Seven Volunteer Inspired Visual Arts projects
On Feb 8, 2009 a brainstorming session was held during the SDVAN meeting Our approach to this brainstorming session was different than the “blue sky” fantasy sessions in past years. We started by individually writing up Post It notes of those things we thought were limiting our lives in the visual arts in SD. These notes were organized in rough categories with the help of all and special thanks to Judith D’Agostino. Then the following groups of volunteers were tasked to come up with at least one project to address some of the concerns. We asked that all projects could take place in the course of no more than one year.
We are grateful to all the participants of this day, for their energy and creativity. SDVAN can not adopt all these worthy projects but we would love to support those who might make them into reality. If you are particularly interested in any of these projects, we welcome you to contact us. We will be glad to facilitate the formation of a committee that can look into the feasibility of any and all of these ideas.
Please note: the first three ideas involved projects to benefit children which was a strong theme of the day. SDVAN will be brainstorming further to choose a project for children using grant money supplied by the Seth Spague Foundation for a project in 2010. If you want to join this committee please let us know. Please read about the positive affects of arts in the schools in our resource article The Arts: Ask for More campaign of American for the Arts)
1. Marti Kranzberg, Valerie Samuel Henderson, Rosemary KimBal, Sheri Fox
Concern: Federal, State, County and City arts councils are not doing enough. We have little information about them and they do not seem to value the arts. They do not seem to communicate with each other.
Project: An Arts Advocacy Committee formed to organize a presentation (perhaps multi-media) utilizing children if possible, which promotes the value of the arts by documenting the effects of arts in our community. Try to get corporate sponsorship to include this presentation in their ads. Involve Pam Slater in an effort to see what she needs as she continues to support the arts and get this presentation shown when lobbying for arts issues.
2. Judith D’Agostino, Kay Colvin, Thomine Wilson, Christy Goodson Decker, Mireille Des Rosiers
Concern: Not enough art in the schools
Project: Panel Discussion for Parents about bringing the benefits of arts for children. Panels to consist of a child, a teacher, and a parent who have experienced and can demonstrate the benefits. The education directors of the major museums (SDMA, MoCASD, MoPA) involved in the CARE program (Collaborative Art Resources for Educators) might be a partner for this project.
3. Irene de Watteville, Daniele Arnaud, Patty Smith, Michele Guieu
Concern: Isolation of the arts community from each other and from the community at large
Project: Collaboration between artists, art association and galleries to bring children into our local galleries. Have guidelines on how to appreciate what they see and encourage them to collect each others art works (even at 25 cents each!)
4. Naomi Nussbaum, Madeline Sherry
Concern: There is a lack of galleries and a lack of appreciation of art
Project: Creation of Creative Communities where artist in geographical localities ban together to do work on certain projects…the first being Affordable Live/Work spaces* which in turn could lead to joint gallery spaces, closer sense of community and more respect for the arts and what they bring to a community. It might also be time to bring back Open Studio tours organized by geographical localities. *Synergy Art Foundation (SAF) is conducting an Artist Live/Work survey to evaluate the needs of San Diego County artists and arts organizations for permanent, affordable live and work space. Please take the time to complete the survey if you are interested in spaces.
5. Naimeh Tahna, Irene Abraham
Concern: Artists are not supporting each other enough. They are not activists and lack a communal art space and cohesion for networking.
Project: Strong themed exhibitions for example “Opposites Attract” which would pair opposite extremes of style or medium or “Missing Links” where artists are asked to make one work using various different mediums in collaborations with each other. Shows should travel to different parts of the community in alternative venues and could use tourist outlets (i.e. hotel concierge) to build new audience for art.
6. Renee Miller, Mark Rodman-Smith, Jo Caldwell
Concern: Finding unknown quality artists and nurturing and giving them exposure
Project: Putting out a call for artists, perhaps suggested by other artists for a juried show. Rob Sterling Bell stopped by the meeting and although he did not stay for the brainstorming he left his document on the Sterling Jurying System which advocates non partisan judgments by approved jurors who are held to standards. The use of online submission for juried shows brings in a new era where all the applicants can be viewed on a monitor during the show of the selected art works so the public can see what works were not included. A competition of curated shows could also be judged in this way with the winning show put on but all the others shown online. Maybe this could be suggested to some of the existing juried shows.
7. Patricia Frischer – although I was busy facilitating this meeting, I did have an idea for a project which I want to share.
Concern: Not enough people buy art in SD
Project: Mini Art Collectors Competition –To enter the competition perspective collectors will choose (not having to buy) up to 10 works from Local Regional Artist to make a mini-collection and write a short essay about how those works were selected and how they go together to make a collection. Three hundred dollars ($300) goes to the winner to go toward the purchase of one of the selected works. Plus the top five entries are posted on SDVAN with all the images and links to the artists chosen. Needs for this project include criteria for judging, jurors to chose winners, catchy name and logo, process for submitting images online and volunteer administrator.
Please feel free to leave your comments on these projects as well as write us with projects you might like to suggest yourself. We would like to hear from you if you want to lead a project of any kind for the visual arts in the San Diego region.