Friday, December 8, 2023


“No man is an island.” -John Donne

As we retreat to our homes, watching our daily rhythm topple piece by piece, perhaps we are all discovering the ways in which we lean on each other that we never noticed before. Although we must by necessity remain distant, let us not isolate ourselves by voice, by spirit, by thought. And indeed let us not forget, not even for a moment’s time, the essential nature of the artistic contribution. Art is necessary in the best of times, more so when there is upheaval. The act of making art is a gesture of peace and calm and a call to arms (for hugging) to unite a worried and fragmented world.

Adam de Boer lives and works in Los Angeles. When he spoke to us he was enmeshed in a series of batik paintings for an exhibition at Hunter Shaw Fine Art Gallery alongside the work of artist Tammy Nguyen. Batik is a wax resist dying technique native to Java Indonesia, where de Boer’s father was born. Growing up a suburban kid, it was surfing that first led de Boer back to his ancestral home where he encountered Batik. His paintings are hybrid works that draw on his particular ancestry and trajectory. The cover image on this week’s newsletter is de Boer’s Fool’s Cap Map of the World which the artist discusses extensively in the interview. To hear this and more, listen to the entire conversation.

Nicole Schmolzer spoke to us from Switzerland in an area without a vibrant arts scene although Schmozer herself had a robust primary school art education in her little town. She is not far from Basel where the art scene is world famous but for Schmolzer the scene wasn’t enough so she left for New York once completing school. Her time there helped define her work and studio practice. For her, the change between the two places was a benefit, offering different ways of working. Her studio in Switzerland is larger and her community quieter as opposed to New York where space is limited and you never know what will happen from day to day. Both worlds, Schmolzer says, have their place. To hear more about her career and insights, listen to the complete interview.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Although the way ahead remains uncertain, and many of us are forced apart, art stands as a beacon of hope, guiding the world along a new path.

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. Adam de Boer is reading Portraits by John Berger. Nicole Schmolzer is reading The Art of Rivalry by Sebastian Smee.


Artists and curators interested in the opportunity to hold an exhibit at a storefront gallery in East Chelsea, New York are invited to apply for CUE‘s current open call. Two artists as well as an emerging curator are selected each year and are paired up with a CUE selection panel member who acts as guide. CUE offers shipping budget, honorarium and other incentives to selected artists and curators. For full details, visit the website. Deadline for submissions is March 18.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

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.



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