Our good friends and partners at Odessa recently say down with one of Red Wolf Gallery's favorite artists, Richard Ingersoll, for a chat and a look inside his studio.
Richard Ingersoll is an artist.
The story goes, when a young Rich and his cousin were furiously working on their crayon masterpieces. Rich’s cousin announced, “I am going to be an artist when I grow up.” Rich then replied, “I am an artist.”
“I am an artist” is a terrifying statement for many, but a driving force for Rich; allowing him to progress through multiple forms of art making and exploration before landing in visual art, where he now brings stunning narratives in oil to life.
Ingersoll’s work finds influence in music, psychology, history, self-analysis, and advances in artificial intelligence (AI). He considers his painting process to be similar to the act of dreaming, working primarily through instinct and forgoing a traditional plan. This process allows his work the freedom to expand beyond his conscious mind, and in turn, new metaphors and complexities begin to emerge. One look at riches work and it becomes clear that the female form has prominence throughout. Thinking of the female figure as the “anima” or inner-self of the viewer, these figures create an entry point; an “Eve” in the Genesis of each work.
Rich uses AI as a metaphor for human existence, a platform to discuss human rights and responsibility, and a mirror for the human psyche and inner connectedness as he unpacks psychological archetypes with moments of astounding detail and introspect. Each mark develops a dream for, or perhaps a fear of, the future. The work wrestles with what is to come and our place in history alongside our own technological creations.
“Within 50 years, we will be approaching technology that can improve itself, and at that point, we would reach a technological singularity, where pretty much anything is possible”.
To view more of Richard's work, please click here.
To learn more about our partners at Odessa and to read more articles on artists like Richard, please visit them at www.odessadenver.com.
Kati Stanford, one of our gallery artists for June and July, has turned to crowd-funding in order to help off-set her costs while pursuing a Masters at University of Denver for Alternative Dispute Resolution. Stanford was recently featured in a piece by Denver's Channel 7 News showcasing her efforts and how other students are looking at outside-the-box ideas in order to pay for the increasing cost of college and also to help avoid graduating with a overwhelming heap of debt.
"I was feeling so discouraged. I didn't feel like I could cover the cost of even my first quarter of grad school," Standford said.
Financial aid and scholarships didn't seem like they would pay for school.
"I remember I was sitting in a coffee shop and I was working on all of these scholarships and I was just feeling so frustrated," Stanford said. "I though, why not. Why not do this?"
Other artists are turning to crowdfunding in order to gather the necessary amount of money to pull-off large projects that would be too expensive to self-fund. Crowdfunding platforms represent a major shift in the way art projects seek support and find success. Since its founding in 2009, Kickstarter has raised more than $1.5 billion for over 80,000 art projects and has opened doors and lifted curtains for many projects that couldn’t or wouldn’t otherwise have gotten off the ground and onto the stage. In fact, Kickstarter now raises more money for artistic projects each year than the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), a government-run agency established in 1966, which also funds artistic endeavors, albeit through very different means. Where the NEA has a nearly fifty-year history of art market-making, with vetted mechanisms for ensuring artistic quality and value, Kickstarter offers almost the opposite— it makes funding more into a matter of marketing savvy and mouse clicks.
Kickstarter campaigns are restricted to projects that meet their guidelines, while IndieGoGo is much more open and requires no review period or approval for posting a campaign. In the words of IndieGoGo co-founder Slava Rubin, “anyone with passion can raise money for their campaigns.” So, if you’re more interested in funding a small business than funding a discreet project with a clear start and end, Indiegogo is a better pick for you.
