Category Archives: Art Management

Art Demonstrations vs the Meaning of Art

It has been said that contemporary art is about the statement or meaning of the art and not about the artist’s process and technique to create it.

I have also heard that artists’ need to be cautious about being seduced by their medium. This means that working with any one medium becomes more important than what the art is suppose to be about. That you are more interested to see what you can do with the medium.

Is it therefore fair to say that art process demonstrations given at a gallery demean the meaning of the art? Furthermore does it reduce the art to technique which takes attention from the idea and focus it squarely on the how-to?

I would really like to know what your thoughts on this are. All comments are welcome.

Artists Should Add Online Collections to CV

It is a brave new world with the internet being so instrumental in an artists’ career. I think that it is only reasonable that artists should add online collections to CV.

This does need qualifying though. What exactly constitutes an online collection?

Grant it there are 100’s of sites that artists can submit their work to for free. These are portfolio sites that have 1000’s of searchable artists that anyone can become a member of. I’m not referring to these sites.

Websites that jury the artist submissions carry weight in the arts community. Not just anyone will be accepted. Just like submitting to a live gallery, an online gallery reviews your work and exhibition history to ensure you meet their curatorial vision.

For example:
A few years ago I submitted my Heels series to the “Virtual Shoe Museum”. They are strictly online, until recently (I’ll explain in a bit). Anyway, I sent images and a few months later they accepted a few of my pieces to be displayed on an artist page with my name. Cool!
virtual-shoe-museum

I also submitted to “This is Colossal” which is a very popular arts site with a large readership. I would be very excited if they showed my work, but I haven’t heard back yet. And like most galleries, they state they will only contact me if interested.

I believe that it is VERY WORTH WHILE for artists to seek out these types of opportunities. Here’s why…

1. Exposure Exposure Exposure
2. Could lead to other opportunities.

Did I say “other opportunities”? YES!

Shortly after I was accepted into the Virtual Museum online collection, I was approached by the website curator Liza Snook. She was working on a major exhibition of shoe designers and artists for a six month show at the Grassi Museum in Leipzig Germany. Was I interested in sending “Step Lightly” to Germany? ABSOLUTELY!
Grassi Museum

How to list virtual collections in your CV

Listing online collections in your CV should be in a category of their own. They should not be included in the typical list of collections. This is because it is not an actual sale, no one purchased your work. But I believe that online collections are valid as it demonstrates that you are active in the arts community and the arts community now includes the internet.

Here’s how I listed my online collection:

Virtual Collections
The Virtual Shoe Museum, Artist Page: Kim Bruce

You can see it here on my CV. Notice I kept it under the main Collections title but separated from the main list.

Do you agree that artists should add online collections to their CV?

Also I would (and every other artist) like to know if you have resources to share on reputable online collection websites that you have submitted to. Please leave a link to your online collections.

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Kim Bruce Awarded AFA Grant – Here’s some Tips that Helped Me

It is hard time consuming work to write a grant application especially for a visual person to whom words do not come as naturally as imagery. But if you’re willing to invest the time you will find that there are all sorts of benefits even if you are not successful. The least of which is that you will know yourself and your work that much better and may come out of it with one hell of an artist statement.

© Kim Bruce- Well HeeledI don’t think there is a magic formula to writing a grant proposal. You just have to write as if the jurors know absolutely nothing about you or your work. We are so close to our work that it can be difficult to remove oneself and talk about the project as if the reader knows nothing about you. Things that are obvious to you may not be to the jury.

Here are some things that may help you write your grant proposal.

  1. Do not try to make the grant program fit what you want to do. You as the applicant and your proposed project must meet the program eligibility guidelines
  2. Allow several weeks to prepare your application in order to research costs and logistics, draft a timeline/schedule, book equipment or space rental, gather support materials, and so on.
  3. You can apply early. As long as your proposal has been mailed in prior to your commencement date, you can start even though the deadline may be a few months away. I applied in December in order to start in January but the deadlines wasn’t until February.
  4. Create a Table of Contents in your draft application document to ensure you include all required information.
  5. Write down thoughts as they occur to you. Little snippets of ideas can really help you formulate your proposal and they can come to you when you’re doing something else.
  6. Keep a notebook by your bed so you can jot thoughts down.
  7. When preparing the budget I was told that it helps if you contribute financially to the project. For example in my budget I included travel to and from the exhibition as part of the projects budget but did not ask for that amount.
  8. Have someone proof read and not just for punctuation but for comprehension.

The AFA (Alberta Foundation for the Arts) has a really good General Tips document that helps you formulate your outline and write your prose.

These 4 questions from the grant tips really helped me get clear on what I need to write about.

  1. What you are you doing stylistically, technically, etc. to realize your “artistic vision” for this project?
  2. Will your project lead to technical as well as aesthetic challenges?
  3. Does this new project mark an artistic departure from your previous work?
  4. Or does this project build on and develop further your artistic activity to date?

If you follow the tips and organize your outline exactly as they have laid out it will remove a lot of confusion and provide some structure to work within.

I had a couple of things in my favour for this particular grant application. First, I already had an exhibition scheduled for the work I was going to produce. And second, I will be the only Canadian (Albertan) artist in this international exhibition.

I put emphasis on these 2 points when writing my proposal.  It probably also helped that the exhibition has a curator.

If you are writing a grant, even if it for another institution, the A.F.A. General Tips document will probably help you understand and organize your proposal. They also have a great Digital Images Tip document for photographing work and a budget example to use as a template. All are available to download from the AFA’s website.

Alberta Foundation for the Arts

Kim Bruce gratefully acknowledges the grant support from the A.F.A. to produce the work in the Heels series.