Alan: Being a dad makes me want to be an example. Makes me want to set precedents. Makes want to double down on non-conforming… that is to say, being a non-commercial artist… that is to say, figure out a way to do and say what I want with my work, but in a commercially successful way. There are many ways to do this, but I figured, “I’ll just keep showing… things will click.”
Victoria: Having a baby is a big leap of faith. Sometimes making art is, too. We didn’t know for certain how any of it was going to go, so we just picked a date and jumped. We depended on the support and interest of all our friends and family to get this baby into the world, and so it is with art (and this show) as well. I know that’s been a big lesson for me in the last year, learning to be better at receiving good from the world and it’s inhabitants. When you allow yourself to make space in your life for the good stuff, it’ll show up. It’s the same with this show, we really literally did that. We designated a large space for this art event to happen in, and the good stuff has shown up-a diverse group of artists and amazing work! We didn’t micromanage the project, we just wanted to provide a space for everyone to do what they excel at.
To jump off of something you said, Alan, what sort of precedents are you hoping this show sets in the local world of independent group art shows? What are your metrics of a successful show?
Alan: It’s funny ’cause Victoria said the other day that no one is doing what we’re doing with this show in particular, not that we know of anyway, and in other cities, people have been putting on shows in alternative spaces for years. Obviously, we’re all excited to see how Alchemy is going to influence the local scene. But, to answer your question more specifically, I wanna see the mid-level sphere evolve and expand; Alchemy is the perfect example of this. I want Art to challenge the limitations that have been placed on it in the local area. I guess my metrics for a success would be that people show up, are impressed, and walk away with inspiration, new ideas, and, new pieces to hang on their walls.
What’s some new work being shown this weekend that nobody has seen before that you’re excited to expose people to? Tell us about your artist selection process.
Alan: I actually just asked the first few people I ran into if they wanted to be involved. I’m just extremely lucky to have the most insanely talented friends. I did reach out to a friend, Kristy Heilenday, who moved to Richmond several years back, ’cause she’s awesome.
Alan: The 30 Americans show held at the Chrysler a year and half ago or so contained a selection of work by an artist named Wangechi Matu that completely floored me. I was compelled to sit there and stare for a good twenty moments or so. It brought me to tears, it was so beautiful. That is the spirit, I can’t explain it, it was my experience. This is what art is for me, and that is what I try to do.
Victoria: Sort of the other way around, for me. Spiritual experiences leading to creating artwork, and interests in different projects that serve others more than myself, which I consider to be a spiritual practice. I love the idea of bringing artists and people who love them together, here. Sometimes there’s a real sense of disconnected-ness, and spirituality in practice is all about embracing connectivity. I love material objects as much as anyone, but the real value in a project like a group show are the people who are involved and come to offer appreciation.
For anyone reading who maybe hasn’t been to an art show, any tips on getting the most out of one? How do you approach a piece in order to get the most out of it?
Alan: That’s so funny I invited an acquaintence who happens to be a pilot, and he says to me, “You know I’ve never been to an art opening, what do I do?” my response was, “Just hang out, mingle, and eat some food.” He said, “I can do that.” And really, it’s as simple as that. If you respond to something visually, enjoy it. if something piques your interest, ask about it. Everyone brings their experience to the subject, and it is their’s to experience. Not everyone responds the same way to the same things, so just trust your instincts.
Stoked for the show, guys! If you’d like to make any last pitch as to why people should come by, enjoy some art, and buy some local art, feel free to take us out.
Alan: Yeah! Come see what, in my opinion, some of the best artists in the area are up to.
Victoria: Last pitch? What more could you want?? Contemporary art, amazing food, and seriously, the cutest damn baby in Virginia will be there. Directions & info @ humanus.squarespace.com.