Art in the 21st Century- Expanding the Artist's Role

On Sunday February 22nd, Amy participated on a panel discussion, Art in the 21st Century- Expanding the Artist's Role. The other panelists included Joseph Meisel from the Mellon Foundation; Beth Wilson, art critic and history professor at SUNY New Paltz and Brian Wallace, Curator at the Dorsky Museum. The panel was moderated by artist Simon Draper and held at Van Brunt Gallery, Beacon, NY in conjunction with the Habitat for Artists exhibition. The gallery was filled to capacity. One topic of discussion was the reaction to Holland Cotter's NY Times article, "The Boom is Over. Long Live the Art" and the heated response elicited from it both positive and negative. Many artists argued that they already have "day jobs" - always have had them and didn't like being told it was day job time again. Brian Wallace wondered why it falls to the artists to be the do-gooders in communities when hard times hit? Artist Susan Magnus spoke about the fact that many artists are involved in "real world" issues whether their work reflects those issues or not -that the idea of the isolated artist, alone working in the studio is no longer relevant. One positive suggestion was for artists and creative "think tanks" to emerge. Artist Karen Dolmanist spoke about her work reflecting her core values of sustainability and contemplation as opposed to market based values. Beth Wilson spoke about the possibility of heterotopias, as defined by Michel Foucault in a 1967 lecture.
In this lecture, Foucault sketches out a notion of how certain spaces exist for the negotiation of power relations, - places where for various reasons, individuals are set aside from the mainstream of everyday life. In the act of this setting aside, there is inscribed a “web of relations,” according to Foucault.

ecoartspace has been championing ideas related to the web of existence as per ecological systems, collaboration, collectivity and sharing for nine years now and they haven't been as popular during the boom
- maybe the recession will be a good time for us? Since ecoartspace is opening a new project room next week in NYC -we certainly hope so. The Habitat for Artists Collective project is an exciting beginning to this chapter.

HFA artist Chris Albert captured the event live and it can be watched on his blog, MAYKR.

Also catch Sharon Butler's "share and share alike" on collaborative and community based art on the Art 21 blog.


ecoLOGIC closes Saturday 2/28/2009

Cypress College Gallery Director and artist Paul Paiement states, "the show has been well attended with repeat visitors who actually spend time looking at and asking questions about the installations." Don't we love that! In the twenty days the show has been open to the public (those are gallery days open), they estimate that 1,500 visitors have come to see the show (and this is a 2,500 square foot gallery located 30 miles south of downtown LA). We are very please with responses by Cypress faculty and administrators who are impressed that the show also includes work by an architect and landscape designer. It seems they also like that the artists are seeking to convey messages that get people thinking about the real world, a relevant conversation beyond the art itself.

Many hours have been spent updating the blog for ecoLOGIC during the show with information on related lectures/panels/exhibitions/links and we would like to direct our ecoartspace blog followers to check it out at http://ecologicla.blogspot.com.

If your in Los Angeles this weekend, this is your last chance to see the show.


Soho Night and ecoartspace NYC project room opening March 5th and 7th

On Thursday March 5th ecoartspace will join with several other NYC non-profit art spaces for Soho Night. There will be special events, exhibitions and programs from 6 - 10 pm. (see list) For this event ecoartspace will stay open until 8pm so please visit us on the early side.

The public opening for the new ecoartspace NYC project room at 53 Mercer Street in Soho will be on Saturday March 7th from 12 -6pm.

The first ecoartspace project at Mercer St will be Simon Draper's work with the Habitat for Artists Collective which began in Summer 08 in Beacon, NY. In that original Habitat for Artists project Simon Draper supplied each artist with a basic shed (6 x 6' with doors, window and skylight). These collaborative works take the form of sheds, that literally functioned as temporary studio spaces and came outfitted with doors, windows and skylight. The materials used in the creation of the structures consists of reclaimed components and each artist in the collective creatively adapted their shed to suit their own needs. (read more details in the November 13th blog post on the HFA project).

For this new version of HFA, Draper's collaborators include artists Chris Albert, Richard Bruce, Sharon L. Butler, Ryan Cronin, Kathy Feighery, Marnie Hillsley, Matthew Kinney, Grace Knowlton, Michael Natiello, Sara Mussen, Steven Rossi, Todd Sargood, Matthew Slaats, Lynn Stein, Dar Williams, Grey Zeien, Donald Kimmel and Flying Swine live Theater.

ecoartspace has been operating bi-coastally, with Amy Lipton in New York and Patricia Watts in the San Francisco bay area. We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year and due to a growing presence and increased demand for ecoartspace’s unique brand of environmentalism, the time has come to open an office in New York City.

ecoartspace is part of a growing community of artists, designers, scientists, curators, writers, nonprofits and businesses who are developing creative and innovative strategies to address our global environmental issues. The new Soho office space will promote a diverse range of artists whose works are participatory, collaborative, interdisciplinary and educational. Future programs and events will include exhibitions, discussions, screenings and workshops.

