Curator Interview: Stephanie Chefas

We are thrilled to present the return of curator Stephanie Chefas to the gallery after last year's critically acclaimed exhibition, Feral Creatures. This year, Platinum Blend presents hand-selected artists from all over the world creating fresh, new works that exemplify Chefas’ curatorial eye.

ME: What was your inspiration for this show and how did you come about the idea behind "Platinum Blend"?

SC: Over the years, Platinum Cheese has given me an online platform to share the latest artwork from (the) contemporary visionaries. However, seeing art on a screen and viewing it in person are completely different experiences. I always wanted a show that could expand upon the dialogue between artist and audience initiated by my online publication, where fans and creatives engage under one roof.

ME: How did you select the participating artists for this show?

SC: I wanted to feature artists who were not only mainstays in Platinum Cheese, but who exhibit a clear and strong vision in their work. When these singular voices are put next to one another, the perspectives 'blend' to create a sense of continuity from one piece to the next.

ME: What makes you want to feature an artist on 'Platinum Cheese'?

SC: An artist's work has to resonate with me and others in a discernible manner, whether it's tapping into the collective unconscious or addressing global or gender issues, etc. Something I always find fascinating is how an artist's work is often a perfect reflection of themselves by way of visual metaphor, almost like looking into a mirror created purely out of symbols. As viewers who relate to the work, the mirror also ends up reflecting us a well. 

ME: How did you get your start in the art world? What is your background?

SC: Soon after receiving my Art History degree, I held a position with the International House of Blues Foundation managing their educational Folk Art and Blues Music programs. I loved the experience, and after several years decided to move to Los Angeles and immerse myself into its thriving art scene. I began Platinum Cheese as a way to simultaneously share my art experiences and expose all the ground-breaking work coming from LA. I kept putting one foot in front of the other and eventually began partnering with galleries to curate shows. 

Courtesy of Daily DuJour

ME: You have recently moved from LA to Portland, has this changed your art world view or aesthetic in any way?

SC:  It's a little too soon to tell, but I definitely feel a distinct energy in Portland. Portland is a forward thinking city that embraces creativity to the hilt. Recycling is really big here too - and I'm not just talking trash. I've never seen so many vintage and thrift shops in a 30 mile radius in my life. I'm sure it'll bring me back in touch with my folk art sensibilities.

ME: What do you do in your free time (when you aren't wrangling artists for an exhibition)?

SC: Well because of the move, I've been slightly obsessed with decorating our new apartment during my down time - searching vintage and second hand shops, craigslist, discount websites etc. I love interior design and always thought that it could have been a second career choice. Other times, I'm most likely hiking or trying new restaurants with my husband.

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Platinum Blend runs through January 31, 2015 at Modern Eden Gallery.

View the exhibition online HERE