Category Archives: Blog

11.03.14

Artist Statements vs. Bios

We’re craftspeople, artists, makers because we love to make stuff.  We thrill at the planning and research stage, enthusiastically jump into the hands on work, exult in the final touches…

But when the exhilaration of making’s done, the tough stuff begins.  We often want to present our work to the public, and that usually entails some kind of writing.  Most often, an artist statement and bio are requested from granting bodies, calls for submission, gallery proposals, etc.  If you’re an experienced artist, you scroll through your files and give an old document a quick edit.  If you’re new to the professional world of art and craft, you may find yourself staring blankly at the page and cursing all this “art speak” stuff.

Well, curse no more!  Think of an artist statement as not just an onerous hoop you have to jump through but as an opportunity to genuinely reflect on your ideas and making practice.  Sometimes finding words for the previously unspoken can breath new life and fresh ideas into your work and allow you to gain perspective and confidence in what you do.

At artstudy.org they describe an artist statement this way:

An artist statement is a general introduction of your work as an artist. It is the what, how, and why of your work, from your own perspective. It helps you convey the deeper meaning or purpose of your work to the audience (clients, gallery owners, scholarship boards, entrance panels, etc.).

They offer some good advice and how to tips on writing an artist statement here.

And your bio is a chance to summarize your artistic achievements thus far.  It is really your artist CV in a prose format, highlighting your primary artistic accomplishments.  Click here for a good little article on the difference between a bio and an artist statement.

If you are truly feeling stumped and writing is not a forte for you, don’t forget that you can always “call an art friend” to help get you started.  Sometimes a person less invested in your work can offer the perspective you need and help you express in words what you are trying to accomplish in your craft practice.

And don’t forget to apply for the MCC/MCML juried show this year.  Find out more here.

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Category Archives: Blog

07.03.14

Working as a Collective

When artists collaborate, great things can happen. In terms of collaborating as artists in business, dreams can be made to come true.  In the case of The Stoneware Gallery, started in the 70’s by John Waddell, a long life of business collaboration has ensued.  Years ago John invited a few potter friends to start a shop with him as a collective to help create sustainable professions for each of them.  And it worked!

The shop, attached to a teaching studio located at 778 Corydon Ave., is still in business and sells the works of 14 potters.  Legally the business functions as a limited partnership, where each member contributes a sum in the beginning of joining and then displays their work in the shop.  Each artist is responsible for staffing the shop for one day every second week. The store takes a very small percent of each sale to invest back into the costs of overhead and each artist is paid well enough from sales that they are able to make a living, something which has become increasingly difficult in today’s economy.  One of the members said years ago that the gallery “changed his life!”mywag_shop page

One of the reasons that the gallery is successful is that there is a teaching studio in the back.  The studio functions as a separate business owned by 5 artists. Valerie Metcalfe, one of the last founders still involved in the gallery, toured me through the studio, saying “running a studio is really too much work for one person, but together it works out really well, and having a teaching studio as an artist is a very sensible way of making a living.” The gallery and studio were started without grants and is supported through its business activities. “The key to surviving,” says Valerie, “is having a good financial structure. Somebody needs to know the books!”

An exhibit celebrating the Stoneware gallery opened on February 7th, and will be on display until March 9th at the Winnipeg Art Gallery –Gallery Shop, at 300 Memorial Boulevard.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, the WAG is offering free admission on March 8, 11 am – 5pm; a great time to catch the Stoneware Collective’s show just before it closes!

Kelly Ruth is an MCC member and fibre artist who is, to quote her, “causing mischief by daring to carve out a lifestyle that is most authentic to who she is.”  Find her last post on wholesaling here.  – See more at: http://manitobacraft.ca/blog/#sthash.pAJdaehd.dpufKelly Ruth is an MCC member and fibre artist who is, to quote her, “causing mischief by daring to carve out a lifestyle that is most authentic to who she is.” Find her last post on wholesaling here. – See more at: http://manitobacraft.ca/blog/#sthash.pAJdaehd.dpufKelly Ruth is an MCC member and fibre artist who is, to quote her, “causing mischief by daring to carve out a lifestyle that is most authentic to who she is.” Find her last post on wholesaling here. – See more at: http://manitobacraft.ca/blog/#sthash.pAJdaehd.dpuf

Kelly Ruth is an MCC member and fibre artist who is, to quote her, “causing mischief by daring to carve out a lifestyle that is most authentic to who she is.” Find her last post on doing the BIG retail craft shows here.

 

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Category Archives: Blog

03.03.14

March office hours

The MCC office is located at 553- 70 Arthur St.

Open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 1-4 pm

CLOSED March 10, 12 and 19.  (Lots of meetings and events to attend in those slots!)

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