Monday, May 31, 2010

Appleton's Own Pop-Up Gallery Now Has a Facebook Page!

Yay!!! Click here if you'd like to join our incredibly awesome group!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Pepsi Refresh

The Pepsi Refresh Project is designed to solicit creative ideas that will positively impact communities. Ideas are submitted in the categories of health, the arts/culture, food and shelter, environment, education, and neighborhoods. Ideas and votes are submitted online, with funding for top-rated projects generated from a fund of $1,300,00. With voting closing at the end of the month, ideas in the arts/culture category are widely varied- ranging from requests for instruments and music for low income schools, to “painting from memory” art projects for Alzheimers’ patients, and starting a company to provide free promotion to musical artists. This seems like an excellent manner in which to tap unlimited creative ideas for future projects. Even some of the projects for this course would be good candidates for submission…

Saturday, May 29, 2010

review week

As we reviewed the notes from all the visitors this week, I found it very helpful to put them together. I have to say that all the visitors who came to our class were those who are quite successful in their field and they did not success because of luck. They all have passion of what they are doing and they know what they are doing. They are all very good at planning their career, it is not just about networking and being good at getting money, it is a lifestyle they chose, and they are all responsible of their decisions.

Friday, May 28, 2010

David Cutler's blog

I know it's been a week or two since David Cutler came to class, but this past week I took the time to check out his blog. It's a great blog because it's not only posts by him on subjects he wishes to explore, but there are blog posts from people and institutions all over. One that I found helpful for our groups project was Guerilla Chamber Music that was posted by Ohio State University. This specific post detailed how Ohio State wanted to have their School of Music make a bigger impression on the student body. They took a challenge put forth from Mr. Cutler to create ensembles of 4 people or less and then they put on a concert. Instead of having a traditional concert venue, they performed in their student union while students walked in and out.

Unreasonable People

For the other entrepreneurship course we were required to do a book or article review, and so I picked up The Power of Unreasonable People by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan. This book outlines the power that social enterprises can harness to create social change and in doing so the book gives many examples of enterprises that are doing just that. One point the book illustrates is that just like a commercial business, social enterprises must be able to find funding sources if they are to create the change they aim for, and make this change sustainable. Some enterprises that are creating sustainable change actually run more like a business and less like a typical non-profit. One example is of a dairy farm that employs mentally ill people. Very few customers who buy the dairy product know who is behind the production. So even though the public is not aware of the change the company is driving, the target population is still being helped and the organization's aim is aided by the fact that is is able to earn profits.

the poor musician is in the Conservatory!

Here are a few pictures of our event this week! We had so many people who LOVED our idea! Also our fishbowl of information is filling up quickly. To keep up the great work we are going to table again next Thursday.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Copyrighting Fashion

A post today on the New York Times' Economix Blog raised an interesting question that we have touched on to some extent in our class. Copyrights and patents serve as barriers to entry and protect the innovations of entrepreneurs at least for a little while. This protection is not extended to fashion designs however. Economix posts a video from TED, previously mentioned on our blog, about how the industry has still thrived despite the lack of copyrights.

The Importance and Difficulty of Documenting Art

I came across a film called Umbrellas and after revisiting Deb Loewen's statement about the importance of documenting your work, this documentary seemed that much more impressive. Here is a description from IMDB:

The controversial story of the artist Christo's grand-scale environmental art project in Japan and California [Christo's Website] that ended in the tragic death of two of its spectators. At its world premiere in 1994 at the Berlin International Film Festival, Howard Feinstein of Variety praised the film as, "highly original and structurally flawless . . . an ambitious documentary about an ambitious project." Umbrellas won The Grand Prize at the Montreal International Film Festival. It was shown at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, The National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and The Louvre Museum, Paris and on the European network ARTE.

You may remember or even have seen first hand Christo's Gates installation in Central Park in New York City. Capturing this type of installation artwork is difficult and the scale is always so grand that when compressing that size in any way through still or moving pictures some of the intent is lost. However the film Umbrellas and The Gates are collaborative efforts between installation artist and film maker. The outcome is truly another work of art that would not be possible without the talents of either contributor.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Business Plan

I know I've pointed out this book before, but I wanted to mention it again as we discuss business plans in class. This book was a great tool for me in putting together the business plan for the baroque ensemble because it is specifically geared towards nonprofits, and planning is very mission-centric. While the format they suggest for the plan is slightly different than the Harvard Business Publishing packet, I still found it incredibly useful, and Wolf is able to pose questions in a clear and concise way that help you to really think out your plan and get it down on paper. I would highly recommend it to all of you the section on "Planning".


