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Art Process and Thicket, two art communities to watch

John-Paul Delaney, “Gone” 1994

John-Paul Delaney, “Gone” 1994

Community is so important and most artists don’t really have one. So it’s interesting to me that over the last month I’ve gotten emails from community-minded artists who’ve started art communities. One is a Rome-based artist, John-Paul Delaney, whose Art Process website I told you about a year ago. Back then the site was a simple thing: a free place for artists to join and post images of their art. A year later, Delaney’s worked to improve the site, he’s got many more members, and Art Process works as a showplace as well as a flickr-esque community where you can comment on other members’ works and rate the works and generally network yourself. From my brief look around at the new site I found that it’s easy, friendly, and tres European. I didn’t see any American artists, so I put myself in there just to show a little solidarity. The one feature I liked alot, and it’s one that goes really well with the site’s title, is the studio log page which allows you to upload many images to tell the sequential story about the making of a piece of art. Like a photo-journal with commentary. John-Paul’s page is the one to look at if you’re interested. And his process (using wire mesh that he twists into shapes then covers with (plaster? paper? and paints) and his story about having to move out of his apartment — again (a recurring problem in his life–due to being an artist and making a mess, he speculates?) is poignant.

There must be close to 100 artists on the free site. There’s lots of space to upload images which it formats for you. It’s got a chat section by topic (art business, why make art etc) although it’s not heavily used. But it’s easy to make comments on peoples’ works in the comments box that appears(along with a little prod from John-Paul to help each other out by making a comment) on each art page.

It’s easy to upload jpeg images. Maximum size is 150 k. They are auto-formatted as smaller images that open large when you click on them. So check it out and if you’re looking for community online, I’d say this is one to consider.

Community part 2: Art Thicket

Robert Goodman painting (detail) from Seraphin show this spring

Robert Goodman painting (detail) from Seraphin show this spring

Closer to home, Robert Goodman, Fleisher Challenge artist whose abstract paintings were featured at Seraphin Gallery this Spring (see post) emailed me to say he and a group of artists had formed a group, Art THICKET a community that exists online…even has a blog!!! and will be exhibiting work together in a show at the Crane Art Center, Gallery 309, that opens June 29 at 7 pm.

Rebecca Saylor Sack “Viburnum” 2006

Rebecca Saylor Sack “Viburnum” 2006

Goodman said he’s hoping “that out of this network we are calling THICKET some real ideas are born and conversations outside of our usual circles can be introduced. In some way, we are hoping to insert a new network into the complex networks that already exist in Philadelphia. ”

Mutant No. 1, 2004. dust, carpet fibers, skin flakes, lint hair fragments. (not my photo)

Amen to the idea that complex networks already exist. There’s the Vox Populi network, the Nexus network, the 1801 Howard St. network, the Space 1026, the Black Floor, the Spector, the artblog (yes!), the art school networks… And that’s just the tip of the top.

The Flocking Party, detail

Others in the Art Thicket:

Chris Landau recently made a web piece called “The Flocking Party”
Andrea Gaydos Landau is an installation and drawing based artist
Rebecca Saylor Sack is a painter.

So reach out an touch someone, all. It’s easy and good to be involved. Maybe these are not the communities for you. But maybe they are. Or maybe you want to start your own. Whatever. Strength in numbers is a good thing. We all make our own families when all is said and done.