Dimension Gallery Shows Support for Art and Artists at EAST
The 2018 East Austin Studio Tour bears fruit with help from local artspace
Fruition – it's a fitting term for this time of year, when crops are harvested from the field and brought to market and to table. To see it in connection with the current exhibition at Dimension Gallery is also fitting in one sense: The six artists being shown together have completed works and brought them to the gallery for the public to see and enjoy and be stimulated by. But "Seasons of Fruition" is also a show for artists who are just at the beginning of a new season, a period in which all of them will be developing ideas and cultivating them into new art to be exhibited over the next two years. That's because these six – Magdalena Jarkowiec, Laura Latimer, Tammie Rubin, Jade Walker, GD Wright, and Suzanne Wyss – are Dimension's fellowship artists for 2019 and 2020. Over the course of those years, each artist will receive two solo exhibitions at the Springdale Road gallery, along with promotion and marketing, grant funding, and grant-writing assistance.
A two-year fellowship for artists is the sort of program one might imagine coming from a well-established art organization that's had time to develop the resources for artistic support, not a two-person gallery just shy of its third birthday. But when Moya and Colin McIntyre launched Dimension in 2015, the couple made support for artists part of the gallery's mission, and the fellowship program was evident at the outset. No sooner had the space closed its inaugural exhibition than it opened a solo show by an artist in the first class of Dimension Gallery fellows, and before it wound up its first year, Dimension presented a group show featuring artwork by all eight 2016-17 fellows (Olaniyi Rasheed Akindiya, Alejandra Almuelle, Colby Brinkman, Terra Goolsby, Nick Schnitzer, Haley Woodward, Dana Younger, and Colin McIntyre himself), with each creating a new work for the exhibition based on its theme of changing seasons. Moya McIntyre says that the gallery raised $130,000 to fund the first round of fellows and that 100% of that amount went directly to the artists.
The new fellows were selected following an open call for applicants from January through mid-April of this year. According to the McIntyres, the increase in both the quantity and the quality of the applications was "astounding," making the ultimate selection "extremely difficult," but "a great testament to our city that is fortunately full of talented artists." After an inaugural class that the McIntyres acknowledge was weighted toward men, the new fellows are mostly women, but what's really striking about these artists is the exciting variety of materials they're working with; beyond the expected metal and stone, they're employing fabric, porcelain, wood, cardboard, industrial felt, paper, blown glass, even VHS tapes. They promise a wealth of unexpected shapes and textures in the coming months, and if you're eager for a sample, then you should race down to Dimension to see "Seasons of Fruition" during the first weekend of EAST (#236 on the tour). The show closes on Nov. 11.
That's not to say that you shouldn't pay a visit to the gallery during the tour's second week. The solo show that follows the fellows' exhibition is another example of how Dimension has filled the niche for showcasing sculpture and three-dimensional art in dynamic ways. "Five Skin Ten Skin" brings into a local gallery work by an artist of national repute who hasn't been able to show work in Austin since he settled here a decade ago. Ian Ingram has devoted his career to the study of his own face, creating large-scale, two-dimensional self-portraits that are so stunningly lifelike, calling them photorealistic doesn't really do them justice. They're compelling in their detail and sometimes made more so by the occasional touch of surrealism, such as connecting pores with geometric patterns or having honey drip across his face. Small wonder then that his drawings have been snapped up by notable private collectors such as Sir Elton John and the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, and institutions such as the de Young Museum in San Francisco and the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Arkansas. Interestingly, Ingram has begun experimenting with 3-D work of late, and he's given his old friends the McIntyres the chance to show them at their gallery. The piece here consists of one of those singular self-portraits separated into six works, realizing in sculptures his intense focus on eyes, pores, teeth, jaw. It's work that is almost guaranteed to get under your skin, just as it does Ingram's.
In Dimension, Moya and Colin McIntyre have made space for artists to explore and investigate new creative directions, all while enjoying a foundation of support. Their space may not be 3, but in the work being shown at this year's EAST, it shows all the signs of reaching fruition.
More About the East Austin Studio Tour 2018
In case you ever lose sight of how much art gets made in this city, the East Austin Studio Tour will always set you straight. For two weekends – this year, it's Nov. 10-11 and 17-18 – the sunrise side of I-35 becomes one gargantuan gallery, with hundreds of opportunities to see art and engage with artists. For 2018, there are actually more than 580 stops in artists' studios and homes, galleries, and exhibition spaces in libraries, shops, schools, and other venues. As usual, this annual art marathon is totally free. To know just what kinds of paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, installations, prints, performances, and the like are out there, visit www.east.bigmedium.org, where all the stops are listed, along with maps. In partnership with Big Medium, the Chronicle has assembled a special, curated tour of 10 stops, which can be found on cards at Canopy and the EAST lounge at Springdale Station. And don't look now, but we've listed a few other recommendations, with more online at austinchronicle.com/east-austin-studio-tour.
“Seasons of Fruition” will be on view during the East Austin Studio Tour Nov. 10 & 11, 11am-6pm. “Five Skin Ten Skin” opens Thu., Nov. 15, with a reception 7-10pm, and will be on view during the East Austin Studio Tour Nov. 17 & 18, 11am-6pm. The exhibition continues through Jan. 5, Thu-Sat., 10am-6pm, on select weekends. To learn more, visit www.dimensiongallery.com.