Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I'll Be Moving!


Believing in fairy tales and myths can hurt our careers.
Thank you for visiting. After having this blog for a few years, I decided it was time to rebuild a new blog. I won't be posting articles here anymore. In the next few weeks we will be removing the articles.

Please visit our new wonderful blog where you can read new articles every day. Here is the link: http://www.manhattanartsblog.com. Please stop by, comment and follow.

Friday, April 04, 2014

"People Power List" Your Valuable Professional Asset

By Renée Phillips

Sorry, this article has been rewritten. Its new title is "Nourish Your Art Career With People Power"  and has been moved to the new Manhattan Arts International weblog. You can read it here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Is Your Website Hurting Your Career?

28 Common Mistakes

Shared by Renée Phillips

Do you spend a lot of time actively promoting your art website and/or blog? Are you wondering why you aren’t receiving as many queries, sales, commissions, students and clients as you would like?

I’m sure you already know how frequently you post your website and/or blog on Facebook, twitter, Google+ or LinkedIn or other social networks will not guarantee success. And, how much traffic you get will not insure positive results in terms of your goals.

Sorry this article has been moved. You may read a newer, revised version of this article here: http://www.manhattanartsblog.com/art-website-advice/

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Opportunities for Artists

Shared by Renée Phillips

Professional Artist Magazine Contest

Professional Artist magazine www.professionalartistmag.com states, "We know that inspiration comes in all shapes and sizes, and we want to see what inspires you. Submit a photo of your muse along with an image of the artwork it inspired, and your shots could be published in the June/July 2014 issue of Professional Artist."

Submissions will be accepted through midnight EST May 5, 2014.
To learn more visit http://orders.professionalartistmag.com/muse-contest/


AOM – Free 3-month Subscription

Art Opportunities Monthly (AOM) www.artopportunitiesmonthly.com for professional artists and photographers world-wide, has been around for over 14 years. It is preferred and trusted because it screens out the scams and for-profit "contests" and presents each hand-selected opp in a quick-to-scan capsulized form. It is sent in a highly search-able, freshly organized, carefully edited PDF directly to your email address. No website to go to, no passwords to remember.

It is now offering a free, no-obligation 3-month subscription. If you are a professional artist or want to be, you owe it to yourself to get this.

This offer expires May 15, 2014.

To subscribe visit http://www.artopportunitiesmonthly.com/AOM_3_free_sub.html


Manhattan Arts International Seeks 50 Artists

Manhattan Arts International www.ManhattanArts.com will select 50 Artists to have one of their works of art in this online exhibition, May 17-July 17, 2014.

Our publicity campaign includes promotion via email news goes to more than 40,000 total monthly subscribers and followers. Our combined reach in social media platforms exceeds 989,874 and is growing every day.

All U.S. and international Artists 18 years or older. All 2-D and 3-D art in all styles, sizes, and subjects. Original paintings, drawings, sculpture, mixed media, photography, digital art, work on paper, and one-of-a-kind crafts.

Entry deadline is May 4, 2014.
For more information visit http://www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/Healing-Power-of-ART/about.htm 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dare to Share in Social Media

Pay it Forward ~ It's Contagious!
Shared by Renée Phillips

One of my favorite all time movies is “Pay it Forward”, with Kevin Spacey, Haley Joel Osment, Helen Hunt, Jay Mohr, and Jim Caviezel. It tells the story of a young student’s act of kindness and how it changed the lives of many. With his deed he asked for one simple thing — to “pay it forward”. His action perpetuated a series of positive acts around the country.

In terms of the spirit of generosity, I notice how other art professionals behave in social media. For instance, how much they share — not only their own art work and activities but those of others. I also observe how often people will take time to write positive comments about their social network friends and followers.

This article has been revised and moved to http://www.manhattanartsblog.com/share-social-media/

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Artists Make Your Mark!

The Importance of Being Authentic
By Renée Phillips

Artists are born with a compelling need to probe the depths of self-expression and proclaim self-liberation. The challenge that lies before them is no small task – to explore their innate creativity, fight the demons, ignore the critical voices, discover their strengths, push them to the max, and firmly place their inimitable handprint on the Earth with absolute conviction and no regrets!

This article has been revised and moved to our new website at http://www.manhattanartsblog.com/let-your-creative-greatness-shine/

Saturday, May 18, 2013

10 Tips for Winning Juried Art Competitions

Improve Your Odds and Avoid the Pitfalls
By Renée Phillips

Manhattan Arts International holds a few different juried art competitions each year. We recently held our 8th "Celebrate The Healing Power of ART" juried competition at www.ManhattanArts.com. As one of the jurors I noticed many mistakes artists were making that were sabotaging their chances. I thought an article like this would be helpful. You may also want to read “44 Things to Know About Juried Competitions” that I wrote in 2010, that appears on my blog at http://reneephillips.blogspot.com/2010/04/juried-competitions-how-to-improve-your.html

Here are 10 tips that should improve your odds.

