As many of you have already read, I have been retained by the WPA/C to curate a show for them. I will be assisted by two young WPA/C interns: Sandra Fernandez and Adrian Schneck.
Because this show will be exhibited at the three separate buildings that comprise the Warehouse Theatre and Galleries complex, a total of seven separate spaces are available, and all will be used, and thus the exhibition title: Seven.
Using the power of the web, I intend to keep this curatorial process open and available to everyone via commentary here on what I am doing, how and why. In doing so, I hope to bring to light all the many issues, baggage, ideas, agendas, nepotism, and a complete lack of objectivity that a curator brings to such a massive job as this will be. As well as a lot of hard work and a good work ethic to deliver a show that will make all involved proud to be part of it. All artwork and artists to be displayed will be picked by me.
I will also try to handcuff some of my fellow commercial gallerists and, once the exhibition is open, take them around and have them discover (hopefully) some new talent from our area. It is my hope that the final selection of artists will be a good blend of some well-known area WPA/C artists as well as an exhibition opportunity for WPA/C talent that we don't see as often.
To start, I have decided to focus each of the seven spaces on a specific theme, genre or subject... sort of. I will also bring to this selection process (and to one space) the commercial acumen of a for-profit gallerist. As such (for example), I will select the artwork that will go in the main gallery space (co-located with the Warehouse Cafe) to be that work that I feel represents the best compilation of all the remaining spaces and also stands the best chance (in my sole opinion) of being sold.
Other spaces will have different approaches; for example, on my first run through all of the WPA/C slides, I was pleasantly surprised at the high quality of a lot of abstract paintings, and will thus hope to deliver a gallery full of those artists that (in my opinion) are the best from the membership.
Another space will be focused on a particular agenda item of mine: the nude figure. And thus I hope to deliver a gallery full of figurative nudes. At this time, I am also toying with the idea (space and logistics permitting) of having a figure drawing class, nude model and all, present at the opening. This is in the hope that they (the artists and the model) will provide an in situ perspective on the trials, tribulations and joy of creating artwork from the live model.
Details on the exhibition and entry process is available online here. All members of the WPA/C are eligible for consideration, but all final decisions and selections are mine.
I've already gone through all the WPA/C slides once (about 20,000 of them I'd guess), and will review all new entries and slides that come in between now and some future date a couple of weeks before the exhibition opens on June 30, 2005. I also intend to re-review all slides in the registry next week.
And I've already made some surprising discoveries and even some selections! In fact the first artist selected, and one whose work I did not know, is a MICA graduate and VCU MFA candidate Alessandra Torres. The image above is hers, and that's the artist as part of a sculptural installation titled Possess/(pose-us).
More later... keep checking; I truly intend for this exhibition to be provocative and fresh, but in the end it still remains one person's opinion and the trite saying that art is in the eye's of the beholder never applied more aptly than in this case: My eyes and thus my Seven.