Professional Practice Plan (Updated)

Overarching Goals

Sustain myself financially while pursuing all opportunities that arise for me to make work and participate in festivals, exhibitions, publications, workshops or other wise.

Promote an democratic art environment for all participants, free of instructional hierarchies, creating an art environment for everyone regardless of educational background.

To establish a community of artists and people outside of the artworld to participate in my projects and keep them updated and interested in my work while feeling appreciated and involved.

Aims for One Year Ahead

Education/Training

Continue to pursue MA Fine Arts and take advantage of any related workshops or professionalization opportunities available, locally or within reasonable traveling distance.

Will keep up to date on these by following ArtLink NB, APAGA and AARCA updates, and receiving their monthly newsletters.

Public Profile

Update website and CV quarterly. Add News section to website and update as needed.

Keep instagram accounts active by posting new work and progress updates every other day.

Financial

Continue in role as Curator of Digital Engagement at Owens Art Gallery and focus on becoming more active as a curator outside of work as well.

Apply for artsNB career development grant to help offset tuition costs

Apply for artsNB Creation or Travel grant to sustain summer projects or participation in events.

Community

Maintain activity in the community by sitting on selection committees, continue to be involved in festivals like Boardertown and SappyFest and attend art related events when ever possible, including artist talks, opening receptions, workshops and contemporary art festivals.

Apply for more opportunities to exhibit/participate in festivals and zine fairs – Third Shift, Art in the Open, ArtCity, ConnectionARC, Perish Festival, TCAF, Comic arts Brooklyn, Arboretum… to expand audience but also develop relationships with the institutions/artist run centres running these events.

To achieve this: set aside 3 hours each week to work on proposal and create a better file management system to make this easier/faster.

Aims for Three Years Ahead

Education/Training

Have MA Fine Arts completed – do this by setting aside weekly time for coursework, research (Saturday, Sunday, Mondays and evenings)

Continue to attend any related workshops or professionalization opportunities available, locally or within reasonable traveling distance. For others consider Appling for external funding to attend more expensive/further away workshops.

Will keep up to date on these by following ArtLink NB, APAGA and AARCA updates, and receiving their monthly newsletters.

Public Profile

Keep website updated (create deadline to do so every 3 months) and social media active (aim for at least 4 posts a week).  

Community

Broaden community by exhibiting work outside of New Brunswick by applying for residencies through artist-run-centres, build relationships out of province through participation in zine fairs or contemporary art festivals.

Curate exhibitions with other emerging artists in public galleries, online or at artist run centre spaces.

Start thinking about developing relationships outside of Canada and what that will entail. Use the cohort as a starting point to generate lists of good institutions to look at and submit applications to.

Apply for exhibitions and residencies at emerging to mid career level opportunities like: Kingsbrea Gardens, Joggins Fossil Cliffs, Ottawa School of Art, Women;s Studio Workshop Residency or Internship, etc.

Financial

Apply for first Canada Council for the Arts Grant, Emerging Artist Level to create a new, post grad body of work. Use the momentum that the MA creates to keep going.

Use time that was preciously for MA work to split between making work, continued research and aim to spend more time on writing applications.

Find grant or patron opportunities to support publications/printing costs for curated exhibitions and my own.

Aims for Five Years Ahead

Education/Training

Start to consider a Doctorate in Art History, or in Museum Education likely in Canada. Compile list of potential Universities and requirements, financial and logistical.

Public Profile

Continue website maintenance, social media presence.

Take time to consider how social media has changed in the last 5 years and consider new platforms or ways of sharing updates beyond website and Instagram as appropriate.

Community

Expand international community through online projects and applying for opportunities outside of Canada. Continue to curate projects and try to get works published in magazines, online publications or by participating in zine and book fairs when ever possible.

Continue to apply for residencies through artist-run-centres (and hopefully start to get them) and exhibitions across Canada. Specifically: BANFF, FOGO Island, Cincinnati Foundation, Open Studio, Fire Island Artist Residency, etc.

Financial

Continue to work in arts administration part time. Apply for granting opportunities to support studio projects and consider freelance writing opportunities.

Apply for sessional teaching positions at the undergraduate/college level. In Canada there is no additional qualifications needed to teach at this level.

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Exploratory Project: Week Five

It was a really intense work week, I spent the week caring for 18 horses and 8 cats on a farm and we had, hopefully, our last Nor’Easter of the year, but I have made it through this week. The amount of work I was hoping to accomplish in the studio was squandered by shovelling endless snow, moving hay bails and assisting with other artist’s workshops, but I did find a bit of time for research.

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From Man and the Stars

Being on the farm meant there was almost no light pollution, and on the clear nights, the star gazing was amazing. In between night checks on the horses I would stand outside for as long as I could before I froze. The winter constellations are starting to rise less, and it is invigorating to be able to start to see Leo and Virgo. Taking the time in such a busy week to appreciate these quiet moments really helped me remember why I am working on this project on top of everything else – which is to share that amazing humbling feeling of wonder as you look up.

