Patricia by Patricia

Patricia by Patricia
Patricia by Patricia

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Your Donations make a difference - Web Wonders

Over the years, we have been collecting a list of certain improvements that need to be made on the site in order to remove glitches and simply make it easier and more efficient to use the site. In 2015, we hired Anand Bora a web developer from Determinant Studios  in Bangalore, India. Anand was part of our DNA of Creativity project working on the PAMM project (Poly Aesthetics: Mapping of the Muses). We had a great challenge for Anand as the original site was constructed in 2003 in India, which is ancient history in web terms. He has performed miracles to sort out our code, clean up the site and make some wonderful improvements for the user and for the administration of the site.

We highly recommend Anand Bora for any web design needs you may have, and will be continuing to use his services for even more improvements to the site, especially with your kind end of the year donations to SDVAN.  We would like to add more search capacity especially for collectors looking to make commissions, added categories for mediums and locations for artists, continuing safety features, and a rating system for events by the public.  

Just in the last year we have added: 

Lots of back end admin changes have been made to make is easier to use and for the site to be more safe from virus and robot attacks. 

A print function on the top left of each page.

The resource search function has been repaired and you can once again search for a type of resource in one part of the county.

There is now an alphabetical search possible for Art Resources divided into first letter categories.

There is a new easy way to upload image for event listings. You can just browse your own computer for an image. The image no longer has to be online. Images up to 500kb can be used.

Every page for the search is now properly branded and linked with our menu bar.

We have fixed the am/pm confusion and now all listing for month, day and year are on pacific standard time.

San Diego Visual Arts Network  is a  database of information  produced  to improve the clarity, accuracy and sophistication of discourse about San Diego's artistic and cultural life and is dedicated to the idea that the Visual Arts are a vital part of the health of our city.

Did you know:

The SDVAN  connects almost 1,000 organizations and nearly 1500 artists and is  the largest resource ever brought together to support the visual arts community in the entire region of San Diego.  Its potential for influence within the entire community is great.

SDVAN is a nonprofit  entity which provides representation and support for the entire visual arts community through its directory and calendar services and is FREE.

How you can help:

$100 pays for updates for the directory for one month
$500 covers the cost of making feature event banner status for five exhibitions
$700 prints a flyer for the year
$1000 makes possible additional improvements on the site like posting images
$2000 will create a rating system for our new View Art Now App
$5000 supports the SD Art Prize

Support SDVAN and you receive more than the gift of art.  You support that which binds us together that goes beyond religion, race, or gender. You support our freedom to express ourselves and to gather to celebrate our creativity. 

Donate to SDVAN online, by phone or by post. Those of you who can give $25 of more will be listed on the permanent sponsor page
Thank you so much for your tax deductible donation to our 100% volunteer non-profit. 

For more information: or contact  (760) 943 0148

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankful for STEM into STEAM

by Patricia Frischer

We got the good news today through John Eger that STEM May Become STEAM Officially (Huffington Post). This would be a huge step for nationally for the arts. It recognizes the value of the arts in making a well rounded student capable of performing to the highest levels at any endeavor they may choose.  Cutting the arts from education in the 70's was a huge mistake and we are lucky that the world is still turning as remedial arts training is necessary for a whole generation of students not given any help in being able to work well in teams, to communicate their vision, or think of original, innovative ideas. 

According to John Eger, ",,,  last week, the caucus--through Congresswoman Bonamici--successfully added an amendment to the rewrite of the nation's Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) legislation that will integrate the arts into STEM education.

According to Americans for the Arts, " The bill next goes to the House and Senate for final (and likely) passage in early December before landing on the President's desk."

The amendment specifically calls for "integrating other academic subjects, including the arts, into STEM programs to increase participation in STEM, improve attainment of STEM-related skills, and promote well-rounded education."

Chula Vista is on the forefront of this push. They have spent $15 million to hire 72 elementary school teachers for the district. My hope is for every city in San Diego county to spend $15 million or more on the arts in 2016.  But for now we are grateful  to see this come down from on high and be a mandate for schools throughout America.


