Artwork above by Nicholas Kovatch
MINNEAPOLIS – Oct. 19, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m. – Opening Reception for the C4W Finalists; the exhibit runs through Nov. 23. This year Gamut Gallery chose guest jurors to select the artists for their annual Open Call for Works exhibit. Ash Marlene Hane, the first solo exhibitor at Gamut, was chosen as a trusted representative of the gallery’s aesthetic and intentions. Hane then selected Nathanial Smith and Jesse Draxler as co-jurors. Her choice represents more than just a cross-section of young, current, Minneapolis-based artists. She sought out deliberators with a discerning eye, but also an unrelenting drive to create, view and analyze art. The trio has contrasting views and processes, pulling the selection of works into unexpected territory. The show, resulting in combined aesthetic of each juror, will be a decided departure from what Gamut Gallery has seen to date. The jurors describe their selected pieces as “speaking softly while saying a lot”, stark and moody, void of emotion and with a dash of surprising humor.
Works range in media from collage, sculpture, video, photography, paintings and drawings. We get a sense of the diversity that is still possible, even in a minimal show, as each juror relays the story of encountering a submission that resonated with him or her:
Christopher Atkins’ photograph: “Untitled [Milfoil],” strikes Draxler as refreshingly devoid of emotion. A near over-exposed haze slowly reveals tendrils of milfoil and the elusive surface of a lake. The image is part of Atkins’ ongoing trials with focus and depth of field during repeated walks in his neighborhood. The process drew the artist deeply into digital color photography techniques. Meaning the work is indeed less the product of emotion than what personal interpretation may hold.
Smith is drawn to Marnie Erpestad’s unique approach in photographing a museum mounted animal skeleton in “Articulated 2.” To reach the engaging result, Erpestad sought out deep emotional responses over her life, which led her back to a consuming fascination with biology. Her intent to capture the magic she found in natural history museums as a child, led to several days of experiments with some of her most cherished imagery and ultimately an unconventional perspective.
Hane decribes Jacob Spriggs’ “Inside In, Outside Out,” as “six Polaroids that together kind of made this landscape, but upon closer look aren’t a landscape at all.” This effect is a result of utter patience as Spriggs captures warm moments of every variety with vintage film. The expired Polaroids he finds at thrift-stores, leave randomly shaped “voids” of information where they have degraded. Spriggs waits months to be able to match up these fragments of varied nostalgia, transforming them from personal and emotive to purely a combination of information, which Spriggs calls a “visual landscape.”