Saturday, March 11, 2006

DAM and my bad attitude

Why does DAM have an even bigger gift shop area? I guess they didn't sell enough pizza? If you haven't read my post on the bbac yet then you haven't detected my lackluster art mood. DAM did a good job attracting the older art crowd but I have noticed that they seem to be forgetting about the emerging talent that DAM used to stand behind. I am happy that it wasn't another design show, but this show still seemed tired.
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Nice use of color shadows/glazing
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Yippee to the non-group show!  Nice scale...nice idea...nice carving...but I don't dig on narrative work like this. To me it touches on "art fair sensibility". I honestly think I could have thought differently if I wasn't greeted with a gift shop art display.
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12 Comments:

Blogger John Azoni said...

I'm with you on the gift shop thing, although it didn't really occur to me as much until I read this post. It does kind of cheese up the gallery. Some of the work in the gift shop i think deserves to be included in a show in the main gallery. Other pieces strike me as something you'd buy in a souvenier shop on Macknac Island. And I'm not fond of the fact that an art gallery is selling jewelry on the side. I think that should be left for a space that deals mostly with that kind of art. But on the flipside, Detroit doesn't exactly have a "booming" art scene, so not many collectors are buying work here, and so the galleries suffer. So they need to make some money on the side, which is totally understandable. I think that if Detroit was in better shape then there wouldn't be any need for the gift shops.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous topher said...

I really liked the wood carving. Maybe cause i like to carve wood and understand how hard it is. These were done with chisles, no power tools. They were narrative but I saw a nod to matisse maybe. yea I ignore the giftshop. kind of like the little nascar store at your local chevy dealer when you go in to get your car fixed.
Its tough, go to far out and you scare the week. Dont go far enough and your piss off the artists. It was a good show if placed in perspective. They just had a pizza fund raiser so they dont want to scare anyone with naked hoo-hoos and 10 inch schlongs wagging around. Something safe to follow up the pizza night. Maybe a little bolder as the membership levels build. It really is good marketing.

1:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

re:sales gallery it is the detroit artists MARKET

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the artist market needs to keep
teir web currant with correct info
on show dates and jury dates. they
also need to mail that info before
those dates have passed.I wouldnt
consider it aloss if dam closed it has ceased being a resource

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Leoqueen said...

anonymous, it would be more than a real tragedy if the Detroit Artists Market closed. It has been a mainstay for so many decades...and has always been there. Okay, so the website is a little out of date. That is not enough of a transgression to bring rath down on the whole institution. Maybe those who notice things like this should help out rather than constantly pick pick pick. Be a part of the solution.

1:06 PM  
Blogger ann said...

leoqueen-
I agree that the closing of DAM would be a huge tragedy. DAM has been around a real long time and has been there to help out many young and emerging detroit artists. I do think that DAM's quality has slipped into shaky ground with less than mediocre shows. I attended a board meeting about the future of DAM last summer and gave my opinions. I put my contact info down and offered any help. But I have heard nothing back from that meeting. A lot of people there offered support and great ideas but I don't see any real outcome yet.
I get upset and frustrated that there are no galleries for artists to show. I also hate that I feel like a detective in a town where the art scene is run by politics and money.

8:41 PM  
Anonymous Leoqueen said...

Ann, I have been around this arts community for a long time now. I am both greatly encouraged by it and mightily scared for it. The encouraging feelings come when I see the depth and breadth of the art being generated by the new young artists around; I am absolutely blown away! The energy to start new galleries, create dialogues with blogs and other forays into the media......it reminds me of another time and place, when I was a young artist going to WSU and the Cass Corridor artists were our gods. People were buzzing all of the time about who was doing what; the art writers were consistent and constant in their publishing; we had galleries that were direct conduits to the main art centers; the DIA was paying attention.

That kind of energy is here, now, bubbling up all around, everywhere I look, amongst the spaces and in the blogs. It is infectious. Maybe the DIA isnt as attentive on the same levels, but I am very hopeful that that will change with the addition of a permanent curator of Contemporary Art who can take charge. Someone who can be a lightning rod to catch the electricity that is happening here and show it within the context of the fifth largest museum in the US.

