Friday, April 1, 2011

Art Blog: Herding Cats

Besides making art, I LOVE to organize. This skill set has been apparent since I was a young artist and tried to coordinate galleries and curate shows. I just love making lists and databases. I love thinking in terms of the whole picture. I love collecting data. I think this is partially the left brain portion of my VIRGO birth right. Yet, I am sure it also has to do with the need for my left brain self to find some kind of sense and control in my art world.

However for an artist to try to make sense or take control is almost an oxymoron. It goes against the grain. Also I have had so many, many times in my life; I am reminded that artists are of a certain ilk (myself included). We don’t want to be documented, organized, or told what we should or should not do. This is good and bad all at the same time.

I know it has been my experience over the years to try to help artists show their work. I have organized what seems to be a gazillion shows. During the coordination of most of them, there has been a minute or two of exasperation. Some artists are disorganized, undependable, and at times, self defeating. Despite these tendencies, I have swung my lasso and tried so hard to wrangle them in at least long enough to get the show up or see we get through the exhibition opening.
I have often thought: this is like “HERDING CATS”!

For decades, I have been in situations in which artists can’t agree on the color the walls should be. They argue about the kinds of nails to be used or even worse, come with no nails at all. There is the issue of the diversity amongst artists. The realists don’t want to be associated with the abstractionists. The painters don’t want to hang with the poets. The fine artists detest the crafters. It goes on and on.
This week, James Kalm put a link on Facebook that made me think of my herding cats reference. New York City Occupational Employment Statistics wants to count artists. Well, good luck with that. I bet artists would never agree with your data, let alone help you gather it. Just sayin.

Click pic to read article
It might be a good idea. However, it goes against artist’s NATURE.
I do have an idea though. Why doesn’t the city of NY just put out a tweet that calls for an ARTISTS FLASH MOB?
“ALL ARTISTS MEET AT (whatever) intersection at XXX pm on ZZZ day!”
Yep. That might be the most promising idea. Artists MIGHT do that.


Georgie McNeese said...

Love this blog. Funny, but true.

Sheree Rensel said...

Thanks Georgie! Yes. SAD, but true!! Thanks so much for your comment!

Liz Ruest said...

Oh I think you hit some good points here! But I have to say, I've enjoyed working with artists more than intense technical folks. The variety and spontaneity make up for all the lack of organization. Most of the time! :)