Renascent exhibition by Ashley Czajkowski explores tensions between natural forces and influences of control in the corporeal existence
The premiere exhibition of The Artist Forward Fund award recipient opens February 1, 2018, for two nights only
Artlink Inc., in partnership with the Artlink Artist Council (AAC), announces the premiere art exhibition, Renascent, produced by the first grant recipient of The Artist Forward Fund (TAFF) Ashley Czajkowski. Renascent will be a two-night exhibition and will open with an artist reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1. 2018, at 1017 N. Central Ave., in the Roosevelt Row Arts District. The exhibition will be open to the public from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, and from 6 to 10 p.m. on First Friday, Feb. 2, 2018.
Czajkowski’s work in Renascent explores the tenuous boundaries of the nature/culture divide. For this installation, she filmed a series of intimate interactions with a discarded coyote, laying bare the traits of our corporeal existence.*
Renascent, by Ashley Czajkowski, 2018. Image provided by artist.
These interactions attempt an intimate relationship with nature, forging a bond from what has been lost. The work exposes how little control we actually have over these natural forces – time, change, aging, death – and endeavors to discover what we can choose to control – destruction, transformation, creation.
“The ways we enact upon the natural world are often synonymous with the ways in which we interact with our own animal bodies. Taming things on the surface, and ignoring the depths of internal issues,” said Czajkowski. “In this work, the coyote represents a version of ourselves; a beast within which must be nurtured, understood, deconstructed, and re-birthed.”
“The large number of strong TAFF submissions made any final decision by the panel a difficult one, and yet speaks to the volume of talented and committed artists are making work right here in Arizona,” said Christine Cassano, Artlink Artist Council member. “From her submission it was evident that Ashley had a keen interest in pushing through boundaries in her exploration of complex contemporary themes relating to various social constructions and psychological manifestations within the human-animal. As an interdisciplinary artist using film, projection and installation, Ashley felt an exhibit space would enable her to expand her approach to subject matter, methods and materials. This would be a large part of how the Artist Council and Artlink supported Ashley’s vision while working to highlight the importance of contemporary art in Phoenix. ”
*The coyote featured in the video was found and collected postmortem by the artist and has been respectfully preserved. No animals have been harmed for the purpose of this artwork. Due to the nature of the installation content, viewer discretion is advised.
About TAFF and the AAC
Formed in February of 2017, the AAC has identified key areas where the Council, which is comprised of professional artists, can provide support to emerging artists: mentoring, exhibition planning, sharing connections/networking support, portfolio review and practical advice on mounting exhibitions. For the inaugural TAFF call, the AAC sought an artist recipient demonstrating potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways, who is at a critical juncture in their career when this support would be most impactful.
About Ashley Czajkowski
Ashley Czajkowski is a photography-based artist working in a number of interdisciplinary methods. Driven by personal experience, her research explores social constructions related to femininity, mortality and the psychological manifestation of and the human-animal. Though she considers herself a photographer, Czajkowski also works in video, installation, and alternative print processes, pushing the expected boundaries of the photographic art medium. Czajkowski achieved her Bachelor’s of Fine Art in 2009 from Emporia State University in Kansas, and earned her Master’s of Fine Art in photography in 2015 from Arizona State University. Czajkowski’s work has been exhibited across the United States and internationally. Most recently, her work was shown at the Soho Photo Gallery in New York, The Millepiani Art Space in Rome and the CICA Museum in South Korea. She currently resides in Tempe, Arizona and was the recipient of the inaugural TAFF Award from Phoenix Artlink in 2017. Czajkowski teaches photography courses, works as the sound technician and story editor for the Creative Push Project, and is a member and former President of Eye Lounge Gallery and artist collective in downtown Phoenix. See more of her work at www.ashleyczajkowski.com.
About Artlink Inc.
