Archive for the ‘General Arts’ Category

fb: Jerry Saltz: Awaiting Friend Confirmation: His Geographical Move

February 19th, 2010 No comments

Perhaps the most important lesson from this dialogue is were it is occurring.

Update – Friendship Confirmed (Feb. 18 2:54 pm): I’ve been given entry to this gated community.

RISD’s Next: To Cut Staff & Close Museum for August

May 22nd, 2009 No comments

via [ The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research

Rhode Island School of Design plans to cut staff by 15 to 20 and close its museum for the month of August because of a significant decline in the Providence school’s endowment, according to the school.

RISD reports that the endowment lost a third of its value since its peak of $347 million in December 2007.

What is happening to the Arts the in the Northeast? Are we seeing evidence that Institutions of Art in the Northeast are over exposed to the OLD Economy? We know that Rhode Island was especially hit hard by the recession and we have heard about Brandeis closing the Rose Art Museum.

It looks like we are beginning to see less demand for NEW ARTISTS, or may be less of new artists from the old economy. Are there any artists of the new economy, yet? If so who are they? May be the New Museum will tell us. What economy are they from?

Categories: General Arts

Indianapolis Cuts Funding for the Arts

May 6th, 2009 No comments

That cost-cutting effort was renewed when the board voted Friday to suspend grant payments to all recipients, including $3.2 million combined for the Arts Council of Indianapolis, Indiana Black Expo and cultural tourism projects.

[ ]

[ On the Cusp ] has the story and a response. 

This just a couple weeks after our Culture Matters Rally where the Mayor decided to speak about how important the arts were to the growth of the city and its residents. Flop. Times and the economy are tough. We all understand this…

 – Read more

Categories: General Arts

Modernism > Post-Modernism > Post-Pluralism < Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative

May 5th, 2009 No comments

Warning, below are bits and pieces of change I found on the ground. I can not say I have never seen these coins before, but I don’t know how to count them. So I am going begin to lay them here on the table. 

[ Edward Winkleman ]

Edward Winkleman asks “What does that (Post-pluralistic) mean?” in his post:

Pluralism : Post to Present Again (or the Revolution is Probably Already Here)

From Modernism (the era of the avant-guard, the scout that went beyond) >

      > Post-Modern (beyond Modernism) >

                 > Post-Pluralism (?) >

                            > Post-Post >

                                        < Brownfield Redevelopment

It is too easy, too boring, and frankly too weak to put a “Post” at the beginning of anything. What does it mean and who does it serve to “go beyond the era” that looks to “go beyond the era” of “going beyond?”

Who’s adopting the coinage “Post-Pluralism?”

So as Edward Winkleman prepares for this next era he has a vessel in search of an entity. But he also has some clues. 

And so it may be, I suspect, with art history. The reason we’re not seeing the “Dawn of Post-Pluralism” (or at least not seeing it clearly) may be because this next stage in art history is likely going to be truly revolutionary. And as such, it will not be “apparent at the moment it appears.” Folks focused on big changes will be foiled as small changes spread and incrementally break the old systems forever. 


Though not intending, I think I began to touch upon bits of this discussion in previous Posts.

[ What I am Looking at: Paul Lloyd Sargent

This is a time when Artists and designers are exercising strengths in dialogues they were traditionally excluded from – such as in making decisions and designing the built environment

To a certain degree I want to say Artists are beginning to operate in highly specialized dialogues where they were previously not found.

So much of Post-Modernism has been a preoccupied with Popular-Culture / Propaganda / etc. (so called Low culture). With the success of the Obama campaign Shepard Fairey has been cast as the “Monkeys” of street artists. We’ve seen this before. There is a large market effort to support this heroic emblem of artist as propagandist. But then we had the Post-Campaign – and the battle of appropriation. Enters Lawrence lessig. Lawrence throws his voice in support rewriting the “Artist Statement”, and suddenly we realize here is a performance artist of such particular cause and strength (copyright & good government), that we can not help but draw contrasts.

