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#DailyArtDose Round-Up (yee-haw)   09.11.09

School is back in session ...

Week of September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7: Labor Day=#DailyArtDose rest-time
Kim Beck: idealcities.com
Film: Film Makes Us Happy: wholphindvd.com
Pattie Chalmers: pattiechalmers.com
Anton Vidokle on Night School featured on ARTINFO: artinfo.com

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

As the World inTerns: Episode II   09.10.09

In this episode, Nick will attempt to discuss 9/11, the Plum Academy, and the spirit of volunteerism without too many English Major meanderings.

As the resident English Major intern, I was asked to blog about Friday, September 11, 2009: the opening celebration of SPACES Plum Academy. Recently, it has also been declared the first National Day of Service and Remembrance. Despite its new designation, 9/11 is a difficult day to host an opening. Lets face it, theres no room in perceptions of 9/11, for a non-profit art gallery. For the novice blogger, it is similarly daunting to fuse these absurdly unrelated phenomena. But what after all, creates the feeling of unease here?

In linguistics, they talk about what differentiates human language, from say, chimpanzees grunting. Steven Pinker refers to human language as a system of symbols. Words are arbitrary symbols like musical notations, an alphabet, or numbers. They, unlike a screaming monkey, dont seem to be rooted in the concrete. (Bear with me!)

After all, can you, in real life, point out to me the letter A, or a B flat minor chord, or 9/11 walking down the street? Maybe on Sesame Street, but even in that case, Id like to see how they might approach the latter...

Im straying. But my point is that perhaps 9/11, an arbitrary combination of numbers and punctuation, does not have to represent ground zero, Muslim fanaticism, or the terrifying idea of human life as not only an expendable means of proving a point.

For me, that last idea is the most difficult to get past. It is hard to see past the tragedy of it when the New York skyline is permanently changed. Thankfully, there are people who push me to do so. In April, President Obama signed legislation making September 11, 2009 the first National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Maybe the symbol 9/11 can mean something else: Instead of focusing on the fear and anger of 9/11, perhaps the best way of remembering the lives lost that day is by recreating the spirit of empathy, volunteerism and service that emerged out of ground zero. It is a call to action: do a good deed for someone else in remembrance and reverence.  

As a non-profit gallery, SPACES is dependent in many ways on volunteerism and service. And so, on September 11, 2009, the first National Day of Service and Remembrance, SPACES will not only hold an exhibition opening for the Plum Academy. We will also be working alongside our volunteers, because they are an integral part of how art happens at 2220 Superior Viaduct and beyond our walls, too. The SPACES staff"interns included" will be honoring the spirit of volunteerism that drives so many individuals who help us every day. And that is undeniably good.

Until next time,

Nick, the English Guy

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Memorial Service for Seth Rosenberg   09.05.09

Cleveland artist, Seth rosenberg, passed away Tuesday, September 1 from an apparent heart attack. A memorial service will be held at MOCA on Sunday, September 6 at 11:30AM with a lunch reception to follow.

More about Seth:
Artist Seth Rosenberg wins Creative Workforce Fellowship after shifting from abstracts to figures from the Plain Dealer
Seth's Obituary in the Plain Dealer

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Um, excuse me, but is your wordle showing?   09.02.09


Sometimes I am surprised about what Cleveland art lovers don't know about SPACES.

For example, I've had conversations with people who attend every SPACES opening, but were not aware of our amazing artist-in-residence program, the SPACES World Artists Program (SWAP), which (to date) has brought 27 artists from around the world to live and make art in our city.

"Oh, that's so cool! I didn't know about it," I've heard more than one exhibition attendee say, once they have the full scoop on SWAP.

It makes me wonder sometimes exactly what we're conveying in our messages ... emails ... conversations ... about SPACES. Sometimes as a fundraiser, it's really, really hard to know how to tell my organization's story effectively. What words resonate? How much text is too much? Are we staying on-message?

Today, though, I learned about Wordle, and never again will I have to wonder what we're conveying on our homepage. According to the website, Wordle is "a toy for generating 'word clouds' from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text."

Here's our Wordle. It might not tell you everything about SPACES ... but it's kind of pretty.

-- Posted by Sarah "Give us Money" Hoyt

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Full Exposure   08.28.09

I am the nag. That is my role. I believe it has something to do with my job as communications manager. Or maybe it has to do with my desire to overcome a childhood battle relating to never being "heard". Maybe both. Regardless, it is my duty at SPACES to read the artist statements, process and re-work the art-speak and then spit it back out to the public, re-size images, launch the web page, Tweet, talk, advertise and Tweet more about the artist and the exhibitions--in advance, ON TIME and the way the writers want it upon request.

I nag the media. I nag my director and my co-workers (the program managers). I nag the artists. And because I have also been cursed with a life-long battle with guilt, I am taking this opportunity to put a halt to the nagging. Based on my experience as the artist's springboard to the public, I have provided a few pointers for those of you who have been accepted for a SPACES exhibition. This way, I won't have to ask twice and you won't hate me (fear of rejection: another issue I tackle).

1. Read SPACES' requests for materials thoroughly. Because SPACES shows work that is experimental in nature (and often created for the exhibition itself or during the run of the show), providing images of finished work can pose as a challenge. My suggestion (and preference): take images of the work as it is in the process of being created. If this won't work for you, provide images of past projects that best represent the work you plan to present during the exhibition. Either way, some visual representation is necessary.

2. While on the subject of images, I stress the importance of size and quality. As a general rule, print media requests that the gallery (or artist depending on the situation) provide images that are no smaller than 300 dpi, at least 8" X 10" in size, and come in a .jpg. or .tif format. So important. By providing images this way, right off the bat, you are generously giving us flexibility to work within print and web formats.

3. More on Images: Quality is so important. You worked so hard--poured your blood, sweat and tears into your project. Take a good photograph of it. Set up the scene. Think about composition. Follow through as an artist. You would be shocked if you knew how many images I've had to pass on because they were poorly lit, were cut off in odd places, and did not convey the amazing concepts driving the project.

4. Time is of the essence: SPACES has done a number of exhibitions featuring more than one artist. Oftentimes, I have had to go with a second, even third choice image because the best had yet to come. I have to contact the media weeks, sometimes months in advance, and if I do not do it with an image, my press materials will get lost in the inbox. We, as a gallery and as artists, must grab their attention with compelling visuals or we get lost in the shuffle.

5. Document the process: I mentioned this before. If you are creating something new, experimenting with new media, expanding upon or narrowing down a concept, whatever, keep us posted. Talk about it. Blog about it. It could potentially help you in your process, but it also keeps us on the same page. This means I can effectively communicate what it is you will be doing and in turn create a hook for the media.

6. Addendum to #5: Be clear about your process, intent, and concept. I attempt, at all costs, not to inject myself into your explanation of YOUR work. I realize that part of my job is to be a mediator/translator between the media and the artists. However, using lofty language in your artist statement, proposal, and other various explanations of your work can make it difficult to break down for media relations. Make it concise and to the point.

To read more on effectively applying to art spaces, check out ED Christopher Lynn's post.

I think this will be my last nag for a while. I feel good. Really good. Painful memories of neglected jazz hands, repeated requests for grape Kool-Aid (not orange), and my desire (need, actually) for the Barbie Dream House are fading off into the distance. I feel heard. Thank you for reading and for hearing me out. I hope it helps you on your experimental journey!

Posted by Nicole Edwards, Lover of Communications



Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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