Creative Capital Artists Take Over Art Basel Miami Beach 2015!

If you happen to be heading to Miami this week for the art fairs, you’ll no doubt spot a few Creative Capital artists. You can start with Ken Nintzel‘s installation, You Are Here, at the Miami International Airport, in the South Terminal Gallery (Terminal H). Below is more information about where you can find work, events and performances by other artists.

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Arts Writers Announces 2015 Awardees

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Villa Iolas in Ruin, the subject of a new book by William E. Jones

The work that arts writers do is just as important as the work done by artists themselves. Every year, the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant Program, gives money to several writers working on visual arts, often focusing on artists and movements outside the mainstream. Today marks the tenth annual round of funding for writers. From a book about an abandoned art villa in Greece to a new blog on alternative women artists, here are some of the new projects Arts Writers will be funding!

William E. JonesThe Ruins of Villa Iolas
Despite having represented artists like Ed Ruscha and Andy Warhol, what remains today of the estate of a once active New York art dealer, Alexander Iolas, is a vandalized villa in Athens. William E. Jones had visited villa Iolas in 1982 and he recently came across fifty photographs he took during that visit. Since then, the art at the villa disappeared and the property was ransacked and ravaged. William will use the photographs and oral interviews as the basis of a new book, called The Ruins of Villa Iolas.

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Help Creative Capital Fight the Dark Side

Not so long ago in a galaxy not so far away…

…the arts were threatened by the dark side, and Creative Capital began a quest to support the nation’s most adventurous creative voices. Our commitment to risk-taking artists has never been stronger, but we need your help to continue this critically important work.

Fight the Dark Side. Fund the Force. Every dollar counts.

How to Write a Compelling Letter of Interest

"Bower," Lynn Basa, 2012, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

“Bower,” Lynn Basa, 2012, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls

Are you interested in winning public art commissions but find yourself overwhelmed by the application process? Many public art projects begin with an RFQ, or request for qualifications. Answering an RFQ with a compelling letter of interest is crucial to advancing past the initial stages of selection. Each letter you submit should be specific to each project. The following frame for writing an effective letter of interest is drawn from Lynn Basa’s Creative Capital webinar, Demystifying Public Art. Register for the next session, happening December 17, 7:00-8:30pm EST.

First Paragraph:
Specifically address your interest in the project. Refer to the RFQ, but be careful not to just reword what it says. Your letter of interest should show that you understand what the agency or selection committee is looking for, that you feel an affinity for it and that you took the time to do some research. Continue reading

Meet Kirby Tepper: Communications Coach for Artists

Kirby Tepper leading a workshop at Artists Summer Institute 2013

Kirby Tepper leading a workshop at Artists Summer Institute 2013

Kirby Tepper is a Renaissance man: performer, songwriter and actor 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.

Perhaps you’ve caught Kirby on television shows like Cheers or Wings or maybe you’ve found yourself humming along to one his songs, like “Merry Men” in Shrek. One of the hallmarks of our professional development leaders is that they are artists themselves. Kirby and our other leaders can relate to the joys and challenges of being a working artist. His own personal and professional experience serves as a resource for the artists he coaches.

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 his verbal communications training, he says, “In this work I continually rediscover the need everyone has—artist or not—to acquire skills that help in developing friends and business relationships. I love working on those issues—even being specific about how to make small talk at parties or how to overcome fear in public speaking.”

Kirby Tepper

Interested in consulting with Kirby on an upcoming presentation, speaking engagement, meeting or negotiation? Click the button below for more details on Creative Capital’s Career Coaching for Artists series.

register here

Finding Balance as Artists and Parents

In Artists Raising Kids, Andrew Simonet points out, “We live in a culture that’s not very good at supporting artists and we also live in a culture that’s not very good at supporting parents.” Pursuing a creative life in our society may feel like a relentless uphill run. Add children and that molehill can quickly become a mountain.

Choreographer and Webinar Leader Andrew Simonet with his two sons Nicolo and Jesse

Choreographer and Webinar Leader Andrew Simonet with his two sons Nicolo and Jesse

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Stephanie Rothenberg’s Garden of Global Crowdfunding

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Stephanie Rothenberg’s “Garden of Virtual Kinship” at ZKM Center for Art and Media

Stephanie Rothenberg, like many corporations, is interested in what you’re doing online. But unlike those companies that are collecting data for monetization, Stephanie uses API, virtual worlds and online transactions as a platform to make art and critique. Her project Laborers of Love/LOL took advantage of the recent phenomenon of crowdsourcing to have workers abroad cull images of sexuality and desire in order to create a collaged pornography; it was a critique on desirability as much as it was about digital labor. Her Creative Capital project, “Reversal of Fortune,” is a series of installations that both depend on and critique crowdfunding that happens between affluent Americans and developing countries. Elements of the project are premiering this fall in international exhibitions at The Lowry Contemporary Gallery in Manchester, England, and at the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Germany. We spoke to her just before her Manchester exhibition opening.

Jenny Gill: This work is really layered and complex—it’s making virtual transactions visible, it’s translating digital human interactions into organic plant growth. Can you talk a bit about the development of this project and the metaphors at work here?

Stephanie Rothenberg: I have always been interested in using art to raise awareness about particular social issues. Before this project, I had been creating interactive artworks that explored both the benefits and exploits of new forms of online digital labor. These performances and installations leveraged what is known as crowdsourcing—outsourcing work to a so-called online “crowd” of global Internet users. The majority of these online workers were, and still are, in developing countries. They perform online work tasks for little money.

