Know Your Rights: A Tool for Artists

Spencer Tunick, Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995. Gelatin silver print, 48x60 inches. Edition of 6.

Spencer Tunick, Arrow To Washington, NYC, 1995. Gelatin silver print, 48×60 inches. Edition of 6.

We spoke with Joy Garnett from the Arts Advocacy Project at the National Coalition Against Censorship about a new artist education tool, Artist Rights.

Jenny Gill: How did the Artist Rights site come to be? Who compiled the resources and research available there?

Joy Garnett: Artist Rights was created to address questions that artists may have about their rights under the First Amendment. The site is a collaboration between the National Coalition Against Censorship (NCAC) and the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT). Previously, NCAC put together an art law database with help from a lawyer and five law students, and the CDT had built a site to address artists’ online rights. The Artist Rights site brings together the content of these two resources into one cohesive, easily navigable site.

The impetus for creating Artist Rights was an incident involving an artist who received a letter demanding that their work, which included nudes, be removed from an exhibition in a public space. The letter contained legalese that the artist found confusing and intimidating; had he been able to penetrate the jargon, he might have realized that the assertions in the letter were incorrect and that he was well within his rights. And so the idea for the website was born. Continue reading

5 Takeaways from the 2016 Creative Capital Artist Retreat

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From left to right: Brian Tate, and Creative Capital artists Okwui Okpokwasili, James Scruggs, Ahamefule J. Oluo, Heather Hart and Jina Valentine

A lot goes into making impactful artworks. After Creative Capital announces a new round of artist projects, we bring the artists together to work on and discuss what they need to make the project actually happen. This all happens at our Artist Retreat, and we’re in the middle of one right now!

The artists spend nearly a week meeting each other, taking an intensive suite of business courses on everything from tax planning to working with arts institutions, and having one-on-one consultations with art world professionals. The crux of our Retreat, though, is presentations: each artist has 7 minutes to present their work. This year, we’ll hear from nearly 80 artists over the course of three days. Follow our Twitter account and the hashtag #CCRetreat to hear about them in real time.

Before that though, here are five takeaways we’ve already come up with since we got started on Tuesday.

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Make Time: Upcoming Residency & Grant Opportunities

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Uninterrupted time for art making is a must for good art-making. A residency can reinvigorate an idling practice or provide essential time to finish a big project. The list below has something for artists of all disciplines with opportunities in international metropolises and remote villages.

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Grants & Residencies for Writers: Giving Your Work Some Space

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On Thursday, July 21st at 7:00 pm EST, Ethan Nosowsky will present his Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers.

I’ve been editing books for almost twenty years, and I can’t count the number of writers I’ve worked with who simply would not have gotten published without a well-timed grant or a much-needed residency at an artist’s colony. Being able to teach one less class, or having the time to clear your head and get down to work among other artists can provide the opportunity for a breakthrough that will allow you to finish a manuscript.

I’ve served as a judge on panels for many awards and residencies over the years, and I’ve often seen bad applications sink the chances of otherwise qualified writers. It’s important to realize that writing a strong application is a learned skill, and in my Creative Capital webinar, Applying for Grants & Residencies: Strategies for Writers, I try to explain what it is that prize committees and residency panels are looking for, and I offer tips that will help you put your best foot forward. Continue reading

Make Art Anywhere: Upcoming Residency & Grant Opportunities

 

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park and... your future residency location?

The Guadalupe Mountains National Park and… your future residency location?

Whether you are an artist, performer, or writer, one of the perks of living creatively is that your work can flourish in many different contexts and many different cities. We’ve scoped some residencies and fellowships that will give your creative practice an international flair. Check out the upcoming deadlines and apply away!

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Pass It On: 6 Tips to Conduct a Great Studio Visit

Installation of exhibition, "If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?" at Hunter East Harlem Gallery, Fall 2015, Curated by Arden Sherman. Photo by Natalie Conn

Installation of exhibition, “If You Leave Me Can I Come Too?” at Hunter East Harlem Gallery, Fall 2015, Curated by Arden Sherman. Photo by Natalie Conn

Studio visits are a great way to get your work out into the world, and there can be a lot of pressure to make a great impression in a short window of time. But it’s not always obvious what makes a great studio visit; presenting your best work is only half the battle. For part two of our series, “Pass It On,” where we reach out to artists and curators to get advice to what makes a successful art career, we asked curator Arden Sherman about her experience with studio visits.

