I have been selected as one of the participants in this "first time ever" program at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center in San Antonio, Texas called Artist Lab sponsored by SURDNA Foundation. In order to learn the most from this program I will be keeping this blog with the final outcome at the end of the 3 years being a published book. The following 3 years in my blog will be The Tale of My Creative Journey with the Artist Lab Program: a review comprising of a critical examination of my experiences in the creative process—including: explorations, critique responses, collected research and notes, new works and concept development, exhibits and documentation, program evaluation, and documentation of interactions with peers / mentors / patrons. I invite all to follow me through this mission.
THE SPECS POSTED FOR THE PROGRAM ARE AS FOLLOWS:
ARTIST COOPERATIVE GALLERY SPACE: The Artist Lab is committed to cooperatively manage the artist-run Chavez Project Space, housed in the Guadalupe’s César Chávez building, and regularly present exhibitions of new work.[ This is not a part of this program because GACA does not have the César Chávez building ready and operational—from now on notes by LV will be in red. ]
ARTISTIC DEVELOPMENT:Included in each artist’s creative development will be formal critiques, coaching of and even homework regarding the creative process. Feedback will be provided by outside artistic advisors. Artists will be asked to develop strong artist statements, and present talks to their peers regarding their personal artistic process. Local and visiting national gallery owners, curators and artists will be consulted for one-on-one critiques, creative advice and presentation recommendations. This important expert feedback mechanism is at the heart of the program’s intended outcomes and success.
CREATIVE CURRICULUM: Each of the six artists will create a personalized curriculum that assists them in their growth. This independent study could take on many forms. It could take shape as travel to an art fair; it could be attending a special seminar/workshop on a particular technique; or, it could be the purchase of special equipment. All curriculums must be approved and paid for through the GCAC. The total two-year budget of this artist’s curriculum is $6000.
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT: Artists will also go through rigorous business training including business plan development, financial management, and marketing strategies. Homework will give each artist time to absorb, practice and build their business plan, based on his/her own practice. Follow-up coaching and individualized sessions will give the artist one-on-one time with experts to review and give advice on the their business plans. Production timelines will be tough but flexible, pushing to get work done but accommodating of the struggles along the way.
PAY BACK: Each artist will be asked to “pay forward” their fellowship with a commitment of 10 hours in the third year of their involvement. Volunteer time will be assigned in a manner that continues the artist’s growth such as sharing their work and creative process with others. OUR ADVISORS: CARLOS AIRES(Artist, Spain), ROCIO ARANDA-ALVARAD0(Curator of the Museo Del Bario, New York City, New York) TEY MARIANNA NUNN(Director and Curator at The National Hispanic Cultural Center, New Mexico), ANDREA TOREBLANCA.(Curator at the Museo Tamayo, Mexico) PROGRAM FACILITATOR: Haydeé Muñoz BUSINESS ADVISOR: ACCION Texas
Artists Log: OUR FIRST MEETING , THE PRESENTATION and THE CRITIQUE WITH OUR ADVISORS
—The Introduction: Summary
Day 1: The Orientation Meeting was facilitated by Haydeé Muñoz—Deputy Director of The GCAC . We met with Haydee and Martha-Accion to introduce ourselves to the group and discuss the artist Creative Curriculum, the Business Curriculum and the timeline for the Artist Lab Program.
The Orientation informed us of the following:
This is the "First Time Ever" this program has ever been done
It is a pilot program so depending on its success it may continue it may not
The goal is to make it something for San Antonio artists
It is a database that can be shared with other artists of San Antonio
Artist Lab is divided into 3 Phases
Phase 1: The Assessment the Group Critique by Advisors & the Assessment by Accion
Phase 2: The Curriculum-you have to create and decide where you are heading with your work
Co-Op Gallery Space
Phase 3: Year 3 the Payback
Day 2: We met with our advisors-each artist met and presented to 3 of the 4 advisors on an individual basis. The advisors took notes and prepared for day 3
Day 3:We met with all 4 of the advisors at the same time. Each artist was critiqued and we were all present and listened to each artist critique.
Day 1: The Orientation informed us of the following:
This is the "First Time Ever" this program has ever been done—I am so excited to have been selected for Artist Lab and I am fully committed the success of Artist Lab-for that same reason I believe that it is important to critically review and go over my creative process, my creative development and exploration, the program structure and implementation.