Friday, October 9, 2015

ART MAKES THINGS STRANGE: Looking at and Talking About Art

I had the pleasure on being on a panel in early October at SDAI. I made a presentation but I came away with lots of new ideas as well delivered by the other panelist and audience.We were all delighted with Jennifer DeCarlo's  (jdc fine art ) idea of an art participation pyramid.  It is built on a strong base of community involvement with art writers and curators, art administrators, gallerist as you climb to the peak. Artist are too free to be part of the structure but hoover all around.

Jennifer DeCarlo Cultural Consumer Pyramid
One of the most interesting things about the evening was the comment that San Diego only needs sun, tech and the border. Maybe we do put too much energy in cultivating the general public. But my belief in the power of art is so great that I see it as a necessity like food, water and shelter. If art is this powerful in a great many lives, it does seem as if everyone would benefit from it. I admire communities that know and practice their daily involvement in the arts.They are richer for it.
Funding For The Arts Month @ SDAI Oct 8 Looking at and Talking About Art (Jennifer DeCarlo, Director of jdc fine art; Larry Baza, Chair of the San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture; Patricia Frischer, Founder of the San Diego Visual Arts Network; Alessandra Moctezuma, Professor of Fine Art and Director of the Mesa College Art Gallery)

Here is my presentation for the evening:

I have chosen to speak about the young or newly interested potential art gamer. This is someone who might have gone to the meet up at one of the museums like TNT at MOCA or Night Owl at Athenaeum or Culture and Cocktails at SDMA or Art After Dark at OMA. They might be tempted to attend by the possibility of picking up a date. But Art is not an everyday occurrence in our lives. It is a strange thing that makes us notice ordinary things in a new light. What we need younger generations to realize is that when you look hard and talk about a work of art, you are actually defining yourself. You reveal yourself to others and if you are lucky to yourself.  

Most viewers have an inferiority complex and think you need an art history degree for the ability to understand art. This is compounded by many artists not being able to speak about their work. But a viewer can start by describing exactly what is viewed. Start with size, color, line, content and before you know it ideas will start to flow about content and meaning and you will bring yourself into the experience. Simply by describing a work you can start the process and once started here are some questions to enrich that dialogue.

What one art works would you choose to give as a gift and to whom would you give it?
Which artwork speaks to you and what does it say?
If you could meet one of these artists which would you choose to meet?
If you could walk inside one of these works in miniature, which would you choose?
Can you imagine this artwork in your home and where would you put it? Why does it relate to that place?

How did you think the artist got the idea for the piece?
What is the media used and why do you think that was chosen to fabricate it?
What do you like most about it?
What does it remind you of?
What did you learn looking at this art work?
Did this work remind you of another work?
Why do you think you like or dislike it?

Artist can do the same thing:  
Start with a paragraph description of an art work of yours you like best.
How did you get the idea for the piece?
Why did you choose that media to fabricate it?
What do you like most about it?
What does it remind you of?
What did you learn by doing this art work?
Did this work lead you to make another work?
Who bought or expressed a liking for the work and why do you think they bought or liked it?

Artist can interview themselves as a way of preparing to create a dialogue

When did you first start creating artwork?
What media do you use? 
Is there a reason you choose that medium?
Do you start out with an idea of the end in mind?
What inspires your work?
When you conceive or set about executing a work of art, do you think you're guided mostly by a constant driving inner aesthetic?  Or do you think you're in some significant way reacting to the world around you - to culture or the economy, say?
Do you think that you actually see the world differently than other people?
Does religion, or any sort of spiritual belief, play in the creation of your work?
Who would you say are your greatest influences? Or is there a particular historical period from which you draw inspiration?
What's your history of working in San Diego?
Does your work sell well in another geographical area?  If so, why do you think that is?
Is it ever hard to part with a work?
Did you ever consider expressing yourself in other art forms?
What do you think art is really about today?
Do you have a favorite art work among your creations?
How do you know you've finished a particular art work? i.e. How do you know when to stop working on a piece?
When it comes right down to it, what do you like best about making art?
How can people see your art and buy it?

Or an artist could:
Keep a diary - write up notes during the creation of the work and pull information from those notes.

Or an artist could
Interview a good friend about the art work and borrow the best bits

Yes, I do mean you may have never said, "I'll buy that one, please."