After the brief debate we had in class on Tuesday, I decided to see if I could find the origins of the term "angel investor." Unfortunately, all google told me was this:

The term "angel" comes from the practice in the early 1900's of wealthy businessmen investing in Broadway productions. Today "angels" typically offer expertise, experience and contacts in addition to money.
It doesn't quite seem to fit with what Gary and Adam were saying, and I was wondering if anyone else found better information than I did!

Here's a couple of the sites I visited:

Small Business Notes
New Mexico Angels

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Seth Godin

I previously posted about one of Seth Godin's books and wanted to make everyone aware of his blog. He generally posts something new everyday (even weekends). While each of his books centers around a specific topic, the blog posts cover a variety of subjects and in no particular order. Many of his posts look toward the future of business and discuss not only the changes that are underway now, but those that businesses (and surrounding society) will face in the years to come.

Lawrence Baroque Presents....

Thursday June 3 - Esch Studio, Warch Campus Center

5:00-6:00 Dance instruction with Jill Beck & Meleé Dance Troupe

No dance experience necessary!

6:30-7:30 Chamber Concert & Dancing with live music

7:30-8:30 Reception & Refreshments in the Mead-Witter Room

Free & Open to the Public

" Selling Out "

The one concept which struck me most from David Cutler's talk was the idea of "selling out." On the one hand, I have always wanted to be a classical figure artist...on the other, I realize that in this modern age, such a profession is somewhat futile. It's not as if this is a new reality-check. Of course, as a figure artist, one must question who wants non-sexual nude portraits of strangers in their house. Granted, I've always thought I would make money off of large scale portraits commissioned by the sitee's doting parents or art enthusiasts, but Cutler's talk got me thinking.

What can a figure artist do if they're really, really talented that one might consider as 'selling out'? Some say graphic novels (which I definitely DO NOT consider to be selling out) because they employ the figure artist skill set without the certain prestige of classical art. But what would I consider to be selling out?
Two words: Romance Novels. What takes immense technical artistic skill, pays a lot of money, is a steady job, allows your work to be seen by people from all walks of life, and is something that most classically trained figure artists would never even consider? Well, it's something that I might consider after hearing Cutler talk. Perhaps doing the cover art for books such as these is akin to a classically trained pianist playing in a costume with his nose. If it pays the bills, it allows one to focus on what they love – and certainly, doing something you like to do to make money to do something you love is, in my eyes, better than doing something you hate in order to support doing what you love.

Note:: the painting on the left is by Bouguereau, one of the highly regarded figure artists of the 19th century, the painting on the left is the cover illustration of a romance novel.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Straight Purplin'

One of the most inspiring things that Mr. Cutler talked about last week was the story about the purple cow. I will most likely purchase that book to find out how I can also become purple, but his speech also made me realize how many artists around me have been successful by doing just that. Both my parents are musicians and both of them have somehow managed to distinguish themselves from all the other cows in the field. My mother has told me that there are always going to be limits to skill and talent, but there is endless opportunity for being different and original. This doesn't mean that anyone can do obscure things with no talent or practiced skill and enjoy huge success, although that may happen every once in a while (that one Asian guy on American Idol, I forget his name), but it emphasizes the point that being purple is what many talented musicians are lacking. My father has experienced more commercial success, but he too has become a very distinct musician from anything most people would typically hear. There are only a select few cows in the feild that are superior through speed, strength, intelligence, and beauty, but the occasional purple cow can stand out and enjoy just as much success, especially in the world of art.

If anybody's curious you can read about my father here.

Petition for National Entrepreneurs' Day Petition!

National Entrepreneurs' Day Petition!

Click Here to learn more!

Poor Musician in Conservatory today!

the poor musician will be in the Conservatory today from 6:30-8pm. Be sure to say hi and to get your picture taken with us!

Do schools kill creativity?

