The Goods: Weekend News (11.04.11)

Sarasota Visual Art’s round up of exhibitions and events for the upcoming weekend. This features the weekend of Friday, November 4 through Sunday, November 6.


4th Annual Sarasota Chalk Festival
November 1-7, 2011

Celebrating the cultural art form of performance pavement art the Sarasota Chalk Festival is lined up to become the most important contemporary venue in the world …

Hugh Davies at Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art
November 4, 2011 (6-8 pm)
Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art gallery is presenting an exhibit featuring 15 recent works by the renowned artist and Ringling College faculty member.

Fairy Tale Exhibition at Selby Gallery
Opening – Friday, Nov. 4
Traditional and contemporary fairy tales illustrated by prize winning contemporary artists.

Kinuko Y. Craft, The Fairy Godmother, Oil on board, 9.5”x 12.25”, 2000

Ann Roth Exhibition at Crossley Gallery
Closing – Nov. 4
Ringling College of Art + Design is proud to host Visiting Artist Ann Roth on campus.

Sketch by Ann Roth

Chicken Scratch – Tim Jaeger Exhibit at Palmetto Art Center
Opening – Friday, Nov. 4 (5-9PM)
PAC invites the public to view paintings based on the artist’s personal history and desire to contribute something to the history of art.

CS 14 by Tim Jaeger

Going to an art opening this weekend? Email us your pics of art openings at


Featured Artist: Erika Mahr

The drawings that accompany each sculpture are schematics of the original plans for the sculpture and are drawn after their completion. The large-scale pen and ink drawings investigate the dichotomy of the cerebral and emotive.

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

1. What sort of art critic are you? Or, asked differently, who is your favorite art critic?

I would describe myself as a demanding critic, as we all should be. I expect for a piece to have a conversation with me, whether that be through a psychological or emotional experience. If a piece does not want to address me as a viewer then I fail to consider the work.

Diagonal by Erika Mahr

2. What role does history play in your work?

Because of the pluralist state of the artworld today, all artists have their own distinct historical lineage that influences their work. It seems impossible to avoid historical references within one’s work. The question is, or perhaps better stated, the dilemma is how do you take from the past and then move beyond it?

My own work directly addresses the concerns of the minimalists, in terms of form and visual language, but then departs into my own direction with the use of material, process, and intent. I am interested in the organic or human aspect of geometry and logic. Imperfections become welcomed rather than turning towards mechanical reproduction.

3. Are there any features of your work that are discomforting, for yourself or your viewer?

Perhaps physically painful at moments when making the work, but no, the work itself is not discomforting. I am invested in the work being inviting to the viewer, it asks them to come take a closer look.

365 Pages by Erika Mahr

4. How did you arrive at the structure of your work?

I am interested in what happens between the lines of a drawing. I imagine the possibility of squeezing myself between the lines of a Sol LeWitt wall drawing and looking out through the drawing. There is something that happens within that space, a sense of time, a sense of static. I conceptualize each of my sculptures as a two-dimensional line drawing. Each line is cut out on a separate sheet of paper allowing for each line to then occupy actual space.

5. How do you see the societal role of the artist evolving?

I think at one time artists were viewed as pioneers, exploring new territories and paving the way. Today artists in general have become one of the masses, privately making their work in hopes for it to one day enter the conversation of the art world. We of course still have mega art super stars, born out of the image of Andy Warhol. But they no longer serve the role as pioneer, rather they have become more like a fashion icon. I am more interested in the artist alone in their studio, sincerely questioning what they are making and why they bother making it.

Detail of Uproot, Pen and Ink on Paper

6. One of the most complicated aspects of being an art maker is the “Life Work” balance: making important decisions on when to start and when to stop and where to separate things. Do you have any advice for other artists, based on your own methodology, on how to balance a life’s work?

This proves to be the most difficult obstacle for any young artist. I would hardly claim to have mastered this myself. I have gone through a number of transitions while in New York, each one slowly improving my ability to make art and sustain my practice. My best advice is to realistically recognize what your goals as an artist are, then you can begin to adjust your life around this. I myself have tried to avoid any full-time jobs to support myself. Having multiple part-time jobs have aloud me to leave work where it belongs. The moment I decided that time is more valuable than money to me, I freed my mind to be able to move forward in my practice.