Through these earlier artworks I became aware of a new online phenomena that was becoming more popular and was somewhat of a reversal of crowdsourcing. It is known as crowdfunding. Here the online crowd funds a project or business venture that someone wants to pursue. The most familiar example is Kickstarter, which is mostly used for cultural projects. But crowdfunding is also widely used by charity organizations as a social media platform for raising money to assist people in the developing world with small “micro” loans. Rather than cultural projects, these loans are for small-scale local initiatives such as purchasing animals for a farm or paving a village road.

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4 Myths about Artists’ Finances

Headlong Dance Theater: rehearsal for 'Desire' - with Andrew Simonet, Amy Smith and David Brick et al at The Performance Garage. For more info: www.Headlong.org photos ???? Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net

Andrew Simonet during a rehearsal for Headlong Dance Theater’s “Desire” at The Performance Garage. Photo: Jacques-Jean Tiziou / www.jjtiziou.net

There are a great deal of misconceptions about artists and money in our society. Regrettably, too many artists have internalized the stereotype of the starving artist or the idea that their competence with numbers is lacking. Choreographer Andrew Simonet dispels several myths about the finances of artists in the webinar, Real Life Budgeting.

MYTH: Artists are bad with money.
FACT: 
Ask an artist about the jobs they’ve done, unimaginable amount of hours they’ve worked and the paychecks they’ve stretched to make sure their art could be made. Most artists are incredibly adept at managing their revenue, they just don’t have enough of it.

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“Clytigation” By Michelle Ellsworth Blends Technology and Greek Mythology

Michelle Ellsworth (2013 Performing Arts) is an artist unlike any other. Her quick, anxious speech dares you to keep up with her, and her art practice is just as ingenious and prolific. The premiere of her Creative Capital project, Clytigation: States of Exception, is a perfect example. A multi-media performance that allows the visitor to wander a theater space at will, Clytigation injects a dose of technology into the Greek myth of Clytemnestra. Writing for Artforum, Claudia La Rocco said that Michelle is “doing some of the most engrossing explorations of how the body and technology coexist and collide.” Suffice it to say that the performance must be experienced in person to really get a sense of how she’s actually accomplishing this; and luckily for New Yorkers, it’s coming to the Chocolate Factory November 11-14. We caught up with Michelle on the eve of her premiere.

Alex Teplitzky: Can you describe Clytigation and how it relates to Clytemnestra, a Greek mythological figure noted for her troubled relationship with Agamemnon?

Michelle EllsworthClytigation is the sequel to a piece I made several years ago called Phone Homer. Phone Homer is a feminist remix of Robert Fitzgerald’s translation of The Iliad. I moved some language around with my sister Ann Ellsworth to explain what motivated Clytemnestra to kill Agamemnon. The language is arranged around Skype calls between the homebound Clytemnestra and her husband Agamemnon, her friend Penelope, her sister Helen and her lover Aegisthus. In between calls, Clytemnestra navigates her custom-built world wide web with a kinetic alphabet looking for peace through materialism. Clytigation picks up after the murder. Post murder, Clytemnestra is identified as a terrorist (for killing the king) and begins to develop over-the-counter counter-terrorism protocols to avoid surveillance, interpersonal drama, and death. In performance, I demonstrate several of Clytemnestra’s protocols—including hiding in furniture and art, an interpersonal drone and attempts to complicate her identity and location.

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Degenerate Art Ensemble’s “Predator Songstress” Finds Her Voice

Degenerate Art Ensemble, Predator Songstress. Photo by Joe Iano.

Degenerate Art Ensemble, “Predator Songstress.” Photo by Joe Iano.

The Seattle-based performance group Degenerate Art Ensemble (2013 Performing Arts) is premiering their Creative Capital-supported project, Predator Songstress, with upcoming engagements at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco (Nov 5 & 6, 8pm; Nov 7, 5pm) and On the Boards in Seattle (Dec. 3-5, 8pm; Dec. 6: 5pm). Inspired by punk, comics, cinema, nightmares and fairy tales, Predator Songstress tells the story of a modern-day anti-heroine in search of her stolen voice. The piece fuses live music, dance and media to create an immersive art environment set in a world of hyper-surveillance, interrogation and data mining. Predator Songstress investigates personal power and the divine secrets of the human voice, engaging audiences in a stunning theatrical experience infused with otherworldly visuals, gorgeous vocals, incredible costumes and a singular butoh-meets-anime vision.

Degenerate Art Ensemble (DAE) is led by co-founders and co-artistic directors Joshua Kohl and Haruko Crow Nishimura. I connected with Joshua and Crow to learn more about this ambitious performance event.

Jenny Gill: Predator Songstress centers on a female character (played by Crow) whose voice has been stifled by societal forces. Can you talk about the oppressive forces or societal issues behind this concept that you want to bring to the foreground? In the end, how does the character find her voice and expression?

Haruko Crow Nishimura: There is a central female character in this modern fairy tale named Ximena, who is growing up in a totalitarian state, where the public sharing of people’s personal stories and struggles centering around voice are strictly forbidden. Her obsession with people’s stories and the source of people’s power gets her into deep trouble. She is sent away to a women’s penal colony and has her voice removed.
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