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.

~ by emilypothast on April 28, 2009.

10 Responses to “Art Klatch: The State of Art Writing in the Northwest”

  1. I was so ridiculously invigorated by that discussion I’ve got ten times the energy as normal (is that even possible?)

    I really look forward to the rising collective of artist voices and readers in a growing community.

  2. I agree that this gathering was incredibly invigorating. I hope that the Klatch sustains some of this energy in the future; I wouldn’t mind more standing-room-only gatherings with our lovely local critics in tow….

  3. Indeed. I’m definitely going to make more of an effort to make it to Klatch as often as I can.

  4. Thanks to all that attended. Kind of a small group this morning, huh?… We’re going on our 2nd year anniversary of the Klatch next week, meaning we’ve done 104 klatches in a row, so yes you’ve missed just a bit of discourse. And like Sharon and illusoryconfections above, I’ve found it invigorating each and every time (in one way or another). It has proven to the very best way to start my work week.

    And kudos to all of you who make my daily blog reading so invigorating (emily, sharon, joey, jen, et al) and who are contributing to the discourse (a word Jen hates). While I have a self-imposed moratorium on taking part in blog comments (we covered exactly why in quite a few past klatches), please know that I read all of you religiously and might have, just now, lifted that ban…


    • Why, I was just writing about how great it was on my blog too!

      Hello Scott, I am so glad you created the Klatch. I would be very interested to know more about your blog-commenting habits!


  5. Thanks, Scott! 8 am is early for some people; an ungodly hour for aspiring rock n’ rollers who habitually stay out till 2. But the community and conversation are well worth the wake-up call. Now that I’ve been to one, I’m much more apt to become a fixture. It really is a wonderful institution you’ve got going, and it was encouraging to see such a big, dynamic group come together for this discussion.

  6. […] inclined members of the community from happening upon arts coverage and criticism (summarized on Translinguistic Other).  Based on my graduate work in the online realm, I knew I very much disagree with this concern […]

  7. […] quick thank you to Cafe Presse and The Lawrimore Project for their continuing series of Art Klatch discussions.  Last Tuesday’s was great, and breakfast is always great at Presse.  If I […]

  8. […] Matthew Offenbacher is a really nice person. I haven’t really met him; I only attended the Klatch that hosted him on the panel. As soon as he started talking, I was like, “WHO is this sweet […]

  9. […] at gallerist Scott Lawrimore’s Klatch from 2009, when it was viewed in relationship to the declining presence of the traditional media outlets for arts […]

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