It is a pilot program so depending on its success it may continue it may not—it is of the utmost importance for the learning experience to be documented and structured in such a manner that is clear, concise and considerate of the the time line and participant situation. Balance = Success
The goal is to make it something for San Antonio artists—so in being for San Antonio artist the experience level of each artist needs to be properly recognized in order to fully maximize the learning experience, mentorship structures are important and should be recognized and nurtured by each artist involved-these will be formal(phase 3) and informal.
It is a database that can be shared with other artists of San Antonio—easily accessible documentation will be most important-blogs, books, online links that can share the knowledge.
Artist Lab is divided into 3 Phases
Phase 1:Assessment- the Group Critique by Advisors and the Assessment by Accion— the critique by the Creative advisors was a new experience and required me to step back and examine my work from a separate point of view. It required my ego to step aside and me to place into action the constructive recommendations I received from my creative advisors.
The Assesment by Accion gave me a SWOT to work on but left me feeling like Accion did not understand the level that I am at as a working artist and the financial approach towards my career standing as an artist—Having put my ego in check I did not expect to be told to consider exhibiting my work in restaurants as Martha suggested, however when I asked questions about business issues such as taxes and business forms the responses were clear and informed.
Phase 2: The Curriculum-you have to create and decide where you are heading with your work—Working on the Curriculum Sheet beginning with the SWOT Analysis question and the SWOT Work sheet from Accion.
Co-Op Gallery Space—[This is not a part of the Artist Lab program because GACA does not have the César Chávez building ready and operational]
Phase 3: Year 3 the Payback—more will be discussed and arranged as the time gets closer.
Day 2: Presentation to Advisors —a 30 minute presentation to our advisors about our work needs to be current, but the question was how much depth and breadth to show. In retrospect after reviewing my critique notes I believe that my presentation was not cohesive enough to reveal my story.
Day 3:We met with all 4 of the advisors at the same time. Each artist was critiqued and we were all present and listened to each artist critique. — THERE WAS SOME WORK TO DO
Clarify my message
Explore my work and why I make it
Make my plan
In order to put the critiques to work and grow as an artist I researched the process of writing a proper artist statement and I asked myself a few questions so that I could begin the organizing
STEP 1: EXAMINING MYSELF —WHO AM I?
Luis Valderas received a BFA in Secondary Art Education from
the University of Texas-Pan American. Valderas co-founded Project: MASA I, II, and III, a national group exhibit featuring Latino artist
and focusing in Chicano identities. He is also the co-founder of 3rd Space Art Gallery, a space devoted to representing
current trends in the San Antonio visual arts scene, and Art to the Third
Power, a public art community engagement project. Valderas has had the
opportunity to show not only locally and nationally, but also internationally.
His work was exhibited at OSDE Espacio de Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina and
the Medellin Museum of Art in Medellin, Colombia. Valderas’ work has been
featured in Chicano Art for Our
Millennium-2004 and Triumph in Our Communities: Four Decades of
Mexican American Art-2005. His
work is part of several collections including UTSA, the Arizona State
University, International Museum of Art and Science, Mexic-Arte Museum, Art
Museum of South Texas, Instituto for Latino Studies/Notre Dame and the San
Antonio Museum of Art.
[thanks to Haydeé Muñoz for the bio revisions]
—WHERE DO I COME FROM?
Soy Vayuco: I grew up on the frontera de Tejas— The Rio Grande Valley.My exposure to the bicultural way of life in the South Texas
border and father’s stories revealed spaces of shared experiences. These
stories and experiences, fueled with my interest in space travel / science
fiction, and Mesoamerican mythology and iconography, present themselves in my work. The Rio Grande Valley (RGV) spreads from Brownsville Texas to Zapata Texas. There is a vast geographic gap of land (300 miles) between the nearest major metropolitan areas in Texas and the Rio Grande Valley. It is also referred to as the Magic Valley—I believe the geographic isollation between major metropolitan areas and the Valley act like a barrier. It is often refered to as El Norte in my family's historias y cuentos of my mother and father. Most recently the RGV has been in the national immigration spotlight.
I grew up in my mothers' lush garden. My mother-Victoria, continues to keep a lush garden area outside her ceramic studio. The practice of caring for the growth of plants in my studio and grounds is a way of recreating mothers' garden.
The grounds outside the SATX studio—which I call Tochtlitepec
My mothers' ceramic shop where major production work occurred when I was growing up also continues to be part of my creative process. It functions like a remote studio where she still works and I collaborate with her.
Chicano Artist-San Antonio, Tejas...I create because I have always wanted to see further to collapse borders, to transform and explore the social and cultural ambiguities that need not resolve in either time or space...