Blog

Gettin' Down With Dee   08.27.09

Listen in as SPACES ED Christopher Lynn talks about the upcoming fall exhibitions on WCPN's Around Noon with Dee Perry. Lots covered: The Plum Academy: An Institute for Situated Practices, SPACELab artists Elaine Hullihen and Mark Moskovitz, and SWAP artist Jií Survka.
WCPN 90.3 FM
Aired Monday, August 24, 2009(37:55)

It's Dee-lightful!

Listen to the archive audio here: http://www.ideastream.org/an/entry/27587

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Who you will find at SPACES   08.18.09

Photo by Vanessa La Valle (of Vanessa La Valle), 2009

Vanessa La Valle. Super lady. Awesome Volunteer. You will find her here at SPACES telling stories (you would never believe unless you have met her in person), making us laugh, talking about art, and working hard and creatively while tackling any task thrown at her. Here is what she has to say about being an artist and finding SPACES:

"I love constructing environments. In the past, I was one of those teenagers with walls full of posters, ticket stubs and magazine clippings that amounted to a museum of my experiences and perceptions. Looking back on photographs of the rooms I have inhabited, I feel as if it is the clearest picture of my mind next to something a psychoanalyst might be able to come up with. In some ways it is like walking into the brain of the inhabitant. I am certain this old habit has influenced the way I create work and the type of places in which I would like to view and live.

Ten years later, after experimenting with constructing soundtracks to visuals and vice versa, I was searching on the internet for alternative approaches the traditional concept of the gallery; something that incorporated physical space into design. SPACELab is just that. Volunteering has been an excellent way of experiencing a segment of Cleveland's art scene and the nature of an alternative exhibition space."

If you want to see more of Vanessa's work, visit: topnotch-indeed.blogspot.com

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

SPACES is not located in New York city   08.10.09

When you walk into SPACES gallery you are not immediately met with a silent hush and if youre lucky, a haughty glance from the receptionist. The door isnt as tall as a house or as heavy as one nor is it made out of solid frosted glass. Upon entering SPACES you are met with the glow of natural light and, if its hot out, the warm rush of un-conditioned air. The natural wood floor will creak in an effort to immediately welcome you in.

Those creaks from the floor will mix with the various personal soundtracks playing at the staffs computers. Who knows, you might even be invited to participate in one of our spontaneous dance parties (weve been known to bust out to Beyonce). We may be Midwest but we know how to shake it down.

And yes, we have a bathroom (straight ahead and to your left). And yes, you may use it. But we also know interesting facts about the art installed and the artists who installed it (these elephants were delivered to us in boxes 2 hours before the exhibition opened). We may all wear trendy thick plastic glasses but were approachable (and smart) and happy to talk.

So next time youre in Cleveland or read a story on our blog take a second to introduce yourself. We're here for you and we want to know what you think. Because were located in Ohio, "The heart of it all, and SPACES takes heart seriously.

Contributed by: Susan Vincent, SPACELab Manager and front desk sitter

Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

Dance party here, there, everywhere   08.07.09

Behind the scenes the dance party a little known treat at SPACES. I am using my dance card (yes, we each actually have a physical card on hand for this occasion) and would like to call a dance party for everyone.

So stop what you are doing! We deserve to dance after going through hundreds of applications, working hard at our desks, enduring a long day of grant writing, organizing upcoming exhibitions and events, planning budgets, tweeting and FBing, coordinating artists, managing thousands of names, etc.

Lets have fun and get excited about the future.

Thanks to my fellow staff mates. Thanks to all our workers (Katie, Nick, Laura, Paula, Kelly, Drew, Steve, Erin, Tim, Chris, Sara, Heather and Vanessa) who help make our job little easier. Dance!

(Yes I am one moon walking.)

