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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Arts|West Gallery presents the Unplugged Challenge: June 28 - July 24

"Unhappy Unplugged" by Susan Melrath

eXHIBITION RUNs june 28th – july 24th

aRTISTS’ RECEPTION on tHURSDAY, July 14, 6-7:30pm

One week: no news, no internet, no social network or texting. Featuring artists from the Arts|West’s Artists Association (AWAA) in the new gallery exhibition, Unplugged Challenge, this is a fascinating insight into America’s dependence on technology and telecommunication.

“Unplug yourself!” was the request and challenge of Arts|West Gallery Director Nichole DeMent and co-curator Michele Osgood of Bherd Studios. Participating AWAA members had to unplug from TV, Internet, and text messaging for 1 full week. The result of this isolation experiment can be seen in the Unplugged Challenge in ArtsWest’s gallery from June 28 – July 24, 2011.

In this age of rapidly expanding technology and telecommunications, we rely heavily on cell phones, computers, and television for pretty much everything. This is no exception for artists. While there are clear advantages to utilizing social media and websites to promote artwork, there are downfalls as well. Artists have obviously been creating and selling artwork well before the onset of current technology. But has technology changed us as a society so much that it’s now nearly impossible to create art without it?

This generation’s contemporary artists have more technological tools at their disposal than any previous generation before them. The Unplugged Challenge shows the various interpretations from the artists’ experience and unveils intriguing insights on the plight of technology dependency. Unplugged Seattle artists include Ben Brackin, Tracy Cilona & Crystal Fosnaugh as DameBuilder, Sarah Froyland, Marty Gordon, Ada McAllister, Susan Melrath, Cass Nevada, Patri O’Connor, John Osgood, Ken Paige, Patricia Ridenour, Stephen Rock, Chris Sheridan, Siolo Thompson, Marilyn VanCleave Ullin, Glenda Weibel, Dori Westphal, and Audrey Zemke. The range of mediums varies from classic oil paintings to collage and mixed media to aerosol, and each artist brings their individual perspective on technology in the art world.

The AWAA Unplugged Challenge will be on display at Arts|West Playhouse and Gallery from June 28 through July 24, 2011. Meet the artists on Thursday, July 14th for the opening reception from 6-7:30PM. This event is free and open to the public. Drinks and light refreshments will be served.

Gallery hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12-7 PM

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