Friday, January 29, 2010

How To Deal With Gallery Politics.

I recently committed my time to volunteer at a local art gallery. this is not a privately owned art gallery. This gallery I am volunteering my time in is a very well known non profit organization that has been in my city for about 80 or so years I have been told. So many people have been involved here promoting and working with the local artists of the community. So I need to spend some time talking about this experience here on this forum of mine. Hopefully some of you readers will be open and give me some feedback on this subject. I think as artists we all will deal or be confronted with some of the issues I am starting to experience. Hopefully we can come to some resolve and solutions I might be able to be a positive influence for these wonderful folks here.

As I get started here I start meeting these board members that make the decisions of where the monies that they recieve from the city are allocated to create an atmosphere that promotes the arts here in the part of town they are located. I hear from them the passion they  feel. After 40 years of being involved in the arts I can still see the fire in their eyes....they eyes are the windows to their souls...hteir souls bleed fr the arts. They still want to make a difference. They still have love for their passion or passion for their love. However you look at it they are on FIRE!

With any organization it will have what I call the 10 percent rule. There is always a person or persons that like to make life interesting. For some reason they want to go against the grain. Going agains the grain is ok if you are making a stand for the positive...going against the grain to distrupt a positive flow is not very healthy for growth. How can progress be achieved if there is not some sort of cohesiveness. How can ideas be shared and agreed upon if the group collaborating do not communicate. Lesson learned. How do I convince these people they are going to be fighting an uphill battle if they are always going against each other. They are worried about control and who is right rather than trying to figure out how to reach the new unknown community they are now a part of.

This gallery was always located in a community where it was catering to middle to upper income earning filks. People that would tend to have disposable incomes. People use to going to art galleries and events. They were spoiled with regulars that like to show off and buy art as a fad. Now they have moved into a very urban area. They are in the middle of very ethnic diverse cultures. They are a very conservative contemporary gallery now trying to figure out....HOW? How are they going to reach these folks. They do not have a clue. No one on this board is hisanic, asian or black. they need to reach out to them and find these artists. They need to look within the community and research and look locally at the talent within to attract new clientel. These people that are in this community are hungry for art and getting involved. This is the only gallery here in this community and they need to take the bull by the horns. GREAT opportunity. They can be pioneers in this part of the city. Convincing them is MY challenge. What the hell is wrong with me?!

I am addicted to showing people what the passion of the artist is all about. Someone told me Art is dead. I read in many articles art is dead. People from other countries criticize america for not having a passion for the arts. I say look in the communities and there you will find people hungry. So there it is. I ranted. I talked. I vented. Whether it makes sense...this will be a topic to revisit again and again.

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