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Old 01-29-2008, 08:54 AM
Post lol: or how I cry in my wine;
Originally Posted by theater artist View Post
Does it seem like we're slipping into the trap of generating interest in the arts and arts coverage by 'starmaking' lately?

The only reviews in local major media are positive reviews. And few at that. Usually accompanied by some human interest story or how the artist(s) are somehow quirky. Not even the MN State Fair Exhibition gets panned anymore. There's just a story about quirky art in that show. Bad reviews of the MN State Fair Ex finally discouraged me from entering that competition. (and everyone has stories and opinions about that particular competition)

With extremely select art reviews there is an artist elite that the media wants to form. To combat this, there can be more attention to local artists in general. For one thing, local publications could concentrate on "Top 10 Local Artists of the Year" instead of selecting from a national/international field which overreaches their local circulation domain anyway.

Then again, maybe this is the role of mnartists or ARP! Or maybe this community will merit an extension of the FlavorPill emag.

"So many of
> our fellow artists bemoan that other Minnesotans do
> not support( buy) Minnesota Artists that the Coyote
> mirrors back that they must then understand the
> difference between Art and art. Minnesota Mediocre
> Art Movement is intended to help artist market their
> "less than historic" work to the "medium income"
> Minneostan. Approximately $35,000.00 per annum income
> with a 1% "luxury budget"> $350.00 for art work. At
> this target price the work on the market needs to be
> the "medium" range work of the artist and so it is
> the "mediocre" work of the individual artist that
> needs to come to market. If we do bring the
> "affordable" work to market we make it possible for
> more Minnesotans to buy (support) minnesota made
> art.>>"

Six years ago this little bit of information hit the "mnartists.org forums". So what? Most of the recent editorial mindset has been stuck in the notion that the Minnesota People, as a culture, ought to support the Artists of the State. Yet the same artists and their "advocates" fail to appreciate the life situations of the average citizen.

The question here in this thread is what will increase readership. It is tragic to see all of the "smoke up the arse posting".

More depressing is to receive an email advert for mnartist.org that advances the "Party". It is offensive to hard working Minnesotans that it seems all Artists care about is the next Art Party and ingratiating themselves to each other.

Since the "outlawing" of the coyote from these forums the Chicano Artist Jimmy Longoria has moved on to "Coyote Blanco". A social political performance that is set in policy making venues.

At least once a week he dons a black suit and a bright red button that says "Arts Advocate". The CB wanders the capital offices and finds representatives that are available for a handshake. The button introduces the "question" about funding for the Arts.

The state representatives are always surprised when the CB advocates a "restriction" on funding for the Arts. They often find themselves advocating to the CB for more funding for "responsible arts". It is always successful in creating a "friend for CB" and a sensible view of the importance of the Arts in the state representatives mind.

If you take the time to think about how the average American "wants support for the arts" but does not like "Artists", you come to the conclusion that there is something wrong in the way "artists" are presented to the general population. You are in part in control of that presentation. You have a huge opportunity to change the editorial direction of the mnartists.org. You actually have an even larger responsibility to change the conduct of the "self indulgent artist". You need to make a real change and real soon. CB is a potent force in that it redefines what is ART in a concrete way. It also is very entertaining for those that experience CB. CB is invited to lunches and dinner parties where the "brown view on the Arts" is solicited. CB uses that opportunity to create a "counter point" to the idea that "artists need support". CB makes the singular idea center and formost that the "ART" needs support but that the self centered artists need a lesson in self reliance. Nationally arts venues are getting support and the artist is supported through them. You ought to write about what other state are doing about the arts.

There is nothing wrong with the "quality" of the writing in your articles. The gross failure to draw readers is due to the narrow self serving "thinking" of your editorial mindset. No one really wants to read the constant whining of the "artists that just want to have fun". The general economy is collapsing. As Ray posted the "Google graph" the general news is more important than "Art". This is also true for artists. Remember Art is a luxury item. If the general community is poorer then there is going to be less demand for Art. Less money for the arts is not "news" but how to survive is.

You need to get more serious about art and how it is or is not relevant to it's audience. The CB's favorite line at dinner conversations with policy makers is "The Party is over, the hard work begins for Art community,..".

