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The Curated Fridge


2016 Grant Finalist Interview: The Curated Fridge

The Curated Fridge is proposed by Yorgos Efthymiadis

How did you come up with the idea for your project?

After returning from a portfolio review, I gathered all the promotional pieces from fellow photographers and arranged them on my fridge. I then posted some snapshots on social media and the response was enthusiastic. Some requested there be an opening reception to celebrate the works and the discovered space. Some sent magnets!

A couple of months down the road, The Curated Fridge was born and the first call for entry opened. Photographers from all over the world sent their prints and digital files. The guest curators (Refridgecurators) juried the work in my kitchen. A year later, the shows are running on a bimonthly basis. The accepted images are posted on social media and the dedicated website. This promotes the work of the photographers and creates connections and long-lasting friendships between the artists.

Since last December, the project has evolved. The Photographic Resource Center (PRC) in Boston invited The Curated Fridge to participate in one of their exhibitions. Three images of the fridge were mounted on the PRC’s gallery walls and a whole new idea was born. What if we could use The Curated Fridge shows as a starting point to break "gallery" limits, making photography more accessible for a wider audience?

The proposal is to print life-size photographs of The Curated Fridge show every two months. In collaboration with schools, colleges and universities, the prints are mounted on their walls. The aim being to reach out to a young crowd while educating them visually and introducing the world of fine art photography.

In addition, a contest will run, where students could write a short statement about their favorite featured photograph (e.g. why where they drawn to it, what do they like about it, what does it mean to them) and the winner from each school, selected by the guest curator, will win a small print of the photograph. Finally, students will be prompted to curate their own fridge at home, photograph it and email the files to The Curated Fridge, where they will be posted on the website and social media.

How do you think artists should play a role in educating the public or their audience about their art or art in general?

Unfortunately, most people don't have the time to slow down and appreciate art. By bringing photography closer to audiences at a younger age, we can build a stronger connection between the younger generation and fine art photography. The Curated Fridge was born in a kitchen, then there were opening receptions (in the same kitchen!) and it even traveled to a gallery. It’s a quirky project, fun and cool, that never took itself too seriously. Because it’s unconventional and alternative, it connects easier with the audience.     

Why do you think many people find art intimidating, and how can we lower the perceptual barriers to entry for collecting art (and specifically photography)?

In my opinion, people find art intimidating because there are no boundaries or rules; anything can be art, good or bad. That’s exactly how it’s supposed to be but the general audience needs to understand and appreciate this, through education. By doing so, all the barriers that one might have will be removed because when something speaks to the heart it's price doesn’t matter anymore. Art becomes priceless, therefore affordable to the right audience.  

What is the most engaging art event/collecting event you’ve been to?

It has to be the Instantly Yours exhibition at the PRC in Boston, where all the members brought their Polaroids or created some prints with the Impossible Project for the audience to collect. It was a very successful exhibition that ran through a whole month, with gallery talks about instant photography, events and lots of sales!

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