Tag: Orion Crook

TAR Project Announces Residency Artists

The TAR Project (Therapeutic Artist Residency) has announced their four Atlanta-based inaugural artist residents. TAR Project is a fiscally sponsored project of C4 Atlanta, and Orion Crook (founder of Orion Psychotherapy) is a a graduate of both the Ignite and Hatch programs.

The Therapeutic Artists Residency (TAR Project), founded in 2015 by Orion Psychotherapy, will work with four artists over the course of a year. Program participants will receive free monthly individual and two-hour group therapy sessions as well as a $200 Binders stipend, membership to C4 Atlanta and scholarship to a class of their choice, and a Rolfing session from Tappingin.org. In the therapeutic sessions, artists will explore therapeutic themes in their work, develop skills to use expression as a form of self-care and have direct support for their challenging life career path in the arts. The residency will culminate in a group show featuring individual and group work and consist of pre and post assessments. More information is available at OrionPsychotherapy.org

We are honored and pleased to announce the 2016-2017 TAR Residents:

Steven L. Anderson, StevenLAnderson.com

Artwork by Steven L. Anderson
Artwork by Steven L. Anderson

Kyle A. Henderson, KyleAHenderson.com

Artwork by Kyle A. Henderson
Artwork by Kyle A. Henderson

Xenia Simos

Artwork by Xenia Simos
Artwork by Xenia Simos

Julie Sims, LenSideOut.com

Artwork by Julie Sims
Artwork by Julie Sims

Congratulations to these resident artists and to the TAR Project for launching their residency program!


Hatch Session #5 Recap – Budgets, Negotiations and Contracts

One thing I always tell my students when they take Ignite is that cultivating a good relationship with your lawyer is invaluable. Luckily for us, and our Hatch artists, Jim Grace is the kind of lawyer at the forefront of the legal issues faced by artists. Jim is the Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, and we were incredibly fortunate to have his expertise to guide our latest Hatch session. Here are some highlights from the day:

IMG_9796 edited
Jim Grace, Executive Director of the Arts and Business Council of Greater Boston, schools us on how to best legally protect our artistic interests.

Intellectual Property: Jim began with an in-depth primer on intellectual property and some of the ways it can be protected. Of the three most widely used protections against infringement (copyright, trademark and patent), copyright and trademark were of the most interest to the artists, with several questions voiced about both. Jim helped not only to clearly define the differences between the two, but also to define the legal implications and responsibilities of the artist for each. As it relates to art created with community, Jim stressed that if the overall vision of the work is the providence of the artist, and not the individuals, then each individual can only hold claim to the their small piece. The work as a whole and vision is the intellectual property of the artist. Jim also discussed additional ways for artists to protect themselves, including filing for copyright and defining terms such as “work for hire” in which case the artist might not actually own the rights to work created for another entity. Alternatives to litigation if infringement was unintended were mentioned, including when to let the violation “go”, such as cases where the overall exposure or popularity of the piece was of greater benefit to the artist’s career.

Michael Jones (left) discusses his experiences with negotiation while Orion Cook (right) looks on.
Michael Jones (left) discusses his experiences with negotiation while Orion Cook (right) looks on.


A lot of our conversation for the day revolved around negotiation, particularly because as artists, we are negotiating constantly. Highly stressed in this segment was the need to not only identify your personal negotiation “default”, but also to recognize the “default” of your negotiation partner. Typical negotiation prejudices and myths were debunked, resulting in greater understanding of the implications past experience might have in hindering a current collaboration process. Jim asked everyone to participate in a short exercise with a partner to recognize our own negotiation practices. Standing across from each other in two rows, each pair was told that in order to receive $1000, they must convince their partner, in one minute, to come to their side. Each person’s natural negotiation style became readily apparent as we dissected the effectiveness of each group’s communication and outcome. Jim also identified 5 different strategies for negotiation, the implications on the overall relationship between the partners involved and the best uses of each strategy depending upon the intended outcome. A strategy such as avoidance might seem merely negative, however could be useful in certain situations, such as responding to certain types of negative correspondance. Conversely, the strategy of collaboration gave much greater importance to overall relationship building and resulted in a better overall outcome for both parties with less opportunity to “leave money on the table”.

How could we decipher which strategy to use? And how could we reach the best outcome through collaboration, if that was our intent? To answer those questions, it was important for the artists to understand the differences between Interests and Positions, and to ask the “right” diagnostic questions. An interest is a want brought to the table by a negotiating party, but it may not always represent the need from which it comes. As an example, we were given a prompt regarding asking to rent an apartment. One side of the room was charged with asking for an apartment on the 14th floor and the other was charged with answering their needs. Jim challenged the artists to think beyond just the questions being asked by each side, but to probe each interest fully to understand the underlying need behind it. In this instance, the interest of the 14th floor apartment may be based on the need to be farther away from the street and noise, which could easily be satisfied by another higher floor apartment if none were available on the 14th floor. Having the insight and tenacity to go beyond just the stated interests of the other party meant that each side brings more to the table with which to negotiate. Both parties are more likely not only to satisfy each other needs, but to build a stronger, more trusting relationship as well. And ultimately, the most successful negotiations tend to yield this relational outcome as well as solving the problems of each side.

Orion Crook (standing - left) and William Massey (standing - right) consider possible scenarios regarding artistic participation during a proposed project scenario.
Orion Crook (standing-left) and William Massey III (standing-right) consider possible models for artist participation while workshopping project scenarios.

Contracts, Proposals and Budgets:

In order to best understand the kinds of projects and work agreements our artists had dealt with in the past, Jim asked that they submit any contracts and budgets that they felt comfortable sharing to be discussed and potentially workshopped prior to attending his workshop. Our artists vulnerably shared several different work agreements, proposals and projects, even volunteering information regarding some “in the works” collaborations. Jim stressed that not only were concerns regarding protection of artwork and assets important, but that the artists consider their needs for insurance, liability, tax and overhead expenses when creating budgets and negotiating contracts. The artists considered a wide variety of scenarios: from needs for maintenance and upkeep of artwork to considering the repercussions and difficulties of utilizing unorthodox performance spaces. Also noted was need to consider whether the contract created reflects any perceptions about one party or the other being “screwed”. While it is important to protect our assets and insure that clear expectations are maintained, if an artist preparing a work meant to connect and engage community then asks those same stakeholders to sign lengthy, overcomplicated releases, this action might not engender the intended result of the project.


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