I have received a wide range of questions about GO from artists. Some of the more skeptical ones have included “So, it’s a contest?” and “I probably won’t win, so why should I bother?” As you’ve heard from me in an earlier post, at the heart of this project is a desire to bring together the Brooklyn community around the tremendous creativity of artists here.
Imagine the energy of September 8th and 9th—artists will open their doors from Coney Island to Bay Ridge and Greenpoint to Bed-Stuy and beyond, and the community will be able to see the tremendous work being created in their neighborhoods and elsewhere. Yes, we ask that visitors nominate up to three artists whose work they saw over the weekend, and then we will select the art for the exhibition from the ten artists who receive the most nominations. That said, we hope that the participating artists do not look at GO as a contest or competition, but rather as an opportunity. Of course, we would love to harness all of the great activity happening in the borough and bring it back to the Museum, but limitations of space and schedule make that impossible (we now have over 1200 artists who have started the registration process!). Instead, we want to open up the curatorial process and to invite the community to be part of it. We’ve worked hard to design a nomination method that encourages thoughtful art viewing rather than a popularity contest. GO has inspired and challenged my work as a museum curator, and I hope it will be equally exciting for you.
In the end, I hope that artists will be open to the range of possibilities in this project—including, but not limited to, the museum exhibition. For that reason, I created this list (with some input from artists):
Artist registration is open now, but ends this Friday. Visit www.gobrooklynart.org to get started.
Sharon Matt Atkins joined the Brooklyn Museum in 2009 and is the Managing Curator of Exhibitions, overseeing the Museum’s exhibition program. She is the co-organizer of GO: a community-curated open studio project, with Shelley Bernstein. She has coordinated and facilitated numerous special exhibitions, including Andy Warhol: The Last Decade and Norman Rockwell: Behind the Camera. Prior to her move to Brooklyn, Atkins had been the Assistant Curator at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire.