Monday, April 06, 2009

Indianapolis Art Survey

NOTE: This post will remain on top until the survey closes. Please scroll down for more recent posts.

Survey Goal: 500 Responses
Completed Surveys (at last count): 479
Survey Will Now Remain Open Through April 10th

Presentation and discourse of the survey results will be held at the Harrison Center for the Arts, Thursday, April 16th, 6-8pm.

On the Cusp is conducting what we hope will be a comprehensive survey concerning the arts in Indianapolis and would like you to take part. The questions will cover some general demographic information, your art viewing habits, art purchasing habits and more. The survey consists of 60 questions and should take approximately 15 minutes to complete. We hope to find out more about the current state of the arts in Indianapolis so we can forge new paths in which to both grow and improve the the local art scene. The survey will be conducted through the rest of the month. Any personal information garnered from the survey will remain completely anonymous. Thank you in advance for your participation and please spread the word about the survey.

Indianapolis Art Survey

On the Cusp would like to thank 
IDADA (Indianapolis Downtown Artist & Dealers Association) 
and the Arts Council of Indianapolis 
for their assistance and support with this survey
and everyone else who has helped us to 
spread the word about this survey.

23 Responses to “Indianapolis Art Survey”

Anonymous said...
March 6, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Anonynony says:

And later, how about an ARTIST survey to get the full picture of the state of arts here in indy?

just a thought.

Anonymous said...
March 6, 2009 at 8:53 PM


Scott said...
March 7, 2009 at 6:52 PM

I am certainly willing to do an "artist" survey if we actually need one. I do cover some artist specific questions in the current survey but I would like to pose this question to everyone. What sort of questions/information would you want to find out about that is specific to artists and their practice here in Indy?

Anonymous said...
March 10, 2009 at 5:16 PM


I'd like to bitch for a while about the lack of critical writing about art in the city. I've seen Dan Grossman (and others) give 4 stars to almost EVERY show he's ever covered (not personal, Dan, just annoying). Our local art writers have reduced "reviews" to short, descriptive listings that do nothing to evaluate or analyze the work seen. Blah. Just for once, I'd like to see someone call it like it is. I would actually go out of my way at this point to see a show someone gave ONE star to.

Lori said...
March 10, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Sorry, that last entry was me.


Scott said...
March 10, 2009 at 10:13 PM

You know Lori,

I am right there with you on this topic. Nearly every artist or arts professional I speak with mentions this lack of arts writing in Indy as a big factor. I was actually having this discussion earlier tonight with one of my peers. Aside from what is typically banal writing with out substance it is becoming more and more common to never see an arts writer even attend a fraction of the exhibitions in local galleries.

A part of me feels completely guilty for not having done more to alter this fact. I originally began this blog with Chris to be a platform for critical discussion of art in Indy and a major component to that was intended to be reviews of local shows. While I did write a number of reviews in the beginning, I confess to having done little in the past year. I never felt I was an adequate arts writer and may be to connected to a number of organizations for any sense of nonbias by a portion of the local community. Perhaps this would be overlooked if I just began to write such reviews on a regular basis. So in that end, I do feel I (and On the Cusp for that matter) has failed one of its key purposes. I have often invited people to write reviews and many people in the past have been all about it, but when it comes down to it they almost always have backed out.

I hope On the Cusp can rise up again as a viable source for such critical reviews.

Anonymous said...
March 13, 2009 at 9:03 PM

Like everyone, I agree critical review and writing is necessary for a viable art community. I do believe "on the cusp" had this goal in the beginning, but seems to have strayed from the job. Example: ARTIST dan's current review exemplifies a lack of critical thinking and understanding by a half rate artist at best. His simplicity of ideas and lack of perspective seems to mirror his lack of creativity in his own work. Leave the writing to people who understand the job or lose your credibility with the active artists in the community. If you are just throwing the job out to anyone who will do it, with no credentials, there are many options out 2 cents.

Anonymous said...
March 13, 2009 at 11:36 PM

I totally agree with the above statement.

-Some Guy

Scott said...
March 14, 2009 at 12:32 AM

Look, I have completely fessed up to my own personal failing of providing more critical reviews here. But I think there is an issue you bring up that I have once attempted to answer before, what are the appropriate credentials to one needs in order to be an art critic? I have in the past, on this very site expressed my personal thoughts on this matter, so I ask you, what are your thoughts? Not having seen either of these exhibitions myself, I can neither defend or oppose Dan's take on these shows. What I will stand by, is his willingness to step up and give writing a review of local shows a try and put his name to it. In the past, I have approached and attempted to get art academics, arts writers, art lovers, artists and the like to write for reviews for this blog. But the reality of the situation is, people are either not willing to volunteer their time or writing and/or they are not willing to write something to the blog and put their name to it. With out financial backing, I am at a loss of what to do in order to get a regular level of quality arts writing. Then again, even if I had some money to pay someone, would I be able to find someone locally who would step up to fill the position? I seriously have some doubts, but I try to remain optimistic. I want there to be a high level of critical writing on the blog with a range of reviews of local exhibitions.

Let me say this, we all want a critical discussion but then again people hate to be criticized in such reviews and get quite defensive even when a writer is clear, concise, thoughtful and correct in their assesment. I know this is natural but that is also when things on a blog can get nasty, as Anonymous has done above attacking Dan and his art, without any of the critical thought you are demanding to here from him. I mean come on. Someone stepped up and said they would be willing to write a review for the blog so I, in hopes that this would at least be a platform for discussion, agreed. I am not an editor so I do not feel I should read any post before hand and decide if it is worth posting or not. Maybe someday in the future when I have a large number of willing writers to contribute, this will have to happen. Write now, I am glad to have someone who is willing to be proactive. Like I said, I have not seen any of these shows yet so I have no stance upon which to gauge the reviews. But, I ask myself this, is it worst than anything of our current options, like NUVO? Having read the review, I would say it is at least on par with most of what I have read in NUVO art reviews.

