Pass It On: Curator Lindsay Howard Offers Tips for Artists

"Daisy" by Pascual Sisto, from bitforms exhibition "Temporary Highs" curated by Lindsay Howard

“Daisy” by Pascual Sisto, from bitforms exhibition “Temporary Highs” curated by Lindsay Howard

No artist lives in a vacuum. Even though the art world is increasingly competitive, it’s possible to share helpful information about how to make your art practice succeed. That’s why we’re starting a series called “Pass It On,” where we ask people to share what has worked for them to get ahead in the art world. We’ll hear from artists and curators in all mediums including digital, visual and film, as well as all around the country.

For our first post, we hear from curator Lindsay Howard. In addition to working with the digital art platform NewHive, she was a panelist for the selection of Creative Capital’s 2016 Emerging Fields artists. A new exhibition she curated, entitled Temporary Highs, will open at Bitforms on June 2. 

Your gallery works for you, not the other way around. They’re there to offer guidance but ultimately you “own” the decisions around your work, which means educating yourself on materials, fabrication techniques, marketing and brand development, the art market, and who’s who in the collector world.

Add influential curators, gallery directors, and collectors to your mailing list. We want to know what’s on your mind, what’s happening in your studio, and what shows you have coming up. I appreciate receiving the occasional email blast because it reminds me of an artist, and keeps them fresh in my mind for exhibitions, commissions, and interviews.

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New Residency Opportunities For Artists and Writers

An artist at The Headlands Center for the Arts. Image Credit: Headlands Center for the Arts.

An artist at The Headlands Center for the Arts. Image Credit: Headlands Center for the Arts.

Sometimes the resource you need to create is a good bout of uninterrupted time, which in our ceaseless schedules can become a luxury—costly and elusive. Residencies and grants reinvigorate neglected practices and can provide the final push for an ambitious project. We’ve scoped out some opportunities for artists and writers to find solitude and support all around the country. The deadlines are approaching soon! 

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The Future of Arts Blogs – Arts Blogging, Part 3

Nik Hanselmann's "Bodyfuck," as written about by Daniel Temkin in "BodyFuck: gestural code"

Nik Hanselmann’s “Bodyfuck,” as written about by Daniel Temkin in “BodyFuck: gestural code”

When blogs first started to become popular, they offered a unique opportunity to share personalized, more inclusive forms of expression. There was a sense of freedom with the platform: you didn’t have to be a known writer to publish, and you didn’t have to conform to editors wishes, or a publication’s standards. In the art world, blogging still maintains this prestige. As artists offer new ways of seeing the world, blogs allow writers to express and describe the different ways this reframing actually manifests itself.

As the open application of the Arts Writers Grant Program, draws to a close on May 18, we asked past awardees in the blog category to offer their perspectives running their own blogs. I have been talking to Daniel TemkinKate AlbersSharon Butler and Gelare Khoshgozaran & Eunsong Kim about what they think of the future of arts blogging.

Daniel Temkin: I think this is a great time to be writing about art online, especially working on a specialized blog like mine. Esoteric.Codes has an esoteric subject—there’s a sense of early-Web-utopianism when those ideas resonate in other parts of the world. At the same time, posts can inspire articles in mainstream press such as Wired (like my post on BodyFuck) as others

Sharon Butler: At first, we were all independent bloggers. Then a couple of structural changes occurred. Some bloggers, like Hrag Vartanian and Paddy Johnson, hired staffs and writers and grew their blogs into online magazines. Furthermore, mainstream media outfits like NY Observer, ArtNews, and NY Magazine, discovered the blog format and began providing online content outside their print editions. Both of these developments have expanded and entrenched art blogging as a media format and made it more sustainable. Of course, many independent bloggers left to pursue other opportunities – for instance, Carolina Miranda is now at the LA Times, and Andrew Russeth is a co-editor at ArtNews – while other bloggers just lost interest when the blogosphere became more corporatized. I’ve kept Two Coats of Paint going because it’s a key element of my art practice, but also because I think there’s a need for more arts writing rather than less. And it goes almost without saying that I enjoy it.

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Envisioning New Futures: Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe on Artistic Activism

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Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe in North Carolina.

Steve Lambert and Stephen Duncombe of The Center For Artistic Activism help artists make political art work. For them artistic activism is more than just a descriptor for certain types of art. It’s more than a tactic. They see it as an “entire approach: a perspective, a practice, a philosophy.” They will be leading a new workshop in Creative Capital’s New York offices on May 23rd, where artists will learn how to use their creative practice to organize communities, speak truth to power, and make more engaging and impactful artworks. We talked to the pair about their work, their critical inspirations, and the artistic activism they see in the world.

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Getting Your Arts Blog Off the Ground – Arts Blogging Part 2

Daniel Temkin - Glitchometry Triangles #1, on display at NADA Art Fair with Transfer Gallery

Daniel Temkin – Glitchometry Triangles #1, on display at NADA Art Fair with Transfer Gallery

So, let’s say you have established your blog name, and you’ve honed in on what type of art you’re going to write about. What comes next? Maintaining an art blog has its rewards, but if it’s your own blog, it’s easy to feel like you’re on your own. Who is your audience? Is there a community of other arts bloggers that will share their processes and lessons learned? What’s the pay off?

