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?

Just Like Honey

Been busy with everything BUT work lately. Sean’s project I’m helping with for the CMA goes up this week-ish, finally getting off arse to try and show work outside my house, one of my best friends is getting married this weekend plus I want to read everything ever written ever.

(Have we made sleep optional yet?)

After making a few rounds to the galleries this past week I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to show work, and how space for interactions are made/legitimized/etc. So far my most promising prospect is a tattoo parlor cum gallery. I keep flashing back to a  year or so ago, when Columbus artist Dina Sherman visited Ball State to talk about her work, specifically the IMA Gallery . Her main topic was how to ‘take over space’ not normally used for art (especially if not used at all).And while yeah, a show in a “real” gallery or museum would be nice, I really like the idea of unexpected encounters with art or at least slightly more unusual arenas in which to start the conversation.

completely unedited picture of the fantastic light we had after that big storm last week.