Glamour of the Art World, Part II


Here’s a shot of a typical meeting between me, my counterparts at Mortensen Construction, HOK Architecture, Tranin Design, and assorted contractors/engineers.  We’re comparing notes on a huge (20′ high) installation in blown glass for a prominent structure.  Today we sorted out issues such as lighting placement, armature placement, blocking for collar rings, install deadlines for downrods and armature, engineering approval of weight loads per downrod, install methods for 40′ above deck, etc.  

Sound glamorous?  We both know it ain’t; the glamor occurs for the glass artist after install, during applause.  But by having these meetings, and meticulously reviewing all details, we avoid collective brain farts, so no one’s flipping out during the week of install, wondering how a particular item could have possibly been overlooked.  This is part of my job: to oversee critical details so the artists can just concentrate on their work. 

See the clock on the back wall?  That’s the countdown, in days and hours, to grand opening.  Keeps everyone real during meetings. 

If you’re wondering who the artist on this project is, I’m not allowed to reveal that yet.  But I will when the time is right.

2 thoughts on “Glamour of the Art World, Part II

  1. I was looking for the women in the photo. It stuck me that often in the corporate and business world the art decisions are made by the males of our species. As a Now Showing artist with the BCA, I have been doing an experiment (I was a scientist in my first life). I work with the new client to put together an exhibit for their offices that they personally will enjoy (quite often this is the CEO or a VP and most frequently a male.) I do a lot of Kansas City architectural pieces that men like. When I show up for the hanging, the helpers are most frequently women, usually admistrative assistants, the persons most likely to have contact with office visitors in the reception area where my work is on view. I always take a few extra art pieces that have a softer look and mix them in with the others so the “helpers” get to pick a few. Gives them ownership of the work. And invariable the ones I thought would appeal to the feminime taste are the ones they want to hang near their own work spaces. When I work with a female CEO, there is generally a broader mix of subject matter in the exhibit. Sometimes we forget that much of the workforce is female and sometimes they have little input into what kind of art they will have to view day in and day out in their office environment.

  2. Actually the exec who heads this group is a woman, one of the architects is a woman, and so is one of the artists; they just didn’t attend this meeting. The exec is a great gal with terrific vision who carefully scrutinizes every project. Once she’s convinced that the artists know what they’re doing, she does that thing we all love: let’s go.

    At H&R Block, the VP who approved all of our designs was a woman, the project manager a woman, the art committee was made up mostly of women, and the head engineer was a woman.

    When I assemble a collection, I ensure a large number of commissions go to women–including minorities. But the sad truth is, the business world and art world are still dominated by white males. This is slowly changing. It sounds like you’re doing much to push that along. And I couldn’t agree more: ownership of the work is critical. Glad you’re with Now Showing; we’re about to begin utilizing that program.

    The openness of female as opposed to male? Now that’s an interesting thought, but not one I’ll get into today.

Leave a Reply