Juried by Sam Adams, Curatorial Fellow at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum Juror Statement:Modernism is everywhere and nowhere here. For an artist to abstract from nature—to render it hazy or unfamiliar, to alter the conventions of its depiction—they must first grasp the subject intimately and know how to convey its essence. In this exhibition, once-familiar subjects such as a seascape or vase of flowers appear uncanny, and in some cases almost unrecognizably abstract. The land and its natural specimens are blurry, polluted, obscured by a chain link fence, out of reach—the sublime is hinted at and yet seems irretrievable, impossible. One can feel the artist’s subjectivity melding with that of their subject, and a type of gestural brushwork and mark-making that is rapid, deeply felt, and intuitive. Portraits of strong women recur in this exhibition: a fashion model, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a pregnant woman enjoying a moment of leisure, at trio of young women staring up at a literal glass ceiling, the first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman. While the subjects themselves are inspiring, the handling of the artistic materials also conveys a sense of empowerment and urgency. Lastly, there is a focus throughout on pattern and decoration, an intimate sense of materiality, and the use of humble materials such as cardboard and wire. Gestures are bold and unapologetic. Color chords are flamboyant and yet judicious. The exhibition is rounded out by a few sendups of the rigid Minimalist grid and the purity of monochromatic painting.”

Sam Adams is an art historian and curator specializing in contemporary art, holding a BA from the New York University Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and both an MA and PhD in Modern and Contemporary Art from the University of Southern California. His publications focus on performance, theater set design, public sculpture, and electronic media.

Sam has taught at Tufts University, Emerson College, and Northeastern University , where he has advised students interested in museums, curating, design, art writing, and academic publishing. He has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Getty Research Institute, the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston, and deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum as the Koch Curatorial Fellow.

Accepted Artists List
Watch the Live Reception Video:

22nd Annual Frances N. Roddy Exhibition

Juried by Sam Adams, Curatorial Fellow at deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum

Exhibition Reception Date:

September 23, 6 - 7 PM on ZOOM

Exhibition Opening:

September 23, 2021

Exhibition End Date:

October 24, 2021

Exhibition Year:


The Frances N. Roddy Open Competition is an annual exhibition competition, and is one of Concord Art’s most exciting and competitive shows. The competition is named for a long-standing friend and artist member of the art association, Frances Roddy, whose family and friends endowed a  prize to be given annually in her name to the best entry in this all media show. ————– Frances enjoyed participating in watercolor workshops around the world, and taking watercolor classes from her longtime Association friend, Marjorie Young. With Marge’s support, Frances became fascinated with color. She particularly enjoyed watching sunsets and often remarked, “If I painted the colors I see right now, no one would believe what I put down on paper.” Nevertheless, she never hesitated to do so, and developed a deep fascination with color during her later artistic years. Frances truly loved the Concord Art Association. In particular, she cherished the friendships she made with fellow artists through the many classes and exhibits in which she participated. She was very proud of being one of the Association’s distinguished artists. In short, Frances found the people and dynamism of the Art Association invigorating. Concord Art was a central, and wonderful, aspect of her life in Concord. – Gibbs Roddy, Son

2021 Roddy
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