Saturday, June 06, 2020

Black Lives Matter: what art museums did next

This is a record of what you can see on the websites of major art galleries and museums in the USA today - in the aftermath of the killing of George Floyd
  • starting with the Minnesota Museum of American Art and 
  • finishing with the Minneapolis Institute of Art.
They tell an important story. Don't skip the last image.

Minnesota Museum of American Art

The statement on the home page of the website
BLACK LIVES MATTER.Demands for justice in the face of George Floyd’s murder are reverberating from the Twin Cities across the world. Museums are not neutral and must actively participate in the dismantling of deeply rooted, systemic racism and racial violence in America. The M stands in solidarity with the Black community and allies showing up in the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul—to protest, clean up, and support the tired, angry, and grieving. The many visionary Black and BIPOC artists in the mix are testifying to the power of art to confront white supremacy, to speak truth to power, to honor and resist forgetting, and to heal. We’re listening and reflecting on how the M can center and help sustain this anti-racist work.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

READ Standing in Solidarity, Committing to the Work Ahead (June 1, 2020)
by Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO; and Max Hollein, Director
We know that art can be a powerful tool for commenting on contemporary issues, and that museums can play an important role in facilitating important, yet uncomfortable discussions. As the national conversation around racial injustice has heightened in recent days, we have been using our social media channels to highlight works from our collection that invite reflection on our nation's complicated past and present.

National Gallery of Art, Washington

READ Director's Message - PERSPECTIVES
by Kaywin Feldman, Director, National Gallery of Art June 01, 2020

We must remain hopeful, generous, just, and kind now. Our past does not have to be our destiny. We must let the power of art, which is the power of all that we share as human beings, be a power that prevails through this difficult time.

Museum of Fine Art, Boston

READ Director’s Message
BY Matthew Teitelbaum and Ann and Graham Gund Director
It is past time to recognize that the usual commitments to change are not enough, and that we have an obligation to make a difference. Only demonstrable actions will evidence a commitment. We acknowledge that the MFA, like many art and cultural organizations across America, has work to do to become the institution to which we aspire. This is the time for us to determine: “How will the MFA take the lead on bridging and healing the divides that exist among us?”

Art Institute Chicago

READ Our Commitment to Racial Justice and Equity 
BY —James RondeauPresident and Eloise W. Martin Director
.....this cannot simply be a time for words. Museums are contested sites; we are not neutral. We have the ability to play a constructive role in civic discourse. This is a time for self-reflection, a time for us to thoughtfully understand the best ways to advance racial justice. We recognize both the specific limitations of our authority as well as the boundless potential of an art museum to give shape and structure to new narratives. Grief will transform into action.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art

READ Black Lives Matter
We stand with our community in rejecting racism, in mourning, and in demanding justice for the deaths of countless African Americans who continue to be targeted by systematic violence. We recognize that museums cannot claim neutrality in addressing the horrific issues that have plagued our society for centuries.

Minneapolis Institute of Art 

READ: Nothing

It's as if nothing happened in the city where George Floyd died.
Check out

Friday, June 05, 2020

A non-stop global 24 hour conversation about watercolour!

This is the 
First non-stop 24 hour livestream global watercolour conversation, connecting over 100 of the world's top watercolour artists
I've never ever seen anything like this before - but it looks as if it will be really interesting.

It's a live stream on YouTube and starts at 11am Saturday 6th June in New Zealand (23.30GMT tonight 5th June 2020) - so I guess the aim is to keep going all the way through Saturday and into Sunday!

It's being organised by Szczepan Urbanowicz abd is also listed as an event on Facebook

I've no idea who he is - but I do recognise some of the names so I assume he's got this organised!
This project creates a new global watercolour conversation. It brings together over 100 of the world's leading watercolour artists (in a world first) 24 hour continuous conversation and poses questions relating to the current global conditions of social distancing, self-isolation and the new realities of creativity and expression in our technological world.JOIN with our guests as we roll out this "conversation" over 24 TIME ZONES! to a global audience!...and remember!!!
..........GO WITH THE FLOW!!!!

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Society of Botanical Artists - first online virtual exhibition

Today Plantae 2020 should have opened at the Mall Galleries. Instead the SBA's annual open exhibition opened ONLINE. 

  • That's 426 artworks by 221 artists!
  • It's probably the biggest ever exhibition of botanical art - even if it is online 
  • It will probably get the biggest audience of any botanical art exhibition ever!

I've written very many times about the annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists on this blog (see this page for links to the reviews) - until I started my website Botanical Art and Artists and switched to writing about botanical art exhibitions on its news blog.

However every exhibition I've written about has been one I've seen in person and photographed and reviewed.

This year - for the very first time - Plantae 2020 the annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists can only be viewed online

However it can also be viewed three ways! You can

  • View by Artwork - it starts a slideshow of all the 426 images in the exhibiton (+ music!)
  • View by Thumbnails - you can choose which artwork you want to look at. There are 11 pages of thumbnails on my screen. This is what one page of thumbnails looks like.
  • View by Artist - you can see all the entries by one artist.
I'll be reviewing the exhibition on Friday - on my Botanical Art News blog - and looking at the artists who got selected for the exhibition tomorrow.

If you enjoy botanical art, you might like to take a look - and maybe come back for more.

Monday, June 01, 2020

How to pack, mail and ship art - domestically and internationally

How to pack, mail and ship art - to buyers, exhibitions, other countries - is one of those critical "NEED TO KNOW" topics for ALL those selling art online

Since the Pandemic started a lot of artists are now selling more art online - either compared to pre-pandemic or for the first time.

