Monday, August 14, 2006

back into it

A major portion of the past two weeks was taken up with final preparations for the Windows On Main St. project in Beacon, which opened this past Saturday. While not an extremely grand event in and of itself, it took an amazing amount of time, and thought communicating with artists, businesses, and trying to create related materials, like maps, lables, a marketing material on time. At times grueling, I felt I had surely burnt myself out this time.
But the project opened this weekend, with only minor technical difficulties, and the result is exciting. 29 storefronts along Beacon's Main St. currently sport artwork or an installation by an artist. I'm pleased with the variety of work both in treatment, size, and complexity, but also in style.
For me this project stands less importantly as an event (which it is as a way to promote Beacon as a place to visit, and as an event, it was realized by the help and support of the Beacon Art Community Assoc, and the Dutchess County Arts Council,) as an opportunity for artists to use the city as a lab for experimenting with ideas, and teasing out new possibilities for themselves by creating a composition out of the fabric of public life. I look at this as an opportunity to share ideas about place and space, let the public get a glimpse into the varied manner in which many artists approach an uncommon common problem, and hopefully tweak just a bit the way the public experiences its daily visual life for a time. The goal of this for me is not to create a selection of polished resolved works of art, which is what some in the community might expect, but to alter the visible landscape of our routine, invigorating a bit how we experience a familiar place. I think we've been able to do this in this second year of the project more than the first, and while last week I was swearing off organizing any future endeavors, I'm excited by the possibilities of next year. One of the aspects of this that has been most gratifying has been the feedback from some artists for whom this process was a very positive experience, and allowed them to explore a new vein of thought or manner of working, and now may be able to take some of this experience back into the studio to see how it may inform their ongoing work. This is why I do these things I do, and it makes me glad that I can do them. Now I'm exceedingly glad that I can return to my studio, and fully jump into something new.

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