Is there room for improvement? ABSOLUTELY! This is one of the reasons I spent so much time putting this survey and for that matter this blog together. I want to do whatever I can to help and make the art scene at least a little bit better. I obviously still have my work cut out for me but I think with some constructive feedback and some initiative by others in the community we can all make this happen.

Where are the future arts critics, independent curators and future gallery owners in this city?

Scott said...
March 14, 2009 at 12:37 AM

By the way, please forgive the numerous spelling and grammatical errors in the above post. Like I said, I am not an editor. Haha...

Anonymous said...
March 14, 2009 at 10:21 PM

You don't need a survey to know that the arts here is a side show.
I know I have lived It.
A survey is not going to help it.
All this town wants to do is support sports at all cost.
At a great lose of money to a city.

We need a vibrant art scene so bad.

Lirio said...
March 16, 2009 at 7:41 AM

Vibrant artists make vibrant art scenes......vibrate everybody!
Fess up now....we all miss that snarky lady who used to write for nuvo eh?....So, a critic needs to be PAID to go around and look at art every month and then actually pass judgement. Risking boredom should be compensated I guess. (sarcasm!) Also, the critic would have an excuse to fall back on if anyone had hurt feelings..."Hey! Just doing my job!" to pay (a qualified) someone to write critique with no bias???...shall we start a fund here? I'll throw in $5.

Lirio said...
March 16, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Oh yeah...where's the new Art it out yet?

Anonymous said...
March 16, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Lirio - You're not missing much. I found a copy of it at the Harrison Center. The magazine is pretty much an abomination. Horribly designed, lackluster content, and very very poor writing.

-Some Guy

Scott said...
March 16, 2009 at 3:17 PM

Some Guy,

Yes. I would have to agree on the magazine. I know that they had some issues getting the it up and running on this, their freshman run. I can only hope that they can learn from their mistakes, absorb the criticism that people seem to have about it and show us these changes in their sophomore effort. I can not imagine the hassles of trying to run an art magazine in Indy with no corporate or private funding. I hope they can find a way to make it work, as we could use more writing about the arts,

Lori said...
March 16, 2009 at 4:49 PM

It sounds like everyone wants criticism about everyone else's work, just not their own. A paid, reputable critic has the great "just doing my job" approach, while the rest of us are stuck between being a part of the artistic community as artists and alienating ourselves from it as a critic. Hmmm- I don't think there's much onthecusp can do in that regard but to conscientiously raise support of criticism. And as to Nuvo's writers- I'm not sure if Lirio is referring to Mary Lee or Julianna- I think they both suffered enough for their attempts to be critical. We're not exactly open to it.

Lirio said...
March 17, 2009 at 7:29 AM

Ha!ha! :) So true....we need them but "we hates them" heh!
It would seem to be a time consuming job.....probably why volunteers don't last long. Surely there is someone leveled headed, with no bones to pick or butts to kiss on the IMA staff that could have "qualified art critic" written into their job description.... Consistant, quality criticism seems to keep coming up as an important ingredient to the "vibrant arts scene" recipe....

Anonymous said...
March 17, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Lets get back to the survey

March 18, 2009 at 11:04 AM
Blog for Indianapolis's newest and largest gallery space.

Lirio said...
March 21, 2009 at 1:43 PM

To the annomymous who didn't like artist Dan's recent OTC reveiw....It seemed straight forward to me....what was it that you think he should have said? Is a review supposed to tell how the art looks to the reveiwer, or is the reviewer supposed to "understand" the art and convey how its SUPPOSED to look? Just curious what you expected here. I want to know if the art looks good enough for me to take the time to go see it.....that's all.

wug said...
March 25, 2009 at 1:41 PM

hey lori, i'll chip in $10 for a mary lee fund.
i agree with the above statements that too often we artists are too thin-skinned when it comes to criticism. if we want criticism, we gotta take it. i've actually told reviewers, no holds barred, write what you see. they've obliged, to my benefit. i wanna know how i can improve, what i can do better.
so i'm hoping mary lee shows up on april 3 and then scorches my ass. :)
i'd also like to thank dan for having the nerve to put his name to something and accept criticism for his criticism. whatever you may think of his art, he's a pretty perceptive guy who's been involved for twenty-plus years. the criticisms of dan sound like sour grapes to me.
... and thanks for the survey, scott. REALLY looking forward to the results.

Anonymous said...
June 25, 2009 at 11:22 AM

I have never shown in INDY, and am new to the midwest going on three years now. Here in Cincinnati, this is as well an issue. Criticism does not seem to work in an upbeat weekly rag, it needs another place to sink it's teath into. I have had one sincere review, and I am so grateful for that one. The other two reviews were hug fests, with no bite at all.

I will openly say, that the "Three by Three" show that opens TUESDAY the 30th of JUNE in the Herron gallery is totally open for reviews, be they good bad, critical or otherwise. Three curators selected three artists to represent their respective midwest areas. I welcome all criticism. The only thing I would hate is if the show got a review that had no actual opinions or sincere language. I know that the reviewers of local rags are to encourage people to get out and see the city, but dumbing down work for the sake of bringing in a few extra people isn't for me. --mulligan

Kamilah Gill said...
August 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

I'll volunteer to help with writing art reviews, if you still need someone. I don't pull punches, and I'm not overly connected to Indianapolis' "art scene" at the moment (except for having gone to Herron, but I'd be frank about my former classmates, too).

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