Some Art PR Wire & Art Listings Professional announcements: all things that post must pass

It’s close to four years since I launched artprwire.com and artlistpro.com.

Both were projects to research the growing online presence for contemporary arts. I am very proud that I was one of the first to explore social media as a platform for curating contemporary art stream , and I have learned a great deal that has influenced my career and my life – namely through the people and art I have connected with as a result.

At the heart of these two websites was my desire to re-invigorate my passion for contemporary art both locally and internationally. I wanted to expose myself as much as possible to current and past exhibits and see as much as work as possible from my limited geographical footprint. I ended up curating a “daily dose of contemporary art” on ALP to the tune of almost 7,000 posts so far. That number is the tip of the iceberg for how many posts, websites and submissions I considered over the years. At some points I can truly say, with pride, that I was totally sick of looking at art!

Also, with pride, I am very happy with the online audience I have built for both sites. They extend beyond the local and even national to a community without borders but unified by a love of looking at good work everyday. Like me. As an artist, I wanted to build a context to release my own work online and feel like I have managed to do that – as well I have become a fan of several artists and online curators I would never of known about otherwise.

But life changes all plans, as my success online has translated into career opportunities elsewhere. Below are some announcements for both sites.

ART PR WIRE

I started this free service as a basic art list that artists and galleries that lacked a marketing budget could utilize to make sure their invite info could be found online. It was and still is a problem for many to be able to effectively send out a press release that is fairly considered for it’s merit and not necessarily for the paid service it is using. In Canada especially, the arts scene is dominated by a commercial monopoly that has limited room and frankly a limited scope – a classic arts administrator mindset of marketing to each other instead of marketing to a wider audience. More about that below.

I actually used to phone up galleries and museums and invite them to submit PR to my website. I was met with a great deal of suspicion and derision, to say the least, and it was a little surprising. I stopped being so proactive and handed out cards at some art galleries and fairs, and as social media evolved beyond doubt then the arts started … later than almost every other industry… to accept that this was a valuable tool. Now I have international exhibits from a wide variety of professional venues and many of the PR submissions I post “go viral” – they get tens of thousands of views I get very good feedback from the galleries participating. This kind of international popularity is, in my view, a very valuable service and a unique channel for local Canadian artists and organizations.

Did I mention it was free? I may develop a paid component for some extra services but I am after the huge market of galleries that don’t engage paid services. The value is the audience data I collect, and the industry expertise I have in publishing such a service. I get gigs now with art magazines and galleries, and that’s what I wanted.

Announcement #1:

I have decided to abandon completely efforts to include local arts organizations. For example, I have lived in Hamilton, Ontario for almost three years and have, on numerous occasions, approached some local public arts organizations and galleries. As I do, I asked to be put on on their media list for PR and opportunities to cover events on my blog. To date, I have received absolutely nothing of the kind from these places. I also cannot access the usual media opportunities to cover these events for my blog and websites. I am invited to many large scale media events in Toronto, New York, Miami, and Los Angeles (for example) but not in Hamilton, Ontario.

I think it’s fair and fine to not utilize a service, but these organizations actually receive public money to operate and to not bother simply adding an email to your email list raises a lot of questions for me. I think what bothers me the most is the disservice this does for the artists involved.

Anyways, my new policy on this is that I will not cover local publicly-funded events unless I am invited as media – though I may still attend. I hope that sounds fair.

Announcement #2:

I am moving away from Tumblr as my primary platform for Art PR Wire and have switched to WordPress to host my content (check out artprweb.com). The reason is that Tumblr took down a post because of a DMCA complaint – one that was so blatantly frivolous and baseless I was shocked. They don’t have their communities interest at heart and I don’t trust them anymore with my content. It took a team of lawyers to get them to re-post the censored content, with an apology to me, and the associated image with that photo format post was forever  lost due their actions. Pretty disappointing and frightening that an intellectual copyright mark against me goes on a permanent record so easily and quickly . There is an opportunity to file a counter-notice against such a malicious complaint, but Tumblr demanded my personal address and full name so they could send it to this weird person harassing me. VERY disturbing and potentially dangerous for someone with a stalker or abusive ex, for example.

Announcement #3:

Though I strip the hyperlink in email addresses as a courtesy, my policy now is that what you email me is what I post on the website. I don’t have time to edit or format submissions. If you don’t want your phone number on a website, please do not include it in your submission.

