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Topic: The Value of Art
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Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 20, 2005 12:20 AM
  Reply

Questions of value pervade American society. As the art world becomes increasingly subject to market forces, clearly articulating the value of artist's work is necessary for their economic survival and creative well-being. Thursday January 27th at 7pm join economist Ann Markusen, University of Minnesota, art historian Robert Jensen, University of Kentucky, and Director of the Tweed Museum of Art Ken Bloom for an online discussion of the value of artists' work in this thread.

Ann Markusen is currently working on a ten-year project on artists, their livelihoods and their contributions to regional and local economies. Markusen’s studies, The Artistic Dividend and Artistic Dividend Revisited, argue that artists make hidden contributions to regional economies because they are often self-employed and not acknowledged in regional job counts. Among other projects, Robert Jensen collaborates with economist David Galenson, Univesity of Chicago, researching the art marketplace. The paper, "The Life Cycles of Modern Artists" was recently featured in The New York Times. This fall Ken Bloom began his tenure as the Director of the Tweed Museum of Art in Duluth. He previously served as executive director of the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art in Boulder.


Kathleen Kvern

Posts: 38
Registered: Jul 8, 2004
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 20, 2005 9:43 AM
  Reply

Hello,
I wanted to thank Colin for all his work coordinating the Featured Forum series mnartists.org will be hosting each month.
I think this first forum on the Value of Art will be an interesting way to get things started.
Please feel free to begin the conversation prior to next Thursday! If you're new to forums take a look at the "how to get started" article that can be found here
http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=57911

Any other questions or comments can be directed to Colin Rusch, community manager of mnartists.org, at colin.rusch@walkerart.org

I'm looking forward to being part of the forum and hearing what everyone has to say.
Kathleen Kvern
Project Director, mnartists.org

Gabriel Combs

Posts: 1,497
Registered: Jun 16, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 20, 2005 10:27 AM
  Reply

You might be interested in reading the editorial of the Nov/Dec 2004 issue of Juxtapoz http://www.juxtapoz.com/html/homeframe.html (I did'nt see it on the site, unfortunately). Robert Williams talks about the changing art world somewhat in regards to value.

seamus leonard

Posts: 20
From: Minneapolis
Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 20, 2005 6:09 PM
  Reply

When a society forgets about its creative potential, it looses its sense of worth. Commerce itself is an art form. and so is its commodities. the creative product of the artist has only a sense of worth to either the individual who values it, or a social group. If the individuals or groups such as the USA or others begin to disregard its own peoples art, what then?

It would seem to be logical to conclude the PT Barum's faithful saying a sucker born every day is one of many possible proper solutions.

Value in its own right is a struggle for the individual such as I the artist.
When the work speaks I listen, when the creative force speaks I listen,
when I give birth to a piece I listen and let go of the echo. Is it my responsibility of employment to document the others value?

This would seem to be a correct problem with the investor to find what is worthy of collecting.

Collecting as collecting my garbage pail kid cards, or inheriting baseball cards and comics. What is the worth? The memories behind the collectible?
The physical presence of a thing? The artist job is to make, the other is to collect. What circle of value will the piece end up in? Who really cares?

Art and its value in a saturated market is only worth if you have bread in your stomach. If your poor, sell your art at reasonable price to poor people, if you want a higher market and smooze with the upper crust of the market well, buy a suit and tie and learn to communicate on their level.

I highly suggest not to sacrifice designing art to fit a certain collectible, if it ain't authentic, why do it? Unless of course you are true to en authentic center or belief.

