Thursday, February 09, 2006

Eye Opening

I've been meaning to get thing this up for a little while now; my goal here is to create a record of my changing ideas and opinions about the visual arts. I am a painter (look here if you don't believe me), a graduate of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and an aspiring art writer. I am currently living in Ithaca, somewhere in upstate New York.

This blog is intended for two distinct (if overlapping) audiences: a local one, as well as one involved with (or at least knowledgeable about) the broader field of contemporary art. Why write about art in a small town, isolated from the centers of the art world? Well, first of all, I believe that art is something that should be experienced directly (without excessive mediation) whenever possible. While I do read more than my fair share of books, magazines and web-based material pertaining to art, I can't imagine these being the sole basis for my writing here. Since I haven't been traveling much (although this will hopefully change), a local focus is probably inevitable. Secondly, I would like to make a contribution to local culture, both for idealistic and selfish reasons. There is a good amount of interesting art going on around here, but I think that the dialogue (among other things) could be strengthened. As Laurel Guy, Program Director at the Constance Saltonstall Foundation says in this article,
"there are a whole bunch of small cells all over the place, because people find like-minded people, and in that sense there is a community - but there's no arts center." The article is nearly two years old, but the main point seems to me still largely valid, this despite the Foundation's own worthy efforts, which continue. Actually, I think there should be multiple art centers. One of my goals for this blog is to become one such center, so anybody who shares these local-minded goals is welcome to respond. (Needless to say, everyone else should feel free to do the same.)

Anyway, I hope to start posting here regularly. On Thursday evening, I attended an artist's talk given by the photographer Linda Butler at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art. She has work up there vividly illustrating the Three Gorges Dam project currently underway on the Yangtze River in China. I want to discuss both the talk and the show in some detail, and I've written quite a bit here already, so this will have to be a separate post.

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