This week, Duncan, Amanda and Tom talk to artist Steven Rand, who is the founder and Executive Director of apexart in New York.
If you are in or around NYC this is the last week of “Don’t Piss On Me and Tell Me It’s Raining” the Bad at Sports organized show, go check it out while you still can!
Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn is letting artists of all stripes pay for their medical bills by trading “credits” they earn by donating their skills & time to patients in recovery. The program called “Artist Access” was born last year, when Dr. Edward Fishkin, Medical Director of Brooklyn’s Woodhull Medical and Mental Health Center, met Laura Colby a former dancer turned performing arts agent.
The Artist Access program allows artists to provide interactive art programs for patients in exchange for health care credits. The credits are deposited in the artist’s personal account, 40 credits for each hour of work which equates to about $40 an hour and can be used to cover sliding scale fees in Woodhull’s HHC Options program. Proposals have to be submitted for review and accepted with priority given to those that match the needs of departments such as the Pediatric, Geriatric, or Rehabilitation Units. The hospital has focused initially on performance programs, but has tested teaching drawing in the Pediatric Unit in exchange for treatment. Mural projects for the many walls and stairwells in the hospital buildings are also being considered.
It isn’t a soulution for the masses and looks to be a bureaucratic ousourcing of rehabilitation entertainment & inspiration program development but it’s a brave step in the right direction and a good fit for the Williamsburg, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Bedford-Stuyvesant, and Fort Greene Art scene. There is a real opportunity for a few groups to develop appropriate rehab courses that can be easily repeated on a weekly basis and make some considerable money towards their healthcare services.
I would not be surprised that this is an independent contractor position with the hospital & am largely sure there will be tax liability for the artists but definitely something to look into. If anyone has completed a project in this program we would love to hear about your experiences.
Thanks to everyone for coming out to the “Social Media Strategies in Chicago’s Art Community” panel hosted by Art Critic Alicia Eler and Chicago Gallery News’ Ginny Berg at Art Chicago today. I loved talking with Karla Loring, Museum of Contemporary Art; Crystal Pernell, Hyde Park Art Center; and Carrie Heinonen, Art Institute of Chicago about all things tech & strategy and hope that it was useful or atleast entertaining for those of you in attendance. Every group on that dais has my upmost respect for the work they do in the Arts day in and out and it is an honor to have Bad at Sports counted among them.
As promised in the talk there is a program that is quite useful in Twitter to let you know who starts following you and more importantly who drops your account. At the time I was trying to think of Chirpstats and couldn’t get the word out but the great Crystal Pernell was kind enough to remind me of Qwitter which does more then Chirpstats by working to tie the drop to a specific tweet. This can be extremely useful if at times a bit misleading but a great alternative to Chirpstats which is only a weekly update but less taxing on an email account.
The net is a wonderful place to meet, share, promote and wallow in all the things you love or cherish and social media for me is a great tool to help accomplish & magnify those desires. I still say though the most important thing is to service the end users like they are your boss, anything less is putting the cart before the horse. Feed them data, facts, images & yes even sugar and rumors some days but remember that twitter, facebook, digg, stumbleupon, and whatever is next are only a means to that end. It’s something that even we have to be vigilant to keep in perspective and doesn’t come easy for anyone especially when you have to answer to a comittee; I have deep sympathy there. I look forward to the next time we can get everyone together and have honest and open talks about how we go about trying to promote and grow this thing we love called Art.
Thanks again for coming out!
Well it’s almost that time of the year again, High Holy week in Chicago where we all pilgrimage to the Merchandise Mart and endlessly complain how much we don’t want to be there. Which is kind of a shame really? The doors haven’t even opened, exhibitors are still unloading their wares (oh I’m sorry is that word verboten? and there is already a collective shrug/ennui working it’s way from gallerists to collectors to The Tribune. I am not suprised, unaware as to why or in disagreement really. The only thing less exciting then spending money on a show during a depression (oh those words again) that is collectivly expected to be poorly attended, poorly reviewed, have low sales and be generally as exciting, sharp & sexy as a slightly used chew toy is to not have one at all and instead we all stay home cleaning our patio decks/yards. It’s not that I don’t get it, I do. Make the best of it, stay together for the kids, you go to war with the army you have not the army you want (yea don’t like the taste of that phrase do you lol).
In a little bit here I am going to lay into the Mart over something and I am sure it will not be the first or last time that either I, Meg, Claudine, The Tribune, Rhona Hoffman or some prairie dog on the net uninformed or unfairly chimes off but before I do does anyone remember the word “Fun”?
If you work in the Art world in any capacity right now you could be easily making a better salary in say Print on mean average so if you’re still here it’s because you love it, chose it & in fact tell everyone else it chose you. So if we are not going to make a fortune, redefine art for the hundredth time this Century, rock the culture with something new or even agree what is the new Deer, Squid or Skull for this year can we at least agree to have some fun? I’m not saying fiddle while Rome burns. Do your due diligence and once that is done, share a laugh, have a meal with a large group, drink, dance, greet old friends from out of town or even Continent but cut the emo angst and smile (Even you Scott Speh).
Arts a joyful struggle, it never becomes a breeze & it is never the way we want it to be 100% so in the gap between perfection & worthlessness lets remember why we got into this and have some fun cause everyone from the unpaid gallery interns to Chris Kennedy is working hard believe it or not, I know.
Having now said that, there are reports coming in that the Merchandise Mart is looking to charge the exhibitors $49.99 a day for wifi access. Now I have personally worked to provide wifi access for over 100 exhibitors in a large space and can say it is a thankless task that is readily abused by 10% of the users, requires constant oversight if you have power fluctuations of any sort, is consistently reported down when in reality it works and the problem is exhibitor’s laptops running Chinese drivers, or Macs with more warez then actual programs.
Oh do I have sympathy but $49.99 a day let me say that again so that it sinks in $49.99 a day is “screw off” pricing that you do to chase away clients so that you don’t have to provide the service to many & the ones that you do it’s crazy profit. So is that where the business model is right now with the Mart? Are things so tight that we are looking to cut costs and services or gouge to bridge the gap? If so I am sorry for your troubles but if not this is beyond the pale pricing and even I am going to call bunk on that.
Change it before you open, it’s the best PR you can have with exhibitors stuck in one place for hours on end when you can provide reasonably priced internet. Trust me many would rather surf and email then sell, you think I’m joking but I’m not. There is no excuse for that price point unless we’re talking 10MBs up and down which I almost know we are not.
Lets do some good sales, make some good connections & remember have some fun. I’ve seen accountants smile more lately.
This week Brian sits down with Eleanor Hanson and Oliver Wise, the Oakland-based founders of The Present Group, who describe the project as “like a mutual fund that produces art instead of profits.”; A quarterly art subscription project, The Present Group enables a community of subscribers to create a new avenue of support for contemporary artists.
They produce thought-provoking work in a variety of media, and each of the four annual limited editioned art works is paired with an essay contextualizing the edition.
Their goal is to engage art enthusiasts who never thought of themselves as art collectors and to introduce them to the experience and pleasures of owning contemporary art. This is the next installment of the collaboration between Art Practical and Bad At Sports.
An abridged transcript of this interview appears in AP Issue 13. http://www.artpractical.com
Image: David Horvitz. Hermosa Beach, CA, Issue 9, Winter 2009; viewmaster reel, viewer, and Somerset cotton rag paper card. Courtesy of The Present Group.