Summary: After hearing from more than a few of you, we protested when for the second year, local artists were not notified of how to be considered for five paid installations with public funds during Sunnyside Restaurant Week.
We met with the folks who run it, who were helpful, and tried to mend fences and get into the running. Essentially, we learned that No Longer Empty considers work year ‘round for their installations not just for individual shows.
A fuller explanation: (Skip over if you have no interest.)
We met with the Naomi Hersson-Ringskog, a principle of No Longer Empty, which curates the shows, and Rachel Thieme of Sunnyside Shines-BID, who taps No Longer Empty to choose artists, some weeks ago to resolve our differences after our public complaints.
The solution suggested by Ms. Hersson-Ringskog was that individual artists send in their work for consideration so they might become part of No Longer Empty's general talent pool when NLE curates shows – not just locally, but NLE when installs exhibitions in general.
There is no guarantee of using more local artists than in the past, but artists getting work in to them to consider increases the chances.
We also asked Rachel Thieme, Director of Sunnyside Shines to consider Sunnyside Artists to curate a show or work with us and/or No Longer Empty since we have the most local experience and grassroots credibility with 38+ shows to our credit. We also have the best record for getting local people to fine art events and could generate wider local interest in their installations. We also hope our local venues benefit from more customers if they exhibit art!
In general, the meeting was forthright and we hope productive. A partnership and better communication will help all of us. We are not opposed to outside curators – the more art here the better – we were just steamed at our artists not having a crack at the opportunity when publicly funded.
Both Naomi and Rachel seemed wanting to mend fences and do their best by locals. And we promised to pipe down and respect their process: NLE does "site specific" work, meaning going into a site and bringing in an artist from a wider pool, not necessarily local. Of course, we urged more local artists as one cannot get more site specific and organic than that; and we noted that we as artists are local businesses, too!
So the gist is, the BID is going to continue to tap NLE, so if you are interested in being considered as an artist for Restaurant Week, or for any of NLE’s artist opportunities elsewhere, you should individually submit work to No Longer Empty for general review.
Note: We advise searching under GOOGLE IMAGES for "No Longer Empty" images before mulling over your work to submit.
Inundating No Longer Empty with work examples which are not in keeping with their aesthetic seems a waste of time. Their local exhibitions so far indicate that their tastes seem to run to sophisticated, sculptural, non-representational, using themes of repetition, and often fun and quirky. They seem not to favor emerging artists but those with outside success under their belts, so prepare for disappointment if that is not you.
But you gotta be in it to win it!
Read first: http://www.nolongerempty.org/home/who-we-are/nle-process/