Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Monday, February 27, 2017

Empowering Advocacy



by Patricia Frischer

I was at a meeting recently and the chairman was absent. When asked for a progress report on an upcoming event from one of the staff, the response was that they were waiting for direction from the chairman. He was told that was not necessary and that he has the committee permission to design and implement the project himself. This galvanized him into action and within 24 hours the event was more or less organized and being promoted.

The staff member was fully capable before this empowerment. He had all the skills necessary to complete the task although the rest of the staff made positive and encouraging suggestions. So what held him back from moving forward?  I believe it was a lack of belief in self, coupled with the daily interruptions that draw our attention away from a task that might be more important than we realize. In other words, this event needed to have a priority in his mind and he needed to bring his considerable skills to this task,  decisions he had to make himself.

We can all find ourselves in this position at various times in our lives. But I think right now, it is particularly important to make decision on a personal level about how we can move our community forward. Yes, we need to all work together, but each of us has to make a decision about how we can individually lead an effort. I would love to see people taking initiative and coming forward with ideas that we can all support and promote. I believe there is a leader in each and everyone of us.

So now I make a call to empower everyone in the arts community to lead a project that support public art policies and helps to increase the awareness of the value of art. Small or large, a single effort or a partnership, I want you to feel that you can make a difference and, in fact, it is only with your own advocacy for the arts, that we will survive at a time when arts funding might be increasingly under attack. 

March 20–21, 2017 is Arts Advocacy Day and we are celebrating it with a banner on the home page of SDVAN. Each year arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for the annual Arts Advocacy Day,  This effort brings together a broad cross section of America's cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 500 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts.



Sunday, January 22, 2017

Walker Art Center, Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and The Broad in LA

I was very lucky this year to have my entire holiday season repeated in January when I went to Minnesota to visit my husband's family. We celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve on three consecutive days and packed in a months fun in four days. PLUS I was able to stop at the Walker Art Center (architect  Edward Larrabee Barnes),  Weisman Art Museum  (architect Frank Gehry) and The Broad (architect Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler) on my travels in and out of this tiny snowy cold city of Austin which is the Spam capitol of the world. 


Walker Art Center Minneapolis

Weisman Art Museum University of Minneapolis

The Broad, Los Angeles
I found this visit to three museums in a short period of time quite stimulating as I was impressed by how each one of them interacted with the art in different ways. The architecture at the Walker Art Center was stunning, but I ended up paying more attention to it than to the art on view. Everywhere you looked was a stunning view of snow covered hills, trees, buildings. The was a top floor room for events and a city scape bar, a crowded restaurant near the entrance. The Weisman Art Museum was completely different. Outside it was stunning, but you could see none of that inside. The art was the feature and you can no real sense of the shape of the building at all. The Broad was a good compromise between the two...small glimpse of the building's structure added just the right amount of texture and natural light to enhance the works.  

The private collection at the Broad was just that, not a survey of contemporary art but a personal choice with big names. The show at the Walker had some wonderful stars but quite a few misses and seemed very experimental. Weisman contained what appeared to be a study collection suitable for a university with many modern masters. The Broad gave a first impression of glitz and glamour with shiny works in bright colors. When you got to the modern works by Jasper John and irk, they almost seemed dull and dated. That was the same feeling you got at the Weisman. But the work at the Walker has that same slickness to it which lifted it from looking to immature. .

Walker Art Center

Walker Lobby with video screen


Frank Big Bear gave us a whole wall of collaged images and this is just one tiny section. It is displayed on one side of the restaurant in the lobby. 

Claes Oldenburg

more second floor lobby views

more lobby views
Questioning the Wall Itself

Question the Wall Itself is simply an exhibition about space. But it is human space and we relate to it. There were  23 artists who gave us rooms either full or partial or works that made us reflect on public and private interiors.  Featured in the exhibition, which includes several new commissions, are works by Jonathas de Andrade, Uri Aran, Nina Beier, Marcel Broodthaers, Tom Burr, Alejandro Cesarco, Marc Camille Chaimowicz, Theaster Gates, Ull Hohn, Janette Laverrière/Nairy Baghramian, Louise Lawler, Nick Mauss, Park McArthur, Lucy McKenzie, Shahryar Nashat, Walid Raad, Seth Siegelaub, Paul Sietsema, Florine Stettheimer, Rosemarie Trockel, Cerith Wyn Evans, Danh Vo, and Akram Zaatari. 