Arden is the Director and Curator of the Hunter East Harlem Gallery at Hunter College in New York. She also curates the blog Mise en green, which looks at exhibition photography that features potted plants in gallery spaces.

A studio visit is a great introduction to someone and their practice. However, this type of visit—a show and tell of sorts—can also be laborious, not to mention nerve-racking. For the artist, it’s a lot of pressure to present your work in the best light possible, all the while being smart, charming, and not too crazy, right? For the curator, gallerist, or collector, it’s about engagement, even if you’re totally exhausted and hungover from that uncomfortable awards dinner the night before, as a curator, you still have to be on-point and attentive. Here are my suggestions for artists to make the experience as smooth-sailing as possible.

1. Provide delicious snacks!

A GOOD SNACK GOES FAR! Pro Tip: You’re guaranteed a solo show if you have flavored seltzer on hand.

2. Objects over slides.

It’s always better to physically show us what your art looks like rather than a series of slides on your laptop. Videos are acceptable, but they shouldn’t be too long. Remember, personality and relationships (think, FUN!) typically sell the work as much as, if not more, than the work itself. (This is a keen interest of mine, so I discuss this a lot with colleagues. News alert: friendships actually work!).

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Apply for Fall Residencies with Upcoming Deadlines

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Summer is a great time to take a break from your art practice. But it’s also the time when you want to start applying for fall residencies. Artists never rest! To make your work a little easier, we’ve compiled a list of residencies that offer stipends or are free to attend. From a residency for culinary artists to one for community activists, there’s something for everyone!

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Build Your Crew: Developing Core Supporters for Your Work

Artist Dread Scott leading a Creative Capital workshops.

Artist Dread Scott leading a Creative Capital workshop.

The following post is adapted from artist Dread Scott’s upcoming webinar, Creating a Marketing Strategy, which covers all aspects of marketing your work, including defining your goals, developing effective communication tactics, and building your support community. Below are Dread’s tips for getting your crew of supporters together.

Like everything you do as an artist and a person, your marketing strategy should start with stating your goals. What are you trying to achieve with your efforts? The answers to this question could be “cultivate a funder,” “build an online community,” “sell more tickets,” or “announce a project.” While the objectives vary as much as the creative process, the key is to match your tactics with your goals.

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Best Web Practices: Some Of Our Favorite Artist Sites

Artist and Creative Capital grantee Jen Bervin at work. This image of her is featured on her artist website.

Artist and Creative Capital grantee Jen Bervin at work. This image of her is featured on her artist website.

Your website should be completely dedicated to you and your work. Think of it as a studio visit or a reading where you are not present. A visitor to the site should be able to find all of the information they need – including images of your work (in detail if needed), excerpts from your writing, information about your career, a bio and/or statement, and any relevant press or reviews. They should be able to get press releases or printable images, find your contact information, and learn about your upcoming public events and projects. It is a tool to communicate with your audience as well as allow them to communicate with you. It can also be used to promote the work of fellow artists, social causes, or keep people up to date with your process.

A well-designed, functional website is a great promotional tool for both emerging and mid-career artists. On Thursday, June 16th, 2016 at 7pm EST, artist Sue Schaffner presents her “Website, Blog & Email Essentials” webinar, an overview of best practices for your website, blog, and email marketing and communications. In order to teach by example, we’ve included some of our favorite artist websites and note what’s working.

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5 Best Practices for Launching Your Socially Engaged Art Campaign

Working with several advocates for the decriminalization of sex work, the Center for Artistic Activism took over the controversial sculpture “Perceiving Freedom” in Cape Town. Photo by Steve Lambert.

Working with several advocates for the decriminalization of sex work, the Center for Artistic Activism took over the controversial sculpture “Perceiving Freedom” in Cape Town. Photo by Steve Lambert.

Interested in launching a socially engaged art campaign? Curious how successful artists have pulled it off? Stephanie Bleyer is an expert in community engagement campaigns and founder of the firm Six Foot Chipmunk, where she helps artists across disciplines create strategic plans, raise funds, and reach and mobilize new audiences. On Thursday June 9th, 2016, she will lead the webinar Producing & Funding Your Community Engagement Campaign, an essential for artists’ projects involving social justice, education, public art, or community building. Adapted from Stephanie’s webinar, the following information pairs best practices with action-oriented case studies.

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