Culture News

Monica Aissa Martinez and 7 Other Arizona Artists Considered for "State of the Art" at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

Phoenix artist Monica Aissa Martinez is among the American artists being considered for inclusion in the exhibition "State of the Art" at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, according to a recent New York Times piece.

The show will feature works from 100 unsung artists from across the country. It's slated to open Saturday, September 13, at Crystal Bridges, which was founded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton.

See also: 100 Creatives - Monica Aissa Martinez

From a list of 10,000 artists, 1,000 are being visited by museum president Don Bacigalupi and assistant curator Chad Alligood. During these studio visits, the pair scores artists based on engagement, virtuosity, and appeal, according to the New York Times. These scores will help determine the 100 artists whose works will be featured in "State of the Art."

Their aim is to create an exhibition on par with The Whitney Biennial, which showcases art by up-and-coming artists every two years at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Bacigalupi and Alligood recently visited Martinez, a painter known for her anatomically focused and colorful pieces. Some of their discussion with her was documented in the video below.

Martinez says via e-mail that seven other Arizona artists, including Annie Lopez, Colin Chillag, Jen Urso, and Bill Dambrova, were visited, too. She isn't sure who the three others are.

She says there's no definite answer on when she'll find out whether she'll be included in the exhibition, but she could find out as soon as March or April. "They tell me they are still making visits and though my studio visit was featured in the NYT article they said it was no guarantee of any sort," she says. "I believe them when they say that."

"I'm already getting lots of e-mails from people across the country," she says of the response to being featured in the NYT piece. "My blog was visited over 900 times today."

Work from both Martinez and Dambrova is currently on view in "Pseudo Science" at Frontal Lobe Gallery.

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Becky Bartkowski is an award-winning journalist and the arts and music editor at New Times, where she writes about art, fashion, and pop culture.
Contact: Becky Bartkowski