Notch 8’s latest balancing act

<i>Inratio</i> explores the balance of life and art through five artists’ lenses.

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Notch 8’s new group show, Inratio, seeks to answer an age-old question: How the hell does anyone balance work and life? But with this exhibition, sub “work” for “art,” which gets a bit blurrier.

Inratio showcases work from an immensely diverse spread of artists, including Sanithna Phansavanh’s anthropomorphic elegance and Tanner Wilson’s bold primary colors, among other styles from Carl Janes, Pash Lima, and Erin Bassett. This range was intentional, co-owner/-director/-curator Sharon Dennehy says. “We wanted enough commonality in the work to create a flow,” she told CL over email. “But we also wanted to have artists that would interpret the theme very differently, posing questions and answers that would give the viewer a unique experience as they walked into each artist’s space. Because there is no one right answer to creating a balance in your life, and all of the answers constantly shift and change as you move through it.”

Dennehy makes a good point of the fluidity necessary in these balancing solutions. Although equally age-old theories for striking that golden balance — unplugging, exercise, etc. — can help, the real fix will look more like a complex, variant cocktail than a straight-up pour.

“To me, ‘working’ is what you do to sustain the requirements of life, and ‘creating art’ is what you do to sustain life itself,” Phansavanh says. “It’s a lofty and pretentious distinction, but I feel like it’s an important distinction. … Life — and everything that entails — becomes art and art becomes life.” The artist, who often exalts the female form in his creations, says he used that conundrum to energize work for Inratio.

Wilson says he has his own formula for striking balance. “It’s usually a very unhealthy balance of no sleep, lots of caffeine, alcohol, and stress — but I wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says. “Some weeks I feel I have a pretty good grasp on balancing life and art, but others it can be a mess.”

See? Fluidity!

nratio. Free. Opening reception: Fri., July 15, 7-11 p.m. Through Aug. 7. Sat.-Sun., 2-5 p.m. Notch 8 Gallery, 1397 Blashfield St. S.E. 404-913-3411.