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Best Coffee Shop Curator Phoenix 2012 - Ted Decker

We are grateful to both coffee and Ted Decker — they allow us to appreciate good artwork in the morning. Decker's an independent art consultant, and when he's not planning the next exhibition of the Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art, helping an emerging artist fund his or her show with the help of a grant, or scouting artwork for a number of his clients, he's at Echo Coffee in Scottsdale, where from February to May of this year, he brought the works of Phoenix-based artists Carolyn Lavender, Daniel Funkhouser, Karolina Sussland, and 10 other artists from the United States, Brazil, Iran, Iraq, and Jordan to the caffeinated public.

It's through venues like coffee shops, Decker says, that the public can be exposed to artwork and form opinions about contemporary artists and the art community. And unlike a number of coffee shops that often toss up whatever's brought in, Decker has a keen eye and a business sense that, if put to good and frequent use, could change the way (and places in which) we see art in Phoenix.
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Thanks for this! It was a surprise that sort of jolted me I must say. I was preparing to board an airplane from Rio de Janeiro back to Phoenix when I read a posting from a friend on Facebook congratulationing me for this. I was carrying suitcases full of art from an exhibition I had co-curated there titled "O espaco entre (The Space Between)" AND a large tube containing the exhibition "Sue Chenoweth: Real and Applied" which was the first international exhibition project for Phoenix Institute of Contemporary Art (phICA) and phICA's first international artist residency as well as the first of each for the Phoenix-based artist. AND art work for phICA's upcoming exhibition project "Residual Benefits: Artists Employing Residencies in Professional Practice" (opens November 16 at Modified Arts along with the Phoenix presentation of the Sue Chenoweth exhibition). The Award seemed a bit strange to me after planning and successfully executing these 2 international exhibits. I love it though and appreciate the idea behind it and the mention of phICA.


One of the benefits I learned while volunteering as "coffeehouse curator" was discovering how many exceptional artists lived in the community/neighborhood of the coffeehouses!