I am pleased to announce my participation in the NW Art Now exhibition hosted by the Tacoma Art Museum. It is an honor to be showing alongside so many of my good friends and peers. The piece I am presenting for this display is titled Alpine Panel – Study, it is a more intimate version of an earlier piece Alpine Panel. The show runs from May 14th to September 4th 2016
NW ART NOW @ TAM: social reflections within contemporary art
Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) debuts new and recent works by 24 regional artists in NW Art Now @ TAM, opening May 14. This exhibition highlights the current moment in Northwest visual arts with works that illuminate and respond to the social and environmental forces shaping our regional identity. Through their work, artists reveal tensions, provoke, delight, and inspire us to understand the challenging and urgent concerns of today. See how those themes appear in contemporary art through this special exhibition, on view through September 4, 2016.
“For the past 40 years, TAM has conducted regular surveys of contemporary art in the Northwest. We are proud that TAM takes on this important role to survey the art of our time and of our region,” said Stephanie Stebich, Executive Director at TAM.
Although the frequency and titles of TAM’s regional survey exhibitions has varied, the focus has remained constant – showcasing the achievements and advances made by artists working in the Northwest. Artists, curators, collectors, arts instructors, students, and art fans eagerly look forward to the surveys. You’d need to visit 24 art studios from Boise to Walla Walla and Seattle to Portland to see all of the works that NW Art Now @ TAM brings together in one stop in Tacoma.
How does a regional visual arts survey come together? Last winter, TAM issued an open call to artists, inviting them to submit digital images along with written statements about their work. Nearly 300 artists responded. This is a juried exhibition, meaning that the applications were reviewed and narrowed based on how the artworks and practices reflected the themes and goals of the exhibition. The co-curators then visited the studios or conference called each of the semi-finalists. The resulting show includes 24 artists and 47 works in a wide range of media, including painting, sculpture, craft-based work, as well as conceptual, performance, installation, and digital projects. Eleven of the original works will be on view for the very first time.
“It is fascinating to see how artists reach beyond the region and bring deep knowledge of contemporary art from around the world into their practices. They are raising the bar in really important ways,” observed Rock Hushka, Chief Curator and Curator of Contemporary and Northwest Art at Tacoma Art Museum. “These artists are changing our expectations about the role of art in shaping Northwest identity.”
The exhibition is co-curated by Hushka and Juan Roselione-Valadez, Director of the Rubell Family Collection (RFC), Contemporary Arts Foundation, in Miami, Florida. One of the world’s largest privately owned contemporary art collections, the RFC actively acquires and champions emerging artists working at the forefront of contemporary art. In addition to his work with the RFC, Roselione-Valadez has worked with some of the most prominent American and international artists, and is intimately familiar with the current trends of contemporary art, bringing broad and detailed background on current practices to this regional selection process. TAM frequently adds expertise and fresh perspectives from around the country, and has brought in art museum curators and scholars from New York City; Houston; Miami; Vancouver, BC; and other locations. Through this process the museum provides in-depth introductions to help specialists outside of our region become familiar with Northwest artists.
“I am extremely grateful for my time spent conversing with these compelling and generous artists in their studios and homes,” shared Roselione-Valadez. “Witnessing their process and listening to and seeing manifestations of their acute awareness of all that is working and all that is broken within the region, country, and world has left an indelible mark on me and the way I understand art, society, survival and our relationship to others and the environment.”
A few examples of the variety of interesting artworks in this exhibition include: Seattle artist Dylan Neuwirth’s 2014 Just Be Your Selfie is a large-scale neon installation that TAM will install under the canopy along Pacific Avenue, and which was much enjoyed during its previous installation in Seattle’s Pioneer Square. Section of the I-705, on a Wednesday, for Electric Piano is an audio and video projection project by Portland artist Lou Watson, derived from the patterns of traffic along I-705 as filmed from the museum’s rooftop. Seattle’s Joey Veltkamp is crafting his largest work to date for this exhibition, a quilt project titled Life is Beautiful. Sculptor Humaira Abid from Renton will present a talk at the museum on June 1 at noon, as part of TAM’s free Lunch and Learn series. Hushka noted the remarkable number of Tacoma artists in the show who are creating notable work, including: Oliver Doriss, Christopher Paul Jordan, Jeremy Mangan, Asia Tail, Jamie Marie Waelchli, and John Sutton of SuttonBeresCuller who was born in Tacoma and today lives in Seattle.
NW Art Now @ TAM is an opportunity to see art history in the making, with fresh creative works inspired by regional artists’ reactions to the considerations of identity, social justice, and environmental stewardship. For more information, call TAM at 253-272-4258 or visit www.TacomaArtMuseum.org.