‘Eight Inches By’ opens at Graphite Art Center

“Eight Inches By” exhibit at Graphite Art Center.

If you want to create an artwork where one of the dimensions must be 8 inches, what would you make? That was one requirement for all artists who submitted their artwork to be exhibited at Graphite Art Center’s latest gallery Eight Inches By

The gallery features 99 artworks from 58 local artists, including those from Everett and Seattle. Each artwork has at least one dimension that is 8 inches in length, height or depth. The rest is up to the artist. Scattered throughout the gallery are wooden 8-inch rulers for size comparison.

Eight Inches By had a soft opening on Thursday, May 16 for Edmonds Art Walk, and the artists reception was Friday, May 17 with more than 100 people attending.

Gallery Manager Tara Shadduck.

Graphite’s Gallery Director Tara Shadduck said that Eight Inches By is a “loose inspiration” from the 6x6NW show presented by Shorelake Arts.

“I wanted a community exhibit at Graphite that was accessible to people who have possibly never entered an art show,” Shadduck said. “Framing was also optional, and I even opened it up to students at no cost to enter for under 18.” She said that only one student entered.

“Originally the show was going to be 4 inches,” she said. “I did a test with 4-inch cutouts and realized that that size would be too small for the size of the walls in the gallery. So then I tested out different sizes – 8 inch, 9 inch and 12 inch. I settled on 8 inches because it looked good and sounded good. Anything smaller than 8 inches would just be lost on the walls of the gallery. Most works are 8 by 8 inches or more. Only a small handful are less than 8 inches in the ‘other’ direction.”

“Memory Column” by Stephanie Krimmel.
“Follow the Leader” (tan sculpture) and “Glory to the Orb” by Samantha Seether.
“Coppery Shadows” by Rupa Palasamudram.
“Fireworks” (left) and “Confluence” by Ruth Blaike.
Sculptures by Julie Perrine (top) and Mike O’Day.
“Children International District, Seattle” by Bill Whitbeck.
“Great Blue Heron” by Sarah Crumb.

Shadduck had envisioned a show with lots of long horizontal works with lots of tall vertical works, but most of the submitted artworks are 8 inches wide or tall by 18 inches or less. “[It’s] more small works than I thought, but ultimately the works submitted make for a great show,” she said.

Shadduck’s style of gallery curation is to make groups of artwork complement each other with an emphasis on symmetry. She also rejected a few submissions because they did not meet the minimum requirement of having one 8-inch dimension.

“Because there are so many works in the show, [many] ended up being a lot of pieces that didn’t seem to display well with any other works in the show,” she said. “This challenge was solved by [using] art display panels.  This offered me lots of small individual walls which are perfect for some of the smaller works, and it allowed me to hang certain individual works on their own so they could stand out without needing to be hung next to another complimentary work. It also gave me a lot more wall space to work with.”

“Enter the Dragon” by Ken Ketchum.

Edmonds Artist Ken Ketchum was awarded the Curator’s Choice Award at the reception with his 50-inch-long painting Enter the Dragon. The painting depicts a Chinese dragon with blue scales and a golden belly flying against a red background. He used a gold-like metal to depict the clouds in the background.

“When I heard about the show, I immediately thought about making a piece that was different dimensionally,” Ketchum said. “So I chose the format to be 8 inches by 50 inches. Then I chose a snake for the subject because it fits the format. Chinese-style dragons have been used for centuries, [and there’s a lot] of mythological and cultural references here.

“I am happy with the piece and plan on doing more dragons for the Edmonds Art Studio Tour in September and the Preview Show next month during the Edmonds Arts Festival,” Ketchum said.

“Graduated Leaves”made of copper wire by Christine Woerfel.

Visitors are invited to vote for their favorite artwork at the conclusion of Eight Inches By. The artist with the most votes will be awarded the People’s Choice Award. The artworks are also for sale with seven already sold. Visit Graphite Art Center for more information.

— Story and photos by Nick Ng

  1. Very nice article, Nick! It’s great to hear Tara’s vision and process of curating this show. She did a wonderful job!

  2. Great article, Nick. It really is a very, creative fun and diverse show. Learning of Tara’s thought process to bring her vision to fruition made viewing the show all the more enjoyable. Ken’s sharing of his creative process also added to appreciating why it so deservedly was awarded the Curator’s Choice Award! It’s fantastic!

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