Serving as curator for Material World has been a rewarding experience. It's been close to twenty years since I've put a show like this together. Some things haven't changed much. Artists are typically eager to have their work shown, especially in a truly professional space alongside other quality artists. What has changed is the abundance of talent available and the speed of communication.
The DC area has a wealth of gifted artists working in very diverse ways. Given the title and theme of the show, I specifically sought to include artists working with different media who were not using standard techniques. With fragmentation of the area scene a common complaint, I was also interested showing artists of different generations who are at various points in their careers, even attempting to pull artists working in different parts of the region together. In meeting with the artists, I found that each was familiar with nearly all of the others in the show and some had actually worked together on projects. Perhaps the scene is not so fragmented after all.
The speed of communication actually presented challenges and this is the area in which I learned the most. It all comes down to timing. With the proliferation of art websites and the influence of blogs, much information needs to be held until very close to the event. Print media still requires plenty of lead-time. Hopefully we have navigated this well and there will be a strong turnout.