1.       When the lights are on in an art sales gallery after 5 o'clock and a crowd has gathered, it means you can walk right in, have a drink and a bite to eat and look at the art.  No invitation is needed.  You don't have to pay to enter and you won't be pressured to buy anything.  Gallery openings are listed in magazines and newspapers and you are welcome to attend.
2.       One of the pleasures of owning a work of art is meeting the artist.  There are many opportunities for this to happen.  Go to an exhibition opening and the artist is often present.  Most cities have an open studio tour or an art walk (San Diego has both). An art dealer may be able to arrange a meeting and most artists welcome a call from you directly to arrange to see more of their work.
3.       Celebrate if you fall in love with an artwork.  This is a totally valid reason to buy.  Like in any good love match, if you treasure it, it will reward you. Give yourself permission to own the work. Long term you will learn more and more about it and about yourself.
4.       It is also OK to buy a work because it fits the d├ęcor of your home.  Just make sure you have an emotional and/or intellectual connection to the work as well.
5.       Don't hesitate to buy a work of art to commemorate a special event or to remember a favorite place or feeling.  Many famous collections were started in just this way.
6.       If you do happen to like one of the works but you are unsure, ask if you can take it home to see if you can live with the artwork.
7.       If you are nervous about buying or even looking at art, seek out a friend, an art collector, an art dealer or consultant to mentor you.  Some artists are excellent mentors and can speak well about a whole range of artwork.
8.       If you buy art, you may eventually outgrow it.  This is all right and you can sell the work, give it away or put it in the attic and see if it can tell you more later.  Just make sure and replace it with a new work.
9.       Once you buy an artwork, share it with friends and let them experience the joy, insight and pleasure from the works that surround you. Your art defines you and is another way to show who you are.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Maker's Spaces

Three big art fairs are coming to town. The one you probably know about is at Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show  Nov 5 -8 because SDVAN displays the San Diego Art Prize 2015 at this show and has done every year. It is again at the Balboa Park Activity Center. The SD Makers Fair on Oct 3 & 4 is sponsored in part by the Balboa Park Cultural  Partnership at the Fleet Science Museum. SD STEAM Maker Festival is Dec 5 at O’Brian Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The last two of these shows are a way to see everything that is going on at Maker’s Spaces within the global Maker Movement which is DIY nirvana. Marker’s spaces vary but all seem to offer a variety of prices to come and use equipment of all sorts with training on the use of that equipment.  Here is a summary of the shows and the spaces.  

Maker Faire

SD Makers Faire Fleet Science Musuem,Balboa Park, Oct 3 and 4, 10 am to 6 pm Adults $20 - $30, Children $12.50 to $$18.75 includes entrance to 10 Balboa Park Museums.
Part high tech science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to celebrate the Maker Movement, a global tech influenced do it yourself community that celebrates new products and services. The Balboa Park Cultural Partnership, San Diego Makers Guild and Tijuana Innovadora are partnering with the City of San Diego to put on this first ever event showcasing innovators and creators from our bi-national region. The first Maker Faire launched in May 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area and was quickly followed by Faires in Austin, Detroit and New York City, as well as others around the world. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry to becoming a Maker and this launched the Maker Movement which fuels Maker Faire.

The 2015 San Diego STEAM Maker Festival  Dec 5th 2015, 10:00am to 5:00pm Adults: $8, children under 18 $6. Parking $10  at O’Brian Hall, Del Mar Fairgrounds.
SD STEAM makers Festival is designed to bridge the gap between school based STEAM programs and the MAKER Movement STEAM is STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) with the added A of Arts. . Over 120 booths, displays and presentations will showcase local school programs, crafters, makers and the people and companies that are driving the next wave of creative technologies. Expect to see local and national companies with every vendor  providing an activity or demonstration to enjoy. Plus meet charities making a difference in children’s lives. STEAM Maker Festival is a celebration for all-ages, a gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. This is an expos combined with an educational event. Save $2 on any full price ticket by using the discount code STEAM when buying online until Dec 1. 

17th Annual High Tech Fair is Oct 14-15 sponsored by the San Diego Science Alliance and the San Diego County Office of Education, the High Tech Fair is free and open to the public. It takes place in Bing Crosby Hall at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.Special Student-Parent Night Wednesday, October 14, 5- 8 pm. Parents can connect with their children and learn more ab out science, technology, engineering and mathematics at the upcoming High Tech Fair.