Back in April I made a post about the TED talks, and I was delighted in class on Thursday when David Cutler brought up one of my favorite speakers: Sir Ken Robinson.

As the video description says, Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. I think this is exactly the kind of social change David was talking about--using the arts to inspire and solve problems. In fact, the TED talks are all about how to solve major world problems through a variety of ways, and there are many related to the importance of the arts.

David Cutler's Music

It was interesting to listen to the perspective that David Cutler brought to his view on the "savvy musician" or entrepreneurial artist. What I found most interesting was that, while I haven't know David Cutler as a person, I have been familiar with some of his works and compositions for quite a while. Professor Fred Sturm loaned me a few of his scores and recordings that he composed as a student a Eastman. Besides being exceptional works, Culter often seems to take a very "entrepreneurial" approach towards writing. For one of his larger works, Concerto for Studio Orchestra, he based many of the motivic materials off of themes by Stravinsky, (who was, himself, very innovative) and combined these themes into a very interesting amalgamation of sounds for orchestra and jazz ensemble. I think the point I am trying to make is that, thinking innovatively almost becomes a way of life, and will carry itself over not only as a business plan for success, but also in every artistic thing we do. (in this case, music composition)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

a little thought about copyright

The copyright in China is awful. A lot of people say it is the bad side of China. But I can understand, because no one is going to pay to download music if there’s the same thing available online for free. That is just human nature. But I did not understand it until I was walking in Chinatown in NY, and there were many street vendors selling DVDs of the latest movie with a really cheap price, I think it was about 3 to 4 dollars. And to my surprise, most of the customers were Americans. Of course no one is going to the movie theatre if they can just watch it at home for 3 bucks.

And it is the same for those designer’s bags. Who is going pay $2000 for something looks the same but you only need to pay $200? I know it is not the same, I know. But in that Silk Road Market next to the US embassy in Beijing, 80% of the customers were foreigners. And those vendors knew at least 5 different languages, but all about selling and bargaining. They started to switch languages when they saw me not responding to their Chinese.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Book Trailers

While Googling information about Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter I came across a trailer for the book. Trailers are definitely a way to promote books, but I'm surprised that the book trailers I've seen are books that I would presume would sell well as the author also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters. Book trailers on Youtube are a great way to advertise for books. However, if the most prevalent trailers are for books from large publishing companies, the trailers are not helping to publicize otherwise little-known books.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Flywheel: What our blog would be if we did this for a living

In the other entrepreneurship class today, Joe Kremer, of the Wisconsin Angels Network was our guest. He mentioned some extremely successful startups and from two serial entrepreneurs, Brian Wiegand and Mark McGuire, is called Alice. Think of the Brady Bunch's Alice--it's a site that streamlines your home shopping needs and "makes sure you'll never run out of toilet paper again" among other things. The great part that I found is that you can follow the story of how this company started on Brian and Mark's blog, Flywheel. Here's why the pair say their blogging their experience:

There are a lot of start-up entrepreneurs Twittering about what airport they are in or what dinner they just enjoyed. But we couldn’t find much content online that followed the actual day-to-day decisions that make or break a new start-up. Flywheel is our attempt to share this experience with you.

Because the start up process can leave you feeling like a genius one day and an idiot the next, this won’t be easy. But we hope it helps a few other start-ups learn from both our mistakes and (hopefully) our brilliant decisions. We also hope it encourages a few more would-be entrepreneurs make the leap and stop waiting for the perfect time. And, truth be told, we hope it gives our new start-up a little extra exposure too.

In case you're wondering why this is worth a look here's an excerpt from Brian's bio:

I am a serial entrepreneur that loves to bring new business models to market, build passionate teams, and deliver value to end consumers. In the past 12 years, I have founded and sold three different companies in the online space, generating nearly $100 million of shareholder value in the process.

His last company, was sold to Microsoft for $50 million after a little more than a year from the launch date...still trying to wrap my head around that one.

The Poor Musician: VIDEO

Because of the narrow shape of this blog it is cutting off half of our video!! So sad! Does anyone have any suggestions?

