Parallels: Unfolding Space

Parallels: Unfolding Space

The second in a two-part series, Parallels: Unfolding Space is a collaboration by the artists and facilitator of the inaugural season of TAR Project (therapeutic artist residency). This group effort has been shaped by the residency’s year of intense reflection, transition, personal growth, and empowered empathy. These concepts find their way into Unfolding Space, bringing audiences in as part of the exhibition.

Viewers will experience installations and participatory performances over three nights that reflect TAR’s process:

Connect / Unfold / Release. Over the course of these events, the gallery space will be unfolded, altered, and revealed as a place of healing for the artists and audience. Visitors are encouraged to be daring collaborators with the artists in shared rituals of the artists’ design.

Connect: Thurs. July 27, 7–10pm. In a starlit room, the residents of TAR will lead a series of check-ins inspired by the tradition of their own group process. Small cohorts of individuals will be invited in to become present with themselves and those around them. Participants will follow this up with a short exercise in creation/destruction.

“Connections” will occur in 5–20 minute intervals throughout the night.

Unfold: Thurs. Aug. 3, 7–10pm. The gallery will enter into a process of shape-shifting. Viewers will observe through the gallery’s windows as the artists engage in performative actions to set the energetic container for the next stage.

Release: Thurs. Aug. 10, 7–10pm. An invitation to let go. Viewers will witness and honor the release of the artist’s one-year journey with breast cancer. This evening will hold the artist as sacred practitioner, art as method towards healing, and solidify intention toward a path of beginning
again. Artists and audience members alike will be invited to wash away their troubles in a
large tank of saltwater. Visitors are urged to bring bathing suits and towels.

Steven L. Anderson is a founding member of Day & Night Projects, an artist-run gallery in Atlanta. Anderson has been a Studio Artist at Atlanta Contemporary (2013–16), a 2015 Hambidge Center Distinguished Fellow, and a 2014–15 Walthall Artist Fellow. Anderson’s notebooks are in the permanent collection of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library at Emory University. He has exhibited in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Miami, and Chicago. More information at http://www.StevenLAnderson.com.

“It had never occurred to me that therapy was something I wanted or needed. But the opportunity to work with Orion and these other artists excited me, and it has turned out to be a valuable experience. TAR has helped me continue to grow and explore as an artist, a husband, a father, a worker, and a leader.”
—Steven L. Anderson, artist and Co-founder of Day & Night Projects

Orion Crook, LPC: In the West End of Atlanta, Orion Psychotherapy’s studio office holds space for adolescents and adults who are seeking to engage in a therapeutic-relationship-ritual with a Licensed Professional Counselor. Grounded in his Humanistic foundation from the University of West Georgia, he often encounters the lived struggles of trauma, gender, sexuality, and loss with compassion, an ear for metaphors, and an interest in Expressive Therapies. Orion’s work with living sculptures brings to the forefront what is living and dead in the realm of art, and offers that the art-making process and product is a living and breathing entity. At the intersection where art meets therapy, Orion founded and runs the Therapeutic Artists Residency.

“Three years a ago I had a vision to offer artists something deeper than money, gallery space, and professional development; from this Atlanta’s TAR Project was born. Not only has it been a privilege to work with these artists in between their healing and their art, they helped me develop an approach to working with artists in residency and allowed the vision to become a reality.” —Orion Crook, LPC

Julie L. Sims lives in the Atlanta area and graduated summa cum laude from Georgia State University. Her work has been exhibited nationally and locally, and has been written about in Creative Loafing, ArtsATL.com, and in publications including Possible Futures’ Noplaceness: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape. She is a 2016–15 TAR Project resident, and was a 2014 WonderRoot CSA artist, a 2013–14 Walthall Fellow, was selected by the New York Times to attend the New York Portfolio Review (2013), and was nominated for the Forward Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award (2012). See more at http://www.lensideout.com.

“I applied to TAR because I was already making work about mental health as a vehicle for trying to understand my own struggles with anxiety and depression, and the program seemed like it offered a way to take that work further. My life experiences had left me with conflicting narratives about my value as a person, and I wanted an outside perspective to help me navigate these and be able to discard beliefs that did not serve my growth. Instead, shortly after being accepted into the program, I got to relearn everything about who I am by having it stripped from me piece by piece after I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and in having to fight to hold on to the person I had been while occupying my new role as a cancer patient. Serious illness is both consuming and isolating. Being in the TAR during that time kept me grounded in who Ihad been before cancer took over. It required that I stay engaged with my art, and that provided a sense of normalcy in the midst of chaos, during a time when so many other parts of my life slipped from my control. The TAR program felt as though it had been made with me in mind when I first read about it, and I believe now it was in fact where I was meant to be, exactly when I needed it.” —Julie L. Sims, artist

Xenia Simos is an installation artist with a background in sculpture and design. A graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, her work explores space and our relationship to it. Through a conceptual and process-based approach, Simos translates the human experience into a spatial composition, manifesting mental structures into physical ones. Her works are often site-specific, and interdisciplinary in medium.

“After art school I became artistically paralyzed, unable to create. I came to this residency with the intention of healing my creative process and with gentle hopes of making art again. Not only did TAR play an invaluable role in helping me face my process and create new work, it has guided me to delve deeper,
and strengthen my own healing and growth through art.” —Xenia Simos, artist

ABOUT THE TAR PROJECT:

The TAR Project is a Therapeutic Artist Residency new to Atlanta, that is in its inaugural year of offering four artists a year-long residency at the intersection of art and therapy. Accepted residents receive monthly individual and group therapy sessions. The residency culminates in a group showcase featuring individual and group work, along with discussion panels. A main focus of the residency is analyzing the artist’s process and looking at how art parallels other life processes, and vice versa. Year two will focus on marginalized youth and begin with open applications shortly after the Inaugural year comes to an end.