Archive for the ‘metalwork’ Category

What Is Your Greatest Need as an Artist?

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Periodically, we pose questions to artists about issues they face in their work and lives. This month, we asked practitioners in a variety of disciplines, What is your greatest need, as an artist?

Image from GODDESSES DESCENDING, choreography by Michelle Marroquin. Photo by Tracey Eller.

Michelle Marroquin, choreographer
My needs, if all things were possible?
1. Funding that would be earmarked specifically for dancers to engage in new work. Residencies might include a stipend for the choreographer but rarely pay for dancers. Because I cannot get enough time with my dancers this season, I am working on a solo.
2. Consistent access to space and more performance venues that are supportive and equipped to produce dance. A crew. Someone other than my husband to climb up and down ladders.
3. Administrative support to help enhance work flow. Someone to help increase outreach, search for opportunities, and fundraise. A dream is to have a production assistant.
4. Lifestyle support: Food stamps for artists. A guaranteed minimum income for the process, not just the products. Health insurance for artists. Affordable continuing education. In sum, less intermittent support and more ongoing, lifestyle support.

Robert Knox, writer and poet
I’m a fiction writer and poet. My greatest need is ways to connect with readers. Happily, I’m in a stage of life when my most pressing needs are no longer time or money. But I want to see the books that I finally have time to write get into print, or get read, or even noticed somehow. Commercial publication of fiction is a narrow funnel, except for certain formulaic genres, and agents look to meet specific marketing needs. Newspapers, a declining industry in which I’m partially employed, review few books. After my novel Suosso’s Lane was published a year ago by a small independent, I find most of its readers myself through public programs at libraries. Many of the fiction writers I know publish their own books and sell them on Amazon. Poetry is an even more self-contained universe. I’m not proposing any solutions here, just stating a need: How do we get read?

Dana Clancy, WINTER WEIGHT (2015/2017), oil over acrylic on panel, 36x48 in

Dana Clancy, painter
As an artist-professor-parent, I structure my life around building and maintaining artistic momentum. Momentum arises from consistent and focused time in the studio (including that hour before class or late night after our family dinner). It is also fed by important conversations with artist friends and with students. For me, as a painter whose work is based on responding to contemporary museums, it is vital to my work to spend time with other artists’ work that I find moving and important.

Recently, as part of BADA Second Saturdays, I hosted a conversation event at Alpha Gallery about what artists look for and gain from seeing work in person in the context of the museum. Many of us spoke about how the role of the museum has shifted to symbolize a space apart from fast-click looking. If I have to work quickly and efficiently in the studio, momentum for me includes time to slow down to look on a more critical level and feel highly present with what I am seeing.

As I start a new body of work, the momentum I seek also includes connecting more broadly to other artists, and feeling that I’m doing my part to give voice to the importance of art and culture at a time when funding and support are under threat.

Duy Doan, poet
Outside of the daily search for time and space to write, having mentors has been vital to my writing life. Mentors – writers who have read more, written more, and of course experienced more – can give you career advice and feedback about your writing, detailed as well as overarching, in ways that your peers cannot. I’m grateful to have had a range of extremely supportive mentors both in the literary world and outside of it. When I was an undergraduate at UT Austin, Martin Kevorkian, Judith Kroll, Joseph Slate, Oscar Casares, and Ian Hancock – scholars, poets, fiction writers – all gave me the language to talk about writing with a close eye and ear. These professors encouraged me through challenging times and guided me through the dizzying MFA application process. I attended Boston University where I studied with Robert Pinsky, Louise Glück, and Rosanna Warren, all of whom pushed me to pursue writing, first and foremost, in an organic way. Many writers encounter these kinds of supportive relationships through school, but I think the important conversations continue outside of an academic setting. Casual conversations about poems, outside of the professional world of poetry, are always a pleasure, a vital one.