As the Arts Writers application is open through May 18, I decided to focus on the world of arts blogging. As you saw in Part 1 of this series, I spoke to arts bloggers Daniel Temkin, Kate Albers, Sharon Butler and Gelare Khoshgozaran & Eunsong Kim about their individual sites. In Part 2, I asked them what they have learned in their experience of running their own blog, and if they had any valuable insight to writers just starting out.

Sharon Butler: Ten years ago, the art world and mainstream media were dismissive of blogs and bloggers. But I quickly realized that blogging tools could give unrepresented artists and unpublished writers a voice in the critical conversation. I also learned that posting frequently and writing compelling content were the best way to develop an audience.This past year, I decided that in order to keep publishing, I would have to make more focused and forward-looking financial choices. Rather than, say, seeking a Guggenheim, this time around I decided to apply for fiscal sponsorship through Fractured Atlas and start a fundraising campaign.

Once my sponsorship application was approved, I designed some Two Coats of Paint tote bags and launched the campaign. Over 200 readers stepped up, premier contributors got their tote bags, and I met my goal. Now I’m getting some IT professionals to overhaul the code, archive over 1,300 posts, and migrate away from the free Blogger platform that I have used since the beginning.

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Go Beyond Google: Sharon Louden on Creative Research

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua.

Sharon teaching at Chautauqua Institution. Photo by Don Kimes.

Sharon Louden needs no introduction. A successful artist, editor, and advocate for artists, Sharon’s transparent and earnest approach to sustaining professional connections has made her four-part webinar, How to Approach and Engage with the Gatekeepers of the Art World, one of Creative Capital Professional Development Program’s most sought-out offerings. Back by popular demand, Sharon will be leading her series starting May 23rd.

Below you’ll find some tips adapted from Sharon’s course on “effective research” that we and past webinar participants have found useful. If you want to learn more about how to communicate and build relationships with other art world professionals, don’t forget to register for Sharon’s webinar.

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Tell A Good Story: Sascha Freudenheim & Alina Sumajin on Public Relations

An artist at a recent Creative Capital workshop

An artist at a recent Creative Capital workshop.

Ever wonder how artists get written about in the press? Often artists with representation—a gallery, or an agent—will leave public relations work in someone else’s hands. But artists in every stage of their careers can learn a thing or two about good PR strategies and take their press outreach into their own hands. Next week, our Professional Development Program is producing a brand new workshop in our New York City offices on public relations specifically for artists. We’re bringing in Sascha Freudenheim and Alina Sumajin from PAVE Communications and Consulting to lead PR For Working Artists: Strategies for Success on May 2nd. We spoke to Sascha and Alina about the difference between marketing and PR and how to get your press release to stand out from the inbox slush pile. 

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Avoid “Artspeak”: Kirby Tepper On Talking Straight

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Kirby Tepper leading a workshop for Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Kirby Tepper is a man of many talents: actor and educator are just a few of the hats he wears beyond the confines of his day job as a licensed psychotherapist. The same interpersonal expertise that makes him valuable to the clients in his practice also serves to empower his artist peers. Though he particularly enjoys working with artists, Kirby has helped people from many backgrounds, including doctors, writers and lawyers, find a more confident, direct communications style. On May 2, Kirby will be giving a webinar on Effective Negotiation For Artists, where participants will learn how to ask for what they deserve with confidence. We asked him about his theatrical inspirations and the don’ts of artist communication. 

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New Jersey Artists Grow With Our Blended Learning Program

A photo Christy took of her name badge and the PDP materials at the workshop in Trenton, NJ.

A photo Christy took of her name badge and the PDP materials at the workshop in Trenton, NJ.

The Professional Development program has launched a new blog that chronicles New Jersey artists’ growth and process through our Blended Learning Program. Blended Learning is a multi-format course in financial and business management that helps artists establish a secure base upon which to create and grow their work. Thanks to the generous support from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program was able to bring Blended Learning to the artists of two communities in New Jersey—in Trenton and Newark. 

We’ve asked them to share their stories throughout their journey—testimonies of what they’ve learned, the questions they still have, the strategies they’re trying out, and the results they’re seeing in their art and in their life. Here’s one of our entries from artist Christy O’Connor, who took part in the Blended Learning workshop in Trenton on April 3, 2016.

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It’s Gonna Be May: Summer Opportunities For Artists

2015 Artist-In-Residence David Shrove hosting his monthly studio visit. Photo" Michael Palma. Courtesy of the Sugar Hill Children's Museum of Art & Storytelling.

2015 Artist-In-Residence David Shrove hosting his monthly studio visit. Photo: Michael Palma. Courtesy of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling.

To quote our favorite teen boyband (and accompanying meme)—guess what: it’s gonna be May. If you’ve been waiting all spring to get yourself together and apply for that one residency (or grant, or open call)—now’s a pretty good time. If your a visual artists or a writer, this coming month is filled with exciting international opportunities to either work in isolated and inspiring spaces or incubate within an community. We’ve listed our favorite picks, all for free or with a stipend. Go forth!

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