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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
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:
- Please introduce yourself and your exhibit space.
- Do you have a defined mission or niche?
- What local/regional/national mix of artists have you had?
- How do artists usually connect with you?
- How should an artist looking for a show or advice best approach you?
- 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.
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:
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!
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.
Why blog if you’re an artist? Same reasons as for anyone else: visibility, personal development, and/or community. These tend to flow together.
Today, the way we find people is on the web. No, you probably won’t sell much from a web site alone, but that’s how collectors, curators, and anyone interested can see what you do and contact you or come to your next show. If you’re marketing, be on the web. And what better way to promote your web site than from here?
Writing about your work or your artistic concerns, discussing them with others, are both ways to better understand what you’re about. Think sitting with friends at your favorite kitchen table, coffee shop, bar, laundromat, or wherever. Blogging is different for every blogger. Why not try it out here?
Would you like to form an art book club, start a landscape photography group, locate some potters to share a kiln? Say you want to have a one-night show at your place, or find someone else to do it with. Post a notice … here!
Did I mention I’m looking for regular authors, one time contributors, anybody who has something to post?
I tossed out the idea of a local art blog at Art and Perception to see what ideas or experiences that group had. Naturally, the question of promoting it at the beginning came up. Personally, I think I’ll be going around to contact potentially interested parties directly. But it will be interesting to see whether anyone finds the blog through web browsing or searching.
Another issue arising was the sometimes uneasy relationship of galleries and artists, or perhaps commercial vs. non-commercial concerns. How this might play out is anyone’s guess. It depends so much on the people involved and the direction the blog takes. I can certainly imagine that it might turn out most appropriate to have a separate artist authors only blog. But as Robert Frost knew, good fences don’t necessarily make good neighbors. In any case, all should realize that nothing is set in stone. Anybody so inclined can start their own blog free of charge, and hopefully that will happen down the line.
The blog doesn’t make the community, people do. The purpose of the blog is to lower some of the barriers to communication.
Welcome to Art Bozeman! If you’re an artist or art fan in the Bozeman area, I hope this blog will be of interest to you. There are many things it could include, some obvious ones being:
- openings and events
- calls for artists
- reviews and general opinions
- news affecting artists
A good example of a local arts resource along these general lines is Livingston’s artsmontana.com, recently established by Lynn Weaver. It’s a great place to look for ideas.
Ideally, I’d like to see a more social place with the focus on artists, who care about marketing but also have other concerns. Perhaps all topics would live on the same blog, but perhaps some conversations could better take place on a different one. You are the ones who can best say what your concerns are. And you can best provide the content. I’d like anyone who wishes to be able to write posts on this blog. And, naturally, anyone may comment on any post. Starting with this one. Any thoughts or reactions out there?