I just made it home from the SNAG conference.

It was (as last year) a fantastic experience thank you all for making it every time so amazing that I flight back home dreaming of the next one!!!

There was only one thing that I cannot stop thinking about since Saturday talk by Cindi Strauss.

I totally understand that in her talk she had to narrow down the number of emerging artists, since it can be pretty wide, BUT it was very sad that she started defying the emerging artist as an
individual who
has been out of school for one year or more, and who is
now producing his/her work not under the supervision of a teacher, and she kept
using the word students as a synonym for emerging artist.

What about all the others that are trying to emerge but they never had the possibility to   go to school?

I do understand that SNAG is prevalently academic-centric (this was my sad realization of last year conference) but still I would love to see non-academic artists acknowledged too.


Now, you may ask me why writing here rather than ask the speaker directly?

Well there are a various number of answers for this question, the first being I tried to approach her but the queue of people was very long (everybody was so enthusiastic and wanted to congratulate her for bringing up
so many ‘new’ names, I guess!).

Second, this issue is very very dear to me (can you tell?!) and I may come into view as a bit aggressive, while what I really like is to have a clear explanation, a sincere and open confrontation.

Third, I wanted to rethink this over a little bit and try to see if there was something I may have got wrong.

And this is also why I’m posting this here, to hear from you, your comments, impressions or ideas.


Ah and before opening the discussion and since I’m exposing myself here I want to add one more thought (I need to do this quickly because I know I’ll regret this the moment the post will be up and public!): let’s pretend
for a sec that the not-academic emerging artists were excluded from the
discussion for time constrains, why didn’t I see mentioned in the talk the ‘one
year out of school students’ that in the past year (or so)  have been very prolific if as the speaker said
the jewelry world absorbs artists very quickly?! Why I saw the work of artists
(whose work I love and I highly respect) who are not only out of school since
many years but have began their carrier as teachers, which in my eyes means
they are now totally integrated in the artistic community and therefore already
emerged in a very successful way!!


Please now convince me that I misunderstand the talk!





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Francesca--I'm glad you decided to post this. I only regret missing the lecture so that I could feel more involved in the discussion. Either way, I agree with your point. Such a narrow definition of "emerging artist" excludes those who have not attended academic institutions and it denies the real timeline it can take to get established. Especially if an artist is making work and not teaching, the process can be very slow. I disagree that our field embraces people quickly--this only happens if they go on to teach at established institutions typically.

I'm curious to hear what others think of this narrow definition.
Francesca, there is no universally accepted meaning for "emerging artist". The definition employed by Cindi Strauss is how she chose to apply it for this presentation. Ask her to define it for another show and likely it will be different. You come from a scientific world that is precise and where terms have agreed upon definitions. People in the art and craft world often use words to obfuscate and bend meaning. Read a random sampling of artists statements to see this in action.

If Cindi's intent was to pander to the academic interests that paid for her speech I would testify that their a**** were well kissed. That is not a condemnation of the artwork shown. It was good work all. In defense of Cindi, I commend her for some shockingly honest revelations into the prevailing attitudes and mind-set of the curatorial world. More on that to come.

In summary Francesca, what you think is b*******, is in fact b*******. The good news is, like the weather, come back tomorrow and it will all be different.
Thanks John (I guess this was John's answer, right?) for the clarification!
First of let me start asking you if my bf asked you to state the last part of your post?

to go back to the serious discussion, what you say makes a lot of sense and indeed I come from a different background where we first define everything and we spend years to prove an idea, so I guess it will take me more than few years to get use to the bending, and probably I'll go back to this post few more times waiting for the weather to change a bit!!

But still you didn't answer the question, how do you define emerging artist?
I mean I know you just say definitions don't work here but let's for once turn the situation upside down, and now you are the only artist in a room full scientists that ask you that
sorry since I have posted this also on the SNAG group the discussion is kind of shifted there (http://crafthaus.ning.com/group/snag/forum/topics/how-do-you-define...), I hope you don't mind I copied your replies there


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