Posted by Marilyn Ladd Simmons, Gallery Manager and Artist Wrangler



Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

I'd Make a Great Cop: Or How to Submit Applications for Exhibitions, Part 2   08.04.09

Part 1 (http://www.spacesgallery.org/blog/i039d-make-a-great-cop-or-how-to-submit-applications-for-exhibitions-part-1-08-03-2009) of this two-part series addressed SPACES' procedure for reviewing material as well as the more effective methods to use when applying to exhibit. This post tackles the more painful, less-effective methods. No one wants to realize that they did something incorrectly after the fact. Most every artist is excited about the prospect of exhibiting their work, but some treat that opportunity like Lennie Small from Of Mice and Men treats his puppy. Just relax. We can't understand your apparent genius when you're acting crazy and squeezing us to death. Just pay attention to the effective methods in Part 1 and steer clear of the following less-effective methods.

Less-Effective Practices


  • Introducing Yourself Through Facebook: Facebook is a very handy tool, but you'll come off as a tool if you drop me a note suggesting that I look at your website or post images of your work all over our profile's wall. See #1 under Effective Practices.
  • Casually Stopping By the Gallery With your Portfolio for a Meeting with the Staff or Director: Our days are often tightly scheduled. Even 24 hour notice isn't quite enough to accommodate a meeting. If you want a show, apply just like everyone else. If you want to meet us and talk art, most of us would be happy to do so. If you want to meet us and talk specifically about your art, it may happen, but don't expect much.
  • Submit a "Curated" Exhibition of "Me and My Friends:" We have a term for exhibitions that have been curated by an artist wherein he/she inserts him/herself into the exhibition. We call these "Me and My Friends" exhibitions*. Exhibitions like these lack legitimacy and honesty. It places the curator-artist at the center of the dialog with supporting characters who validate and verify the curator-artist's practice. It's a small step above the director of a non-profit art space scheduling a show for him/herself in the space they run. Something smells fishy. We hope that our curated shows give curators an opportunity to meddle in experimental curatorial practices (the artists shouldn't have all the fun).
  • Following Up With a Phone Call: Don't do this. If you are worried about your work arriving or arriving on time, mail delivery services have options that will let you know when a package arrives. It sometimes takes a while for us to organize a full-exhibition schedule and then respond to those we couldn't fit in. Don't call us (or email) unless more than four months have passed beyond the initial submission deadline and we have not responded to you.
  • Asking for an Extension: If you miss our annual deadline, let it go. Your career won't fall into ruins because you missed this opportunity. Just like our own beloved Cleveland Browns, there is always next year. Mark your calendars and set your cell phone to warn you regularly of the pending deadline so you don't miss it again.
  • Most likely you missed the deadline because you were ill-prepared, ill-informed or didn't schedule properly. But by trying to get an extension, you are in effect telling us that if we give you a show, you'll likely blow past any other deadlines we give you. Try again next year and impress us with your organizational prowess.


All in all, the application process is seen as a reflection of what it would be like to work with you on an exhibition. If you demonstrate that you are responsible, smart, reliable and skilled when it comes to submitting an application, then it stands to reason that the same characteristics would surface when assembling and installing an exhibition. If you blow past deadlines and cannot communicate or follow instructions, you will likely be a disaster to work with. Regardless of the merit of your work, exhibitions are social in nature. They involve working with the venue's staff and interacting with the public. We don't work with difficult people if we can help it.

If you disagree with these practices, I can completely respect that. We have been doing this for years and find this structure useful, but acknowledge that it isn't perfect. Also, the government sanctioned 501(c)3 status of non-profits has its own limitations that some might find, well... limiting. If you dislike our process and guidelines, my advice is to start your own art space. Heaven knows, we need more.

Posted by Christopher Lynn, SPACES Executive Director

* Other types of exhibitions include: "Crap in a Room," "Things That are White," and "Trying Very Hard to Look Very Bad."

Keywords: professional practices, r&d, spacelab
Author: Christopher Lynn, Executive Director
Category: General

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