Every day on Art&Seek, we’re talking to people who have tips on art in the time of social distancing. Share yours with us on Facebook, Instagram, or @artandseek on Twitter. Click above to hear The Modern Art Museum’s Terri Thornton and TCU’s Cameron Schoepp share their tip with KERA’s Nilufer Arsala.
It’s unprecedented times like these that force people to come up with new and creative ideas to meet challenges. And sometimes it is a matter of revisiting old ideas.
Terri Thornton is curator of education at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Her husband, Cam Schoepp, is a professor of Art at TCU. As educators, they saw firsthand how graduating art students across the metroplex had the same dilemma. Thesis exhibitions that the students had worked towards for three years were being canceled due to COVID-19.
The artists conceived of and built their gallery, Blind Alley Projects, three years ago. Thornton says they were just looking to make life interesting for themselves and hoped it would spill over and maybe others would find it interesting too. Since it was a personal project there was no real pressure to hurry and install work in the enclosed structure. “Life is busy and that’s all it was,” says Schoepp. It took this spring’s pandemic to motivate the couple to hurry and activate the detached art gallery.
Blind Alley Projects is a distinctive exhibition space that sits on the edge of a residential block in Fort Worth’s Cultural District, near the museums. It is a simple stone structure that is 8 ft deep, 10 ft wide and 9 ft tall. It has a living roof, three white walls, and a glass front and can be viewed by people driving, walking, or biking by – but only during daylight hours since there is no power.
The purpose of Blind Alley Projects was to create a modest space to show works from all over the world.
“Our goal was to show art that really interested us, and hopefully the community benefited from it,” says Thornton.
But with the pandemic, Blind Alley Projects gave four of Schoepp’s MFA students an opportunity to showcase at least some work. It was not meant to take the place of their thesis exhibitions, but it was a way to take some concepts from those exhibitions and put them out there and have them be a part of a more public discourse.
Blind Alley Projects’ inaugural exhibition, “Liminal Space,” is a series of exhibitions by TCU MFA students Francisco Josué Alvarado Araujo, Dario S. Bucheli, Sierra Forester, and Hector A. Ramirez. Each individual exhibition represented ideas that would have been addressed in each student’s thesis exhibition while responding to the exhibition space itself.
Past Student Exhibitions
April 11 – April 22: Francisco Josué Alvarado Araujo, mah cualli ohtli
April 25 – May 6: Dario S. Bucheli, Out of Reach
May 9 – May 20: Sierra Forester, A Mass Well Dispersed is the Hardest to Confront
Visitors to Blind Alley Projects now will see the fourth and last student exhibition, Hector A. Ramirez, Entre Piedras y Copia, on view through June 3.
In the summer, Terri and Cam are excited to host work by the British artist Richard Wentworth. That exhibition will open on June 12.
Then in July, they will feature former long-time Fort Worth resident and prominent sculptor Gene Owens. The show will be curated by Pat Kelly, executive director at The Old Jail Art Center in Albany.
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