Assistant Professor of Sculpture + Extended Media, Montana State University
MFA – Milton Avery Graduate School for the Arts (Bard College) and BFA – University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
In October of 2014, I began the Silver Streak Residency project to bring renowned artists, writers, filmmakers, and other creative individuals and their work to our community that would otherwise be impossible given our location. This project brings contemporary artists and art work from major art centers to Bozeman. The ongoing work/project serves both as a living sculpture as well as a curatorial and social practice piece.
The Silver Streak Residency utilizes the scenic and romantic aspects of our region and the freedom for artists to select a specific space as a means to seduce and encourage artists to take the trip here from locales unlike their own. (Most applicants and accepted residents thus far are from urban centers).
This residency is an important part of my personal practice as it is similar to various other social art practice offerings I have conducted in the past. These include but are not limited to, “You Bring the Coffee and I’ll Bring the Bait”, an ongoing project in which I brought New Yorkers, and other inexperienced, typically urban individuals fishing for the first time in either a boat, on a dock, or on the ice. The project is documented simply by photographing participant’s first catch and a brief narrative is collected. Another example of how this work ties into my personal practice is Angle, a major exhibition I had at the Chicago Cultural Center in which the public was able to interact directly with an aquaponic system fed sculpture, gallery, chef, restaurant, and the Chicago River as a means to discuss sustainability, first fishing experiences, ethics regarding food, and various other topics. The Silver Streak project allows me a return to curatorial and social practice aspects of my practice and will introduce students at Montana State University to the validity of this type of work.
In my personal and less socially engaged work I construct factual and imaginary entry points and rituals-they are the means to process, explore and understand things that are actually, or perceived as, inaccessible. A meaningful fishing experience, a trip to a natural wonder, a project built together in the garage shop behind the house. My practice is an attempt to attend to actual and desired familial bonds. It is location, object, or activity. A fire ring, a broken engine, a hug, the forced proximity between two men dictated by the hull of a 14’ fishing boat. It is recollection and recognition, an interpretation of traditions, fiction and history; an exploration of the terms of patrilineal relationships as I understand them.
Please visit my website (jimzimpel.com) or consult my curriculum vitae for more information about me and my exhibition history.