Viridian Artists is pleased to present an exhibition of artists who are all under 30 years of age. “30 Under 30“ continues from February 26th to March 23rd, with two receptions to meet the artists. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, February 28th, 6-8PM and a closing reception SATURDAY MARCH 23RD, 4-6PM. In a world changing culturally and politically more rapidly than ever, these artworks perhaps offer a clue to ways artists will look at their lives and times through art making in the future. The artists in this exhibition were selected from a “call for art” the gallery sent out to discover what young artists are thinking and creating art about in these times.

From a wide range of applicants, the art of 30 artists, all under 30 years of age, was selected by Donna Gustafson, Curator of American Art and Mellon Director for Academic Programs at the Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University.

In her curatorial statement, Ms. Gustafson says: “The themes that repeatedly appeared in the full range of submissions included surveillance, privacy, and private life in a digitally mediated world; interior landscapes and abstract expressions; and the politics of our current moment --civil rights, gentrification, and sexuality in a post binary world. This selection of 30 artists, culled from a much larger group of 174, suggests that artists continue to be “the antennae of the race,” as the poet Ezra Pound described them in 1918.”

No longer are there large workspaces or showing spaces without huge rents available to artists. The struggle to be an artist full time is a dream few can afford and making art in shared spaces is the rule rather than the exception. Consequently, Viridian has created an affordable membership program for young and gifted artists for we realize not only how expensive space is today both for showing and working, but also, how important it is for artists to live and show their art in a competitive and supportive environment.

In addition, Viridian Artists is offering a fellowship in the name of Barbara K Schwartz, a founding Viridian Artist. It will be awarded to one of the exhibiting artists committed to joining Viridian and will be chosen by current gallery artists. The Barbara K Schwartz Fellowship covers the cost of their dues for one year. As in the case of our juried exhibit open to artist of all ages and persuasions, Viridian has instituted a digital presentation of 30 artists selected by the gallery director, Vernita Nemec, giving an opportunity to 30 additional artists and giving gallery visitors a chance to see the work of more artists of merit. In actuality however, only 21 additional artists were selected, since 9 artists’ works were selected by both curators. Just how difficult is it now is for young artists to achieve their dreams of fame, respect and possibly fortune? What are their concerns? What materials do they work with? How have social media, astronomical rents, and less space changed the way in which artists just beginning their careers express themselves creatively? To learn the answers to some of these questions, gallery visitors are invited to look at the art itself & also to meet some of the artists at the opening and closing receptions.