Artlink’s mission is to showcase local artists and to foster an ongoing dialog between emerging and established artists. Each year a different panel is asked to jury the works and it usually consists of a prominent artist, a gallery owner, and an arts administrator or curator. Recently, it’s been held in a different venue each year. And, at least lately, there hasn’t been a theme to the annual show which inevitably results in wide variety of submissions. It doesn’t hurt that there is always an element of surprise attached to it; that aspect may be why it’s become an anticipated staple of the downtown arts scene each year.
This year’s jurors were John Tuomisto-Bell (Phoenix artist), Bentley Calverley (Bentley Projects owner), and Dana Mossman-Tepper (ASU Art Museum Chief Conservator). They had their work cut out for them. Each year the submissions grow and this year there were over fifty to choose from. The work of seventeen Arizona artists were displayed: Julie Anand & Damon Sauer, Chris Boyd, Carlos Encinas, Page Filson, Valerie Hunt, Sam W. J. Johnson, Ann Langlois, Ann Lillqvist, Harold Lohner, Dan Nearing, Jill Roig, Chris Scott, Lacey Shelton, Lucretia Torva, A.O. Tucker and Joan Waters. Three cash prize winners were announced at the reception on Thursday night. First Prize went to Julie Anand and Damon Sauer for their photograph Calibration Mark AF48 with Satellites. Second prize went to Lucretia Torva for her painting Pulling Strings and third prize went to Joan Waters for her sculpture Shields:Ripples.
I scanned the room. At first glance, the color blue seemed to be the only link connecting the works on display. But after spending time with each of the pieces, a few significant themes surfaced. Meditations on spirituality, childlike wonder, nostalgia, isolation, and longing for something more, permeated the space. Other works addressed the need for social change and expressed concerns about consumerism, the right to privacy, and our conflicted feelings about technology. I googled the color blue while writing this article: “It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, ... It is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It seeks peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order. Blue relates to one-to-one communication, especially communication using the voice - speaking the truth through verbal self-expression...”
To see the online catalog for this year’s show, click here: http://issuu.com/artlinkphoenix/docs/juriedcatalog2015_final
For more information about Artlink, a non-profit organization dedicated to linking artists, business and the public to better understand the arts and support a thriving art community in downtown Phoenix, visit http://artlinkphoenix.com