Orchestra R/Evolution

A new website from the League of American Orchestra about the need for innovation and change in orchestras.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

You never know where life is gonna take you

That was certainly one lesson from Dean Pertl's class on Tuesday, at least for me. The importance of "saying yes," and, occasionally, "no." At the beginning of the course, we talked about what "entrepreneur" means. To me, Dean Pertl's stories as well as his own life experiences are perfect examples of what it means to be entrepreneurial. Many of those examples are, in my mind, paragons of entrepreneurship. The upstart record labels in France and the Netherlands? Garritan's  world-class digital music library, which he started with the proceeds of "selling out" at a tulip expo? And Brian Pertl becoming a leading employer of ethnomusicologists as an intrapreneur at Microsoft? I love these stories, and find them very inspiring.


Hey guys,
I spoke with the folks at the Post-Crescent today and they are more than happy to publish community events in their paper free of charge! This is a great way to get information out to the greater Fox Valley area.
All you need to do is email your event info to:

Take advantage of this great local advertising resource!

Next tabling event...

Missed our first event? That's okay!!

We'll be tabling in the conservatory on...

Monday, May 24th from 6:30-8pm AND Thursday, June 3rd from noon-1:30pm.

Stop by and maybe you'll get a sweet photo on this blog like Niko!

the poor musician

Great ideas
I found this great article from a few years ago explaining different artists and their attempts to use their art as a means of work. There is a heavy emphasis on marketing your talents online through stores and blogs. One of the specific examples, Claudine Hellmuth, talks about how liscensing her work paid off better than custom creations since she only had a set amount of time to create her art.
Also, there are mentions of various art schools that offer minors in art business to their students. The most surprising entrepreneurial idea I found when reading this article was and idea from a student named Tristan Hummel. He started showing artist's work on the El trains in Chicago.

Web Resource

My boyfriend attended the talk given by visiting trombonist Todd Baldwin this past weekend, and came away with this great new resource, Musical Chairs. The website pulls together job postings, competitions, instrument sales, etc....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Positive Feedback...Musicians want to join The Poor Musician

Seniors, Are You Ready? Probably not, but we're glad we could help!

We spoke with many musicians last week and recieved very positive feedback from the crowd. Everyone thought our ideas was great and I even heard one senior say about our booth...."oh finally something I can actually use."

We will be hosting another event in the conservatory, so if you didn't make our booth last week be sure to stop by!

the poor musician

Artists and Web 2.0

We enjoyed presenting our module in your class last week and introducing you to Chuck Bauer and Chuck Beckwith--artists and founders of The Soap Opera in Madison. Their engagement with art, community, politics and life has been an inspiration to us since meeting them while undergrads at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the early 1980s. Our research for our module lead us to contemplate Spin Hand Spun and projects such as Obsessive Consumption in the context of so many past art movements. Spin Hand Spun was conceived of by our former student Kristin Boehm ('09) who started it in our Digital Processes course a few years ago. We knew Kristin had focus and vision when she produced the below video as one of her earliest digital projects using online voice synthesizers and animated the dolls she'd made with yarn and fabric hence combining handicrafts and technology in an engaging way.

Subsequently, Kristin's blogging has provided a venue for her ideas, interests and artmaking in Minneapolis. She wrote us recently that her blogging gave her a way to pursue her art after school when she was away from all the rich resources a college campus can provide. She makes felted cozies for technology items (iPods, laptops, cameras) which she sells on etsy while pursuing grander knitted public sculpture projects.

We plan to explore the possibilities of Web 2.0 for artists in our ART 340/540 Intermediate/Advanced Digital Processes course Winter Term 2011. Students will work to define their "online identity as an artist" through a WordPress blog connected to a self-designed art project. We hope to bring Kristin to campus as a "visiting artist" so she can tell her story and offer advice to students based on her real life experiences. As of this writing, she reports that her blog and her art are self-sustaining and on the verge of generating enough energy and income to keep her active in art as well as cover the rent!

Lawrence Baroque

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Top 500 Entrepreneurial Businesses

This article outlines the hottest 500 growing companies! It's definitely worth looking at, since the ideas rage from individuals tackling the computer market, wowing the fashion market, and even challenging the big prescription drug companies! Maybe you'll get some cool ideas of your own!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Why Are Women-Owned Firms Smaller Than Men-Owned Ones?

Articles from the Wall Street Journal, maybe of interest to some of us.


Plan/ No Plan

So we talked in class about the difference between the Chucks (no plan) and Jackie (full of plans). I think we all sort of agree that whether to have detail plans or no plan depend on each person's personality, some do well with plan, some do well without planning; we can't generalize which is the better way to go.
But what jump out at me from these people is not so much the plan/ no plan difference, but the passion and commitment to the art -and that's what all of our speakers share. With or without plans, they stay focus on what they do and sooner or later, they were prepared to take the opportunity to thrive when it arrives at their door. We always hear so much in this class about passion, the number 1 important ingredient for success. Stories of the Chucks and Jackie have shown me that no matter what you do and how you go about doing it, the one thing that keep you going, and eventually lead you to success is your PASSION.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Check out this great website! What a clever idea!

Bulbstorm is a community of innovation where individuals, experts, and companies come together to share, improve, and market new concepts for products and services.

Art & Fear

We have listened to many different kinds of artists talk about many different ways they incorporate and make art their life. It's given me plenty to think about--both of my older sisters are currently trying to have dance careers, one starting a company in Milwaukee, while the other teaches children and is trying to get into a company in Chicago. In my family we've been talking frequently about ways to make a living through the arts without being completely broke, and the guest speakers we've had in the class have really opened my eyes to the myriad of possibilities.

My eldest sister gave me and my other siblings this book for Christmas, and it's been very helpful for me. Personally, I have a lot of fear connected to my artmaking! The different ideas we've talked about in class have strongly reminded me of this book, and I would recommend it highly. It's fairly short too!

One other book that I've flipped through that made me laugh recently is The Pablo Helguera Manual of Contemporary Art Style, a satirical look at the contemporary world of art. This quote in particular made me think about our entrepreneurship class:
"Art is an uncommon profession, one that is best defined as an entrepreneurial religion. This is because it offers the possibility of spiritual fulfillment but at the same time it operates like any other enterprise of our capitalist world. When the novice initiates his relationship with art, he tends to see it as a spiritual calling, but secretly awaits a personal and financial remuneration that goes beyond internal fulfillment. When such remuneration is not received, it is replaced by great perplexity, distress, and bitterness."

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I really would like to point out again this month's Symphony Magazine from the League of American Orchestras. The issue focuses a lot on innovation, which I think directly correlates with this course. The League is releasing a book titled "Fearless Journeys: Innovation in Five American Orchestras" which was basically a study to define what innovative behavior orchestras engaged in, and how they were 'entrepreneurial' in working towards solutions for critical problems that orchestras currently face, such as declining audience numbers and an aging consumer base, to name a few.

Take special notice of the "How Orchestras Innovate" and "Say You Want a Revolution" articles. There is also another article called "Paid to Play" that discusses how orchestral musicians supplement their incomes.

oh my favorite J&J

Artists follow their passions. They don’t care about their meal for the next day or their rent for the next month. It is the attitude of life. I remember in one of my studio art seminar class, prof. Neilson said to us: all of you sitting in this classroom, the most normal life you will have in the future is bohemian. 

I have known J&J for three years, they are the greatest advisors and they always inspire me. One of my most important things they ever told me about photography was when I was struggling printing photographs for my solo exhibition. I was about to collapse under the pressure and anything was just not right. I showed them my sample prints and they did not think it right too. Julie looked at me and said: there was no love. I did not get it at that time, not until very later on when I finished using a box of 11x14 fiber paper for one photo, it finally came about right. And I saw love. I remembered that I ran into J&J’s office and cried out “I found love!” And then I understood, it was the passion in it, not just about photography, it was about anything you are working on, even including this project for this class. It is the passion that makes it wonderful and it is the love.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Poor Musician

Head over to the Night of Mayhem Blog for all the details and the latest updates!

The Business of Hosting Blogs

Building off of Kelly's post, I came across this article about Tumblr that depicts a different side of the blogging world--the companies that provide the infrastructure that facilitates the blogging revolution. Tumblr just received an additional $5 million in funding from its venture capital backers because the site is still struggling to grow revenue. Co-Founder and CEO David Karp says the last thing his company wants to do is put ads on people's blogs, however, without this income it has been slow going (until recently) to make the service profitable even with over one billion page views per month.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Entrepreneurial Bloggers

Yesterday’s class mentioned blogging as a means of self-promotion. While people start blogging for a variety of reasons, they can transform their online presence into tangible benefits.

