OKC Thunder and the Arts Inspire a City

If you’re following the NBA Playoffs, you know that the Oklahoma City Thunder are making a great playoff run for an NBA Championship. Check out this video of the Oklahoma City creative community and how they’ve been inspired by their OKC  Thunder who are currently in the NBA Western Conference Finals!

Photographers, Videographers, Graphic Design Artists, and more share how the game of basketball has woven itself into the fabric of the growing arts and culture scene of OKC.

Video shot by James Harber

My Mother Versus Modern Art

My mother and I walk into an art museum. Already, this sounds like the set-up for a joke, and really it is. You could call it a small miracle that my mother was even willing to step foot inside a building with something called “art” on its walls. Probably the last time we entered the National Gallery together was for my class field trip in fifth grade when, just to be nice, she signed up to be a chaperone.

We get tickets, and she tells me she will treat for lunch after we are all done — the first reason I brought her along.  And as we walk toward the modern wing, she now discovers the second.

“Mom, is it okay if I write down your responses to the art?” I ask, pulling a small black notebook out of my backpack before she answers.

“Yeah, I guess so,” she says.

We walk toward the wall in front of us.

“What do you think of this one?” I ask her.

In front of us a canvas stretches across the wall, the length and height of a man, except that no forms or colors are painted onto the canvas’ surface.

“Well…” she says, “Am I missing something?”

“What do you mean?” I say.

“I mean… is this it?” she asks. I stand next to her, just to her right.

“Hmm. I see what you mean,” I say. Then suddenly I step backward. “Let’s look at it from back here,” I say.

My mother joins me, taking steps backward, continuing to stare at the canvas in front of her, her head still. We look for a few more seconds.

“I think there may be a white paint on the surface,” I say, watching my mother’s face. My mother squints her eyes. Her mouth squirms. Then she sighs, turning to look at me.

“I’m sorry, Lizzy,” she says, “I just don’t see anything at all. It just looks like a blank canvas to me.”

“Fair enough,” I say, grinning. I make a note in pen on a page in my notebook.

We move on to a sculpture hanging on the wall just a few steps away. We pause in front of it.

“Is that what I think it is?” asks my mom.

I laugh. “Almost definitely,” I say, “Marcel Duchamp was famous for his urinals.”

“And that is ‘art’?” says my mother, pointing at the urinal, “Who decides these things?” She makes a few furious hand motions and then turns to leave.

“Hold on, hold on,” I say, scribbling in my notebook. “I came to find one piece in particular. We can leave after I see it.”

My mother sighs and follows me deeper into the gallery. Soon I catch a glimpse of purple and grey paint from a few rooms away: one of Jackson Pollock’s lavender masterpieces.

“The public is not willing to work at understanding a piece of art, and artists are not willing to explain themselves. We find ourselves at a tragic impasse.”

“Here it is,” I tell my mom. We sit down in front of it on a wooden bench. “Okay, so what do you think of this one?” I ask.

“Well,” says my mother, “On a first glance, it looks like some of the paintings you created in pre-school.” I laugh.

“And on a second glance?” I say.

My mom stares at the painting for a bit before answering. “As I stare at it,” she says, “I begin to feel sad. It seems sad to me. Is that right?”

“Sure,” I say.

“And… it looks like it might be raining. Isn’t it called ‘Lavender Mist?’”

“Yeah, that’s great, Mom,” I say. I nod, trying to encourage her to go on.

Instead she says, “But, hun, I still don’t get it. So can we leave now? I’d like to grab some lunch before we head home.”

I smile. “Okay, Mom,” I say, and we make our way toward the cafeteria and then out into the open air, both convinced our outing was a success: for me because my mother was willing to stare at modern art for thirty whole minutes, and for my mother because she knows I will not force her to step into another art gallery for another ten years at least.

The truth is, most visual artists I know have mothers and fathers like mine — they love their children, they may have even paid for art classes or a creative degree, but they do not understand why in the world their children are so enthralled with the visual art of our time (or the time before us). They may not even understand the art their own children create.

Yet I have found that the world of museum art has no respect for such viewers, even if the artists have a personal connection to this broader non-artist audience through their own families. The audience that seems to matter most in this circle is the world of curators and critics and collectors: those people who ultimately choose the art that will hang on blank gallery walls, who write articles about its place in art history, and who pay thousands of dollars for a piece of history to hang above their stone fireplaces.

Artists in this culture find it an insult to have to sit down with an art-illiterate person to explain their work. It is beneath them; the work should speak for itself. But what if it doesn’t? What if someone needs help in understanding why an artist’s work matters?

