Best known as the hellish interview hub for hundreds of recent MFA grads, the College Art Association Annual Conference, which takes place February 21-25 at the Los Angeles Convention Center, is kind of like a geeky, intellectual version of Art Basel Miami. The schedule of discussions is dizzying and most university art programs and art schools host cocktail party receptions for their alumni. This year I've been involved with planning ARTspace, which in the past few years has grown into one of the most vital and exciting aspects of
the conference. Like a conference-within-the-conference, ARTSpace (organized by the Services to Artists Committee) presents programming designed by artists for artists and, unlike the sessions in the rest of the conference, all the events are free and
open to the public.
Supported by a generous grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, ARTspace has organized a terrific roster of panels and discussions on issues facing studio practitioners (as opposed to art historians and critics), including the[meta]Mentor series, which tackles professional-development issues, the Annual Artists’ Interviews (Mary Kelly and Martin Kersels), and several sessions devoted to public art issues and practice.
On Friday, February 23, 5:30-7:30, I hope everyone will stop by the ARTExchange, which I organized with Julie Green. Forty-one CAA member artists will present their performances, installations, videos, paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, and more in the Concourse Foyer, Level 1. In the past, many ARTexchange participants found the event to be their favorite part of the conference because the main focus is sharing work and ideas with other artists. Bring some money--there's a cash bar.
On Wednesday, February 21, 12:30-2 pm, I'll be participating in a panel called "Taking Control of Your Career." Chaired by Reni Gower (Virginia Commonwealth University) and Sharon Louden (Vanderbilt University). The panelists will discuss social networking media (Peter Baldes, Virginia Commonwealth University), self-publishing (I'll be covering this topic with a special Skype appearance from Loren Munk--aka James Kalm), creating DIY and alternative venues (Adrienne Outlaw, Seed Space in Nashville), and alternative funding sources (Melissa Potter, Columbia College Chicago).
Here are links for all the ARTExchange artists, many of whom will be looking for feedback on new projects and ideas:
For a full listing of 2012 ARTSpace sessions and events click here. For a schedule of curated video screenings, including the programmig of the Media Lounge, click here. For a list of special conference events and art tours around Los Angeles, click here.
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