Here are a few more crowdfunding resources to help you get started -
Feed The Muse
This article is by Brian Sherwin. Brian Sherwin is an art critic, blogger, curator, artist and writer based near Chicago, Illinois. Sherwin is the Editor of The Art Edge. His articles are featured on the FineArtViews newsletter -- which currently reaches 25,000+ subscribers. He has been published in Hi Fructose Magazine, Illinois Times, FineArtViews, Myartspace and other publications, and linked to by publications such as The Huffington Post, The Boston Globe, Juxtapoz Magazine, Deutsche Bank ArtMag, ARTLURKER, Blabbermouth, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Conservative Punk, Modern Art Obsession, Citizen LA, Shark Forum, Two Coats of Paint, Vandalog, COMPANY, artnet, WorldNetDaily (WND) and Art Fag City. Sherwin graduated from Illinois College (Jacksonville, Illinois) in 2003 -- he studied art and psychology extensively. Click here to sign up for his newsletter.
In a previous TAE article I mentioned that it is best to take a 'less is more' approach when exhibiting artwork at a physical location. I suggested that displaying too much artwork at once can become a 'blur' of visual information that distracts viewers. In other words, gallery visitors will have a difficult time 'locking in' on each piece if too much is offered -- they will be overwhelmed by the visual bombardment placed before them. The same tip can be applied to an artist website. You don't want to overwhelm your website visitors. Less is more!
I view thousands of artist websites each week. It is common for me to discover artist websites that are packed with hundreds of art images. This approach is unnecessary in my opinion. In fact, this image hoarding, if you will, can be troublesome for a number of reasons -- I've listed a few below:
1.) The average artist website visitor is NOT going to look at hundreds of art images individually. He or she will likely feel overwhelmed if the artist website features page after page of images. The average website visitor does not want to spend a great length of time sifting through images. The image bombardment -- in this context -- is counterproductive. Hopefully he or she will discover the real gems before jumping ship. Hopefully...
2.) It often appears as though the artist has posted images of everything that he or she has created just for the sake of having said images displayed online. The downside of this behavior is that the best work tends to end up being 'swallowed' by images that are simply not of the same caliber. Point-blank, there is no need to upload images of notebook doodles or vacation sketches unless those directions happen to be your concentration.
3.) It is common to see images that are extremely outdated compared to the level of work the artist is capable of creating today. The artist website visitor is probably not going to be interested in viewing page after page of work created decades ago. In other words, you don't need to upload image after image of artwork created during your junior high years. Those images are no longer relevant to your current art practice.
The problems listed above can be a burden for both the artist and viewer. Unfortunately, I often stumble upon these situations when viewing art online. In this context you want the viewer to focus on specific images... NOT on how productive you've been. It pays to be tactful when displaying images of your artwork online... focus on the 'best of the best' of what you do - the rest will follow. Less is more.
Remember the 'less is more' approach when displaying art images on your artist website. You don't need hundreds of images to present yourself effectively to potential art buyers and other art lovers. Think of traditional art portfolios -- 'old school' art portfolios did not contain 200+ examples. With that in mind, I think it is best to focus on 10 to 20 images at any given time. Furthermore, I would suggest following an image rotation schedule -- adding and removing images in order to keep your artist website fresh.
In closing, I want to know what YOU think about this artist website tip. Do you agree with me? Do you disagree? What do you think about the 'less is more' approach in this context?
Take care, Stay true
Red Wolf Gallery is excited to display the amazing work of Denver artist, April Tsosie throughout the month of May. In anticipation for our First Friday art opening on May 6, we sat down with Tsosie to get to know her more and to allow her the opportunity to discuss herself and her work.
Red Wolf Gallery: You recently held some painting demos at the Denver Art Museum. How did that experience go and why is it important for you, as an artist, to share your knowledge with others?
April Tsosie: It was an honor to be asked to be a performing artist at the Denver Art Museum. It was a great experience and one of the many awesome aspects of it was sharing what I do with the youth. I think it was important to share my process and perhaps inspire young people to pursue their artistic side.
RW: You've talked about your Native American upbringing and spending time at your Grandfather's ranch in New Mexico. What's more important to you when creating your art, incorporating realistic landscape colors within your abstract, surrealistic work or recalling images from your imagination, or both?
