Art Klatch: The State of Art Writing in the Northwest
This morning I dragged myself out of bed to attend my first ever Art Klatch, Scott Lawrimore’s weekly early-morning meeting of the minds at Café Presse. This week’s featured guests were curator and Western Bridge director Eric Fredrickson, The Stranger art critic Jen Graves, former Seattle P-I critic and blogger Regina Hackett, and artist/publisher Matthew Offenbacher. The topic of discussion was the changing face of art writing in Seattle, which has suffered substantial losses in the past few months, but has also opened up room for a diverse dialogue from a greater number of voices in the blogosphere and beyond. As a test case, the panel discussed Jen’s recent article The Vancouver Problem, which sparked an ongoing discussion here, on Regina’s blog, and on Susanna Bluhm’s blog, among other places.
One especially good point, brought up by curator Beth Sellars, is that while the new paradigm opens the floor in surprising new directions, it also does nothing to address the greater community (i.e. people who don’t read art blogs), who used to at least be exposed to art writing on the way to the sports page. All in all, it was an interesting discussion and a good use of the morning to get the ball rolling. It was also a reminder that building community takes effort, and sometimes that effort is as simple as dragging your ass out of bed and showing up.