In school, I had a professor use the term “Art Gap” a lot during critiques. Not sure if the term was of his own personal art vernacular (Google turned up nothing) as it was the last I ever heard anyone use it in a sentence. Art gap refers (so this professor proclaimed) to the distance between the artist’s intention and the viewer’s perception of a work of art.
“Art gap” is a tricky thing—if the “gap” is close, then your work is deemed “literal.” Too far, and the audience misses the point completely. What makes the alchemy of art gap so difficult to grasp is that it solely relies on the viewer.  Being that (as viewers) we are all different, our mileages (or millimeters) will vary.

When you visit Gallery 31, think about how Artist in Residence Allison Uttley’s work affects you. Make note of what thoughts and memories race through your mind.  Before you leave, read her proposal for the project and see how your art gap measures up.

Allison and Vince, discussing the finer points of metaphysical mylar.

Allison and Vince, discussing the finer points of metaphysical Mylar.

Last week, Vince Hazen, Head of the Academy Art Center at Linekona, and Shawn Eichman, Curator of Asian Art, visited Uttley and critiqued her work—one of the benefits of the residency. I sat in on the visits and found it fascinating to observe how Vince and Shawn digested and interpreted the work, and how they arrived at their critiques and suggestions. Sorry, I’m not going to go into what was said  (they went deep), but I will say that the distance of perspective from a museum curator (Eichman) to that of an artist (Hazen) is pretty wide. Yet, their views were completely valid and very helpful to Allison; she has a lot to think over as she prepares for her thesis in April.

You have one more weekend to see Allison at work— her last day as Artist in Residence is Oct. 25. Drop by this Saturday and Sunday!