Reality Check Interview with Public Presentations

Battenfield Workshop on Public Presentations given for the Connecticut Commission on Culture & Tourism, May 1, 2010 Public Presentations: Are an opportunity to communicate about your work and a form of self-promotion. It forms connections in the art world and beyond. It can happen anywhere: Lectures about your work, introducing yourself as an artist in social situations as well at the gym, grocery store, or waiting in line. Whether large or small you need to prepare for all public presentations. WHY? It may be the only information people carry with them about you and you work, so you want it to be good. TIPS for Lecture/talks about your work 1. What is the nature of your presentation? * Lecture about your work? * About a particular aspect of your practice? * About the exhibition of your work? * Part of a job interview? * Ask yourself: What do you want the audience to take away or remember about your talk? 2. What does the organization expect/ the situation demand? * Amount of time allotted * Size of potential audience *

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Reality Check Interview with Joanne Mattera

Joanne Mattera is a painter, author of The Art of Encaustic Painting, and an enthusiastic blogger, where her Marketing Monday reports are drawing a huge fan base. She supports herself from a studio practice through representation by a network of galleries across the United States. Prior to making a living from her studio, Joanne worked in the publishing field. Our interview discusses her transition to a full-time practice, its daily management, and how her editorial skills are now applied to Joanne Mattera Art Blog, “guaranteed biased, myopic, incomplete and journalistically suspect.” JACKIE: Yes, it was twenty years ago for me. JOANNE: The specifics are different now, but the process is the same. Once I was represented, I explored possibilities in other cities with a small package of slides and a few announcements from current or recent shows. The material allowed a prospective dealer to see that I was actively pursuing my career. The synergy of current shows, especially, seemed to make a difference. It’s like dating:  When you’re wanted, everyone wants you. I tried to maximize that interest. I joined

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Reality Check Interview with Aaron Landsman

I have had the privilege of working with Aaron Landsman on developing the workshops presented through the Creative Capital Foundation. Aaron is a writer and an actor with a wealth of experience in fundraising. He currently provides his fundraising skills to Elevator Repair Service Theatre, where he is a member of the company, as well as for his own productions in intimate spaces such as homes, offices, and bars. In this interview, Aaron discusses his experiences observing and serving on awards and grant panels. Being aware of how the panel process works can help you fine tune your work samples and language to make your presentation more competitive.This is an interview with Aaron Landsman on November 13, 2007.

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Reality Check Interview with Jody Lee

Several years ago, one of my former students sent me an email saying I had to meet Jody Lee. She was impressed that Jody had been able to raise money for her projects from a number of patrons and that I should check her out. Always interested in artists that find a variety of support structures, I called Jody and visited her studio. Not only did I enjoy Jody’s work, but I loved hearing about her personal fundraising experience. Jody’s story is a good reminder that there are many ways us artists can look for support from within our personal network of relationships. This is an interview with Jody Lee on February 11th, 2008. JACKIE: Jody, one of the reasons I wanted to interview you is because I’m impressed with the way you have been able to raise money from individuals to support your project. Why do you think it’s so hard? When I talk to artists about how they can also be looking to individuals for funding for their projects, they kind of immediately say, “I could never ask

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Reality Check Interview with Eve Mosher

Eve Mosher tackles big projects which help to visualize environmental issues and potential solutions to communities large and small. A good example was her HighWaterLine project, which brought her out into the streets, front yards and back alley’s of long waterfront sections of Manhattan and Brooklyn, drawing a six-inch chalk line to mark the zones that would be increasingly inundated from climate change induced storms. Armed with an engaging personality, simple tools, and information/action packets, Eve worked for six months on her monumental “drawing,” and met with hundreds of workers, homeowners and curious pedestrians. The vision of one artist can make a difference, but it takes a network of partnerships to help bring a project this large to fruition. This interview explores some of the ways Eve reached out into the community, created partnerships, and secured funding from a variety of sources. This is an interview with Eve Mosher on February 4, 2008. JACKIE: Eve, you just completed a very successful project, the HighWaterLine which involved some challenging fundraising in a short period of time. I’d like to talk a

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Reality Check Interview with Jaq Chartier

