Category Archives: Ideas

Oil painter looking for studio

Anybody out there with space to rent? Or helpful suggestions? Contact Thomas Hunter at tshunter79@gmail.com. He says he’s getting desperate.

There would seem to be a need for a place for artists to post requests like Thomas’s. I know there are bulletin boards around town, but I’m not checking them, nor do I visit the Bozeman craigslist > community > artists page. Yet I’d be happy to rent my tripod if someone needed it for a day…

For now I’ll try adding an RSS feed in the sidebar that will pick up any listing in that craigslist category containing the work “art.” If anyone knows how to get all the category listings, or has other suggestions, please let me know. Meanwhile, it appears that either Thomas has competition, or he’s already on craigslist and it hasn’t helped so far.

Liz Lerman: A Proposed Job Swap To Save American Capitalism

From the Not Sure if This is Funny or Sad department. Original article at Community Arts Network. Choreographer Liz Lerman is founding artistic director of Liz Lerman Dance Exchange in Takoma Park, Md., and a 2002 MacArthur Fellow.

Do Wall Street executives deserve big bonuses during hard times? Does increased arts funding have a place in an economic stimulus package? I’ll leave it to others to debate these controversies. Meanwhile I’d like to make a modest proposal to solve some of our economic problems: Let’s do a job swap. We’ll put the corporate executives to work as artists while the artists run Wall Street.

Since their first task will be getting economic markets back on solid footing, I’m convinced that artists have the perfect resumes for their new jobs. Here’s why:

1. Artists work ridiculous hours for no pay. And most of the artists I know will keep working until they get the job done right.
2. Artists do not need fancy offices. In fact, they usually work in the worst part of town … until that part of town becomes fancy because the artists are there. Then they have to move because they haven’t paid themselves enough to afford the new rent.
3. Artists throw everything they earn back into the store – which is why they haven’t paid themselves enough. (I will admit that there was one time I didn’t do this. When I was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship back in 2002, I decided to open my first retirement account. I put the money in “very safe” stock market investments. I would have been better off putting it into my next dance.)
4. Artists do not need financial incentives. Artists do the work they do because they love it. Or because they believe in it. Or because they think it is a social necessity for our communities. Or because they know when people make poems or pictures or dances, our best human spirits emerge.
5. Artists do not expect to get anything if they do a bad job. Except maybe a bad review.
6. No artist gets a bonus because there is never enough money at the end of a project.
7. Artists keep very tight budgets. They know how to spend the same penny over and over (not by cooking the books, but by pinching, recycling, borrowing, bartering and plowing their economy-airline frequent-flyer miles back into the next project.)
8. Artists have a rightful reputation for fresh ideas combined with a capacity for self-evaluation that borders on recrimination.
9. Artists play well with others, having evolved highly efficient collaborative techniques in the service of their visions. But they are also very independent, delivering great things even when they work alone.

Meanwhile, … [see the original article for the rest]

Bozeman Artists’ Alliance on Facebook

Facebook is one of a large number of social networking sites on the Internet. Doubtless some of you readers already have Facebook profiles. If you’re an artist or gallery that maintains a mailing list of some sort, you should strongly consider using Facebook as a convenient means of not only maintaining those connections, but extending them through friends of friends. I’m not on Facebook yet myself—I’m over-web-extended as it is—but I probably won’t hold out much longer. If you’re thinking that Facebook sounds a little fringe, consider that the Bozeman Public Library is offering a class on it (at 9 am today, Saturday, so you probably missed it…) That’s getting pretty mainstream.

What brings this all up is that I recently learned of a Facebook group called the Bozeman Artists’ Alliance. Here’s what they say about themselves:

The Bozeman Artists’ Alliance is a group of artists, writers, musicians, actors, directors and other artistically minded people connected to the Bozeman community. We are united in one single purpose of inspiring each other to use our creativity to make a difference in the world.

It would be great to hear more about that group from anyone in it. For that matter, any other thoughts on Internet or non-Internet activities that connect artists are always welcome. That’s what Art Bozeman is all about.

Emerson is looking for Artist-Educators for Winter Session

The Emerson’s Open Studio is a community-based art education program for teens, adults and children. Open Studio art classes and workshops are fun and build artistic skills and creative courage for all students in an inclusive community setting. Our teachers are high-quality educators and artists. Qualified applicants with limited teaching experience may be asked to apprentice with a more experienced Artist-Educator before teaching on their own.

