Grace Exhibition Space Directors, Erik "Hoke" Hokanson and Jill McDermid-Hokanson | photo by Miao Jiaxin
Grace Exhibition Space launched the Great American Performance Art Festival (GAPAF) in February 2015. The festival runs thru June 2015 and is the long-term vision of Jill McDermid-Hokanson, (chief curator, director and co-founder of Grace Exhibition Space). Thus far the festival has offered performance workshops, lectures and of course- live performances from both local and international artists.
I was astonished to receive an invitation announcing live performances by seminal performance artists, Linda Mary Montano and Martha Wilson in conjunction with GAPAF. Both Montano and Wilson have presented performances around the world since the 1970's. They shared the roster with both seasoned and new performance art practitioners. As the evening grew closer, the artist roster grew. Ultimately, I witnessed nearly 5 hours of performance art from 9 performers! The following day Preach R. Sun led a street action as a continuation of the festival. Overall the programming was truly inspiring.
After a weekend of viewing historic performances, I was reminded of the incredible significance and influence of the curator. The Great American Performance Art Festival is a wonderful example of artists curating artists. It provides an audience and space for performance art- a medium that scarcely receives funding. Of course, GAPAF is not the only festival of its kind (thank goodness!). Rapid Pulse in Chicago is currently in its final days of an equally compelling group of performers and events.
For this week's post, Jill McDermid-Hokanson provides further insight into curating performance art in America. All too often the efforts of curators are overlooked, so I am pleased to share our conversation with you. Enjoy! -Quinn