Saturday, December 30, 2006

Give


The topic of who helps who keeps developing at Anonymous Female Artist, a blog I am quite addicted to. Not a lot of people are willing to tell her fairly common story, and I relate to a lot of the banter there.

I’m still trying to figure out if giving (or ‘mentoring’, as they call it) really is a circular affair, coming back as you send out. Sitting around complaining about nothing happening just does not work, this I found out, and helping eases the anxiety of waiting for verdicts for your own stuff.

We do more for others in Portland (than in NYC) because we can. It is easier to get ahold of some real estate, or make a paper, or even get on the radio. I couldn’t believe how accessible KPSU was actually.

Sure, I had to learn the board and do the volunteer hours and all of that, but work is the easy part. With breaks, I could keep it up.

The best thing about setting up your own shop of giving is that you can still change the rules at any time. The platform is up to you. I wish more people would do it.

The thread on Edna’s site often referred to how artists who are women do not help each other but as I look at my own plans, I can say that isn’t true. I have two shows planned for 2007 and both are being curated by women. Jenny Strayer is curating a group montage show at Guestroom called Paper Chase later this year and then in May, Roberta Lavadour is arranging a painting show for me at the Pendleton Arts Center. Thanks a lot.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

a top ten


Richard Speer already has out his Top Ten of 2006. The Best Painting show is a tie between my last show at Augen and Omar Chacon at Motel.

There’s a lot I could observe about Richard Speer but one of the most obvious is his willingness to look at art anywhere. He’s not too self-conscious about placing himself in the ‘right place’ via his writing. I seem to remember Jeff Jahn complaining that Speer often found art worth writing about in some kitschy places, but that’s almost like the pot calling the kettle black, because Jeff can find treasure pasted to a telephone pole (highly commendable). Both of them have introduced me to artists I would have never heard of otherwise.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

First Post


This past fall I went to Salem to talk to a class and while there, met up with an old art pal from high school named Ross. It seems nearly impossible that one could even have an ‘art pal’ that young, but it was so much due to him. He showed me the way and in so many ways. He was a Warhol freak and this was 1970. Not a lot of people were into Andy then. He hadn’t shaped the last part of the 20th century so finally yet.

This was the first time we had seen in each other in about 2 decades. Ross told me how he sensed years ago that the art world was a tough place and maybe not worth an effort so often callously dissed. My friend went in for a more private art.

Since that day I’ve thought a lot about where I went lately. Basically, there, in the thick of it but the impulse which makes art is not the same impulse which makes art career. Matthew Collings had a book out on the NY art world called It Hurts. I wondered about the title at the time, but no more.

Last year when I was there, it was my visit time in a while and my skin had grown thin. At one point I actually packed my not-rich self into a cab just to get out of Chelsea, and on the double please, to Bergdorf’s midtown. After all, I would still be surrounded by beautiful things giving me an education. I just wouldn’t have that immersion in no-eye-contact. That’s a measure you take for granted till you don’t have it.

Like I said in my diary at Lovelake, this is, like any blog, an experiment. I’ve written all kinds of diaries it seems, but now I am going to ask you for words. Artists, via Artstar Radio, gave me so many words and I have learned a lot from them. I have to add that I am feeling a little fragile now. Be brutal on the world but ease into me. Thanks.