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Art and Recession

Final presentation for Washington DC Art Collections, Spring 2010. Overview of the advent of pop-up galleries.

Elizabeth Kimbell Hall

on 22 April 2010

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Transcript of Art and Recession

Art and Recession
The Advent of POP-UP Galleries Kimbell Hall The 2008 economic downturn left numerous urban spaces empty, particularly the windows of closed shops, apartment buildings, and restaurants. Local artists and property owners saw a unique opportunity in the economic misfurtune... POP-UP GALLERIES "The idea was that we would use these spaces which have been lying empty during the recession and put artists into them. The artists get the space for free, and the landlords would rather have the space busy and full of creativity than have it empty." Lee Johnson, co-organizer and curator of a 2009 pop up exhibition, "Watch This Space" in a beautiful three-story Georgian building in London.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8130731.stm And the economic benefit is not only felt by the local artists and property owners... ...The crowds drawn by pop up galleries bring business to neighboring commerical centers, thus boosting the local economy. "It's not a good time. There are fewer and fewer places to show and sell your work, so anything that is public is very helpful. This is a strong platform for showing artists' work at a time when traditional gallery spaces are dwindling." British sculptor, Karen Hilliard, who helped set up the "Watch This Space" exhibit with funding from the district and town councils.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/arts_and_culture/8130731.stm Another interesting benefit relative to museum exhibitions is the brevity of pop up galleries by nature. Pop-Up Art Loop, a recent pop up gallery in downtown Chicago came together in less than four months... ...Consider how long it takes a museum exhibition to come to fruition. Putting local artists on a local stage: the antithesis of urban museums? Pop-up galleries, unlike large, national museums focus entirely on local artists and their contemporary work.
Create a new type of interaction with artworks.
Allows artists to create works that may be more experimental or larger than they could in a gallery or museum.
Pop-up galleries were (and continue to be) advantageous for both artists and property owners.
Artists were given space for free and able to prosper and present during the recession (a time that normally has a negative impact on the art world).
Property owners drew crowds and potential buyers. September 29, 2009 - March 31, 2010 Windows into DC "My Shaw Scrabble piece is a fun play with the words that connote the community. This way, area residents will see themselves reflected in the windows."
- Artist Tim Conlon, "Shaw Scrabble “I really do think it’s something that’s here to stay. I obviously hope the economic crisis will be over, but I see it as a great way for the public to interact with art in a different way. And it does provide a great platform for artists because they can do things that are maybe more experimental or larger than they could in a gallery space." Manon Slome, a founder of No Longer Empty, a New York City outfit created in 2009 in response to the recession-fueled vacancies.
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