The Laws of Nature

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Where You Are ...

Art & Fear: Observations on the perils (and rewards) of artmaking
Bayles and Orland
Painting: "You Are Here" by Mike Farruggia

Chapter 4 ends with the admonition to artists to avoid courting approval from others, which puts a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the audience. Furthermore, others aren't in a position to determine whether or not we're making progress in our work since they have little interest or knowledge of our process. The only pure communication is between you and your work. So, only we know where we are.

Where we are ... conjures up another thought. I've learned that art is not a valuable commodity everywhere. Sometimes, we're lucky enough to live in areas where the fine arts are supported by numerous galleries, museums, and discerning collectors. Others of us live in areas that don't support the arts and must seek opportunities elsewhere.

The questions I have for you today are:

1. Do you live in an area that supports the arts and provides venues for you to show your work?

2. Which areas or cities of the world/country do you think are important for contemporary artists to display and sell their work?


-Don said...

Regrettably, Vegas is not an art town. It is an entertainment destination and as such is more interested in flash than substance. We're trying, though...

As for important cities, my guess is that any of the large metropoli would be important for contemporary artists to display within. That's where the concentration of galleries, critics, "discerning buyers", and media would be the highest, giving artists more opportunities to explode out of obscurity.


Casey Klahn said...

I agree completely that art isn't valued (I speak of Fine Art here) everywhere. I mean the USA especially. Our country has had a pretty minimal reception of art, and in particular painting. If you need a lot of props for being a fine artist, move to Italy. Not perfect, but way better.

Having said all that, I would say my region is within normal limits. Spokane and Seattle and Tacoma are reasonably well positioned for the arts. The Museum of Northwest Art, and a number of others, do yeoman's work, all things considered.

OTOH, I don't think regional limits are what they used to be. We are more connected, now, than in the past. I consider the whole nation (and also the world, as in World Wide Web) to be the region we play to, now.

So, I would posit that the props aren't the endgame. In some ways (not from megalomania, I hope - but from having read some art history) I like to try to paint in respect to the whole of Western Art - a lineage every artist here is part of. That is where "here" is for me, at least in my aspirations. And the judge of that should be mostly myself.

Mark Sheeky said...

1. Yes, Britain. Actually 90% of the contemporary art scene happens in London and not other parts of Britain, but there are lots of national and regional competitions of all sorts, and any part of the country is a train ride away anyway.

The main reason is state funding for arts. It seems that America was only ever artistically competing with Europe when the Federal Art Project was around.

Stan Kurth said...

I know there are many who think my art sucks. I don't mind, I have to paint what comes out. If it gets out there and is seen by those who matter, all the better. I want it to be out there. I know where I'm at and I know where I want to be. I hope the rope ladder I'm swinging and climbing on doesn't break or get cut before I get some more distance on it.

There are quite a number of venues here in Arizona and all ranges of support and visibility, but I don't think we rank high as being an arts location.

A dream for me might be a studio/flat in Soho and exhibit regularly somewhere on 57th. That's pretty wild coming from someone born sixty years ago in Arizona. Things are changing.

Unknown said...

Ah... my favorite gentlemen!!

Hi Don - I'm very surprised about Vegas because I figured it would have some great art galleries with all that money floating around. Too bad! I'm sure the largest cities are great for art (at least on the East and West coasts) but I'm also wondering about nations like Dubai where a lot of luxury housing is going up fast. I haven't looked at the art scene there.

Hi Casey - Italy! My favorite place to spend time. Western art is on the move. Contemporary Chinese artists are studying it and painting it. More competition for us, I guess!

Hi Mark - England definitely beats the USA in funding for the arts (proportionately). I'm envious :-)

Hi Stan - I can't even imagine that anyone would think your work sucks! How is that possible?? It's masterful. Soho is still a good scene for artists, but I think that Chelsea has blossomed more of late. Check it out the next time you're in NYC!

hw (hallie) farber said...

Not many art venues here in southern VA. Maybe that's my reason for being pulled back to this area. I can show others what I learned in D.C.--that art is not just copies of photos or pretty pictures.

Eva said...

Atlanta is slowly coming around, but for the most part it is very traditional in it's taste. I entered a national show two years ago and the judge was a curator of contemporary art for a small museum south of Atlanta. I was stunned as the majority of the work she picked was not only traditional, but even trite in some cases. I heard her say she liked the frame on one!

Miami, Tampa, and Ann Arbor Mich.were more accepting of my work.

Dan Kent said...

And I thought I was your favorite.

Miami is not a great art town museum-wise, although there are quite a few galleries, but some great, great things have happened here in the art world during last decade. We have Art Basel annually, and so get representatives from the world's galleries at the main show, many discerning buyers from all over the world, and many, many collateral shows around town during that time - world class art and much excitement that would take days more than provided to see. Also we have two new art and design districts that are very exciting. I believe that these have sprung up largely because of Art Basel. and they are year round.

All that said, I am at this point involved in none of it (except as a spectator). Moleskines don't qualify. But that may change one day..

I do not know if local artists get a break here, or if artists without credentials could be noticed.

Unknown said...

Hi Hallie - that's a GREAT mission! I wish I lived in your area because I'd love to see the originals of your work. I'm so impressed!

Hi Eva - for some reason I thought that Atlanta was more "with it." It seems to have a large populations that have moved in from all over the world, so I'm surprised that the art scene is so conservtive. At least you're there!!

Hi Dan - no, you're not my favorite - you're my VERY favorite gentleman ;-)) Miami has been in the art news a lot recently, and it seems like there are some great venues there. You'll find an audience for your moleskins - I'm sure. They're so great!

Anonymous said...

Sadly, Knoxville, TN is not a progressive art town. Some strides are made but this is a conservative southern city. The Hunter Museum in Chattanooga, TN- 100 miles north west of here is interesting. I don't think contemporary artists are clamoring to come this way- unless they move here for the weather- which is pretty nice.

Unknown said...

I think I'm pretty lucky that I live in the Bay Area. SF is right across the Bay [ Birth of Impressionism opens at the De Young this weekend]

Museums are in almost every city and there are artists and events everywhere. On the other hand, with so many artists, people can be very choosy. I wonder if its not better to be a big fish in a small pond or a minnow in the ocean?

Unknown said...

Hi Pam - I visited Knoxville about 20 years ago and didn't notice an "art scene." I was hoping that one had developed since then. You'll have to start it!!

Hi Sheila - you ARE lucky!! I think it's good to be a small fish in a big ocean because it gives me something to aspire to. And, if I do manage to accomplish something it feels better :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Kathy- Knoxville does have an art scene- and I'm probably unaware of much of it. It's not as progressive as other areas but I'm sure there are many artists who are trying to change that. Guess I should be more careful in offering up my opinions! I was responding as someone who merely visits local venues- not as someone actively involved.

Unknown said...

Hi Pam - thanks so much for the clarification!