Martha's Blog

curating a show

During this past year I have curated a show that will be at Northwind Art Center in Port Townsend, Washington in July 2016 (among other studio-focused activities).  It has been a lot of work, but also immensely rewarding.  The best parts have been visiting and talking with the artists in their studios and choosing the artwork that will be included in an always interesting conversation.  There have been endless emails, tiresome details, frustrating interchanges, but always there is the art.  The art is the reason I kept going, despite moments of hair-tearing irritations. And now that it is almost here, I am so glad I did this.

So how did I end up curating this show?  About a year ago Northwind Art Center asked me to curate an encaustic show.  I am loathe to do anything  medium focused, preferring instead to look at the art for its content and not its material.  So I decided I would agree to curate, but that the show would have a title devoid of the word "encaustic" and that the show itself would have an overarching concept.  I asked a number of artists, and all but one agreed to be in the show.  I threw out a title ("Presence/Absence") that seemed to work with most of the work these artists already did, and they all whole-heartedly thought it a very open and yet compelling theme.  The month got changed (from February to July, thank goodness!) and many of the details got changed (hence the hair pulling) but here we are.  We hang the show Tuesday and Wednesday, and it opens with a private reception on Friday.  The public reception is Saturday.  YAY!

The artists are: Brenda Mallory, Andrea Benson, Jef Gunn, Deborah Kapoor, Kirk Weller, Andrea Schwartz-Feit, Joan Stuart Ross and myself.  Here are three of the 6 pieces I will have in the show: 


The Stars Still Shine, 7 x 8


Sail Away, 7 x 8


One Cloud, Two Clouds, Three Clouds, None, 7 x 8