Friday, November 21, 2008
Last night, at the Contemporary Conversations event at MOCA Jim Draper made a great point, he said that artists are so desperate for exposure, they take just about any deal, no matter how raw. “We just want to be wuvved,” he kidded.
Though Draper’s comment hit a mark—most recently played out in the book: Picturing Florida, From the First Coast to the Space Coast, a pay-to-play tome billed as an art historical treatise, but that would more accurately be described as a catalogue—it wasn’t the take-away message of the night. The real kicker (supported by all four panelists: Sarah Crooks Flair, James Greene, and Tonya Lee) was that artists don’t make livings in Jacksonville. Even Draper, who has known a fair amount of fiscal success said that at the height of his sales, Jacksonville only ever made up for about 20% of his income.
So now its clear, artists: take your work and go forth! Use Jacksonville for those good things about the location/weather/etc…, but place your sites outside of the city limits. That, and be prepared to teach.
After all, as someone snidely commented afterwards, “Do you really want to be known as *the* Jacksonville artist?”
*pictured: an image from artist Anri Sala’s body of work on display at MOCA North Miami (because I liked the awkward incongruity of it), and a tiny round of cheese I snagged from one of my friends at the museum. If sharing snacks is not the core of community spirit, I don’t know what is.