Stored Potential 2 kicked off earlier this month with a whole new set of submissions spanning the gamut of ‘Transport(ation)’ – from fun and wacky to critical and informative – a likewise new jury had their work cut out for them. For 9-hours in the back gallery at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, 4 jurors narrowed down submissions in a blind process to 16 short-listed entries with the most time spent talking about Trains. Trains of 2011 are the Corn of 2010, in every possible medium and representation. There is no doubt in our minds that Omaha is a solid train town. The surprise of the day was a lack of entries dealing with bicycles – only 1 or 2 total – despite Omaha’s recent bicycle advocacy surge. Regardless, the shortlisted entries lean towards a representation of ‘networks’, both real and abstract, man-made and natural, and in general are more complex than last years, and almost all shortlisted artists and designers are local.
Now the challenging work begins of doing 1:1 mock ups of the shortlist to determine which ones will print best at this scale. This past week saw the first, and most challenging, mock-up with success and next week will see more. It has been exciting to start meeting a new group of artists – our favorite part of this process. Last years artists have turned into some of our closest friends and colleagues. Once the mock up process is further along, we will begin blogging about each final image, idea, and artist. Meanwhile, thank you Omaha for your participation in this project. We look forward to a new fall face on the grain elevator.