After the tutorial with Kim Pace, I was excited to think more about the way I can use an archive to tell a story. I really appreciated that she took the time to go through my website and notice how my practice has grown and shifted from straight retelling of classical myths. Now, moving into the idea of creating an archive, how can I use this project to tell a story? and whose story should it be.

I aim to play with the idea that archives contain narrative because of the influence of the archivist maintaining them. In this case that is me, but it should not just be my narrative expressed. By creating this welcoming open project, it can include narratives from anyone with any background, breaking down the ideological hierarchies in other archives – for this project every item will have the same value.

We also discussed how my work can continue to have feminist undertones, and bring that more to the forefront, but considering what social practice artists have also adopted a feminist approach.

This lead me to find artist Orett Asherry. Based in London, her interdisciplinary practice explores ideological social and gender constructions through live art, video, and installation. I was particularly interested in her project: NoNothing Collaborative Storytelling in the Dark, an ongoing project from 2016.

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Orett Asherry, published stories

From her website:

“NoNothing Collaborative Storytelling in the Dark consists of a group of people  who come together to create stories in a dark space. The stories range from imaginative and abstracted, to the factual and confessional. NoNothing is an experiential format that offers a sensory, informal and intimae shared space where (partial) darkness evokes the deeply tangential.

NoNothing sessions are recorded on a mobile phone and then become public; transcribed or used as a sound piece. The process of creating the stories is  like a music improvisation session; where anything can happen and reflects how people feel on that particular moment, how they respond to their immediate environment and the darkness, and how they interact as a group.

NoNothing spaces are made dark before the salon starts, using simple means, such as cloth or card. Yet, a complete darkness has not been achieved so far. Trying to block the light and partially failing, has became part of the process.”

I love the idea that this project is all about collecting stories and making them public, which in a way is what I hope to do with the collected drawings from the exploratory project, but her project is also all about the space. No doubt being in complete darkness changes how to you feel, and affects how you act.

How will my installation create a change in atmosphere for the drawing/observing event? Does it just create context for the archive or does it go beyond that to actually influence what people will make or feel that they should be making? Do I want that to happen?

http://oreetashery.net/

I have also been scanning and collecting astronomical images from books and magazines that can be incorporated into the zine/publication component of this project. I have about 100 now, that can act a placeholders in the online archive until submissions are received.

Here are a few of my favourites:

 

 

 

Airtable archive link: https://airtable.com/shrUFiyfoD61nYXAo

Documentation Workshop – Part 2

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Paul at a previous version of this workshop 

A follow up documentation workshop was recently offered at Struts Gallery in Sackville, focusing on editing photos as an extension of the artwork documentation workshop from a few weeks ago. Paul Litherland lead again, to familiarise participants with some of the digital tools used to organize and adjust images so that they have the best possible representation of their artwork for their submissions to galleries, funding organizations, web or magazine publication. I was really excited about this work show for it’s professional development potential.

We covered the basics of editing for print vs. web, using Adobe Lightroom and Bridge, and touched on the differences between then and Apple Photo and or how to use files and just Photoshop to achieve the same quality of images and file organisation.

We also covered:

• Differences between Adobe Bridge/Photoshop and Lightroom, Using Apple Photo
• How to evaluate an image
• Triage and selection of images
• Adjusting exposure and white balance
• Bulk actions
• File naming and storage

I found this work shop really useful, as I am feeling like I need to make a change to my file organisation system, especially for applying for grants and shows. My system works, but is time consuming. I knew there had to be a better way, but I didn’t know what was best, and my own research wasn’t giving me any conclusive decision.

Paul also offered great advise about shooting in raw, and using these applications to move quickly through them, and how to save seemingly useless images with white balance correction and other tools. As an artist and documentation specialist, he knows the type of images we are after, and how to get them efficiently on reasonable software.

The biggest take aways for me were the automatic white balance tool, how to perform bulk actions, and bulk file naming, which will all be huge for preparing images for application. Where each organization wants the files in different max sizes, and named in a different convention, I can use Lightroom to quickly change the file size of all of them, and the file names. I also liked the idea of storing all the files within Lightroom, to quickly edit them in the application instead of having to constantly open to Photoshop. In terms of editing lots of photos, it seems like the best way to go.

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during the workshop

Paul Litherland is a visual artist/performer living in Montreal. His wide-ranging practice incorporates themes of masquerade, vulnerability, and machismo, explored through photography and multimedia performances and installations. Works such as Force Majeure and Lift vs Drag are drawn from experiences as a skydiver and BASE jumper, while his explorations of the relationship between a copy and its original emerge from years of documenting artworks as a professional photographer. He lives and works in Montreal, Quebec. He has been photographing artwork for more than 20 years, and has taken some 280,000 photos of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and performances of some of Canada’s best known artists as well as those new to the milieu.

