“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.” -Graham Greene
Start where you are. It sounds so simple, so obvious. But we forget. It is too easy to become caught up in trying to find the perfect point from which to begin anything new, the moment when all is laid before us in a clear path instead of recognizing that moment can be any moment, that we can simply start from where we stand today. In this way, we manage the fear and intensity of change and newness.
Tongo Eisen-Martin is a poet, movement worker and educator who spoke to us during the month of April 2020 from San Francisco. He reported that the city had adjusted to the quarantine relatively seamlessly, noting that there is a large population of people there who are able to work from the safety of their homes. He went on to say that the homeless population there have seen a terrible spread of COVID-19 after being gathered together in a makeshift shelter where the virus broke out. For his part, Eisen-Martin is working on poems, prose-essay hybrid work and curricula related to the recent murders of Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor. He has written similar curricula in the past to give a social context to the statistics of murders such as these. To hear a conversation about this as well as live readings of some of Eisen-Martin’s poetry, listen to the complete interview.
Andrew Woolbright spoke from Bushwick, Brooklyn. Woolbright runs a collaborative gallery with friends on the Lower East Side that opened its doors a little over two years ago. Because the gallery is independently run among the artist collaborative, they are able to take risks. There is a focus on group shows and an emphasis on being radically non-hierarchical, showcasing the work of both emerging and established artists. The gallery began in part as a reaction to the desire to do something rather than just complain about the ways in which the art world is lacking. To hear more about this rather Utopian endeavor, the fire that destroyed his studio and a treasured heirloom and more, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
One needn’t wait for some perfect starting point to arrive, rather simply take a step from where you stand and carry on from there.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Books of poetry by Tongo Eisen-Martin can be found here. Andrew Woolbright is reading Weird Realism: Lovecraft and Philosphy by Graham Harman, among other things.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has extended the deadline for their call for applications to the International Fund for Cultural Diversity. The IFCD finances initiatives that stimulate creative and cultural industries in developing countries. For a more complete picture of the criteria as well as a comprehensive list of eligible countries, visit the website. The deadline for applications is June 16.
Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.
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In these uncertain times, our first responsibility is assuring staff, their families and our entire art community is safe. We hope to turn the page on this devastating virus and return to normalcy soon. In the meantime, we continue sharing educational resources and have developed new Facebook Live events, providing an informal and intimate opportunity to meet artists and engage in topics we all love. Follow the GOLDEN Facebook page to join!
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis Center for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius.