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Toby Room is a quarterly arts publication founded in 2001 and a project of ArtRod.
Organized as a gallery in print, Toby Room featured writings, projects, and interviews amongst artists, filmmakers, and musicians, alongside contributions by established and emerging writers.A focus of Toby Room was to offer a platform for artists and writers to examine their practice, "talking about the things they know" or were interested in, while working across fields of expertise and documenting the work happening around them. Interdisciplinary by design, Toby Room featured writers such as novelist Robin Hobb and NPR commentator and author Andrei Codrescu, alongside examinations of experimental audio works (such as that of Al Larsen of Some Velvet Sidewalk, John Cage, Reuben Wu, Tracy + the Plastics, or Arrington De Dionyso of Olympia Experimental Music Festival), together with that of visual artists and filmmakers such as Mark Tobey, Cathy de la Cruz, Morris Graves, Bill Daniel, and Scott Fife.
Each issue of Toby Room featured an artist-in-residence who developed a theme and project in print.Early artists in residence projects included work by Thin Ice (a collaboration between Lisa Darms, Joe DeNardo, Joanne Kim, and Mark Geil), Chauney Peck, and Themba Lewis. Toby Room also included a reoccurring feature examining experimental film and video art called Don't Bite the Pavement, which shared its name with the video and film series also presented by ArtRod.
For Toby Room 10, the journal was printed as a catalogue of the first year of programming at the Tollbooth Gallery. It featured design work by Rachel Carns and interviews with: Denise Baggett (Smith), Michael Lent, Josh MacPhee, Delta Camshaft Collective, Bill Daniel, Wynne Greenwood, Bridget Irish, Fionn Meade and Rob Millis of Climax Golden Twins, Jared Pappas-Kelley, Vanessa Renwick, and Tim Sullivan.
Toby Room was one of four major projects by the organization ArtRod that included the screening series Don't Bite the Pavement and the exhibition spaces Tollbooth Gallery and Critical Line.
Robert L. Williams, often styled Robt. Williams, is an American painter, cartoonist, and founder of Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine. Williams was one of the group of artists who produced Zap Comix, along with other underground cartoonists, such as Robert Crumb, S. Clay Wilson, and Gilbert Shelton. His mix of California car culture, cinematic apocalypticism, and film noir helped to create a new genre of psychedelic imagery.
Michael Kelley was an American artist. His work involved found objects, textile banners, drawings, assemblage, collage, performance and video. He often worked collaboratively and had produced projects with artists Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler, and John Miller. Writing in The New York Times, in 2012, Holland Cotter described the artist as "one of the most influential American artists of the past quarter century and a pungent commentator on American class, popular culture and youthful rebellion."
The Tollbooth Gallery was a site-specific exhibition space and project of the nonprofit arts organization ArtRod launched in 2003 and located in Tacoma, Washington. The project featured contemporary art on view 24 hours a day and seven days a week. The aim of the Tollbooth was to offer dynamic and challenging installation and video art in an outdoor urban setting. Tollbooth Gallery was created and curated by Jared Pappas-Kelley and Michael Lent.
Michael Lent is a British–American visual artist, academic, curator and researcher. He studied at Tyler School of Art of Temple University where he received a BFA, and earned his MFA at Goddard College supervised by sound artist Andrea Parkins, and his PhD at the University of Lincoln.
Jared Pappas-Kelley is an American curator, researcher, and visual artist. He studied at The Evergreen State College, Goddard College and the European Graduate School where he served as Graduate Teaching Assistant for both Jean-Luc Nancy and Paul D. Miller while completing his PhD. Pappas-Kelley also studied with filmmakers Claire Denis and Barbara Hammer whom he cites as influences on his visual work. His doctoral thesis, supervised by Sylvère Lotringer, examines the inherent instability of art objects, investigating what he terms "the thing that is not a thing" through an examination of events such as the 2004 Momart warehouse fire and the objects stolen and subsequently lost or destroyed by art thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Much of his current research focuses on ideas of this instability of the art object and the intersection between practice and theory, examining art as a method for understanding the object’s coming together through its undoing. Developing these themes, he is currently organizing a group exhibition that he is co-curating with Natasha Chuk entitled Solvent Forms.