We have seen Artists collaborating with other artists. We have also seen Artists as Project Managers bringing together in collaboration disparate disciplines of non-artists possessing highly specialized skills. Today we are seeing artists commit to very particular and highly technical skills-sets, going so far to engage statical relevancy. The Artistic hubris has some gaining advance degrees in other disciplines and operating in realms of research, production, and theory. And collaborating with other Artists with highly specialized skill-sets.

I like to refer to what we are in need of and what we are going through culturally as a Brownfield Redevelopment Initiative. This revitalization project isn’t necessarily supplanting the aesthetic practices of production but include an eye to remediation. Much of our territory landscape has been damaged and is or is perceived to be toxic, leaving less little land in productive use. This is requiring us to revisit these damaged landscapes and remediate to various productive levels.

Categories: General Arts

No more Art(ner) at the Trib?

April 25th, 2009 No comments

No more Art(ner) at the Trib? | Time Out Chicago.

This morning’s unfortunate announcement of layoffs at the Tribune dealt an especially hard blow to local art criticism. Veteran Tribune art critic Alan Artner was handed the pink slip. 

Categories: General Arts

Uncle Freddy’s Closes

April 14th, 2009 No comments

The only institution in Northwest Indiana supporting the cultural life of visual artists is closing its doors on April 30th. That is not meant as a slap to The South Shore Arts or any of the Universities in the region. It is just the nature of how creative cultures live – on the pulse of life and not the structure and wealth of institutions. Since 2002 Tom Torluemke and Linda Dorman have worked where artist congregate, move and interact with their surroundings, and in “Uncle Freddy’s” they created a place where those activities could thrive. 

Uncle Freddy’s rocky history in Hammond and then moving to Highland is only one example of how artistic visions and talents are battered about in the region. This is occurring under the noises of regional leaders who are hugely invested in institutions and annually proclaim that the ARTS are strong in Northwest Indiana at dinner events at the South Shore Arts and Chamber of Commerce, and breakfast events at the Quality of Life Council and university conferences. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yes, there is extraordinary talent here, but no sustaining PLACES for that talent to interact and grow. 


Tom has been instrumental in the lives of so many young and mature artists in the region, from the East Chicago graffiti art scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, to the great mural art throughout the region and opening the substation in Hammond.


Although I have only begun to show my work again, I am terribly sorry to see them close. I know they will continue to serve the community and produce new spaces with life. Thank you allowing me to trip into this space.  Take care…

Categories: General Arts

Panel Discussion: The Invisible Artist – Creators From Chicago’s Southside

April 9th, 2009 2 comments


On March 26th the School of the Art Institute held a panel discussion to “address perceptions that artists on Chicago’s South Side are under-known and undervalued or, at worst, intentionally ignored” as Jason Foumberg so aptly states in his piece titled “Why Have There Been No Great South Side Artists?” at Newcity Art.

Panelists included:

  • Andre Guichard, artist and owner of Gallery Guichard
  • Joyce Owens, Chicago State faculty, Art & Design Department
  • Lowell Thompson, artist and writer
  • Natalie Moore, reporter, Chicago Public Radio
  • Patrick Rivers, SAIC faculty, Visual & Critical Studies Department

Living so far south that I inhabit a whole other state (which is still part of Chicago’s Calumet region), my marginal location gives me a very useful perspective on this subject. The subject speaks to the importance of identity and place and the old stories of enfranchisement. And I am very glad it has been brought up. I hope many Artist from Northwest Indiana participate in the ongoing discussions.

A major characteristic of my identity with Chicago growing up on the North Side was what was absent. I had a massive blackhole in my awareness of the city’s South Side. My family took advantage of a few South Side islands such as Hyde Park, China town, and Maxwell Street and I was a Sox fan, besides that I had no other identity with the South Side.

Chicago is known for its iconic neighborhoods, and yet during my youth – from the 1960s through the 1980s, most of Chicagoan’s lived in what I now call “Gap Areas.” These are places that lie between identities, mostly serving the nimby instincts (not in my backyard) of more powerful iconic identities. Consequently, these places tended to receive discarded land, material, infrastructure, and peoples; out-of-sight, out-of-mind. Whether they are brownfields or brownpeople north siders were too preoccupied with the forming of their own identities that they gave little attention to the South Side. It is hard for an enlightened northsider to speak to a Blackhole, even if they grew up in one.

When I think about this topic and its ramifications for Artist I don’t just think about the agents of art (makers and consumers) but also the place of art. Whatever you may think about the person, place also has an important role in Art. And when you add markets to the mix, well then, you just created hierarchies of place and centers of the arts which are highly biased toward monied interests.

There has always been a conflict between where the market is and where the artist live. Artists (or the Creative Class), being more mobile, have been known to abandoned where they live to migrate in mass and cluster around these highly capitalized creative centers. But now that capital has become highly mobile itself, actually much more mobile than people, there is no reason we can not bring these markets to these once discarded communities and neighborhoods and seed the development of more great artist.

See I believe, some of the blind neglect by the institutions of art and the media has expression in our built environment. The built environment is a physical record that also solicits certain behavior – it’s the construction of the Dan Ryan all over again. What has occurred on the southside with respect to the art world is another form of white flight and building barriers.

We are only beginning to see revitalization in the Bronzeville neighborhood and the near southside. My worry is that developers such as Community Builders, who are developing the Ida B. Wells area, have neglected the importance of Culture and the Arts to such an extent that they have not attracted the necessary capital to seed a vital cultural life.

Although Pilsen is a near southside community it can serve as a good example for seeding the development of a cultural center. There are several initiatives that make it a vital place for artist to live (the Hispanic Art Museum and the Podmajerski properties to name just two). The last decade has also seen an expansion of the art scene into Bridgeport and farther south. Then of course there is Hyde Park, Beverly and Morgan Park.

But what is forgotten are the neighborhoods that lie under the plumb of existing and fallow 20th century industry – steel mills and oil refineries. There has been very little to no progress in these neighborhoods.

By the title “Why have there been no great South Side Artists?” Jason Founberg references Linda Nochlin’s famous Feminist essay, “Why have there been no great women artists?” This is a great rhetorical tactic that worked well for women in the arts in the late 1980’s and early 1990s. It creates a dialectic between the art establishment and South Side Artists. The framing of the dialectic repositions the South Side Artist to a position of equivalence. Remember this is also the era that produced the Guerilla Girls, Hillary Clinton and other effective tactics of identity politics to empower disenfranchised women. If I was a community organizer, I would say we made same great gains here. So, as much as we need to continue building channels for great artists to reach the great show rooms of the Art establishment so too we need build the channels that brings the Art establishment to the South Side.

Finally, there are perceptual advantages to living at the margins of this Metropolis. ….

Last Final Note: 

The “Invisible Artist” panel discussion will air on Chicago Public Radio at a future date to be determined. A related exhibition, “Change…” is on view through April 30 at the South Side Community Art Center, 3831 S. Michigan.

Conference: Drawing the Lines

March 4th, 2009 No comments

<Looking back at November 2006>This conference occurred more than 2 years ago at Indiana University Northwest. This is the kind of stuff that peeks my interests and tickles my hand. There was great significance to hosting such a conference at this time and place. Northwest Indiana had been looking for strategies to revitalize the region. They had developed the Marquette Plan, the Regional Development Authority, transportation projects, etc. This was in a continuation of efforts to move things along.

This brings to mind two issues.

  1. What is the role of the Artist in urban vitalization?
    • Too often the artist’s voice in these kinds of discussions are treated like a craft booth artist, pedaling their cute works. Otherwise they are deaf, dumb and blind. Artists are to perform and be quiet. This is what I call the “Dirty Dancing” treatment. I am often embarrassed for Artist who accept such roles. 
    • I believe the Artist needs to step up and contribute their voice to the built environment. I believe that Artist voice should take the leading role more often in civil society. 
  2. And what has happened in the last 2-years?
    • I am not certain anything has happened. I don’t know of any new initiatives or changes in the way the region is approaching revitalization. 
    • It appears to me with the announcement of the BP project the region has actually regressed from advancing such initiatives. 
    • Revitalization of the region reverted back to a reliance on old heavy industry, in this case the refining of the even dirtier fossil fuels – the Alberta tar sand.
    • The region became ensnarled in a lack of initiative and culture once again. Indiana and regional Leaders approved environmental permitting with out ANY objection. It wasn’t until Illinois voice objection to violating the the Clean water act that the issue was heard. Regional Leaders and the press did not investigate. They promoted the project without investigation. They approved with out reviewing impacts, particularly to initiatives outlined in this conference.


Drawing the Lines: International Perspectives on Urban Renewal through the Arts
This conference promotes conversation about art and urban renewal on the broader international scale alongside more local applications in Northwest Indiana. Drawing the Lines brings together the multiple constituencies whose perspectives are necessary to evaluating the merits of urban revitalization models.

Drawing the lines seeks to:

  • Explore models of urban renewal through the arts,
  • Reflect on the impact of renovations efforts in the community,
  • Understand how government and private markets affect urban change,
  • Share best practices among community based leaders and scholars, and
  • Build a coalition to create concrete initiatives for the Northwest Indiana region.


Conference Abstracts:

  • The Arts Can Define a Region
    John M. Cain, South Shore Arts
  • Revive:  Using Art to Help Heal a Superfund Site
    Minda Douglas, Marcia Gillette, and Ann Cameron, Indiana University Kokomo
  • The Impact of Visual and Expressive Art on Public Policy and Public Voice
    Karen G. Evans, Indiana University Northwest                                          
    Daniel Lowery, Calumet College of St. Joseph
  • Cool Cities” Through Their “Creative Class”: A Model for Revitalizing Indiana’s Essential Cities
    Bruce Frankel, Ball State University
    Deborah Malitz, Indiana City Corp.
    Larry Francer, Historic Farmland
    Flo Lapin, Goldspace Theater, Muncie
    Richard Sowers, Anderson Symphony
    David Bowdon, Columbus Symphony, Terra Haute Symphony, Carmel Symphony
  • The Interstices Between Art and Economic Development
    Michelle Golden, Books, Brushes and Bands
    Mary Kaczka, Hammond Development Corporation
    John Davies, Woodlands Communications
    Daniel Lowery, Quality of Life Council
  • The Poetics of Space: IU Northwest’s Sculpture Garden
    Neil Goodman, Indiana University Northwest
  • Available:  post-industrial development and design at Lake Calumet
    Ellen Grimes, w / M. Powell, A. Kirschner, and M. al Khurasat, University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Urban Redevelopment and the Arts:  Flagship Cultural Projects in Los Angeles and San Francisco
    Carl Grodach, University of Texas at Arlington
  • Leveraging Culture to Build a City’s External Brand and Internal Cohesiveness
    Tom Jones, Smart City Consulting
  • The IU Northwest Klamen Mural Project
    David Klamen, Indiana University Northwest
  • Art in the Region” 
    Patricia Lundberg, Indiana University Northwest
  • Looking at Urban Renewal Trials
     Peter Matthews, University of Mar
  • Spaces of vernacular creativity
    Steve Millington, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • The Other City Beautiful: Philadelphia and its Avenue of the Arts
    Micheline Nilsen, Indiana University South Bend
  • Bilbao: a spectacular but somehow disenchanted city
    Antonio Román,, University of Deusto
  • The Creative Class and Urban Economic Growth Revisited
    Michael Rushton, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Creating A Vision for International Community Development:  Indianapolis in 2050
    William Plater, Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis
  • Projects to Save a City
    Sanjit Sethi, Memphis College of Ar
  • The ‘Guggenheim Effect’ and the ‘New Bilbao’: On the Social Costs of Bilbao’s Urban Regeneration
    Lorenzo Vicario and Manuel Martínez-Monje, University of the Basque Country.