Steven Da Luz (www.stevendaluz.com), "Becoming", oil and metal leaf on panel, 60" x 46". Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

When I saw this awe-inspiring image by Steven Da Luz during the jurying process of "Celebrate The Healing Power of ART" I knew immediately this was an Award of Excellence winner. All of his submissions reflected a consistent, cohesive creative vision. It was difficult to select one entry because all of his were extraordinary. He was perfect for the theme, he demonstrated technical merit, and all of his entries were of equal high quality.

1. Submit your best work only. 
Think "competition." Your entry will be compared to many other entries. If it is a competition like Manhattan Arts International which attracts the best artists, the competition is very steep and there are only a limited number of artists that can be selected. At Manhattan Arts International we take several days to review the submissions, but I think that is rare.

In many instances, your work may have less than one minute to make an impact. One New York gallery reported a major art critic took only two hours to view a few hundred entries. In another competition, the judge took less than an eight-hour day to view 1,000 entries.

2. Read the directions carefully.
Make sure you read every instruction outlined in the prospectus. Failure to do this may result in immediate disqualification. Janice Sands, Executive Director of Pen and Brush, New York, NY, once told me, “Work that does not meet basic requirements will not be hung. Wall hung work must be ready for the hanging system of the gallery and frames must be secure."

Sands emphasizes, "Many galleries will not exhibit work even if it is juried in from images if it arrives in unsatisfactory condition.”

3. Consider the platform. 
Pay attention to proportions...
For a competition that is going to be an online exhibition select images best suited for the Internet. Your jpegs will serve as the exhibiting artwork. Find out what size the images will be on the website.

For example, if you enter your artwork that had odd proportions consider how diminutive it will appear after it is reduced. To illustrate my point: in terms of proportion, which painting would be a better choice to enter for an online competition -- Painting A or Painting B?
Painting A
Painting B

4. Follow the instructions.
If they ask for dimensions in inches, don't give them centimeters. If they require a specific jpeg file size and format submit your images accordingly. Provide the correct resolution and pixel size. Don’t expect to receive any free passes or empathy by saying, “Sorry, I don't know how... so I hope these are okay.”

If you are entering a professional juried competition you are expected to know how or get someone to help you. Excuses will make a poor lasting impression.

5. Don't waste your time either.
Research the juror(s) and their affiliation and career history. If the juror(s) is known for curating cutting edge installation art shows and you create traditional still life, you would probably have a better chance submitting to a different show.

On the other hand, if the competition is in a rural town that doesn't appreciate innovative abstract art, don't waste your effort by sending them your abstract paintings.

Also, consider where you are sending your art work and who will see it. If the exhibition is outside your geographic territory ask your social media friends who live in the area to check out the venue.

Submit extraordinary pieces that are professionally photographed!

James Campbell (www.campbellarts.net), Pomona in Consort, AAC concrete and mixed media, 28" x 9" x 8". Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

This wonderful sculpture by James Campbell stole my heart immediately! It stood out from the majority of the entries. Observe how well the sculpture was  photographed. When viewing this image, it is clear the artist cares about his art work and is a serious professional. This is how you attract the juror's attention!

6. Submit work that best matches the theme.
If the exhibition has a theme, choose your entries carefully. One year, when we asked for entries for "I Love Manhattan" I was shocked at how many entries had nothing to do with the theme.

Before you submit your entries, find out if you can acquire the previous year's catalogue. If online, surf the Internet to see which artists won last year. If for example, you entered “Celebrate The Healing Power of ART”, you would have read our mission statement. You would have seen examples of last year’s winners’ work.

Dig up whatever information you can find to help you make the best decisions.

7. Pay attention to details. 
If you use a different artist name than your legal name, specify that on your entry form and all materials. If the entry fee payment is made on PayPal, make sure you notify the organization that you paid using a different name.

8. Don’t be late.
Sands emphasizes, “Deadlines are deadlines. If the prospectus/guidelines indicate entries must be received by a certain date, that means received, not postmarked.” She adds, “Deliver work on time. Don’t ask for exceptions to the delivery time.”

If the competition boasts they receive 10,000 entries but only choose 10 artists, those odds are not very optimistic.

