We interviewed Black Cube Executive Director Cortney Stell to get the inside scoop on the 2016 Class of Artist Fellows. This is what she told us.
Black Cube: How many artists will participate in the Artist Fellowship for 2016?
Cortney Lane Stell: Black Cube is moving forward with six Artists Fellows for 2016. Last year, we worked with three artist fellows to produce three pop up exhibitions in three months. While it was an exciting three months, we felt it was a bit too condensed. This year, we want to give the pop up exhibitions more breathing room. It’s a delicate balance.
BC: Are there any other changes as you go into your first full year?
CLS: This year we are experimenting with producing exhibitions outside of Colorado, working with outside curators, and working with several fellows on one larger pop up.. While Black Cube is still relatively new, I think it’s important to experiment to see what excites and engages people.
BC: How are the Artist Fellows chosen?
CLS: The artist selection process is a more-traditional curatorial process. Its based on research, input and thoughts from artists and art professionals, participation in the community, and checking all of that against the roster we have built thus far. After artists are identified, I conduct studio visits with them to make sure they are a good fit for our program (meaning that they are at the point of their career in which we can help them develop and also that they have exceptional ideas for a site-specific project). Once I think the artist is a good fit, they are asked to submit a proposal for a pop up exhibition and respond to a few questions about the nature of their practice, goals etc.
I should also mention that this year, Black Cube is working with an outside curator, Laurie Britton Newell, who selected three of our Artist Fellows. I’m excited to bring in additional curatorial voices to help diversify the artist selections. So, all in, this year I selected three fellows and Laurie selected three as well.
BC: Who are the Black Cube Fellows for 2016?
CLS: The six fellows are composed of six individual artists and one artist duo. Half of them are Colorado-based and the other half are National/International (this is a very intentional decision).
Molly Berger – Denver, Colorado. Molly was selected by our Gold Hill Arts Project curator, Laurie Britton Newell. Molly recently completed a residency at Anderson Ranch. She largely works in ceramics and concepts of memory.
Jon P. Geiger – Detroit, Michigan. Jon is an artist that I have had my eye on for a while—he has a keen sense of material and the formal aspects of sculpture. I’m excited to work with Jon on a project stretching his knowledge and material-base.
Stephanie Kantor – Denver, Colorado. I came across Stephanie’s work while juroring the CU Boulder King Awards last year. Steph is prolific and has a very developed voice. I am really looking forward to working with her on Black Cube's first pop up outside of Colorado. Steph’s pop up will be in March in San Antonio.
Jennifer Ling Datchuk – San Antonio, Texas. Jennifer was also selected by our Gold Hill Arts Project curator, Laurie. This is a big year for Jennifer as she is about to take off for a residency in Berlin and then will dive right into the Gold Hill Art Project when she returns.
SANGREE – Mexico City, Mexico. SANGREE is a collaboration between René Godínez Pozas and Carlos Lara, both of Mexico City. These guys produce work that engages concepts such as anthropology, consumer culture, and Land Art. I find their work sharp, witty, and stunningly executed. I’m super eager to see what they come up with for Black Cube.
Eric Stewart – Boulder, Colorado. Eric is the last of three artists selected by Laurie. Eric is a photographer and filmmaker. Influenced by other Boulder experimental filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage, Eric is interested in the camera as an experimental tool and less for its documentation abilities.
BC: Are there any themes that connect this year’s Artist Fellows?
CLS: This year’s artist fellows are all engaging the concept of the earth, or ground, in some way. These terrestrial investigations include mining town interventions, an earthwork, a neon tumbleweed sculpture, and an immersive ceramic installation, to name a few. Some pop up exhibitions are more developed than others right now… the public can expect to hear about Steph’s project in the next few weeks as we begin to roll out press for her March San Antonio exhibition, Mock Pavilion.