This post is for all those who
  • EITHER "don't know what they need to know" 
  • OR need a refresher 
  • OR need to check on what has changed
REFERENCE / BOOKMARK: If you think you might want to reference this page again, why not
  • bookmark it digitally and/or 
  • print it off (click the title to get a seperate complete page for this blog post)

A Compendium of Information & Advice about Packing & Transporting Art

Most of the information and advice I provide about packing, mailing and shipping fine art is now provided in the "Ship Art" section of my website Art Business Information for Artists.

I'm assured by very many artists that there is nothing else like this section on the Internet!

I've certainly not found anything which merits the subtitle I've given it i.e.
A Compendium of Information & Advice about Packing & Transporting Art

Here's the reason why I started to develop and then record information about packaging. My first exhibition was in the USA!
Is your knowledge about packaging and shipping art "a big black hole"?

Starting out, I found packaging and shipping artwork one of the most challenging aspects of selling art - particularly when it needs to be sent to another country.
I worked hard to find out more about the best ways to pack and ship art - and started making notes! Fine Art Transport

Outline of contents

Fine Art Transport Home Page

This is a major section of my website - providing a lot of detailed information and advice

This contains
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about packaging, posting and shipping art - which shows you where you can find the answer
  • 10 Top Tips for Packaging and Shipping Artwork

​Packing Fine Art

How to wrap and pack artwork for shipping 

How to weigh, measure, wrap, pack and label artwork which needs to be transported. This page covers:
  • SUMMARY TIPS: How to create a package for artwork
  • HOW TO label a package
  • HOW TO measure dimensions, volume and weight
  • HOW TO: wrap and pack framed and/or glazed works
  • ​HOW TO: package and ship giclee prints / drawings / works on paper
  • HOW TO: wrap and pack unframed and framed pastel paintings
  • HOW TO: package and ship 3D - sculpture and ceramics

Packaging Material for Shipping Art 

Packaging materials for wrapping, packing and shipping art

This page includes the pros and cons of different types of packaging - for different purposes.

It looks at ​

  • TWO types of packaging for packaging art for shipping ​INTERNAL and EXTERNAL.
    • Internal Packaging: This helps to make it look good and keeps it dry . Plus it protects the work should your package get opened by customs.
    • External Packaging: During transit - or while in storage - external packaging helps to protect and keep the artwork safe from harm
  • PLUS NEW: where to source green / more environmentally friendly packaging materials - which has become of increasing concern for many artists since I first started developing this resource.

Couriers, Movers and Shippers

How to Mail Art

How to mail art - using General Mail and Parcel Services

This post covers general mail and parcel services for mailing paintings, drawings and prints in the UK and USA

There's a general consensus that
  • the local mail service is fine for sending smaller packages
  • however big parcels need a professional courier service
The next question is "Do you need a general mail / parcel / courier service OR a specialised service used to dealing with fine art?"

This page provides an overview of the generic (i.e. non-specialist) post / parcel / courier services on offer in the UK and USA

UK Art Movers and Carriers

UK Art Movers, Couriers & Fine Art Transport Services 

What you need to know; what your courier needs to know & which couriers move artwork

Thursday, May 28, 2020

10 x £10,000 bursaries to artists to replace Turner Prize 2020

There will be no Turner Prize in 2020. Instead Tate Britain has announced that one-off bursaries of £10,000 to 10 artists.

These will be announced in about one month's time - in late June.

The change of thinking has also added an extra £60,000 to the prize pot. The bursaries have been made possible thanks to generous funding from a group of Tate’s supporters, including The Ampersand Foundation.

both are replaced by 10 bursaries X £10k

The Turner Bursaries: why the change?

The very obvious problem in terms of the preparation required for an exhibition is that people are NOT at work and NOT doing what they would normally do to enable the annual Turner Prize Exhibition to go ahead.

This is simply not achievable under current restrictions.

An alternative was sought - and the decision was made to provide financial support to a larger selection of artists through this period of profound disruption and uncertainty.

Alex Farquharson, Director of Tate Britain and chair of the Turner Prize jury, said:
“Gallery closures and social distancing measures are vitally important, but they are also causing huge disruption to the lives and livelihoods of artists. The practicalities of organising a Turner Prize exhibition are impossible in the current circumstances, so we have decided to help support even more artists during this exceptionally difficult time. I think JMW Turner, who once planned to leave his fortune to support artists in their hour of need, would approve of our decision. I appreciate visitors will be disappointed that there is no Turner Prize this year, but we can all look forward to it returning in 2021.”
One can only surmise after the split prize last year that this might be another example of "how we do things differently after the Pandemic" and that the Bursary idea might catch on.

It's a lot fairer than giving one artist a very large sum of money - and this move has also leveraged out more money to support artists i.e. there's an extra £60,000 in the prize pot!
  • the normal prize post is £40,000
  • this gets split between a First Prize of £25,000 and three x £5,000 for the three other shortlisted artists
Those eligible for the Turner Prize are artists born or based in the UK for outstanding exhibitions or other presentations of their work in the previous 12 months.

The change in the prize pot makes me wonder 

  • how much it costs to put on the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain and 
  • whether the person who wins the Prize should be given the option of a very big cash prize or a much smaller cash prize and an exhibition at Tate Britain.

The Turner Jury

The members of the jury who will determine who gets the bursaries are: 
  • Richard Birkett, Curator at Large at the Institute of Contemporary Arts; 
  • Sarah Munro, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art; 
  • Fatoş Üstek, Director of Liverpool Biennial; and 
  • Duro Olowu, designer and curator.
The Tate says they've spent the last 12 months they've visited hundreds of exhibitions in preparation for selecting the nominees - but surely that should be 9 months if you disregard lockdown and their inability to visit any exhibitions

In line with the existing prize criteria, they are invited to nominate British artists based on their contribution to new developments in contemporary art at this time. 

The new plan is that they should hold a virtual meeting to select the list of 10 artists, which will be announced in late June.