Art Listings Professional

Announcement

I have enjoyed being an editor and publisher of a pioneering social media powered magazine about contemporary art. Somedays, I have posted as much as 20 works as a considered group in a curated stream. But now I feel ready to concentrate on my own studio work and consolidate my reviews, interviews and art postings onto my wordpress blog here at chrishealey.me. I am closing down ArtListPro as it currently functions and merging it with Art PR Wire. I believe this enhances the value for artists and galleries posted about on this network – but my giant online curated art stream project is coming to an end. It’s no longer as fun as it was and for the reasons mentioned above I am now deeply mistrustful of Tumblr’s ability to protect it’s community members and their legitimate content.

I will have other projects online, but ALP was special and I want to thank my fans and subscribers over the last few years for their encouragement and feedback. I hope you enjoy the format change to the best submissions of current art exhibits and events from around the world.

Graffiti – art or community scourge? Part 1

The first in a series of videos and posts exploring street art and its role in community. In this segment, Jen and I decide to call the number on an anti-graffiti poster in our city of Hamilton that has seemingly been part of a larger campaign to crack down on street artists. Or is it? Is there a difference between what the city sees as crime or art? Does it depend on what kind of building?

My intent was and is to ask questions for clarification before I attempt to report an unappealing visual mar – their poster. Perhaps they will present a compelling counter-argument. I just want more information.

This video is my first attempt to follow the instructions on the poster. As you will soon see, I was unwilling to risk tying up emergency lines but my suspicions of the anti-graffiti poster campaign are compelling me to further explore this tense frontier of public space and art.

As some of you know, my family and I are big fans.

Nuit Blanche photos and musings



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We made our way from Nathan Phillips Square (City Hall) west to the AGO and OCADU then to 401 Richmond, and then west onto Queen West. This photoset follows some of the more photo-friendly snapshots on our self-walking tour until we reached The Gladstone Hotel.

We stated off at 11pm, catching the end of the Daniel Lanois performance at City Hall and got to the Gladstone at 4:30am. Below are some musings about the event.

Is ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2010 too corporate? 10 criticisms of Toronto’s contemporary art all night thing.

10. I hate it when car dealerships set up shop at these things (that includes you, Hamilton Super-crawl). It only confuses people about what culture really is.

9. “all-night” should mean ALL NIGHT – not just till you get sleepy. We were pretty sleepy and disappointed at 4am when we found the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art closed and many other venues as well.

8. Drunk dick-heads were everywhere. This could explain criticism of #9 above. Unfortunately, the drunken yahoo trolls start to ruin large, free and accessable events for everyone – at least between 1am-4am.

7. Why can’t every gallery, studio and venue that wants to be open that night get listed somewhere as part of Nuit Blanche as well?

6. Why don’t more galleries, studios and venues just stay open anyways and take advantage of the huge crowds? We noticed many were closed. Some were even in-between exhibits and there was nothing to see through the window.

5. There were lots of live and dj dance “stations” everywhere but Torontonians don’t dance or move with the music. They just stand there and gawk at us old fogies who did dance.

4. Less video projections and more costumes! This year was a bit better but I get the feeling the city will have to close more streets to cars during the festival to encourage this kind of participation.

3. Public transport needs to be free that day.

2. Make a map of the event as one big map – not just 8 mini-maps that are impossibly out of sequence and scale. It reads more like a savings account terms of use.

1. Is early October really the best night to be outside for 9 hours?

Photo pictures and moving pictures of ALP exhibit, performance art

Without further adieu, collected media from the big exhibit and web launch party on the 7th. Thanks Joanne and Lauren for the photos and movies. Thanks to the visual and spoken word artists – we are inspired to do this all again.

Exhibit continues at Culturshoc until the 30th.

1205 queen street west. Featuring visual work by Charles Hackbarth, Sean Hadley, Andreanne Le Hudon, Marinko Jareb, Trevor Laalo and Ryan Rader.

Okay, there was a bit more adieu.

The Art Listings Professional website launch party, group exhibit and performance art incident at CulturShoc Jan 7 2010. Exhibit continues until Jan 30.

Rob O'Flanagan performs

Trevor Laalo peforms

Trevor Laalo peforms