Planning + Art(ists) – Hatch Artists’ Blogs Part 2

Part of the ongoing Hatch blog series, today’s blogs are reflections by our Hatch artists on their experience from the previous weeks’ class by Heather Alhadeff and Allison Bustin from Center Forward. Staff recaps of the session is available on our blog.

For this class, we ask the artists to reflect on the following thoughts:

  • Where is the work that you do most applicable in the planning process? Could it be incorporated in multiple steps?
  • Could you see yourself doing this kind of work? Why or why not? What kinds of projects WOULD you like to work on, regardless of whether they are “planning” related?

We hope you enjoy their thoughtful responses!

In hearing about the history and implementation of City Planning from Center Forward, I enjoyed the breakdown of what constitutes all the steps in the planning process because I could see that in some facet or another I had experienced almost all steps in some form. I think since most of my work has been made through Galleries or other organizations, the vast majority of my experience falls into the Visioning and Implementation categories. In short, I have an idea, describe it, then create it.

Hez Stalcup, far right, with other dancer colleagues at Elevate Atlanta.
Hez Stalcup, far right, with other dancer colleagues at Elevate Atlanta.

While the process of submitting proposals for projects has included some of the other planning stages, I think working within a team seems to be the most efficient and sustainable way to implement all the steps. I would be excited about creating stages of a project that could involve the elements I am less familiar with. I love the idea of a public Museum – cataloging and curating that amazing stories and everyday moments, places, favorite trees, reading spots, etc. on the same level that we would curate precious artifacts. I think the idea of creating mobile town halls, potlucks, art based advertising to spread the word – then using the information to re-visit the original stages of visioning and build RFPs in accordance, would be entirely within a realm that could be adapted to the skills of many artists.

I believe that there are creative ways to make each phase of the step a public art work in and of itself and am very interested in creative solutions to practical problems as another expression in the arts. I think the public forum can often be dismissed as being of less critical value than artworks held within the gallery world. It would be lovely to re-envision the impact that large scale works and public interventions can have, in the valuing of the everyday and elevating it. Whether that be the humans themselves, their history or the nuance of the small places and rituals connecting a neighborhood, community or city.

Some of my favorite examples were public spaces that were simply given attention. The daily activities that were celebrated because staircases, crosswalks, lunch spots and benches were treated as worthy. Can we as artists bring ideas that can be malleable enough to be directed by a group, by other lives and create something that excites and fulfills the people interacting with it? I think it is important and revolutionary work, even when it is very simple.

by Hez Stalcup

Artist Orion Crook.

As a therapist a big focus of mine is on the process. Even in building a recent therapeutic residency for artists, there is heavily focus on trusting the process and building a safer container for that process to happen within. When we go into community, it is great to have a list of ideas on how to think outside of the box, activate spaces, and engage with people in meaningful ways; but we also need to listen and make room for the unknown. Part of my work as a therapist is to listen for what is not being said, to wonder how I can provide an experience for this individual that is unlike their history, and to check in with myself in order to use my body to collect data about what the other person is experiencing.
For me the scope of these projects are a little large, I tend to be an artist that is fairly comfortable with art being a space for expression in my life. For me this means, I am not focused on making a lot of money or making it my career (although I do identify Therapy as an art form..) and there are some other notions here that are at odds with some of the RFD range that I am still trying to put words to. I have a few art idols in the city and they are less in the public eye (or fight less rigorously to be there) and more personal with their work. It is at times almost like they are happy with where they already are in the art word and make their art because they enjoy it and less so to build a resume. I respect their pacing. Sometimes I do dream big, and would love to install my living sculptures with lots of planning. However, the work is would take to sustain living art is whelming at times. In some ways I don’t see these processes as safer space for artist, but again maybe I just work on a process orientated level and they work on an outcome focused system.

By Orion Crook

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