The art historian Leo Steinberg once remarked that you can tell by looking at the work when an artist stops asking, "What can I do?" and starts asking "What can art do?"
It is a great pleasure to open ART 101's new season with an exhibit of the work of six artists who have all crossed that line. This is not only evident in the work, but in the lives of these artists. In the tradition of Betty Parsons, all six direct their own galleries. They chose this singular, artistic odyssey and made it work on the strength of pure conviction. The artists -- Daniel Aycock and Kathleen Vance of The Front Room; Randall Harris of Figureworks; Todd Rosenbaum -- The Hogar Collection; Richard Timperio -- Sideshow; and Alun Williams of Parker's Box reflect on their motives --
"I think we have all known artists who deserved recognition, but couldn't seem to get it. As artists/gallery owners, we are given the opportunity to affect change in the system and also present work that we ourselves consider valuable"
"... a way to become more independent as artists...extend our creative practice into our everyday life...creating a venue that supports artists who we believe needed more public attention"
"...to create a space that would foster young Williamsburg artists, giving them exposure and a means to create a dialogue with the larger art community....to provide a forum for... 'all art that attains a high level of quality and embodies integrity, regardless of style or approach, where the art itself is the only thing that matters.'"
"...to give outstanding, under-represented artists a home where they can freely exhibit their work without being over-edited for the goal of expanding the profit-margin."
"...a desire to educate audiences into new ways of looking."
"My involvement...as a director... has nourished my own work and thinking about art, which is probably a large part of the reason I was drawn to setting it up in the first place."
We are happy to honor artists who have long supported other artists in labors of love, where love given out, of course, only replenishes the source. As Charlie Parker put it, "If you don't live your art, it aint comin' out of your horn.", but when you do, it pours out and plays non-stop as only art can do.
Text courtesy of Veronika Sheer