Combining geometric forms with arduous drawing processes, my work challenges the notion of logic and geometry as being cold and mechanical. The work explores the organic quality that can be found within systemized logic. The mark making process, whether additive or subtractive, creates imperfections that would otherwise be absent within a mechanical process. The hard-edged minimal geometry becomes softened through these imperfections, and the logical space becomes more accessible to the viewer.

Unsettled by Erika Mahr

Artist Statement


The paper sculptures investigate geometry, space, repetition and time. On each page of the stack, a shape is cut using an x-acto knife. On each subsequent page the shape changes slightly in size or position. When stacked, the shapes form a 3 dimensional negative space. Within this geometric cavity, the viewer experiences not a spatial void, but rather a narrative of both movement and time. With each page being visible, a “simultaneous narrative” is formed, allowing the viewer to experience the entire narrative at once. The softness of the black paper and slight imprecision of the cutting process creates a warm and contemplative architectural space rather than a sterile environment associated with minimal form.

The drawings that accompany each sculpture are schematics of the original plans for the sculpture and are drawn after their completion. They are a visual representation of the conceptualization of each piece.

Descending Grid by Erika Mahr


The large-scale pen and ink drawings investigate the dichotomy of the cerebral and emotive. Each begin with a small sketch based off of a momentary emotion. These drawings are then broken down with a system of logic, reconstructed, and enlarged onto a quarter inch hand-drawn grid. Each square of the grid is systematically filled with repetitive lines to recreate the small sketch on a much larger scale. The final drawing consists of hundreds of thousands of these lines. The mark-making process and large scale of the paper present the viewer with both the micro and the macro, allowing for dual experiences of the cerebral and emotive.

For more information, please view Erika’s personal website:

Interview with Kim Anderson: Material Matters

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

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

Material Matters – Art Center Sarasota

November 3 – December 31, 2011
Art Center Sarasota

Art Center Sarasota will present a new exhibition in the galleries titled Material Matters from November 3- December 31, 2011. The opening reception, which is free and open to the public, will be held on November 3 from 5-7pm. Physically, and/or conceptually, material is integral to the creative process of all visual artists. Material Matters celebrates the use of materials from our modern world in the visual arts.

In the galleries: Improbable Fruit: Unfinished Explorations in Pursuit of a Materially Complex Built Environment (Architect Mark Weston’s laser cut wood sculptures); A National Show of Encaustic Work, curated by Elena De La Ville; Material Matters: A Look at Medium and Method, curated by Kim Anderson; and Material World- the all media, juried exhibition.

A National Show of Encaustic work (WOMEN AND WAX) will feature the works of leading artists in the field that are dedicated to the innovation of contemporary art and ideas. The aim of the exhibit is to provide a platform for dialogue and education while increasing the understanding and appreciation for encaustic art in Southwest Florida.

Encaustic is one of the oldest forms of painting where beeswax, resin and pigment are layered and fused to produce a luminous surface that captures and transforms light. These artists melt, layer, scrape, and sculpt, creating their individual visions in wax.

Invited artists: Karen Freeman, Joanne Mattera, Jane Allen Nodine, Nancy Natale, Neverne Covington, Binnie Birstein, Lisa Pressman, Laura Moriarty, Diana González Gondolfi, Catherine Nash, Elena De La Ville

Material Matters: A Look at Medium and Method curated by Kim Anderson
Participating Artists: Lauren Garber-Lake, John Westmark, Malaika Zweig, Erika Mahr, Jason Mitcham

About Art Center Sarasota:
Art Center Sarasota offers creative opportunities that are affordable and accessible to the entire community with approximately 27 exhibitions, 100 classes and educational programs for youth and adults and special events each year. Art Center Sarasota engages the entire artistic community by providing educational programs and exhibitions for the novice to accomplished artists and those who simply enjoy the visual arts. The Center showcases hundreds of emerging and established artists through curated and juried exhibitions throughout each exhibition season. Through an extensive education department, learners at Art Center Sarasota can take advantage of many art classes, workshops and artist demonstrations with nationally known and popular local instructors that appeal to every age and skill level. The education department also offers various programs such as lectures, panel discussions and films. Youth programs and Creative Kids Summer Art Camp nurture young, developing minds. The youth outreach program, Slice of Art, is an interactive experience for students K-12, is funded by grants and donations at no cost to the schools. It has become a valuable tool for arts educators.

Art Center Sarasota
Gallery Hours:
10am – 4pm Tuesday-Saturday
Closed Sunday and Monday

Art Center Sarasota
707 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34236
Phone 941-365-2032
Fax 941-366-0585