I am scared when I see galleries closing, because it means that the young artists will have to go elsewhere to get their work seen unless they continue to become urban guerrillas about showing. I am scared because for the first time in a long time it seems as if the status quo is not being maintained.... in the not so distant past, if a gallery or other exhibition space closed, two more opened. That is not the case now. The economy is such that everyone is being beat up. I have never felt that it was difficult to make a go of it here as an artist, until now.
I am scared because I dont want to lose the vitality that is emerging, in spite of the exhibition space woes. The venerated Willis Gallery started because there was nowhere for artists to show...so they did it themselves. The Willis was there in several forms until it finally faded away....but not before it spawned the Feigenson Gallery, which took over and promoted the Cass Corridor artists onto a larger scene. Detroit Focus, and Susanne Hilberry Gallery, and Donald Morris Gallery, and Jazzonia [now N'Namdi Gallery], and the Artists Market were there to support. There were others that came and went, but made an impact even if they werent blessed with longevity.
I dont have any conclusions, i guess. Just musing on energies and histories.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know , i'm aware that there aren't too many galleries for beginning level artists and once you've shown there, where do you show next? that is very frustrating, and may artists will simply move on, or stay and try to get shown elsewhere, that is possible. But I have to say I am a little disappointed by the few number of younger artists that don't have a signifigant body of work.. If there are younger artists out there with a large body of work they are usually somewhat known around and are also able to get a show here or there, but i always here a lot of talk and not much show. I think that you need about 25 cohesive pieces before you can think about asking to be taken seriously or pursue shows. I think if you have that you can easily get shown at "entry level" galleries. What sucks is there isn't a lot in between those galleries and the bigger galleries that actually show artists that can sustain themselves on art. I don't know, it feels like there isn't that much opportunity for exposure in that mid career phase of artist in Detroit, it didn't used to be that way. Detroit needs some of its support and pride back.

12:39 PM  
Anonymous topher said...

Just reading the last comment regarding young artists and bodies of work, it really struck a chord. I think that it should come onto the shoulders of educational institutions to almost force students to work towards a showable body of work. So many students I see say “I can’t show that, it was home work” and in fact most of it does LOOK like home work. The best teacher is able to teach a student to create work that both gets a good grade AND is able to transcend outside of the school walls. Some students upon getting their BFA have to really start all over again. It may be frustrating for some galleries, receiving work via open submissions or via cold calls from newly graduated students hawking their former homework. I can see how a gallery may not even review the slides upon seeing that the kid just graduated.
I don’t know. Galleries probably get tons of slides and CD’s a day from artists young and old. I can’t imagine going through all of them trying to decide what to show and what to pitch. Choosing well may pay the rent for a month, picking bad may force you to close.

4:04 PM  
Blogger John Azoni said...

topher-I agree that teachers need to start forcing more mature work upon students, and more importantly force them to get out there. As a current CCS student, I see a lot of good work, but usually only within the confines of the CCS campus. The problem is people are at the junior and senior level and haven't shown anywhere besides the annual student exhibition. It's really sad, and I think the professors really need to take notice and require that each of their students attempt to get their work out there.

Leoqueen- think about that, and maybe consider that being a MANDATORY thing. That your students MUST submit their work to galleries and alternative spaces. I overheard a student talking about how he is disapointed that the only work he's sold was a painting he did in highschool. He's a junior. He's doing great work, and he hasn't shown anywhere besides the CCS student exhibition. No wonder he hasn't sold anything, nobody knows who he is.

As for spaces, I think there are many opportunities to create spaces to show. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants with bare walls. Why not propose shows there?

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leoqueen, I really appreciate your comments. It takes strong people to be optimistic.

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Zman said...

The Detroit Art Scene needs many things. One thing it doesn't need is another closed gallery. Things are so tight and competitive that artists are fighting for space like sharks in a pond over one piece of meet. And I'm all for the young and emerging, but what about the tried, tempered and true. In my opinion it is a lack of respect for this aspect of art in the area in general that brings all the problems faced by the galleries in Detroit today. Clicks, social groups, and players, are at the heart of the majority of these problems. The real artists, and art lovers better wake up and raise their level of expectations of the art we view in general,and respect all that goes into a work and career, before we judge as an individual making youthfull and self centered commentaries on work that shows a great deal of learning, patience, intellect, and skill!!!!!

12:09 PM  

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