The following spaces offer multiple membership plans and give you an opportunity with trained helpers to make your own things.  


MakerPlace has  a complete metal, wood and electronic shop, classroom with work areas. Think of it as your dream shop… the one you’d build if you had a really big garage and a huge budget … a large number of expensive tools, many computer controlled, available for your unlimited use. Multi-needle embroidery and industrial sewing machines are available for your construction of personalized gifts, shirts, caps, backpacks and comforters. A 3-D printer can create real durable plastic objects from just a drawing. Large format, high powered lasers are available to cut shapes from wood, plastic or many metals or delicately engrave messages on wine glasses. A computer controlled vinyl cutter can make precise signs, decals or sand blasting masks. Welders, benders, brakes, shears, mills, an English wheel and a complete (legal) paint spray booth are ready to make or modify your motorcycle, bike, or ATV. The wood shop offers a planer, shaper, sanders, drill press, a large format 3 axis cnc router, numerous saws and a lathe all with integral sawdust management. If some of these tools are unfamiliar, MakerSpace offers classes that will teach members how to safely operate their machines, which are available as needed for one low cost membership. $79 to $160 per month
1022 West Morena Blvd, Suite H, SD, 92110 Tel: 619.225.7288
Shop Hours:  9am - 9pm - 7 days a week. Facility tours available @ 11 AM, 1 PM, 3 PM & 5 PM everyday. No appointment necessary. Closed toe shoes required.

Open Source Maker Labs  is a high-tech digital fabrication lab, where members can learn, collaborate, innovate, design, and build almost anything. Makers of all ages and skill levels have access to a wide range of tools, equipment, resources, and workspace. Makers, do it yourself (DIY) technology enthusiasts, students, and startup entrepreneurs can leverage open source designs and projects. Activities include 3D printing, electronics, robotics, and the use of advanced CNC tools. OSML has a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively. Prices from $35 per day, from $70 - $130 for month
2591 Pioneer Ave., Suite G, Vista CA 92081. Tel: 760.998.1522
Shop Hours: Tues - Fri 6 -9 PM, Sat 9 AM - 6 PM, Sun 1 - 6 PM

Fab Lab is a non-profit community space that gives access to the tools, training, and community needed to feel comfortable making just about anything. Memberships are open to everyone. Started by the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms in 2007, Fab Lab San Diego is one part of a large network of Labs across the world.  These labs are production workshops and small-scale innovation hubs equipped with digital fabrication machines and technologies for the production of objects, tools and electronics. Fab Labs are organized around a global network connecting 100 laboratories in more than 30 countries, from South Africa to Norway or Amsterdam center to an ashram in India. Fab Labs are building one of the largest networks of knowledge and people in the world that is growing exponentially worldwide, it is expected to double in the next two years. Fab Lab San Diego is a founding tenant of Makers Quarter in San Diego’s upper East Village. Prices start from $75
847 14th Street (at E Street) , SD 92101 
Shop Hours: Monday - Friday: 2:00pm–10:00pm, Saturday: 12:00am–8:00pm

Makers Quarter™ is a gathering place of San Diego’s Artists and Innovators, and the heart of our city’s Maker Movement. The Maker Spirit has always been part of the fabric of East Village, from the original home of Jerome’s Furniture almost a century ago, to the craft brewers at Monkey Paw, to the modern day Makers who perfect and teach their crafts in the Moniker Warehouse today. Makers Quarter™ is located as an extension of the East Village tech corridor and serves as the hub for San Diego’s urban innovation economy, offering the environment and culture that inspires our city’s entrepreneurs, artists and makers to unleash their creativity. The following are found in the Makers Quarter: Silo,  Smarts Farm, Monkey Paw, FabLab, Moniker Warehouse, Urban Discovery Academy, San Diego City College, Fuse Integration

Bio, Tech & Beyond is an innovation space established by the city Carlsbad to promote biotech and STEM based ventures. They incubate programs that relate to start up businesses, education, new technologies and solutions for enabling more sustainable healthcare. The aim is to be an economic hub that companies, organizations and individuals can utilize for business development. Currently the facility is being sustained through low cost lab space rentals. But they also are working with reagent and consumable vendors for establishing a product distribution center and instrumentation providers for show casing new equipment or refurbishing old equipment. BTNB was founded by Joseph Jackson who helped start BioCurious and Kevin Lustig who is founder/CEO of AssayDepot.
2351 Faraday Ave, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Tours available by appointment contact


