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Tuesday 07.17.12

« Hot Haus panel at Victory | Main | Variations »

2013 Contemportary Northwest Art Awards Finalists Announced

The Portland Art Museum has released the list of finalists for the 2013 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards. The list looks solid but on the tame side, though it should avoid the unmitigated disaster that was the 2011 CNAA's (which felt not so contemporary). Although better, it still seems like the process isn't highlighting much in terms of "edge" or very demanding contemporary work and most artists have very strong affiliations to the regional art schools (which is a problem when Portland in particular is full of grads from Columbia, RISD, AISF etc). To be more frank, I think the selection process is a bit weak when it comes to scouting new talent who doesn't teach at a local art school or works in genres like installation or new media work (these people are showing [inter]+nationally). Last time around Jessica Jackson Hutchins (Who dominated the2010 Whitney Biennial) wasn't even nominated.

Look, remember when Oregon Painting Society ended up at Tate Modern? There is more and more of that happening in the next 2 years and I don't see this list reflecting those artists. We could easily do a show like this but don't. Sure, this list is full of friends names and people I respect, with a few massive head shaking duds that makes me question the taste at work here. Still, just like last time a good show could be culled from this list. Great show??? odds are against it but a solid one, yes... with care.

Mostly, the list is traditionally Northwest craft driven (not newer internationally design-aware craft) with some softer forms of conceptual art... with token digital and experiential art that should not be token. Also, most of the artists are very familiar and have been in other recent institutional survey shows (that's not encouraging because none of those shows was incredibly inspiring). Im not trying to be a downer but it must be said, especially when Portland is such an interesting contemporary art hotbed on an international level.

Still the addition of guest consulting curator Apsara DiQinzio from the Berkley Art Museum is a good call. Overall, it will be the ambition and rigor of the eventual 3-7 final awardees that determines the degree of success of the show (hint, make it 3 if you feel you have some challenging stuff) and that is determined in the next cut. Hopefully it wont be another show that panders to outdated views of the Northwest. Congrats to everyone... let's use this as an opportunity to up the game.

Here is the PR:

The finalists are:

Anne Appleby, Montana

Rick Araluce, Washington

Hayley Barker, Oregon

Debra Baxter, Washington

Gretchen Bennett, Washington

Leo Berk, Washington

Cris Bruch, Washington

Karl Burkheimer, Oregon

Laurel Bustamante, Oregon

Sang-Ah Choi, Oregon

Claire Cowie, Washington

Anna Gray & Ryan Wilson-Paulson, Oregon

Wynn Greenwood, Washington

Jeremy Hatch, Montana

Victoria Haven, Washington

Blake Haygood, Washington

Laura Hughes, Oregon

Kate Hunt, Montana

Issac Layman, Washington

Nickolus Meisel, Washington

Abbie Miller, Wyoming

Donald Morgan, Oregon

Nicholas Nyland, Washington

Matthew Offenbacher, Washington

Jay Schmidt, Montana

Heidi Schwegler, Oregon

Tip Toland, Washington

Trimpin, Washington

The Selection Process:

Regional arts professionals, including curators, artists, dealers, artists, academics, and critics were invited to nominate visual artists based on the quality of their work, innovation, relevance to community or global issues in the arts, continuity of vision, commitment to their practice, and level of development in their career. The Museum received 239 nominations and invited the nominated artists to submit application materials. Of the nominated artists, 176 submitted materials for review.

Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, and guest curatorial advisor Apsara DiQinzio, the newly appointed curator of modern and contemporary art at The Berkeley Art Museum, reviewed the nominees’ materials and selected the 28 finalists.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on July 17, 2012 at 13:58 | Comments (2)


TILT hearts Burkheimer and Schwegler! Go team!

Posted by: jenene [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 17, 2012 05:00 PM

I realize I'm biased, but given his recent screenings (plural!) at MoMA and all over the world this year, I'm suprised Matt McCormick wasn't on this list.

Posted by: megan scheminske [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 23, 2012 09:42 AM

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