Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Emerging Curator: Part 1

I would like to take some time to reflect on this period of my life that I entitle: The Emerging Curator. Sounds glamorous right? Sometimes I wonder... At this point I am trying to network and find work as a curator in a city where I have no professional connections and I have a lot of work to do. This post and my blog, Rose City Art Review, are my way of sharing the journey and exploration with you.

Recently, I earned a Master's Degree in Art History from the University of Connecticut, where I was able to gain a tremendous amount of work experience as a curatorial assistant as well as insight into the type of art historian I would like to become. After graduating, I moved back to my hometown, Portland Oregon, a city that thankfully has a thriving art culture. Moving across the country has made for a rocky and exciting transition. For example, finding an apartment, job hunting, and familiarizing myself with Portland’s ever evolving art world. Not to mention, continuing to develop myself professionally, volunteering, and developing this blog. Needless to say, I rarely have a day that I am not working.

I’ll be up front with you; I do not have a fancy job at a prominent art museum. Right now, I work full time at a café and my days off are spent volunteering at art galleries and gallery hopping for blog content.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes I have moments of self-doubt. However, I spend a majority of my time dedicated to something that I love and that I am passionate about. It doesn’t ever feel like work to get to see incredible art, meet people who have the same interests, and write on my days off. In some ways I feel that my quality of life is so much more fulfilling than any day I had while in graduate school. While this might be one of the most challenging periods of my life, I am confident that I will be successful in my endeavors. 

I would like these posts to be a series within Rose City Art Review to share my story and hopefully pass some advice onto you. There is a considerable lack of information online on how to become a curator or an art historian. I am not here to tell you that I am an expert. In fact, I am the exact opposite. I am learning as I go, and hopefully you can learn from those experiences that I share with you.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Alien She


[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Recommended Reading. 2010. wallpaper of photocopied drawings. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

Alien She is a two-part exhibition that explores the lasting impact of Riot Grrrl on the art practice of seven visual artists and collectives. The two parts of the exhibition are presented at the 511 Gallery at PNCA and the Museum of Contemporary Craft (MOCC). The exhibition at the 511 Gallery presents archival materials including zines, posters, and music listening stations to immerse the viewer into the culture and ideologies of the Riot Grrrl movement. Riot Grrrl began in the early 90s as a punk feminist movement reacting to the violent sexism, homophobia, and racism apparent in the punk music scene. The movement went on to inspire the socially and politically driven careers of the artists included in the exhibition and many more.

 [Image: Exhibition images. "Alien She". 511 Gallery at PNCA. Photos by Mario Gallucci]

One of the consistent themes throughout the exhibition is the use of craft based practices to communicate the social ideals of the artists involved in the exhibition. Upon entering the exhibition at MOCC the viewer is arrested by a bright pink, hand woven, barbed wire fence sculpture, We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out, by artist L.J. Roberts. The installation evokes the feeling of confinement and experience of discrimination faced by immigrant, queer, and transgender communities. Robert’s art practice is informed by the DIY, craftivism, and feminist spirit associated with Riot Grrrl.  

 [Image: L.J. Roberts. We Couldn't Get In. We Couldn't Get Out. Crank-Knit Yarn, Hand-Woven Wire, Steel Poles, Assorted Hardware. 2006-2007. courtesy of the artist. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

Placed behind Robert’s barbed wire fence stand Allyson Mitchell’s Ladies Sasquatch sculptures. The series of sculptures embody a, “feral sexuality outside prescriptive heteronormative notions of beauty and lust and toward a ‘queer utopian dreamworld’.”

[Image: Allyson Mitchell. Ladies Sasquatch. 2006-2010. courtesy of the artist and Katherine Mulherin Gallery, Toronto. Photos by Mario Gallucci.]

 [Image: Crochet tutorial workstation. photos by Mario Gallucci]

Artists: Ginger Brooks Takahashi (Pittsburgh), Tammy RaeCarland (Oakland), Miranda July (Los Angeles), Faythe Levine (Milwaukee), Allyson Mitchell (Toronto), L.J. Roberts (Brooklyn), Stephanie Syjuco (San Francisco) and more.

Alien She is curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss, and organized by the Miller Gallery at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

Alien She is presented in two parts:

Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis
Portland, OR 97209

511 Gallery @ PNCA
511 NW Broadway
Portland, OR 97209

"Alien She". Curated by Astria Suparak and Ceci Moss. Museum of Contemporary Craft and 511 Gallery at PNCA, Portland, OR. Sep 3, 2015 – Jan 9, 2016.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Danielle Wyckoff: Emerging Dissolving

[Images: Danielle Wyckoff, Emerging Dissolving, 2015, handwritten and screenprinted stories on mulberry paper, thread, courtesy of the artist and Soltesz Fine Art gallery.]

Emerging Dissolving is an installation that submerges its viewer into the love stories collected by artist Danielle Wyckoff. Love stories are lightly handwritten on mulberry paper scrolls that stream and unfurl across the length of the gallery. Viewers are encouraged to examine the individual scrolls and walk amongst the love stories. Only on view for the exhibition opening, the scrolls hung over a pool of red salt water. Evidence of the pool’s detritus remains with crystallized salt rings on the floor and the red salt that dyed the scrolls that fell into the pool. The scrolls cast shadows across the gallery walls and continue the repetitive nature and immersive quality of the installation.

Wyckoff’s text based drawings and installations explore the question, “what is it to love?” The installation Emerging Dissolving, emphasizes the process of story telling as a preservation of past loves and ways of loving. She sees the common experience of love and losing love as a connection between people. The artist also makes comparisons to the immersive experience of love and water.

The Emerging Dissolving installation uses storytelling to illustrate the dichotomies and shifting qualities of love and water, “their beauty and breathlessness, and their terror and transience.” The red salt pool further illustrates this relationship through salt’s preserving and corrosive characteristics. The color of the red salt references love and anger, blood and earth. Danielle Wyckoff’s text drawings and installation exhibition, Emerging Dissolving, is on view at Soltesz Fine Art Gallery until September 19, 2015.  
Emerging Dissolving, Danielle Wyckoff. Soltesz Fine Art, 1825 NW 23rd AVE, Portland Or.