Artlink honors winning artists
The time has come, and Artlink is doing what it does so well: Honoring this region’s artists and exhibiting, as its mission statement says, their “work of the highest quality.”
Right now three artists, winners selected from the most recent 9th Regional Exhibit, are on exhibit at Artlink’s main gallery in the Auer Center for Arts & Culture, 300 E. Main St., through Jan. 15.
They were selected during last winter’s exhibit (from December 2012 into January 2013) by judge Mark Ruschman, fine arts curator at the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. They each received $500 and the right to participate in this exhibition.
It goes without saying that the three artists are different. Art Cislo is a long-respected University of Saint Francis teacher who has worked in many media and brings new works to this exhibition. Kimberly Rorick is well known for her ceramics and shares the beginnings of a new direction with the pieces here. Steven Anselm has the youngest artistic career and a raw and open feel to his commitment to use photography to record reality and let his viewers respond as they may.
So, of course, the compare-and-contrast opportunities spark countless responses none of us would have had to these artworks standing alone.
These award exhibits are splendid examples of Artlink’s mission in action as it fulfills the promise it was founded on in 1978.
“Artlink’s mission is to showcase work of the highest quality by diverse visual artists and provide educational programs for artists and the community,” according to its website. “In 1991 Artlink became one of the 10 funded members of Arts United and moved into the newly renovated Hall Community Art Center. Artlink moved to the Auer Center for Arts and Culture in October of 2011. Artlink’s current home at the Auer Center features expanded exhibition space and two studio/classrooms.
“Artlink holds up to 27 original exhibitions in our galleries that change every 4-7 weeks. The Artist Panel is responsible for the exhibition schedule that is planned two years in advance.”
Four criteria guide the Artist Panel when it is selecting work for exhibitions on themes other than award exhibitions like the current one:
• Consistency of work presented by the artist
• Quality of work presented
• Creativity or conceptual quality of work
• How well the work submitted relates to the theme or intent of the exhibition.
Visit Artlink’s website at artlinkfw.com for more information.
Or simply visit this exhibition or any other. Seeing is the best way to learn. And you can enjoy the gallery shop and possibly go home with a piece of art of your very own.
Cislo takes the opportunity of being in an award exhibition as a special thing.
“You always feel some pressure when you get a show like that,” he said. “I try to do some new pieces, and you are always evolving. It’s nice to be a winner and nice to have that opportunity.”
He appreciates the interaction that happens when an artist exhibits his work.
“Every step of the way when you do something – music or visual arts or dancing – it’s nice to interact with someone.
“For one thing you get different reactions, and it’s nice to get feedback, whether you watch how someone interprets or takes it in or if someone buys it or if someone doesn’t like it and you find out why. Those are all good things.”
His artistic discipline thinks in terms of “good habits, the habit that you commit yourself to when you are young and studying something,” he said.
“Making art or writing is a very solitary activity. Not everybody does it, so you’ve got to have some things that keep you going. For me, it’s the habit of trying some of my favorite approaches. It keeps going through the ages, so at 40 I will do this and at 60 this and at 80 I hope to be really good at this, and at 100 ….
“You never end.”
Kimberly Rorick has made a role for herself in the art world as a member of Orchard Gallery and in the world of art fairs.
But the inspiration she’s been finding in Orchard Gallery’s annual themed shows and in the Artlink members shows is opening a whole new side of herself and her art.
“I recently was a functional potter,” she said. “Now I’m more a sculptural potter.
“It inspires you to branch out and do things you don’t ordinarily do. It has changed what I do. It’s those incentives that force you to do something. That’s how I get my inspiration to keep changing and keep evolving.
“It’s inspiring, and it keeps your mind going.”
She just laughs when asked what she hopes to communicate to people who see her newest pieces.
“I don’t know that I hope to communicate anything to them,” she said. “I hope that they are inspired by what I do. My focus isn’t how they receive things. It’s how can I create something going above and beyond what is the norm for me.
“I’m more thinking of me and pushing boundaries and how far can I go and step out of my element so I can keep getting better and better. I hope if I like what I am doing I can find an audience to respond to that because I am so enthusiastic about it. That’s where I come from.”
Steven Anselm’s artist’s statement begins with his belief that less is more.
“I trust the viewers to complete the artistic endeavor by viewing and reacting without my interference,” he said.
But an exhibition organizer some time back wanted more detail, so Anselm provided it.
The statement detail is the same detail that viewers enjoy in his photographs. It’s the record of, as his statement says, “the world as it is today.”
Anselm is interested in many kinds of images. Some have people in them (he has a strong group of images of the fire spinners who entertain at Fort Wayne’s downtown Buskerfests, for example), but many are vividly lighted landscapes or interiors where the scene is the thing.
“A lot of my images don’t show people,” he said. “People are not my primary subject. More important are the effects of what people have done and are doing. It’s one thing to show human beings living their lives. It’s another to show an airport, a cityscape, a seemingly mundane room, a reflection of humanity.”
He is thinking about things with his images and hopes he can “get someone to contemplate existence in a way they did not before, to paradoxically contemplate the impact we have as humans.”
First appeared in the January 2014 issue of Fort Wayne Monthly.