The Rapidian

Experts, artists, public to come together to discuss artist-run spaces

Creators and supporters of the arts from various Midwest communities-including our own DAAC right here in Grand Rapids- will join for a night of ArtPrize’s Critical Discourse to examine a common goal: strengthening the arts and those who create it.

/Molly Heinhuis

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Want to know more about Artist-run Art Spaces?

Attend Unapologetically Midwest: Artist-Run Art Spaces:
September 29, 2015
7-8 p.m.
ArtPrize HUB, 41 Sheldon Blvd SE, Grand Rapids 49503


Past show at The DAAC

Past show at The DAAC /Rachel Foss

On Tuesday, September 29, ArtPrize will continue Critical Discourse with event Unapologetically Midwest: Artist-run Art Spaces. Four panelists, committed to developing and exploring culture and art within their respective Midwestern communities, will gather to discuss their experience in separate artist-run spaces. The panelists include Jehra Patrick with Mn Artists and Waiting Room of Minneapolis, Mike Wolf with The DAAC of Grand Rapids, Robert Elmes with Galapagos Art Space of Detroit and Alexander Herzog with The Suburban of Milwaukee.

According to Kevin Buist, Exhibition Director for ArtPrize, Unapologetically Midwest will “start with short overview talks from each of the participants to orient the audience to what they’re doing; a little bit of history and a little bit of overview on their programs so everyone knows what each of these spaces are up to.”

The Critical Discourse events give the public an opportunity to participate in conversations about art and culture with these panelists from diverse, yet overlapping, creative disciplines and interests. Each of the the featured artist-run spaces provide creatives and other interested parties access to art within their respective communities.

Mn Artists and The Waiting Room are two programs that actively support local Minnesotan artists. With their online presence, Mn Artists provides artists across all media with a platform to network with other creatives and connect with people interested in their work. Waiting Room, an exhibition program also from Minnesota, uses their gallery to give artists an outlet to “grow their own audiences through genuine relationship-building,” as said by Patrick.

The Suburban, an artist-run art space that recently relocated to Milwaukee, is designed to work solely out of a garage. By limiting the needed space, it allows for this program to “intelligently and deliberately run as a passion project,” as Buist states. Also growing, the Galapagos Art Space is moving from Brooklyn to Detroit in search of more space and time. These two factors can play important roles in the programs ability to continue bringing artists together.

Locally rooted, the DAAC shows crucial support for artists by providing a venue for work to be created and showcased.

"Having open and accessible community (and/or) artist-run spaces is just as important as having accessible public playgrounds, sports fields, public transportation and hiking trails. I believe that everyone is creative and should have access to space and resources to explore ideas with their friends and neighbors regardless of age or other circumstance," says Wolf.  

This critical discourse event provides a chance to highlight where these contrasting programs overlap in their common goal: providing opportunities for art to be created. It does so in a setting that allows the public to also be involved in examining the trends of today's art. With a topic as community based as artist-run art spaces, these conversations are relevant to the continuation of said programs. After overviews of the different programs and what they have going on, the panelists will ask questions aimed to help these conversations develop.

"I hope that the audience is able to come to a better understanding of what it means to be an artist today, understands some of the challenges within contemporary art practice, understands that there are infinite alternatives to current models that for the most part systematically shut out certain communities from participation, understand that if we are to truly be a creative city we have a lot more work to do," says Wolf.

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