Curator Interview: Stephanie Chefas

by Kim Larson

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.

***

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

View the exhibition online HERE


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