This is troubling. If an ordinary person, like my mother, has no interest in stepping into the National Gallery on her vacation, then art has become entirely irrelevant to the general public. Visual art does not matter anymore. It holds no power to move culture, to touch children, to change hearts and minds.

And in fact, the public’s views about art are not really that surprising. When you look at the art that has been lauded for the past sixty years, you can see why most people feel that visual art, particularly art that hangs on the walls of art museums, was not made for them. They “just don’t get it.” (Though, really, who does?)

The public is not willing to work at understanding a piece of art, and artists are not willing to explain themselves. We find ourselves at a tragic impasse.

However, in this chasm between art and the public exists a movement of local artistry — artists who are showing and selling their work in their local communities, who are telling stories through their artwork, who are painting real people they know, who are willing to sit down and explain the abstraction in their work. They are not afraid of the public. In fact, to them, the public is their primary audience.

In my hometown in Colorado, a gallery, the Modbo, has formed a collective of local figurative painters who meet together monthly to critique each other’s work. The owners of the gallery have developed a reputation for the art they show, and the community has responded: the work sells. Non-artists can stop into openings and talk with artists directly about their work, asking questions and developing a relationship with the artists in the collective.

I cannot tell you that this group is single-handedly changing the art world, but I know they are fighting a movement of artists who care less and less about audience, and more and more about self-expression. These visual artists are held accountable: they exist in a community of artists who critique their work, and they exist in a community of people who will buy their work only if they connect on a personal level with the art and the artist.

I wonder if visual artists already accepted into the museum world could use their influence to change the cultural attitudes of audiences and artists towards each other. The larger the audience, the more true fame and influence an artist has.

I also wonder how often we consider our audiences in our art-making. Our audience matters. Art loses impact if we create only for ourselves, and often, our best art comes from considering others.

Perhaps we can hope for a turning of the tide, a swing back toward the center of the pendulum arc. Self-expression has had its heyday. Now, let us return home, back toward art made with others in mind. I can tell you that my mother, and perhaps yours too, might even venture inside a gallery to take a peek at what we make.


photo by: Allie_Caulfield

A Record of Wearing and Worn

Side A – Wearing


A tiny, uneven house once sheltered a denim jacket. A girl discovered it wadded up in a garbage bag filled with other hand-me-downs. She rolled back the cuffs and ripped off the patches and wore it, wore it until the long seam across the back only held at the corners, leaving a valley of open space, a frayed tear in the sky.

Her father found it shabby. She looked like a hobo. She had a job, why would she wear something mangled? At night, she would throw it across the hamper or dump it on the floor.

“Put that thing away or I’ll throw it out,” he’d yell.

She loved it all the more.


The word is “worn.” As in well-worn, as in worn out, as in weary. Wear on, wear thin, wear off.

A thing can be worn in many ways. It may be that a thing is put on, a show, an adornment, a cover. A lady may wear her clothing or adversity well. Hearts may be worn on sleeves, worn out with tears or trying.


The Detroit Institute of Arts displays a bronze casting called “The Donkey.” They call him Artie. From the time of his arrival to this moment, he holds a unique position in the collection. You can touch him. Every finger leaving a bit of itself, every finger taking with it a sliver of luster, for eighty-odd years.

Artie continues his unrestored existence as a reminder to patrons: touching the art will change it forever.


Tourists can no longer climb Chichen Itza, one of the most famous Mayan structures. The steps crumble from flocking feet.

What does this say about me? I was there before the ban, and I do not regret being one of the wearers.


Three cassette tapes I wore out with love:

Boston, Mass. by The Del Fuegos

Here Comes the Groom by John Wesley Harding

Look Sharp! by Joe Jackson

That was always a sad day, pulling a destroyed tape out of the player, streamers of audio ribbon hanging from the slot, the plastic shell hanging over the gearshift. Back then, I would rarely replace a tape with an identical tape. In fact, for the longest time I wouldn’t even consider buying it again, those songs were so burned into my memory.


Side B – Worn


Are we changed by what we consume, by what we see, by what we hear, marked forever by structures and sculptures and cassettes?

The music that I still hear in my head, from tapes I wore out as a teenager and haven’t heard since, do they wind through my mind, one long magnetic strand ready to begin again?


Days go by. The spools of memory whir. Days come and go and I wind and rewind. I choose to hear it again. I check myself. I buy digital versions and they echo, out from my laptop into the interior of a ’74 Cutlass Salon. I feel myself driving fast. I am singing Don’t Run Wild, I am singing Here Comes the Groom, I am singing One More Time.


Some music is tied so deeply to a moment that the two fuse. When we hear one of those songs again, we discover our own fingerprints loom loudest in our memory. The notes weave through our every arch, loop, and whorl, eventually reaching our ears, yes, but never to be new again. It’s art we owned for a time, art we couldn’t help but touch, a voice that spoke in shorthand, a surrogate, but temporary.

Other things stand, continuing to move us as we age, resisting our attempts to entangle them.


The denim jacket disintegrated. The lead singer of The Del Fuegos sings children’s music. John Wesley Harding writes novels. I sold my Cutlass. The house no longer stands.

I dance to Joe Jackson and think of Artie the Donkey, his unrestored state, his threadbare body, his whimsy-worn.


Thanks to Dr. Alan Darr, Senior Curator of the Department of European Paintings, Sculpture and Decorative Arts and the Walter B. Ford II Curator of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at The Detroit Institute of Arts for his assistance.

photo by:

Catching Glimpses of the Commonplace

Have you ever thought that you need photographs to prove your experiences because your stories are not enough?

Horrible storytellers, like me, rely on images to tell our tales, both ordinary and extraordinary. Typically, the best spoken stories involve uncommon events: strange encounters with the homeless or rescuing an outrageously drunken friend from his demise. But what about the ordinary, the everyday moments that lack the intrigue of the unusual? Are those stories not worth telling?

The stories that stay with me are composed of the quiet moments that can easily pass us by, and which are, incidentally, the hardest to describe in words. For example, the glance lovers exchange when no one is looking or the expression on someone’s face as they view the earth from 30,000 feet for the first time. I realize the impossibility of capturing every single ordinary moment and that catching those real moments is innately challenging, but it is that struggle which makes those stolen images so much more powerful.


Princeton Explores the Art of Science

Check out this article via Metafilter about the Art of Science Competition at Princeton University

Princeton’s 5th Annual Art of Science Exhibition

“The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art.  These practices both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts.  Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a record of such a moment.”


“This is the 5th Art of Science competition hosted by Princeton University.  The 2011 competition drew 168 submission from 20 departments.  The exhibit includes work by undergraduates, faculty, research staff, graduate students, and alumni.”


View the Art of Science Submissions Here

Tropical Fish by Yunlai Zha Image Courtesy of

Detroit: The Resilient City

Detroit is not the easiest place to live but that’s part of its charm. It asks a lot of you at times, but it is unlike any city I have encountered in the freedom it offers, the deep community it necessitates, and the creative responses it provokes.

I moved to Detroit a year ago to start graduate school at Cranbrook Academy of Art and quickly began to feel like it was a place I was supposed to live for a long time. I think you truly get to know a place as you get to know its people, and I was lucky to meet a phenomenal community of artists and musicians soon after moving here. My love for this place rises directly out of my relationships with my friends. They are the ones who have shown me this city, and it is through being near their love for it that I have come to love it as well.

Over the past year, I have come to appreciate the strange expansiveness and unexpected beauty of Detroit’s landscape. Being one of the only cars on a wide street often leaves me feeling quietly exposed yet defiantly independent as I move about the city. There is something strangely peaceful yet empowering about coming to a traffic light that is no longer working. And although it is sad at times to be surrounded by physical manifestations of decay on a daily basis, it is also inspiring to see waist-high grasses and wildflowers reclaiming once occupied buildings that are no longer needed. Seeing the wildflowers change every few weeks this summer has kept me primed to the constant cycles of life and death happening around us and helped me appreciate the opportunities for new growth that accompany loss.

I have also been baffled by the intimacy and strength of community that exists in Detroit. Community is strong here out of necessity. When you can’t ride your bike home alone at night, you have to leave with a friend. When you live in one of a few homes occupied on a block, you have to really get to know your neighbors and look out for each other. People are also incredibly supportive of each others’ artistic and entrepreneurial work because cooperation is essential for building a critical mass of support in a city this size. The small scale of the arts community here also makes it likely that you’ve had the opportunity to really get to know people working in similar ways…and when you really get to know people, it’s hard not to want to support them.

I have been inspired by the fierce ingenuity and resourcefulness of Detroiters as they creatively respond to specific problems in their neighborhoods and communities. From farmers to artists, builders to social entrepreneurs, residents are responding to local needs with an urgency that often leads them to work collaboratively across disciplines. As an artist, I feel deeply grateful to have the opportunity to come alongside and work with people who are experimenting with new alternatives and unexpected, creative approaches for how to solve local problems and grow as a city.