This first piece by Nina Bieir set the tone with a giant break (beautifully crafted) in the dog who looks like he would love to break the vase in front of him. The floors that these works were set on seemed very deliberate.
Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir

Nina Bieir


I was most impressed with this room of walls by Walid Raad. There seems suspended and lit from within. Closer inspection reveals that the darks were actually shadows. These are "restless" shadows as they change constantly as you move. This was one of the themes of the works at The Broad as well especially the Ellsworth Kelly (seen below) which completely changes shape as you move around it. 

Walid Raad

Walid Raad - the dark lines here are shadows that
change depending on where your look. 

Walid Raad

I have not noticed, until a guard pointed it out to me, that Walid Raad had real hand laid woodwork at the bottom of each panel...the sort of faux floor turned out to be real floor technique and execution. 

What you can't see in this picture of Rosemarie Trockel's room was the tiny toy birds that moved back and forth or turned side by side in the case on the left. 

Rosemarie Trockel

Janette Laverriere/Nairy Baghramian

Janette Laverriere/Nairy Baghramian

Jonathas de Andrade
Jonathas de Andrade



Unpacking the Box

Also at the Walker was Unpacking the Box  anchored by the Marcel Duchamp Boite en valise. But there were mulitlpe modern and fluxus takes on this theme as well.  Everything was small, portable and limited editions. These works were all meant to be touched but of course now they are safely displayed behind glass. However a little video with a museum handler in white gloves did demonstration how they could be played with as these works do rather looks like toys. Curators: Jordan Carter and Victoria Sung


Ben Vautier

Marcel Duchamp


Weisman Art Museum


Frank Gehry giant fish sculpture made from slabs of glass and steer structure. This work rises into the antrium of the space. 

The Talking Cure


 WAM’s Target Studio for Creative Collaboration is a special space in the museum and this show was one where the artist encouraged you to come up with your own stories to add meaning to her works.. Sometimes this seems like a sort of cop out, but the works were so visually strong that they encourage contemplation. If the artist has there own personal story about each peace, even if we don't hear it, there does seem to be an honesty about the work and these works felt that way. 


Melissa Stern

Melissa Stern

Melissa Stern


The Broad Los Angeles

The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles which opened in September of 2015. It is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection. The 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space. I wonder what a person from the future would think of our civilization by viewing this art. 


Ellen Gallagher is one of my most favorite artists for this series of work.



Ellsworth Kelly play with your visual senses in this work that is totally flat but seems to change shape as you walk in front of it from side to side. 

Sharon Lockhart work also does the same thing if you concentrate on the diagonals. These are photos of the same scene from different angles but with some variations. The are full size and fill one whole room. 

Malcolm Morley was one of the first artists to win the Turner Prize which begun which I first arrives in the UK over 40 years ago. 

Jaspar Johns




This was my husband's favorite work: Jeff Koons

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

State of the Arts/State of a Website 2017

State of the Arts/State of a Website 2017

In 2017, time will be my most valuable commodity. Taking care of my mother with the help of my husband is a precious job that needs more attention as she travels through the journey of her life. We all must choose how to use our energies, both physical and mental. We wasted so much emotion on the election last year, and I would not like that to happen in 2017. So I see an efficient website as a vital part of my life.

The San Diego Visual Arts Network still favors a front page layout to include as much information as possible about events and projects in the region. We know that many sites focus on just a few current events, but as we represent 2500 resources in San Diego, this just seems too restricted for us.

In 2016, we added an automated scrolling featured event feature on the home page which is now fully illustrated and can also be seen on a new featured event page.  We added a voting app for our New Contemporaries Exhibitions that can be utilized by other organizations as well. You have to be present to vote for an artist which helps eliminate stuffing the voting box, a concern for everyone in this election year. We made it easier for everyone listing on our calendar to add images which no longer have to be online.

Website design has changed constantly and we at SDVAN continue to evolve the website. We are lucky to have the help of Anand Bora of Determinant Studios when we make any changes on the site that involve coding. This has become a valuable relationship because it is so important to respect and trust a good partner for website re-designs. You need good communication and valuable input to help sort out new direction and solve glitches.  Working with this creative company in India brings some time change challenges, but this continues to be a very rewarding and successful relationship for us. Mr. Bora came to San Diego for the first time in 2017 and established some relationships with artists for projects and we applaud these collaborations. . A little know fact is that SDVAN started over 13 years ago with code written in India.