“Artists today are breaking out of traditional confines of what is considered art and engaging in real world issues. By implementing a participatory structure with the diverse people that make up communities––these artists are pointing the way towards a new paradigm of environmental consciousness and sensitivity”, Amy Lipton, Ecovention 2002


mnn.com interview with Amy Lipton

On Sunday February 8th, Amy Lipton and
Simon Draper were interviewed on tape by
Mother Nature Network's Chuck Leavell, Director of Environmental Affairs and Michael Lindsay, Multimedia Producer.

MNN.com is a new website that provides environmental news and information, they describe themselves as a "one-stop resource and an everyman's eco-guide offering original programs, articles, blogs, videos, and how-to guides along with breaking news stories." Chuck Leavell, MNN's Director of Environmental Affairs, is a committed environmentalist, and author of Forever Green and The Tree Farmer. He has been the keyboardist for the Rolling Stones since 1972 and was previously a member of the Allman Brothers Band. Leavell has also played with Eric Clapton, The Black Crowes, George Harrison, The Allman Brothers Band, The Indigo Girls, and many, many more.

The interview took place in Beacon, NY at the Van Brunt Gallery where Draper's current collaborative project is on view, Habitat for Artists. Lipton spoke about ecoartspace's mission and history including projects in New York City and the Hudson Valley. She made the point that the modern environmental movement began here more than 40 years ago, when Scenic Hudson was formed as an organization to protest the planned blasting of Storm King Mountain by Con Edison. Scenic Hudson won that battle and continues to fight for land and habitat preservation along the Hudson river and beyond. It is also not a surprise that the Hudson Valley was the birthplace of the first American art movement, The Hudson River School, when 19th century artists made paintings depicting the extravagant beauty of what was then still mostly pristine wilderness - though the encroachment of industry had already begun via the train line. Some of the Hudson River School artists were reacting to environmental degradation in their time and the tradition has held. This early example of the merger between art and conservation has inspired many contemporary proponents of ecological art, and that's where ecoartspace comes into the picture.

Simon Draper also spoke with Leavell and crew, taking them for a stroll in Beacon to see a few of the remaining habitats (outdoor art studios) created by the Habitat for Artists collective last summer (see earlier blog post). HFA will open with a new project at the ecoartspace NYC office on March 5th (more to come).

This meeting was facilitated by Gwendolyn Bounds, author of Little Chapel on the River and Wall Street Journal writer, who also spoke with Lipton and Draper at length about their current joint project. ecoartspace has been the sponsor of HFA activities since summer 2008.

images: Chuck Leavell and Amy Lipton (top), Simon Draper and Gwendolyn Bounds.


out of the blue opening Feb.17th

out of the blue, an exhibition about weather + the creative process
Curated by Amy Lipton, Joy Episalla and
Joy Garnett


February 17 –April 17, 2009
OPENING RECEPTION: February 17, 6-8pm

Participating artists: [images + info]
Stephen Andrews, Michele Araujo, Robert Bordo, Diane Burko, Christos Dikeakos/Robert Smithson, John Dougill, Joy Episalla, Joy Garnett, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Erik Hanson, Geoffrey Hendricks, J.J. L’Heureux, Bill Jones, Zoe Leonard, Frank Moore, Jaanika Peerna, Andrea Polli, Hunter Reynolds, Austin Thomas, Bing Wright, Carrie Yamaoka, Andrea Zittel

out of the blue, an exhibition featuring artwork inspired by weather, geological and atmospheric conditions, will open at Bergen Community College's Gallery Bergen on Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 6 p.m. An opening reception will be held from 6-8pm.

Curated by Amy Lipton and artists Joy Episalla, and Joy Garnett, out of the blue presents works by 24 prominent artists from New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, London, Toronto and Vancouver.

The exhibition focuses on the dynamics of human creativity as a metaphor for geological and atmospheric phenomena. Treating issues of weather both literally and symbolically, out of the blue approaches the creative process as a kind of weather system.

Ideas, like hurricanes, seem to come "out of the blue," though they arrive through a combination of complex forces. Through metaphors provided by art, out of the blue leads us through the tangle of influences—both innovative and destructive—that humans exert upon one another and the environment. Understanding and cultivating these influences and relationships is the key to our cultural vitality in a world where technological hubris and political arrogance can overshadow tolerance and collaboration.

out of the blue generates its own weather conditions, a storm of intertwined processes - artistic, social, political, atmospheric, and geological. As we influence one another, we in turn affect our culture and the environment, and creativity itself becomes a force of nature.

Above image: On the fringes of Hurricane Caroline, 8/30/75. Image courtesy of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)