Over the past year, living in Detroit has taught me deep things about how failure gives rise to freedom and need provokes creativity. With no local coffeehouse to write in, you write in bars. With little functioning public transportation, you ride bikes with your friends. With not one chain grocery store in the city limits, you plant a garden and grow your own food. I’ve also simply had a lot of lot of fun getting to know some of the most creative, passionate people I have ever met. Detroit is complex city with many deep problems, but it is also a resilient city that has offered me the freedom to make new things that are actually needed with people I really care about.

Love Letter to Philadelphia

From the Wall Street Journal: Love Letter to Philadelphia.

“I saw this as an opportunity to reclaim the space on these rooftops and reexamine graffiti,” said Mr. Powers, who grew up in West Philadelphia but now lives in New York.

A former graffiti artist, Mr. Powers used the neighborhood as his illegal canvas as a teenager and young adult. Now 41, he has had his work shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, Deitch Projects in New York and the Venice Biennial. Last summer, he caused a stir with an installation piece at Brooklyn’s Coney Island that was a statement on waterboarding.

The murals were done with the city’s permission, in a partnership with Philadelphia’s Mural Arts Program, funded by a $260,000 grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through the Philadelphia Exhibitions Initiative. Mural Arts, a government and nonprofit hybrid, was started as an antigraffiti initiative in 1984 and has since commissioned more than 3,000 murals and other works of public art. Mr. Powers first came into contact with the organization when it tried to recruit him as a teenager, though he refused to join.

Stripe painters may not wear stripes

From n+1: How artists must dress.

Artists must first of all distinguish themselves from members of the adjacent professional classes typically present at art world events: dealers, critics, curators, and caterers. They must second of all take care not to look like artists. This double negation founds the generative logic of artists’ fashion.

The relationship between an artist’s work and attire should not take the form of a direct visual analogy. A stripe painter may not wear stripes.

The medium is the new message

From the Wall Street Journal: The Internet As Art.

Just as video and computer technology attracted pioneering artists in the 1960s and 1970s, the Internet today is inspiring artists to tinker with the possibilities and boundaries of the World Wide Web. What started as a playful and often tongue-in-cheek experimental venture by a few code-savvy artists in the early 1990s has grown into a global art movement that is attracting attention from museums and private collectors. Karlsruhe-based media museum Zentrum fuer Kunst und Medientechnologie, or ZKM, has been running a series of exhibitions. Berlin’s Digital Art Museum recently showed the video performance “Hammering the Void,” by Gazira Babeli, the pseudonym for an artist who exists only in Second Life, an online virtual reality game.

White House Art

From the Wall Street Journal: Obama is changing the art on the White House walls.

Their choices also, inevitably, have political implications, and could serve as a savvy tool to drive the ongoing message of a more inclusive administration. The Clintons received political praise after they selected Simmie Knox, an African-American artist from Alabama, to paint their official portraits. The Bush administration garnered approval for acquiring “The Builders,” a painting by African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, but also some criticism for the picture, which depicts black men doing menial labor.

Last week the first family installed seven works on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington in the White House’s private residence, including “Sky Light” and “Watusi (Hard Edge),” a pair of blue and yellow abstracts by lesser-known African-American abstract artist Alma Thomas, acclaimed for her post-war paintings of geometric shapes in cheery colors.

Art’s modern intoxication with ugliness

From City Journal: Beauty and Desecration.

At some time during the aftermath of modernism, beauty ceased to receive those tributes. Art increasingly aimed to disturb, subvert, or transgress moral certainties, and it was not beauty but originality-however achieved and at whatever moral cost-that won the prizes. Indeed, there arose a widespread suspicion of beauty as next in line to kitsch-something too sweet and inoffensive for the serious modern artist to pursue. In a seminal essay-“Avant-Garde and Kitsch,” published in Partisan Review in 1939-critic Clement Greenberg starkly contrasted the avant-garde of his day with the figurative painting that competed with it, dismissing the latter (not just Norman Rockwell, but greats like Edward Hopper) as derivative and without lasting significance. The avant-garde, for Greenberg, promoted the disturbing and the provocative over the soothing and the decorative, and that was why we should admire it.

A Novice’s Approach to Viewing Art
and Thrust Projects’ UNHEIM

A view of UNHEIM,
currently on view at Thrust Projects in New York City.
See more views here.