The same evolving nature is true of email and event companies. We are lucky to have found John Campbell whose newly launch Smorgborg is a development of his Campbell Network which has supported us for years . Still in beta testing, we so lucky to be already using this new system that eliminates the need to maintain multiple mailing lists on different platforms. Smorgborg will be launching all sorts of new features in the coming months. When we add back end mailing list improvements, it frees us to work on other projects, and that is vital.

We are also grateful to continue our relationship with IMhosted. When the site goes down as all sites do occasionally, they are quick and efficient in helping us to stay visible. Their generous support keeps our cost down and our spirit high.


We are very involved with the North County Arts Network. We see this new organization as a pilot for other regions which could eventually join together to form a much needed SD County Arts Council. The NCAN website needs to focus on aiding collaborations, which is the most important job of a council. These collaborations are what bring a community together. Watch for a newly launched NCAN site in 2017 which will be an exceptional venue for sharing and promoting our interconnectivity.

Finally I join with all of you to hope for a peaceful and diverse New Year with opportunities for all. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Can Falling behind put you ahead?

The following blog was written before the election results. I have to say that more than ever we need a way to pull the community together and art has enormous power to do just that. The arts are fabulous because they are diverse and because art is a great way to show respect to all people. Being inclusive and transparent are cornerstones of San Diego Visual Arts Network. Please remember us in your year end donations.


Falling behind puts you ahead

There are so many times in our high tech lives where we feel we are not keeping up. But I have two instances which demonstrate that sometimes, falling behind puts you ahead.

The San Diego Visual Arts Network (SDVAN www.sdvisualarts.net) was constructed in 2003 and the coding that was used for the site is very old fashion as 13 years on the internet is a lifetime. Even when the site was updated about 5 years later, there was still no drop down sub-menus attached to the top menu bar. Little did we know that drop down menus are not very accessible on smart phones.  So now even though the home site is not the most user friendly on a smart phone, you can access all of our information.

AND our brand new app at www.sdvan.net/app is completely smart phone ready and easy to access. So if you are wondering how to find wonderful art at any time, just access the app, it will locate you and tell you about events near by and locate them on a map for you with directions on how to get there.  

Have you been as annoyed as we have with pop up ads on the internet? We have started to use ad blockers and that helps eliminate them. It turns out that so many people are using ad blockers that the advertisers are really worried about dropping sales and the sites that rely on their revenue may be starting to be in trouble. Although we don’t know what the future will bring, advertisers will probably find a way over this hurdle.  But on SDVAN, we never have put up ads to support the site. We raise funds through private donations, so you will never be annoyed by ads on our site. Nice to know we did something right, right from the beginning.

Help us continue this service to you and the community who knows how vital the arts are to the health of our region. We hope you will join in on Tuesday November 29, and give big to our 100% volunteer organization.



Art to Spare

In this season of giving, let’s think a bit about exploring the possibility of giving away some art. You might be thinking about this if and when your art storage is full to overflowing or if you have to downsize to a smaller space or maybe you are just worrying about what will happen to your art if something happens to you?

Two options have come to my attention lately. One is to announce to friends and family that you have art that needs a foster home. They choose which works to adopt and sign an agreement that they will give the artist two weeks notice if the space becomes unavailable. The artist will give a month’s notice if the work is needed.

The other option is to think about donating your art to a non-profit facility that needs enlivening. Art has the ability to change lives and placing your art in a care center of some kind could be healing not only for the residents but for the staff as well.

These schemes have pros and cons. The obvious pro is that larger numbers of people will see your work than if is stuck under a bed, in a dark closet or in an expensive storage unit. You could save money and even find new clients. There could be a possibility that when you want the work back, the fosterer will be willing to pay to keep it. The main con could be that giving away your work might undermine the sales value of the work you are still marketing.

So these options might be best for those artists who are at the end of their career and wondering what will happen to their life’s work, especially if they do not have a knowledgably relative to inherit. Or maybe for artist who are socially conscious and have the funds available to support themselves without sales. 


With thanks to Anne Mudge who told me about art fostering and Jan Phillips who reported on Ruth Westriech who has an art for donation explanation on her website. 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Annual San Diego Tourism Authority (SDTA) Workshop




I try to attend the Annual San Diego Tourism Authority  (SDTA) Workshop workshop about every five years to see how this powerful group evaluate and increases its goals to bring tourist to our region. In general the SDTA is SD City centric, but their remit is the whole of the county. The San Diego Tourism Authority is a private, non-profit, mutual benefit corporation composed of approximately 1,000 member organizations, businesses, local governments, and individuals. Members include lodging, dining, arts & attractions, shopping, and transportation i.e. any company even indirectly involved in tourism. It is funded in part by members and the San Diego Tourism Marketing District (City of SD Lodgings) with City of San Diego Tourism Marketing.(City of SD Economic Development) assessment funds. 

