Liberty Bank Building: Hammering a dream together

I figured out what “civic innovation” means, in plain English: it’s “what happens when people commit to getting big stuff done, even though it’s gonna take years.”

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The apartments and their artwork are nearly done now, but it wasn’t built in a day — or by one company, for that matter. You can find out who did the heavy lifting, at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI).

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Hope to see you there!

Almost ready for prime time

The varnish is on the collage portraits, and curing steadily!

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The Liberty Bank Building founder portraits are all done except the framing (which I’ve chosen but will have someone else do for me). After living with this project for nearly two years, it’s a little strange to put away the paper bits for good.

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The Liberty Bank apartments are almost ready as well, and the builders expect to install my work in the residents’ lounge early next month. So we should be celebrating the grand opening soon; I’ll let you know when!

Drying times may vary

Finally ready to seal and varnish the Liberty Bank Building collage portraits! It takes about a week or two for varnish to cure, weather permitting. And that’s the thing…

  The view from my studio this week

The view from my studio this week

Winter dampness is beginning to settle in around here. That means the curing process slows down, which might delay when I can get them framed… which means they’d still be waiting in my studio that much longer. Gaaah.

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If I warm the collages gently with my heat gun periodically, hopefully I can compensate for the increased humidity. Cross your fingers for me.

On asking artists to speak at your event

I know we haven’t even gotten to Halloween yet, but I’ve been thinking about January and February 2019. It reminded me of a hilarious comment I heard during an art event:

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This person receives tons of last-minute requests to speak at this Black History Month event, or make a presentation at that Martin Luther King Jr. Day gathering. In one sentence, the person made several points:

  • I am available for (paid) speaking engagements all year round, not just in January or February

  • Please don’t wait until a week or two before your event to invite me to speak

  • I am perfectly capable of speaking about topics other than being a person of African descent

I’m not nearly as well known as that person I quoted, but I was invited to speak at five events during January and February 2018. I accepted four of those invitations.

  Me speaking at North Seattle College, with artists Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Elisheba Johnson & Tariqa Waters

Me speaking at North Seattle College, with artists Gabrielle Nomura Gainor, Elisheba Johnson & Tariqa Waters

Know why I turned down the fifth event? Because the organizer waited until mid-February to ask, and was hoping to compensate me in “exposure” to potential art collectors. Maybe I would’ve said yes anyway… but I was a little busy with events related to my museum show, and curating a group art exhibit.

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So here’s your take-away, if you’re going to invite an artist to speak at your event: Ask early, and offer tangible compensation for their time. Even gas money or social media love is better than “exposure.” And yes, now would be a good time to book me for MLK Day or Black History Month 2019.

Serious inquiries only

Today I learned firsthand what it’s like when a stranger slides into your DMs on Instagram. I invite you to… “enjoy” the following exchange:

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Aaaaand here it comes: the moment when it’s clear this person is creepy for a living.

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“Fastly”… LOL. Pretty sure this is not a serious inquiry from a dedicated art collector. Well, it’s not the first art scam I’ve encountered, and it probably won’t be the last.

Posted on October 12, 2018 and filed under business of art.