gallery schmallery.

gallery schmallery.

So-

I got rejected from another season at a local art gallery. This probably sounds like the beginning of a whiny rant, but really? I have completely mixed feelings bordering on downright positive.

First of all, the gallery in question is nothing but awesome, AND uses outside artists to judge the entries (so nothing but love for the folks that run it). One of those artists, this year, was none other than Ann Hamilton- meaning, Ann Hamilton has now seen my name and my work. Win! Who cares if there wasn’t a majority vote in it’s favor, I have now shown my work to an artist who’s not only been on PBS (NERDHOLLYWOOD), but whose work I greatly admire. That’s awesome.

But also, I’ve been having lots of mixed feelings about the gallery scene, and my involvement in it (or lack thereof) in general. This is nothing against artists who show their work in galleries- I’m lucky enough to know several amazing artist friends who actively make and show their work all over Columbus and beyond. I respect not just their work, but the drive they have to put themselves out there and make the system work for them- I just don’t know if it’s for me. I love making art, I love giving art as gifts, and I love trading art, whether it’s for more art or for other useful/delicious things (best art trade to date? small installation for a jar of homemade maple syrup.)- but when it comes to assigning a monetary value to it and putting it up for ‘the Art World’ to see, I have feelings that are accurately described as ambivalent.  This isn’t to say that showing work and selling work doesn’t feel good- of course it does. It’s like getting a high score on the SATs after studying for years. But, what do you do when you start to question, not just the score, but the whole system of standardized testing?

The whole thing gets even stickier when what you want to do can’t be sold. Galleries are businesses, so of course they want to put their energy into promoting artists who will help their businesses through sales…so where does this leave artists like myself who sometimes make things, but who feel just as strongly about making spaces or experiences? How do we, as artists, measure success if not through work sold and shows accumulated?

How do you feel? Do you try to show work in galleries? If not, do you still make things? Or, if you don’t make things, how do you get your work out there, how do you push your work to evolve?

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Hello old friend [existential crises], hello.

Hello old friend [existential crises], hello.

Hey!
Hi- did you miss me?

I missed you.

It’s been a full couple of months- Not ‘crazy busy’ or even ‘crazy’ or ‘busy’, just full. Full of studio nights, full of cooking and takeout, full of work- work that was dull and work that was thrilling, full of thinking, full of doing, full of the beautiful give and take needed to exist as a human in a world with other humans.

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full of cats.

I won’t lie to you- there were times when I was too busy to write, but more often than not the silence was intentional. It wasn’t personal, I just needed time to put my brain in order and figure out just what it is I’m doing here. When I first started this blog I had the idea that it would serve as a portfolio of sorts. It’s meandered since then, focusing on everything from the intensely personal to attempts at being objective and universally relevant- the only real constant being my compulsion to Keep Writing Things Here. A couple of times I’ve attempted to refocus on the art, but then, last year I found a website host whose price and interface fill my heart with cupcakes. Now I have a shiny professsssional website* where I can show my work, without any references to my social sweating, but which requires time and upkeep to make it relevant. And then, of course, there comes the question of redundancy- If I’m writing about my work over there, do I really need to write about it at length over here ? How much CATLYNCH does the internet really need? And if it’s redundant, then can I stop feeling guilty about tangential and self-indulgent posts here? But I still feel this commitment/compulsion to keep writing, and what do I write about if not this thing [art], around which I’ve built so much of my identity? What is the sound of one hand clapping?!
This, I think, is really why sitting down to write here has been an exercise in cognitive dissonance and why this year in particular it’s floundered. Screen shot 2013-12-22 at 5.35.09 PM

So it’s time for a change. I’m not sure in what direction, but a change is a-comin.
But first, thank-you – whether this is your first visit or the 306th post to come to your inbox, thank-you for being here, for reading, for caring, for giving this small corner of the internet a reason to exist. Speaking of which,

what do you want to see here?

Seriously, what keeps you coming back? What would you find interesting or relevant?

Writing and pictures about plants and growing things? Food? Stories of social awkwardness? Professional musings about education, imagination and emergent curricula? Socio-political soapboxing through the lens of feminism? Or maybe you prefer to get something out of this page- how-to’s, recipes, crafts, TASTY KNOWLEDGE? Truly, let me know what gets you jazzed- the only thing not up for negotiation is cats.

There will always be cats.

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*MASSIVE update there, coming soon