Sharpe-Walentas Open Studio 2018 with Sharon Louden & Hrag Vartanian
2018 Open Studios Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program

Opening Friday, April 27, 6–9pm
Open Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, 1–6pm

Sharon Louden and Hrag Vartanian

The origin of art is rooted in relationships. The ancient Greek historian Pliny suggests art was born when a Corinthian maiden traced the outline of her lover’s shadow on a wall. Another story tells of a young man who could not paint the Buddha because of his enlightened glow, and so was forced to paint the holy man’s reflection (or projection) in a pool of water. Both tales emphasize the need to fix a memory from the start, but they also point to the desire to retain a connection to someone special. These, of course, are only a few of the many origin stories of art, but they both point to the urge to remember, even if the result is a rough facsimile.

The journey of art meanders through the accumulation and excavation of experience, and in this installation Louden and Vartanian reflect on their five-year professional and personal relationship as a starting point for a larger investigation into the notion of origins, whether through the lens of family, childhood, ideology, communication systems, or material culture.

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Sharon M. Louden ( is an artist, educator, advocate for artists, and editor of the Living and Sustaining a Creative Life series of books. Her work is held in major public and private collections including the Whitney Museum, National Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art, Yale University Art Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Hrag Vartanian ( is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic, a publication he created in 2009 in response to the changes in the art world, publishing, and the distribution of information. He is a photographer, an artistic practice he learned from his father, who was a studio photographer in Aleppo, Syria during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s. Influenced by manuscript illumination, he has always drawn in his notebooks and journals and considers images as an inseparable part of his larger writing practice. His latest curatorial endeavor, Fixed Point Perspective (2017) at Minerva Projects in Denver, launched a 10-year project on the contemporary legacy of Ottoman studio photography.
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