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  • David Aaron Smith

The Curated State of Affairs

Courtney Norris, co-founder of Curated Sate, is an art driven entrepreneur passionate about San Francisco developing into a true art city. Her approach to that mission: give artists a platform outside the gallery system. Her collaboration with Curated State's Jennifer Holderness has done just that, and arguably, it has done more to connect artists with wealthy patrons than the galleries in SF could.


As the driving force behind finding the talent Curated State showcase, Courtney's eye is constantly open for new, exciting work. So, it should come at no surprise that she found David Aaron Smith on the edge of Death Valley National Park. While on vacation with her family to that region in February, she stayed at an Airbnb that happened to be Aaron's long-term project, the reclaimed lifestyle museum, Villa Anita in Death Valley.


She and the family walked the grounds and took in the breadth of the sprawling sculptural installation. It was not until the next morning that Courtney and Aaron got to talking art. While looking through his large-scale paintings that involve critiques on reclaimed material, Courtney saw a way that this work was relevant to the SF scene and asked Aaron about letting her develop a show for him.


After a lot of legwork searching for the pitch-perfect venue, Courtney was linked to Shane O'Connor and Katy Berg of Gardenville Station in the Bayview District. Aaron's plans for the show are ambitious; he's making 10-12 canvases on sight and painting the same number of live portraits over a 10-day span. Not only is the space perfect for his building plans, but the neighborhood, being a new proposed site for a navigation center, is the perfect context for the content of Aaron's work.


We'll get to see it all congeal over the coming months. To check out more about Curated State and learn how to reach Courtney, please visit: www.curatedstate.com



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