Artist’s Statements


Best of Show
Philip Denker – “X”, pen & pencil on paper & matboard (24”x31”)
Artist Statement: My recent work is an attempt to resolve fundamental questions of design, form and function, while staying within subjective parameters that I set for myself. My investigation process is focused around the idea of creating a stylized representation of organic structures through patterns and configurations. The geometric patterns are not necessarily a specific mathematical formula, they evolve throughout each piece, and each piece becomes a springboard for the next.

1st Prize
Kim Fink  – “The Weight Of”, digital serigraph (30”x120”x8”)
Artist Statement: Since arriving in the remote Northern Plains ten years ago, I learned to embrace the remoteness of the Dakotas, consciously focusing on the idea of conjoining an interpretation of my external world with that of my local experiences – reflecting place and emphasizing recording my personal life experiences. It is my goal to create a fusion of cultural realities that explore objective verses subjective visions and develop a synthesis between image and meaning.

2nd Prize
Matthew Couper  – “Trickle Down Theory”, oil on canvas (58”x46”)
Artist Statement: Matthew Couper was born in New Zealand and recently immigrated to the USA, his practice over the past decade has appropriated western art history periods such as the Trecento, Quattrocento, and the Baroque. Couper uses the established narrative traditions of Spanish Colonial / Mexican retablos and exvotos to discuss the space between myth, religion and art politics. He recently stated that “like any good Johnny Cash, Nick Cave or Pixies song, you’ve got to have sex, death and religion fueling the fire” – ShareMag, Portugal (Spring Edition, 2011)

3rd Prize
Suzan Shutan  – “Bird Myth”, wire & pom-poms (72”x64”x17”)
Artist Statement: I use found and manufactured materials because they can comment upon accumulation of cultural debris and become their own subjective universes as they build form into patterns of communicative behavior of life processes. When introduced to Algorithms, I began formulating my own systems of mapping, both fictitious and natural, using movement (traveling spores, pheromones, birds, ants, commuters, migration and habitation). My structures multiply into sweeping patterns that spatially interact with architecture and often invite touch to activate the work. I use color as an emptive quality, the joie de vive of life. It also represents my growing up in a household where lime green and carrot orange were our pulsating carpet colors.

Honorable Mention
Christine Pinney Karkow  – “Landscape 10 (night)”, ultrachrome inkjet print, 30”x45”
Artist Statement: These images depict the ubiquitous landscapes of everywhere and at the same time of nowhere. The subjects are buildings and spaces that are unremarkable, perhaps not even worthy of being captured in an image. But maybe they are. Maybe in the midst of these mass produced, bland, repetitive spaces that have been created for the generation of profit there can still be some type of poetic essence, there may still be a unique narrative that could take place. But that is an open question and one that the production of these images is still searching to answer.

Honorable Mention
Joshua Levin, Ph.D.  – “Budache”, mixed media assemblage, (35”x19”x19”)
Artist Statement: I conduct ritualized visual experiments that transform mundane objects and images of everyday life into portals of sacred awareness and insight. The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living. They are physical expressions of our anxieties, specifically consumption as a response to insecurity and desire. Paradoxically, this cultural debris also contains symbolic reference to our values and our diversity, as well as the stories we tell about who we are and why we are here. With each experiment, I engage these themes and contradictions, fashioning trash into visionary objects that synthesize, amuse, inspire, provoke and renew

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