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The artists of Art Hotel are pulling late nights this week at The Jade in anticipation of the 10-day exhibit opening this Friday, February 5. Previously, we chatted with a few of the artists at orientation about their craft and their thoughts on this unusual project. Last week we chatted with a few more of the chosen few who are occupying the abandoned apartment building on 7th Street. Who’s ready for Friday?
Frank Brooks | Top of the Stairs on 5th Floor
What is your most preferred medium? I have primarily been a painter since about 1967.
When and how did you discover your passion for it? I had a roommate who was an art major who gave me my first paints.
How would you describe your style, compared to most artists of that medium? I am a conceptual artist and, in general, tend to work in a minimal tradition.
What artist influences you the most? Currently, I am influenced by the physicist Richard Feynman.
Have you ever done a piece with an expiration date like this? Yes, back in the 1980’s I worked with a group that did pop up galleries before they were called that.
Why is this project important for Sacramento? It shows the region that Sacramento can break out of its conservative mold.
If you could have everyone experiencing your art take away one message, what would it be? I would like the viewers to be challenged to expand their perception of their limits of art.
Franceska Gamez | Room 302
What is your most preferred medium? I’ve been working with mixed media sculpture for the past 2-3 years.
How would you describe your style, compared to most artists of that medium? I’m still exploring abstraction, but my inspiration comes from architecture and even cavernous earth forms. With much of my work, I strive to find an elegant balance between opposing elements such as dark and light, gravity and weightlessness, rigidity and motion. I’m also big on transforming my materials, giving them a new identity. I really take pleasure in hearing people guess what my pieces are made of. I’ve heard a lot of people say my work looks like metal at a glance, some are even surprised to see me handling it because they expect the pieces to be heavy. Then when they see it’s made of paper, they get freaked out by the detail. Its pretty fun tricking people.
What made you decide the experience would be worth it? When Shaun told me about his idea, I was immediately excited. First, I thought about how much we could do with the space and how crazy fun it would be. Then I thought about the open call, dreaming up different local and international artists that I wanted to see in the building. So far, I haven’t been disappointed.
Why is this project important for Sacramento? It’s important for the artists, the people coming to see the work, the community, and the culture of Sacramento. This is such a thoughtfully curated gathering of talented weirdos that span so many different art forms and disciplines, much of which people don’t get to see every day, let alone the things these artists are dreaming up. Sacramento needs a strong gathering like this. It’s a festival of sorts, a creative powerhouse, built from the ground up by local artists who want to do amazing things in this town. Sacramento’s culture is eclectic and rich in history, and I believe that this project really enhances it. I spoke with the building manager of the Jade, and he told me that it’s a shame how some people may never get to experience something like this in their lifetime, even in Sacramento alone. But it’s here, it’s free, it’s open to the public, and it’s got an expiration date, all the more reason to experience it.
Do you have any hopes/fears about working in such close proximity to other artists for so long? I’m really looking forward to the synergy and seeing these people bring their visions to life. I’m also curious to see other artists’ creative processes.
Do you have any grand visions of what you want to contribute, or are you mostly waiting to see how the collaboration will help you explore different parts of your own style? A bit of both. I’d really like to create something that leaves an impression. This would also be my first time collaborating with sculpture and installation on this scale, and already I’m gaining so much. Every collaboration has a way of doing that.
If you could have everyone experiencing your art take away one message, what would it be? Finding perspective and feeling limitless.
Jose Di Gregorio | Room 304
What is your most preferred medium? Oil-based paint markers and spray paint.
When and how did you discover your passion for it? After exploring a number of different bodies of work, it evolved over time, starting with film photography in the 90’s.
How would you describe your style, compared to most artists of that medium? Geometric patterns, color gradients, celestial nightscapes.
How did you end up a participant in this project? The ephemeral nature of the project really interested me. It’s a relatively unconventional way for viewers to experience aesthetics, that’s why I’m participating.
What made you decide the experience would be worth it? It’s always worth it. Makes you consider the possibilities and limitations of your aesthetic sensibilities.
Why is this project important for Sacramento? Because Sacramento has an otherwise conservative approach in experiencing art and aesthetics. Gallery openings are great, but what else? This kind of shit is refreshing.
Do you have any hopes/fears about working in such close proximity to other artists for so long? No, I love working around people who fucking inspire me.
If you could have everyone experiencing your art take away one message, what would it be? The viewer doesn’t need to always be spoon-fed a message. Just go.
Matt Porr | Room 202
What is your most preferred medium? Drawing with pencil or pen.
When and how did you discover your passion for it? I assume my Mom giving me crayons; I have been drawing since as long as I can remember.
How would you describe your style, compared to most artists of that medium? A heavy dose of realism with some stylization and pattern abstraction thrown in.
Have you ever done a piece with an expiration date like this? Yes, The Portal installation that I did last summer with Trent Dean and Nile Mittow had a limited run.
What made you decide the experience would be worth it? I enjoy site-specific installations, and I think the limited timeframe makes it an important art event for people to come out to.
Why is this project important for Sacramento? Because Sacramento needs more interesting and engaging creative projects like this to fully realize its potential as a major California city.
Do you have any hopes/fears about working in such close proximity to other artists for so long? I think it’s going to be great working in the same building as so many other artists. We are already getting help and feedback from each other as we work, which is hugely helpful.
If you could have everyone experiencing your art take away one message, what would it be? Skateboarding is Art!
Ryan Skidmore | 2nd Floor Hallway
What do you like not make art with? So… to paint it all up and to be done and then we can do more paint. And then we can get more green paint. And then we can do something else and paint some different paint.
Why do you like to paint? Because I just like it. And then I called me a painting guy.
Who asked you to paint at Art Hotel? I don’t remember. Oh! My two friends [Seumas Coutts and Shaun Burner].
Have you ever done something like this? No, I didn’t. I just paint on paper.
Why did you decide to do it? Because it’s my favorite thing.
Do you have any hopes/fears about painting at Art Hotel? No, I’m not scared. Because I like it.
Do you have any big ideas of what you want to do? I do. My very huge plan is to paint a lot on the walls. And then, this is my very very huge plan: to paint some walls so I can be very excited. That’s it.
What do you want people to feel when they see your art? My heart. So I can heart everybody. Like, “I heart you.” And my painting can be on the wall and be dry and nice. I named it “A Painting Wall.”
This piece is part of an ongoing series in collaboration with M5Arts. Read previous interviews here. The Art Hotel is a 10-day transdisciplinary art experience. The exhibit opens to the public on February 5th at The Jade located at 1122 7th St in Sacramento, California.