Monday, March 22, 2010

While Robert Linsley’s "Failed Regionalism" continues to generate groans from the local arts community, a recent event at the home of Lindsay Brown has had a more positive effect.

Hosted by The Or Gallery, the Brown salon featured gallery staff, board members, artists, curators, arts administrators and developers gathered together to discuss artist residencies in relation to future Or programming.

Most impressive about this evening was the range of contributors, not just those from what we have come to know as the “arts community”, but the presence of developers and landlords, those with the means to house visiting artists, as well as include them in schemes of their own.

Although artists have figured prominently in the gentrification process, I left the meeting hopeful that developers and landlords have come to see artists less as a temporary measure than as something more foundational, a keystone in the built environment, a collaborator as opposed to a condom.

Thanks to Lindsay Brown for opening her home to such an extraordinary meeting. Thanks also to Lorna Brown for her expert facilitation.

1 comment:

  1. I merely hosted the event but thanks, Michael, and thanks for speaking about your SFU residency experience. Very helpful. All the credit for that event really goes to Lorna Brown, who masterminded it, and Jonathan Middleton who dreamed up the project to found a residency space. Getting all those key people into one room was a feat. Maybe it's the result of a kind of siege mentality created by the arts cuts of the past 7 months, but I had been pessimistic and didn't expect the level of will and support seen at the meeting - did you? Hardly a homogeneous group but there was a weird sense of unanimity and excitement. I didn't predict that that could happen about something as practical as a residency space. I think you're right about developers etc. having a new view of the arts. It seems as if the Or can get this off the ground, and that will benefit not only our own visiting artist/curator/writer program but will improve that capacity for all the other arts institutions who share the space. Thanks again for this, and for attending.