Yuri Tozuka, BUNNY (2016), sterling silver, fine silver, garnet, coral, 17x3x1.5 in

Yuri Tozuka, metalsmith
A studio space has been my greatest need as an artist for a quite long time. I have been creating most of my work on my bench underneath a loft bed in my little apartment. Because of this, I am constantly in a battle when it comes to the actual construction of the piece; between what I can really make in this space and what I truly want to create. Noise, dusts, and fumes have to be minimal in this environment, which sounds better for everyone’s health, but as a metalsmith, this limits opportunities to play with different techniques, scales, ideas and to go outside of the box.

Having said that, this creative space issue made me focus on my technique, such as lost-wax casting, and also pushed me to try out different materials other than metal.

I have tried having a separate studio space, and the only down side was that it was too far away for me to get to as frequently as I needed. In the near future, I am planning to move into a house with an actual studio space, where only my husband and our dog will be able to complain about my hammering.

 

Dana Clancy has work in the group show All Things Great and Small at Geoffrey Young Gallery in Great Barrington (5/3-5/28, opening reception 5/6, 5:30-7:30 PM). She recently had a solo exhibition, Sightlines, at Alpha Gallery – read a Boston Globe review.

Duy Doan recently won the Yale Younger Poet Competition, selected by Carl Phillips, for his manuscript We Play a Game. Yale University Press will publish We Play a Game in April 2018. Duy is the director of the Favorite Poem Project.

Robert Knox discusses his novel Suosso’s Lane at the Ventress Memorial Library in Marshfield (4/13, 7 PM). He’ll read from his poetry collection Gardeners Do It With Their Hands Dirty at Plymouth Public Library (4/24, 7 PM). Currently, he has poetry published in Verse-Virtual.com, where he is a contributing editor.

Michelle Marroquin is a dancer and performance artist whose training includes ballet, modern dance, Mexican folk dance, and Odissi Classical Indian dance. She premiered her most recent work Goddesses Descending at Park Hill Orchard in September 2016.

Metalsmith Yuri Tozuka has exhibited at galleries and institutions including Mobilia Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Hancock 309 Gallery, and 24K Studios in San Francisco.

Images: from GODDESSES DESCENDING, choreography by Michelle Marroquin, photo by Tracey Eller; Dana Clancy, WINTER WEIGHT (2015/2017) , oil over acrylic on panel, 36×48 in; Yuri Tozuka, BUNNY (2016), sterling silver, fine silver, garnet, coral, 17x3x1.5 in.

Historic Artist Opportunities

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Untitled-1

Of Note: The National Museum of African American History & Culture has opened in Washington DC.

Poets Entries are now being accepted for the New Criterion’s Poetry Prize of $3,000 and publication by St. Augustine’s Press. The prize is given annually for a poetry collection that pays close attention to form. Erica Dawson, Roger Kimball, and David Yezzi will judge. Submit a manuscript of up to 60 pages with a $25 entry fee byVisit the website for complete guidelines. Learn more.
Deadline:  September 30, 2016

Artist Business Grants MASS MoCA’s Assets for Artists program is seeking Boston-based applicants for its Matched Savings Program, which supports creative entrepreneurs with a matching grant and artist-focused business and financial training. Eligible applicants must have a home or studio address in the City of Boston. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Poets, Fiction Writers Entries are currently being accepted for the University of Massachusetts Press Juniper Prizes. Four prizes of $1,000 each and publication by University of Massachusetts Press are given annually for a first poetry collection, a poetry collection, a short story collection, and a novel or novella. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

Short Fiction Entries are now being accepted for the University of Iowa Press Short Fiction Awards. Two awards of publication by University of Iowa Press are given annually for first collections of short fiction. Writers who have not published a book of fiction are eligible. Learn more.
Deadline: September 30, 2016

MCC Artist Fellowships The Massachusetts Cultural Council is currently accepting Artist Fellowship applications for Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged grants for Massachusetts artists in recognition of artistic excellence. Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000. Learn more.
Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016

STARS Residencies The Massachusetts Cultural Council’s STARS Residencies Program (Students and Teachers Working with Artists, Scientists, and Scholars) provides grants of $500-$5,000 to schools to support creative learning residencies of three days or more in the arts, sciences, and humanities. Learn more.
Application opens October 6, 2016 at 4pm