ArtRod is a nonprofit arts organization located in Tacoma, Washington. It was founded in 1958 and went through several incarnations including Allied Arts and Artists Exchange. The mission of ArtRod is to facilitate art exhibition in nontraditional public arenas and grew out of a response to bring contemporary art forms from a traditional museum setting and directly into the community's path.
Gary Baseman is an American artist who investigates history, heritage, and the human condition. Through iconography and visual narratives that celebrate “the beauty of the bittersweetness of life,” his work brings together the worlds of popular culture and fine art.
Josh MacPhee is an artist, curator and activist living in Brooklyn, New York.
The Renwick Gallery is a branch of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, located in Washington, D.C., and focuses on American craft and decorative arts from the 19th to the 21st century. It is housed in a National Historic Landmark building that was begun in 1859 on Pennsylvania Avenue and originally housed the Corcoran Gallery of Art. When it was built in 1859, it was known as "the American Louvre".
Critical Line was a contemporary art exhibition center that opened 5 May 2006 in the St. Helens section of Tacoma, Washington. The 1,800-foot redesigned gallery space specialized in installation art, video, performance, sound art, photography, and time-based work, and was devised to "allow for creative exploration, experimentation, and exhibition in a space where artists are encouraged to take creative risks." The gallery operated in partnership with its satellite project the Tollbooth Gallery, under the direction of Jared Pappas-Kelley alongside Michael Lent, and was one of four major projects of the nonprofit art organization ArtRod. These also included the contemporary art journal Toby Room, and the film and video series Don't Bite the Pavement.
Wynne Greenwood is a queer feminist performance artist who works in various media such as installation art, photography, filmmaking and music. One of her well known projects include the electropop and video project group, Tracy + the Plastics. Wynne works out of Seattle, Washington, and was an Instructor in the Department of Art and Art History at Seattle University.
Christmas in Diverse City is TobyMac's first full-length Christmas album and fifth full-length studio album. It was released on October 4, 2011.
Chrissy Conant is an American artist who created works such as Chrissy Caviar and Chrissy Skin Rug. Her BioArt works have aroused strong responses and have been a basis for discussions of the body, art, and ethics.
Don't Bite the Pavement is a series of contemporary art exhibitions showcasing installation art, expanded video, and experimental film, which toured the west coast of the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.
Sophia Wallace is an American conceptual artist and photographer. She is best known for her project "CLITERACY," which addresses citizenship and body sovereignty through the medium of text-based objects, unauthorized street installation, performance and sculptural forms.
Iman Al Sayed, is a Palestinian artist whose work focuses on processes and repetition. She probes and investigates the human condition and the sociopolitical effects caused by displacement, Al Sayed uses various media in her work, varying from sculptures and installations to moving images, sound and words.
Jennifer Angus is a Canadian artist, professor, and author. She is known for her site-specific installations that use large numbers of insects arranged in ornamental patterns that she has been creating since 1999. Angus anthropomorphizes insects in the hope that she can change people's entomophobia and create an interest in the role that insects play in ecosystems.
Manifesto is a 2015 Australian-German multi-screen film installation written, produced and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. It features Cate Blanchett in 13 different roles performing various manifestos. The film was shot over 12 days in December 2014 in locations in and around Berlin. The film premiered and screened at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image from December 9, 2015, to March 14, 2016. A 90-minute feature version premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017.
Erin M. Riley is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work focuses on women and women's issues primarily in hand-woven hand dyed wool tapestries.
Betty Manygoats is a Navajo artist known for her ceramic work. She lives and works at Cow Springs on the Navajo Nation in Arizona in the American Southwest.