Jaq Chartier is an artist based in Seattle, Washington. She maintains an ambitious painting practice and co-organizes, with her husband Dirk Park, Aqua Art Miami, an art fair at two locations in December during Art Basel/Miami Beach. In this interview Jaq provides two different perspectives on gallerists. One is her relationship as a painter represented by a number of galleries across the USA. The other comes from the role reversal she has experienced as the organizer of Aqua Art Miami, and being in the position to choose gallery exhibitors in a competitive situation. JACKIE:  It’s not every day that one gets to talk with an artist who has an active exhibition career and who has also developed one of the best satellite fairs at Miami Basel. How did that come about? JAQ:  My husband Dirk and I are both artists and he opened a gallery with some partners in 2004. We had already been going to the Miami fairs as spectators, and we were noticing that the west coast was not really being represented. The art fairs that were there

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Reality Check Interview with Susan Moldenhauer & Wendy Bredehoft

I interviewed Susan and Wendy in a noisy hotel lobby on the last day of the Art Basel | Miami Beach in 2007. I was excited to find that they not only visited the fairs each year but brought a group of art students from Wyoming with them. Living in New York, all too often, I take for granted how easy it is for me to access a wide variety of art in the studios, galleries, and museums. I was intrigued to discover how these two artists/administrators kept themselves up-to-date with the art world. JACKIE: We are talking about the issues artists face when they are not in a huge city that has an established art mechanism. Both of you are practicing artists in rural Wyoming. WENDY:  Susan and I are artists and administrators. I’ve worked for a variety of art organizations, including the Wyoming Arts Council and the Wyoming Cultural Resource Division. I’m currently the Education Curator for the University of Wyoming and maintain an active studio practice. Part of the reason we bring students to Art Basel |

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Reality Check Interview with Jennifer McGregor

Jennifer McGregor wears many hats. She is currently Director of Arts & Senior Curator at Wave Hill in the Bronx and served as the first Director of the New York City Percent for Art Program. In this interview she offers insights into the process of applying for public art projects as well as how she develops her exhibition program at Wave Hill. This is an interview with Jennifer McGregor about Public Art on July 9, 2007. JACKIE: In my book, I’ll be giving tips for artists who are thinking about getting into Public Art projects. One of the venues I talk about is the Percent for Art Program across the country. Are they viable options for artists? Does it take a certain type of artist to be in a Percent for Art Program? JENNIFER: I think it does take a certain type of artist to do permanent public art and go through the competitive process. There are personal characteristics about being well organized and being able to present work clearly and well. You’re going to have to be dealing with

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Reality Check Interview with Ellen Harvey

Artist Ellen Harvey maintains a varied schedule of works in public spaces and a gallery-based practice. In this interview we briefly discuss her guerilla art work, New York Beautification Project which involved creating 40 tiny oval landscape paintings on outdoor graffiti sites throughout New York City over a two year period. We also discuss how she manages other aspects of her active career. This is an interview with Ellen Harvey on August 26, 2007. JACKIE: Ellen, I’m intrigued with the way you combine an intense conceptual practice with public projects and a gallery career. I think you’re a great role model for a lot of artists who want to follow a diverse practice. So, I’m curious about some of the realities of that. Let’s start with the book documenting your New York Beautification Project. ELLEN: The reason I made a book was that one of the most compelling things about the project was all the crazy stuff that happened doing it – all the stories that you would never know about if you just saw the photographs. I also thought

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Reality Check Interview with Kurt Perschke

Kurt Perschke is a public artist and sculptor. His ambitious project, RedBall, is both a public event and a sculpture work comprised of a series of daily architectural installations of the fifteen foot inflatable RedBall in urban sites over a period of one to three weeks. So far RedBall has appeared in the USA in St. Louis, Portland, Arizona and Chicago and abroad in Barcelona, Spain and Sydney, Australia. Our interview discusses Kurt’s development of the project and how his sculptural practice has responded to it as well. This is an interview with Kurt Perschke on November 7, 2008. JACKIE: The purpose of this interview is to discuss your public art project RedBall, how did it get started? KURT: Well, I was in St. Louis teaching and I had a studio practice, but I was applying to the open calls and request for proposals for the local public art venue, which was Arts in Transit, St. Louis. I had been sending ideas in for a year or two and getting rejected and getting to the point where maybe I had

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Reality Check Interview with Janine Antoni

I met Janine Antoni years ago when I took a group of students to her for a studio visit. Janine generously shared with them the organizational and creative details of her practice, from how she kept her work archive, worked with her studio assistants, to the ambitious project she was currently working on in the studio. I was impressed with the grace by which Janine managed the administrative details of a thriving career and continued to challenge herself as an artist. Below is an interview with Janine on April 29, 2008. JACKIE: Janine, years ago when your studio was down in lower Manhattan, I brought my AIM class to visit with you and that visit remains one of my highlights. The combination of your art practice and your organizational systems was thoughtful and inspiring. It had a wonderful mix of the practical and the creative. Let’s start with the early days of your career, who was your first dealer? JANINE: Sandra Gering. JACKIE How did she find you? JANINE: My friend Brian Goldberg, who was at Brown when I was

