One of many dinner and art discussion gatherings at the "Nutt House" (Mark and Terri Nutt's home in the northwoods, Washburn, WI) in 2012 resulted in a sort of informal pact between Nutts, the Nesheims, Jordan Kroll, and Luke Wahlberg that after Kroll returned to China, where he works, they would facilitate an international art exchange. The inspiration was there, details would come later!. . . . The next year, while living in Chengdu, China, a large Asian city in Sichuan Province with a thriving arts scene (and yeah, really good spicy food!), Kroll met a few local artists who began to challenge each other not only to create great works of art, but to also create projects, events, opportunities. Shi Su Yao took the lead on the China side, and Nutt in America, Kroll acting as a co-facilitator and translator for the evolving project.
After months of planning and recruiting artists to participate, a contract was signed with the Eastern Art Gallery in Chengdu, and the creating was underway! It had been decided that the format would be original, hand-pulled prints of a smallish size (~20x26cm) on the theme of transcendent. As deadlines came and went, Nutt, Shi, and Kroll realized more and more what a huge amount of work it would take to pull "Beyond" off. In the end, however, all the work was received, shipped both ways across the Pacific, and hung. Nutt stayed up late to skype in for the Chinese opening in December, 2013, and good guanxi (relationship) was developed between many of the artists and the gallery, who seemed excited to host more similar projects in the future. Then in the summer of 2014, the prints were exhibited and a series of talks given at the Historical Museum in Washburn, Wisconsin.
We hope that future exhibits of the "Beyond" art will happen in China as well as America. *There has been talk of a book documenting what each of the 28 artists have done with their individual set of prints!