studioNotes Blog
Saturday, July 30, 2005
  Golden's Just Paint #13

Golden's "Just Paint" is full of useful information for painters and other artists, not just an advertisement in the disguise of a newsletter, although it does of course promote the company's products. The current issue is now available. In addition to articles about painting materials, it has "Web Resources for Artists," with some useful links such as www.handprint.com, colorcube.com and brown.edu/exploratories. (The last of these has some interesting applets that should be invaluable to persons teaching color and design.)

A sidebar called "Is an Artist Without a Computer Like a Fish Without a Binary File?" by yours truly rounds out the collection.
 
  New York Foundation for the Arts on the Florence Biennial

We've gotten lots of requests for information from people who have been "invited" to participate in an exhibition being called the "Florence Biennale" by its organizers, Arte Studio, a business based in Italy. The first thing to know is that invitations are not very discriminating; rather they are a bit like the old junk mail that began, "Congratulations! You have been selected...." It is clear that the business model of this group is to get as many artists as possible to pay a large fee up front for the privilege of exhibiting. The organizers say that this is more democratic than having the art elite choose who will be shown. Anyone can who can aford the entry fee (currently around $2500USD) is given space to exhibit a very few pieces. On top of the entry fee, the artist must also pay for shipping (the organizers almost demand that a particular shipper be used), and if he or she is going to attend, transportation, meals, lodging, etc. One artist advisor put the total figure at about $20,000 for a US artist when such things as clothing and expenses incurred when leaving one's home unoccupied and taking time off from a job were included.

Many artists who have exhibited complained about poor organization and sparse attendance, but others have reported positive experiences. Also, the venue has managed to hire some big art world names to serve on the awards jury and has done a tremendous job of getting publicity.


One of the most comprehesive articles, although over a year old, is at NYFA Interactive - New York Foundation for the Arts.

Other interesting discussions are at Some typical comments are at ArtScuttlebutt. Of particular interest is a letter from someone who was on the selection committee and who refused to be involved again. On the plus side, there were postive reports like this one from artists such as Carolyn Taylor, who loved it.

We think that whether the show is simply a money making scheme or a well-meaning but clumsy effort or an entirely flawless opportunity, the real question for any artist is always: is it worth it?

Is it worth paying $3-5,000 to have two or three pieces in any show? Is it worth several thousand more to be present at that show? If virtually anyone can be in the show by paying the fee, does that diminish its worth? In any case are there better ways of spending that money, either to do or to promote your work?
 
  Red Ink Studios

Red Ink Studios calls themselves "a guerilla art movement" made up of a "band of nomadic artists who temporarily borrow unleased properties. . . . [to] "develop an new and important body of work."
Their rmission statement begins: "We believe that art is more than an object to be looked at. It is a force that revitalizes people, programs and places. To revitalize places, we provide free studios and gallery spaces in economically challenged areas."
 
Art information from the publishers of studioNOTES, the journal for working artists of all styles, media and geographic locations. Includes practical stuff like art opportunities, marketing and promotion for artists, as well as "deeper" stuff like the role of art, the worth of art history, and the use or non-use of mind-altering techniques and substances. Some humor, quotes, oddities and other material for your mental collage.

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