Once you were isolated outside of the main art “hubs” often working with the same feverish passion as the “stars” we see featured in the established art and on-line magazines, and blogs; many of the same faces who became “the chosen ones” from the millions of artists inhabiting our planet. AND then came along Facebook (FB), a space that drew a community of LIKE-minded artists - some who were working, others who felt hidden and forsaken not getting the “rewards” of their efforts - slipping into oblivion, no longer unearthing their inexhaustibly complex internal solar systems.
Affiliating with a group has never been my thing, but I do hunger for the exchange of ideas among peers so joined FB shortly after it was launched in 2004. Earlier (in the late1990’s through 2001) I had “moderated” a group (now called blog) Plexus/Chalkboard/Artseen, created by Stephen Pusey, where we had some amazing discussions about the meaning, the process, the branding, the commercialization, the frustrations of being an artist - exchanges often filled with vitriol, laced with poetry, support and love.
Facebook - the new “club “ soon grew into bands of associations, factions and personal, sympatico connections - virtual acquaintances - that we began to care about, to laugh with, to celebrate, empathize and grieve over in “sickness and health.” Artists in rural areas, from international towns and cities (that I had never heard of) became my “friends,” and the realization that we often shared a tenacious drive for authenticity, promulgated respect and awareness of the acute vision of what (for me) were once far-removed cultures now penetrating my hermetic space through their written words and images.
GOING BIG - a large group exhibition curated by Suzan Shutan and Susan Carr drew on these affiliations - artists they admired on Facebook - and often had never met. The works are small and diverse - abstraction dominates - endless investigations of pattern, geometric forms and color relations; some revealing the creator’s hand and thereby their personalities exposed like one’s handwriting; and others pristinely appear - as if stamped on the canvas/paper/wooden supports by an unseen divinity. Paintings dominate, but included were photographs and sculptures unfolding the gamut of expression and materials that we humans can construct - affirming our need to cry out - look at me- look at the world that I represent.