Sunday, October 23, 2005

A good day to be inside

I spent all day Saturday inside in an uncomfortable auditorium. The floor was slanted forward, and the seats not quite straight, so I felt like I had to hold myself up the whole time. By the end of the day my knees hurt. But thats the bad part. The good part is that it was raining, windy and cold anyway (welcome Fall!) so I wouldn't have wanted to be outside, and the people I was listening too were wonderful and full of motivation and great stories!

It was all part of the NYFA "Full-Time Business of Art" workshop. It was a day long workshop with lectures on "Networking", "Financial Planning" and a panel of curators. The day started with the fabulous and energetic Jackie Battenfield. She had us all laughing and introducing ourselves to each other with her talk on the importance of networking. It all boiled down to something like "Hey, you never know!" She certainly got me thinking, got my butt in gear and finally made new business cards (we've only been here 4 months!). She was followed by an interesting take on financial planning - a holistic approach. It was a mix of new age thinking and financial planning. If there is an outcry for more information I will post some of the information from the packet. Suffice it to say it has to do with feeling abundant.

I missed the end of it because I had my "Doctor's Hours" with Melissa Potter (Senior Program Director for NYFA Source) who reviewed my slides. She gave some great feedback, very honest. She actually pointed out that the slides don't need to just be in chronological order, but more importantly they should make visual sense. We also talked about the difficulty in showing installation work in the slide format. Gonna do CD's as often as possible! (Including the upcoming submission for Wave Hill). I also am scheduling a massive 2-day reshoot of all of my work so that the slides look more cohesive.

The final gathering was a curators panel, featuring Sara Reisman, a curatorial fellow at the New Museum (I wonder if they would like my work after I reshoot?), Louky Keijsers, who has her own gallery LMAKProjects. The final speaker on the panel was Olu Oguibe. The panel was all very interesting, but the most fulfilling was Olu, he was speaking to the fact that artists are far too reliant on curators and gallerists. We have ceded power to the middleman and the collectors, and given up our top of the pyramid. We are now the lowest in the hierarchy, which is exactly opposite of how he (and I) think it should be. He talked about taking it back, writing manifesto's staging our own shows, pretty much doing what we love doing and quit worrying about the commercial side, cultivate your own community and collector base. He joked afterwards that he felt like the preacher man. Amen to that!

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