Reading: Artists are important

Needing a little pick me up that someone does love and respect artists’ contribution to our society? Check out USA Artists site. They have given over $2.5 million a year directly to artists for the past three years. Yes, that totals $7.5 million! They make a strong case for what many of us believe… artists are crucial for our culture, values, and history. Then they put their money where their mouth is. Plus the artist profiles are well done and diverse. Very inspiring.

Artist Tip: E-commerce

Free course for getting started in e-commerce as an artist: Includes website set up, sales information as well as business terminology.

Artist Tip: Curators

The Momentum Spotlight Curators, heather ahtone and romy owens (no capital letters on purpose, their choice!), are hard at work selecting artists for the OKC Spotlight. I have sat in on many artistic selection processes now. This is the sometimes mysterious behind the scenes of the art world— how people get chosen for things. I thought a picture of them talking, reading proposals and looking at images might help demystify their work.
I’m always amazed at the time and energy our guest curators spend trying to understand artists’ work. Yes, they assess if they like the art or not, but they also examine the artists’ intention. When you receive that rejection or acceptance letter, just know that your creative effort is appreciated, and it has been considered seriously!

Reading: Blogs

I’ve been enjoying artists’ blogs more and more. Many engage audiences, explore ideas, and explain their artistic process as well as promoting specific shows or products. Even if you aren’t up for writing your own blog, reading other artists’ blogs such as– how do they work? where do they show? how do they think?– can be a part of your artistic career research and networking.

A few OVAC members that have excellent blogs:
Debby Kaspari has taken us along on her artistic journeys for many years with sketches

Sarah Atlee always keeps images at the forefront along with interesting, up-to-date information, like the invitation to her opening on right. She’s good about giving shout out to friends (and organizations like OVAC!) as well, which seems to both attract traffic and create good will.

Esteban Pulido was recently on CNN. Really. His work related to the election. This is how I found his blog and learned more about his concepts.

If you’re an OVAC member, send us your blog URL so we can begin logging them in our database (as well as website addresses).

Reading: Artists and Museums (Listening actually)

I just listed to a great course called “Envision your art in museums” by Alyson Stanfield of . She walks listeners through the structure and purpose of art museums, helping artists understand how to prepare if they dream of an exhibition at a museum.

The course is especially germane as she outlines the way museums choose, plan and fund exhibitions. I’ve heard many artists bemoan that so few local artists are exhibited in our local museums. Alyson astutely points out, museums are here to serve the public, not artists. So, for an artist to exhibit there, the museum has to be able to see how the artwork will fulfill their public educational purpose. Well, good point! While the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s mission might be to do anything we can for artists’ careers, other institutions and organizations have different purposes. I recommend checking out Alyson’s course if your long term goals include museums.

Reading: Cultural Policy

If you are interested in the big picture for the arts in our community and country, I recommend the Americans for the Arts Cultural Policy Listserve. They send a great weekly email that outlines major news stories related to art and the economy, education, politics, and more. The AFTA people are great at catching pertinent stories. Through this I’ve found out about artist housing projects, city funding of cultural activities, artist economic impact studies and more.

Exhibition: Jones, Hill, Do not miss this exhibition

Curtis Jones’ exhibition at Mainsite Contemporary Gallery in Norman is outstanding: a great combination of materials, concept, and audience engagement. His attention to outrageously detailed strokes dovetails with his overall designs.
Skip Hill’s new work is definitely worth the visit too. They exhibition remains on display until November 29.

Artist Tip: Gallery Guide

Art in America’s Gallery Guide is an essential tool for artists who are interested in showing in galleries or museums. The most recent of the annual issue is available on newsstands now (probably selling out). This publication lists thousands of galleries nationwide by community. The listings include what artists are shown, contact information of the director or curator, and more. If you are traveling anywhere in the country, check this magazine first to decide what galleries to see. If you are researching galleries where you want to exhibit, look for artists you respect to see where they are represented.

Artist Tip: Identify your work

Always put your name, contact information and piece information on the back of your work. One thing important that people learn the first time they help organize an exhibition of other artists’ work is that you need to have at least your name and title on your work. Frequently, artists bring their work with not a mark on the back.

For instance, I recently organized an exhibition with 18 artists in it. Several pieces had no name on the back, much less a title or contact information. Of those pieces, a few were delivered when I was not in the office, so could easily have not known which was which.

To learn about this… you can volunteer for a local gallery. We are glad to have help, email Sarah to ask about volunteer opportunities. Most any nonprofit gallery is glad to have volunteer help preparing exhibitions such as IAO Gallery, TAC Gallery, Living Arts, MabeeGerrer Museum of Art, and more.