Many galleries, artists and related businesses have been leaving Chelsea and moving up to the Tribeca area.Though this has been slowly occurring over the past few years, the pace has recently picked up as prices continue to climb. This is something we have seen this before, watching it happen currently and will most likely see it repeat many times over in the future, which makes it unfortunate.
Many in the arts community help pioneer the neighborhood, bringing with them the vibe, coolness and attention to perhaps a previously overlook area. What can be done? The answer isn’t easy and will be a difficult process that artists and creatives will face.
Outside of Chelsea, we have seen similarities in Wicker Park in Chicago. Many of the galleries and artists moving away from River North to a developing area which in just several years gave rise to multi-million dollar homes, upscale boutique shopping and fine dining.
There are perhaps some artists, professionals and galleries that will be able to stay in these areas even after the prices soar. But for many, that may be unlikely. Many are now forming collectives to help pool resources together. Others move further away from the city center, and although rental prices may be more affordable, they are faced with challenges of distance and time.
Gentrification however, is not something unique to artists alone, but happening to many others as gentrification, debt, cost of living increase. As more people move into urban areas, this will inevitably increase housing and commercial costs, which in turn further financial burden. Most balance the cost of living by sacrificing other “luxury” items; public transportation in lieu of a car, biking or walking to more nearby location, shared work spaces are just some of the practices many use. For artists and other creative professionals, it will be about prioritizing what’s more vital and what could be beneficial to cost savings. A private studio or office or shared studio? Perhaps expensive materials?
Larger studio rental buildings on the fringes of key city areas seem to be one of the potential answers right now. Like an office or apartment building, these locations house sometimes hundred of studio spaces that are rented out. As the majority of residents are related to the arts, these buildings become a community and arts center. Though we have seen these locations in many major different cities – Chicago, New York, London, Miami, etc., there is real potential to pull back amenities or offerings as market value and property taxes continue to increase.
Perhaps what we need is more action from local governments and funding for art initiatives to help protect some of the early pioneers who help transform a neighborhood.
Writing a curriculum vitae (C.V.) is an essential necessity for many artists. It showcases their past exhibits and experience, and compatibility with future venues and galleries to consider.
It is not the most exciting activity an artist can do, and many we spoke to dread writing them. In these instances, we highly recommend finding a resource, individual to help you with one. While Viable Studios currently does not offer these services to the general public, we will review requests with referrals from our residents or artists we work with.
Unlike a resume, which details your education, skills and employment positions related to a specific job function, a CV, is more detailed and centers around your artistic field. It is an account of recent accomplishments, professional visual arts practice and whilst similar in structure to an employment resume, it should only contain content and achievements that are related to your professional artistic career.
A common mistake that many emerging or mid career artists make is that they don’t or feel like they can’t make one (due to lack of history or experience). However, many exhibits, grants and scholarships ask for a CV. Even as an emerging artists, a CV should not be overlooked.
Like a resume, there are many parts of a CV that can be custom tailored to the individual, but there are general guidelines that are typically followed. Remember that a CV is generally 1-2 pages long and is a summary, not a full history, so be concise and careful with what you decide to list. Remember, overselling is not required, nor favored by many (at least by us).
Contact Details. The CV is usually referenced to as the biography. Hence, simple details are efficient. Website should only be included if it pertains directly to your art endeavor.
John Doe, (b. 1985, UK)
firstname.lastname@example.org | http://www.johndoe.com | 123.456.7890
Education. If you have advanced education in the arts field, include the school(s), the year(s) that you graduated, and the degree(s). This section is typically not required for exhibitions, or gallery representations, though depending on the venue, it may be helpful. Otherwise, it is acceptable to leave this area off the CV. Note that only education pertaining directly to your art should be listed. Self-taught artists can include casual mentorships, workshops, classes, or informal school they have had as well.
Art institute of Chicago, Master of Fine Arts, 2009
Emily Carr University, Bachelor of Fine Arts, 2005
Studied under Jane Doe.
Exhibitions. Beginning with the most recent, list your exhibitions in order. Longer lists of exhibitions can be broken down categorically into solo or group exhibitions, if needed. Selecting specific exhibitions can also be used, and may be helpful if you have a lengthy list. Exhibitions should be listed as follows below. Curated shows should be notated as well. For emerging artists with minimal listings, forthcoming exhibits can be listed, and should be noted as forthcoming.
2017 Title of Show, John Doe Gallery, NY
2018 Another Show, John Doe Gallery, NY (forthcoming)
Bibliography. Any articles, references or publications of your art should be listed. Include the author, title, publication, volume, publication date, and page number. Covers to publication should also be noted as well.
Jane Doe: “About the Artist John Doe”, Acme Art Magazine, vol. 5, February 2017, p. 5-7
Acme Art Magazine, Cover, vol. 3, April 2017
Collections. This area lists any private collections that your art belongs to. This includes private and public collections. Though this can vary, museums, corporate collections, municipalities, agency collections and private collections can be listed.
Artwork in private collections should is usually only noted if the person/collection is well known, and if you have their explicated agreement for you to list them in your CV. If there are numerous pieces of art held in private collections, it is acceptable (and more organized) to list under one general listing.
The Acme Museum Collection
Works held in private collections in the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and Australia.
Texts. If you have any published writing relating to your own practice or others in visual arts, it can be listed in this section in the proper MLA format:
“Exploring Acrylics”, Grey Art Gallery, 2011.
Teaching. Any teaching related positions held related directly to your arts or the industry should be listed. You can include positions as faculty, lecturer, or speaker.
2009, Guest Lecturer, Art Institute of Chicago
Curatorial. If you have worked as a curator those can be listed below. Include any co-curators as well, if any.
2015, “Art Show”, Acme Art Gallery
Awards, Grants and Scholarships. Though not necessary, these can be listed, especially if they are highly recognizable awards. Again, they should only pertain to your art career, unless they are extremely noteworthy, e.g.: The Nobel Prize.
2010, Acme Council Awards.
Residences. Art residencies show dedication and on-going development of your artistic career and profession.
2014, Studio residency, School of Arts, London
Though many individuals differ on how they create their CV (just like there are different ways to create a resume), you should browse other available CVs as examples, and see what works for you at your current stage of your career. Just like a resume, your CV should be updated with new exhibits, education or experience related to your field. Many artists, galleries and creative professionals have their CV online as well, for you to refer to as an example.
For emerging artists who may not have as much to fill on their CV as one further in their career, including an artist statement is helpful.
In the wake of the Oakland Ghost Ship tragedy, Baltimore’s Bell Foundry was recently inspected and shut down by the city.
Numerous safety violations, deplorable conditions and the absence of an occupancy permit were the reasons cited by the city to shut down the space. Though the actions were done by the city to keep residents safe, many of the locals view it as an attack on their lifestyle.
Bell Foundry artist collective in Baltimore, was recently closed due to safety concerns.
The space housed many artists, many of whom felt the actions were targeted against them, and that the actions of the city were unnecessary.
“It felt like we got raided or something. It felt violent,” said musician Fredo Quinteros, another tenant. “They came in yelling, just telling us to get out. They didn’t explain nothing.”
The city stated the inspection occurred due to a complaint filed, and upon recent inspection of the premises, discovered numerous safety concerns and violations which included missing beams from the ceiling, holes in the floor, electrical hazards and residents potentially sleeping at the premises even though it was not permitted.
The building which became an arts collective after its recent acquisition in 2006, has been a center for music, comedy, and theater, as well as hosting Wham City and Acme Corp theater group.
For many residents, the eviction and closure of the building was a surprise and many are grappling with how to continue their operations and respective businesses without a location. Many said that they had to evacuate the site without collecting any of their property. Which makes many, whose livelihoods are dependent on the site feeling that the city was too heavy handed and apathetic about the people and businesses located there.
A gofundme campaign has started to help with displaced residents.
Scenarios like this will be all too common as cities, landlords and residents grapple with ongoing multifunctional artists sites, try to strike a balance between current safety guidelines and the changing lifestyle of today’s artists who typically seek out of the way industrial spaces for various reasons.
About the author(s)
Paige Clark is a member of Viable Studios, managing digital content and strategy.
The recent deadly fire in Oakland at the Ghost Ship collective has turned into a criminal investigation with at least 36 killed and potentially to be much higher as the investigation continues. This deadly incident brings to light various issues surrounding this tragedy including responsibility, liability and have even given rise to other concerns, such as housing affordability.
Ghost Ship was an art collective, housing several studios and known to many. It is known that there was an event there which started late Friday night, when a fire broke out. Many in attendance were unable to find their way out of the building for one reason or another and died in the blaze.
“We’re finding people throughout the entire square footage of that structure,” Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly said to the media.
Though some people may have possibly lived at or were living at the space currently, the building was not permitted as a residence and it is yet unclear who is at fault; the city stated that they were unable to enter the premises and have been unable to perform the inspection, which was last attempted approximately a month ago. The landlord, whose daughter told the Los Angeles Times they believed the building was only being used as an art collective. One of the artists, and residents, Max Ohr, told CBS that he never saw any inspections occur at the premises.
No matter who is found responsible, the sad fact remains that many have died in this horrific incident. Those lives can never be regained. Sadly, there are many similar spaces that exist throughout the country, some personally visited, and in similar conditions; from work/live spaces in industrial spaces, to events at abandoned buildings and other potentially high risk areas.
Questions of liability and responsibility come to the forefront, and will also be a concern, for spaces with similar circumstances in light of this tragedy.
In any landlord-tenant relationship, there are responsibilities on both sides. Landlords need to make sure that a property is safe, and up to code for its intended use. For the tenant, it’s using the space for its intended use; whether it’s for commercial, residential or as a live/work space.
Artists may fall asleep in their studio working, invite others to their workspace, or have events related to an exhibition, or opening – all of this necessarily doesn’t break intended use (though you should check with your landlord and city guidelines). Though these instances may be considered common, the incident at Oakland can happen again, unfortunately. Whatever measures should have been taken is too late, but for many others, being proactive and mindful might prevent another tragedy from occurring.
Inspections are typically needed to verify that a property is being used for its intended purposes. It also notes potential hazards and items that need to be addressed. Whatever the circumstances were that prevented the city from inspecting the premises a month ago, any potential violation, was a missed opportunity to which could have saved lives.
Most businesses typically have a general liability insurance coverage to protect them from such things like accidents or claims. It may also protect work and individuals on site (check or discuss with your insurance provider) in situations of fire or other disasters. Though the lives can never be regained, there will be many that are left to pick up after the tragedy.
Whether the space is used only for work/studio, or live/work space, you as the tenant have rights – though those rights may vary depending on the city/state you live in, you should always consult with a professional to see what rights apply. Sherwin Sucaldito, a real estate broker with @properties in Chicago, says that “landlords need to make sure that their spaces are up to code, and address potential code violations.” Though each city/state may have their own guidelines – both the landlord and tenant should check with the city about potential hazards, especially if there are signs of concerns, he says (Sherwin is also a member of Viable Studios and helps with operations and management).
It is not always a case of negligence, says Sherwin, “landlords may live in other areas or different countries and may not even be aware of potential violations on properties.” Though responsibility for Oakland is still yet unknown, whoever is ultimately found responsible at Oakland, will set precedence for many others throughout the country.
The incident at Oakland has also given rise to other social issues such as housing, gentrification and even the burdens and economic hardships of artists.
It is no surprise that in many neighborhoods throughout the country, the neighborhoods that artists live in, and transform, have slowly gentrified. These neighborhoods become trendy, and what new residents are looking for, but with increase in demand, rents and housing prices slowly increase in turn. More demand continues for the area, and rents increase again until slowly, some of the residents who helped transform the neighborhood no longer could afford to live there. This cycle has created a lot of anguish among some of the residents in these neighborhoods, with some being vocal about gentrification, affordable housing and artists being used to transform neighborhoods only to be pushed out.
This has happened in many neighborhoods and still happening in multitudes of cities throughout the country and around the world. We have seen this occur in Wicker Park, Chicago. Lower East Side Manhattan. Mission District, San Francisco.
Many of the concerns that Viable Studios spoke with of artists, is how they can maintain their creative freedom, while earning a living. Hence, affordable housing has and still is a concern. Whether this issue was related to what happened in Oakland, we will have to wait and see what the investigation turns up. But balancing both live and work spaces with safety that all in the industry will bear to mind after these events.
One thing is for sure; no matter where you work, or live, take caution of your surroundings. Losing human lives to a tragedy is a great loss and tragedies like Ghost Ship, hopefully can be prevented in the future. There will be many questions asked, many more unanswered. What we do, and actions we take can only help prevent future occurences like this from occuring. .
About the author(s)
Paige Clark is a member of Viable Studios, managing digital content and strategy. Sherwin Sucaldito provided additional content, commentary and information in the article and manages operations for the Studio.
Back when we were redesigning the site, some of us were in a shared office space. Occasionally, we asked a couple of the designers to work on site a couple days during the week to do follow up on projects.
Naturally, some of the graphic designers started speaking with other designers, artists and creatives in the space and then something interesting happened.
Mind you, I work with a lot of marketing, and media, so when I was on coffee break, I thought I could “chill” with the graphic designer, and have casual conversation about the project. There were a couple of them in that day as well one other from another company in the space.
I was a little ahead of myself, as I was hoping to dive into conversation quickly, but upon sitting down was fairly quiet for the most part. I kept hearing things like, vector, CMYK, raster, kerning, gradient, knolling, red, yellow and blue. OK, maybe not that last part, but pretty sure pink was hotly debated…
There were words that I’ve heard before, but couldn’t explain for the life of me. One of the designers sensing my distress casually tried to explain skeuomorphism which was being discussed. I was totally lost until he showed me the calculator and newsstand app on my phone and was like “Oh ya, so that’s what that’s called!”
Skeuomorphism is when design elements are made to resemble their real-world counterparts.
I think this experience is something that most industries struggle with across departments, disciplines, and industries – a language obstacle.
I was totally lost until he showed me the calculator and newsstand app on my phone and was like “Oh ya, so that’s what that’s called!”
I remember when I bought my first home, my real estate broker sat down with me and explained some of the terminology at the very beginning. We then went shopping for homes. Wrote an offer, and when things came up again, he asked if I remembered what the referenced terms were if I needed a refresher on a specific term.
Working with graphic designers frequently, I hear their jargon all the time, like vectors. I sort of get it, it’s the outlines of a picture so you can enlarge it, kind of. I’m not sure what the technical definition actually is, or the science behind it, except that we need to have certain things, like our logo, to be vectorized, so it doesn’t become pixelated when enlarging images.
What happens when a non-vector image is enlarged too much (or perhaps a piece created by street artist Invader).
There are many times though, something is mentioned and I have no clue what is being referenced. I can try to interrupt, perhaps look lost and attempt my wide eyed look that a child gives when they’re just as lost in the mall, away from their parents, as I am at that moment. I suppose I can wait it out, then finally explain that I have no clue what was being talked about for the past two minutes.
As artists, designers, typographer, etc you all work with individuals who are not exposed to the creative realm on a constant basis. Patience and care must be taken, with the understanding that yes, you may potentially have to explain what kerning means, and every single time it is brought up; or perhaps just say “sliding specific letters over to help make the word look more proportional and pretty” Having a common language is not beneficial to you, but to the client as well. It prevents misunderstandings because not even five minutes later, your client may not remember the difference between kerning and tracking except that both deal with space between the letters. They think.
Common language is beneficial, well, it certainly helps when I’m at the Chinese restaurant and say #11 versus trying to say one thing, and making a fool of myself, and the server understanding something totally different. There is no common language for us to speak.
Our job then is not to just create, but interpret and reiterate (many many times). Otherwise, I suppose we can always skip the latter and just create the work, and send along a Cliff Notes type of explanation.