Artist Tip: Be counted!

I want to renew my plea for ALL artists to register with Dun and Bradstreet. The DUNS number identifies businesses across the country, which tells more than tax and census reporting can. Americans for the Arts uses the number to show the strength of creative business nationally. It’s a pretty easy process to register (and as far as I can tell leads to no spam or junk mail). Do it!

You can see a
report by the Americans for the Arts on Creative Industries in Oklahoma. While there are impressive numbers, we know there are a lot more visual artists out there than indicated!

Reading: What if your art falls apart after bought?

This article struck a nerve with me as a past museum preparator and current hanger of art. I rarely feel bold enough to ask artists what they think about the potential longevity of their pieces made of materials from found rubber to odd mixtures of laquers. This article asks the question in terms of buyers… what do artists owe the buyer of their work? Is it “as is” forever?

No doubt many studio art programs do not focus on materials any more, unlike classical education that emphasized archival and preparation. But… do you think about it? Whether your work will last?

Reading: OVAC on Twitter

OVAC is starting to Twitter. Intersted in frequent updates that will talk about the behind the scenes activities of OVAC? We’ll post about setting up exhibitions, preparing for workshops, working with curators and more. The Twitter feed will announce award winners at exhibitions and schedule information during events like Momentum.

Want to keep tabs on us? Join www.twitter.com/ovac, it’s easy to sign up…

Tip: Show respect for your artwork

Respect… want some? Resonating in many artists’ dialogue about their work is a hope for respect: a desire for public recognition, acknowledgement by the art world, and perhaps even a legacy.

If you want other’s respect, value your own artwork. By this I mean, keep track of it (yes inventory!), handle it well (not talking white gloves, but don’t throw it in your trunk), and label it (a simple, name and title will do, but you could get fancy with contact information and the like).

Oklahoma is a very familial art scene, but that doesn’t mean you should be casual about your artwork. If you account for your work and show you think it’s valuable, others are more likely to do the same.

See images: simple label with just title and artist name, no label (we wrote the artist’s name on there to keep it straight) and slightly scary label (what if that post it falls off, then we know nothing).

Opportunity: Rethink: Recycle: Redesign

Call For Entries

Deadline: February 27 for exhibition that runs April 18 to May 8, 2009

RETHINK: RECYCLE: REDESIGN is a collaborative project of Sustainable OKC and Individual Artists of Oklahoma (IAO) to promote and encourage green design and sustainability.RETHINK: RECYCLE: REDESIGN is a juried art exhibition created to challenge artists and designers to RETHINK objects that have reached the end of their lifecycle. The idea is to RECYCLE and REDESIGN by repurposing and transforming objects into art—functional and non-functional.

Full prospectus available here.

Opportunity: Make cheap art

Swamii Tourism and The Living Arts Presents: “Dollars to Diamonds.” All artists applying should submit up to three examples of their work completed in the last two years. Selected artists will be given a budget of $20 to purchase all materials for their creation solely from The Dollar Store. Please send all submissions to jason@zaloudikfineart.com The deadline for entries is March 2, 2009.

Advocacy: Arts in this economy

It’s important to our field that the arts don’t get lost in this economy! Americans for the Arts is calling for action–with policy recommendations to the Obama transition team, ideas for keeping the arts visible and more. Take action today to keep the arts at the table!

Reading: Obama making plans for artists

Obama has included the arts in his platform since the beginning of his campaign. He’s continuing to remember aritsts in his plans.
Check out this article that says– During the election, Barack Obama shared detailed plans for supporting the arts, including “an ‘Artist Corps’ of young artists to promote art in schools and low-income communities, increased funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), health care for artists, and allowing artists to deduct the market value of any works they donate to museums or public institutions.”

Help: Your Ideas

OVAC began putting together a high school artist resource guide last year. Here‘s the collected info so far. We need your help to make it better. What other opportunities are out there for young artists in Oklahoma? Competitions, scholarships, places to show… any ideas you have, send them our way!

Opportunity: Get away and make art

Ever dreamed of time and space to create? Ever wish you could travel too? Have you considered an artist residency?

The Alliance of Artists Communities is a great resource for learning about places across the country that welcome artists. Some subsidize artists’ stay, others just have special spaces. I’m suprised how few Okie artists have taken advantage of these amazing communities!

OVAC is hosting a retreat this spring focused on artist residencies with the director of the Alliance and panels of area artists who have participated in past.

P. S. If you get that residency, apply for an OVAC grant to help you get there!