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Reality Check Inteview with Larry and Debby Kline

This is an interview with Debby and Larry Kline on May 13, 2008. They belong to Public Address, which is a collective and arts advocacy group based in San Diego, California. They discuss how the collective functions as a support group and its role in promoting artists rights with public art commissioning agencies. J: Larry and Debby, I met you through the Creative Capital workshops when we did a retreat for the artists in Public Address. I was impressed with how the artists in the San Diego area interested in public art had organized themselves into this dynamic group. How did Public Address get started? D: We weren’t in at the inception, but we understand it was initiated in 2000 by a group of artists including Nina Karavasiles and Anne Mudge. They are founding members, and still driving forces in the organization. It started because artists were frustrated by working alone and being at odds with all of the city and governmental entities. They felt that with numbers, there could be strength. That’s one of the main reasons. They also

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Reality Check Interview with Mathew Deleget

Artist Matthew Deleget discusses how he went from having a solitary art practice in Brooklyn, NY to co-founding MINUS SPACE, an art collective/curatorial project that has connected him to a network of artists and venues all over the world. This is an interview with Matthew Deleget on March 12, 2008. J: Matthew it’s wonderful to talk to you. I consider you one of my AIM success stories, so it brings me full circle that I am now coming to you for advice. I’d like to talk about this organization that you have developed with your wife Rossana. What is MINUS SPACE? M: MINUS SPACE, as it stands in 2008, is a very different kind of entity than what we originally planned and launched it back in August of 2003. We describe it as a curatorial project. J: Start with your background as an artist. M: That’s actually the main reason we started MINUS SPACE. Rossana, my wife, and I met at Pratt Institute. She graduated in ‘96 and I graduated in ‘97. I went through the AIM program in ‘98

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Reality Check Interview with Susan Lee

I started working with Susan Lee over 20 years ago, when I was overwhelmed trying to figure out my own tax returns. I had tried other tax preparators, but had often found their advice lacking when it came to issues specific to a visual artist. One of the lawyers from Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts suggested that I try calling Susan. From the beginning, I found working with her reassuring. She was careful, compassionate, and had tremendous experience with how small business tax laws relate to creative people, especially since she was a literary artist herself. Since then, I have called upon Susan to discuss these issues in my classes and seminars and have deeply appreciated our long-term partnership. This is an interview with Susan Lee from December 18th, 2007. J: Susan, could you introduce yourself, your background, and how you came to be such a treasured consultant? S: I was in graduate school getting a master’s degree in writing. A friend of mine, who was getting a master’s degree in photography, looked unhappy. I asked him, “What’s the matter

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Reality Check Interview with a CAA Panel

Below is the transcript from a panel session, which was part of a day long workshop, Finding a Place for Yourself in the Art World: Strategies for Emerging and Mid-Career Artists sponsored by the College Art Association at their annual conference in Dallas, Texas in February 2008. The workshop was co-led by Joanne Mattera and me. At midday, we invited Diane Barber, Co-Director/Visual Arts Curator of DiverseWorks Artspace in Houston; Cris Worley, Director of PanAmerican ArtProjects; and Andrea Kirsh, Art Historian, Art Critic, & Writer to join us for a discussion about relationships between artists and art professionals. Diane Barber: Co-Director/Visual Arts Curator of DiverseWorks Artspace in Houston since 1997 and co-executive director of the organization since 2006. Cris Worley: Director of PanAmerican ArtProjects, a contemporary art gallery in Miami and Dallas, for the last five years. Andrea Kirsh: Art Historian, Art Critic, & Writer, with past career as an administrator and curator. Writer of book Seeing Through Paintings. She is now a teacher and art critic for Fallon and Rosof art blog. Joanne Mattera: Artist, Visiting lecturer at Massachusetts

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Reality Check Interview with Julie Gerngross Baker

I first noticed Julie Baker Gallery years ago with her ads in Art in America. I loved the design and I’ve been keeping track of the gallery ever since. When I was looking for a gallery to interview that wasn’t in a major metropolitan area, hers was the first one that came to mind. This is an interview with Julie Baker on September 7, 2007. JACKIE: Julie to start, tell me a little bit about yourself. You run a gallery in an unlikely place in Northern California. How did you get started there and why in that city? JULIE: I grew up in New York City. My parents owned an ad agency. And back in the day before there were computers, people needed advertising agencies to place their ads in Art in America, or Artforum, or ArtNews, make their invitations, and all that sort of stuff. So that was my parent’s business. Dinner table conversations were about Arne Glimcher because he was a client and others like Betty Parson. All the major galleries in New York were my parents’ clients. 

