Shannon Linker shared some behind-the-scenes details of the heart and soul behind the Circle City show.
NUVO: How did this exhibit come about?
Shannon Linker: What happened was I was talking with Clayton Hamilton ... at one of our openings in the gallery and he just mentioned something about Jerome. He has been trying to work with a lot of African American artists to help promote them, to get them shows and to help promote their work out there a little bit more. Not that that is his background, it's not, but his son is an artist so he understands a little bit more of the world of that ... I told him if you can talk to him and pull that off, make it happen I would love it.
NUVO: Why is it important to you and the council to get someone like Jerome into a large solo show?
Linker: There's probably several layers of why. One is as the Arts Council, having this space, we have the ability, the freedom, the luxury if you will, to show people that aren't necessarily well known or at that point in their career where they have a following. A lot of spaces in town have to sell work or they shut down. We don't have that. We can do lots of things. We have had shows in the gallery where they're total installations and we aren't going to make a dime, the artists won't make a dime either, but it needs to happen – it needs to be shown. He does have a following. That's the thing, it's just maybe not the following in our crowd, right, our regular Gallery 924 crowd is probably not too familiar with him. So that's important to me, that our crowd knows that this artist exists and is very successful and does really interesting work and you don't know about him. I think it is partly our job to share that, to show them. And we have that ability. ... Yes, we want artists to sell work and help them make a living. But we also need to educate the public on who is out there, what is going on, things that maybe make them uncomfortable, things that are new or unusual or things that are just good and high quality – I think that's where Jerome comes in. He is just well done and that is enough for me.