Tourism is the second largest segment of San Diego's economy and employs approximately 180,900 people. SDTA invests $25 million dollars in advertising and promotional programs. Tourists spend $9.9 million and the TOT (Tax on Tourist) raises $246 million of which $180 million in SD City Only. Tourism as revenue is second only to Research/Technology/Innovation in our region. This is another good reason to combine both in STEAM (Science Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) education. 

With 80 on staff a large part of their business is bringing large meetings and conventions into our centers and hotels. They do this by showing perspective decision makers, how fabulous the area is climate, hotels, restaurants and especially attractions like Sea World and the SD Zoo not to forget the 85 art institutions. A terrific program is called Kids Free in October. Over 40 museums are allowing kids 12 or under in for free with a paid adult for the whole month. 

The Brand they are promoting is San Diego Owns a Sunny Outlook and The People + The Place + The Climate = Inspired Optimism.  SDTA’s stance is that San Diego is different from LA because we are authentic and collaborative. Climate is important but also the people and the natural and built environment. What is surprising is that it is the we rate 5th in the county for programming which is a big part supplied by the arts. 

They very cleverly are starting an award program for hotel (Rancho Bernardo Inn) and sales person (Rachel Strong) who performs outstanding services for the quarter, sort of an Art Prize for Tourism.

The media breakout was cancelled but the B2B (Business to Business) Social Marketing panel was interesting thanks to industry panelists including special guests Tyler Anderson, and Stephanie Liu well versed on facebook, Instagram, twitter, and SDTA's Ernie Rossow, National Sales Director  and Nick Karvounis, B2B Content Editor. Introductions for all the presenters below were made by Dave Mering. We were also treated to this video of him seeing all three attractions which was a real hoot. Here are a few tips I picked up:

  • In postings, be yourself, have fun, tell your story and your history
  • Drill down on your hash tags, from the large audience to the individual interest
  • Use video to go behind the scene for more interest
  • If you use paid ads on facebook, make sure your placement is not on the side rail but in the Newsfeed
  • Reach out for additional curated posted from others on topic

It was interesting to see that the attractions are all taking on cause marketing. Legoland Empowers Children. The Zoo save endangered species and Sea World is in the middle of re-inventing itself as an educational institution concentrating on the oceans. 

Here are links to the presentations followed by links to the info they gave us on flash drives for anyone who wants to dive deeper.
  • San Diego Tourism Authority, Kerri Kapich
  • Port of San Diego, Karen Porteous – great new resort projects in both National City and Chula Vista will be considered outside public living rooms.  The bridge lights on Coronado Bridge are back on track.
  • San Diego Airport, Thella Bowens  - yes, Terminal 1 is being upgraded and then replace entirely for $1.5 billion. She also acknowledged how much the art de-stresses the travel experience.
    * Airport Presentation
    * Thella's Notes
  • San Diego Zoo, Ted Molter  - The new Watering Hole at the Safari park will be promoted for weddings and parties. Africa Rocks is a brand new display.
  • SeaWorld San Diego, Barbara Drahl
  • Legoland, Peter Kock, director of marketing - The last time I visited, Logoland was rather small and seemed a joy only for 5 year olds. They have added attractions every year like Star Wars coming 2017 and now have a hotel like a proper resort and are building another hotel and expanding parking.  I was impressed that one of the three attractions presented was in Carlsbad. 
 





Friday, September 23, 2016

Old Fashion or Out of Fashion?


I am well into my 6th decade and as I look around me I realize I could with no stretch of the imagination be considered cutting edge. But that quantity of age does mean I might deserve a second look.

I have to admire those who take responsibility for longevity, creating a concept that can last over time. An older generation has, through experience, developed a logical methodology. They have a proven track record. It is almost like the reassurance we gain from having a belief in an omnipotent being that has a plan

I also know that there is a wonderful freedom in consistently adopting change. With change comes a feeling of dislocation, but that is necessary for the new to happen. A less structured approach comes from the gut and from observation of the world around us. Nature has a magic way of evolving and adapting to circumstances.

We need the world to make sense when times are uncertain. We need to be disruptive when things become boring and staid.

