Its difficult to believe that another year has slipped away. Most of it has been filled with broken promises and I feel like such a failure. Even though people have said my accomplishments are to be proud of (4 reviews and 1 feature published in the Chronicle, remotely co-curating a group sculpture show across the border, conducting my first art talk during EAST), I can’t help but wish for more time and more conclusive accomplishments.
In the land of top tens and best ofs you’ll find what the Statesman’s Van Ryzin, Chronicle’s Koper & Brenner and Glasstire’s Lozano saw in 2008.
Remembering last year’s wishlists by Zimmerman and Lozano and reading Regina Hackett’s ideas for the new year, I want to provide something just a little bit different.
I’m going to lay out challenges.
I’m well aware of the economic situation the world finds itself in. But we work in what is labeled “creative” endeavors, so I must believe that creative solutions can be conjured to meet these challenges.
My first challenge is to Austin’s art community.
Meet new people. Cross those boundaries. Understand the other side.
Academics/art historians go out to studio tours. Artists/artisans/designers/illustrators go to the museum and/or sit in on a lecture. Lora Reynolds’ crowd go to a Pump Project opening. Wally Workman crowd go to a Co-Lab opening. Okay Mountain crowd go to a Shoal Creek opening. Eastside, there are spaces beyond downtown’s western edge. Westlake, there are people and shops beyond I-35. Artists try to run a gallery (or at least think about what it would take to cultivate buyers for a dozen artists and the expenditures required to do so) to understand why your work may not be accepted. Artists, make friends with a lawyer, computer programmer, plumber and just talk.
I lay this challenge out because of this past year ‘s discussion around Austin’s sustainability, brain drain and art writing.
Then there’s the question as to whether people are engaging experiences beyond their comfort zones. That popped up when I read ’07 recommendations for EAST and they were mostly galleries (EAST is a studio tour) and then again this year when Claire Ruud asked “… how many of Austin’s curators, critics and serious collectors explored beyond their usual haunts.” The answer wasn’t very comforting as galleries and larger studios were the highlights.
Today is the third birthday of ‘Bout What I Sees. I’ll have more challenges in the coming days. I’ll end with some challenges for myself.
I’ll tell you ’bout what I sees.