Sixth Annual Third Coast National Contemporary Art Show
The juror for this show was Trenton Doyle Hancock, a prominent nationally known artist with works in the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney in NY, and, as I learned over dinner after the opening, he will be in London giving a talk at the Tate Modern in November. I will comment here that if I personally was ever invited to speak at the Tate Modern (one of my favorite art spaces in the universe) I think rose petals would spontaneously form in the sky and fall gently, surrounding me in their beautiful munificence as a choral harmony struck up a tune by Handel. But I digress.
The show was of an even higher quality than I had anticipated. There were over 860 entrants, and only 68 were selected for inclusion by Trenton. In his speech about the show, he commented that there had emerged a theme of introspection, but with each artist exploring this in their own unique way. The quality and diversity of styles and media were testament to his modern tastes, and I felt elevated to be part of it. Trenton himself emerged as an open-natured person, willing to discuss works, and art in general, and we had a very stimulating discussion about working methods in terms of expressing and developing your expressive techniques, artists that inspire us, and much else beyond. He also spent time telling me why he chose my work, how he responded to it, which, as an artist, is like gold dust. He said he kept coming back to it, and that it has mystery within it; he could sense that for the artist it had great meaning, but not being able to work out exactly what it was, a level of ambiguity, kept him thinking about it. He also commented that he thought the painting’s simplicity worked well, with the bench being as interesting as the glasses, which themselves dissolve like energy, the lines of the glass breaking into pure pattern. He pretty much nailed all my intentions with the piece.
The gallery itself is a very vibrant space, and is a non-profit run by a board of directors who have successfully worked to improve and expand the gallery. I’d highly recommend it to any contemporary artists interested in showing. As well as the modern, large space downstairs in their building, they also have an annex space (the original one, as it turned out) that is a less formal art space encompassing artist studios also. To access this, you must exit the downstairs gallery, walk around the back to an alley, go up several flights of a wonderfully beaten-up old wood staircase, where I was greeted by some arresting gay sex art photography, and impressively large spaces behind this small exhibit in which artists work.
Everyone was extremely kind and made me feel comfortable, even though I was on my own, inviting me along with Trenton and several other interesting and accomplished artists to dinner after the show. It was a very memorable weekend for me, and I certainly would like to exhibit there again.