I believe that I have experienced both of these extremes. So it turns out that I am old fashion and out of fashion now. I will stay old, but fashion does come around. And being both maybe is not such a bad thing.  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Art of Science Learning Proof of Impact..The Facts, just the facts

By Patricia Frischer

We have been waiting for several years for the final reports from the Innovation Incubation project from the Art of Science Learning. As you may remember this was a three city project with the hub in San Diego, but funded on the East Coast by Harvey Seifter through the NFS. . The project put together artists and scientist but gave both a crash course in collaboration with added thinking skills. The idea at the end of the project was to do a test to see if this learning actually affected the number and quality of the innovation outcomes. The report is now published. It confirms what many of us know, but these vital recording of the facts and figures are so important for future funding and to convince a wider audience of the worth of the arts in science learning. As you can read below and in the full report four major areas were tracked. Students gained creative thinking skills. Adults improved their collaborative capacity. Student had a better results in their STEM learning and there was a knock positive affect on their problem solving in everyday life.

Here is the article intro written by
Harvey Seifter

Arts-Based Learning Leads to Improvements in Creative Thinking Skills, Collaborative Behaviors and Innovation Outcomes
 
In 2012, with the support of the National Science Foundation, we set out to test the hypothesis that integrating the arts into STEM-related innovation training results in enhanced creative thinking skills, more robust collaborative processes and stronger innovation outcomes. 
Today, we are pleased to publish Audience Viewpoints Consulting's independent report of our four year effort. Its findings provide clear evidence of a strong causal relationship between arts-based learning and improved creativity skills and innovation outcomes in adolescents, and between arts-based learning and increased collaborative behavior in adults.
The full report, as well as an executive summary, can be downloaded from our website at:
KEY FINDINGS
Arts-Based Learning Improved Creative Thinking Skills in Adolescents
High school groups using arts-based learning showed statistically significant increases in a wide range of creative and critical thinking skills.
Arts-Based Learning Increased Collaborative Behaviors in Adults
STEM professionals using arts-based learning showed significant increases in sharing leadership, empathic listening, trust, respect and emotionally intelligent behavior. Control groups only showed an increase in emotionally intelligent behavior, and in that behavior the arts-based groups outperformed the control groups by a statistically significant margin.
Arts-Based Learning Led to Stronger STEM Innovation Outcomes in Adolescents
Expert panelists rated the STEM innovations created by the high school teams using arts-based learning significantly higher in terms of insight, clarity, problem solving and impact than those of the high school control teams.
Arts-Based Learning Helped Adolescents Apply STEM Learning to Their Everyday Lives
High school students experiencing arts-based learning reported a significantly greater rate of transferring their innovation learning to subsequent academic work, home life and extracurricular activities than did the control group.
We are grateful to Americans for the Arts, American Association for the Advancement of Science and Association of Science-Technology Centers, our national partners, for their advice and support over the years; and to Balboa Park Cultural Partnership and EcoTarium, who hosted our research.
We are especially grateful to the National Science Foundation’s Advancing Informal STEM Learning program, which made this research possible with its generous support.

Monday, July 25, 2016

August Challenges



August is the month that I look forward to every year. It is a time when my wonderful husband goes on a fishing trip to Canada and leaves me to wander the house on my own. I usually have a few days to wind down where I socialize, but I try to dedicate at least two week to myself and my own art.

Many people do not know that I have a master degree in sculpture from California College of Art and was a relatively successful painter in London for about 25 years.  No, I did not manage to make a living from my art, but I have sold over 300 painting and have a fairly reputable resume of one person and group exhibitions. I was head of an art department in an international school and also worked in an art gallery for a few years.

When I arrived in San Diego, I realized very quickly that the market for my type of work was not massive. I had trouble finding like minds at first, but now I am so happy to have a group of friends and colleagues who are stimulating and entertaining and loyal. I know that sometimes I am too busy, but I have a hard time saying no to an idea that supports artists and the arts in our community.

But these two weeks are a particular challenge as I try to come to grips with my own art. Ideas stream through my brain and most are dismissed. I have desires to make politically thoughtful work at a time when I find we are in a leadership quagmire.  I would like to speak about the changes happening to my 96 year old mother. I have an idea of making a series of portraits of muses from a project I helped with a few years ago. I have an opportunity to work with cast glass and want to make something memorable and unique.  

I put incredible pressure on myself and then I have just have to stop and remember to have fun. This is not opting out but instead a way to tap into less conscious ideas. I have to have faith that what bubbles up is meant to be.

I will miss my fabulous husband horribly while he is gone, but I can’t wait for him to leave!

Four banners I created for the Passport to France event in July