Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Artist Lab 1.0— Travelers Log #4: The Progress Report-2015

     Based on the goals and premisses of the Artist Lab program the exhibit on 12.12.15 @ GCCA was made up of work that was created within a 5 week period as a response to the critiques that we received October 2014 by the Artist Lab visiting advisors. The development of a plan of growth as an artist is in part done through observation, feedback and review. This article present a progress report of observed practices and processes that I have concluded up to this point as a result of this program.
Artist Lab Pop-Up meeting at the Guadalupe Theater Gallery.

     The first studio visit was arranged around the same time of the response opening at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. Each artist got to visit for an hour with Andrea Torreblanca—Curator at the Museo Rufino Tamayo in Mexico City. There will be a summative meeting scheduled to discuss observations, crowd response to work, and overall results of the exhibit opening. 
     The second studio visit is scheduled for the beginning of February and will allow for next advisor, Rocio Aranda-Alvarado—Curator of the Museo del Barrio in New York City, to see the inaugural  exhibit. This will make it two out of four of the advisors get to view the exhibit. This will allow them to see the development of some ideas that sprouted up after their first initial meeting and critique. 
     Each artist was challenged to go beyond their comfort zone and pursue a direction that was more directly aligned with their inner fire, so to speak. Additionally a review of artist statements was in order to compare them current work. Artists were to evaluate how well the statement represented the work. 

     I have observed, reviewed notes and transcripts, researched, discussed, and experimented. In examining my creative process I have observed and organized a few of my practices that I think have allowed me to get to this point.   
     Since all of us in the group are juggling various endeavors stepping out of our comfort zone was an exciting challenge put before us. I am assuming that all of us worked on pushing the envelope and were able to attain a certain degree of success—we all pretty much just dove into our studios and started making feverishly. Each one of us is collecting notes and we are planning to review and compare our observations with each other at a later date.

     There are some basic practices that all artists can keep in order to make the process of creation and exploration possible. 
     Have a calendar in the studio. It allows for a visual representation of key deadlines and goals. The calendar schedule make the process concrete and also allows for the rest of life's requirements to be factored into the creative process. 
     Keep in touch with peers in the field as well as collectors. A quick phone call, a text or a check up on social media is part of growing and fostering  relationships. This is part of network building as an artist — peers are the best PR. This practice can be applied at a regional level(within the city and community) as well as at a national level (intra-state and intra-region).
     Know the place that you create in. That may include knowing the history of the arts organizations, being familiar with local galleries, museums, cultural organizations, the art scene, key people in charge of curating, directing, cultural affairs of the city. In other words, know the pulse of the place.
     Have a mentor/talk with a mentor. A mentor is there to teach, guide and foster growth on a long term basis. Mentors are veterans in the field. Depending on the area of expertise usually getting involved and collaborating with other artist will bring mentors to light. I keep in touch with my mentor Jose Esquivel. We talk at least once a week and have discussions about art/art process, the current state of art in San Antonio, some of the art history of San Antonio, the current trends in art collection and collectors, museum collections, museum trends and just plain old catching up as friends.

     Collaboration, especially with other artists, but it can be with other professionals too. This allows for the opportunity to have discussions and learn from each other. 
     At this point in the Artist Lab program I believe that Kim Bishop and I are the only ones in the group that discuss and communicate with each other on a consistent basis. Having discussions and bouncing ideas off of each other can help us as artists by giving us another's eye and point of view on our experiments. 
     Kim said it the best in an interview she had for Texas Size Print—"We can't create in isolation-artist have to be able to collaborate." 
     It is the interaction that artists have in groups that allows them to grow and develop new ideas. We have seen this behavior before throughout art history in the groups of artists that were contemporaries—the Impressionists, the Dadaist, the Surrealists, the list can go on and it is all recorded in art history. 
     Since the exhibit opening and the beginning of the new year there have been some changes at the GCAC. The Visual Arts Director stepped down to pursue other endeavors. The GCAC is currently looking for a new visual arts director as well as for a new executive director. Pedro Rodriguez is still interim executive director until the position is filled. We are now meeting as a group (the 1st Artist Lab Group) discussing the direction that our work is taking us in order to plan for our next solo and create a structure for the next group to follow. Now more than ever the documentation of the entire program will be most important. 

"Here We Go!!!" 

—Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Artist Lab 1.0 — Travelers Log #3: The Show

the entrance
Kim Bishop and her work

the big room to the north
Luis Valderas and his work
Fernando Andrade's work

Nicole Geary's area
Daniella Riojas and her performance piece
Artist Lab 1.0

Artist Lab 1.0