Sunday, March 28, 2010

Best Of Art Artwalk / Guest Judges

Nirvana (Skid Row, Ted Ed Fred, Pen Cap Chew, Bliss) (2010)
by Gretchen Bennett, image via Howard House

I'm happy to announce that Gretchen Bennett (artist) and Marisa C. Sánchez (Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seattle Art Museum) will be the inaugural guest judges for the first Best Of Art Walk Awards.

I was curious what type of art is catching their eye these days and what they might be looking for this Thursday. Here are a couple of questions I asked each of them. [It looked like fun so I added my answers, too.]

Dream of Darkness (2010) by Aaron McIntosh
Juror's [Marisa C. Sánchez] Choice Award, Punch Gallery

What type of art or which artists are keeping your interest these days?

GB: The artists that interest me these days are taking from daily life and resetting things, somehow, talking more and writing. They define themselves and their practice by looking at what we all live with. This shifts over quite a wide field, of course, since there is a vast spectrum of things and experiences that shape us.

JV: I'm incredibly influenced by my peers and the world/art around me. I've been thinking a lot about personal mythologies and the stories we tell ourselves. Sharon Arnold continues to do really interesting things. If she weren't such a good friend, her piece Nixe [in the group show, "You're So Cool" at OHGE, Ltd.] would be a serious contender for my best of pick. [There is seriously an embarrassment of amazing art in April.]

MS: Some artists whose work I've been thinking about lately include Mika Tajima, Alex Hubbard, Robbinschilds, Joseph Beuys, Amy Blakemore, Trenton Doyle Hancock, as well as several artists working in our region.

What will you be looking for this Thursday that will make it stand out as the "best of artwalk"?

GB: I hope I find something humbling, something I've been dialoging with, presented in a new way.

JV: It's totally one of those, 'you'll know it when you see it' things. I'd love it to be something that totally surprises me.

MS: I plan to keep an open eye during artwalk. We're going to see a lot of shows, and I think the strongest work will rise to the top.

Dying Fawn sticker on newspaper kiosk (2005) by Gretchen Bennett

What are you working on these days?

GB: I've been thinking a lot of stage sets, and of the before and after facts of an event; the configuration of objects, light and drawings. I think about the afterlife of an event. I think about the idea of back-stage and of a space you can walk into and fill in their own way, as the viewer. I've been influenced by photos from Alice Wheeler and Charles Peterson, Jim Marshall, and from watching films like "Last Days", thinking about stillness, of a band member in a private moment, with the bus idling outside.

JV: I just finished a residency at Seattle University. I'm still working on fun projects like The New Guard. I feel like I've kind of let the blog wither a bit, so I'm hoping that now I have a little more time/energy to devote to it. I'd like to revisit the interview series.

MS: My most current project is love fear pleasure lust pain glamour death: Andy Warhol Media Works, an exhibition that opens at the Seattle Art Museum on May 13th.

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