This week, local artists will have two chances to learn about how they can expose their art to a national audience through "The People's Biennial" exhibition, which is slated to tour five cities starting late 2010.
And, no, New York is not one of the five cities.
The co-curators of the show, Harrell Fletcher and Jens Hoffmann, are visiting Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art this week to discuss the project and meet with creative types in the Valley. The finished exhibition will eventually be on display at SMoCA in October, 2011.
They've chosen to include Scottsdale for a very specific reason: because Scottsdale isn't New York (or San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or Chicago, for that matter).
Fletcher and Hoffman want to see what lesser-known art scenes have to offer and, right now, they're in stage one of this extensive project.
On Tuesday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m. Fletcher will be at the Stage 2 Theater at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts to discuss his own work as an artist and his vision for this project. On Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. Hoffmann will join Fletcher in the SMoCA galleries for a round-table discussion.
Both events are free and open to all creative types in our area. The curators will discuss the project and their expectations for those who want to apply. Hand-outs will be provided.
But these meetings aren't going to just throw a bunch of instructions at you. Fletcher and Hoffman are also interested in your ideas.
"The People's Biennial" will focus on communities that have a thriving art scene, but aren't considered as powerhouse locations for the arts. Supported by the iCI (Independent Curators International, based in New York), Fletcher and Hoffman aim to break down the art world's exclusivity.
With their visit, the two are launching an open call to local artists but they also want to get a feel for the creative nature of our Valley. They want to hear concerns, ideas, and challenges that our community faces.
They're making the same request from creative types in Portland, OR, Rapid City, SD, Winston-Salem, NC, and Haverford, PA. Once applicants have been chosen, the show will travel to the five participating cities.
Like I said, it's an open invitation. So scrape yourself together and show 'em what you've got.
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See Fletcher's talk at the Stage 2 Theater at the Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts, 7380 East 2nd Street, on Tuesday, February 23, at 6:30 p.m. Free admission.
Join the round-table discussion with Hoffmann and Fletcher in the galleries at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East 2nd Street, on Thursday, February 25, at 6:30 p.m. Free admission.
Call 480-994-2787 or visit www.smoca.org.