Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Emerging Visual Artists Elect DC

Very interesting article about the DC art's scene. I read this article about a year ago, made some notes and forgot about it. As I was cleaning off my desk, I came across the article again, so I figured I would share it with everyone. You can read the entire article HERE. I've included some excerpts I found interesting below.

Like most cities, artists, gallery owners, critics, curators, collectors and the curious weave a nebulous network to sustain a creative community. Unlike most cities, the DC art scene operates in the shadows of national monuments, free national art museums and internationally recognized art centers. Cities across the U.S. battle against the pervading myth that you can only make it as an artist in a culture-rich metropolis like New York, Los Angeles or Chicago. True, DC has distinct offerings and challenges…but clear indications show that emerging artists don’t settle for DC, they choose DC.

“This city is so supportive of artists , because when you’re here, in this small pond . . . it’s so easy to make your mark…..and once you’re respected in a city, you can take that and brand it outside of that city. So, this is the perfect city to be an emerging artist, I think. If you’re in New York, you’re invisible. If I was in Seattle, I’d be an invisible glass artist. But because this city has so few, if you succeed, you will succeed in more places than just DC because you have the reputation that comes from coming from a regional city” says Tim Tate.

“So, it’s a great business model. This is the best place that I can imagine to be an emerging artist. This town,” he says.

“Artists think there is one moment that will get them known,” continues Tate, “you’ll be in the front page of the Washington Post, they’re going to do a documentary on you, you’re going to be in a museum show . . . whatever it is, nothing catapults you into fame, except for 5,000 baby steps and working hard for years and years.”

Fine artist and native Washingtonian Joseph Holston agrees. “It takes years and years of commitment on the part of an artist to build a solid reputation,” says Holston. To cultivate a following, he advises that artists maintain and nurture their patron base, work consistently to provide them with what they need to spread your name further, and continue to grow – never allowing yourself to become static. “I believe people in Washington respect artists who continue to challenge themselves and whose work never stops evolving,” he says.

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