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  • Photos by Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery will feature the works of 40 artists influential in its history as part of “Encores: 40 Years of Artlink.”

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette "Hood Winked" by David Birkey. Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery will feature the works of 40 artists influential in its history as part of the "Encores: 40 Years of Artlink" exhibition opening today.  

  • News clippings are among materials on display as part of the “Encores: 40 Years of Artlink” exhibition.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette "Shizuka" by Sayaka Ganz. Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery will feature the works of 40 artists influential in its history as part of the "Encores: 40 Years of Artlink" exhibition opening today.  

  • “Tea Wrex” by Steve Shelby is featured as one of the works of 40 influential artists.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Materials on display include postcards promoting shows from the history of Artlink all the way up to the current year.  

  • “Community Project” by Lisa Vetter and Paul Siefert has been selected to be part of the Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery exhibition.

  • “Constellations” by Erin Patton-McFarren is part of the  exhibition opening today.

  • Mike Moore | The Journal Gazette Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery will feature the works of 40 artists influential in its history as part of the "Encores: 40 Years of Artlink" exhibition opening today.  

Friday, August 10, 2018 1:00 am

Artlink marks 40 years

If you go

What: “Encores: 40 Years of Artlink”

When: Noon to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 4 p.m. Sundays; runs through Sept. 14

Where: Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery, 300 E. Main St.

Admission: Free

Walking through “Encores: 40 Years of Artlink” is a bit like viewing a Who's Who of area artists.

You'll see works by Julie Wall, Gregg Coffey, Jerrod Tobias and Don Kruse. There are pieces from Daniel Dienelt, Sayaka Ganze, Norman Bradley and longtime Artlink director Betty Fishman. In a small screening space, the video series “Why I Create” by Kurt Roembke gives various artists the chance to talk about their work.

All told, there are 40 artists featured in “Encores,” marking the anniversary of Artlink Contemporary Art Gallery which began in August 1978 as Artlink Alternative Artspace in a Broadway apartment. Works include paintings, sketches and sculptures. The exhibition also includes news clippings, promotional material, documents and signs from over the decades and even a well-used T-shirt with an older Artlink logo.

Planning the show has been a long process, says gallery coordinator Maddie Miller, who worked on the project with a team of interns. They went through the gallery's archives and spoke with people involved with Artlink over the years.

Looking back at the first year of Artlink, Miller says she was surprised to see how the gallery is coming back around to its idea of being a home for emerging artists and being a space for alternative art in the city.

Artlink is focusing on how it can provide artists the resources they need to develop a full-time, sustainable career.

The 212 mentorship program, for example, connects artists with leaders in their field and helps them take a completed project to market.

“That's one way in which we're trying to get those resources established, and that's really where we're going in the next 40 years,” Miller says.

It was no easy task choosing which 40 artists would be invited to participate in the current exhibit, she says. But the ones chosen have had an influence on Artlink by serving in roles with the organization such as founding members, staff, curators, panel members and teachers.

“It's really a wide, diverse group of artists that have made this exhibition and Artlink in itself possible over the years,” Miller says.

The show takes its name from the 1979 exhibit, “Encores,” which featured 11 local artists that had shown work previously that year.

There is an opening reception at 5 p.m. today, and a birthday celebration is planned for 7 p.m. Sept. 8 with music from the Legendary Trainhoppers, art activities, free desserts and more.

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette