I agree with Mr. Zimmerman. Something is not quite right with that contest. Then I thought about the DADA panel discussion in Dallas and Charles Dee Mitchell‘s perspective of it. And so I think I figured out the role of museums in helping their local artists. Education. The stewards of public institutions, such as museums, universities, and large alternative spaces like Arthouse and Lawndale, should be educating the commercial, business & government leaders not only art history, but what contemporary art is trying to do today.
I see Art (contemporary art practice trying to get into the history books) as investigations, questions, explorations. To translate that to the business world, Art is R&D. You can’t get a successfully functional product until your homework is done. And if you want good design, architecture and crafts, then you need good Art. The proper amount of testing ideas, trying out new techniques produces a lot of bad and mediocre art. But you need that in order to move forward.
Because of that, I find the setup for the Hunting Prize unsettling. At the same time, I recognize that government support is dwindling (perhaps because its the same people on top?) and an alternative needs to be found. Is corporate support the answer? Not when it still views Art as art (i.e decorations).
Not meaning to knock Mr. Tole, though. I’ve never seen his work beyond the splash page on his website. Congratulations! Hope to hear more from you.
UPDATE: Oh yeah, my answer to a money awarding art contest (although I think the Texas Prize gets a thumbs up). At the discussion for the Ericson & Ziegler show at AMOA, What Is Community? Public Artists Respond, Mel Ziegler made a comment I found interesting. “There’s enough of us, in terms of how many artists we’re producing in art school today, … that we should have some kind of social impact…”
He was referring to public art and community outreach but if we apply that to money… Now, I’m neither an accountant or a hustler so I’m not entirely sure how it would work. But if artists were to conduct a lottery/ raffle somebody can get a fat check without everyone else losing too much. And if you don’t like the randomness, a panel of peers can cut through some of the entries? If you can make it happen, feel free to use the idea.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.