[Clayart] as usual
claywork at flying-snail.com
Tue Mar 25 11:47:41 EDT 2014
On Mar 24, 2014, at 4:41 PM, Marci wrote:
> ...I'm interested in perspectives on how to get younger artists interested . We are in really bad shape in the china painter community...
This is interesting, as it seems to me that china painting has never
been more popular among rising, serious young artists. It occurs to
me that the critical part of your phrase was 'community'. I suspect
that the hot young artists just don't see themselves among the folks
who look to the older models of china painting, but rather to the more
avant-garde, contemporary side of clay. They are out there, and in
increasing numbers; they're just not joining that existing community.
Kurt Weiser has certainly has a major role in promoting china painting,
and graduates of his program like Keisuke Mizuno are keeping the
quality and expectations high. At the Seattle NCECA, there was a solo
show by a young artist who is very hot right now (and whose name
escapes me...help!) with excellent skills, using the inside and outside
of his vessel forms to make continuous images. Like a lot of current
china painters, he seems to groove on using an 'old-lady' process to
make deliberately provocative, socially challenging imagery.
Communities are funny things. Technical issues can attract them
together to some extent, but communities are essentially social, and
tip-swapping isn't what binds them together in the long run. When
you look at a group of people who voluntarily associate, you see
commonalities. At NCECA, even without conference badges, you
could often guess which folks in line at the coffee kiosk were 'us'.
How many times have you heard someone say they chose their
medium because 'those people seemed just like me'? Maybe that's
not a good thing, but it's a human thing.
Maybe, if you want to recruit these new folks, you need to reach out
to them directly. Many people respond positively when asked, even
they wouldn't have sought out a group on their own. To keep them,
though, they'll need to feel some connection with the people there.
Will the blue-haired folks painting roses on porcelain plates even
want to hang out with some dreadlocked kid painting graffiti text
onto clay that was thrown against a wall? And vice-versa. A lot of
interest groups end up splintering into smaller subsets, even if they
start out together. Even tougher, to get separate groups to merge.
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