Thursday, December 29, 2011

Revisiting My Pipe Dreams

5 years ago I expressed 9 Pipe Dreams for the artworld in DC  and I wanted to revisit them and see whats' what for 2011. I also wanted to take the time to think of new dreams.

Here are the dreams I expressed in 2006 and my sense of where things are now.

1. MLK- the national center for the creative arts.
My Dream Then:
To turn MLK library into a National Center for the Creative Arts.
What's What 2011:
The fate of MLK library is still undecided. It seems likely that it will be altered in some way, and no chance in hell it will become an arts center. In fact, I've heard no talk of any interest in a DC arts center at all, national or citywide. I still like the idea. I'd still love to see something of this nature move forward. So, still a dream. still a pipe dream.

2. DC Arts on Foot

My Dream Then:
To expand Arts on Foot
What's What 2011:

Arts on Foot did expand! One year, it lasted a handful of days and expanded a few blocks. There was art, foor
d, drink, aerialists even! I had a great time. This year it was 2 days, so a bit smaller than its peak. One issue for me was that Arts on Foot once paid artists to participate. Now it costs quite a bit of money to participate. The last time I participated, Food was given center court in the middle of the street, and artists were put into an art tent alley on the sidewalk. People still bought art, but it did bother me a bit that we were shoved to the side. i wasn't able to make it this year, but i think they fixed that aspect. I hope it can continue to grow and maintain the visual arts as a focus. 


My Dream Then:
To have a large scale serious art fair in DC
What's What 2011:
Well, first we got artDC. a large scale international arts extravaganza at the Walter Washington Convention Center. I liked it. But it didn't come back for a repeat performance.  Then, this year, we got (e)merge. I loved it. It was a pipe dream come true! Cool galleries from around the world, cool art, great performances, lots of dc artists were included. AND it's going to happen again next year. Definitely the most significant Arts event in DC in the past 5 years. yay!! Maybe someday a gallery would want to include my work. Anyone? Class? Anyone? Bueller? 
My new pipe dream is that i get to actually participate in something like this.

4. A Grand Arts District Along North Capitol

My Dream Then:
Swamppoodle Arts Center on North Capitol, and a flood of galleries to the North Capitol Corridor.
What's What 2011:
North Capitol @Quincy Street, facing South

Nothing. well, nothing much. I live in this corridor of the city, and i've worked to chronicle things in my hood, so this one is more personal than the others on my list. so what IS going on? NPR is building its headquarters along North Capitol in an old Smithsonian space. A Fab Lab is coming. I've read that Artomatic may come back to NoMa, but we'll see.  Not much else going on. That old firehouse pictured in my original post from 5 years ago? still empty.
But i mentioned FabLab. I'm actually totally stoked about that. and we did have the Bloomingdale Arts Walk
I still hold on to a dream that North Capitol will be a home to more arts usage.

north capitol street dc.
North Capitol Street, facing north
Still a pipe dream.

5. DC will become a destination to buy and support arts. 

My Dream Then:
Fewer Washingtonians would think they have to go to NYC to buy art. and some may visit DC because of the arts here.
What's What 2011:
I think that this is changing. it's a good direction, and things like (e)merge, and the reactionary show that it spurred, are helping. Another great force since 2006 has been Philippa Hughes and her Pinkline Project. She wrote an article on Huffington Post concerning this topic. The population in DC  is still growing and there is now a lot of self respect and a growing desire to support DC artists.   
It's very promising. Pipe Dream halfway there!


6. More galleries will open in centralized locations.

My Dream Then:
To have a more centralized gallery scene.
What's What 2011:
Not so much. Virtually no galleries in "Gallery Place". The 14th street galleries are closing or moving. Trinidad has become host to a few galleries, but for the most part, our art scene is very spread out. I guess that's like most places anyway. Still a pipedream.

7. An ArtBoat Regatta on the Anacostia

My Dream Then:
Art Barges on the Anacostia!!!!!
What's What 2011:
DC is still seriously lacking in martime artistic endeavors.

down by the river

Maybe the Georgetown Canal.
walked along the canal today.

This maintains a water pipedream.

8. The Great Great American Beer and Art Fest.

My Dream Then:
Beer + Art. and lots of both. 
What's What 2011
One thing that I could not possibly foresee is that DC has Three breweries now in our fair city!!!!!! DC Brau,  Chocolate City Brewery and 3 Stars Brewing ! Amazing! Both have artwork decorating their walls. Maybe this could still happen!!!!! Maybe now just a dream, not a pipe dream.


9.  More galleries will start a blog.

My Dream Then:
I wanted to see more dynamic sites from galleries. I wanted more interaction between galleries and collectors and artists. I wanted to grow our social and cultural networks.

What's What 2011:
Do people still blog? well... i guess they do. But interactive content has made a huge jump to facebook and twitter. Nowadays pretty much everyone has made the leap to at least one of the 3 things. the ones that haven't have become invisible. maybe that works for them. But, things are way more accesible and interactive than they were 5 years ago. the shift in this is obvious to everyone but the olde thyme institutions that don't wish to have an audience under 50. I think this pipe dream has become irrelevant.

All in all DC seems to have come a long way in the past five years. I look forward to the next five with the hopes of even greater improvements. If anyone reads this, i'd love to hear your thoughts on what you would love to see for the arts in dc ( or your own town). 


Art D. said...

SAVOR and the week leading up to it kind of fulfill #8, not the Art part, of course.

I'd still like to see the N. Capitol street underpass in your 'hood "roofed over". I can't remember if that was your idea or not and seem to recall in involved a movie screen (more Art!)

Regina at Fauxology said...

I have to say, this is one of the best "new year" posts I've come across. Very original! As to Orlando -- dare I say my dream for it would be to be known as much for the arts as it is a tourist destination? Can I add that to the hat? Sigh. One can dream...