What’s at Uncle Freddy’s?

March 3rd, 2009 1 comment

[ Uncle Freddy’s ]


Saturday, March 14, 2009
6:00pm – 9:00pm

Exhibit Dates:
March 14 – April 18

“This exhibit features the work of two artists dealing with their observations of the world around them and their worlds within. Jim Walker (Indianapolis) will exhibit photographs taken in and around Indianapolis (as well as Highland, IN) from his “Ugly Lights” series. Jim McKern will be showing a new series of acrylic paintings inspired by his own spiritual and dream experiences.”

Walk the Talk Discussion Series:
Join Gregg Hertzlieb, Director/Curator of the Brauer Museum of Art for an informative and delightful discussion of the McKern/Walker exhibit.

Wednesday, March 18 
7:00 p.m.

Categories: General Arts

“The Jackson five once played here” – Fernando

February 22nd, 2009 No comments

The Soundz of Santana at the Whiting Indiana Winterfest, featuring Dave and Lisa Sanchez.

Slash the Arts: A Bad Trend in Higher Education

January 28th, 2009 No comments

In bad economic times Brandeis University looks to close the Rose Art Museum and sell collection.

Via Art Fag City [ link to article ]

In the name of economic hardship Brandeis University announced Monday it will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off its collection. An internationally renown museum, the 8,000 object collection includes work by such contemporary stars as Cindy Sherman, Matthew Barney, and Nan Goldin, and Post-War masters including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik. Closing the universities budget deficit, which is said to be upwards of 10 million dollars was cited as the rationale behind the decision.

To say that these decisions raise a few questions seems an understatement at best.   For one, the Brandeis Museum has relatively small budget concerns compared to other Universities.   Cornell for example has seen its endowment drop 27% in the last six months and is now pulling $150 million from their reserves.   Also, it has to be noted that the sale of just one major work in the collection, (the nearly 6 foot tall early Lichtenstein or the Rauschenberg Combine currently on display for example),  would return enough money to close the gap the University has disclosed.   It’s possible however, that like many other institutionally run museums,  is contractually obligated to funnel that money back into the collection, which would explain at least one small aspect of that decision.

This sort of short sighted economic problem solving represents a problem to any university, but it’s particularly acute in the case of the Rose Museum, given its stature.  Painter Dana Schutz’ first museum solo show, for example, was mounted there in 2006 and ran concurrently with a Matthew Barney exhibited.  Major shows by John Armleder in 2007 andFred Tomaselli in 2005 have occurred within recent years, and amongst the historical highlights, Joseph Cornell had a solo show at the Rose in 1968, and received an award from Brandeis.

Shedding no light on the motivations behind this decision, University President Jehuda Reinharz made the following statement to The Boston Globe,

“This is not a happy day in the history of Brandeis,” President Jehuda Reinharz said tonight. “The Rose is a jewel. But for the most part it’s a hidden jewel. It does not have great foot traffic and most of the great works we have, we are just not able to exhibit. We felt that, at this point given the recession and the financial crisis, we had no choice.”

But even if foot traffic were a measure of success, as 16 Miles of String points out, it’s hard to believe the museum receives any less than many other departments.  Also, since when does any museum exhibit all the great works they have?  Jerry Saltz just wrote an article about why recessions are a great time to show off works in museum collections infrequently shown.   Could the university not just cut costs at the museum rather than liquidating “nearly half a century of public trust?”

Categories: General Arts