Thinkabit Lab at Qualcomm, also referred to as the STEM Lab, is the combination of a lab, makerspace, and classroom for middle school students to learn about STEM careers, as well as participate in engineering experiments to promote the importance of STEM opportunities and skills for all. The Lab allows students to experience what it is engineers do at Qualcomm. Students are led by teachers and engineers as they create, collaborate, and present their Robo Crafts. They’re encouraged to innovate, partner and execute in ways that represent 21st century skills.
5775 Morehouse Drive, San Diego, CA 92121

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

In Praise of Saying Thank You

I have been listening to the radio in the car this week. I usually end up with a take away. No, the universe is not speaking to me, but someone on the airwaves seems to be communicating directly to me. Sometimes I even have to keep listening to the radio even after I pull the car into the garage. (My garage only has two sides so I don’t worry about carbon monoxide.) But the downside is that I don’t have any idea who it was that said what I found inspiring so I can’t quote names or organizations.

For example, I came in on the middle of a discussion by an art marketing specialist. The interviewer asked her the one biggest mistake that artist make in promoting their work. I held my breath for the answer. Would it be over or under pricing, meaningless artist statements, or maybe getting drunk at their own opening receptions? No to all of these. IT WAS NOT SAYING THANK YOU ENOUGH.

Sounds simple, but I started thinking of all the people I say thank you to and how it is never enough: Artists involved in SDVAN projects, art gallery and museum directors, patrons who give donations, writers who report on our SDVAN efforts, masses of volunteers, our Indian software expert, community leaders who support the arts, my family and personal friends that help me through moods swings, stress, ranting, and who feed and walk me and all those people on the radio and their words of wisdom.

So I researched how to say thank you. Be sincere, be grateful and be specific. It can be in person, over the phone, in a text, in an email and don’t forget the classic written note.  I could be saying thank you 24 hours a day, day in and day out. But can one be sincere day in and day out….I know I am grateful every moment of my life. But sincerity can be exhausting and much harder to muster if you think you should be grateful but the “gift” was more trouble than it was worth.

Deep down my mother loves to get compliment and thanks, but she always shrugs it off as insincere. She does not think she is worthy because thinking you are worthy is too prideful and to be resisted.

And who says thank you to me? Masses do but a lot of what I do is never acknowledged. The thanks is seeing a worthy project happen and the fun I have in participating. Do we need to start saying thank you to those who thank us? Do others think that saying thank you, is a thankless task?

Next on the radio was news of the drop by 1000 points of the stock market. Echoes of 1929, but the reassuring words came fast. THE STOCK MARKET IS NOT THE ECONOMY. The Economy is fine. I am grateful for this viewpoint. Who do I send a thank you note to for the good night’s sleep I can have tonight?  

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Naimeh Tanha Woodard

Queen of  Parties and Art Supporter par Excellence

I think it is time to pay homage to Naimeh Tanha Woodard who has whole heartily supported local arts since I was first asked to train her in 2006.
She was a health care executive who spend many hours in hospitals as part of her job so she had a very good idea of how patients and their families as well as health care providers​ ​could benefit from the arts. She did not want to become an art therapist, but instead wanted to make sure that the healing powers of art was available to all seekers. She had a website constructed and presented art that was created specifically to help those with health challenges.  

She was able to start a healing arts program at Scripps and she became a board member of Synergy Arts Foundation which aids artists in need. Several years ago she became a Commissioner for the Arts in Encinitas about the same time that she married the love of her life Jonathan Woodard, businessman and talented musician. They live in a charming home with their dog and chickens, a recording studio for Jonathan and a new art studio for Naimeh. Naimeh's daughter is in training to be a doctor.

Naimeh is a terrific party giver and has become known for their annual carrot cakes competitions that have morphed into salsa competitions, and celebrations of all types. The last was for Jonathan's 60th birthday and was complete with a dance performance by Ballet Folklorica de San Dieguito and delicious Mexican cuisine. This group
​was formed and is supported by the Encinitas Friends of the Arts and started right after the first celebration of the Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Death ​
which Naimeh helped bring to Encinitas.