Jessica Schroeder created a blog and began photographing her outfits (almost) everyday. She began to solicit sponsors and now works full-time on her blog and related projects. Not only do readers regard her as a fashion resource; she also gives tips on blogging.

I Wrote This For You is a two-person collaboration with stories about “you”. The writer has a personal blog where he discusses digital spaces and South Africa. Participating in the blog project has given him a platform to bring attention to issues.

Multiple blogs have spun off to become books as well. (Some I'm hoping will get there.)

Blogging can be entrepreneurial.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Poor Musican has a booth at upcoming event...

Seniors Are You Ready? May 14th, 3:30-5pm

If you are a senior who is looking for practice space after LU, then stop by our booth on May 14th! We will provide you with more information about our mission and our goal of creating a network for graduating musicians and Lawrence alumni.

Say hi and write down your information so we can help you in your search!

*Also please check our blog/Facebook page for CURRENT alumni information. We are adding contacts everyday in the Madison, Milwaukee, Chicago, and Twin Cities area.

Julie and Johnny

Julie and Johnny's presentation not only reminded me of the glory days of basic old school computers, but also about an inspirational documentary I have fallen in love with on Netflix. It is called "Beautiful Losers" and focuses on a group of young adults working in the underground art movement of the 1990's. A lot of their work started as grafittie-esque street/skater art but developed into famous car ads and marketing tools. These DIY artists are what Johnny and Julie and all the other speakers so far have talked about: an obsession/passion that must be lived out! Watch the film, it will definitely motivate you and get you thinking (:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tips for Getting Advertisements on your Website

One way to at least guarantee a somewhat steady stream on income for one's entrepreneurial enterprise is to find companies to advertise on one's website -- this is an extremely interesting article on how to attract advertisers. It talks about finding the specific kinds of ads people will click on, what your site needs to be eligible for these ads, and how to approach companies to ask them to advertise. I found it to be incredibly interesting -- you should check it out.

Monday, May 10, 2010

National Endownment for the Arts

I don't know why I hadn't thought of it before, but is a fantastic resource for future projects anyone is thinking of doing. They provide many opportunities for an artist, from employment and internships to magazines outlining tips and information for artists. A significant part of their website involves grants that one can apply for. However, a strong emphasis is placed upon education, so you must gear your grant application towards a community outreach or educational aspect if you wish to succeed.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

'Pop-up' gallery shows aim to sell condos as well as art

By Jessica Dawson
Friday, January 15, 2010

A Cinderella-like transformation of condos into art galleries -- one night only! three weeks only! -- has been going on in Washington's Shaw neighborhood for the better part of the economic downturn. Artists and developers link arms to throw art shows in unsold, high-design 2BR/2BAs along U Street and up 14th.

These pop-up galleries-in-a-condo are such a phenomenon that a new crop of impresarios has emerged to connect the creatives with the capitalists. Some are DIY veterans who aren't in it for the bucks. They might get a little cash, but the bulk of their rewards are notoriety and the satisfaction that their artist friends can pay the rent. Others hail from art consultancy backgrounds and are tweaking their businesses to serve developers.

Newest among these on-call middlemen is Wool, a roving gallery business that debuted on a chilly Thursday last month. It's a collaboration between Billy Colbert and Ryan Hackett, both artists and veteran DIYers. Hackett was a founding member of erstwhile collective Decatur Blue; Colbert has organized a host of artist-run events in the District and Baltimore.

Hackett likens Wool to Temporary Services or No Longer Empty, organizations in Chicago and New York, respectively, that fill fallow, mostly developer-owned spaces with art. The pair embrace the freedom from gallery overheads.

"We were not interested in money, only in throwing a show," Hackett says.

On the December night of Wool's debut, Colbert and Hackett invited the city's grooviest to the Lacey, a 26-unit condominium at 11th Street and Florida Avenue NW for an event they called "Bauble."

Guests milled near the Fisher & Paykel stainless fridge in Unit 101 (a 2BR/2BA w/den going for $759,000) and chatted over backbeats pumped from a DJ stationed downstairs. One couple -- she in a Moncler puffy jacket, he in skinny jeans -- attempted a makeshift dance floor. Next door in Unit 102, real estate agent Debi Fox held court among Saarinen knock-offs.

