Ryan Summerlin July 26, 2013
For the past three years, the Kimball Art Center has provided new, up-and-coming artists the means and knowledge to help them establish themselves and gain gallery representation through its Relevant Artist program.
The program, based on the Sundance Institute’s Labs where beginning filmmakers work with experienced directors and producers, pairs emerging artists who are just finishing school with working artists.
These partnerships help provide real-life experiences to the young artists, who learn the tricks of the trade from their established mentors, said Robin Marrouche, the Kimball Art Center’s executive director.
"We continue to lean on the mentors for help, because this program is really about the business of art," Marrouche told The Park Record. "We help the students have an experience about being commercially viable and think through how to approach a gallery to get their work priced, gain representation or meet and develop a relationship with a patron.
"The mentor is particularly important in becoming the bridge between what the students learn in school and what they need to know going into the real world," she said. "So, this is a good mix."
Anne Brahic, exhibitions director who also runs the Relevant program, said the five artists for the 2013 Relevant program were selected because of their unique artistic voices. (See accompanying story.)
"We wanted to bring in a range of people who work with various mediums and also come from different areas of the country," Brahic explained. "We selected someone who will uses clay to make prints and we have someone who is a studio-art and costume-design student who wants to tie both of her backgrounds into a sculptural piece.
"We also selected a more traditional sculptor who works with found materials and a photographer from Japan," she said. "We also have another artist coming in who paints with thread. She sews these stark, simple and amazingly complicated pieces of art that are beautiful to work with."
A set designer by trade, Brahic, who was introduced to the Relevant program last year, said she lost herself in the concept as she got more involved with it this year.
"It was interesting for me to walk into the program, absorbing it and finding out what the original intent was and how it’s grown over the past three years into its fourth year," she said.
Brahic’s assistant, Kimball Art Center intern Amy Brownstein, said she looks forward to how the public reacts to the students’ new works that will be unveiled at the KAC gala, which officially kicks off the Park City Kimball Arts Festival next week.
"The pieces look great and all the artists have been eager to participate in the exhibit," Brownstein said.
The works in the display include new ones that are the result of this year’s student-and-mentor collaborations and works created from alumni of past Relevant programs, Marrouche said.
"The exhibit will run through Sept. 1," she said. "We invite the entire public to meet these artist on Friday (Aug. 2) and see the opening of the show.
"Since the show features past artists, it helps them to continue to contribute to the program," Marrouche explained.
The Kimball Art Center’s Relevant Artists will present "Relevant 2013" at the KAC’s Main Gallery, 638 Park Ave., from Friday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 1. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.kimballartcenter.org.