A few month back, Art&Seek wrote about a new art collective in Fort Worth called Art Tooth. Since then the group has been garnering a lot of attention for its pop-up shows – especially the number of them – three just this month. This week in State of the Arts – Art&Seek’s weekly look at what’s making news in the North Texas arts scene – we talks with members of the collective about their next opening and their goals to fund local art in North Texas.
After “Mind the Gap” Art Tooth presents installation artist Sean Miller at FW Blackhouse.
Finally, Art Tooth will be driving a party bus to Spring Gallery Night presented by the Fort Worth Art Dealers Association.
Artist and curator Teri Thornton has taken the afternoon off from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Instead, she’s at Dallas art gallery 500x, peeling vinyl lettering off dry wall for her piece called “Sighting Violence with Emily Dickinson.”
She’s painting phrases from Dickinson’s poems in blood red. Phrases like this: “I heard a fly buzz when I died.”
Thornton is one of six North Texas artists contributing to Art Tooth’s exhibition titled “Mind the Gap.”
“Up until this point we’ve done a lot of really interesting shows,” says Aimee Cardoso, one of the founding members of Art Tooth. “But we haven’t necessarily done a show with a lot of political background to it.”
Art Tooth has hosted an exhibition just about every month for the past six months. During that time, they’ve helped artists sell work and even find jobs. This time around, the work’s not for sale and the goal is to start conversations.
“Honestly we just wanted to get some pretty established artist that have a lot to say about the social community and just put it under the guise of like, ‘what’s going on right now in the world?’” says Cardoso.
For this show, Thornton and her fellow artists appropriated existing works – or at least put them into new contexts – to highlight social issues. For example, Fort Worth’s Christopher Blay uses a Richard Pryor routine and 1970s police publicity slides to take on police brutality and racial bias.
And Cleburne native William Sarradet takes on issues of privacy and the willingness to give away personal data in his installation.
“Have you really thought about what you do every day on the internet?” asks Sarradet. “And then be meta-critical of that – have you thought about who is using that information?”
To get you to consider those questions, Sarradet’s piece includes a questionnaire about your digital footprint and video of presidential campaign ads. The ads were informed by research from a British company that claims to hold thousands of data points on 230 million Americans (more info).
This show is new ground for Art Tooth. And co-founder Dee Lara says she wants every Art Tooth to be doing the same.
“What’s really nice about the model that we’re operating with is it allows us to do things here without being pigeonholed as like you’re this type of gallery or this type of project,” says Lara.
Art Tooth’s model is about more than art shows. Members feel that individual artists need financial support to do their work. So they are setting an example they hope others follow. The group has raised $5,000, and will award it to one North Texas artist. The artists in this weekend’s show will select the winner.
“The micro-grant is really important because it gives us the opportunity to move these conversations beyond our insular communities,” says Lara.
Art Tooth believes if they can raise money for grants, museums and cities should also be able to find money to support individual artists.
“We’re pretty bare bones. We ask for podiums on Facebook and hope that people give them to us. So I do kind of want to put a little pressure on other institutions to be a little bit more generous.”
Artists can apply for the micro-grant starting Saturday at the show. The winner will be announced in May.
Interested in applying for Art Tooth’s Micro-grant? Here’s how you apply:
Please prepare the following for submission and complete the application through the Submittable portal:
- Biography and/or artist statement (up to 250 words)
- Proposal description (up to 500 words)
- Current CV or resume
- 5 (five) digital files to serve as supporting materials (Photographs, renderings, sketches, prototypes, a project website, or video link)
- Proof of residence (copy of ID and/or other proof of residence)
- $3 (three) submission fee*
- Optional materials (artist website, portfolio, budget document)
*Fee covers Submittable hosting costs. Please email [email protected] if this is an impediment to your submission.