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Oxford Native Hosts his first Art Show in San Francisco

 

f you were to tell local artist, Zach Tutor, five years ago that he would be curating his own art show in San Francisco, he would not have believed you. 

Tutor, a former University of Mississippi student and Oxford native has been running one of the most popular art blogs on the Internet today, Supersonic Electronic.

“Art is all I’ve ever known,” Tutor said.

While his success may have come to a bit of a shock to him, he was all but prepared for it. 

“I was taught by one of the best artists in the world — my dad,” he said. “I have had 25 years of experience. I don’t say this is art and that’s not art. Everything is art.”

Tutor is the son of local artist, Glennray Tutor, who has done cover art for a local hero, Barry Hannah. 

Tutor said there was no pressure to pursue art when he was a kid; it was something that came to him naturally. 

“Art is something I have found on my own,” he said. “I have never not wanted to do art. Everything I see, I picture as art work.”

Supersonic Electronic wasn’t the first blog Tutor made. He cited his blogging days back to the some of the earliest forms of blogs on the Internet. 

“As far back as I remember the goal was to have a website,” he said. 

“I think I was doing blogs before there were blogs, on sites like Geocities and Angelfire. When I was younger I used to make websites about the video games I was playing.”

Having been online for a while using different blogging sites, Tutor was one of the first to catch on to the website, Tumblr. This site was different than other ones, something Tutor picked up on from the very beginning. 

“Tumblr was a social blogging platform and it was different because you can follow and reblog other people,” he said. 

“It is very simple to post on Tumblr. I was there very early; I knew a lot of people, the main tumblers.”

When Tutor first started Supersonic Electronic, it was his own personal blog. He would post on things that interested him, and art happened to be one of them. For about two years Tutor steadily gained subscribers, making it to 500 followers was a big deal to him, until he hit 1,000 followers. 

“About two years in and I’m just posting art, I then think I should start posting only art,” Tutor said. “When I did that it exploded. At that point I had 1,000. I then went to about 150,000.”

What started out as a personal blog almost overnight turned into one of the premiere art sites on the web and then into its own invitational. Tutor said he started to develop relationships with the artists whose art he was posting. 

“It had exceeded all of my expectations,” he said. 

“One of the most popular artists in the world and someone I have become friends with is Joao Ruas in Brazil. And he just had a show in Los Angeles. I’ve met and bonded with countless amazing artists.”

Operating the site doesn’t come easy. Tutor puts all of his time during late nights on weekends looking for new material to put on the site. 

“I spend about 13 hours a day looking at artwork and get about 20 submission a day,” he said. “Most of my day, I check for new art, from the artists I follow. You have to correspond with people.”

Tutor also works for Hi-Fructose Magazine, which is where he met curator and gallery owner Ken Harmon. 

Harmon had just opened a gallery in San Francisco, Spoke Art. 

The gallery featured many art shows and among them have been two tribute shows to Wes Anderson and another one called “Quentin Tarantino vs. The Coen Brothers,” where the Coen brothers made an appearance. 

Harmon contacted Tutor about having a show at his gallery that featured artists from his blog. 

“He noticed me, and for some reason, has decided me to let me be his disciple, guiding me in the right direction,” Tutor said.

The First Annual Supersonic Electronic Invitational was held from Jan. 5-26 at the Spoke Art Gallery. This was Tutor’s first time to curate an art show, and with Harmon’s help he was able to see the full impact his blog has made. Tumblr helped sponsor the event, giving out tote bags at the reception. Tutor featured artists that he posts on the blog, and a few that he had not worked with before. Some artists he has known for five to 10 years. 

“Not only are they my friends, but they are also some of the best artists out there,” Tutor said.

Tutor said he did have some reservations about the show, to put it mildly. 

“The day before we opened I was thought no one was going to show up,” he said. “I am a Woody Allen type, you know, always doubting. 

We ran out of Tumblr tote bags in the first hour. Upward of about 800 to 1,000 showed up for the reception. Since the show I have had a few offers to represent artists. The show exceeded all expectations.” 

San Francisco is only the beginning for Tutor, who has plans to hold the 2nd Annual Supersonic Electronic Invitational at the same place next year. 

While in California he spoke with the artistic director for Apple and is in talks with him to work on a digital magazine, but Tutor has no plans to leave the South just yet.

“I can do more with my blog if I am closer to artists that I post,” he said. 

“I enjoy Oxford. Oxford is a great place for art. It’s an oasis of art and literature in the South.”

 

Supersonic Electronic: All about the cover art 

 

The artwork displayed on the cover of this issue represents several artists that were showcased at the Supersonic Electronic Invitational this January. 

The First Annual Supersonic Electronic Show drew a large crowd the Thursday it opened, the gallery overflowed with around 1,000 people, and inspired some to purchase much of the art on the display. 

The show featured work from several artists, who became popular through Zach Tutor’s blog. The show, held in San Francisco, was a special place for Tutor.

“3 years ago I had the blog but it wasn’t straight forward art,” Tutor said. “I went out there saw all of this great art that everyone in Oxford didn’t know about. The first trip instilled the need to share the art that I see.” 

For Tutor, having the show in San Francisco, with artwork made by his good friends was essential. 

“San Francisco is the forthcoming center of the art world. It’s absolutely alive with art and artists.”

To Tutor, it was a great way of highlighting some of the best up and coming, and established artists to date.

“The artists in this show represent the best of this generation.” 

In the not too distant future Tutor’s young Supersonic Electronic Invitational will be an important platform for young artists to show their work.

For more information about the show and the artists visit supersonicelectronic.com/invitational.