To Our GMG Readers: My apologies for our being behind in posting this series for Catherine Ryan. The following story, “Access,” is actually part three of a terrific three part series that Catherine wrote titled, “Round Up of Local and National Art Stories,” featuring the local and national common threads of advocacy, aplomb, and access.” We’ll start with part three, Access, and work backward as this is great content relevant to our local artists and art scene.
Round up of top 2013 Local and National Art Stories
Local and national common threads include advocacy, aplomb, and access. Oh, and Amazon. December 5, 2013 was a huge art news day. Last up below: access (public).
Part 3 of 3: ACCESS
Open Content: Sometimes my research and work has required obtaining permission for images which can be an issue and expense. In 2010, I began to hear from more and more museum curators a growing rumble that the “barn doors would be thrown wide open”. That particular quote was the most memorable expressed to me, but all were variations on the same issue: public domain and open content. Joining the National Gallery of Art, Yale University, Los Angeles County Museum, and Harvard, in August 2013 the J. Paul Getty Museum announced its complete “commitment to sharing digital resources freely with all….It is now the mark—and social responsibility—of world-class institutions to develop and share free cultural and educational resources.” And with that bumped 4600+ eligible images on line and the bigger story and message went viral. This means optimum, quality digital resolution to linger, study, and copy– no more sour imprints and hassle for many works of art. Congratulations James Cuno—who has MA and Chicago ties. Google Art Project has a part in this shift. We’ll see whether this conversation increases in 2014, and other topics concerning museum goals and values (free admission– without allowing the institutions to decay, policy debates, etc).
National trends: Crowdsource funding remains strong and in the news. Spike Lee used Kickstarter, and here at home Felicia Ciaramitaro published the first gorgeous book of her Sicilian cookbook series. Local Rob Newton Cape Ann Community Cinema successful and oh so deserving Indiegogo campaign raised $54,000. Crowdtilt gained ground. High Line ripple effect and references are everywhere and we all benefit. Amazon tries its hand at selling original art on line (while 20 x 200 closes). Maker movement/DIYcontinues to grow (Etsy, YouTube, and Pinterest).
Better programming and better websites: NEA, MOTT (above), Essex National Heritage…a long list of improved websites. Gloucester has this down, too, whether new events such as Cape Ann Ceramics Festival, curated by Susan Hershey, Jenny Rangan & Seyrel Williams, or mainstays amped up (see Maritime Gloucester Museum: Schooner Festival / lobster bake as one of many examples!) Ah, the floater home page!
Communication: I’m impressed by our local businesses, institutions, Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary; all combine to spread news, host, feature, and put up with plastering of flyers and the like to help the creative arts. Plus we are super lucky because local media covers the arts scene. Thank you, thank you WBUR, the Artery, Art New England, Boston Globe, seARTS newsletter, Cape Ann Beacon and Gloucester Daily Times. Sadly for us but good news for Hamilton – Wenham, editor Jane Enos has left the Cape Ann Beacon for the Chronicle. Good luck Jane! Welcome to the new editor, JC Lockwood!
When I think arts access, the award-winning blog Good Morning Gloucester has to be the apex, having redefined shared community information, and yes arts guide. It has reached beyond our geography. One quick art example: Master Drawings from the Minneapolis Institute of Arts will feature a Gloucester snapshot of the house depicted in the Edward Hopper drawing, Double House which I identified and GMG shared.
I have worked with this museum’s print and drawing department, and met Rev. Richard L. Hillstrom, an art collector who gave the Hopper drawing to the museum. Rev. Hillstrom put together a significant collection of religious prints and drawings for the Lutheran Brotherhood; not surprising with his knowledge and eye, with the collaboration of expertise of the print & drawings department (at that time the curators, former Director Richard Armstrong, Dennis Michael Jon, and others), and with the incredible holdings at this national treasure. In 2013, Jon juried the North American Print Biennial which was exhibited at Boston University. The Director of Prints and Drawings, Tom Rassieur has MA and NY ties.
Read more from Catherine, including information on where to apply to the Essex Heritage Grant program: