As I have been changing my second floor of my home into more of a yarn shop, I have been selling off furniture and anything that takes up too much space and doesn’t have dual functionality. This has also been an opportunity to meet some wonderful people and have interactions that have caused me to be able to see my field from another viewpoint.
Recently one of those situations gave rise to a chance to talk about my earlier career and the machinations that an artist goes through to get “down the road”. After I graduated with my master’s in textiles I had the opportunity to live in Ohio. Back in the days, they were running the best state grant program for artists in the country. When you applied, your application was kept for a year while the deliberations on who would get a grant took place. During that year, the granting organization sponsored meetings for galleries, non-profit spaces, artist co-ops, and generally anyone who was interested in connecting with artists. They would supply your contact information and give slide presentations showing your work. It was an excellent win/win situation. While most artists never receive a grant they still had an opportunity or connection with someone interested in showing or selling their work. The first year I applied my application propelled me into 12 galleries across the US, which grew to about 20 before I left Ohio.
I would like to say that this is still the case but Ohio’s wonderful program is now just another program like every other state, steeped in cronyism. Why don’t they change? Well, like anything else, the individuals that run these organizations have too much to loose. So when I found out that a colleague wrote “F___ Y___” on his rejection letter and mailed it back to a granting organization I was not surprised. Sad, but not surprised.
Please repost and share me with your friends!