In the hard fought world of business, when you lose your customers, you either close up shop or you ask those non customers, that are not your friends what you can do to bring them into your customer base.(grow new customers) You don't just listen to those same old souls that want to blow smoke up your arse and pat you on the back. Your "doors" will soon be closed for you. (funding cuts are in the near future for all Arts organizations as the general economy sinks)

Have a very merry Christmas (remember that as an economy we did not, think about that and how that might interest readers)

Coyote Blanco
Old 02-01-2008, 05:51 AM
Default talk
Dialog is essential to the artist. Dialog with other artists and with "non-artists". MPLSART is a valuable resource but I first looked at the site to see Art. But really there's mostly art-parties. Jpegs that are reminiscent of the film my senior class made in high school. That film showed mostly an elite crowd of partiers and essentially failed to capture the depth of the graduating class. Similarly, MPLSART seems to have this air of exclusivity without much depth or content. The faces may appear and reappear and there's the interminable mugging for the camera. The Blog pages, where commentary takes place, seems deemphasized.

The site provides a calendar which is extremely valuable for announcements of shows and the like but, really, show me some artwork! MPLSART is terrific in expressing the elan of younger artists in the community but tends to avoid the art of this same community. In my demographic, I'm not really interested in the party scene. It concerns me that being my demographic excludes my art from the venues that are regularly on the MPLSART site.

And then again, are the galleries that host these parties serious about art? I don't understand the economics of these galleries. Does anyone ever buy art at these parties?

I single out MPLSART as an example, not the root of some problem. Any venture in promoting the arts is brave in the face of the Socialized Ignorance that has become our education system.

But is this where the whole thing unravels? Does all this youthful mirth deny credibility and content? And therefore, critical attention?


Old 02-01-2008, 03:24 PM
Post A few notes from a "Manager from Hell"-- back on topic!!!
"Here are some specific questions to wrangle with:
In what kind of media and/or format do you like to hear about the arts? Do you prefer more traditional forms of arts journalism, like the kind of critical reviews and reportage you'd find in print, in newspapers and magazines? Or, have you migrated online for your arts news?

The current trend is on "online" media(s). Things are evolving so fast that most media owners can't quite keep up with the "information consumers". ( I am a paid 'opinion' in marketing milieus, my demographics are the right mix for market research!=== a little more than two cents worth also) My News Google page is looking more and more like the front table of index for a color news magazine/ but as soon as I link to a story I get a whole array of "sheet faces" some with ads, some without. The internet is not at all like it was when it was only for the transfer of information between geeks and nerds. It is rapidly becoming the TV/Radio/Phone/Mail/New Paper of the "future--right now".

I no longer get any newspaper or magazine "form" in my home. It saves me about $500.00 a year! About the same as of my net access when you pry actual billed costs away from the service bundles that are designed to hide actual costs or to open media venues.

Take note here: it is not what form I prefer, but what engagement that I have entered to: I am an Apple person: Google over other other search engines: I am a .MAC user/ if it ain't beautiful and elegant I think it is ugly. I will not use "ugly for very long" I want simplicity with vast access; again think APPLE. Simple to use but full of opportunities.

Is mnartists.org on my bookmark bar? Or just on my bookmarks lists? That decides if I read mnartists.org first, and if too busy, at all. Did you ask that question on your survey? (if you did not; noodle whip your survey designer! It is the first link in the chain to increase readership!!!!)

BIG NOTE for Susie!

You need an editorial board with a wide representative demographic in order for you to "find" your audience. No one can do it alone, and no one can just guess at it! Once a month, you listen to the laundry lists of insights and then proceed with your own individual editorial acumen. Try to understand the Demographics of all the Artists of Minnesota in a way that the current management has refused to even acknowledge . It is very diverse, both in who the artists are and what they do. It is not how you are writing; it is what you are not writing about that has failed to draw readers. The reason for lost audience is a failure of your "management" to see the "real" audience and it has nothing to do with the "craft" of writing. There is an over abundance of writers; what is missing is compelling content.

There are more artists and their friends who would read your "digital press" if it recognized their "art interests". You need to do it well and fast. The "other upstarts" who are in competition for your "audience" will only further divide up the few readers you do have; and leave the door open for the "outside art audience" to "clamor" for their own "digital press". Read the history of News Papers( the Hearst Mob has quite a hilarious history on circulation building)---it has happened before just in another medium.

Get people on this board who will be unkind to you. Do not get friendly understanding voices; " that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" . Hard times are coming.

Urban Camouflage made the presentation; Walker management was present. They did not hear the warning: 8-8-2008, 20,000,000 Chinese babies will be born with the expectation of greatness> if 1 % become artists, there will be 200,000 young well funded and supported Art Leaders that will dominate the cultural center of the world. They will be the Artists of the 21st century; they will not be American; nor Western. Their cultural leaders will rewrite Art history. Any artist in Minnesota who is in his/her early 30's will need to compete against a cultural tsunami wave that will wash away all of the "great critical writing" that you have been building here in the "e".

coyote infinity
Old 02-02-2008, 11:58 AM
Post Let's add a tid bit from my morning "news" run; lol and gulping my coffee
Originally Posted by Northern MN Artist View Post
I live in northern Minnesota. My newspaper says there is "too much on the arts" already, but of course it is filled with fish hanging from lines and dead deer...there is never enough of that. Being that I live where I do, that is all the coverage I have. I do not feel we who work outside the metro areas are well represented, as most everything printed is about the Minneapolis area or larger artistic communities.

