The theme of science fiction feels very contemporary to me. With box office smashes like Gravity and Ender’s Game and a resurgence in literature and television of all things other-worldly, the time for science fiction is here and now. That’s why the most recent show at 40 West Arts Gallery, the Sci-Fi Fall Arts Harvest, hits the mark with its clever ability to draw us in through our shared love of science fiction, and leave us pondering the ethereal, unconventional, and downright whimsical pieces in the showcase.
I spoke to Julie Byerlein and Bill Marino, co-chairs of the 40 West Arts District regarding their show.
1. Tell me about the history of this show. Why this particular theme? Why this particular moment in time?
Last year’s artist planning committee identified this theme. Our themes are artist-driven. As an aside, several of our artist members are also scientists and engineers and thus, this theme spoke to them especially, and was embraced by the larger group as well.
2. Is there any one piece (or pieces) in this show that exemplifies the spirit or intention of the theme, and if so, why?
The variety [of works on display] speaks to the show more than anything – the variety of media and interpretations on the theme.
The award winners in particular exemplified the spirit of the show theme.
3. How are the “Best in Show” winners selected?
After the jurying process, the jury of creatives selects the Award of Excellence winners once all of the pieces are on site. The People’s Choice Award is selected by attendee vote. The Mayor chooses the Mayor’s Choice Award.
4. Do you believe in life on other planets, UFO’s, etc.?
JULIE: I think it is possible – but unlikely in human-like form.
BILL: Absolutely – I agree with the line in the movie Contact. “If not, it’s an awful waste of space.”
5. For someone who hasn’t seen the show yet, can you describe it for us in three words or less?
Eclectic – Surprising – Fun
The Sci-Fi Fall Arts Harvest just ended its 2013 run, however new works are on display at the gallery, featuring the 40 West Member Showcase. Gallery hours are 1-4pm Tuesday through Friday.