Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art curator Claire Carter talks about:
The demographic of Scottsdale, including a large number of retirees who Winter there, and make up a substantial presence in support of her museum; how she’s grown into her full-time “curator of contemporary” role from within, starting 10 years ago as a curatorial assistant; the show she curated borne out of a lunch talk she gave to a group of former spies; that show, Covert Operations: Investigating the Known Unknowns,’ particularly a piece by Bay Area artist David Gurman, whose piece was a 500-pound bell that hung in the middle of the gallery and was connected to a program that had it toll once for every violent civilian death (as culled from IraqBodyCount.org) every hour on the hour, and how affecting the piece became, for the staff, the visitors and especially Carter herself; how her role as curator sometimes include procuring a large, turn-of-the-century Paul Revere-style bell to replace the previously exhibited version which had been stolen; how deeply moved she was by that piece, something of a payoff for all the hard work and strings that got pulled amongst her co-workers to make it happen; the frank statistical information she shares with the art students she visits at Arizona State University about how many artists wind up in museums, and the ideal role between an artist and a curator; what her studio visits are like, and the size of the smallest studio she can recall visiting.
Brooklyn-based artist and commercial-studio-building developer Stef Halmos talks about:
How she feels about Greenpoint’s gentrification arc, as a 12-year resident there herself; her commercial development in Catskill, New York, two hours north of the city, where she’s helming the renovation and rentals of a 50,000 sq. foot building called Foreland Catskill for studios, galleries and production facilities; the genesis for starting the project/buying the building, which came out of wanting to join a communal studio situation instead of working from home; what she’s been learning as a developer/project manager in terms of obtaining permits (much easier than it would have been in the city), working with the contractor (Rich, who she speaks about glowingly), and what they need to do to keep the building sustainable for another 150 years; her father, who co-owns the building with Stef and also acts as her mentor and “consigliere,” providing endless advice on the project; her early years as a video artist and photographer, including interning for Annie Leibowitz; losing all the work she had ever made (which had been kept in UHaul storage) during Superstorm Sandy, and how that changed her art-making and career trajectory; and the two-and-a-half years when she wasn’t making any work at all, and how she managed to turn that unproductive period around.