Kelly Richardson entertained a notion about swamps. E.V. Day had put together two cat skeletons and caged them, and thought of it as a sort of mock-up for a future project. Devon Dikeou's friend Sonny Simmons is a jazzman whom the world nearly forgot. Armed with impressive CVs, and the imprimatur of curator Heather Pesanti of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, their fingers in different media pies — and preoccupied with seemingly disparate obsessions — these three artists arrived for their Artpace residency two months ago amidst institutional drama and a bizarre, unexpected Texas cold spell.
Pesanti chose Richardson, Day and Dikeou based on their work, which she'd seen in-person, in photographs, and online. She knew none of the artists personally, and had only ever met one of the three, until today. When presented with the curatorship, Pesanti researched 20 artists seriously, and settled on these three not only for the quality of their existing work, but because she thought the Artpace residency would help their careers the most. Honest to God, this is not a curatorial dictum I've ever heard before in relation to Artpace. Further, Pesanti (gently) insisted the artists actually inhabit Artpace AIR, leave their regular lives and homes behind and come to San Antonio and immerse themselves in person, commit fully, use all the time, all the available resources, the entirety of the opportunity.
The result is a mighty Artpace Artist in Residence show, the best in a very long time.