Jennifer Ford Art and Wunderkammer Company are pleased to announce Import/Export, a fine art exhibition featuring works by “Imports,” artists not native to Fort Wayne who have moved here within the past five years, and “Exports,” those who have since moved away and have pursued artistic careers. The two exhibitions will be on view at Jennifer Ford Art from May 19 – July 1, 2016 and at Wunderkammer Company from May 11-June 12, 2016.
Discussions surrounding talent attraction and retention have been vital for the preservation and growth of Midwest cities over the past decade, culminating with “Young and the Restless”, a groundbreaking 2005 study by Joseph Cortright and Carol Coletta, which identified the trend of young talent (25-34yr old) choosing their city first, and then their method of employment once there. At its core, Import/Export explores how and why arts communities are built and supported. Creative economies rely on contributions and collaboration from all levels of participants, but the most favorable conditions occur when artistic abilities, innovative social structures, and acceptance exist in a city.
What cultural, social, or economic structures are attractive in the Midwest and what are the catalysts of change that can retain the creative class? With these questions central to the thesis of the exhibition, invades the vernacular sense of “place” in Northeast Indiana, giving the viewer multiple answers to these questions, while eliciting their own response.