GAZE Modern Promotes the Community to Co-Pilot

Todays News


Closing out its opening year in Sarasota, GAZE Modern looks to the community for guidance as it debuts the first part of its inaugural summer invitational, Intro. Unveiling on Saturday, this beginning of a two-part exhibition brings a range of regional artists to the gallery—some of whom have never shown in Sarasota before—and asks the local audience to cast their votes for who among them will become the next artist(s) officially represented by the gallery. With an opening reception this Saturday, June 22 at 6pm, the contest begins.

Among the 22 contributing artists invited by GAZE Modern to participate, 11 will be featured in this opening salvo. Many familiar names from the local arts scene can be found, such as Javier Rodriguez, Elena de la Ville, Julie Kanapaux and Meg Pierce, but also some newcomers, like Don McKillop. An abstract painter and former gallery owner up in Martha’s Vineyard, the artist recently moved to Sarasota, and, being his first show in his new community, Intro will be exactly that.

Artists can submit work in any medium, from painting to prints and from sculpture to photography, but only one or two pieces maximum. From that select representation, audiences will cast their votes on what they would like to see more of in the coming season. Voting can either be performed in-person at the gallery, or online at a later date.

“This allows the community to give their input as to what kind of art they enjoy the most,” says artist Tim Jaeger, GAZE Modern gallery director. “We are a community gallery, and we thrive on our relationship with the community. It’s not just about what we like.”

And for the artist or artists who do become gallery artists, the benefits are myriad. In the coming season at GAZE Modern, they will receive their own exhibition, either solo or in collaboration, as well as having their work featured on the GAZE Modern website and in annual group shows such as Shopliftable and the November anniversary exhibition.

Regardless, don’t worry about stuffing the ballot box, as the final decisions will still be in the hands of gallery leadership, though audience input will be a heavily weighted factor. “Ultimately, it’s up to the gallery,” Jaeger says. “It’s a relationship, and there’s more to being a represented gallery artist than just making incredible work.”

Intro opens this Saturday, June 22, with a reception at 6pm, and runs through July 20. The second part, featuring 11 more competing artists, opens July 26 and runs through August 24.

Pictured: 'Somnolence' by Don McKillop.

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