A large part of her duties now as commission is to direct the Encinitas Friends of the Arts organization. This fledgling group has been tasked with gathering together volunteers and supporters and funds mainly to elevate cultural arts in Encinitas, to support the artists and arts organizations in Encinitas while raising funds for a city owned art center. . With Naimeh's extensive world knowledge, putting on a series of events exploring cultures from across the nations is a great fit. The first was Passport to Persia, followed by Passport to Cuba and now at the end of August, we are getting to enjoy  Passport to India. Her skill lies in putting together a great team, offering a large variety of enjoyable experiences and being sensitive to the customs of each area. Naimeh Tanha Woodard is a gift to our arts community. Go to her events and will discover new joys.

The third passport event in Encintias is Passport to India: Tradition to Transition produced by Encinitas Friends of the Arts on Fri. Aug 28 from 6 to 10 pm at Encinitas Community Center (1140 Oakcrest Park Drive, Encinitas, 92024) Tickets $20 to $50 More info: The Passport to Persia and the Passport to Cuba would both exciting events and so don’t miss this one featuring Featuring
Singer: Rahis Khan,
DJ/Drummer: Vikas Srivastava,
Dancers: Kirti Srivastava ,UCSD Zor, Payal,
Visual Artists: Bhavna Mehta, Sushila Srivastava and Preet Srivastava


Isaias Crow Portrait of Naimeh Tahna

Isaias Crow Portrait of Jonathan Woodword

Monday, July 20, 2015

Changes to the SD Art Prize

I was thrilled that Kinsee Morlan of City Beat choose to write about the SD Art Prize and changes we are considering. She presents a fair and accurate reporting of our thoughts which you can read below. I was always surprised that there was not more controversy about this prize in San Diego and I am very glad to see an open discussion about it. Our intention was to shine a light and and even make some new local art stars and get a bit more attention for the high quality of  art in our region. We added an mentoring aspect but collaboration, education and recognition were always the most important aspects of this project. 

As we move forward with an experiment in smart device public voting, we hope to continue that  push to create partnerships, to inform the public and to see our artist recognized in all their glory. 

To that end, a number of the SD Art Prize artist recipients will be featured in Open Walls Project which is focusing on the SD Art Prize this year. These are large billboards (a bit larger than 10 by 22 feet) scattered through the city. The Open Walls is made possible  by the presenting sponsors Art San Diego Contemporary Art Show and CBS Outdoor.

Rethinking the SD Art Prize: City Beat by Kinsee Morlan

Organizers are proposing big changes set to take effect next year

Patricia Frischer - Photo by Maurice Hewitt

Most people who pay attention to the local art scene know about the San Diego Art Prize, but few truly understand it. The confusion and some ongoing complaints are driving organizers to propose major changes to what's become an important and mostly lauded institution over its nine-year history.

"You know, it's always good to have something morph and become something else—nothing should stay exactly the same forever," says Patricia Frischer, coordinator of San Diego Visual Arts Network, the volunteer-run nonprofit organization behind the prize.
The Art Prize is an award given every year to two established artists and two emerging artists. The four artists win modest grants, exhibitions, educational materials, a write-up in the Art Prize catalog and a decent amount of press. Each year, a special committee convenes to select the two established artists, and each of those artists is then asked to handpick an emerging artist to share the prize.

And here's where things start to get wonky—the established artists are given a list of names of emerging artists chosen by a nominating committee made up of past Art Prize winners and arts professionals. The list is called the "New Contemporaries," and the artists on it are included in an annual exhibition. The established artists are encouraged to go to the exhibition and they can either pick someone from the show or completely ignore the list and award the Art Prize to any local artist they want. Over the years, this piece of the Art Prize puzzle has led to some grumblings, especially from the nominated emerging artists who feel like they've been ignored in exchange for favoritism and even nepotism, as was the case in 2013 when established artist James Hubbell picked his own son, Brennan Hubbell.

"I didn't see the point of having nominations only to [have the established artists] not select any of the emerging artists nominated," says Andrea Chung, one of the dozen emerging artists named this year. "[The San Diego Art Prize] is well-intentioned, but I didn't care for the format."

