THE FOCUS

Amelia Briggs: In Equal Parts you pulled ideas from two different bodies of work. What are those individual bodies of work and what is their relationship to Equal Parts? Virginia Griswold: Sometimes I feel like I am making one long continuous body of work with no beginning or end to it. Exhibitions offer an opportunity to pause, reflect, frame-up ideas, package, and diverge. They offer punctuation on what would otherwise be a long (maybe too long!) run-on sentence. I would...

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Denise Stewart-Sanabria: You grew up and got your bachelors in Bogotá, Colombia, your MFA in London, went back to Bogotá, but ended up in the United States? This is pretty exciting- how did you make it all happen? Nelson Gutierrez: After studying in London I went back to Colombia and I met my wife, who is from Miami. She was working in Bogotá at that time, and after a time we decided to come here. So we moved to Miami fro...

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Jodi Hays: I love this sentiment your mention in your writing -- “we can complicate and unpack the narratives of everyday life”. Can you name an everyday life narrative that you are most interested in this season?   Katie Hargrave: Right now I am interested in exploring the conversation in our culture surrounding the learning and teaching process. I am a teacher (I teach first year foundations at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), and I am fascinated by t...

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Erica Ciccarone: Your work is in constant conversation with history. Has that always been hand in hand with your thinking about art?  Coriana Close: It started when I was in college. My interest in history is an interest in truth. I'm most fascinated with a question about eternal truths. Are there things that have always been true? I'm not really interested in present biases. What can we learn that we can really stand on? It doesn't matter if you...

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Jessica Gatlin: I think process is an important question for me… to ask myself. Because I really don’t know how my work comes about. Corinna Ray: So, we’ll start with process. A Curious Reality, silkscreen on paper and fabric, assemblage, dimensions variable JG: I don’t want to talk about it. [laughs] CR: Do you decide the thing before you make the thing? JG: I think so… I decide some things before I make the thing....

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Jody Stokes-Casey: With being selected to exhibit in State of the Art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and being named a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, you’ve had an impressive bout of major successes recently. Congratulations!  John Douglas Powers: Thank you! Being named a Guggenheim Fellow is a tremendous honor and has certainly been a welcome surprise. My inclusion in State of the Art was—and continues to be—a re...

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Sara Estes: You are primarily a collage artist. How did you come to use ready-made images as raw material? Have you always done collage? Lester Merriweather: As I was attending Skowhegan in 2002, I was in grad school and went there working on a lot of things digital, a lot of photography work. Somewhere during all that, when I had time to work and process things in that setting, I came back to simply wanting to draw. From that...

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Eleanor Aldrich: It seems like there are reoccurring characters that appear in different roles throughout Soft Bark. Do you think of the work in the show as related to theater or portraiture? What is your relationship to these subjects? Paul Collins: The subjects of the paintings are all cut trees from my neighborhood. If they’re portraits, then the portrait is of my romantic projection onto those trees. So I’m using the forms of the trees, but the tree...

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