May 19, 2024


Super Art is Almost

The Arts Scene: Masterful and mysterious small works in Tieton | Arts

Paying a visit to the Mighty Tieton warehouse last week, I found Rosie Saldaña, program associate for Tieton Arts and Humanities, just beginning to install the 10x10x10xTieton exhibit. She was taking measures to ensure all pieces were hung at the same level. With only about 10 pieces hung at that point, it would be a daunting task to place 187 artworks by Friday.

This 12th annual juried exhibition invited artists from all over the world to create works no larger than 10 inches in any dimension, with no media restrictions. The result that Saldaña was installing is an international exhibition that includes sculpture, painting, photography, book art, 3D printed objects, found objects, collage, jewelry and everything in between.

Jurors Valerie Lazalier, the curatorial project manager at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wis., and Theresa Bembnister, associate curator at the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, reviewed 875 entries submitted online. Paring down to just 187 pieces for the show was not an easy process for the jurors, who were “curious to see what artists could pull off in such limited space, and the submissions did not disappoint. … Created on such an intimate scale, the works that speak to you can really pull you in! The artists featured in the exhibition are very generous to share their thoughtful and often personal work with us viewers.”

States Lazalier: “Although we were only able to select a fraction of the submitted works for inclusion in the exhibition, each artist presented us with compelling work and the most successful pieces often unfolded with multiple viewings. I imagine working in the 10x10x10-inch format was an interesting challenge, but it didn’t hold this year’s artists back from taking on themes like personal identity, activism, home and the environment, in a wonderful range of media.”

10x10x10xTieton features artwork by 134 artists spanning the globe, from as far away as Bali and across the U.S. Many are from right here in the Pacific Northwest. All works are printed in a handbound exhibition catalogue made in Tieton at Paper Hammer Studios. Each exhibiting artist receives a free copy, and additional copies are available for purchase.

Reflecting on the exhibition’s out-of-the-way location in Tieton, Bembnister commented, “Art in rural areas often comes in different forms than what you’ll find in many big metropolitan areas. … Rural arts organizations can have a stronger impact on their community than institutions located in areas more saturated with cultural programming.”

Adds Lazalier: “In smaller towns, people often have more context for each other’s lives, so seeing that someone else is interested in studying art or in making art, I think, it becomes less intimidating to explore those interests yourself. If your neighbor can make art, so can you, if you want to!”

Reflecting upon the selection process as a whole, Lazalier and Bembnister state that they “quickly agreed on including several masterful and often mysterious works (exemplified by our jurors’ choice selections) that may have otherwise gotten lost in an exhibition with larger works.” Noted Bebneister: “So many artworks, viewed on my laptop screen, begged to be seen in person. This includes two-dimensional works with intricate detail, books with multiple pages, and sculptures intended to be seen in the round.”

Visitors can see the exhibition in person (masking and social distancing required) during regular gallery hours on Fridays from noon to 3 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and by appointment through Oct. 10. The full gallery will also be posted online for viewing and purchasing art at starting Saturday, Aug. 7.

The Mighty Tieton Warehouse Gallery is at 608 Wisconsin Ave. in Tieton.

• David Lynx is executive director of the Larson Gallery at Yakima Valley College. He writes this weekly column for SCENE. Learn more at