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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Tucson Museum of Art’s Biennial exhibition goes out with a bash

    Sounds of music and people will fill the halls of the Tucson Museum of Art as they celebrate the closing of the Arizona Biennial exhibition with the 2015 Biennial Bash and Silent Auction Sunday, Oct. 11.

    Laura Cortelyou, the director of public relations and marketing for the museum, said that for a price of $50 at the door, art connoisseurs and interested locals alike can experience the Biennial’s Arizonan artist compositions for one last time while enjoying the sounds of local “haunted Western” musical duo, Crystal Radio.

    The Museum also offers hors d’oeuvre and Arizona-made wines and beers. It’s a giant celebration of Arizona craftsmanship.

    According to Cortelyou, Bash attendees can bid on artwork displayed during the course of the Biennial exhibition.

    “Nineteen different works from various different Arizona artists, some of which have been displayed in the actual Biennial exhibition, [will be auctioned],” she said. “The pieces range in mediums from visually stunning and emotionally charged paintings, to deep, thought-provoking, sculptures that intend to send messages about modern day issues.” All funds raised from the auction will be split between the featured artists and the Contemporary Art Society, financer of the Tucson Museum of Art.

    Dr. Julie Sasse, the chief curator and curator of modern and contemporary art for the Tucson Museum of Art since 2000, said the Biennial’s started more than half a century ago in 1948, deeming it the oldest running exhibition to feature exclusively Arizona artists to date.

    This year, 31 local artists’ works were put on display on July 25 as part of the Biennial, according to Sasse. The juror of the exhibition received over 1,400 submissions and only ended up choosing 50. Anyone above the age of 18 is eligible to submit work to be considered for the exhibition. The juror of the exhibition this year was Irene Hofmann, the chief curator and director of SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Sasse said Hofmann’s choice exhibition pieces appeal to a vast array of meaningful art styles.

    “I don’t think that there’s any one style but I will say that what I think is happening is that the work is thoughtful,” she said. “I think that what [Irene Hofmann] selected were works that in many ways had a point. So it’s rather light on abstraction, not the idea of art for art’s sake. I think she looks for a deeper purpose.”

    Sasse said she hopes the event will open people’s mind through contemplative, aesthetically-pleasing and local art.

    “[Be open-minded so] that you can enjoy [art] at any level you want to; you don’t have to get the message,” she said. “You can just look at it for the amazing craftsmanship or the amazing images that are out there. If you want to think about it and muse, then go for it.”

    Due to the event’s broad audience, Sasse said that critiquing isn’t only for art experts, but it also doesn’t need to distract from the event’s main point.

    “It’s okay to critique, but also allow yourself to enjoy it on whatever level fulfills you, because the artist made it for themselves and the world, but they just want you to experience it with them.”

    Follow Alex Angeles on Twitter.

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