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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Seven young local artists created an art show in their own house

    Rebecca Noble
    House art show, Eleven Seven Fifteen, featured artworks from local UA students and graduates. The artists’ mediums ranged from photography to relief printing.

    Combine a handful of passionate UA School of Art alums and students, art, Christmas lights, beer and friends, and you get the gist of what exactly went down at 1814 N. Tucson Blvd. last night during a house art show, Eleven Thirteen Fifteen, created and put on by young Tucson artists for the community.

    “The whole idea behind house shows—I think we’ll have more—is just to have real organic, chill conversations about the work and not get caught up in the formalities of normal art shows,” said Aaron Jacobi, a UA alumnus with a BFA in photography and an Eleven Thirteen Fifteen organizer. “Let’s get all these old colleagues back together. Let’s throw this one last thing before we never see each other again.”

    The exhibition featured a variety of mediums including narrative poetry, colorful relief printing, photography and free-hand sketching from seven local artists: Jacobi himself, Maya Hawk, Paul Blair Gordon, David E. Cox, Sally Lynx, Connor Furr and Michael Cox. 

    There was no unifying theme throughout the works displayed according to Jacobi; the idea behind the show was more to unify the young artist community in a collaborative exhibition effort.

    “We have 100 percent control over what’s going into the show and how the show’s going to be run, and a lot of us have been to enough gallery shows that we know what feels stuffy and kind of old and boring,” said Paul Blair Gordon, a UA graduate and photographer who was featured in the exhibition. “We’re trying to make it more exciting and having a vibe of ‘Oh, come and enjoy our photos.’ You don’t have to take it so seriously.”

    Jacobi and his roommate Michael Cox contacted the seven artists, some of whom they already knew from school and some whose works were just interesting to them, and put the show together in around a month’s time.

    Through the show, Jacobi and Cox aimed to motivate and help graduated artists to continue creating and showing their work to the community, as well as to help newer student-artists adjust to showing their work to potential critiques.

    Jacobi said Cox and himself hoped to mitigate the stress of sharing something as personal as art with a smaller, more intimate house setting.

    “You don’t have the pressure of ‘Oh, I’m showing work at a gallery, I’m showing work at this exhibition,’ ” Jacobi said. “It’s still nerve-wracking, but once you get to house shows and people show up, you realize it’s way more laid-back. It’s more natural; you’re just hanging out with people at a house [without] the formalities of normal art shows.”

    Connor Furr, a UA alumnus and artist who featured his wood-cut relief prints in the show, said he almost prefers a house-show setting due to the intimacy it creates between artists and viewers.

    “[Regular exhibitions] are bigger spaces, there’s a lot more people and there’s really no opportunity to offer a work intimately, and with my work that’s what I like people to do,” he said. “That’s why this show was attractive to me. It’s kind of a small, connected space rather than a sterile, kind of pretentious space.”

    Eleven Thirteen Fifteen’s artist-driven, informal atmosphere allowed the artists involved to feature more unorthodox pieces according to Maya Hawk, a UA photography senior.

    “The work here is more like playing around — it’s not as structured, it’s just more free, experimental,” she said. “It’s more fun in a finding-myself-out-as-an-artist way. It’s much more forgiving to do that in these situations; we’re all young kids.”

    Hawk said she appreciates the attitude house show attendees invoke when critiquing art.

    “People who come to these shows have more of a fresh perspective because they’re not all necessarily in the art program,” she said. “They can have more of an open mind. People always critique, but it’s a more inviting space.”

    Furr said the most refreshing part of Eleven Thirteen Fifteen and similar house shows is just connecting with people who care about art and creating meaningful things.

    “It’s just nice to have a group of your peers that are like, ‘Hell yeah. I make stuff, you make stuff, we both make good stuff.’ There’s no preconceived notion of what art is. It’s just, ‘Here, this is what I made. Let’s talk.’ “

    Follow Brenna Bailey on Twitter.

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