There’s been a lot going on lately. Is that the understatement of the century? I’m not sure how we’re almost halfway through 2018 already, but everything has been moving and changing — and reeling in, and charging back out — like CRAZAY.
Over the next several weeks I will be on the road, first to New York for CONVEYOR, which I’m so excited about I could nearly cry (the good kind). Then it’s back to the Midwest for one whole day, and I hop a plane to the UK for a solid month — only half of which is really planned. All the while I’m anticipating doing so many studio visits, gallery stops, and degree show tours that my brain will almost certainly explode from all the happy. Luckily, I have a few days slotted in, in a bothy in the Western Highlands, and life’s looking pretty sweet from here.
Then, as you may have seen on social media, I had intended to move to Denver in the late summer. As plans sometimes go… well, they changed. I confess that I had to face up to some tough truths after a long and emotionally challenging winter, both about people and circumstances in my life, but also significantly about how I choose to handle this, and what it is I really need. Turns out, I need to be able to really give the time and energy to things, or in directions, that I’m passionate about… or else things start feeling pretty pointless. And I also need to surround myself with supportive, like-minded people, and to always be curious and open to adventure. What is art and collaboration and dreaming if not a huge adventure? And what is the point if it feels feels forced, unnatural, or rushed?
So, just like that, I switched things up. I’m technically–and accidentally–self-employed right now, and for the first time it’s my sole source of income. (I’m terrified!!) I also incidentally have all of my earthly belongings in a storage unit outside of my hometown. If what I have is a car and a number of couches to crash on over the next couple of months, I’m fine worrying about a place to live later. And honestly, if a year ago you told me that I would be in this headspace right now, I would have rolled my eyes ALL THE WAY AROUND and been like, yeah, right, whatever, I’m content to stick with this normy day job thing. A steady pay check is no small thing.
But the flip side of the terror, which I’m told is healthy, is that I feel incredibly motivated to take things to the next level. Some really exciting things are happening, and much of it comes from a better understanding of what I’m capable of via Young Space, the invaluable relationships I’ve formed and continue to form as I work on this project, and how it can be better and more meaningful in the future. Meaning is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
First, although a seemingly simple thing, I’ve updated the mission statement: To promote, support, and collaborate with emerging contemporary artists, encourage transparency, and to engage artists, students, and the community in meaningful dialogue through unique content and projects.
One of the things that frustrates me the most about the art world is its elitist opaqueness. Well, I’m not a commercial gallery for a reason, I suppose. And probably won’t get a job in one with that attitude either! Ha! “Transparency,” however, is a word that applies to a number of facets of Young Space. I expect it to be transparent in the way I personally manage it, and how it will be operated in the future. It is also the way I hope that artists and collaborators approach it. Prices aren’t hidden; ideas are shared widely; candor is greatly valued!
Additionally, I’ve teamed up again with Standard Projects, an artist-led space in a former village police station in Hortonville, WI. There, we currently have an opportunity to submit work for consideration for a show this fall, and we are currently developing a residency program to begin in 2019. I don’t know if it’s possible to be more stoked about this than I already am. I have been talking with Claire Abitz, the founder/owner of Standard Projects, about this residency project for years. She has hosted artists in residence previously, but wished for it to be more intentional, and wasn’t sure what the next step should be. For my part, I have been playing with the idea of a residency program for ages, but of course, I don’t just happen to have a sweet repurposed midcentury building with a wood and metal shop in the garage — and a white cube gallery space on the side! We realized that the time was finally right to really get this going, and I’m looking forward to rolling out much more information about that very soon.
Ultimately, Young Space just keeps proving, over and over, that people are astonishingly talented in so many ways. It’s never limited to the material on a canvas or a structure on a plinth in a white cube… It’s so much more interesting for me to be an observer, encourager, and supporter of the process. I’m so stoked about the scope of future collaborations, and can’t wait to share them with you.