A dozen Alabama artists are featured in the show: Douglas Barrett, Tony Bingham, Nada Boner, Jackson Echols, Jonathan Hicks, Darius Hill, Chris Lawson, Christopher Lowther, Tracie Noles-Ross, Sonja Rieger, Kristen Skees and Pat Snow.
BB3 is marked by a wide variety of styles and approaches, including Bingham’s haunting black and white photographs shot with a pinhole camera, Sonja Rieger’s moving portrait photography and Snow’s paintings and drawings that include hand-written personal narratives.
The exhibiting artists were selected from a group of 48 applicants by biennial juror Dan Cameron, the visual arts director of the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. Cameron is the founder and artistic director of U.S. Biennial, Inc., a non-profit that produces Prospect New Orleans, a new international biennial that opened in 2008. He has also has curated other major exhibitions in locales as diverse as Istanbul, Taipei, Moscow, Barcelona, Vienna, Mexico City, Brooklyn and Los Angeles.
Given Cameron’s prominence in the contemporary art world, his involvement will very likely help increase the stature of the Birmingham Biennial and draw more regional and national attention to the quality of work being produced by many Alabama artists. This is consistent with the vision for the Biennial held by Amanda Schedler, a Birmingham gallery owner who started the event in 2004. “Just because you are in Birmingham or Alabama does not mean that you can’t produce work that is worthy of attention in New York or Los Angeles,” according to Schedler, who is the owner of Amanda Schedler Fine Art.
It was Schedler who approached Bare Hands artistic director Wendy Jarvis in 2008 and suggested that they collaborate to create BB3, thereby taking advantage of Bare Hands’ larger space, its non-profit status, and its network of donors and volunteers. Jarvis is pleased with the result. “We are already looking forward to 2012,” she says, referring to the projected date for Birmingham Biennial 4.
In addition to the juried artists whose work is displayed in BB3, Daisy Winfrey is the featured artist in the Water Closet, or WC, installation space, and Erin Yergan, a senior at Alabama School of Fine Arts, is featured in the Bare Hands courtyard.
In conjunction with the biennial, Bare Hands is also sponsoring six weekly art classes with children in the YWCA of Central Alabama’s child care programs. Each class will work with a different age group on the creation of self-portraits. Julie Watters is Bare Hands’ art facilitator for this series.
Bare Hands Gallery is a non-profit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary art works in all media and focuses on Birmingham area artists. Bare Hands is located at 109 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. South. The space is open Tue–Sat, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. For more information, call (205) 324-2124 or visit www.barehandsgallery.org