All posts in “Troy Gua”

Get to Know SAM’s VSOs: Adera Gandy

Meet this month’s Visitor Services Officer (VSO), Adera (uh-dare-uh) Gandy, an actress, performance artist, and muse raised in the small waterfront suburb of Des Moines, Washington. After high school, Adera moved to Washington DC to study acting at Howard University. After two years of higher education, she chose to leave school to explore the city while working a receptionist job and paying for acting classes at The Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. She moved back to Seattle in 2014 to be close to her family and the refreshing landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Prior to working as a VSO at SAM, Adera worked in admissions at the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPop), formerly known as the Experience Music Project (EMP).

SAM: What are your thoughts on Troy Gua on view at TASTE Café in SAM?

Adera Gandy: Troy Gua’s work is stunning. At first glance I’m sure my pupils dilated. I love how rich the pigments are and the silky texture. The pieces on display are hard NOT to look at. I especially like Mana 2  for the shades of blue and the gradient effect. Every time I’m in TASTE Café, I walk up to that piece and get as close as I can respectfully. It’s nice to have digital print work in the museum for a change and I hope visitors and staff take the time to check it out.

What is your favorite piece of art currently on display at SAM?

Currently, my favorite piece on display is Holy Family with St John the Baptist and Saint Catherine by Antonio Guardi. It’s breathtaking. This painting glows and I love the jewel tones. The image is so soft and pillowy and gold and silver all at once. It seems to be shrouded in mystery, yet so inviting. I often wonder if a secret is being shared and what the figures sound like. It’s just so beautiful.

Who is your favorite artist?

Beyoncé, definitely.

What advice can you offer to guests visiting SAM?

Lose the judgement and open your mind. It’s so easy, as the viewer, to look at a piece of art as if it has to prove something to you. We actually do this with people too. This is something I try to practice while viewing myself: Let the piece be what it is. The artist behind whatever work you’re looking at is human, just like you. Their own thoughts, feelings, memories, experiences, traumas, doubts, dreams, passions, prejudices, fantasies, fears, and wishes went into their creation. Relieve yourself of the burden of “understanding” artworks and simply allow them to live. Resist the temptation to judge what a complete stranger has made as “good” or “bad.” And if you find yourself slipping, challenge your own thoughts and feelings; be honest with yourself about what part of your life’s story has led to feeling angered, aroused, or at peace while viewing a particular painting or sculpture. You might discover something within yourself and develop a more meaningful relationship with the work and the artist behind it.

Tell us more about you! When you’re not at SAM, what do you spend your time doing?

When I’m not working at SAM, I’m traveling, journaling, reading, auditioning, plotting my next Instagram performance art piece, and working on collaborations with other Seattle artists. I am looking to get into art modeling as well. Right now, I’m developing a website and blog with a friend of mine who lives in LA called Sacred Souls, which is intended to promote practices meant to spread love, cultivate compassion, and heal the collective mind and spirit. I’m really excited for it! I’m also nurturing honeydo, the theatre/movement performance duo I’ve formed with one of my best friends and collaborators, Lindsay Zae Summers. We are debuting at Kitchen Sessions at the Bellevue Art Museum the evening of Friday, November 10.

– Emily Jones, SAM Visitor Services Officer

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Muse/News: Arts News from SAM, Seattle, and Beyond

SAM News

Thump! For me, fall officially starts when I hear the New York Times fall arts preview being delivered. Featured in the visual arts listings was SAM’s exhibition opening in February, Figuring History: Robert Colescott, Kerry James Marshall, Mickalene Thomas—alongside a BIG image in the print edition (long live print).

Last Friday, SAM announced that Jono Vaughan is the winner of the 2017 Betty Bowen Award; The Stranger and Seattle Gay Scene shared the news. Deborah Lawrence and Ko Kirk Yamahira also won Special Recognition Awards. Join us for a free award ceremony honoring all the winners on Thursday, November 9 at the Seattle Art Museum. Vaughan’s installation premieres at SAM on April 21, 2018.

SAM Gallery’s latest show at TASTE, Immaculate Disaster Series by Troy Gua, was highlighted in City Arts.

Local News

UW’s School of Art + Art History + Design and the Jacob Lawrence Gallery announced this week that artist C. Davida Ingram is the recipient of the 2018 Jacob Lawrence Legacy Residency. Go, Davida!

This fall, the Office of Arts & Culture brings you the Seattle Center Sculpture Walk, featuring eight temporary installations—including one from our recent Emerging Arts Leader Intern, Kalina Chung. Go, Kalina!

Here’s critic Mary Ann Gwinn on Barbara Johns’ new book on artist Takuichi Fujii, who painted throughout his incarceration in Minidoka; his work will also be in an upcoming exhibition at the Washington State History Museum.

