Post #271 • May 6, 2004, 3:19 PM • 11 Comments
This morning I tendered my resignation to ArtCenter/South Florida. (See that navigation? That's my navigation, driven by PHP. Navigation contents are double associated arrays of text, a dream to update, and are included automatically site-wide. The previous version was in frames, for crying out loud, and still had uncalled DHTML scripts from a design before that one. Total site revision by yours truly, done gratis as a loyal resident. Let it not be said that I didn't pitch in.)
Where was I? Right, I'm leaving ArtCenter. The impetus was some static involving the administration, but I've been thinking about it for a while. I miss the intimacy and familiarity with my art that I get when I'm working at home. I'm half-tempted to paint right in the bedroom, like Morandi.
Most of my artist friends say that leaving is a great idea. ArtCenter has a reputation around town as a nursing home for artists. That's not as deserved as it might have been in the past, but the stain lingers - as an arts writer, I hear the word. Current policy has it that artists are awarded three-year terms. Active AC/SF participants can apply for another three - something I was due to do in August. Certain members who are proven contributors to the organization, if chosen by a review committee, can get an additional three. Artists jury in, but they do pay rent, at a rate that's about one-seventh of the market price for square footage on Lincoln Road. Some folks have been there a long time. Longer than several local art stars have been out of school.
I'll miss ArtCenter. I met some great people and remain friends with many of them. I'll miss the Road; in spite of the Victoria's Secret, Banana Republic, and other venues of conformity shopping, Lincoln Road is the only public pedestrian mall in the county and attracts a mix of people unlike anything else in the state, if not the whole South: schizophrenic street performers, Lubavichers, Hare Krishnas, gay couples holding hands without fear of attack, activists offering free HIV tests and condoms, elderly Cubans on tricycles, nuclear families, Italian tourists, hoochie mamas, on and on. I'll take my bike out there and visit, definitely. (Parking's too much of a pain.)
Something else: from being at ArtCenter, I found out that kids really like my work. They respond to the texture and the intense colors. There's nothing like a positive review from a six-year-old - all love, no irony.
The occasional sale was nice too.
But it's time for a change. Stupid aggression rules the road in Miami, and the Beach is especially bad; in this town, less driving equals more happy. I'll get to live in my house more. If I want to blast Flaming Lips and paint in my underwear, it won't be an issue. If an idea comes to me at 5am, the studio will be right there - so will the bookshelves. I'll miss the community, but making art is not a community affair, and the decision about my studio has to be made solely on the basis of my art. I thank everyone who helped me and gave me their friendship at ArtCenter, and wish everyone the best.