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Reality Check Interview with Sergio Sarmiento

Sergio Sarmiento is a rare person: an artist with an engrossing conceptual and performance based practice, a lawyer, and a versatile educator. To any subject he teaches, he brings multiple points of view based on his experience. When he discusses legal issues with my students, he comes as an artist and a lawyer. They respect the fact that he has a law practice and, simultaneously, is able to maintain his studio practice. This is an interview with Sergio on March 1, 2008. J: Sergio, why don’t you give me a little background on how your interest in art and law began and to start Clancco. Because you are pretty unusual being both a practicing artist and a lawyer. S: Right. I started when I was at the Whitney Museum’s Independent Study Program, back in the late 90’s. I started reading quite a few texts that dealt with the notion of justice, but they were from a philosophical perspective. I never really was interested in law and its practical application until I went to California to start teaching. I taught at

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Reality Check Interview with Janet Riker

Janet Riker took over as director of the Rotunda Gallery in 1989. I passionately recruited her for the position, as I knew what the demands of the job were and who would be a great candidate. I actually called her up and said I wouldn’t hang up the phone until she said she would apply. I was not disappointed. Janet stepped into the Rotunda Gallery and brilliantly began new ambitious programming and a coveted NEA grant. She also made me look good. To bring insight into the thinking of a director of a non-profit, I turned to her. This is an interview with Janet Riker on October 4th 2007. J: Janet, you are currently the Director of the University Art Museum at the University at Albany. What are your responsibilities? JR: Being Director here entails everything from general administrative duties including personnel and budgeting, to fundraising and playing a curatorial role, though I do have a curator who works in that area. As the museum is part of a university, I am expected to be a good citizen in terms

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Reality Check Interview with Colleen Keegan

Colleen Keegan is one of my colleagues in the Creative Capital Professional Development Program, http://pd.creative-capital.org. At Creative Capital, she has applied her extensive business background to create a Strategic Planning methodology for artists of all disciplines. I have used career planning for myself for over twenty years and have included it in my own teaching. However, working in the Professional Development Program with Colleen has been a great education in the solid business principles behind many of the activities I have done intuitively in my own practice. This is an interview with Colleen Keegan that took place on October 3, 2007. J: Colleen, how did you get involved with teaching strategic planning to artists? C: I had been working for 20 years on a project that was centered on adapting resources that were common to business to the particular needs of women. I was concerned because women were not enjoying economic success proportionate to their male colleagues. The project came to the attention of Ruby Lerner at the Creative Capital Foundation, and she asked me to speak to the artist

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Reality Check Interview with Camilo Alvarez

Last summer, I interviewed Camilo Alvarez the Director/Owner/Curator/Preparator of Samson Projects in Boston. Though it was my first meeting with Camilo, he wasn’t entirely unknown to me. I had already seen his booth at several art fairs and knew two of the artists he represents. Because he is an ambitious gallerist with an adventurous program, I was eager to speak with him and get some insight into his point of view. J: Camilo, tell me a little bit about your background. Did you study art? C: I went to undergrad for Art History at Skidmore College in upstate New York and then moved back to New York, where I had grown up. Back in New York I worked in many different jobs at museums, galleries, artist residencies, artist studios, and art delivery companies. I moved to Boston in October of ’03, and then opened Samson Projects in March of ’04. J: Why did you move to Boston from New York? C: I just needed to leave New York. I was really tired of the scene. Everybody just seemed to be

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Reality Check Interview with Letha Wilson

I first met Letha Wilson when she took my Business of Art class at the Lower East Side Printshop. Subsequently, she showed up again a few years later in my Artist in the Marketplace program after she finished grad school at Hunter. It has been a pleasure to watch Letha’s studio practice develop. Letha also has incredible skills as a web designer having worked for many years with Artists Space, an alternative space in New York City, in charge of their artist registry and later as an Associate Curator. When I wanted to make sure that I had up to date information about work samples and being an artist in the digital age, the first person I thought to speak with was Letha. J: This is an interview with the former Associate Curator at Artists Space and artist extraordinaire Letha Wilson on July 29, 2006. Artists Space purpose and concerns when documenting a show are completely different than those of the artist. I’m trying to make artists understand that they can’t rely on their venue to get them good documentation

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