Connecting with My Regional Public Art Network

Posted by Karen Bubb On December - 12 - 2012

Attendees listen to one of the excellent speakers during our NowPAC meeting in early November 2012.

One of five regional networks of public art administrators, NowPAC (Northwest Public Art Council) had their annual meeting in Portland, OR, on November 2. Nearly 70 people from four states and two countries attended the one-day session.

We met in an old, renovated building that now serves as headquarters for the hip landscape architecture firm Place Studio. Architectural models, flying brooms (Halloween had just past), and material samples surrounded us as we settled in to look at images, hear from our peers, and re-connect with the tribe.

Kudos to the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) for organizing a great line-up of speakers and for hosting a great after-party at RACC Executive Director Eloise Damrosch’s “tree-house” home.

Presenters shared with us final designs for public art projects, stories of de-accessioning challenges, and new ideas on commissioning best practices.

In roundtable discussions, we covered:

  • the fine lines between being an administrator and a curator
  • changing demographics and how that affects what we commission
  • how to recover from a public art project gone bad  Read the rest of this entry »

Conversations with a Curator: Douglas Laustsen (Part 2)

Posted by Ian David Moss On August - 16 - 2011

Ian David Moss

In the spirit of the recent conversation on ArtsBlog, Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation, I thought it would be interesting to talk to a curator about how he makes room for the unfamiliar in his work.

Douglas Laustsen is a music educator and trombonist based in New Jersey who runs a radio program called “Endless Possibilities” on WRSU, Rutgers University’s college radio station. We decided to continue a discussion we began on Twitter a few months ago about curatorship and new music.

Our discussion was published in two parts here on ARTSblog:

You mentioned that the recordings people send you tend to be more polished than you expected. On the one hand, that perhaps makes for a better listening experience, but on the other, it perhaps gets away a little bit from the original vision for Explorations. How do you negotiate that tension in your curation process?

It is interesting, to me at least, that I’ve had to be more concerned with creating a ceiling for the segment than a floor. Luckily, I have space during the rest of my show to feature music I don’t find appropriate for Explorations, and I have played submissions outside of Explorations as a way to promote a piece and maintain the spirit of the segment. Clearly there is a lot gray area in making this determination, but over time my familiarity with the new music world has made this judgement a lot easier. Read the rest of this entry »

Conversations with a Curator: Douglas Laustsen (Part 1)

Posted by Ian David Moss On August - 15 - 2011

Ian David Moss

In the spirit of the recent conversation on ArtsBlog, Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation, I thought it would be interesting to talk to a curator about how he makes room for the unfamiliar in his work.

Douglas Laustsen is a music educator and trombonist based in New Jersey who runs a radio program called “Endless Possibilities” on WRSU, Rutgers University’s college radio station. We decided to continue a discussion we began on Twitter a few months ago about curatorship and new music.

Our discussion will be published in two parts here on ARTSblog:

Tell us a little bit about your radio show – what is it? How did it come to be, and how did you get involved?

“Endless Possibilities” is a weekly radio program I have hosted since 2008 on WRSU, the college radio station of Rutgers University. I began hosting shows on WRSU in 2005 with a wildly free form show called ‘Trivial Pursuits.”

My initial motivation was to interact with music in a very non-academic way because I was beginning to feel some conservatory burn out. As fun as it was to segue Pierrot Lunaire into London Calling into Hauschka, I eventually limited the format of my show and renamed it “Endless Possibilities.” While I don’t restrict myself from playing any specific genres, the core of each show is decidedly contemporary art music. Read the rest of this entry »

Artists Demonstrate the Process of Innovation Everyday

Posted by Jaime Austin On July - 26 - 2011

Jaime Austin

While working on the 2010 01SJ Biennial I was involved in commissioning 46 new artworks, so I was able to witness firsthand the creativity, risk-taking, and innovation that come into play as an artist is realizing a new work.

Innovation is a process. It (whatever “it” is) always starts with an idea. The idea alone isn’t worth anything; it’s the action put into realizing that idea to make “it” a reality, something that can be viewed/experienced or bought/sold that matters.

It’s the belief that risking it all—money, prestige, reputation—on a particular idea will pay off in the end when “it” is achieved. Am I talking about the next new Silicon Valley based startup company? No, I’m talking about the next new contemporary artwork.

The process that an artist goes through to realize a new work, particularly large-scale or public works, isn’t so different from the process an entrepreneur goes through to start a business. Read the rest of this entry »

Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation

Posted by Ebony McKinney On July - 25 - 2011

Welcome to the Emerging Ideas: Seeking and Celebrating the Spark of Innovation blog salon. This Salon is part of a larger effort on the part of the Emerging Leaders Council to help Americans for the Arts and the field at-large learn from the best and brightest thinkers and doers in communities around the country.

In January, we decided to initiate a year-long research project by asking, “What lessons can the rest of the field learn or take away from novel, under-the-radar, and locally-based ideas, projects or approaches to old problems?”

We were looking for great examples of innovative, on-the-ground projects or initiatives that deserve wider attention because of their potential to serve as a model for the rest of us.

Hopefully many of you were able to attend our Idea Lab at the Americans for the Arts Annual Convention in San Diego this year. Several of this salon’s bloggers were gathered in conversation there.

This fall, our committee will present a selection of in-depth profiles on some of the innovative ideas, projects and themes we’ve uncovered throughout the year. This week’s salon is an effort to expand and frame that conversation. Read the rest of this entry »