100 Creatives

44: Ted Decker

44: Ted Decker

Ted Decker
will be the first to tell you: "I have been called a good guy and an asshole, generous, self-focused, a non-conformist, an innovator, an entrepreneur, a team leader, someone who doesn't work or play well with others, smart, a dumb-ass, a potentially
perfect board member if I only I were rich ... All of the above are accurate depending on which day, week, year, or decade one is referring to."

The Phoenix native had stints in banking, working on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC as the
business manager for two conservative think tanks during the Reagan era, investments, real estate, feeding cattle, air express customer service supervision and inside sales management at DHL, museum friend-raiser and fundraiser, and marketing. His latest and current venture is his own art consulting and curating firm. And it sounds like (and we hope) he's going to be there for a while.

Read more about Decker's current project and why he thinks his mom's velvet cake is better than Tammie Coe's after the jump ...   

1. List five things on your inspiration wall:
- Six photos: T J Decker, Libby Decker, Peggy Jane Decker Nickerson, David Decker, Denise Decker, Valber Silva
- "A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves." - Lao Tzu
- "To formulate a vision, you must stand back. To fulfill it, you must get closer." - A statement from the cover of a mid-1990s Intel Corporation Annual Report
- "Sometimes you just have to say goodbye to the things you know and hello to the things you don't know." - A dialog line from the 1969 movie The Reivers

2. What was your last big project?
Converging Trajectories: Crossing Borders, Building Bridges is an invitational group exhibition of works by 42 artists I have encountered through travel and ongoing research. Each is on a personal trajectory in pursuing a career as a visual artist. My own trajectory of reinvention began three years ago as I transitioned into starting and building my art consulting enterprise.
Of the 42 artists in the exhibition, 21 are currently based in Brazil making this the most ambitious showing of contemporary art from Brazil in Phoenix and the Southwestern United States.

Note: Converging Trajectories is opening at the Modified Arts August 20 and will be on display through October 9.

3. What's your next big project?
I will be judging the 2nd Annual National Festival for the Visual Arts in the beautiful Brazilian colonial town of Tiradentes, Minas Gerais, October 8-12, my first curatorial gig in Brazil.
Also, Converging Trajectories II, a smaller-scale exhibition of artists I encounter along the way. I hope to complete work on it by late 2011 or early 2012. My vision includes showing artists currently based in Arizona in Brazil in a similar

4. Why Phoenix?
I wonder that myself sometimes to be quite honest and am surely a person with a broad ranges of likes/dislikes. But when it comes right down to it, roots, perspective that comes from longevity in a place, hope for what could be, making a difference, and a whacky, sometimes hard to articulate, civic pride all come into play. I was born and raised here, attended NAU and ASU (graduate school), and my family and many friends and acquaintances live here.

5. What's something you want Phoenix to know about you?
- While I adore Tammie Coe and everything she creates in the way of desserts, my Mom still wears the crown for "Best Red Velvet Cake Baker". It was my official birthday cake and she would bake one for me every year. My niece Libby, nephew T. J., and I make a mean one too!
- My granddad, M. V. Decker, was a state legislator in early statehood days and introduced the legislation to designate the state flower (Saguaro blossom), bird (cactus wren), tree (palo verde), etc. (but not the state tie, the bola!).
- The Ted Decker Catalyst Fund, established in October 2003, makes legacy investments in artists' futures by awarding advocacy, marketing, and mentoring mini-grants to encourage artists to more effectively position themselves for success in their careers. It is supported through private donations and from the sales of Ted's Travel Treasures and REfUSE products
currently available for purchase at MADE Art Boutique on Roosevelt Row in Downtown Phoenix and at The Bead Museum Store, Glendale.
- I am STILL very proud to be a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

What do you not want Phoenix to know about you?
I am still a registered Republican although I have not voted party lines for years. I do not believe in the two-party system which has become engrained and polarized in our country and which was not designated in the Constitution.

The Creatives, so far:

100. Fausto Fernandez
99. Brian Boner
98. Carol Panaro-Smith
97. Jane Reddin
96. Adam Dumper
95. Mayme Kratz
94. Daniel Tantalean
93. Yuri Artibise
92. Lisa Starry
91. Paul Hoeprich
90. Betsy Schneider
89. Mary Shindell
88: Gabriel Utasi
87: Tiffany Egbert
86. Angela Cazel Jahn
85. Dayvid LeMmon
84. Beatrice Moore
83. Michelle J. Martinez
82. Carrie Bloomston
81. Paul Porter
80. Rachel Bess
79. Karolina Sussland
78. Aaron Abbott
77. Mary Lucking
76. Erin Sotak
75. Greg Esser
74. Matthew Mosher
73. Mark Klett
72. Tony Carrillo
71. Paul Morris
70. Joe Pagac
69. Alison King
68. JJ Horner
67. Kim Porter
66. Marco Rosichelli
65. Heather Hales
64. Amy Lamp
63. Kevin Vaughan-Brubaker
62. Lindy Drew

61. Robbie Pfeffer
60. Neil Borowicz

59. Lynn Fisher

58. Tanner Woodford

57. David Tinapple
56. Casebeer

55. Tom Leveen

54. Patti Parsons

53. Tedd McDonah

52. Mike Maas
51. Chris Todd

50. Monica Aissa Martinez

49. Stefan Shepherd

48. Jenny Poon

47. Matt Moore

46. Andrea Hanley

45. Julie Hampton

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Claire Lawton
Contact: Claire Lawton