Hotel Finlen, Butte, MT
Installation / Photography
Begin Anywhere, was an exhibition and accompanying publication about mentorship and artistic collaboration, featuring artists Amanda Boe, McNair Evans, and Kevin Kunishi along with their mentors - Jas... [+]
Begin Anywhere, was an exhibition and accompanying publication about mentorship and artistic collaboration, featuring artists Amanda Boe, McNair Evans, and Kevin Kunishi along with their mentors – Jason Fulford, Todd Hido, Mark Mahaney, Mike Smith, and Alec Soth.
Through a series of collaborative projects, shown in tandem with individual bodies of work, Begin Anywhere explores the possibilities and influence of artistic mentorship, tracing the paths of visual thinking exchanged among artists and how ideas are developed and manifested in the process of an evolving artistic practice.
In conjunction with the exhibition the artists produced a 96-page companion to the exhibition designed by Bob Aufuldish and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. This collectible hardcover book includes over 60 full-color reproductions and an essay by artist Justine Kurland.
Begin Anywhere presented a combination of individual artists’ works along with collaborative projects. At the core of this exhibition were selected work by photographers Amanda Boe, McNair Evans, and Kevin Kunishi. Inspired by the colorful family history of Russian Jewish immigrants, McNair embarked on a journey to retrace their western migration from Montana’s gold fields to Salt Lake City’s urban expanses. His contemporary images of the landscape explore the loss of home, complex family relationships, stereotypes of masculinity, and the industrialization of the Rocky Mountain region.
The artists executed two collaborative projects for this exhibition. The first was a version of the Exquisite Corpse parlor game, popularized 100 years ago by European Surrealist artists. Participants received a print in the mail, and had a month to send a responding print to the next participant. Unpackaged prints were placed directly in the mail, allowing the delivery process to alter the original work.
For the second collaboration, each participant received a word search puzzle created with the names of all participants. Over the following five months, participants created or curated five images inspired from the words found within the word search puzzle. These two collaborations present accessible models of collaborative practice among artists meant to inspire and demystify the creative process.