Monday, January 04, 2010

Drawing Show Extended

More art writing

Philippa has a superb round-up of the sudden surge in visual art writing around the DC region. Read it here.

I agree with her. I also know that now that I'm back in the DC area, I plan to get back to my old ways and write a lot more about the DC area visual arts.

Running for cover(age) Tonight

Running for cover(age) is a panel discussion on arts criticism in the DC area presented by the WPA.

Moderator: Kriston Capps
Panelists: Jeffry Cudlin, Isabel Manalo, Danielle O’Steen
When: Monday, January 4, 2010 from 6:30-8:00pm
Where: Capitol Skyline Hotel (lounge), 10 I Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
(Free and open to the public)

Coverage of Mera Rubell’s DC studio tour by journalist Jessica Dawson in The Washington Post touched a critical nerve in the DC arts community, and set off impassioned conversations here and on social networking websites such as Facebook here, about the quality of life for artists in the area. Artists, writers, and arts professionals weighed in on aesthetics, isolation, ambition and support for the visual arts.

This panel discussion will address questions about local arts media coverage and its effect on the cultural life of the city. During the Q&A portion of the program, panelists will provide suggestions of both existing and new models for generating dialogue about the arts.

I've noted this before, several years ago, but when I was the co-owner of the Fraser Galleries, one thing that I noted, and thus qualifies as empirical, rather than anecdotal data, was that we would get a lot more responses and new visitors to the gallery when our show was mentioned in the recommendation section on the first page of the Post's Weekend section.

You know the section that I mean (its title escapes me now)... the one where someone recommends a theater show, or a dance show, or a visual arts show?

I know this for a fact, because the usual mention would detail a bit about the gallery show, give the gallery name and the phone number. For the next few days our phone would ring off the hook with people wanting to know the gallery's address.

In fact, a mention on that Weekend section spot did a lot more to get new visitors to the gallery than any review in the Galleries column! I suspect this is because the Galleries column's demographics tend to be mostly people interested in art: artists, gallerists, art symbiots and the rare collectors. On the other hand, the people who glance and read that recommendation section in Weekend are your average reader and average public; precisely the "new" section of the population that a gallery hopes to reach.

Interesting huh?