I am part of a 3 person show with Calcagno Cullen and Amanda Curreri at the Cincinnati Contemporary Art Center Feb 8 -June 16 2019 that is titled "Archive as Action." This show will explore the activation of both archival materials and the gesture of collection/cataloguing through craft, performance and collaborative events.
As I have been preparing for this exhibition, I feel very alive. I feel like I am in grad school again and that a lot of work and ideas are going to flow out of me in a short period of time, which is exhilarating. But I am also reminded of how isolating the process of art is. Which is ironic to me, because people and my connections to people are pivotal for my art practice.
When you are trained as an artist in art school. You are talking about your art all the time - - with teachers and advisors, with your peers and in critiques. It is a shock to your system when your graduate and can barely find people who will listen to your art ideas and whims. My husband and I literally opened a gallery with our good friend Annie Brown in an attempt to stay active with constant conversations around art. I am lucky. I married an artist. So we talk about our ideas a lot. But I am trying to find ways to bring a social aspect to my work even more. Not just the final product. But the process as well.
As I have been planning for this exhibition. I see myself canceling social plans, and bulldozing my schedule so that I have as much studio time as possible. My art friends get it. They are the hardest working people I know. We are so committed to our art practices, we make very little time for anything else. But I do feel guilty for some of the social obligations I have to drop sometimes.
So far I have troubleshooted this isolation by possibly doing my planning and making in public spaces so that I can be around people and possibly engage in conversation about these plans and generate feedback. I don't quite have the logistics of that figured out yet. I also thought about having open studio events and or live streaming my working. - - People will be shocked to see how messy my process is!- - Another idea for bringing a social aspect to my studio practice is this blog (I weirdly hate the word blog - to me sounds like "Bleh" can we come up with another name for it?). I think all artists should make and reflect/write in tandem. Hopefully this blog as social practice project for myself will serve as accountability for do more writing and reflecting during this process.
It does feel very vulnerable to me. Art is often an illusion. You see the final exhibition but not often the failures, the fears, the doubt, the process. But all of my best decisions so far have scared me a little bit. I think if you aren't a little bit scared of your own art, you aren't stepping out of your comfort zone and that is where we grow.
I would LOVE to hear about your artistic isolation and how you trouble shoot it. You can comment on this blog or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org You can also reach me on twitter and instagram as @sparklezilla
Also I need to plug our gallery PIQUE www.PIQUEwebsite.com and https://www.facebook.com/piquesocialmedia We believe in art and art experiences and try to offer a lot of support to artists in our greater Cincinnati community with events like Creative Bitch Fest - which is a space for artists to talk about how hard it is to be an artist and Grant and Residency night which is a night to learn about this process and find opportunities.
Below are a few images of sketching I have done so far for this exhibition. Maybe if you follow me on this journey - the show in February will feel more fulfilling to see.
Thanks for reading.