Met with a group of artists on Sunday afternoon to begin to think about putting up a website of visual artists who live and work in the Trumansburg, Greater Ulysses area --essentially hanging a shingle to say "we're here"--but linking to everyone's individual site. We will have links and notices to regional shows and maybe, just maybe, a bit of PR for those who are getting into things, having exhibitions or being locally, regionally or nationally noticed. It was trying for me (as I hate teams)--but after some very direct talk about wheither this is very exclusive (6 artists) to a wider group (30+) but still with a bar/ a level set for quality--a standard. We moved to the larger group (my preference)--which gives a range of style, work, approaches. But with this standard, we may limit the sunday watercolorists or the tribe of shaggies where art is part of their individual brand...and not necessarily excellence filtering the work. This site will be something for the local Chamber of Commerce, the Beds and breakfasts to point to...as there isn't any "real" businesses beyond a bank branch, a grocery store, a coffee shop, 3 bars, a few pizza/hamburger restaurants, an insurance agent, an eyeglass company---but there are lot of single people or small teams in Tburg making their living making things....selling things but invisible to the community at large. Should be an interesting process and I think important to giving this quiet aspect of the community a rallying point.
Had lunch with a wonderful artist yesterday. He was an attorney in NYC for decades and recently shut down his practice to devote himself to his art and painting. He is very confident, entrepeneurial and filled with optimism. It was tremendously inspiring to experience his energy and thinking as he is way out there--with this project and that project, this work and that work, how to think about the work etc. I think we should continue these conversations as I can help him with advancing his work, thinking about methodologies and process, and marketing. He can help me by letting some of his confidence rub off. It is cool to begin to link in with the Ithaca tribe of artmakers--a bit a expanding. The other cool thing is that two of the people I had the opportunity to talk with on Monday and Sunday were participants in the MARK program offered by NY State. It teaches and pushes artists to be able to express themselves, show their work, write a mission and artists statement etc. Pretty much a dose of what spun off the thesis and thesis show from last summer's fun with Syracuse. It sounds like a great program and for both of these artists, they were inspired and challenged by meeting creatives from all over the state and by the work of talking about themselves. I totally agree. It is some of the hardest lifting I have done. But valuable. Really valuable.