Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

ExchangeWorks and Art+Public a Treat for Artists and Audience

When I first came across the ExchangeWorks website, it was like running into a hydra in real life (albeit a friendly hydra!) Approaching from all sides are a variety of services, objects and experiences related to the arts. Visiting the site leads to encountering art from all angles and, best of all, bartering for your own needs by providing art and/or creative services in return for those needs. Finally, the art world has its own WWOOF/Couchsurfing/Craigslist, but even better: ExchangeWorks acts a forum for collaboration, discovery, and creativity.

 

Family Pickling workshop with the Bulgarian Collaborative

Family Pickling workshop with the Bulgarian Collaborative

Along with this hub for artists and other art world professionals comes a brand new offering I can’t wait to try out: Art+Public. A platform to bring together artists and anyone interested in engaging with the arts, Art + Public does double duty fostering an expanded appreciation for artists and their work as well as providing artists with new means of interacting with an audience. Ranging from workshops and tours to creative services, these encounters act as a springboard into new dimensions for artists. Instead of being brought on by a third party to facilitate an experience (lecture, panel, etc), artists can determine for themselves how to approach the public. Offered at low- to no-cost, these programs don’t adhere to any set theme or agenda. Instead, they serve as a portal into a new world of discovering the arts.

 Erik den Breejen, shown with his work Richard Pryor, 2014-Bushwick Studio Tour En Francais

Erik den Breejen, shown with his work Richard Pryor, 2014-Bushwick Studio Tour En Francais

 

What may be most interesting about Art + Public is how it comes at such a prescient moment in art’s burgeoning dialogues both with the public and with alternative forms of capital and payment. Recent examples of art and exchange occurring in New York City alone include Exchange Rates Bushwick, Bartertown (DUMBO Arts Festival AND Brooklyn Museum), and Marie Lorenz Randall’s Island Tide Ferry project taking visitors for free along the East River to explore the waterway (before you ask, it is the farthest thing from an IKEA ferry trip!) Growing in tandem with these dollar-sign-free experiences are audience-friendly public art initiatives. Biennials are increasingly considering the audience in palpable ways (and at reduced costs/free admission) and plethora of outdoor art festivals (Art in Odd Places comes to mind) have made strides in being as non-artworld-exclusive as possible. The added value of Art + Public’s web presence aligns with its location-specific experiences to ensure that everyone has access to current information regarding upcoming programs. Programs occur in a variety of places, led by internationally renown artists working in across all media, from photography to painting to performance. The offerings start small, but keep your eyes open–and don’t wait too late to make a reservation!

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