Gage Academy of Art Steele Gallery
October 12 - November 9, 2012
Make Space includes artists from tiny and small towns in Washington State – Justin Gibbens and Renee Adams of Thorp, Jessica Bonin and James Reisen of Edison, David Eisenhour of Port Hadlock, Ellen Picken of Republic and Jeremy Newman and Allison Ciancibelli of Twisp.
What does it mean to live and work as an artist in a small, rural town and how does that community, that open space around them, filter in through their art? As romantic a topic of conversation this question may be, the artists showing work in Make Space have a very real perspective on what it means to make a living as an artist (and jack-of-all-trades) in rural Washington, and their sometimes subversive, wry, and poetic commentary underlying the work in this exhibition may surprise you.
In curating Make Space, I gave myself an excuse to get out of the city, and wondered whether I could make a case for living rurally, especially in our magnificent Washington State (hands down the best state in the lower 48). Instead, I discovered that I could redefine what it means to live in Seattle – not just any city– and to better recognize the patterns I see beyond our concrete limits, in order to host the microcosms of rural-ness we have here too.
Ellen Picken wrote of her new body of work, “the summer moves with living things and heavy air puts one in immediate contact with all of those lives. There is too much to look at so I close my eyes. The outside becomes the inside.” To me, this statement embodies this show – this bringing of the outside in – and we welcome it with open arms.