I recently concluded that looking at art is a lot like visiting Staten Island: it really helps to have a guide. Like Staten Island, art does not disclose its secret loveliness to the casual tourist, breezing through the gallery like a Brooklynite through Staten Island en route to the Jersey Shore. To learn to appreciate art – or Staten Island, for that matter – one needs a docent, a guide who knows the lay of the land. I am a docent for Staten Island, but when it comes to art, I need help.

Through my work with International Arts Movement, I have the benefit of knowing many artists and creative catalysts who are willing to give of their time and expertise to help me grow in my approach to viewing art. I have no background in the visual arts, but friends like Mako Fujimura, Dan Siedell, Alison Stigora, Jay Walker and many others have taken time to patiently guide and instruct me in the art of viewing art.

(In addition to these conversations, Fujimura’s books River Grace and Refractions, and Siedell’s book God in the Gallery have been tremendously helpful.)

I have developed for myself an approach to viewing art that makes my trips to galleries and museums a source of delight and stimulation. I hope that, by sharing it here, I might help my fellow art novices have a more meaningful experience the next time they visit an exhibition.

First, I’ve learned that it is important to go into a show humbly. Decide before you walk in the door that you are not going to make quick judgments or dismissals of the works. I find that this is especially important with a lot of modern and contemporary art, which can often give a pedestrian primacy bias. (Warhol’s Soup Cans, for example, might have this effect. It’s easy to think you’re seeing it immediately.) Artists have spent time, energy, contemplation, and resources to create what you are about to see, and curators are deeply invested in what they place on the walls of their spaces. Give them the benefit of the doubt. I was that person who would actually say, aloud, while gazing at a late Jackson Pollock, “I’m not impressed. I could do that. What’s the big deal?”

Listen to me when I say that this is the height of arrogance. Don’t say that. Don’t ever say that.

The second point follows closely on the first: take your time. Do not meander quickly through a gallery or museum and think you have seen the art. If you have meandered quickly, you have not seen the art. Rather, stop in front of the work and gaze – gaze – at the work. Let your eyes rest on the piece for at least a few minutes. Scan it. Stare at it. Tilt your head to the side and stare at it again from a different angle. As in tasting fine wine, swishing the wine around your mouth and across your taste buds, viewing art requires giving your eyes some swishing time. Your eyes are your taste buds when it comes to art. Swish away.

Also, while I encourage people to attend exhibition openings, it is important to point out that the opening of a show is not the time when you will look at, or have a meaningful experience with, the art. The opening is for celebrating the artist. If you want to see the art, go back another day.

Thirdly, make notes. Bring a small notebook and note what you see. For me, this starts with noting the obvious. At my recent visit to Thrust Projects gallery, for example, where I viewed the current UNHEIM exhibition, I wrote in my notebook while standing in front of Valentin Hirsch‘s works on paper, “Elephants. Broken tusks. Multiple trunks. Realistic, but not real. Split, motion, splash. Precise. Landscapes. Mirror image of life and death. Black cloud. Black rain. Tragedy.”

I was describing what I was actually seeing on the paper. Looking at Daniel Domig‘s work in the same exhibition, I wrote, “Human images. Various details – some details, some amoebic. Copulating. Boxing. Violence. Human and skeleton dancing? No, having sex against a wall. Shrouded head. Woman performing fellatio on a man’s very large – phallic – nose, as an idea in a man’s head. Erotic. Uncomfortable.”

On the Subject

• UNHEIM, featuring works on paper by Valentin Hirsch and Daniel Domig, runs May 29-July 19, 2009, at Thrust Projects, 114 Bowery, Suite 301 in New York City. For more information, visit

‚Ä¢ See a previous Curator article on Daniel Domig’s work.

This is not yet getting into what the work is saying. This is just what I am seeing. But as I wrote what I saw, I began to “see” more. Getting beyond the obvious discernible images, I began to draw some conclusions (which may or may not be what the artist intended, but by this point the artist is no longer in the picture; it’s about the art itself and the viewer’s experience of that art, or so Dan Siedell tells me.)

The last thing I do during a gallery visit is to walk back through the art one last time and do word association, writing down every word that comes to mind as I view the art. It was during this stage of my time with UNHEIM that the collaboration between two very different artists came together in a unified way: the words I was associating with each of their work were the same. Surreal… destruction… violence… haunting… tragedy… conflict… struggle… These words describe the “story” I “read” during my visit with both Domig and Hirsch’s work.