Videos, Animations, Computer Generated Work Proposals for the next round of Art on the Marquee are currently being accepted. Looking for work 30 second videos, animations or computer generated work, that use the entire Marquee in creative ways. Please submit a storyboard, statement, work samples, and CV to info@bostoncyberarts.org The call is limited to artists who live anywhere in the state of Massachusetts. Learn more.
Deadline: October 16th, 2016 (midnight)

Boston Choreographers The Boston Foundation and The Aliad Fund have announced Next Steps for Boston Dance, a new grant program that provides multi-layered support for Boston-area choreographers creating original work in any genre. Offers 250 hours of rehearsal space; 6-10 consultations with experts in chosen areas of need/interest; $5,000 in implementation funds for the artist to take a “next step” in his/her work or career; a series of cohort meetings to connect choreographers, build relationships, and allow for co-learning. A minimum of three grants will be awarded in this pilot round/first year of Next Steps. Learn more.
Deadline: Oct 24, 2016 at 5pm

Ten-minute Plays Submissions of ten-minute plays by New England playwrights are now being accepted for the Boston Theater Marathon XIX to be held May 14, 2017, at the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts. Learn more.
Deadline: November 15, 2016

Writing Conference Scholarships If you’re interested in attending Muse and the Marketplace, GrubStreet’s national conference for writers, in Boston Spring 2017 but could use financial support, GrubStreet is offering numerous $250 scholarships for attendees. Learn more.
Deadline: November 21, 2016

Image credit: Circa 1940s: “Miss America.” (Joe Schwartz). From the photography collection of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Apply Now for an Artist Fellowship in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Beth Galston, LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912x12 ft

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of the 2017 Massachusetts Cultural Council Artist Fellowship Program. The Artist Fellowships are unrestricted, anonymously judged, competitive grants for individual artists in recognition of artistic excellence.

Fellowship awards are currently $12,000. Finalist awards are $1,000.

There are two deadlines per fiscal year, divided by discipline. Applications are now being accepted in Crafts, Dramatic Writing, and Sculpture/Installation/New Genres. Deadline: Monday, October 3, 2016.

MCC will accept applications in Film & Video, Music Composition, and Photography beginning December 15, 2016. Deadline: Monday, January 23, 2017.

Who should apply for an Artist Fellowship? Massachusetts artists creating original work who meet eligibility requirements (see guidelines) are encouraged to apply. Read our tips on applying for an MCC Artist Fellowship.

Read full program guidelines, eligibility requirements, and application instructions.

 

Image and media: Beth Galston (Sculpture/Installation/New Genres Fellow ’13), LUMINOUS GARDEN (AERIAL) detail, detail (2009) Urethane resin, LEDs, wire, electronics 912×12 ft; video celebrating 40 years of the Massachusetts Artist Fellowships.

How Do You Approach the Business of Art?

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

Periodically, we pose a question to artists about an issue they face in their work and lives.

It can be challenging to balance artistic creation with the financial, marketing, or other career aspects of artists’ work. Artists are encouraged to see their art career as a “business” – but how does that translate into practice? We asked artists in different disciplines, What is your approach to the business of art, and how has it changed over time?

Part one of a two-part discussion.

Wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni)

Caleb Neelon, international public artist
Last year while on a mural project in Sarajevo I passed a funny milestone: first time out at some bar (legally) downing beers with people half my age. I was 38 then and the guys were 19. They were eager young graffiti writers and they were taking the chance to grill me with nerdy graffiti history questions and ask about their favorite international graffiti writers that I had met or painted with over the years. They wanted to do their own individual version of what I had done, which was to make a career out of the doors-of-possibility-blowing-open passion of my youth. And one thing that I realized, and said to them, was that while I had been in some way a professional artist since I was their age, and those 20 years feel like forever, I’m consumed with how I positively navigate the next 40, or however long fate has in store for me. In many ways, the goals for me have shifted from a list of specifics (show here, sell for this much, publish this, paint a mural there, etc) to the end goal of doing good work up to the time I’m done here on Earth.

