Attendees of the March Ringling Underground will encounter three contemporary artists: Emily Elliott, Dustin Juengel, and Zach Gilliland. Artist Liaison Natalya Swanson spoke to each of them about their artwork and process:
“I am constantly tinkering in the studio, trying new things, making new forms, honing my skills and dreaming up the impossible. When I have an idea, I try it. Not all approaches work, but I attempt everything and eventually the dots begin to connect. The key, for me, is to simply be working. As Picasso said, “inspiration exists but it has to find you working”.
I search for the simple and the organic as a jumping off point. Then I find the subtle complexities that give the piece depth. Once a project begins to take shape I send it to the moon and back, building it up and ripping it back apart. This process is extremely important for me to filter out unnecessary information.
My work appears simple at first glance, but upon further inspection questions begin to arise. Thats where, I feel, the magic lies. My ultimate goal is to pull the viewer in from a distance, keep them looking up close and then leave them wondering when they turn away.”
“Painting offers a space to engage with different interests and negotiate experiences. I am not aware of an overarching agenda for my paintings, it’s too complex, I think it’s more of a search.
My recent works include grisaille oil paintings based on photographs. The limited palette allows me to focus on other aspects of technique, for example: modeling of form, economy of paint handling, and scale. The effects of light and the surrounding environment become more apparent on the gray surfaces, creating tension between the illusion of the depiction and the painting as an object in a specific location. I want the viewer to be able to enter into the painting and simultaneously become self-aware of standing in a place looking at this thing.”
“My work is an exploration of emotional and psychological responses to human interaction and the desire for intimacy. I use the body as a metaphorical
battleground where the struggles of the mind take on a physical form. The figures are infected and transformed in reaction to their trauma. Each bump, scar, or mutation represents the fractured sense of self, torn between the desire to connect and need to protect oneself. I am interested in complicating those instincts, creating a dynamic energy between the push and pull of the psyche. This piece captures the moment before separation, where there is no clear victim or perpetrator. Instead they are both at once for and against each other.”
With the second installment of this exhibition, Curator Zach Gilliland selected 9 artists from Sarasota and St. Augustine working in a wide range of styles and mediums.
April 4 – April 26, 2013
Art Center Sarasota, Sarasota, FL
Opening Reception April 4, 2013 (6pm – 10pm)
Art Center Sarasota’s newest exhibition series “Curated Unkowns” aims to promote and highlight emerging contemporary artists in Florida. With the second installment of this exhibition, Curator Zach Gilliland selected 9 artists from Sarasota and St. Augustine working in a wide range of styles and mediums. From the abstract to the whimsy to the hyper real, this exhibition attempts to blur the lines between illustration and fine art.
Featured Artists include:
Maya de Ceano-Vivas
Justin Kingsley Noyes
Opening reception will include live music by John Lichtenstien, Brian Shepard and Greg Ferris
Art Walks the Runway when Art Center Sarasota presents the fourth annual iconcept event on March 30, but we talk to the curator first!
Art Walks the Runway when Art Center Sarasota presents the fourth annual iconcept event on March 30, 2012 at 7pm. Sarasota Visual Art interviews our friend, and this years curator, Cat Pennenga.
Please give us a brief description of what iConcept is.
iconcept Fashion Show is a celebration of local artists working outside of their comfort zone in the medium of fashion. A select group of artists from the Sarasota area are challenged to create ensembles that will walk in a runway show, using non-traditional materials (this year artists are using a variety of materials including recycled grocery bags, wood veneer and latex gloves as fabric). The event also includes a pre-show dance performance by local collective Urban Spiral Dance Group, food catered by the Ringling Picnic food trucks, a raffle, artist boutique, an after-show dessert bar and a special surprise performance that I can’t wait to reveal!
Proceeds from this event benefit Art Center Sarasota’s youth and adult education programs, outreach for underserved youth, over 20 all-media art exhibitions annually and culturally oriented public programming.
How is this event different than other fashion shows?
