I was honored to curate the Geography of Hope art show this year in Pt. Reyes Station, CA. The show is part of at the bi-annual conference sponsored by Point Reyes Books. Artists from coastal West Marin were invited to submit artworks based on this year’s theme Mapping the New Geography of Hope: Women and the Land.
As an artist this was a new venture for me and it gave me new insights into the difficult choices and wonderful serendipity of selecting and arranging other people’s work.
Difficult, because I knew each piece submitted was the byproduct of an individual search for meaning. Whether that search took the form of exuberant expression, ongoing political discourse, contemplative imagery or some other visual language altogether. If art is an expression of these journeys then curating is an effort to shape a mythos or recurrent narrative about our collective search.
Each show is an effort to bring the stories and totems back to the tribe, so to speak, for further contemplation. The word curate after all, comes from the Latin root, curare: to take care of. In this way, the artworks not chosen for the show are just as important as those chosen because they remain deeply connected to the life of inquiry. They are part of the endless search for meaning we take on when we fully inhabit our human life.
In Hans Olrich Obrist ‘s recent book of essays Ways of Curating he affirms that idea this way: “The very idea of an exhibition is that we live in a world with each other, in which it is possible to make arrangements, assoications, connections and wordless gestures, and, through this mise en scene, to speak.“
In addition to all the wonderful artists who submitted work for the show, I would like to thank the staff at Point Reyes Books for giving me this opportunity and artists Rebecca Szeto and Rick Paxson for their invaluable assistance.