August 14, 2019

Our members share advice on how to prepare for successful and productive studio visits.

Shama Rahman:
1. "It’s helpful for the artist to lay ground rules for their studio visitor and explain how they like to interact in the space -- since outsiders are entering (the space), they look to the artist for direction on that.”

Heather Zises:
2. "Understand what your work is about, and be ready to share the motivation and process behind the creation of your artwork."
3. "Clean your studio before having company. Make sure to highlight the art in your studio and not to give your guests the feeling they stepped into your private room.”

Melinda Wang:
4. "Understand the purpose of your guest’s visit beforehand -- is it to consider works for an exhibition, purchase art, learn about your practice generally or something else?"
5. "Decide how much work to display, and let your guest know whether works are completed or in progress (and if photos are ok)."

Audra Lambert:
6. "Make sure your guest feels welcome in your studio space: have some tea of coffee ready to offer them and ease into viewing your works -- especially for guests who have traveled some distance, small courteous welcomes are greatly appreciated!”

July 15, 2019

Summer Reading List
We hope you’re enjoying the summer and taking some time to recharge, try a new project or visit the many incredible exhibitions on view. At Ninth Street Collective, we have books on the brain! Our members share their summer picks -- from professional development-related reads to an inspirational memoir.

Audra Lambert
The Freelancer's Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams―On Your Terms, by Sara Horowitz
“While it is essential for an artist to have a firm hold on the tenets of their practice, artists need to have an in-depth understanding of how the legal and financial structures underlying how they run their studio have prepared them to make a profit that they can better invest into their practice, ultimately enriching their careers. From recent MFA grads to mid-career artists, there is something for everyone in this practical, hands-on guide aimed at anyone who works for themselves -- and especially artists, who are responsible not only for producing high quality work but also are tasked with maintaining a sustainable artistic practice.”

Heather Zises
Curatorial Activism: Towards an Ethics of Curating, by Maura Reilly
“Reilly’s precise tome unpacks the western canon and champions feminist art. The book is arranged in thematic sections focusing on feminism, race and sexuality. It features exhibitions that have broken down gender boundaries from Linda Nochlin’s 'Women Artists' at LACMA in the mid-1970s to Jean-Hubert Martin’s 'Carambolages' in 2016 at the Grand Palais in Paris. It also profiles key exhibitions by pioneering curators including Okwui Enwezor, Linda Nochlin, Jean-Hubert Martin and Nan Goldin, with a foreword by Lucy Lippard.”

Shama Rahman
The First 90 Days, by Michael D. Watkins
“I recently transitioned from a role as a marketing manager in live events, focused on arts and culture, to a creative strategist role focused on financial services. It's been a whirlwind to switch the type of professional role I inhabit and the content I'm working with in one move, and this book has been a great guide through the process. A trusted mentor recommended it to me (after using it in her own career transition), and I think it has been especially helpful for me to create goals for the new role, set a realistic timeline for my transition (you can accomplish a lot in 90 days) and identify the specific challenges of different work environments. If you're feeling lost about a recent career change, this might be the perfect book for you.”

Courtney Childress
A Short Life of Trouble, by Marcia Tucker
“Marcia Tucker’s memoir is amazingly inspiring and feels so relevant. We are living in a time that everyone makes their own way and her pioneering spirit is just the call to action necessary.”

Melinda Wang
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
“Are you feeling a bit unmotivated this summer?  Pick up this quick read -- it’s a classic on how to overcome what Pressfield calls ‘Resistance,’ the universal force he says is the enemy of human creativity.  Being an artist is really hard!  He describes the causes of creative roadblocks, offers solutions to overcome these obstacles and reminds us that it’s about doing the work today, tomorrow... and day after day.”

June 5, 2019

Five questions to ask yourself when writing an artist statement:

  • Does my artist statement supplement the visual information in my portfolio?

  • Is it separate and different from my artist bio?

  • Does it have a strong first sentence?

  • Is there any “artspeak” or excessive jargon?

  • Does it convey why my artwork is relevant today and prompt the reader to want to learn more?

May 13, 2019

Five simple things you can do this week for professional development:

  • Scan those saved emails and Facebook posts for at least two open calls to apply to and add them to your calendar.

  • Create an account on Rivet to receive alerts for open calls and residencies.

  • Check out an opening at a gallery you haven’t visited before, meet new people and get to know the gallery’s program.

  • Check how your website looks on mobile and tweak if necessary.  (According to Perficient Digital, in 2018, 58% of site visits were from mobile devices and mobile devices made up 42% of total time spent online.)

  • Schedule studio visits with friends to prepare for visits with curators, dealers and collectors.