My work is not abstract, cutting edge or controversial. Been there, done that--I was an abstract painter for years. Now my work is realistic--still life, mostly--and it is what I love to do. I have been recognized around the world through artist magazines such as International Artist magazine, Watercolor Magic, American Artist, Artist and Watercolor. I have written a book on how I paint for North Light and have my signature in a number of watercolor societies including the Transparent Watercolor Society of America. I was just notified that I am in the top 100 artists for Paint America. But could I get into a gallery in Minneapolis?? I doubt it. They do not know who I even am. It is very disheartening.

How does an artist who is not in that inner circle make it and get noticed? It is very disheartening, to say the least. I believe someone needs to write about us and our struggles to make it. Unless I paint fish and deer I will not get support from my local community. Because I paint still life in watercolor, "serious" critics and artists don't take what I do seriously either. I believe writers and editors have the power to change this. You would be surprised to know that there are a number of fantastic artists out there who live on the edges of the art world here in Minnesota, who have found writers from other countries to write about them. But no one here at home seems interested in what we're doing. It is a sad commentary. We do not ask for much. We are used to going it alone, but to be recognized as artists, who are also working here making their way too, would be very nice indeed.

Thanks so much for hearing me out...I am not a writer, really. That is why I paint!

--A Watercolorist in Northern Minnesota
Everyone Can Critique

"In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position of over those who offer up their work to ourselves and our judgement. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic actually risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations. The new needs friends."

Those words of Anton Ego, voiced by Peter O'Toole in Pixar's Ratatouille, well describe the task in reviewing the new MacBook Air. Perhaps it's no coincidence that Steve Jobs had a hand in producing both the movie and the new laptop. While the heavy lifting was done by writers at Pixar and engineers at Apple, both push their audience and the industry to think differently.

Here is the real gem "to think differently".

You ought to try it! It is fun and rewarding in a self contained way.

coyote blanco
chicano artist de minnesota
Susannah Schouweiler
mnartists.org & access+Engage Editor
Susannah Schouweiler's Avatar
Old 02-02-2008, 09:37 PM
Default Thank you!
Hi all,

Before we close up shop on this forum discussion (for now), I'd like to leave you with a final note of thanks for the lively, candid conversation this month. I very much appreciate your observations and insights--I've taken notes, and I'll do my best to keep your suggestions in mind as we go forward. I'm truly grateful for your participation in what's turned out to be, for me, an enlightening, thought-provoking dialogue.

We'll be closing this featured forum down on Monday in order to make way for February's conversation. Please stick around: Nate Solas and Brent Gustafson, two of our behind-the-scenes website gurus from the Walker's New Media Department, will be on hand to take your questions about how to better take advantage of mnartists.org's resources. (If you're unfamiliar with this aspect of the Walker's involvement with mnartists.org, here's the deal: the WAC New Media Department is responsible for the web architecture and design, as well as the ongoing maintenance and website improvements, for mnartists.org.)

Nate and Brent have a wealth of valuable information at their fingertips that can help you get the most out of your time spent on mnartists.org: they can offer advice on how to make your artist pages look better, discipline-specific advice on how to best present your work in the mnartists.org framework, tips that will enable you to hone your search results more effectively when you're browsing the site, and pointers on how to make sure you're using the software available on mnartists.org in a way that will insure the best presentation of your work on the site.

Get your tech and website questions ready. Beginning next week and through February, mmartists.org's web gurus will be on hand to offer their know-how. Whether your question is simple (How do I load an image onto my page?) or more specific (What kind of music/video file format should I use to get my AV material posted to mnartists.org with decent resolution and manageable file size?), don't miss this chance to run your concerns past the folks who know the ins and outs of this website best.

So, many thanks to all who spoke up (and to the many who popped by just to read) in this month's proceedings! This featured forum may be closing up shop, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear from you. If you have further comments and suggestions about the articles you're reading on mnartists.org or in access+ENGAGE, please send them my way--you can always reach me directly at editor (at) mnartists.org. And, remember, the forums are here for YOU! If you'd like to continue this conversation in a member-driven thread, I'd urge you to take the initiative to pick this back up. We're hoping this is just the beginning of an evolving, ongoing conversation.



Susannah Schouweiler, editor for mnartists.org and access+ENGAGE

Last edited by Susannah Schouweiler : 02-02-2008 at 09:43 PM.
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