Along the wall (and on pedestals), works by some of Washington's more interesting young artists were installed with all the professionalism of a gallery. Among the artists: Cory Oberndorfer, Kathryn Cornelius and former D.C. artist Jose Ruiz. Each work was priced to sell at $250.

Was "Bauble" an art show or a dance party or an open house? Yes, yes and yes.

Yet for art partisans, it was a strange night. Yes, "Bauble" was one of the best exhibitions of this kind. The art looked good, artists made money and a charity benefited. (Wool designated that $100 from each sale go to Project Create, which offers free art programs for at-risk children. Disclosure: I sit on the board.) But the focus that night was condos.

Though the building's developers deny that the event helped sell Unit 102 (currently under contract), the buzz about the Lacey and its art were clearly part of a larger business plan.

Similar art events are the specialty of the Art Registry, a six-year-old consultancy that specializes in the "excitement of the art world transported to unique marquis properties," its Web site says. The registry recently worked with Ernst Development and Willco Residential.

Co-founded by Erin Mackay, a Washington Project for the Arts board member, and photographer Jill Lubar, the Art Registry works like this: Developers donate space; Mackay and Lubar shoulder marketing and installation expenses. Art Registry clients -- young professionals earning enough to afford both art and real estate -- gather for a party and (it is hoped) pull out their checkbooks.

Mackay puts her group's gross from most events at $15,000 to $80,000. An event last April at Providence lofts on 11th Street yielded $28,650 in art sales. Mackay says the artist "always receives 50 percent or more" of the sale price.

For the Providence project, Mackay called on Philippa Hughes, an art impresario who links collectors with artists working in graffiti and street art. Hughes brought in District artist Decoy. Proceeds were split among Hughes, the Art Registry and the artist.

But who really benefits? The developers, that's for sure -- they get branding, foot traffic and buzz. The marketers behind the Providence were shocked by how many people the Art Registry pulled in.

"We had a tremendous turnout, and I think that we sold at least 50 percent of the building because of that event," says Jeremy Aldridge, an agent for Urban Pace, the sales and marketing firm behind Providence. "It was hard to distinguish who was there looking at the units and who was looking at the art, so it created a kind of urgency. That was brilliant marketing."

Brilliant marketing for developers. But bad PR for art? One-offs forge dicey synaptic connections in the public mind: They reinforce the "art as decor" paradigm, divorcing artists from their highest calling -- creating work that challenges social and political norms. On art event nights, artists become another kind of interior decorator.

Then again, this is real life. Artists need to eat and developers need to sell. Not all art is created equal -- and neither are its venues.

The next Wool event is scheduled for March at an as-yet-named space on Ninth Street NW.

The Art Registry is at
This article is from The Washington Post.

Dawson is a freelance writer.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Symphony Magazine

Just flipping through the May/June issue of Symphony Magazine and noticed an interesting blurb on page four titled "Global Arts Challenge" about a recent arts leadership conference held at Carnegie Hall. The question lodged was "what is the difference between arts and entertainment?". Mike Bishop, NY Bureau chief of The Economist joked that "people pay for entertainment, while art needs to be subsidized."

I found this comment to be interesting, even if in jest. Why does society undervalue the arts so that they must be subsidized? How can arts leaders change this? Can it be changed? Should it be?


There was another post on low cost marketing that I found thought provoking. I believe thriftiness coincides with craftiness in the start up stages of a business. Its important to pocket away as many pennies as possible for a day when large scale expenses are needed. I highly reccomend collaging together posters for a refreshing and interesting means of advertising. Also, the Printmaking club meets Tuesdays at 4:30 and supplies are provided free of charge, you could make your own print logo! Also, a teacher told me about a company that prints proffesional style postcards with images and text for only $30 for 250 cards. Also, the Communications office at Lawrence is becoming more creative with their advertising and can provide printed posters free of charge if it is associated with a class. Use your resources!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Facebook Ads

I remember the Practice Pad group was considering Facebook advertisements..I started Facebook ads for the Symphony Orchestra I worked for this here's what I know from that experience.

