18: Sara Cochran

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When we last put the spotlight on 100 creative forces in Phoenix, it was no secret there were more than 100 individuals who were making waves in the local arts community. So as we count down to our annual Best of Phoenix issue, we're profiling 100 more. Welcome (back) to 100 Creatives.

Sara Cochran is from from Glasgow, Scotland and a trained art historian who says she's been very lucky to have moved a lot.

She's worked in museum settings and art institutions across the globe and for the past four years (almost exactly to the day, she says), she's been the curator of modern and contemporary art at the Phoenix Art Museum.

I came to Phoenix with ... high expectations and a job offer. This is a major national city and we deserve a thriving and rigorous contemporary art scene. Any art-scene is an eco-system and all parts of it have to be healthy, productive and engaged: artists, galleries, collectors, art schools, the public, press and the institutions. We need to encourage more conversations and widen the debates, so that there is a greater excitement and awareness of what is being created in our community.

I work with contemporary art because ... it is about us: here and now. When I was deciding on the topic for my thesis, I was lucky enough to have to choose between two extraordinary fields: Renaissance drawings and contemporary art. I realised that I wanted to be part of this big, wonderful, maddening and ever-changing conversation about contemporary art practices. You never know what an artist will do next and entering an artist's studio to see new work is always a thrill.

I'm most productive when ... I'm talking about art. All the neurons start firing and thinking about the work, its broader context and the quality of its facture and concept.

My inspiration wall is full of ... clever invitations to art openings (I am a sucker for great design) and images of artworks that I've seen recently. There are some perennial favourites: anything by wonderful Lawrence Weiner and smart and funny Roman Signer as well as Pieter Hugo's terrifying The Hyena and Other Men series to name a few.

I've learned the most from ... the artworks themselves. You can do all the planning in the world but artworks have lives of their own and their meaning, resonance and impact can morph. You can find yourself standing in an exhibition space and faced with certain works that just wont play nicely together: their colours are slightly off or one work completely dominates the other and shuts it down. You have to take them on their own terms and be mindful of their physicality.

Good work should always ... be discussed and enjoyed for all its facets. That can take time.

The Phoenix creative scene could use ... more exposure to and at the national and international levels. Go forth and conquer!

The Creatives, so far ... (And while you're here, check out 100 Tastemakers on Chow Bella.)

100:Lara Plecas 99. Isaac Caruso 98. Brandon Gore 97. Kelsey Dake 96. Hector Ruiz 95. Caroline Battle 94: Jennifer Campbell 93. Jeff Chabot 92. Tiffiney Yazzie 91. Daniel Germani 90. Irma Sanchez 89. Daniel m. Davis 88. Kirstin Van Cleef 87. Emmett Potter 86. Sarah Hurwitz 85. Christine Cassano 84. Fred Tieken 83. Lindsay Kinkade 82. Ruben Galicia 81. Robert Uribe 80. Heidi Abrahamson 79. Josephine Davis 78. Travis Ladue 77. Taz Loomans 76. Mikey Jackson 75. Alex Empty 74. Joe Ray 73. Carol Roque 72. Daniel Funkhouser 71. Carla Chavarria 70. Hugo Medina 69. Cavin Costello 68. Claire Carter 67. Lindsay Tingstrom 66. Catherine Ruane 65. Christopher Crosby 64. Aaron Johnson 63. Brenda Eden 62. Colton Brock 61. Ernesto Moncada 60. Benjamin Phillips 59. Brad Armstrong 58. Angela Hardison 57. Tyler Quinn 56. Andrew James Benson 55. Charles Anthony Darr 54: Tiffe Fermaint 53. Eric Cox 52. Victor Vasquez 51. John Randall Nelson 50. Lauren Lee 49. Kyle Jordre 48. Julie C. Kent 47. Sean Deckert 46. Niba DelCastillo 45. Joseph Benesh 44. Ashley Harder 43. Dan Vermillion 42. Daniel Shepherd 41. James B. Hunt 40. Lori Fenn 39. Seth Gideon Fainkujen 38. Wayne Rainey 37. Christian Filardo 36. Melissa Cody 35. Jason Rudolph Peña 34. Cindy Iverson 33. Ryan Gentry 32. Sebastien Millon 31. Andrea Beesley 30. Chris Pruitt 29. Robert Diehl 28. Rachel Malloy 27. Jonathan Simon 26. Ann Morton 25. Kim Moody 24. Kevin Flanagan 23. Such and Champ Styles 22. Julia Fournier 21. Rebecca Green 20. Jules Demetrius 19. Averian Chee

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