Artlink keeps the arts integral to the development of our city by connecting artists, business and community. Artlink supports a variety of community-based art events and initiatives, including complimentary trolley tours during the monthly First Friday and Third Friday Art Walks, The Artist Forward Fund, Phoenix Urban Guide, and the annual Art Detour, Art d’Core Gala and Juried Exhibition. Formed as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1989, Artlink is supported by City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, Dunn Transportation, and works in partnership with Roosevelt Row CDC, Phoenix Warehouse District, Central Arts District and Historic Grand Avenue. Visit www.artlinkphx.org to sign up for the Artlink newsletter or connect socially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Artlink Announces Inaugural Grant Recipient of ‘The Artist Forward Fund’
Exhibition, Mentorship and $1000 Awarded to Ashley Czajkowski
‘For the People’ Partners with Artlink to Double Grant Amount
PHOENIX – Artlink Inc., in collaboration with the recently-formed Artlink Artist Council (AAC), is pleased to announce Ashley Czajkowski as the first grant recipient of The Artist Forward Fund (TAFF). The announcement was made at Artlink’s 2017 Annual Meeting on June 14 at Phoenix Art Museum. Czajkowski will receive financial support, a space to hold an exhibition, and mentoring from AAC members.
Left to right: Rembrandt Quiballo, Constance McBride, Shawn Silberblatt, Chad Campbell, Ashley Czajkowski, Joan Baron, Sally Russell, Christine Cassano. Photo: Kyle Field.
Formed in February of 2017, the AAC has identified key areas where the Council, which is comprised of professional artists, can provide support to emerging artists: mentoring, exhibition planning, sharing connections/networking support, portfolio review and practical advice on mounting exhibitions. AAC sought an artist recipient demonstrating potential in their practice through risk-taking and pushing their work in dynamic ways, who is at a critical juncture in their career when this support would be most impactful.
“TAFF is not just important for the growth of individual artists that win the prize, it is a critical step towards moving the downtown arts scene to the next level,” said artist Bill Dambrova, member of the AAC. “One of many priorities of the Artlink Artist Council is to encourage and support Artlink to find and identify an exhibition venue that matches the level of sophistication and quality of work made by the winner to show in.”
“Our first winner, Ashley Czajkowski epitomizes the type of artist that will most benefit from this award. As an incredibly innovative installation artist, the space she shows in is crucial to the presentation of her work,” said Dambrova.
A total of 44 artists responded to the inaugural call, submitting a number of original works and a statement of need for AAC panel review.
“The AAC members were challenged to select just one artist to receive the fund,” said Constance McBride, Artlink Arts Committee Chair. “We were encouraged by the large amount of quality work submitted for the first TAFF call, and even more enthusiastic about where this collaboration can lead.”
Members of the AAC are: Julie Anand, Joan Baron, Christine Cassano, Bill Dambrova, Peter Deise, Isaac Fortoul, Gabriel Fortoul, Frank Gonzales, Annie Lopez, William LeGoullon, Ann Morton, Joe Ray, Patricia Sannit, Randy Slack, Marilyn Szabo. These established professional artists have worked 10 years or more in exhibiting and/or producing exhibitions that shine a spotlight on Phoenix; represent the diverse cultural identity of our city; and have contributed significant time/energy to either Art Detour/Artlink and/or partner initiatives that strive to elevate the profile of Phoenix’s creative community.
The initial call posted a $500 award provided by Artlink. In a show of support for the program, local retailer For the People, which specializes in functional modern design from local and global makers, agreed to match the funds, bringing the inaugural award amount up to $1000.
“The inaugural TAFF call is bringing about a number of collaborations that demonstrate Artlink’s mission of connecting artists, business and community,” said Catrina Kahler, Artlink Board President. “We thank everyone who contributed to the fund, including For the People owners Shawn Silberblatt and Chad Campbell. We congratulate Ashley and look forward to working with her and the AAC in developing a fall exhibition of her work.”
About Artlink Inc.
Artlink keeps the arts integral to the development of our city by connecting artists, business and community. Artlink supports a variety of community-based art events, including complimentary Trolley Tours during the monthly First Friday Art Walk, one of the nation’s largest self-guided art walks; The Artist Forward Fund (TAFF); a pop-up gallery program; the Infusion arts initiative; and the annual Juried Exhibition, Art Detour, and Art d’Core Gala. Artlink is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and is supported by City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture, Downtown Phoenix Inc., Arizona Commission on the Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, The Arizona Republic, Dunn Transportation, Roosevelt Row CDC, Phoenix Warehouse District, Central Arts District and Historic Grand Avenue. Visit www.artlinkphx.org to sign up for the Artlink newsletter or connect socially on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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