As an artist I am only of my own making, and humbled by those and thats the form an make me.

ellen schillace

Posts: 3
Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 20, 2005 8:37 PM
  Reply

HI Colin and others
I am currently organizing with WARM - Women's Art Registry of Minnesota a panel conversation about the Artist as the transformer.
Art is always about authenticiy in some way and it is this authentic voice that we always seek in art - it most often matches the very essence of answers that we crave but most of us are unable to verbalize - or visualize or sense. Good writers always leave that gift with us - a sense of self, or some sense of making sense out of something we have thought about and been unable to put our finger on. We come away with more than we had to begin with. That begins our transformation and begins our own search. We cannot talk about art without talking about the artist. His journey often becomes ours.
Ellen Schillace
Please watch for the ARTIST AS TRANSFORMER - Panel discussion coming to the Twin Cities in MAY!!!

jaime longoria

Posts: 1,161
Registered: Oct 7, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 21, 2005 8:10 AM
  Reply

> HI Colin and others
> I am currently organizing with WARM - Women's Art
> Registry of Minnesota a panel conversation about the
> Artist as the transformer.
> Art is always about authenticiy in some way and it is
> this authentic voice that we always seek in art - it
> most often matches the very essence of answers that
> we crave but most of us are unable to verbalize - or
> visualize or sense. Good writers always leave that
> gift with us - a sense of self, or some sense of
> making sense out of something we have thought about
> and been unable to put our finger on. We come away
> with more than we had to begin with. That begins our
> transformation and begins our own search. We cannot
> talk about art without talking about the artist. His
> journey often becomes ours.
> Ellen Schillace
> Please watch for the ARTIST AS TRANSFORMER - Panel
> discussion coming to the Twin Cities in MAY!!!


Coyote Infinity in full Garb would like to be part of that discussion in May.

Jimmy "Jaime" Longoria
Chicano Artist de Minnesota

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 25, 2005 7:54 PM
  Reply

Ellen,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. But, please do not use this thread to advertise events. There are plenty of threads for announcements and generating interest in projects. In the future please post these types of messages in The Salon and other spaces designated for such uses.

Best,
Colin

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 26, 2005 12:52 PM
  Reply
artistic_dividend_revisited.pdf (120.4 K)

Here are a couple of resources related to the forums.

The Life Cycles of Modern Artists - http://www.mnartists.org/article.do?rid=56843

The Tweed Museum - http://www.d.umn.edu/tma/

Colin

Colin Rusch

Posts: 1,435
Registered: Oct 16, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 26, 2005 6:10 PM
  Reply

I am having trouble posting the pdf of The Artistic Dividend. Please follow this link to find the pdf in the lower right hand corner.

http://www.hhh.umn.edu/projects/prie/


Colin

ellen schillace

Posts: 3
Registered: Jan 20, 2005
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 1:05 PM
  Reply

Colin
I actually wasn't using this site to advertise the forum WARM is planning because we haven't actually put it together yet. It very much in the planning stage. I was using it as a frame of reference for the idea of talking about the value of art as the value of the artist as a transformer in society. It is a discussion which needs could go hand in hand. We are seeming to have a great deal of discussion about What is art - what is good art (I would love to reference a MPR radio program I was listening to just a few weeks ago where they were interviewing - I think a Walker Art Center Director). The discussion revolved around this topic. We are really at a crossroads in the visual art area right now.
Ellen Schillace

jaime longoria

Posts: 1,161
Registered: Oct 7, 2002
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 3:31 PM
  Reply

> Colin
> I actually wasn't using this site to advertise the
> forum WARM is planning because we haven't actually
> put it together yet. It very much in the planning
> stage. I was using it as a frame of reference for
> the idea of talking about the value of art as the
> value of the artist as a transformer in society. It
> is a discussion which needs could go hand in hand.
> We are seeming to have a great deal of discussion
> about What is art - what is good art (I would love
> to reference a MPR radio program I was listening to
> just a few weeks ago where they were interviewing -
> I think a Walker Art Center Director). The
> discussion revolved around this topic. We are
> really at a crossroads in the visual art area right
> now.
> Ellen Schillace


So Ellen let's just start talking. Would it help if I wear a dress? Or is the dialogue open to all. It is the strength of this forum. No one stops anyone from talking; unlike "invitation only 'chats' ". Part of the confusion at this time is the many "closed" off 'open' discussions that are guided by the same sad voices who have no idea that art is really worthless when it is closed off to outsiders.

coyote infinity

Kathleen Kvern

Posts: 38
Registered: Jul 8, 2004
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 4:13 PM
  Reply

Hello Ann, Ken, and Robert I want to welcome you to mnartists.org and thank you very much for participating in our first "Featured Forum."

