Group Exhibition: “Artists Off the Grid”

Curated by Caitlin Hurd

Participating Artists: Jenya Chernoff, Patricia McInroy, Lisa Lebofsky, Ivy Hickam, Fabricio Suarez, Hannah Moghbel, Kim Power, Kirsten Savage, Charis Charmichael-Braun, Lindsay Dunnagan and Caitlin Hurd.

On view through April 4, 2020.

This spring, Abend Gallery has partnered with Artists Off the Grid to present a vibrant and diverse exhibition, curated by Caitlin Hurd, marking the completion of the residency for the eleven artists who participated in the residency.

Artists Off Grid is an independent artist-in-residence program centered in the visual arts located just outside Red Feather Lakes, CO. This residency, off the grid and in the wild, allows artists to experience nature as they create artwork outside for two weeks (July 5-20). The premise of the residency is that each day requires participants’ attention to meet basic needs to find shelter and food. As artists work together to meet these needs, they build a community reinforced by daily discussions of art theory and technique. Throughout this period, critiques are held every few days to discuss progress as each artist explores the landscape in their own visual language.

The March exhibition at Abend Gallery is the culmination of this residency for each participating artist. Artists will produce additional work following their residency, informed by their experience, which will also be included in the exhibition. The mission of these two weeks out in nature is to disentangle from technology, to slow down, simplify, and to focus on artmaking.

Included in the show will be close to ninety works of art—several from each artist, with mediums including painting and photography. The fascinating aspect of this exhibition is that the viewers will be able to see the various forms of this experience in the wild through the eyes of each of the artists. Although, all the artists lived through the two week period together, each noticed and focused on diverse subject matter that drew his or her individual attention— whether it was a magnificent sweeping landscape, an intricate and delicate wildflower, the mist of the fog, the shadow play on river rocks, or mandala-like compositions of nature’s finds—no two bodies of work are alike.

One of the hallmarks of this remarkable residency is that it is truly focused on personal, artistic, and professional growth. This experience builds camaraderie, mutual support, creates a sense of community as one rediscovers living in the rustic conditions of outdoors. Camping in the meadow, using sun-showers and meeting each sunset and sunrise are some of the beautiful aspects the artists experience through this journey. But, of course, is not all fun and play—the outdoors provides a set of challenges the artists must think through and adjust to: bugs, changing weather temperatures, composting toilets, restocking food in the nearest town and foregoing the comforts of familiar coziness of one’s home. Through navigating these challenges and the collective power that comes from unplugging, sharing common goals and executing inspired work for this group exhibition, residents are have a unique opportunity to truly connect with nature and their own artistic voices.

Approaching nature’s wonders with curiosity, studied patience and admiration, these twelve artists are sure to delight, relax and inspire visitors with their interpretations of the wilderness that bring joy.