I was reading today about the 2008 fellowships awarded by United States Artists.
What caught my eye was the word, fellowship.
Companionship, society, association, club, fraternity, guild, league...however you say it, it means connecting.
Fellowship is connecting from hand to hand, from thought to thought, from eye to eye. It is a coming together of people in a common interest or endeavor.
I like thinking about this hand-to-hand touching. It is such a powerful symbol of the world uniting. Why don't we have a hands-across-the-world day? You know, like on April 16th at 7am EST every one walks outside and grabs a hand until the chain of holding hands circles the globe? Surely someone has tried to organize this...it's a geographical challenge.
If you could only have one sense what would it be? That's not altogether a pleasant thing to consider. How could I voluntarily give up any of them? I'll give you one day of sight for 2 days of hearing? No, not a pleasant thought.
Take for instance, the sense of touch. What is more exquisite than the softness of cashmere or the coolness of marble? (I was in the Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy, a few weeks ago looking at the Byzantine mosaics, and I walked barefoot across the marble floors...unforgettable.)
Could you give up the sense of touch if you got to keep the sense of taste? (You know, the funny thing is that art is traditionally such a touchy thing, and yet, Rule #1 in a museum is Do Not Touch...)
But back to fellowships (and how did I get off on that touching tangent anyway!), one thing at ArtSlant is that we are into fellowship, paid or otherwise. WE want to connect art and artists and art lovers and art goers because we love art. In fact, the ArtSlant Team has just opened two new art cities - London and Berlin - just so we could connect with more art!
And we want our art fellowship to include all types of artists - from the ones who get the accolades to those who walk into the studio everyday and simply punch the clock!
Hi Art World! We are in league with you...
Here's some images from this year's USA fellowship artists (taken from www.unitedstatesartists.org):
(Images top-bottom: Tehching Hsieh, Punching the Time Clock on the Hour, One Year Performance 1980-1981; photo courtesy Michael Shen; Andrea Bowers, Quilts of Radical Hospitality/Edredón de hospitalidad radical, 2008, 2 fabric quilts (each 866.14 x 228.60 cm); photo courtesy Joshua White; Rodney McMillian, International Artist-in-Residence New Works 08.1, ArtPace, San Antonio, TX; photo courtesy of ArtPace San Antonio and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; photo credit Todd Johnson; Terry Adkins, Black Beethoven, 2004-2007, mixed media Recital In honor of Quinton Brown, Jr.; photo courtesy Terry Adkins and Pageant Soloveev, Philadelphia; Martha Rosler, The Gray Drape, 2008, photomontage; photo courtesy Martha Rosler)