Tag: Hez Stalcup

Budgets, Negotiations, and Contracts – 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 Jim Grace, Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston. Staff recaps of the session is available on our blog.

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

  • How has your previous experience in negotiation been similar to cultivating dating or cultivating romantic relationships? What personal style of negotiation do you lean towards based on your personality and past experience?
  • What are some of the barriers, perceived or real, that relate to your work in public art? Consider things like permitting, zoning, etc. What are some possible solutions?

We hope you enjoy their thoughtful responses!

Negotiation is similar to how I have experienced relationships, in that you often assume you know what the other person wants or needs and tend to have one way of dealing with conflict. Finding out what the other party really NEEDS and wants becomes more important than assessing what you think their interests are. Also figuring out what you actually need and what your interests are is important. Without breaking it down for yourself you may have assumed you knew what you needed too. If you are a person who finds solace/drive in styles like Winning, Compromise, Competing in your personal relationships, it may be worth investigating and challenging what it would look like to experience other styles in your negotiations. We discussed for example the benefits of a Collaborative style of negotiation included longer term solutions and more uncovered needs, but carried the tradeoff of requiring more time and commitment from both sides. Sounds like life, right?

Part of an exhibition by Hez Stalcup.
Part of an exhibition by Hez Stalcup.

Some important thoughts in assessing things legally were: What are your Values? What is the culture you are trying to create? If you want unity and mutuality then there is a way to incorporate that in how you are protecting your own rights and the rights of collaborators. In general it’s better to work it out early in the process and spell out details up front, which is not a dis-service at all — in fact the opposite, explicit expectations set a tone of respect, clarity and reciprocity.

Who owns this? became a very useful question, and clarified when something is under your copyright or not. Finding the right simple questions to ask as you go into a project with another artist, the City or Galleries for example, can provide a framework for what a legal document can look like.

My own hesitancy about what could legally be covered in an unconventional public event were alleviated when Jim referenced the reality that there are huge outdoor events (New Years Eve was his example) that constitute a million drunk people being covered by liability insurance. I realized that working with a broker is more about knowing what is important to you and less so about memorizing the exact kind of insurance or contracts you might need. Anything can be put into a contract, to come full circle — it’s knowing what your interests, and the interests of who will be affected by your work (hosts, participants, artists, audience, public) actually are. Which as it turns out, is not so different from the process that goes into making a well thought out art piece.

by Hez Stalcup

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

Orion
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