Alliance for Artist Communities 2014 Conference   10.24.14

I attended the Alliance for Artist Communities annual conference in Charleston, SC this week. This was my first time at the event; I had been invited previously to present a Flux Death Match-style panel discussion but chose not to go when I found out that travel and accommodations for presenters isn't covered, nor do they receive free entry to the entire conference (only the day on which they present). Things might be different this year, but three years ago it seemed important to take a stand against what I dramatically refer to as the "exploitation of content providers," especially during a conference that is tailored to support and educate advocates of creative communities.

So, I was especially grateful to have received a generous travel grant from Ohio Arts Council this year to attend. It's really important to get out of the bubble of the Cleveland art scene and enter a bubble of another kind for at least one week out of the year--the bubble of arts administrators who run residency programs, and our allies. There were keynote speeches, tours to a taxidermy studio and galleries, pop up performances, talks about experimental and process-oriented residencies, and roundtable discussions of all sorts that might somehow influence SPACES work at some point.

With so many different kinds of niche residency programs, it's hard to please all of the people all of the time, but the field is so expansive that the Alliance (or some other organization) might consider investigating a different tip of the artist communities iceberg. The needs of writers, visual artists, artisans, dancers, process-oriented artists, social practice artists, filmmakers, etc are vastly different and there is no one-size-fits-all method for this field. And, like many other conferences, the manufactured importance lies in the attendees' belief that there are so many things they don't know and they really need this conference to tell them how it's done, rather than enter into an environment that celebrates the numerous creative approaches to residency programs and develops ways to keep them relevant.

Maybe it's time for a new kind of conference about residencies. Who's in?

Inside a taxidermist's studio
Inside a taxidermist's studio

Author: Christina Vassallo, Executive Director
Category: General

Art Historical Selfies at CMA with Douglas Paulson   10.22.14

The SPACES annual benefit + art auction + costume party, Optical Delusions: Last Days on the Viaduct, is just 10 days way! Here is an excerpt from a conversation with NYC-based artist Douglas Paulson, who is a frequent Cleveland visitor and contributor to this year's benefit.

Bruce Edwards (SPACES Residency Coordinator):Hello Doug, I was told that you were doing an experiential piece for the Benefit here at SPACES. I want to know more about it. Can you give me some details?

Douglas Paulson (Cultural Instigator):WELL, I'm trying to figure out an appropriate image to send you all re: Art Historical Selfies. I'm imagining spending the day at the museum with whoever buys the experience, and developing 12 images together that deal with the works of the museum and the architecture by conflating the high art tradition of portraiture and the low culture phenomenon of selfies.I think selfies naturally lend themselves to institutional critique, which I'd like to exploit.

Bruce: What will the person who wins the bid take home, after your selfie experience?

Doug:12 selfies! - which could be posted to social media or printed.

Bruce: Of course! Duh.

Doug:Bruce -- I'm not sure how you all are planning on presenting the idea. Would it be helpful for me to design something to represent it?

Bruce:Yes. I think if you give us something that we can place on the wall, and on the mobile bidding website, that should work great.

Doug:I'm on the case!

Author: Bruce Edwards, swap coordiantor
Category: General

Kid Art Review-2   10.16.14

For this edition of "Kid Art Reviews" our guest reviewer is 8 year-old Jaden, who really likes to draw. We asked her what she thought of the exhibit and this is what she said.

Questions about a Specific Piece in the Exhibition
(SPACES) What is your favorite piece in the show and why is it your favorite?

(Jaden) The Salt Stairs in TAG Round 2 because it's really different and I haven't seen anything like it before.

(SP) If you could eat this piece what would it taste like? Would it be spicy, tart, sweet, salty, bland, etc.?

(JA) SALTY! Because I tried it!

(SP) If this piece was a person you didn't know would you want to say "hi" to them or get to know them? Would they be friendly or shy?

(JA) I think they would be both because sometimes I can be a little of both.

(SP) Does this piece remind you of anything you have seen before?

(JA) No, it's not like anything I've seen before because, like I said before, it's really different. I haven't seen anything else quite like it because it is one of a kind. Even if someone tried to remake it, it wouldn't be just like it.

Questions about the Exhibition in General
(SP) If you could sum the show up in one word what would that word be?

(JA) Very, very good! I think being able to go around the pieces is way better than just sitting there.

(SP) Does this show make you want to do anything? Go ride a bike, take a nap, throw rocks, have a sandwich, draw, watch tv, play, etc.

(JA) Watch TV, because I play a lot and read a lot in my spare time and I'm not really allowed to watch TV unless it's Friday, Saturday or Sunday. So I take the week to think about what I have and not what I'm waiting for. I used to watch Power Rangers but then I got cut off because I wasn't supposed to watch it but then I sneaked it and got in trouble, very deep trouble.

(SP) So what do you watch now if you can't watch Power Rangers?

(JA) I don't know, I have the whole week to figure it out.

(SP) If there was one question you could ask the artist what would that be?

(JA) Why did you do it this way? Because I want to know what the inspiration was that made them make it or if they just grew up like that saying "I like salt so I'm going make something out of it."

(SP) Out of 5 Truman's how many Truman's would you give this show?

(JA) Five, if there was a hundred I would circle them all! I think that I liked it because it feels and looks really special to me. So I think that artists, and I love doing art myself, have to be inspired by something because I know that when I see my drawings it makes me want to do more of it.

Created with
flickr slideshow.

Author: Michelle Epps, Community Engagement Manager
Category: Kid Art Review

SPACE benefit art auction - Hello Kristen Cliffel   10.11.14

Once a week, the SPACES blog will feature an artist who will be donating work to our benefit this year.

Kristen Cliffel, an internationally renowned artist, lives and works in Cleveland. Cliffel will be donating a small cupcake sculpture, featuring the winning bidder's choice of frosting message, to Optical Delusions: Last Days on the Viaduct.

Cliffel has said, "Creating artwork is the way I express my questions, concerns and hopes for the future. Being a wife and mother, I find myself wedged into roles that both trouble and delight me. The emotional concept of 'Home,' belonging to someone and someplace, seem integral to human fulfillment. The perilous and circuitous routes to these goals are what I investigate in my sculpture. Connection, safety, security, hope and fear are some of the emotional triggers that crystalize ideas for me."

Guests can preview Kristen's and other artists' work via our benefit website. Mobile bidding will begin on 10/27/14.

Author: Marilyn Ladd-Simmons, Gallery Manager
Category: Events

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