DANK, the Nevada County artists collective, launches its first show Friday, with The DANK Inaugural. The 10-member group, interested in post-Great Recession social issues, the rural ideal, and an anti-urban aesthetic grounded in the legacy of the California Gold Rush, will present conceptual, performative, 2-D, sculptural, and sound pieces inspired by this Friday’s Art Walk theme: water.
The name DANK comes from the wet wood smell that permeates Nevada City. It is also a nod to one of the county’s premier exports, cannabis, and it’s an acronym for Do Art Now Kids. Work on the exhibition grew out of weekly meetings of the Nevada County Yarn Bombers and evolved into a creative think tank of artists with diverse backgrounds and preferred mediums:
• Celine Adrianna Negrete explores identity and symbols through digital photography.
• Roseanne Burke continues her encaustic celebration of woman (on the heals of her Cool Girls show) with a portrait of local icon Mary Hallock Foote.
• Sheila Cameron presents a new series of water inspired paintings.
• Kathy Frey, renowned jewelry artist, goes big with a sculpture evocative of the intricacy of survival.
• Cynthia Levesque recontextualizes trash as a commentary on the respect of the Yuba River watershed.
• Moira McLaughlin, founder of Dog Art Today, collaborates with her dog, Tyler Foote, displaying environmental objects as art.
• Joe Meade questions water rights and ownership issues pertaining to the drought through collection-based work and a live performance.
• Nancy Nelson embraces the plastic bag as a thing of beauty and totem of destruction.
• Dylan Sherwood McConnell uses water as a jumping off point to consider pathology in the form of mental/social constructs which were present during Nevada County’s Gold Rush and recurrent today.
• Reinette Senum extends her passion for civic revitalization to telegraph the connection between the Commercial Street Boardwalk and DANK.
“We are thrilled with the community feedback so far. Working on readying the space and talking to people as they stop in feels like part of the art itself. We can’t wait to engage even more,” said artist Sheila Cameron.
Joe Meade concurs, “The process has allowed us to expand our practices in interesting ways and respond to where we live and who we see every day without the burden of rent, fees, or shipping costs.”
Many of the artists also see this as an opportunity to express concern for larger issues facing the region.
“With the drought upon us, and water even more precarious than ever, it seemed especially important to use art to help sound the warnings,” said Nancy Nelson.
“DANK has given us the space to experiment, cross-pollinate, and play our strengths. It’s been like a jam session for artists,” adds Moira McLaughlin.
There will be an artist reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at 300 Spring St. in Nevada City.
For more DANK, visit Facebook.com/dankmovement.