The Triennial is the result of an extensive jurying process that involves MMoCA curator of exhibitions Jane Simon, curator of education Sheri Castelnuovo and museum director Stephen Fleischman. Working collaboratively, the three reviewed applications from 497 artists; 90 of them were selected for studio visits conducted by the three earlier this year. After further trimming, the exhibition spans 43 individual artists and three two-person teams, with over 125 artworks.
Because she joined the staff in 2004, this is Simon's first Triennial. She describes the process of co-curating the show as "an all-around wonderful experience" and was pleased by the packed opening on May 4. "It's nice that people are excited about the show," she says. "The opening was a spectacle unto itself."
Like any exhibition, the Triennial reflects to a certain extent the tastes and predilections of its curators. "Certain artists we were all behind, yet we look for very different things," Simon says.
Simon has a particular interest in video and thinks the video work is some of the strongest in the show. As an example, she cites Erik Gunneson: "He's well known in film circles but had never applied to the Triennial. There are some angles [in his piece 'midsommar06'] that are just so perfect." She notes a simple yet enchanting shot of bubbles surfacing in a glass of beer.
Working on the Triennial has also given Simon a chance to delve deeper into the artistic climate of Wisconsin as a whole. "I definitely feel like I know more about what's going on in Wisconsin, and not just Milwaukee and Madison. Everybody should be delighted with the complexity and the depth of work being made here."