J.T. wrote a few days ago about visiting his alma mater out in Kentucky and seeing the students work there which made him start wondering about artists who live away from art centers.
Despite living in various cities (Richmond, Austin, St. Louis, NYC and Albany) I now live in Charlottesville, 1 hour from a minor art center (Richmond) and 2.5 hours from a more major one, D.C. So can I really participate in the art world form here?
In one sense, no. I can't get to openings, I can't pal around with folks and I have to depend on the internet and magazines for a lot of info. This became really clear for me when I did got to D.C. and saw the Kehinde Wiley show a couple years ago. In Art in america and online his work looked really good, but in person it blew - good idea but just terribly executed. Without being there I wouldn't have been able to see that.
On the other hand, I CAN participate from here - mags help somewhat but the internet especially can keep one involved. I have internet art pals, some I make collaborations with from far away (hello and hello). And although there aren't hordes of art folks here, there are some - I think it helps that C'ville has the University of Virginia here and lots of money/horsey folk around. Thats another thing - these small places DO have good work happening and showing. (Hello and hello and hello...)
Without trying, I've even fooled people into thinking I lived in D.C. - a gallerist contacted me once and was surprised I lived so far off. There's a story about John Baldessari from when he was a baby artist - He lived in LA but flew in every month or so to NYC for openings. Many people he knew there thought he lived in NYC beause they'd see him around and it helped him to not get labelled a west coast artist. In a way living away can help - when I lived in NYC I was a dime-a-dozen and its easy for artists to just get lost there.
On J.T.'s post I would be disqualified because I have lived in big city centers, so maybe that has helped me to stay involved from way out here - and with a little princess to amuse, 2.5 hours IS way way away from D.C.
Posted by w at 14:19