We have a sneaking suspicion local curator Becky Nahom might actually know all of the artists in the greater Phoenix area. Or at least she has a knack for bringing together a wide array of Valley creatives in her exhibitions.
In "From the Sidelines," her latest curatorial endeavor at ASU's Night Gallery, Nahom explores the use of line in non-representational artworks from several local artists.
If some of this sounds familiar, it might be because Nahom thinks of this exhibition as a continuation of "Rinse & Repeat," a show she curated at Bragg's Pie Factory last November.
"I saw 'On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century' at MoMA three years ago, just before I had an interest in curating. I didn't realize how big of an impact that exhibition had on me until I curated 'Rinse & Repeat'," Nahom says. "And after I took 'Rinse & Repeat' down, I still didn't feel like the exhibition was complete. This show was inspired by the pieces I still wanted to explore."
"From the Sidelines" does have a similar focus on the abstract. Though Nahom admits her curating style draws from formalism, she says she feels most influenced by the artistic process.
We're inclined to believe her. Nahom is excited to give the backstory of the pieces in the exhibition; she happily explains how Emily Stergar makes tracings of lines in the sidewalk or how Thomas Locke Hobbs takes long exposure photographs of airplanes at night.
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Still, the show doesn't require the viewer to know these details to find meaning from the works.
"I had the pleasure of working as a docent at the Night Gallery for my last semester at ASU. It was a very unique gallery experience because the vast majority of the patrons had no intention of going to an art gallery when they arrived at Tempe Marketplace," says Nahom. "Some of the guests that were curious enough to step across the threshold didn't trust themselves to analyze the context of the work they were looking at. The work in 'From the Sidelines' does not ask for a complex analysis and allows the public to enjoy the viewing experience."
"From the Sidelines" will be on view through September 1 at ASU's Night Gallery, which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. There will be a closing reception on Friday, August 30. For more information, stay tuned to the Night Gallery Facebook page.