Art Gallery for carving out the space for this to happen. Many works demonstrated excellent technical skill and conceptual development. The reality and complexity of living through the COVID 19 pandemic was evident in a lot of the work — a glass of water that is about to overflow or a jar of flowers hovering on a ledge hint to the anxiety and precariousness of our situation. A ghostly empty classroom or a twisty ice cream cone chillingly rendered and out of reach speak to a lack of fulfillment that is strangely empty of nostalgia. Other works embraced sentimentality through the meticulous forming of a beloved car or character. There was symbolic work, personal work, political work, playful work and aesthetic work across a range of media. I hope that many of you will continue to pursue your study and appreciation of art. Now more than ever the world needs resilient, adaptable, sensitive and creative people and this exhibition celebrates just that — congratulations!"

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