AT: My abstract work begins with choosing 2-3 colors and I loosely create a background from which I pull images from. I don't really map out what I am going to paint unless I am working from a photograph or pursuing a set idea I have. But I do rely on my cultural background and experiences that guide the end product, the finished painting.
RW: What advice would you give to an art student today, who is just beginning the difficult career of being a professional artist?
AT: I would go over the highs and lows of being an artist and surviving as a professional artist. It takes time, perseverance and most of all passion and trust in your work. There are going to be critics and people who say no. There are going to be shows when you don't sell anything. But if it's what you love doing, you have to make it happen for yourself.
RW: Tell us more about the Biennial of the America Community Project at the Denver Art Museum and how you got involved?
AT: The Biennial of the Americas was an awesome experience. I was one of five artists asked to lead a collaboration involving the community, under the direction of world renowned artist Fransisco Alvarado-Juarez. I submitted my resume to the DAM several months earlier as a work experience letter and I was asked to interview for the project. I was working at a community center at the time as a Youth Program Director, and I wanted to involve the youth in the collaboration. We worked on the collaboration with the theme 'recycling' and 'ecology'. Each site received a 'puzzle' piece that we worked on with our communities and attended frequent meetings to ensure a cohesive assemblage.
RW: When creating a new work of art, do you search for reference imagery or turn strictly to your imagination?
AT: I usually rely on my imagination unless it a a piece from a photograph.
RW: Where can the public see more of your artwork, besides at Red Wolf Gallery?
AT: I have a website and I try to keep it updated. I do shows throughout the year, so hopefully the public can make it to one of my shows.
5 TIPS TO ENSURE YOUR APPLICATION IS A BUST
1. Don't Meet Your Granting Officer
Believe it or not, whether as an artist or creative non-profit, one of the best things you can and should do is meet with your granting officer. Many first-time applicants (to a program or a funding body) do not go over their applications with the officer in charge of the program. That's a shame. Setting up a quick, one-on-one meeting with your granting officer, well ahead of deadline, has many advantages. It is the perfect opportunity to:
2. Don't Write a Concise or Relevant Project Description
It never ceases to amaze me, as a jury member, the number of applicants who don't get to the point. Depending on the program, what applicants need to realize is that jury members have to read, on average, anywhere from 50 to over 100 applications. The most concise, relevant, and to-the-point project descriptions, as they relate to the program, are the ones that stand out. Do not go on ceaselessly about things that have no direct bearing to your project. Stick to the point. Write and rewrite. Read what you have to a colleague or friend to gain feedback. Do they understand what your project is about? Can they visualize it? Your description should not lead to more questions. It should be clear enough that others get it right away and, more importantly, are intrigued and excited by it. So stop rambling. Please. Which brings me to the next point....
3. Don't Check Your Application for Spelling and Grammar Errors
Do you know what this tells me as a jury member? That you are careless and may not be a serious or professional applicant. It may also lead me to wonder if this is a reflection of how you'll execute the project for which you are applying for monetary support. Stop with the spell check and open up a dictionary.
4. Don't Answer the Questions in Your Application Appropriately
What exactly do I mean by this? Well, let's say you are asked, "What is the collaborative nature of your art project?" Speak to that question specifically. This is not the time to bring up past projects or anything else that may be unrelated.
Write clearly and feel free to elaborate a little on terms or ideas that are specific to your work or field. Although a jury is comprised of your peers (e.g., visual artists) they may not all be specialists with indepth knowledge in your area of expertise (e.g., etching).
Which brings me to tone: Do not, under any circumstances, write your application in an overly casual way. Do not respond to questions defensively. And please, do not use slang. We are a jury, not your bredren on the street. Although you are an artist, keep in mind that you are applying to a well-oiled agency for money. Present yourself, through your application, as a professional. You wouldn't write a job, school or loan application using overly informal language, so don't use it on a grant application in any measure. It just won't work for you.
