One of the thoughts that occupies my mind is making a living as an artist. While this enterprise has propelled my studio practice for over 10 years (before that, I was content to make abstract sculpture/painting and hope to be "discovered")I am only recently beginning to see the possibilty of success. That is, becoming self-sufficient through my studio output. Many years of training, post art school, in business, marketing and developing production skills have gone into making this theory a reality. It has been far from easy and a huge obstacle is a general sense that art should not be sullied by the market. Well, I argue that art IS in the market and the artist who looks this reality in the eye stands a better chance of financial freedom.
Art for sale. Any artist in their right mind is eager to sell their work. An artist who relies on grants and funding through non-profits is no better than a mendicant and therefore beholden to the limits the funding provides. Government suppport, ie NEA funding became a joke in the 90's as some of the most provacative art funded through that office was censored and raised moral outrage (Robert Mapplethorp, Andre Serrano).
This short piece is the start of what I hope will evolve into a larger conversation, and ultimately a book. While I continue to pursue my studio practice full time, I would like to dedicate a large part of this blog to these ideas. I invite comment and emails. Like Chris Anderson's "The Long Tail" I see writing a book on line an exciting and bracing enterprise. Peer review is tough in a non-academic setting so it is here that a peer review becomes possible.
Friday, August 18, 2006
1) Barbara and Robert Matthews, shoemakers extraordinaire
2) Peggy and Julian at Iro, lovely hand painted fabrics turned into clothes, bags and table linens
3) Natasha Wozniak and Jun, amazing jeweler
4) Ellen Grenadier, Berkshire County potter
5) Diana Fayt, blogging potter
6) Caudia Mills, weaver
7) Jim Holohan metals
I visited the Berkshire Craft Fair this past weekend and said hello to many friends and wonderful artists bravely standing in booths, selling their work. Here is a sampling of my favorites.
I wish I knew how to make this look better, but I have to go make my own pottery now! :)