Open Studio Artist-Educators must have expertise in the media they teach, enthusiasm about working with youth and adults with a range of artistic abilities, an exceptional ability to communicate with parents, students, Emerson staff and the community at large, and a flexible attitude about working in a community-based arts organization.

The Frances Senska Pottery Studio has large working tables, slab roller, fully stocked glaze area and glaze making material area, 10 wheels, an electric kiln, a variety of tools, extruder, clay mixer, slide projector and trays, and buckets. It is a community space shared by several teachers and thirty students at any given time. Proactive communication and willingness to pitch in to improve this popular and growing program are imperative.

Emerson’s art classroom, the Green Room, is a multi-use space shared by the Crawford Theater and the Open Studio program. There may be times when classes must be moved to accommodate concerts or other community events. While we do our best to provide a consistent location for Open Studio classes, you may be asked to relocate your class. Please take this into account when applying for this position.

The Emerson currently offers three formats for classes: one-day adult workshops (usually on weekends); PIR Art Day (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) and Early Release Day (1 – 4 p.m.) classes for youth in grades 2 – 6; four-week classes for adults and grades 2 – 6, grades 5 – 8 and grades 9 – 12; and seven-week classes for adults, grades 5 – 8 and grades 9 – 12.Your application packet should include the following:

  • Cover letter, including: your specific interest in teaching, class ideas, preferred age group
  • Resumé or narrative describing related training, teaching and community-based art experience
  • Artist’s statement, if applicable
  • CD with five – ten images of your current work (jpeg files, 1 – 3 megabyte)

Please send your packet to: Visual Arts Director Ellen Ornitz
The Emerson 111 South Grand, Bozeman, MT 59715
Please do not email your application.

Questions or want to pitch ideas/brainstorm? Call Stephanie 587-9797.

Deadline for receipt of materials – November 14, 2008 or until position filled
Notification of acceptance – November 21, 2008 or until position filled
Winter Open Studio classes – mid-January to March 2009 (first class no earlier than January 19, 2009)

Introducing Bozeman artists

Reversing myself again, I’m now accepting submissions for artist’s self-introduction posts. Because of limited time on my part, I request that artists provide a brief blurb by way of introduction to themselves and their work, as well as one or two images to accompany a post. Just email your material to me (steve@stephendurbin.com). Naturally, this opportunity is in addition to any postings for specific events, such as openings.

I’m always looking to list artists on the Bozeman Artists page, whether or not they also want a self-introduction post.

Poinzy

Malcolm Gladwell, in a New Yorker article that opens with Bozeman’s own Jack Horner, points out that we tend to think of inventors like Alexander Graham Bell as lone creative geniuses, but it often happens that “unique” inventions are made independently multiple times. One Elisha Gray also worked on the telephone and filed an application with the Patent Office the very same day as Bell. This story comes to mind because I’ve just learned of a new web site, based in Bozeman, that has a very similar goal to that of Art Bozeman, namely supporting the local arts community. Must be something in the air. Here’s the intro from Jamey:

I thought you might be interested in a new website that a few smART people in Bozeman have been creating.  It’s a free service for artists and businesses supporting artists with the goal of connecting them to create more opportunity for growth.  Anyone can create a profile showcasing their art, easily create and send newsletters to as many people as desired, and display events with maps to the destination.  There are many more features available. I hope you’ll check it out and maybe share with your readers.

It’s www.poinzy.com

Poinzy is a different critter from Art Bozeman, though it also has some things in common. Its scope is broader than just the visual arts, and it’s also more focused on supporting marketing activities of artists and art-related businesses. It is pretty small at the moment, but has the potential to grow rapidly if people find it that it offers them value. Have a look!

Blogging for Artists

Back when this blog began, I noted a few reasons artists might blog. Since then, I’ve met a number of artists who are potentially interested, but aren’t sure how to go about it. Often they assume that because creating a web site can be daunting, creating a blog must be similarly difficult.

