I had an exciting visitor to my new studio the other day. Chad Alligood of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR stopped through amidst his whirlwind, nation-wide studio hunt. Founded by Walmart heiress Alice Walton, Crystal Bridges is a new world-class museum in the Arkansas Ozarks. Despite its out of the way location, the museum has been extremely well attended since it's opening in 2011, and seems determined to put middle America on the map. (My girlfriend Elspeth and I happened to have biked through the Ozarks a few years ago, on the Missouri side, and it was the most unexpected, beautiful stretch of our cross-country trip.)
Mr. Alligood stopped through my studio, along with hundreds of others across the country, looking for artists to include in the upcoming exhibition, State of the Art, to be held later this year. What started out as a list of nearly 10,000 artists recommended by critics, collectors, museums, and galleries was trimmed to around 1,000 artists whose studios they would cross the country to visit. From here, they'll reduce the number of exhibiting artists to approximately 100. With the hope of discovering artists active on the local level and exposing them to a national audience, the show is seeking to provide a glimpse into, well, the state of the arts.
There are so many talented artists tirelessly working in hidden studios all across this country (countless in Chattanooga alone), so I'm flattered that my studio made it on their list. I've included a few pics of my gussied up new studio/frame shop for all to see.
View looking East. Into the wood/frame shop. Yup, still gotta survive and I've realized these framing skillz are pretty handy. Need picture frames anyone? Call me.