Curated by Ted G. Decker
Echo Coffee, Scottsdale
June 1 – September 30, 2014
Recent Discoveries is the ninth in a series of micro art exhibitions curated for Echo Coffee by Ted G. Decker who was named the Phoenix New Times 2012 Best of Phoenix Coffee Shop Curator. Viewers are encouraged to go beyond just looking, to really seeing “something more” that may appear at first glance. Each exhibit is thoughtfully organized and installed for the purpose of delighting and engaging Echo Coffee customers and to showcase a wide variety of art made by diverse artists from the Phoenix area, from other cities in Arizona, the United States, and other countries with particular focus on Latin America. Derived from the Latin word cura, it originally referred to a person who is invested with the care or cure (cura) of souls of a church. Its meaning has been broadened in English to refer to curators who care for art but also who plan art exhibitions. Art curating is a creative, idea-driven process that requires extensive research, critical thinking, and aesthetics, as well as good planning and organization skills and the ability to determine and see how art work is most effectively installed and how it relates to an overarching idea or thesis.
For this exhibit, I selected 12 artists, multi-cultural in their origins and residencies and diverse in their art making practices, to share the bond of exhibiting together, thereby building cultural bridges between them and the conservatively estimated 40,000+ people who have the opportunity to view the art during its 4-month installation at Echo Coffee. Within this group of 12 artists are nine emerging artists living and working in the Phoenix Metropolitan area who I have recently encountered. In addition, I have included works from my personal collection by a young artist with a Phoenix connection who lives, works in Austin, TX; a long-time painting professor at Texas Tech University, Lubbock; and a small work by an artist who left Cuba in 1980 for artistic freedom in Miami, FL where he died in 1991.
For more than 35 years, I have advocated actively for artists and art in various ways, one of which has been hanging art in coffee houses and other alternative venues including new car dealerships and restaurants. Art that may be “threatening” or a mystery in a more formal setting like a gallery or museum can be viewed in a more relaxed and open minded way in a place like a coffee house or restaurant. This encourages curiosity, engagement, enjoyment, and understanding.
The art in this exhibit is for sale, providing a vehicle for people to start or add to their collections or to enhance their living and work environments. Please contact me via my website for additional information.
Special thanks to each of the Artists, Steve Belt and the enthusiastic employees of Echo Coffee, Brent Bond (Santo Press), and Lisa MacCollum (LisaMacStudio).