Another common criticism of the Art Prize is the categorization of artists. In many cases, the artists nominated as emerging are just as accomplished as the established artists. That was certainly an issue in 2009, when longtime artist Richard Allen Morris picked his buddy, Tom Driscoll, to share the prize. Driscoll's been making great art almost as long as Morris.
"You know what emerging is," says Dave Ghilarducci, an artist nominated in the emerging category last year even though his credentials clearly indicate that he's better described as established. "It's young up-and-comers or someone just starting out. If there's a question, then the artist probably isn't really emerging."

Frischer is currently addressing these concerns. She gave CityBeat a first look at a draft of proposed changes, which includes eliminating the established and emerging categories and instead just awarding four artists the Art Prize. Past winners and arts professionals would nominate the artists—similar to how nominations for emerging artists work now. Frischer is also considering letting the public vote alongside the Art Prize committee to select the four winners. 

Other changes are proposed, but nothing will go into effect until next year.
A total of almost $50,000 has ended up in the hands of area artists thanks to the Art Prize. Interesting collaborations between the established and emerging artists have taken place, too, and that's the one aspect Frischer says she'll miss most if the proposed changes take place.

"But you always have to sacrifice something," she says. "There's no such thing as a perfect situation." 

Follow Kinsee on Facebook or Twitter

Monday, June 22, 2015

Spoiled for Choice equals a Guilt Free Art Life

This month I am writing a very simple post about an observation that I hope will make others have a guilt free art life. 

I lived in London for 35 years and London has so many visual arts exhibition, fairs and events that you could never attend them all. I took my students out every Friday to a new major art display at a museum and never ran out of choices. The result was a strange confidence. There is always something to see and do and yes, it is true, when you are tired of London, you are tired of life. 

The result of all this plenty is what I am now feeling in San Diego. When I first arrived and started to make friends and find out what was going on, I tried to attend all the events I could. Sometimes it was quite a thin selection, and I was pretty much able to see everything I was told about. 

But over the last 19 years, San Diego has exploded with art events. Now we are spoiled for choice. Now no matter how hard you try, you could never show up for everything that everyone you know creates. So now I am more relaxed. I know there will always be something to see and I know that no one expects me to show up for this multitude of riches as it is just humanly impossible. Now I enjoy a guilt free art life in San Diego. 

So go out and see some art today, and if not today, then tomorrow. There is plenty to go around.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Scaling Up and Out: The changing audience for the arts.

Sometimes you just need to take the day off and I was more than happy to stay in bed and attend the 2015 Smith Leadership Symposium April 20 at MOPA online.  This was an all day event and although I missed the networking and the lunch and after session cocktails, I think I picked up some valuable insights.The main theme of this symposium was exploring the new audience and how the museum world could address their interests and needs.

This new young millennial Patron is curious, engaged, open minded, looking for new experiences, plugged in because of tech, social, attracted by cool, brand obsessed, looking for meaning, and discerning. They are active, not passive. But they are restless and less loyal. We need to meet them where they live and understand how they feel.

We need to understand the role and value of culture in their lives. They want entertainment and enlightenment; they want to be with friends. They also want enjoyment, enrichment, challenges, aha moments, uses of all senses, and an enlarged world. They want to be uplifted with unique and profound experiences. They use culture to escape stress. They even want to support their community. But they may not want to donate in the tradition way. If we can present the arts as an opportunity to participate instead of a demand for funds, we can create a new paradigm.

They attend events if the cost is right, the subject interests them and if it allows for social interaction. The don’t go if those things are not present and if it is inconvenient to get there. Facebook, Utube and Twitter are still the media of choice. Smart phones and tablets are the devices of choice. Taking and sharing photos, looking at websites and apps, checking in and commenting on shows are all activities on the rise. They don’t join or subscribe much, but when they do, they have to love the institute, it has to offer discounts and the price has to be right.  

Donations are up for those organizations that make a community impact. The new audiences see corporate sponsors as just a way for those to get a marketing benefit but they still admire them for supporting the arts.