Also, thanks to everyone who contriubtes to the conversation and those of you just watching the flow! Also, I want to thank Colin again for directing this forum and coordinating all of the Featured Forums.

Ann, perhaps I could start by asking you something.

In your study with David King "The Artistic Dividend: The Arts' Hidden Contributions to Regional Development" (which we have linked to this discussion) you talk about artists fears of marketing their work, or considering their art as a commodity at all, and that these fears may, in fact, be reasonable. In light of this reluctance on the part of artists to commercialize their art you go on to say that "the attitudes of collectors, producers and directors, and foundations may have to change to facilitate more diversified artistic careers."

Further along in the study you offer several strategies for how public and private patrons, businesses, and government could take an "occupational approach" in investing in the artists career, and in tern, the regional economy. Of course, as the Project Director for mnartists.org I am especially interested in further exploration of these ideas and how our site can continue to support the individual artists through this approach.

Could you share any successful case studies of what other organizations have done or ideas of how mnartists.org could further the occupational approach for supporting individual artists and their careers?
Thanks,
Kathleen

Kathleen Kvern

Posts: 38
Registered: Jul 8, 2004
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 4:18 PM
  Reply

Hi, Kathleen here again. As you may have noticed, I'm posting a bit early and will join the conversation again later this evening.

Now a question I have for Ken.

Hi Ken, Welcome to the Featured Forums and thanks so much for being part of our conversation. I want to mention that a link to the Tweed Museum web site is included in our Forum area.

I'm going to ask a rather blunt question and it's something I hear artists asking all the time!
Please give me a bit of insight into the selection process you, or the curators at the Tweed Museum, go through in considering and then selecting an artists work for exhibition. I notice you have current shows of Minnesota artists and architects on view now, and also upcoming exhibitions of Minnesota artists in the mix of exhibitions. In terms of the "Value of Art" this selection process has always interested me. Since the value of an artists work can be substantially influenced by being part of a major museum collection or part of a museums' exhibition schedule how does an artist go about making these types of connections?

Shannon Bates

Posts: 102
Registered: Sep 29, 2004
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 6:42 PM
  Reply

Now are we talking the monetary value of art? emotional value? value art brings to society? how are we measuring value?
This looks to be an interesting conversation.

Ann Markusen

Posts: 9
Registered: Jan 25, 2005
Re: The Value of Art
Posted: Jan 27, 2005 6:47 PM
  Reply

Kathleen,

Good question. One of our contentions is that the ways in which area non-arts businesses access artists for diverse kinds of work could be regularized and streamlined. No place that I know of currently does this. It would take some work with business managers to identify the kinds of artistic talent they would like access to and in what form it would be easiest for them. The current mnartists.org showcases individual artists but doesn’t really group them in any way that plays to their strengths and experience working with business clients. This would be an interesting building project.

Some artist-centered organizations offer a menu of specialized classes for artists that help bridge this gap. The Center for Cultural Innovation in Los Angeles, for instance, brings in people experience in certain arts-rich industries and activities to teach classes aimed at helping visual and performing artists learn business and marketing skills particular to certain types of businesses. Of course, in Minnesota, places like the Loft Literary Center offers courses like this for writers, but I’m not sure other genres are similarly served.

Mnartists.org could also engage in public policy debate at the city and state levels around support for those types of dedicated artistic spaces that are helping to nurture artists at crucial stages of their careers by providing encouragement, exposure and feedback, classes, equipment and space, access to masters, opportunities to perform and exhibit and read their work, running competitions for mentorships and grant support and so on. These “clubhouses” – including genre-specific ones like the Loft, the Playwrights’ Center, the Textile Center; multi-disciplinary ones, especially in smaller cities and towns (Northfields’ Art Guild, New York Mills Cultural Center); and community and neighborhood ones like Homewood Studios and Intermedia Arts – are important occupational enhancers on an ongoing basis and also contribute to their surrounding communities. We are currently doing a lot of research on these types of spaces, trying to understand their value for artists, for artists’ careers, for audiences and for their communities.

Regards, Ann Markusen

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