Crystal King, novelist, writer, and marketing/communications professional
Over the last few years, I’ve taught many classes to artists and authors on how to use social media. Many of them are there to learn only because someone, usually an agent, has told them that they need to be on Facebook or Twitter. Often, they are not happy about it. Some people do their best to engage with and build their audience. Others start social accounts but let them languish a month or so after their show or their book comes out, then bemoan the fact that no one is interested in their work.

To me, the business of art is just as important as the art itself. This is a world in which anyone has the chance to be successful. But unless you’ve managed to get lucky, you have to pay or play for your art to be noticed. If you can’t pay for publicity, then you need to learn and work for it. I’m always baffled when people are unwilling to promote themselves. If you believe in the work that you do, why on earth wouldn’t you do EVERYTHING you can to help others see your vision? This is more important than ever for me, as I prepare for my own book to come out in 2017.

Mariko Kusumoto, metalworker and textile artist
My artistic choices have changed over time, and the business side has followed the creative. Metal constructions had been my main focus since 1995, but in 2013 – after completing a very involved and technically challenging metal piece – I felt the need to move away from using purely representational imagery and do something more abstract, organic, and in a different material; the result has been fabric work. Fabric is completely opposite metal, and I like the softness, gentle texture, and atmospheric quality of the fabric I use.

In a formal manner, the financial aspects of my work are completely managed by my gallery although we work in unison to establish pricing. My metal pieces are quite expensive. But in developing smaller-scale fabric pieces, I felt that a wider audience/collector would find them more accessible, both aesthetically and financially. The public exposure for this new work (e.g., print, websites) has expanded audience interest as well.

What else has changed over the course of my career are opportunities and invitations that require an increasing amount of time to attend to thus removing me from the necessary concentration needed to make my work. I am flattered and grateful for the interest, but I have to politely refuse certain requests.

Metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto: RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell
Top: metalwork by Mariko Kusumoto from 2007; bottom: Mariko’s recent textile work
Recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery

 

Related reading: Getting More Out of Getting Online by Jessica Burko, and What Decision Most Impacted Your Career?

Crystal King (crystalking.com) is a 20-year marketing and communications veteran who has directed global social media programs for companies such as Pegasystems (were she currently works), Keurig, CA Technologies, and Sybase. Crystal is also a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet. Her first novel, Feast of Sorrow, will be published by Touchstone Books in 2017. She has taught classes in writing, creativity, and social media at Harvard Extension School, Boston University, Mass College of Art, and UMass Boston. At Grub Street Writers’ The Muse and the Marketplace Conference (April 29-May 1), she will present workshops on electronic tools to streamline writing and self-promotion using social media.

Mariko Kusumoto (marikokusumoto.com) is a metalworker and printmaker who is now working in fiber. Her intricate metal box sculptures have exhibited at Fuller Craft Museum, Morikami Museum, Racine Art Museum, and Society for Contemporary Craft, and her fiber creations have been featured in American Craft and Fiber Art Now magazines. She is represented by Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge, which has a Spotlight Exhibition of her work thru April 16, 2016.

Caleb Neelon‘s (calebneelon.com) wall murals and other works have exhibited in dozens of countries and in many galleries, museums, hospitals, and educational settings. Along with his artist monograph Caleb Neelon’s Book of Awesome, he is the co-author of The History of American Graffiti, Street World, and Graffiti Brasil, among other publications. His most recent projects, the documentary film Wall Writers: Graffiti in Its Innocence and an accompanying art book from Ginko Press, are forthcoming.

Images: wall mural by Caleb Neelon in Somerville, MA (basketball court is by Maria Molteni); Mariko Kusumoto, RYOUNKAKU (2007), board game, metalworks, 27x9x1-1/2 in, photo by Dean Powell; recent textile work by Mariko Kusumoto, photo courtesy of the artist and Mobilia Gallery.


css.php