Audience behaviors and expectations are ever changing for all age groups.  Leisure time is expanding and new tech continues to alter the way we interface with the world.  How do we embrace this change that is inevitable? So how do we COPE?  My plan is to continue to Collaborate; to make sure that our Online audience development continues by constantly introducing innovative social media experiments; make sure that we include ways for the audience to Participate and have meaningful Experiences at our events and other interactions. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

North County Arts Network meeting at CCAE in Escondido

The second of four 2015 North County Arts Network (NCAN) meetings was held on April 16 at The California Center for the Arts, Escondido (340 North Escondido Boulevard, Escondido, CA 92025). The honorary NCAN host was Jerry Van Leeuwen, the Executive Director of CCAE and all 110 participants were treated to wonderful food and drink by this gracious supporter of north county arts.

Daniel Foster made introductions and explanations as there were many new people attending this event. NCAN aims to strengthen the arts organizations and communities of North County San Diego and beyond through convening, networking, and strategic/collaborative approaches that will produce leveraged impact for arts and culture in the region. The goals for this evenings meeting is to discuss the purpose and forming structure for NCAN, map and survey our NCAN community and priorities, create dialogue and discussion with all attendees, and provide excellent informal networking opportunities to build relationships and sense of community.

A panel facilitated by Leah Goodwin, Education Partnerships, CCAE had in put to help define the need for this newly formed organization  from  Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator, City of Encinitas, Jacquelyn Kilpatrick, Director, School of Arts, CSUSM, Vincent Kitch, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Carlsbad and Wendy Wilson, Executive Director, Escondido Arts Partnership.

There were five break out groups after the panel. I was one of the facilitators for the first group Marketing, Membership, and Development Group with Erin Decker, Sr. Associate Dir. of Development, La Jolla Playhouse.  Alexandra Kritchevsky, Grants Manager, La Jolla Playhouse was our secretary and will be presenting full notes as will the other four groups.  I hope to post those results in the future.

We started with a brief statement about how the three topics were related: Marketing gets people in. Membership makes them want to stay in and Development turns members into supporters. NCAN is all about coming together and that implies collaborations, so collaboration was a big part of our discussion. We discussed sharing an understanding of our audience and the importance of clarity of our message.  I have outlined below just a few of the strategies that were discussed.

Marketing strategies
  • Online networks
  • Best practices in marketing strategies
  • Cross collaborative events/programs jointly marketed
  • Shared ad space
  • Potential shared database of North County arts patrons
  • Splitting the cost of market research 
Membership strategies
  • Joint membership privileges
  • Discounts for members at for profit services and shops
  • Best practices in membership growth and involvement 
Development strategies
  • Joint grants applications (NEA, etc)
  • Joint fundraising events for collaborative programs

I found that five breakout groups were not enough for 110 people and the number of people in our group (over 30) made it more difficult to really know the participants. If we intend to do any real projects together, we need to get to know and trust each other. So I am hoping for no panel and smaller groups at the next session which will be held at the Lux Institute on July 16. We might also need to have a separate pre-event for first timers so they are familiar with NCAN and what we are trying to achieve. I see NCAN very much as a pilot program for other parts of the county. If we can make it work in the north and invite others to form their arts network, we can eventually all join together to form an official SD County Arts Council.

The most exciting aspect for me was to encourage some new brave initiatives that might fail but if they succeed will raise all boats on the tide. Sometimes you need the support and help of your colleagues to make this kind of leap of faith.

The four other groups were:

Visual Arts Programming Group
Wendy Wilson, Executive Director, Escondido Arts Partnership
Daniel Foster, Executive Director, OMA
Raziah Roushan, Dir. of Marketing, OMA (Secretary)

Performing Arts Programming Group
Christy Yael, Intrepid Shakespeare Company
Riley Carbonneau, Dir. of Performing Arts, CCAE
Jennifer Pena, CCAE (Secretary)

Civic / Municipal Arts Group
Jim Gilliam, Arts Administrator, City of Encinitas
Vincent Kitch, Cultural Arts Manager, City of Carlsbad
Naomi Nussbaum, Executive Director, Synergy Art Foundation (Secretary)

Arts Education Group
Leah Goodwin, Education Partnerships, CCAE
Merryl Goldberg, Professor, School of Arts, CSU San Marcos
Kirsten Vega, Education Coordinator, CCAE (Secretary)

Daniel Foster opening welcome

Jayce Marie awarding Wendy Wilson as a women of merit in the arts

panel discussion

Break out groups