Director’s Foreword

CaptionJeff Kasper, things remembered [how long do I practice before I become?], 2018. Acrylic trophy, laser etched text.

How long do I practice before I become?

This question, etched into an acrylic trophy by artist Jeff Kasper, echoes the sentiments of many young artists as they embark on their career journeys. “Becoming” is messy business, a process that involves numerous failures, false starts and doubts, made all the more relevant as we look to reimagine the present and possible futures in a global pandemic, civil unrest, and looming presidential election. With so much at stake, what are some of the strategies, models and salves we can look towards to aid us in becoming? Like a guide to building your own life raft, I believe TITLE TBD offers such tools for artists to negotiate precarious times.

Meghana Karnik (TITLE TBD Curator) and I first met in undergraduate school, while I was studying Painting at The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA) and she was a student at Case Western Reserve University in Political Science and Art History. She registered at CIA so that she could take advanced courses in visual arts, presenting a BFA defense in Drawing in 2011. This arrangement is not a common one, made possible only through the efforts and advocacy of CIA faculty. Her further studies were guided by sociologists of culture. It's relevant here to trace the curator’s educational background, not to tout academic pedigree, but to bring greater context to Meghana’s curatorial practice and offer transparency on our relationship. Her sociological perspective, alongside her artistic practice, are a unique combination worth mentioning that helps us to understand her deep interest and concern for how artists function in society.  

I am grateful for Meghana’s time, continued care, and thoughtful process in developing this show during a time marked by uncertainty.  I value our friendship and it is to me evidence of the vital importance of artist communities. These relationships are the kind of lifeblood that sustain lifelong practices. I would also like to extend my deepest gratitude to the artists who participated in this exhibition. It has been my privilege to work with you all and I am thrilled to share this work with our community. I thank everyone who helped produce this exhibition and supported this endeavor from the start.

—Nikki Woods, Director, Reinberger Gallery