At this point, I have engaged with the art on a deep level. I am ready to describe my experience. The story I read went something like this:

The work is deeply disturbing. Hirsch’s work makes me think of how elephants are so regal and strong, yet vulnerable. The landscapes remind me of Africa, and the poaching of elephants going on there. This reminds me of the bigger issues facing global humanity, where the stewarding of the land that was mandated in Genesis 1 and 2 has become badly perverted. Looking at one particular portrait of an elephant head, drawn very regally, but with broken tusks and eyes that are indiscernible, lost to shadows, I was stirred to sadness, in the same way I am when I see an elephant in a circus. This was not what elephants were created for. They were made to be kings; instead, we have made them clowns. These pieces speak to me of destruction and tragedy. But Hirsch is not talking about elephants here. Elephants are a metaphor for something else, I’m sure. As I think further about the kings/clowns idea, I think of humanity. Is humanity what it was created to be? Not by a long shot. We were made in God’s image to be kings and queens. Instead, we are clowns. Worse, we are slaves.

Domig’s work is likewise evocative of sadness and longing, but not in quite the same way. In his work, there is a wrestling match between reality and the psyche. Some images remind me of a passage in the Bible, where St. Paul says, “Who will save me from this body of death?” There is a sense of being weighed down by an unseen burden, or enslaved by something intangible, yet very real. I see in many of the images a clear man, a central character of the piece, but with ideas or fantasies or struggles that inhibit him from being fully alive. He, too, is a slave, perhaps to his past, or to his memories, or to his unfettered animal instincts that threaten to dehumanize him. He is haunted by something he can’t quite shake.

Both artists’ work caused me to think deeply about the human condition – and not just humanity in general, but my own humanity. Am I living as the royalty I was created to be? Or am I living as a slave? Do I have a monkey on my back, or have I managed to throw aside everything that has entangled me? Do I continue to dance with a “body of death,” or do I take my thoughts and imagination captive to that which is good, true, and beautiful?

Viewing art is a very personal experience, if you will let it be so. But like many vessels of beauty or truth, there is no Reader’s Digest version. Without spending time with the work, you might walk gaily through the gallery, muttering to yourself “I don’t get it,” because you simply didn’t give the art an opportunity to give “it” to you. I spent nearly two hours with approximately thirty small works on paper, and the experience I had was profound. What a gift art is, if we will receive it as such.

Man on Wire, Take 2

From the New York Times: Same Man, New Wire and a Secret Midtown Venue.

The stealth preparations made the walk a compelling subject in the film “Man on Wire,” which won an Oscar for best documentary feature this year. While on stage at the ceremony, Mr. Petit balanced the Oscar statue on his nose; it was unscripted and unannounced.

But Mr. Petit’s next walk will not be a surprise.

Here’s the spoiler: Mr. Petit says he will perform a high-wire walk in the fall in Midtown Manhattan. It will be high, it will be long, and it will be outdoors in a very recognizable location that he does not want revealed quite yet – arrangements are not final.

See Sarah Hanssen’s Curator article on Man on Wire.

Nontraditional galleries flourishing

From the New York Times‘s Bushwick Journal: Art Galleries With Less of a Profit Motive Flourish in Brooklyn .

There are drawbacks to putting an art gallery in one’s living room, among them having to keep the floors spotless and hide dirty socks. But there are definite benefits, too: no overhead, for one, which comes in handy if the art market, in keeping with most other markets these days, happens to sputter to a halt.

In Bushwick, Brooklyn, galleries owned and run by artists have sprouted over the past few years in living rooms as well as in storefronts and factory spaces. Unlike gallery owners in Chelsea or SoHo, many of these artists-slash-gallerists have an extra layer of insulation against the spiraling recession. Most have full-time jobs and said their motive for showing art was just that: to show art.

Wait wait, I’ve got an idea

These two articles are oddly appropriate next to each other.

From the LA Times: Artists are Losing Jobs Fast and Furiously.

According to new research announced today by the National Endowment for the Arts, working artists are unemployed at a higher rate than other workers, and at a rate that is rising more rapidly than other professions. Presumably as a result, more artists are leaving their profession.

Couple that with this. From the Community Arts Network, A Proposed Job Swap To Save American Capitalism:

Do Wall Street executives deserve big bonuses during hard times? Does increased arts funding have a place in an economic stimulus package? I’ll leave it to others to debate these controversies. Meanwhile I’d like to make a modest proposal to solve some of our economic problems: Let’s do a job swap. We’ll put the corporate executives to work as artists while the artists run Wall Street.