SHOEBOX: An International Sculpture Exhibit 2017
With working artists and academics represented from across the United States and Europe including Austria, Canada, England, Italy, Norway, and Switzerland, Shoebox is comprised of sculptural renderings that were required to fit initially in a shoebox of each artist’s choice. The resulting variety of box sizes ranged from baby shoes to larger boxes made for athletic shoes and boots. The artworks now out of their box are as varied and lay testament to the talents of today’s brand of contemporary artists.
The 2017 Shoebox International Sculpture Exhibition is one of those rare opportunities for artists to push themselves to levels of discovery, revelation and sometimes even, transformation. A fundamental challenge of this exhibition was scale - no work of art could exceed the dimensions of a shoebox chosen by each artist. Yet, within the parameters of this directive the works on exhibition are especially revealing in the diversified range of materials – organic to found/recycled/repurposed and stylistic modalities – figurative, abstract and conceptual. More fascinating are the narratives that are evoked by each artist. The shoebox scale is seductive, intimate and personal. There is not enough space to reveal an entire drama, history or documentary on a larger grand scale, which would have been the more optimal choice, had there been no restrictions on size. Each work demands attention from the viewer to engage and pay close attention to the moment, insight, reflection, commentary, challenge, or question(s) it poses. This exhibition addresses the interiority of the artistic psyche and intellectual genius seeking to create a visual moment that might be witty, poignant, powerful, and beautiful, or disturbing, challenging, arresting, and even euphoric. It is crucial that the artist find ways to tell the story, history or responses to the times in which they live. The second decade of the twenty-first century has become an era of intense conflicts and complex challenges that will require the skills of abstract creative makers to forge inventive and innovative forms of communicating critical to the needs of problem solving. The Shoebox Exhibition is a collective of global voices that mirror and echo the passion for art making, a conscious sense of the ordinary, and a reverence for the sublime and precious nature of being human.
Leslie King Hammond, PhD
Professor Emerita – Founding Director
Center for Race and Culture
Maryland Institute College of Art