Interview with Kim Anderson: Material Matters

Opening November 3, Art Center Sarasota will present a fascinating exhibition in the galleries titled Material Matters: A Look at Medium and Method. Given the sheer breadth and depth of each work this exhibition is a must see. Participating artists include: Lauren Garber-Lake, John Westmark, Malaika Zweig, Erika Mahr, Leslie Robison and Jason Mitcham

Malaika Zweig

sVA had the pleasure of speaking with artist and curator Kim Anderson of Material Matters: A Look at Medium and Method, about the show.

sVA: What criteria did you use when selecting the artists and/or artwork for Material Matters?

KA: I wanted to show work by artists who push a material or conflate unexpected media, but who also demonstrate a devout investment to the execution of their work. It was important to me that the artists dedicate a significant amount of labor and energy to their work. I also selected artists whose work would be new to Sarasota.

365 Pages by Erika Mahr

sVA: What should the public expect from Material Matters? Do you think this show will appeal to a particular audience?

KA: I believe art has the capacity to reach different audiences for different reasons. I hope that those engaged with the art making process will have an appreciation for the commitment these artists have to the studio, and that others might uncover an unexpected idea for what a painting or drawing could be; an alternative presentation for painting, or how a drawing can be monumental and intimate simultaneously.

sVA: What are some of your expectations for the show? How do you think it will be received?

KA: It is my hope that the individual work supports and enhances the whole. It’s hard to say until everything is installed, so in that sense there are always variables. Some of the work is more nuanced and some bolder. I wasn’t interested in a stylistic thread, yet I am hoping for cohesiveness. What I like about the work is that it reveals itself over time. There is an immediate allure on first impression, but in each of the works the artist presents opportunities for extended contemplation. In terms of how it will be received, that will have to be determined.

Unsettled by Erika Mahr

sVA: As curator of this show, how is this show important to you?

KA: I found just as much of a creative satisfaction curating the show as I get from working in the studio. Curating gives me an opportunity to think differently about my own working process and ultimately how my work might be received.

sVA: How does your work as a curator inform your practice as an artist and vice versa?

KA: I am fortunate to be working with a talented and cooperative group of artists. I think this definitely gives me insight into what a curator is looking for from an organizational standpoint. Most of the work presented in the exhibition is different from my studio practice, and I appreciate the variety of creative approaches each artist pursues.

Jason Mitcham

sVA: How important do you think the discourse of contemporary art is?

KA: I think that is what art is about. Art is about asking questions and engaging a dialog. By challenging or investigating conventions contemporary art helps promote an on-going sense of discovery, contemplation, and understanding. I think these are all important things.

sVA: What role does this work play in our community?

KA: I think that the work is accessible, while it is also challenging in its execution, use of material, or exploration of a concept. I hope that people will feel motivated to begin looking more closely or be invigorated to reengage their own studio practice.

Lauren Garber Lake

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