And please, please, please, do not ever in your life on this earth or elsewhere write "see attached" on your application just so a jury is left to read pages of your bio and achievements in lieu of answering questions directly. Don't get me wrong. Attaching your answers, numbered on a separate page, is not a problem. Hoping a jury will comb through your career highlights to seek out answers to questions you have left unanswered is a huge problem. Think these answers will be apparent in your supplementary material? Think again.
5. Don't Provide a CV or Supplementary Materials as Outlined
Give everything that is requested, and nothing more. Do not include reviews if that hasn't been requested or more support letters than required. You're giving us too much to read. Remember, juries are reading 50 to 100 applications. If they want pdfs, don't give them MSWord files. If they want jpgs, don't send tiffs. If they want to see work within the past three years, don't send them anything from the 20th century. And, your *CV should emphasize your creative career, starting from the present. Lay it out in a clean, organized fashion, and don't get too fancy with the fonts (I recommend sticking to Arial, 11 pt., bolded subheadings, everything flushed left).
Source: The Artist's Business Digest
Any artist trying to move forward with their career knows that finding new opportunities where they can display and sell their work is crucial and, oftentimes, hard to find. Here are a couple of places that we recommend seeking out and looking into.
Saatchi Art is a free and terrific resource for artists in several disciplines. Charles Saatchi is a well-known art collector who created Saatchi Gallery in 1985 as a way to display his collection to the public. Unlike his gallery, Saatchi Art allows artists to upload their work for free, on to their website to be included within their enormous database of artists from around the world. And although there are thousands of artists on Saatchi Art, and it can feel a little overwhelming, it actually works similarly to other social media sites and allows its users to connect, interact and promote their work. Plus, they have resource pages that help teach artists how to photograph and price their work as well as packaging and shipping it. It takes a little time to upload your portfolio but once it's on the site, it's not going anywhere. The one important thing to do is to keep your site up-to-date and make sure that you mark pieces as "sold" if they sold elsewhere and not through Saatchi Art. The last thing you want is to have pieces on Saatchi that aren't actually available any longer. Another valuable thing that Saatchi Art provides is the opportunity for customers to purchase prints as well as canvas-prints of all of your work, as long as your upload images with high enough resolution. I've had success selling work to patrons in Europe, which is always a nice thing to add to a resume.
This is a tremendous resource for artists trying to get their work into public spaces and collections. You will have to apply to be accepted, which is easy and you should receive an answer within 24 hours. I first found out about Indie Walls through a random email that asked that I create a painting of musician Prince to be used for a hotel in Minneapolis. Turned out, they only wanted a print of the finished painting in order to allow them to print multiple copies of the painting for their many hotel rooms. This was great because it allowed me to keep and sell the original to someone else. Basically Indie Walls is a website that people or businesses who are looking for original art for their home or office, can search through the Indie Walls database for artists and artwork. These different patrons will post a description of what type of art they are seeking along with reference photos, color schemes and their budget and then artists can pitch their artwork to them with the hopes of being selected.
CaFÉ - Call for Entries
CaFÉ is a popular site for both artists and galleries alike. It allows galleries and art fairs to submit a particular call for entry for upcoming events while allowing artists to submit their work to be selected in these exhibitions and festivals. It also is a great database to find competitions, apply for grants and fellowships as well as discover residencies and exhibitions opportunities. There is usually a price to apply and it can sometimes feel like a waste of time/money. However, it is a terrific way to discover new places to show your art work or possibly get approved for a grant that will allow you to create that particular series that you don't have the money to create.
One last tip for finding new opportunities is to create some Google Alerts. I've created specific alerts that focus on "Artist Grants" to where Google will send me an email whenever those words are posted online. It doesn't usually lead to something but it doesn't hurt to know what's going on and what's available.
Well it's finally here. Red Wolf Gallery has it's own website and we are excited to share it with all of you. This weekly blog will be a space for us to provide news and upcoming events, opportunities as well as tips and techniques that will help our artists strive in their art career.
We are very excited for what 2016 has in store and we are currently plotting out our calendar for exciting new exhibits as well as classes and seminars that we will offer to the public in order to assist in the development of artistic pursuits.
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