Inter/National News

Hyperallergic on We the People, now on view at the M in Minneapolis, featuring “pieces that grapple not only with American identity but with an all-out call for revolution.” Jono Vaughan is one of the exhibition’s artists (hey, we know her!).

Could be that first bit of fall chill in the air, but I enjoyed this Artnet article—inspired by a show on view at Bowdoin College Museum of Art—on the art historical roots of memento mori.

Ezra Jack Keats’s bestselling children’s book The Snowy Day has charmed generations—and now its hero, Peter, will be featured on U.S. Postal Service Forever stamps.

And Finally

Crayola debuted “Bluetiful,” its new hue inspired by chemist Mas Subramanian’s accidental pigment discovery. Bliss out on the magic of crayon-creation with this Sesame Street throwback.

—Rachel Eggers, SAM’s Public Relations Manager

Photo: Courtest of Jono Vaughan.
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SAM Gallery Artists on Seattle: Troy Gua

The life of the artist is often romanticized and misunderstood. Here at SAM we support artists on an international and local level through hanging their artwork in our exhibitions and installations, creating programs led by teaching artists, and showcasing artists in SAM Gallery where visitors can purchase art to begin their own collection. Learn about the experience of being a contemporary artist in Seattle by hearing from our SAM Gallery artists. First up is Troy Gua whose work is currently on view at TASTE Café in SAM through November 9, 2017. You can also see Troy’s work at the Washington State Convention Center via SAM Gallery through January 15, 2018, as well as at Out of Sight through August 2017 and Feast Art Center in Tacoma through September 16, 2017. Learn more about how living in Seattle impacts this pop-culture inspired, multi-media artist.

Of course, I can only speak for myself when I say that the state of being a working artist in Seattle has never been better. There are those who are struggling and would strongly disagree, but I’ve been fortunate enough to have found a path that works for me and that has developed into a sustainable income and way of life (fingers crossed), and it really all started, and continues, with my partnership with SAM Gallery. They’ve introduced my work to so many collectors—seasoned as well as first-timers just starting their collections with my work, to real estate developers and entrepreneurs looking to activate their spaces with art, all adding layers of engagement and connection that I could only fantasize about without them.

When I first signed on to work with Barbara Shaiman and SAM Gallery in 2009, it was huge for me. They sold a lot of paintings and got a lot of eyeballs in front of my work, but it wasn’t until the gallery was moved (at last!) into the museum building that things really took off. Jody Bento took the reins and honored me with the first show in the beautiful new space, which also happened to be the gallery’s first ever solo show, and it was beyond my wildest dreams. That was December 2013, and since then, the city has exploded in growth.

Now, there are two sides to everything, and urban growth and population explosions have their downsides, to be sure, but I’m looking at it from the standpoint of being given the opportunity to provide more folks with personal and cultural enrichment through art, and boy am I grateful for that opportunity. But I’m also sympathetic and not blind to the fact that the population boom is causing many artists to be priced out of the city, forced to move and they are taking their artistic energy with them, friends included. That’s a lose-lose situation and it sucks.

Having more people in your city doesn’t automatically translate into having more people in your gallery, though, and I know what a privilege it is to be affiliated with a space that is as accessible as an art gallery can possibly be, at the center of the city’s cultural hub, with staff that are engaging and nurturing, helpful and attentive, with not a whiff of pretension. I think the secret (which is no secret at all) is inclusivity. As Keith Haring said, ‘Art is for everyone’, and for those looking for it in Seattle, it’s everywhere.

There’s so much constantly going on that, even for those with the energy and wherewithal to try, it’s hard to keep up with. From the monthly gallery art walk nights in Pioneer Square, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, and just about every other neighborhood in the city, to the special (and oftentimes mind blowing) exhibitions at spaces like MadArt and Pivot in South Lake Union, from the city’s public art programming to DIY art spaces and the bounty of coffee shops, cafés, and restaurants that show local art, it really is everywhere—an abundance of favorable circumstances for folks to express themselves and experience creativity in our beautiful but changing city. Lucky us!

– Troy Gua, SAM Gallery artist

Images: Islands, Troy Gua, digital print and resin, 30 x 48 in. Tahoma (After Hokusai), Troy Gua, digital print and resin, 30 x 48 in. Heartland, from the Immaculate Disaster Series, Troy Gua, 24 x 36 in., digital print and resin.

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Printmaking in the Digital Age

What does the word “printmaking” mean in our digital age?

SAM Gallery’s June show, Contemporary Printmakers, supplies answers as varied as the artwork on view.