I chose the 'pay-per-click' option and what you have to do is place a max bid that you are willing to pay per click. In reality you may be paying less than that bid, depending on competing bids for ad space, but if I remember correctly I put the bid around $.50 per click, and the ad ran TONS of times. You can always adjust your bid later. Also, you need to link a credit card to the account so Facebook can bill you for the ads. You can set a dollar limit per day--I think I set the Symphony's at $20--and most often you will not be anywhere near that, as you only get charged when people actually click on the ad, as opposed to paying just to have it show up a certain number of times.

I would say that the ads had a modest effect on the number of Facebook fans the Symphony gained. If you really want people to join, make sure you put the "find us on Facebook" logo on any print ads you may do, too.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Appleton's Art in the Park

I don't know if anyone will be here over the summer, but a local art expo happens every year near the end of June. Appleton's Art in the Park series is a project by the Appleton Art Center that showcases local artists. If the pop up gallery is able to sustain itself through the summer, I would encourage them to attend. It could be a way to connect with the community by offering to showcase some art by local artists (who in turn would bring their friends to the showcase). Just an idea.

Get Published!

For visual and literary artists, there's one way to ensure professionalism at a low cost -- get published! For visual artists, showing one's portfolio is an important part of networking, receiving commissions, and getting one's work into galleries. Though in all cases the buyer and/or marketer of your work should be more interested in your art than in the manner in which you present it, a hard bound, glossy finished, full colored book certainly grabs the viewer's attention and shows that you care enough about what you do to present it in such a manner.
is a cheap, efficient, and professional way to not only manufacture your book for personal purposes, but if desired, one can actually mass publish and SELL your publications! If you care about the image you're putting out to your buyers, fans, and galleries, is the place to go!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Low-Cost Marketing

One of the keys to a successful business is the marketing. Even if you have a great idea or product, if nobody knows about it your chances of success are limited. Since marketing can be an extremely expensive investment, it is difficult for people like us who are trying to start up a business with $100 budget. Here is an article about how marketing can done with relatively low costs and still create the same kind of "buzz" you need for your business to be successful. Some of these may not be realistic for our one time event, but are things to keep in mind for our long term projects.

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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Re: arts and $

Some thought in response to Elyse's post.
This is what I get from Jackie: If you can support yourself entirely by doing art then great! do it! Just like Jackie herself, she lives off entirely from her art sales. But she also pointed out how other people choose other ways to balance between living their dreams and supporting themselves financially, just like her friend who do tax for a few months per year. It's not that one way is better or preferable than the other. Just whatever works for you and your situation.
I personally think that it's great if you can live your artistic life while make a living out of it. But I have no problem with an artist who spend some time doing other stuff to make a living. I don't think that would harm your art practice (unless you are a dancer or a music performer who probably cannot afford to go a few months without practicing)
A person may have lots of interests and maybe one passion in life. In my opinion, you certainly need to maintain a focus and set goals to fulfill your passion, but it doesn't mean you have to devote your entire life doing that one thing in order to excel in that field. I think people get a lot of experience and inspiration while experimenting and trying to a variety of different things. Especially with art, your artistic inspiration might very well come from your wide array of life experience. Who knows, maybe an experience with the up and down of the stock market might give someone an inspiration for a great work of art!!! :)

What I did this weekend

In 1880 J.E. Hamilton of Two Rivers, Wisconsin quit his job to go into business making wood type and later expanded to include printing cabinets and printer's furniture. In 1889 the Hamilton Manufacturing Company was formed. This company went on to make dental cabinets, drafting furniture, medical furniture, and the first automatic clothes dryer.

I've lived seven miles from the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum for twenty years and finally got there this weekend. I knew the Hamilton company made the drawers for storing the print and a quick Google search led me to the website and I visited the museum on Saturday. I was impressed by the quality of the museum's online presence and the museum itself is fantastic. In addition to housing 1.5 million pieces of wood type, the museum contains a workshop. This adds another dimension to the museum experience since you can see people using wood type and experimenting with the medium. The gift shop sells prints, posters, broadsides, and postcards. Not only was I very impressed with the museum, it may end up being helpful my class project.

For more information the Hamilton Wood Type and Printing Museum has a website, items for sale on etsy, and a presence on facebook and twitter.