Not so! Typical blogging software makes creation much easier. The key is to keep it simple, realizing that the content–for example, your art and anything you choose to say about it– is far more important than style. The easiest way to learn is to try it for yourself. Just go to wordpress.com and follow the instructions to sign up and create your blog.

Never get use to it, painting by jROD
Never get use to it, by jROD

At this time, there doesn’t seem to be much blog activity among Bozeman artists. One exception is jROD, whose blog at jrodart.wordpress.com uses the same WordPress system that Art Bozeman does. He uses it to to let people know what he’s up to in his art and his (usually art-related) travels. The picture above is a recently-completed commission.

Note that a blog can itself be an artist’s web site, and a more effective one than many existing designs. The simplest site imaginable, a list of works with titles, notes, and perhaps prices, is precisely suited to the blog format. Each work might be one post. For examples, see former co-blogger Jon Conkey’s Themeworks blog, or on WordPress, randomly chosen shanti marie’s A painting a day. In addition, you can create separate, linked pages like the Bozeman Artists or the Event Info pages listed above the banner on Art Bozeman.

WordPress has many good features, including zero cost, but also important is the upgrade path. If you outgrow the limitations on wordpress.com or want to move to your own domain (e.g. greatartist.com), you can continue to use the free WordPress software, and convert your previous posts to the new location. So it’s a good way to test the waters before spending any money. By the way, you can make your blog private, so that only those with a password can view it. You don’t have to do your testing in public. And don’t think a blog is something that needs daily tending. It’s your site; do with it as you will.

Bozeman artists on the web

I have heard that in Gallatin County the proportion of people identifying themselves as artists is several times the national average. True or not, I do know that there are a lot of artists around, but they can be hard to find even if they are on the Internet. I do know that people are looking, because my stats tell me of the web searches that bring people here.

The only online listing site I know of is the Bozeman page of Montana Artists, but to reach their very short list you have to scroll down past ads for real estate agencies, Hannah Montana, and a page-long tourist brochure. If there are other lists I’m missing, please let me know.

So I would like to make this blog available. If you’re an artist and have a web site, tell me and I’ll post it here and add a link on the Bozeman Artists page. And if you don’t have a web site, then Art Bozeman can be a place you might be found if people are searching for you specifically, or Bozeman area artists in general. Either way, just send me (steve@stephendurbin.com) a few sentences about you and your art, along with contact information, and an image or two to include if you wish. You don’t have to live in Bozeman; any real or imaginary connection is enough.

The Art Bozeman Gallery Interview

Most artists need places to show their work. The range of options is wide, from a one-time home or apartment showing to established representation at a major art gallery. In an effort to acquaint artists with some of the possibilities, I’ll be posting interviews with people responsible for exhibit spaces in and around Bozeman. Here’s my list of questions:

  1. Please introduce yourself and your exhibit space.
  2. Do you have a defined mission or niche?
  3. What local/regional/national mix of artists have you had?
  4. How do artists usually connect with you?
  5. How should an artist looking for a show or advice best approach you?
  6. Anything else you’d like to tell artists and art aficionados?

It will take a while to make the rounds with this. In the meantime, I’m more than happy to post any submissions as they come in. If you work with artists to show their work–whether for sale or not–please consider this an invitation to respond.

Art connections

Little did I suspect that my post last night would be validated so rapidly. My point was that blogs need not be the media stereotype of a vanity diary, but rather can be a great tool for making connections with people. Within less than 24 hours, I’ve heard from Amanda, a Canadian artist presently living in Japan (not far from where I lived for several years), gotten a standing breakfast invitation from Lynn Weaver, former Danforth Gallery director now running the Livingston arts blog ArtsMontana.com and her web design business Sparkling Dawg, and received the following email (quoted with permission) from artist Brad Bunkers:

Steve,
I just checked out the new Art Bozeman blog and wanted to congratulate you for connecting the arts community in Bozeman. I’m always looking for talented artists to feature on HoboEye.com, especially people from Bozeman and Livingston.

By the way, I really like the home page banner photo!

Brad Bunkers
HoboEye Editor

HoboEye.com
An online arts journal for alternative artists, wild-souled writers and indie musicians.

Artists, take note!

I had to let Brad know that “connecting the arts community in Bozeman” is way more vision than reality at this point. But I hope this blog, or whatever it morphs into, can be a catalyst toward that goal.