Touching Base with 2017 Emerging Artist Grant Recipients, pt. 1

Jake Troyli: “There’s been a lot of excitement, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one project! I recently had a solo show at the ArtsXchange, in the Warehouse arts district in Saint Pete, and I am making a new body of work right now for my upcoming solo show at Tempus Projects in Tampa. I think it’s important for artists to be continually working on, thinking about, and producing new bodies of work, and the grant gave me the financial push as well as professional support to maintain the momentum I had built up going into it. What advice would he give the 2018 grant recipients? Talk to your mentors as much as you can! My mentor Ya La’ford was amazingly helpful. I think artists NEED to bounce ideas and thoughts off other artists, and if that can be someone who is already making huge moves in the field, and has real-world insight and advice to offer, even better!”
Nathan Beard: I have four projects and/or developments that are running simultaneously that I am equally excited about: three of them are international in scope and the fourth is going to be a powerful museum exhibit.
First, related directly to the work I made for the Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Exhibition (CP EAE) last year, are developments for my work in Japan. The short story is that, for the CP EAE, I made large paintings on canvas in a scroll format. One of the reasons I did that was because I was giving a lot of thought to shipping new work to Japan. Usually I make my paintings on panel, but developed a way to do it on canvas to ease shipping costs. I owe deepest gratitude to promoter Noriko Kuehn and gallerist Tabata Yutaka (410 Gallery) for including Exit Music #65 (Fault Line) in a large group show at Fukuoka Asian Art Museum this Spring. I was honored to receive an Honorable Mention Award in the exhibit. There are three Exit Music paintings in Japan now and they will be represented by HEIS Gallery in Tokyo beginning this week. Japan continues to unfold…Second, I have co-curated an international traveling photography exhibit called Triangulate with Kirk Ke Wang and Eivind Natvig (at the Dunedin Fine Art Center)  and will travel to Norway and China in 2019.
Third, I have been invited to exhibit my work with Akiko Kotani and Rob Tarbell at the Leepa-Rattner Museum next February through May. … I will be making new paintings that revision the family tree as it moves through Space-Time. Again related to the CP EAE, I will use the Kintsugi technique developed for the scrolls to make this work and I will engage my entire extended, married and step family to help me draw each member’s “life line.”
Fourth, I am in the early stages of developing an international collaborative project with an Australian scientist that will combine genome data, music, poetry and my Exit Music/Kintsugi paintings.
How did the grant benefit his work/career?
As stated previously, the exhibition situation for the CP EAE last year sort of forced my hand at trying new things I had been thinking about but hadn’t yet attempted, namely the combination of my Exit Music and Pond’s Edge bodies of work into my newest series, Kintsugi, and creating that work on canvas. And the Kintsugi series has opened new conceptual doors that help me understand Space-Time in a grander, though thoroughly more complicated, manner. Another benefit of the grant was a strengthening of bond between the other recipients as well as with the larger community. The bonds and relationships formed remind me of some of the friendships I’ve observed between Tampa Bay’s most experienced and mature artists, whose personal and work histories in our region stretch back decades. These friendships are very important to well-being in general, but especially in times of adversity, which will come. Regarding benefit to career, I think that any time an artist is pushing their work forward into new territory in a genuine way, their career unfurls organically in response as the creative energy of that pursuit spreads into the communities in which it is viewed and received.
3.  What advice would you give the 2018 grant recipients?
I would tell them to waste no time, or rather, to utilize every moment they have to create works of art, both as part of grant obligations and in general. I did not procrastinate, but had been planning on completing an entirely different project…until that project fell through. Which was a blessing in retrospect. Also, when Hurricane Irma tore through our area it seriously disrupted my grant work because I had to place the plywood panels I was using as support for my canvases over our windows. . So, nose to grindstone with fear on the back burner.
Thank you Julie!!


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