The Salina Biennial exhibition at the Salina Art Center is a super crisp show of technical and conceptual strength by 42 artists from 10 states up the middle of the country.
72 works out of 500 submitted were chosen and judged by Jodi Throckmorton who is Curator of Contemporary Art at the Museum of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Ms. Throckmorton was the previous Curator at The Ulrich, here in Wichita.
The geographical area of the 10 states involved might suggest an abundance of, or at least a hint of, regional landscape work, but this was not the case.
Each artist chosen for the show engaged with contemporary issues far beyond geographical boundaries and typical ideas. Noting that 12 of the 42 artists involved are living in Wichita while another eight are from just outside the city, I was proud of the fact that extremely relevant art is being made where we live. As a focus on American art continues to pull away from the coasts, this fact will continue to gain importance and meaning for our future and our history.
A burning star in the show was Wichita Artist Kevin Mullins’ screen print on fabric titled: “Sari Zoetrope”. Mullins had a severely debilitating stroke last week and lies in a hospital bed as I speak. Regional art isn’t thought of without Kevin Mullins in its mix. Notably, his work in this show won a prestigious award. Our hearts are with him and his wife, Ann.
The Salina Biennial runs through May 20th.