The State of the Arts series is about a wider vision of what is happening in the art world. At the end of 2014 we look forward to 2015 not so much with answers but with a list of questions which I think may be important to ponder, discuss, and perhaps give us inspiration for action.
1. The San Diego Art Institute SDAI has a new director Ginger Porcella. She has to turn an almost dead organization into a thriving innovative art destination. How is she going to do this? What are the changes needed. How does she balance old with new? SDAI has the prime location in Balboa Park for contemporary artists and the potential to be amazing. Porcella is a highly motivated and articulate young woman from New York. She came up with the idea of a new job description for a staff member at SDAI: Director of First Experience. So instead of a PR person, a fundraiser, an education director, you would have someone who was responsible for the first impression of the institute; how is the institute branded before you even walk into the building and how do you first get involved as an artists or a visitor. This question of the future of the non-profit arts organizations and how they need to change seem particularly important in the year we almost lost the Opera and where the SD Foundation and the Commission for Arts and Culture both have new leadership and as we struggle to establish a SD County Arts Council.
2. Reading about 10x talent agency in the New Yorker (The Programmer's Price), I was impressed with the idea of Rock Stars of Tech. It is fascinating to see how creativity is so sought after. Musician, producers, actors and now software designers all want to be thought of now as “Artists”. That seems to symbolize that they are innovative. As technology and the arts are tied more and more closely together, what can we expect to see in the future? Besides the development of new ways to make 3-d, video and multi-media fine art, there will probably be algorithms to compute metrics for audience involvement, funding and sales.
3. This leads me to the more specific questions of what are the new trends in commercialization of art on line? SDVAN just joined an online second hand goods fundraising site called WebThriftStore. You can take all those holiday presents that disappointed you and sell them online as a tax donation for SDVAN. They let you upload an image directly from your phone, they even send you a shipping label when the item is sold and the shipping is paid by the buyer. Our very successfully accessory exchange happens only once a year when old favorites are given new homes. Now we hope you will try this out anytime during the year that you clean out your closets. You can sell anything so don’t forget that work of art that may not inspire you any longer but will appeal to someone new. And if you are not the artist selling your own work, you get a nice tax deduction.
4. A question we have been pondering for the last year, is who are the new art patrons? Or maybe we now need a new word for those who support the arts. How do we define the teams that will take the arts into un-chartered waters? Are these Artists as Art Patrons? How do we transition young art attendees into young art supporters? What do the emerging foundations look like and why should they support the arts? Social Networks with Cloud Funding are already fast becoming patrons but they don’t necessarily think of themselves in that role. When we make Cross Collaborative projects aren’t we really patrons of each other? As innovation is seen as a key economic driver, can we expect to see the Politician Patron rising?
Your can read all the past State of the Arts addresses by Patricia Frischer at this link. Please blog back and watch for future opportunities through SDVAN to join in the conversation.