Sunday, October 23, 2011

New Web Site

I have not posted here in about two weeks. That is because I have been hard at work updating, revising, and moving the host of my Web Site. The new site (screenshot above) can be accessed by clicking here.

I am still going to need to do a few refinements and fine tuning, but I think the new site is great. It's cleaner, easier to navigate, and updated. I am very happy with it. After looking it over, if you would, leave your comments. I always try to get people to critique my Web Site but nobody ever wants to do it.

While working on this project I thought about digital media and the idea of new media. This is art that is made with technology. It usually involves the use of computers, but not always. More info here.

In general I am uncertain how I feel about new media. Perhaps this is because I have not seen any really fantastic new media pieces. However, I once asked the curator of contemporary art at a national museum what he thought about new media. His actual response was: "It's mostly crap." So it would seem that my perceptions are not far off the professional viewpoint. But it makes me wonder: Is there any fantastic New Media Out there? Have you seen any? Is it possible to create a new media work of art that really communicates to people? What do you think?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Ways to be an artist

As the librarian in charge of the fine arts collection, I have created an online guide meant to help art students, faculty, and those wishing to browse in this area of the library. Some sample screen shots are included.

In this guide I have included information on how to find books and materials, appropriate databases related to art research, and sample images of titles in the collection. Links to Web Sites that might be useful are also included. In addition, there is information on how to contact the library, librarians, and request items to add to the collection.

A link to the guide can be found here.

I posted this guide to illustrate just one example of the numerous ways artists can practice their art making and not go the route of the "starving artist." Several years ago, after completing my BFA, I thought the only other route to viably producing art was to teach. I believed that in order to teach a subject one would have to maintain a steady practice of that discipline, and thought that teaching art would allow me the opportunity to continue this process.

While teaching art courses, at any level, certainly offers artists a steady income and the ability to learn vicariously through the students, it is not the only way. Throughout my undergrad and graduate studies I worked in different libraries, first as a student worker, and then in other roles. During this time I became aware of the Art Library Society if America (ARLIS/NA) and of art librarianship. I enjoyed the library environment, and the ability to combine art and libraries was very appealing. I enrolled in library school, and have now joined the ranks of librarians and information professionals devoted to the arts.

But there are still other ways. Part of my studies in library school included an internship at the Hanson Library in the Birmingham Museum of Art (mentioned previously in this blog). This experience exposed me not only to the professional world of a special library, but I also had the opportunity to interact with other departments and people within the museum. These people are also very active in the visual arts and have the same opportunities to learn, grow, and practice art making as those who teach.

There are those who may argue that taking one of these routes removes the artist from the studio. However, I have stated before that much of what makes the work of an artist valuable is the experiences that he/she has put in to the work of art. Creating art is a process that includes observation and experience as much or more as it does time in the studio making art. Art is not created in a vacuum and exposure to the resources in libraries and museums helps build a framework, a background, and a context from which to speak.

One other thing that I would like to start including in these postings is a list of calls to artists. I am on several listservs for such calls, and it would impossible to participate in every one. But by posting some of those opportunities here, perhaps you could find one of interest and participate yourself. Here are three such opportunities:

1. DEADLINE: Fri, October 28, 2011
3rd Ward Open Call for Art
Location: NY
Artists, This could be the next step in launching your career. You’re invited to join the 3rd Ward Fall 2011 Open Call, an international search for exciting, innovating and compelling artwork awarding over $25,000 in prizes, including a one month live/work residency in NYC, a $5,000 grant and your very own New York City solo exhibition. Plus, all participants will be considered for the $1,000 People's Choice Award Awarded to the artist whose portfolio garners the highest number of public votes.

2. DEADLINE: Tue, November 01, 2011
8th Biennial National Art Juried Exhibition
Location: FL
Punta Gorda, FL. Open to all traditional two-dimensional drawing and painting media. Juror: Dean Mitchell, A.W.S., N.W.S. Digital entry deadline Nov. 1, 2011. Show dates Feb. 4-Mar. 11, 2012. Prize total $6500. Prospectus: Questions: Located on Charlotte Harbor off Gulf Coast.

3. DEADLINE: Thu, December 01, 2011
Flora and Fauna: Narrative through Icongraphy
Location: NY
Flora and Fauna: Narrative through Iconography A juried exhibit at Lockhart Gallery, SUNY Geneseo For generations, artists have used signs and symbols from nature to impart meaning in their artwork. Audiences of previous eras were well-versed in this seemingly covert language. Each icon usually has several different meanings; for instance a rabbit may mean fertility, longevity, femininity or rebirth. . . For more information go to: