Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Art Advisor & Art Consultant Shares a Week's Activities

We want to continue to keep you updated on our weekly art activities. Below is a list of some of the things Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory spent time on in an effort to continue to position ourselves as your premier source for art advisory and art consultation in the metropolitan Washington DC corridor.

Public Art Coalitions. We researched the Metropolitan Public Art Coalition and did general information collecting on new public art projects. Our focus was on public art policy and private business interest and how that prompts developers to include public art work in their projects. We're also looking at large-scale installation art and examining how public art may be seen as an amenity that helps sell buildings to potential tenants. We're striving to understand where sculpture, art for the public, public art, and installation art co-exist and cross boundaries. We've looked at the Public Monuments and Sculptures Association to get a better handle on what they do, and we're considering a bid for large sculpture works in Florida. We received some very exciting news on two public art work installations where we are waiting for bid closure.

Plane Project. We're preparing to start our awarded public art plane painting project with our Crystal City Flight Planes. We received our vintage luggage tags for Marriott's plane; we re-thought our design for Boeing's plane; and we worked with a local graphics shop to get 3M film ready for the Marine Corps Marathon plane. We viewed some gorgeous photography of human faces by Patrick de Wilde and have contacted his publisher for re-use permissions on the Marine Corps plane. We've been keeping up with the Crystal City's blog on the plane project and we've been collecting our thoughts on how to best proceed.

Art & Science. In conjunction with the above, we read Arakka's statements asserting that 40% of young adults who buy art are art lovers and that youngsters should know art enriches a person's mood and life. Art therapy, he states, is popular globally because it increases your life span. Dr. Gene Cohen, GWU Director of Center on Aging, Health & Humanities would agree. He believes creative activity can stimulate the brain and works to keep people healthy as they age. For more information on art therapy and creativity, see the Society for Arts in Healthcare and the American Art Therapy Association. We'll continue to explore creativity and therapy in the arts, particularly in visionary art. Charles H. Parkhurst said, "The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of." Accordingly, this week we're reading 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die by Stephen Farthing and in honor of Black History Month, Life on the Color Line by Gregory Howard Williams. My heart hurts when I physically read both, but for completely different reasons.

Art and Self-Esteem. We began thinking about creating a new published work on Art and Self Esteem - this work would be oriented to middle and high school students to demonstrate how adversity, persistence, and creativity has propelled some of today's world famous artists out of very austere circumstances. The goal is to inspire students to see a world of possibility within themselves, we are collecting well known works in an image library and will explore various publishing opportunties.

Art Consulting. This week, we took a look at Vivienne Lassman's work in Washington, DC; Gerry Weinberg's work in "Secrets of Consulting"; and Eric Vogt's work in "The Art & Architecture of Powerful Questions." We've been watching Gina Hurst's art consultant blog out of Huntsville, Texas (and Gina if you read this, please get a hold of us!) As we went about registering our firm with various association entities, we had to learn about the nuances of SSIC codes and found ourselves as an art advisory/art consultant caught between museum and art galleries at 8412 and business services commercial art at 7336. An art advisory is neither a gallery or commercial art and and an art consultant isn't necessarily a business services firm. What to do? While we leave that on the back burner, we turn our heads towards leading luxury real estate brokerages, land, and commercial developers and are looking at how liaisons with this group can further pave pathways for local artists, gallerists, and art patrons alike.

Advertising & Business Matters. We finalized and received our design for our third mailing campaign; we selected a design for our vehicle advertising; we approved our business checks and checking accounts; and we're networking with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Alexandria Professional Women's Network, the Eisenhower Partnership, and the West End Partnership to understand our place in the local business environment. Beyond local politics, we're gathering information on resources available to small business woman-owned enterprises and their inherent procurement possibilities, grant possibilities, and formal certifications. We're also shopping around for appropriate insurances and dialoguing with the National Association of the Self-Employed (a group that carries formidable health care plans for those who may not have coverage).

Art & Politics. We read with interest several articles on the Presidential candidates and their relative positions in arts policies, one of the better articles is at We did a little reading on democracy, data, and communications. And we voted. We hope you did too! In the scope of issues facing our nation, a candidate's position on arts may not seem up in the top ten list. Voting and volunteering are sure fire ways to engage in effective arts advocacy. If you don't speak up for art when you can, who will? Speaking of which, remember that Arts Advocacy Day with Americans for the Arts is March 31st with the Nancy Hanks Lecture and Emerging Leaders Reception the same day. The Congressional Arts Breakfast follows on April 1, 2008.

Art Competitions. There are two interesting and large dollar figure current art competitions presenting unique challenges, one requires Puerto Rico residency over the past five years and another requires Toronto's Junction neighborhood residency. We had an interesting week trying to work with and find collaborators for these projects. Amazingly, artists seemed more reluctant to collaborate via the Internet (even when big dollars are involved) and we want to take the opportunity to say that many competitions allow artists to enter as a collaborative unit. This is a great way to spread the wealth, spread the success, and spread the shared experience of creating. Sadly, we had more "hits" on an art deco Stendig table and chair set we are selling through Craigslist (which is still available if you're interested). What is the world coming to?

Art Fraud & Art Crimes. With the very sad loss of major art works in Switzerland (and the unbelievable lack of security therein), and the concurrent increases in actual sales dollars over estimates at major art auctions, we spent time understanding in greater detail, the continuing nature of art fraud, art crimes, and underground markets.

As you can see, Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is busy with arts advising and arts consulting -attending to business matters, and concentrating on our four business art pillars: writing, designing, coaching, and consulting. In the past few weeks, it seems the public arts arena and arts administration have been at the forefront of our activities, but this is all designed to be of greater ultimate service to you. In honor of Valentines Day, doing what you love and loving what you do, we offer these words from Marlene Dietrich. "Love for the joy of loving, and not for the offerings of someone else's heart." Whether you embrace Valentines or are celebrating your own anti-Valentines Day demonstration, always remember that more art is more to love. To Alexander, Matthew, Christian, Lauren, Philip, and Sebastian - YOU are loved like no other.