9. Ask questions.
Acquire the answers to such questions as:
Do they use an internal pre-selection process, or will the named jurors see all of the entries?
How many awards and types of awards will be given?
If there is a purchase award will it cover the value of your work?
Must works be available for sale?
What commission will the sponsor take in sales?
What percentage of the entries will be chosen as the finalists? (If the competition boasts they receive 10,000 entries but only choose 10 artists, those odds are not very optimistic.)

10. Proceed with caution. 
Find out if there are hanging fees, reception costs and other expenses. Prepare to research the organization and ask for references. If in doubt check the Better Business Bureau, Chamber of Commerce, Attorney General's Office and regional and national arts organizations.

If the sponsor claims to be a foundation, research their name on The Foundation Center Web site at http://foundationcenter.org

Don't fret over being rejected.
There are many different reasons why your art work may be rejected from a competition that have less to do with the quality of your art work than you may think. There is a lot of competition among artists so take this process seriously. And, remember, jurors may try their best to be objective, but they are human.

So, do your best to follow the instructions, make the best choices and enter exhibitions that fit your goals and aesthetic direction.

Good luck!

Our next juried competition is Celebrate The Healing Power of Art 2014.
Learn how to enter.

You may also want to read “44 Things to Know About Juried Competitions” at http://reneephillips.blogspot.com/2010/04/juried-competitions-how-to-improve-your.html

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Art Insight: How Vital is Arts in Education?
Part I

The Tremendous Impact of Arts Education
From a series of articles on the subject by Renée Phillips

This is an excerpt of an article that will appear in the August-September issue of Professional Artist magazine.

The renowned sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz once stated, "Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence." But, I ask, doesn't arts education solve problems? Indeed, in its own way, this sometimes underfunded and often under appreciated field of study -- art education -- may not only help answer questions relating to aesthetics, tradition and methods of image making, but there is also growing evidence that this discipline may be an essential key to helping answer questions in a broad spectrum of subjects, including mathematics and the sciences.

Kimberly Forness Wilson (www.kimberlyfornesswilson.com) is an artist who presents workshops for children and adults on such topics as “Healthy Living through Art” which she offered through North Valley Arts Council using the arts to improve health and wellness, Grand Forks, ND. 

Increasing Studies, Evidence and Research

Decades of research have provided more than a sufficient amount of data to prove that arts education impacts everything from overall academic achievement to social and emotional development and so much more.

Evidence from brain research is only one of many reasons education and engagement in fine arts is beneficial to the educational process. Research has proven the arts develop neural systems that produce a broad spectrum of benefits ranging from fine motor skills to creativity and improved emotional balance.

Eric Jensen, one of the leading translators in the world of neuroscience into education, states in his book Arts with the Brain in Mind, “The systems they nourish, which include our integrated sensory, attentional, cognitive, emotional, and motor capacities, are, in fact, the driving forces behind all other learning.”

This notion is supported by another study, conducted by Judith Burton, professor of Art Education and Research, Teachers College, Columbia University, which reveals that subjects such as mathematics, science, and language require complex cognitive and creative capacities that are “typical of arts learning.”

And, according to Bob Bryant, Executive Director of Fine Arts at Katy, ISD (Katy, Independent School District (www.katyisd.org), in Houston, Texas, “Education in the arts is an integral part of the development of each human being. Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational program of every student in Katy ISD.”

Our Future Success Depends on Art Education

Many experts agree that exercising children’s academic muscles alone will not fully prepare them for their future. Now that we are living in an information age, students can no longer rely on lectures and textbooks as their primary sources of content information. Maximum learning is not limited to what we know, but is dependent upon how to find information and how to apply that information quickly, creatively, and cooperatively.

Bryant states, “Students need to be thinkers, possess people skills, be problem-solvers, demonstrate creativity, and work as a member of a team. We need to offer more in-depth learning about the things that matter the most: order, integrity, thinking skills, a sense of wonder, truth, flexibility, fairness, dignity, contribution, justice, creativity and cooperation. The arts provide all of these.”

As author Jensen reminds us, “We are in the twilight of a society based on data. As information and intelligence become the domain of computers, society will place a new value on the one human ability that can’t be automated: emotion.”

It's a notion that is echoed by Daniel H. Pink, who, in his book A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, writes, “The future belongs to a different kind of person with a very different kind of mind…These people–artists, inventors, storytellers…will now reap society’s richest rewards…”

Read How Vital is Education in the Arts Part II

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Art Insight: Do Titles Matter?

