Friday, October 09, 2009
Do you like this story?
While reading my latest emails, I came across the latest ArtLetter by Paul Klein, who in his way, once again states things in such a wonderful way that I feel it is worth sharing with our readers. Through the connecting factors between Klein's article and a wonderfully written history of the artist-run spaces of Chicago, I recently read at Pr, [(Pr) is a free arts broadsheet newsletter put out by the folks at proximity magazine. visit us online at proximitymagazine.com.] I began contemplating the numerous similarities and differences between our neighboring city.
Paul Klein in his article linked above writes:
Chicago artists are making a difference. There are more artists taking initiative than I've seen in some time. More artist-run, alternative spaces are emerging. Some appear with the intent of only lasting for a few months and some only for a single show.
Obviously there are not enough galleries here to address the quantity of quality art that's made here. And though that appears to be an indictment of our galleries, there is also an insufficient number of collectors (even just buyers) to adequately support the gallery scene.
Now Chicago has had a long and vibrant history with artist-run spaces and projects. Something that I have long loved about their art scene. When you can't find the scene you want, build it yourself. I had a conversation within the last 24 hours regarding a comment made by a local artist/patron whose apparent disdain for the local arts community intrigued me. In their perspective art and artists in Indy are basically irrelevant and not going to be noticed or make any noticable impact. This includes not only our galleries but also the IMA. While in some regards I do feel we have a way to go on many platforms, it is this blanket disregard to the talents and efforts being put forth by those of us who do what we can to help to elevate the scene in some way. The two biggest things that take away from Indy from having more of an active and vibrant local art scene, and both are actually interrelated are a lack of art buying/collecting public and a lack of established blue chip galleries. I have long felt that these two things are connected. But even in such circumstances, I feel that it is short sighted and narrow minded (in my opinion) to dismiss things out right. There are a number of local artists who make some excellent works that I would stack up against artist in any other city. Several of our local artists have participated and show with galleries and art fairs around the world. Perhaps this number is lower than in some cities but they are there. Artists and galleries need to try new models of practice to help get their work and their aesthetic seen, not only locally but beyond.
While we still have a long way to go, I feel it is possible to make an impact both as an artist, an arts blogger and a curator. As they often say, "if you are not part of the solution, you are a part of the problem." If you feel as if you are simply stuck here in Indy and you can't readily leave, then perhaps its time for you to step up and do something to make a change. Throw out old models of thinking and ideas about what a gallery is or should be. Reconsider what you think is success as an artist or venue. Try something new.