2013 Season of Programming: Contested Space

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CONTESTED SPACE will explore the complex contemporary landscape–social, political, physical, and cultural–and the arts, ideas and artists that play a major role in shaping public understanding of the powerful dynamics of those spaces.

Historically, land was the great frontier and artists had a major role in shaping public understanding of those spaces. Now the frontiers of the past have become the “contested spaces” of the present. These new frontiers are no longer just physical space, but constantly assume new morphologies–local, national, transnational, geopolitical, social, cultural, physical, virtual. At this point in time the planet has been entirely mapped and Googled and has become a globalized space that conveys the fears and hopes of humankind. Cosmic space is being unraveled and mapped and we are closing all the distances that seemed, at one point, unimaginably vast. When distance has been abolished and time and space have shrunk, can art still explore new territory? Yes, it is the territory of “contested space” in which transformation and re-imagining begins and the arts play a central role.

Artists are powerful commentators and describers of these spaces, presenting diverse perspectives and creative ways of engagement. From the vast openness of the internet to the closed, restrictive space of a jail cell, from urban center to wildlife preserve, artists make art that offers new perspectives, challenges assumptions, presents new ideas, opens discourse and invites the audience to engage around important issues.

By presenting artists and their works through lectures, workshops, exhibitions, residencies, and arts education to the youth of our city and region, we use the arts to foster individual thinking, creative engagement, and community by focusing on the arts to offer new ways to participate in and navigate contemporary life. We invite artists who bring Native, Hispanic, Asian, and Anglo perspectives supporting the diversity and history of our region.

This programming reflects our mission to support and promote the arts as a positive social force by presenting artists whose work addresses important issues of social justice, cultural freedom and environmental responsibility. These programs support creation of and public access to art, nurture artists at all phases of their careers, and foster learning via the arts for people of all ages.

2013 Participating Artists:
Cynthia Hooper
Hugh Pocock
Blandine Chavanne
Carlan Tapp
Fran Hardy
Martha Russo
Dylan A. T. Miner
Dread Scott
Rick Lowe
Susan York & Arthur Sze

Hugh Pocock
Born in New Zealand and raised in the United States, video, performance, and installation artist, Hugh Pocock makes work seeking to integrate the dynamics of natural and cultural phenomena. The intersections of labor, industry and organic materials, such as water, air, salt, wood and earth, as well as the history and metaphor of the human relationship to these natural resources are key issues Pocock investigates. Over the past two decades, he has shown internationally exhibiting in many galleries and museums including Portikus Museum in Frankfurt, Germany, the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, OH; the Santa Monica Museum of Art in santa Monica, California; and the Baltimore Museum of Art in Baltimore, Maryland. Pocock’s work has also been built for “non-art sites” such as private homes, movie theatres and farms. Hugh Pocock’s work can be seen at his website: http://www.hughpocock.net

Cynthia Hooper
Cynthia Hooper’s videos, paintings, and interdisciplinary projects investigate landscapes transfigured by social and environmental contingency. Her work is meditative and poetic, but also takes a generously observational and generally factual approach toward the places she examines. She has worked with Tijuana’s complex urban environment and infrastructure, as well as contested and politicized water issues along the U.S./Mexico border. Her recent projects include an investigation of the artificial wetlands of Mexico’s Colorado River Delta, and these wetlands’ complicated relationship with U.S. political and environmental policy. Her recent exhibits include the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Los Angeles, California; the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City; The Centro Cultural Tijuana; Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco, California; and MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Cynthia has also been awarded residencies at the Headlands Center for the Arts and the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, as well as a Gunk Foundation grant. http://www.cynthiahooper.com

Patricia Watts
Patricia Watts is founder and west coast curator of ecoartspace, a nonprofit platform for artists addressing environmental issues in the visual arts since 1999. She has curated over 20 exhibitions including MAKE:CRAFT (2010) at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California; Hybrid Fields (2006) at the Sonoma County Museum in Santa Rosa, California; and produced a site-specific temporary public art installation entitled Windsock Currents (2005) on Crissy Field in the Presidio in San Francisco, California, for UN World Environment Day. She is currently working with the Santa Fe Art Institute on two residency projects including Shifting Baselines, and a statewide residency project in New Mexico titled Getting Off the Planet (2011-2013).

Blandine Chavanne:
Author and curator, Blandine Chavanne was named Director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes (Museum of Fine Arts in Nantes) in 2006. After earning her Diplôme d’études appliquées (D.E.A) in Fine Arts in 1978, Chavanne received a Diplôme from l’Ecole du Louvre in 1982 and became the curator of the City of Poitiers Museums until 1991. After ten years as a consultant for museums to the DRAC Bourgogne and the General Inspectorate of Museums of France (in charge of contemporary art), in 2001 she took the direction of the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy (Museum of Fine Arts in Nancy). Chavanne is particularly interested in the art of the twentieth and twenty-first century and has curated numerous shows and exhibitions.

Carlan Tapp (Wicocomico Tribe, Taptico family)
Carlan Tapp is a documentary photographer and lifelong educator, descendant of the Wicocomico Tribe, Taptico family, who studied photography at Art Center College of Design. After graduation, he worked with the National Park Service using photography to document socially caused changes in the natural environment. In the 1970’s, Carlan had the privilege of assisting the late Ansel Adams for three years and was inspired by Ansel’s love of the natural landscape. His series of fine art photographs devoted to Mt. Rainier are now in permanent collections in China, Australia, Seattle and Mt. Rainier National Park. In 2005, Carlan established a Federal (501c3) non-profit foundation, Naamehnay Project – Question of Power. The foundation creates human stories of individuals, families and communities – stories of unheard voices affected by the extraction, production, consumption and waste materials of coal in the creation of electricity for America.