First, it is more outrageous! Secondly, the participants in this show are fine artists, and not fashion designers. While some are familiar working working with textiles, most are not. Also, this show celebrates each individual artist, as opposed to a whole show dedicated to one designer.
How did you become involved with the project?
Two years ago I was asked to coordinate just the fashion show by one of the artists, my friend Stephanie Peters. Because of my experience producing photo shoots and fashion shows for SRQ Magazine, it was a fun extra project for me. This year, when iconcept creator Lisa Berger was leaving her position at the Art Center, she almost canceled the event but instead asked if I would take it over. Luckily Lisa has stayed involved and has been helping me along the way!
I understand that you have been in front of the camera from time to time. Do you think that this influences your work as a curator?
Do you mean behind the camera? I pretty much hate being in front of the camera! I do approach almost everything I do from the perspective of “How will this look in photos?”, it is the photographer and editor in me. So that does contribute a bit to the process of seeing how the outfits are coming together, and how strong they will look on stage. My experience organizing complicated photo shoots definitely contributes to my ability to organize the many people involved in this event!
How does this event help contribute to the local arts community?
I think it inspires the artists who are in the show to work in a new medium and with new materials, which invigorates everyone who witnesses the show. Most importantly the event directly supports the Art Center Sarasota, which is an integral part of Sarasota’s arts community.
How did you go about selecting the artists and what was the driving force behind your choices?
I chose artists that had been successful in the last 3 shows and then I reached out to artists and designers in the community who I thought would bring a creative and unique perspective to the show. We really want every year to be unique from the last, and for the artists to push themselves farther each year.
What makes this years iConcept different from the previous years?
We are changing the runway layout so it looks and feels more like a professional fashion show, and we are working with a DJ (DjQ of Static Grooves) who will be curating his music to go with the outfits. There is also an after-show coffee and dessert bar in the newly renovated sculpture garden, and a surprise performance by Urban Spiral Dance Group. Also, this year our event emcee is Jaszy McAllister, who has modeled in iconcept for the last two years. So she will bring a unique perspective to the event.
Describe some of the stories behind your favorite pieces in the show.
It is too impossible to pick any favorites, but some of the stories that stand out are: Pamela Sumner created a dress that is inspired by a pile of pencil shavings she noticed in her studio. It is uncanny to see how well she translated this inspiration! Ray Peper created a very intricate ensemble inspired by various Salvador Dali paintings, it has a lot of intellect and humor in it. Stephanie Peters has created an outfit from bubble wrap and photos of areas she and her daughter Raven often go together (Raven will be modeling this dress).
Can you give us an idea of some of the materials being used this year?
Recycled plastic grocery bags, recycled newspaper bags, wood veneer, latex gloves, recycled water bottles, edible candy and recycled bicycle tires to name a few.
What’s next for iConcept after this show?
Hopefully the torch can be passed on again and someone new can curate/produce it next year!
Where can our readers find out more information about this years iConcept?
Art Walks the Runway when Art Center Sarasota presents the fourth annual iconcept event on March 30, 2012 at 7pm. Tickets are $75 for VIP front row seats (sold out last year) with special extras; General Admission tickets are $40. The evening includes a red carpet arrival, light snacks catered by the Ringling Picnic Food Trucks, drinks, entertainment by Urban Spiral Dance Company, a unique boutique and a spectacular runway show of avant-garde fashion. Guests are invited to create their own outrageous statements to wear to the event and enjoy the Center’s newly renovated bold and contemporary interior and exterior garden spaces.
A select group of creative and talented artists from the Sarasota area were invited to display their work through the medium of fashion. Witness their creativity come to life in a dazzling runway show. Using mostly non-traditional materials, the artists are challenged to create unique, over-the-top pieces that express their artistic vision. iconcept 2012 will once again blow the audience away with outrageous fashion and creative performances.
Proceeds from this event will benefit Art Center Sarasota’s youth and adult education programs, outreach for underserved youth, over 20 all-media art exhibitions annually and culturally oriented public programming.