Exploratory Project – Week Four

Archive Name: *GAZERs (Galactic Archive of Zenith Exploratory Reflections), reads Star Gazers

Zenith: “The zenith is an imaginary point directly “above” a particular location, on the imaginary celestial sphere. “Above” means in the vertical direction opposite to the apparent gravitational force at that location.”

Description: 

Documenting the ongoing social history of stars, *GAZERs is open to all levels of astronomers and star gazers. The *GAZERs Archive accepts documentation of all zenith views, the view when you look directly up at the sky. Imagined and observed collections of stars alike are all accepted into this growing archive.

Documenting the ongoing social history of stars, *GAZERs collects facts, fiction and the ideas that float in between. Through collection, creation and preservation of the history of stars, the archive protects and promotes the human desire to gaze up at the stars and wonder “what could be up there?”.

Practical Notes: 

The archive will focus on collecting the zenith views of participants. though the actual views will likely be very similar, I expect major differences in the interpretation and transition to the page/carbon paper. By collecting over multiple days while the exhibition is installed, I image there will be some drawings that are meticulous copies, and others, that may not incorporate zenith views, but still fit conceptually within the archive.

First objects: 

Three imagined zenith views in progress. They are circles to mimic similar diagrams already exiting in history of astronomy books and medium of embroidering using hoops.

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Practice layout for an accompanying zine that will incorporate the philosophy of the archive and examples of the social history of stars.

 

Online component Notes

Use Airtable to create a database that can be searched by date or content. Use Google Maps API to build expanding space with the ability for participants to leave pins and labels (marker labels), adding information to stars. Integrate both of these into wordpress website with information about the archive and my created examples.

 

Cyanotype Workshop

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This weekend I lead an introductory cyanotype workshop at Ateler D’Estampe Imago in Moncton, NB. This bilingual print studio is where I had worked in 2106/2017 as their emerging artist bursary recipient, so it was great to go back and share some of what I had experimented with while working there.

It was a busy week to prep everything and refresh my research notes, but it all came together and the participants all had great success with their prints. The studio was also very busy preparing for a new artist in residence to arrive, so I tried to take care of as much of the prep and communications on my own as possible.

The eight participants had all never made a cyanotype before, so we went though the whole process starting with the basics of coating paper, making negatives, exposing and developing. We also tried out some tea and coffee toning on prints I had already made and talked through bleaching.

In the 3 hour workshop there was just enough time for everyone to make about 5-8 prints. Imago’s exposure unit required an exposure time of 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of their negatives. Here are a few of the images they made:

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Examples of toned prints, original, green tea (purple) and coffee (dark blue)

I have given this workshop in a similar format a few times in the past, but I thought it would be useful to keep my outline and notes in my journal to look back on the next time.

Notes for future workshops:

  • let participants know timeline at the beginning of the workshop
  • start with a print already in the exposure unit so that the demo can happen in a tighter time line.
  • experiment with double exposure in second half of workshop.

Artist Talk with Maryse Goudreau

Maryse Goudreau, FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT SEE THEM, 2016
Marye Goudreau, Beluga Studies, 2011

It was perfect timing that Maryse Goudreau, from Escuminac on the Gaspé coast and Montreal, Canada, came to Sackville to give an artist talk, just as we are getting into the exploratory project. I had seen her monograph, L’Appel, back in my undergrad, and was drawn to the way she used historical images alongside her own composed photographs to create new archives. Her recent work has continued along this route, but specifically looking at the social history of the beluga whale. This thematic archive-artwork employs diverse materials materials including; data, photographs, videos and recreations, and both archival images and images she has made. She uses this archive by remixing and rearranging it to produce new works.

Her talk focused on three projects, which were all at the heart, somewhat community based. She open talked about not wanting to be considered a social practice artist, but felt that her intended outcomes for her work, have always just manifested as public projects. She doesn’t set out with any particular goals in that respect, but her interests in history, memory and identity lead her to find groups of people to work with.

The blending of the real and the created to create a work is at the heart of what I am hoping to achieve with the exploratory project. Choosing a subject, exploring a populations connection to it and their memories that influence their understanding, leads to a new kind of archive.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maryse Goudreau, FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT SEE THEM, 2016

. . . . .

Maryse Goudreau is an artist, independent scholar and filmmaker working across photography, archives, video and participatory art. She offers a sociological, political and anthropological point of view that brings viewers to think about the importance of social history. She breathes new life into images of the past as a way of addressing current issues. Using a hybrid approach, she attempts to release images from their static relationship to an official history and create narrative, literary, pictorial and other types of spaces.