Fran Hardy & Bob Demboski
Fran Hardy, M.Ed., environmental artist/filmmaker/educator, focuses on the natural world—especially native flora and its preservation. She is particularly fascinated by ancient trees and her most recent work focuses on the infinite variety and importance of trees in sustaining our environment. She creates large dramatic mixed media paintings and drawings on panel and installations done in collaboration with filmmaker Bob Demboski. Fran and Bob also collaborate on the Earth Chronicles Project which is a unique combination of documentaries on the confluence of art, ecological sustainability and cultural preservation in different regions that drive and inspire group exhibitions curated by Fran and educational programming based on the individuals and places featured in the documentaries. Their documentaries have aired on PBS stations, on FEC-TV national educational channel and at museums and have been sponsored by grant funding, museums and private donors. Fran has had six solo museum exhibitions across the country as well as numerous solo gallery shows from NYC to Florida to New Mexico. Bob comes from a long career in television and filmmaking with such clients as The Oprah Show, PBS, Lucas Films, Discovery Channel, HBO, and behind the scenes work on feature films.

Martha Russo
Martha Russo earned a BA in developmental biology and psychology from Princeton University, 1985. Formerly a world-class athlete, she suffered a career-ending injury in 1984 while vying for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Field Hockey Team. After her recovery from surgery, attracted to the physical nature of sculpture, Russo studied studio arts in Florence, Italy, and continued studying ceramics at Princeton University. In 1995 she earned her MFA at the University of Colorado, Boulder. In addition to her studio practice, Martha is a professor in the Fine Arts Department at Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Lakewood, Colorado. Martha is represented by Claudia Stone Gallery, New York. She lives in Ward, Colorado with her husband and two children.

Dylan A. T. Miner (Métis)
Dylan Miner is a Métis artist, historian, and curator who teaches at Michigan State University. His artistic practice emerges from his ongoing involvement in radical politics. A key facet to his oeuvre, Miner makes unambiguously political relief prints and graphic arts, commonly employing found or quotidian materials in their production.  Recently, his printmaking practice has begun to investigate the materiality of the printer’s block, incising and printing from wooden objects such as baseball bats, hockey sticks, and canoe paddles. Moreover, Miner’s practice involves ongoing collaborations with Indigenous youth, having worked with Native communities in the US, Canada, Mexico, Australia, and Norway. In his project Anishinaabensag Biimskowebshkigewag (Native Kids Ride Bikes), he works with youth to build bicycles based on traditional knowledge.  He recently produced a body of work on Indigenous prophecies, and is beginning new projects dealing with forests and with Métis medicine.  Miner is a founding member of the print collective Justseeds, which was awarded the Grand Prix at the 28th Biennial of Graphic Arts in Slovenia. He has published extensively and exhibited widely.

Dread Scott
Dread Scott makes revolutionary art to propel history forward. He first received national attention in 1989 when his art became the center of controversy over its use of the American flag. President G. H.W. Bush declared his artwork, What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?, “disgraceful” and the entire US Senate denounced this work when they passed legislation to “protect the flag.” To oppose this law and other efforts that would effectively make patriotism compulsory, he, along with three other protesters, burned flags on the steps of the US Capitol. This resulted in a Supreme Court case and a landmark First Amendment decision. Dread works in a range of media including installation, photography, screen-printing, video, performance and painting. The breadth of media he explores is unified by the themes he addresses and how he handles them. His art illuminates the misery that this society creates for so many and it often encourages the viewer to envision how the world could be.

Rick Lowe
Rick Lowe is the founder of Project Row Houses, an arts and cultural community located in a historically significant and culturally charged neighborhood in Houston, Texas. Rick has participated in exhibitions and programs nationally and internationally. He has worked as guest artist on a number of community projects nationally including with arts consultant, Jessica Cusick, on the Arts Plan for the Rem Koolhaus designed Seattle Public Library; the Borough Project for Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina, and was the lead artist on the Delray Beach Cultural Loop in Delray Beach, Florida. Some of Rick’s awards include a 2005 Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Governors Award, a 2006 Brandywine Lifetime Achievement Award and a 2007 Osher Fellow at the Exploratorium in San Francisco.

Susan York
Susan York’s sculpture and drawing are in collections throughout the United States and Europe including the Lannan Foundation, Frankel Foundation for Art, and Panza di Biumo.  Her work is represented by Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, Germany; Fabbri Contemporary Art, Milan, Italy; James Kelly Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM and (until its closure) Knoedler & Co., NY. York was awarded a Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship and the Alpert Foundation/Ucross Residency Prize. Reviews or articles of her work have been published in Art in America, The New York Times Magazine, artforum.com and Sculpture Magazine. York has lectured and taught at a variety of institutions including Harvard University, New York University, Pratt Institute, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Hunter College and the University of Southern California.  Susan York received her MFA from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and is currently the head of the sculpture program at Santa Fe University of Art and Design where she has taught since 1998.

Arthur Sze
Arthur Sze is the author of eight books of poetry, including The Ginkgo Light, Quipu, The Redshifting Web, and Archipelago from Copper Canyon Press. He is also a translator and editor and has published The Silk Dragon: Translations from the Chinese and edited Chinese Writers on Writing. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Writers’ Award, an American Book Award, a Lannan Literary Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Howard Foundation Fellowship, and two National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing fellowships. His poems have appeared internationally in such publications as American Poetry Review, Boston Review, Conjunctions, Contemporary International Poetry (Beijing), The Kenyon Review, Kyoto Journal, The New Republic, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and his poems have been translated into twelve languages, including Chinese, Dutch, French, and Spanish. A professor emeritus at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Arthur Sze recently joined the Board of Chancellors of the Academy of American Poets. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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