If you’re going to First Thursday art walk in Pioneer Square this week, keep your eyes peeled on the street. Along a city block near the Tashiro-Kaplan artist building, Small Voids will feature 110 mini “galleries” each containing the work of a different Seattle artist. Each piece is encased in a 12”x12” Plexiglas box and will hang via industrial strength magnets from light poles and street signs, for one night only. (In coming months, the same works will hang in Oakland and Portland).
[image at left by John Osgood]
It’s the latest project from photographer and illustrator Todd Jannausch, who created last summer’s Gallery 206, a phone booth whose book included contact information for hundreds of local artists. And at last year’s art walks, his Gallery 40 was a 40-sq.-ft. mobile installation promoting work from new and emerging artists.
Small Voids is a grantee from a crowd-sourcing project called Sprout. It’s a prixe fixe dinner party during which artists submit proposals; the guests then vote on which project the dinners’ proceeds should fund. The dinners happen quarterly and are a great place to meet artists and exchange ideas, says Jannausch. Everyone who presented that night had great ideas, and some of them are participating in Small Voids.
[image at left by Allyce Wood]
Why the word ‘voids’? Here, it suggests how artists can fall through the cracks by necessity of the gallery system. Jannausch’s concept that “the space has legitimacy because of the artwork in it,” and not the other way around, resonates through the local art world right now.
“[There’s a] necessity for more ways to present and view art—NEPO house and Vignettes, the Monarch Review, SEASON, they’re all making art more accessible,” says Jannuasch.
[image at left by Michael Alm]
“When something is more interactive, when you can really connect with it, when you can participate with it, you’re not just on the outside looking in. You’re experiencing it on a lot of different levels," Jannuasch continues. "We’re a smaller community so it’s easier to get to know other artists and there’s a real drive, I think, to enjoy it.”
“I think he’s trying to do something very unique in Seattle,” says Erin Shafkind, who was part of the previous two projects and will contribute an image from her new photo series to Small Voids. [image at left by Erin Shafkind]
She continues, “Honoring so many artists at one time, or for brief moments. [They’re] all-encompassing projects that really tout the creative spirit of Seattle and go beyond the walls of the white cube gallery space.”
A former student of Shafkind’s at Nathan Hale who’s now at Evergreen, Zac de Beijl is a promising illustrator, inspired by Carl Jung and “the connections between the body and the mind,” which his Small Voids piece reflects.
Ollie Glatzer, a contributing editor at the Monarch Review, says, “I appreciate Todd’s vision for creating community driven art experiences. Small Voids was the perfect platform to launch a new type of work I’m producing.”
[image at left by Ollie Glatzer]
The combination of established and emerging artists on display is what makes Jannausch’s efforts so exciting.
“There’re students from Youth in Focus, some people who contacted me out of the blue, and as long as I have slots I don’t turn anyone away,” Jannuasch says.
Works that aren’t paper-based, such as Michael Alm’s sculpture, were mounted in a second Plexiglas box inside the overall box. Each piece has the appearance of floating. Constructing the boxes and mounting the work was the most tedious effort of Jannausch’s projects so far.
[image at left by Zac de Beijl]
“I drilled 1,500 holes and there’s a quarter mile of blue masking tape, it’s just endless…but I was really blown away [by the quality of work]. It made the mountain of all this work really challenging because people did really push it to the limit.”
Small Voids begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4 near the Tashiro-Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square.