Well, the University of Western Australia‘s year-long 3D Art & Design Challenge finished with an bang at a somewhat chaotic moment, with the latest screw-ups by LL causing consternation in the nonprofit and education communities. (FYI, I have it on good authority that UWA is locked in for at least the next two years.)
While the prize announcements were clearly the focus of the celebration, what is most salient to this writer was the announcement that I have been asked to fill the position of Curator at UWA being vacated by the amazingly capable quadrapop Lane. This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I’m grateful to JayJay for his trust.
It is my religion, if you will, to serve art. I have no ambitions as an artist myself. I like to be amazed. I love all the arts, whether visual, performing, literary or conceptual. I grew up haunting the halls of the Art Institute of Chicago. I am not a trained artist. My academic background is in music. But I always understood that the arts are all connected and they are all important. My own forays into creating art have always been amateurish. I have no illusions, but I know good work when I see it.
The UWA Challenge tagline “Make something to take our breath away” is what it’s all about for me. I want to see something new. So much work, even good work, even my own work, is so obviously derivative. When I see something that is truly new–that I’ve never even imagined–that’s what I live for. That’s the breath of Creation itself. A religious experience. I sometimes come up with a trifle myself that does that. I get to have that wow moment with my own work. That’s especially cool, but I don’t feel it comes from me. My joy comes not from satisfaction at my own talents but from sharing that wow moment with others.
All this is by way of saying that I’m here to support art. To serve the Muse. It’s what I’ve tried to do at Artemisia the last few years. I hope to continue to make art, too, but I have no ambition about that. As Curator at UWA I will not be able to submit my own work. But there are ample opportunities elsewhere. What I’m looking forward to is “touching” every piece that comes in to the Challenges. To letting it touch me in a way that is deeper than just visiting it in a gallery. I get to have an intimate relationship with each piece. To lovingly decide where to place it in our space to best show off its uniqueness or its universality. This is going to be fun 🙂