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Friday 06.24.11

« (C.)O.P.S. | Main | calling northwest filmmakers »

Friday news and links

Eric Stotik's Untitled LR181 (arms, legs emerging from red smoke) 2010

The winner of RACC's top Fellowship in Visual Arts for 2011 is Eric Stotik, which conveys 20k and only comes around every 4 years. Congratulations Eric! I particularity like it when artists doing their very best work win awards (like Bruce Conkle for the Hallie Ford and now Eric). When artists who are past their prime win such awards it brings down the entire arts ecosystem... not so in this case. Just do good things and that justifies itself. Awards are a bonus and sometimes a curse.

On Sunday, The Henry will host a public forum on The Brink Awards in Seattle at 1:00. I'm tempted to go partly because the CNAA's at PAM were so dissatisfying. The Brink is a different award, focusing on young artists from Oregon, Washington and British Columbia within 5 years of their terminal degree. Nominees were Grant Barnhart, Debra Baxter, Dawn Cerny, Tannaz Farsi, Allison Hrabluik, Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson Paulsen and the winner Andrew Dadson. Seattler's have a somewhat undeserved, yet tremendous inferiority complex and the fact the Brink Award has gone to B.C.-ers the two times the awards has been held has em a little worked up. In Portland we don't care, we have a world class art scene with numerous rising stars and a system that pretty much focuses on export rather than the often smallish local politics one finds in any city. It is a fact you can count on, artists are always taken for granted in any city they live in (hell I've NEVER even received a grant I've personally applied for in Oregon despite being paid to sit on national and local grant panels... there is a moral about being a hammer rather than a nail in there). In fact, Awards matter little unless the institution is a kind of international bellwether but the process is revealing about the structure and assumptions of a place and perhaps this discussion will shed some light on the way the sausage gets made. Here are some other questions, will the Tacoma Art Museum's NW biennial happen again? If so will it be another overfull grab for big sister Seattle's attention (bad idea but predictable). Why was PAM's show sooooo retarde? In Portland the artists are more sophisticated than any of its institutions so we simply ignore our institutions when they don't make the bar set on the street and in the studios. In the Seattle's case... not so much, especially the case of the Henry (my favorite NW Art institution). Suck it up Seattle you are fine, right now Portland and Vancouver BC are a bit better (art production wise) with a lot better attitude. On the bright side at least you don't have me living there and bringing you down?

Jen Graves of The Stranger had a similar reaction to the CNAA's as I did... Neither of us are giving it a formal review... it's the kind of snub seasoned critics with a long history can get away with. There are other types of critics (career flatters?) who fear reprisals from a snub and not being invited but I hate the polite death such things consign our visual artists to. Institutions get stronger through avid engaged critique.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 24, 2011 at 17:33 | Comments (0)


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