Exhibition Statement

“Full Fathom Five” is a peer-selected invitational exhibition of 30 artists working in Northeast Ohio whose artworks collectively demonstrate the depth of studio strategies at work in our coastal region.

Beginning with six artists in a group we named “Fathom One,” we asked each artist to nominate another artist working in our region whose work they admire, but whom they did not know well. This created a second group of six artists that we named “Fathom Two.” The nominating process continued until we reached five full fathoms totaling 30 artists. 

Selecting each artwork for this exhibition entailed the coming together of nominated artist, nominating artist, and curators from Progressive in 30 studio visits from February through July 2018. The exhibition is installed according to the selection sequence, grouping each artist together with the artist they selected, and illustrating the breadth of the relationships established during this process. These sequences are illustrated through the rows of the chart below. 

The democratic, artist-driven design of “Full Fathom Five” has generated an illuminating and remarkable mapping of art produced in our region. The full-scope process from seed idea discussion to exhibition realization has been for the staff of the Progressive Art Collection an extraordinary uplift and an unforgettable experience. We hope you enjoy navigating the depth and breadth of this exhibition.

It has been an amazing process to see how the fathoms have developed. It’s interesting to look at the sequencing of artists and to consider each choice as a relationship between two people but also within a larger chain of associations in a regional community of artists.
— James Waite
The Full Fathom Five concept uniquely brought together artists who admired each other’s work from afar into their studios. As a result the depth of inquiry and exchange of ideas surrounding the artistic process was invaluable.
— Darice Polo
My favorite part of this process has been the studio visits that led up to the exhibition. Having an opportunity to meet with artists and curators in order to share work and conversation was rewarding, and reiterated the strength of the arts community in Northeast Ohio.
— Kristina Paabus