From the digital images of Stephen Rock and Troy Gua, to the mélange of techniques used by Kate Sweeney and Iskra Johnson, these artists use printmaking for many reasons. On the practical side, Gua says collector demand led him from painting to digital mediums. Meanwhile, Kate Sweeney’s desire is to push a two-dimensional surface into revealing three-dimensional space.

Luck or Chance: Many universes are possible, simultaneous and interpenetrated by Kate Sweeney

Printmaking, simplified, is when an artist works on one surface and then applies or transfers that work to a different surface. You’re probably familiar with how a wood block, an acrylic stamp, or a metal plate can be pressed onto a sheet of paper—this is printmaking. The idea of the repeatable image, or part of an image, has held appeal as a way to reprise elements of an artwork for artists and art collectors for millennia. Think of Andy Warhol and how his repeated gestures are fundamental to understanding the work as well as the artist’s intent.

View Corridor by Iskra Johnson

Today’s printmakers come to the medium for similar reasons but their toolkit includes computers, cameras, traditional print presses, handmade “pressure” prints, photocopies, and just about anything else that can be scratched and used to make marks on a surface. Whether it is the psychedelia of color explosions in Gua, Sweeney, and Rock’s work; or the whisper of minimalism in Rachel Illingworth’s pieces, the printmaking process helps artists tell their story in a multitude of ways.

When Flowers Speak to Clouds by Stephen Rock / From the Terrace (A Study of Edges) No. 6 by Rachel Illingsworth

Johnson says it best: “the process forces a certain surrender of control . . . with work that appears to have ‘arrived’ rather than having been ‘made’.” Her current body of work revolves around the theme of impermanence. Sweeney is contemplating gravity waves, dark matter, and all things quantum-theory related. And although 20th-century artist Agnes Martin didn’t work extensively with prints, it’s easy to see that she is a favorite of Illingworth’s. Gua wants to pay homage to the beautiful imagery and composition of Japanese woodblock prints, but also Northwestern-ize his work by using familiar landmarks.

Artist Curt Labitzke, a University of Washington Art Department Professor who runs the print studio there says his work in this show isn’t a print, but rather a painting. However, he used techniques to bring scratched elements through the back of the paper surface. So is it a print, based on the definition above? SAM Gallery invites you to see this show and decide for yourself.

The show runs June 9–July 7 and features the work of Northwest artists Troy Gua, Rachel Illingworth, Iskra Johnson, Curt Labitzke, Stephen Rock, and Kate Sweeney.

SAM Gallery is located in the lower level of Seattle Art Museum’s downtown location and open the same hours as the museum. All of the artwork is for sale and members can try before they buy, with a low-cost art-rental program.

Images: Somerset (Cathedral), Troy Gua, resin coated metallic chromogenic print on panel, 30 x 48 in. Luck or Chance: Many universes are possible, simultaneous and interpenetrated, Kate Sweeney, acrylic on paper collage with digital print, monoprint, braille print and transfer print, 46 x 49 in. View Corridor, Iskra Johnson, archival pigment print, 33 x 61 in. When Flowers Speak to Clouds, Stephen Rock, pigmented print with watercolor, mounted on board, 36 x 24 in. From the Terrace (A Study of Edges) No. 6, Rachel Illingworth, monotype with Pochoir, 40 x 31 in.

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Art You Can Touch, Throw and Smell at SAM Remix

My co-workers and I were talking about the upcoming SAM Remix at the Olympic Sculpture when someone mentioned that there would be artist-designed cornholes at the event.

I must admit that the term “cornhole” made several of us first think of this, but we soon learned that cornhole is actually a bean bag toss game, which fits in nicely with this Remix’s county-fair theme. Remix cornhole will feature play boards designed by Troy Gua and Dumb Eyes.

One of the best things about Remix is that you get the chance to experience art in unexpected ways:

  • Contribute to a collective massive paint-by-numbers landscape, and watch the image take form as the night progresses.
  • Join Seattle artist Nicholas Nyland and guests for a journey to the East Meadow. Illuminate the path with luminaria and admire the sunset from Gretchen Bennett’s sculpture, The Jetty.
  • Witness the newest iteration of Carolina Silva’s Air Below Ground, a series of actions composed by the artist to take place on, in and around her wooden platform and frame sculpture.
  • Sample the Olympic Sculpture Park’s signature scent, created by artist Susan Robb. Inspired by the park’s geography and art, the artist’s “spritzers” will offer Remix guests the chance to wear the scent of their choice.

So not only will you be surrounded by the amazing art of the Olympic Sculpture Park, you’ll have the opportunity to create, share and talk art all night long at SAM Remix. Click here to buy your tickets now!

-Madeline Moy, Digital Media Manager

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