Sunday, October 9, 2011

Whitney Ranson Visit

     I enjoyed this lecture in that it was so different from the previous artist talks we've had in our Professional Practices course. It was nice to see an artist around our age group doing something that makes such an impact in the community of Memphis. However, much like the previous talks, Ranson attributed her good fortune in obtaining the position she has with the Urban Arts Commission as just that: good fortune. I am a strong believer in working hard to get where you want to be and that opportunities will arise the more you put yourself out there and work for them, and I think Ranson's explanation illustrates that idea pretty well. I just wish she'd elaborated more on the steps it took to get there. I would also like to know how other cities can be involved in programs like this. My hometown (Paducah, KY) is struggling right now with their years-old artist relocation program. The program flourished at first, but lately, the number of galleries and businesses in the Lowertown Arts District has begun to dwindle. I have often considered going back to stay in order to help educate the community about making art or even learning to appreciate pieces that aren't just about matching one's furniture and I believe having a program like the Urban Arts Commission would help make that change possible. That being said, I am interested to know how it happened for Memphis. Who decided to dedicate 1% of the city's funds to public art? What other cities have a similar practice? It was good to have this opportunity to hear Whitney Ranson talk about this amazing program, but I wanted to see more projects than just that mural, like possibly those cool tree sculptures in the library or a few of the "I Love Memphis" murals. At the end of the day, I came home and registered and am now a proud member of the Urban Arts Commission. On a side note, though, I don't really have much of an advantage on the website's Artist Directory alphabetically. I'm jealous of all the last names that begin with an A because they are the first ones that pop up and I don't really know how many people would want to take the time to scroll through the entire directory of artists. Perhaps that can be reworked somehow, like if there was a way to randomize the artist names that show up every time the page loads. I don't know, just a thought :) 

1 comment:

  1. That's a really good idea about randomizing the artist directory (it would help me too, ha). I don't know what Whitney said in her talk, but from her LinkedIn profile, it looks like ater college she worked an unpaid internship while working another job at Breakaway running, then continued to work two jobs after becoming an office administrator there. Phew! Sounds like a lot of hard work to me!