On a Sunday morning in 1983 my partner and I sat on my apartment floor munching on bagels and Baklava (I was not very health conscious back then). I remember sharing my dream... to launch a publication with a mission: To promote under-recognized artists who are ignored by the mainstream press!

I proudly declared, "Since we'll be writing about artists in all disciplines we'll title it Fusion-Arts Review.”

Harry was a distinguished journalist and foreign correspondent and he suggested a few titles of his own. I should have listened to him but I was young, inexperienced and stubborn. He reluctantly agreed and "Fusion-Arts Review" was launched in April, 1983.

I titled this painting "Field of Dreams".
When an author chose it for her book
about Visionary Artists I wondered,
how much of her decision
was influenced by the title?
As soon as the first issue rolled off the printing press we rushed out to the streets of New York City and started handing out free copies. When I tried to give a copy to a man who looked like an art enthusiast he refused to accept it. He exclaimed, “Is this another political publication? I don’t want it!”

I was stunned. It turned out the word “Fusion” had a negative political connotation for some people. That was the last thing I had in mind when I visualized the mission for the magazine.

My heart sank and I imagined my dream spiraling toward disaster and oblivion. The next day we went back to the presses and renamed the magazine. This time we chose "Manhattan Arts International".

Changing the name was a stroke of genius! It led the way to a very rewarding career. Although I stopped publishing the magazine in 2000 I kept the company name and built the website www.ManhattanArts.com where we continue to promote artists. I owe that stranger I met on Fifth Avenue a debt of gratitude.

Titles do matter.
After my first mistake I learned my lesson.
I later gave titles to my books
that would become best sellers.

When I created my first book, I applied that lesson and we titled it “The Complete Guide to New York Art Galleries”. It became a best-selling book for several editions and several years. My second book "Presentation Power Tools For Fine Artists" became another hit followed by "Success NOW! For Artists". When I created "The Artist Success Package" I purposefully chose a title that would describe the contents so artists could immediately relate to it.

Unless you are a magazine publisher or author you may be wondering what does any of this have to do with you?

As An Artist how much attention do you give to titles of your art?

Whenever we have a juried competition on a theme I notice how some artists paid attention to titles and some artists ignored their significance.

"Infinite Health" by P.C. Turczyn, (www.pcturczyn.com) Gouache on watercolor paper, 24" x 24".
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

It is clear many artists put very little thought behind the titles or their art work. Some titles have absolutely no recognizable connection to the art work.

On the other hand, I noticed many artists who took the same effort to choose their titles as carefully as they took to create their art.

For example, one award-winning artist P.C. Turczyn entered her art work with these titles: "Infinite Health"; and "Yantra of the Divine Feminine." These healing-related titles are like keys to a doorway of understanding her art work. They also related to the theme of the exhibition.

"Fathers and Sons" by Peter Michel (www.petermichel.com). Painted aluminum, 10' x 10.5' x 10.5'.
All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

Another top winning artist Peter Michel took a prize with his sculpture titled "Fathers and Sons". After we chose his art I read his Artist's Statement which was consistent with his titles: "My work is a celebration and exploration of SELF, RELATIONSHIP and COMMUNITY. It explores in symbols, the ways in which we are related, connected, the same (as in our humanity) and the ways in which we are special and unique."

Questions to Ask Yourself About Titles of Art

When choosing your titles for either a single work of art or a series of art work ask these questions:
  • Does this title provide viewers with insight about my creative vision?
  • Am I arbitrarily choosing any title without giving it much thought or consideration?
  • How will this title connect me and my art to prospective buyers?
  • What does my title communicate to viewers?
  • How does the title serve as an important part of my overall marketing process?
  • How does the title fit the series it belongs to?

"Altar to Endangered Species" by Hazinat Gebel (www.hazinatceramics.com) A meaningful title to this sculpture ceramic, 20.5" x 12" x 6". This piece won an Award of Excellence in the Manhattan Arts International competition. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission. 

Titles That Match Your Creative Vision

 "Path to Rebirth", one in a series
of "Path" paintings by Renée Phillips.

If you feel deeply about making an emotional impact with your art consider titles that match the intensity of those emotion.

If you want to convey an important message you will want to pick an equally thoughtful title.

If you want to take viewers to a specific geographic location, historical event, or different level of consciousness, use your title as a way to lead them there.

When I created a series of Path paintings I wanted to take viewers on different uplifting journeys. The titles I chose are in the realm of transformation so they could interpret them as their own personal experiences.

I created "Path to Rebirth" with the intention of symbolizing spring and renewal portrayed by a lush robust colorful garden. Coincidentally, it was purchased by a woman who was going through a difficult time. She told me this particular painting spoke to her and brought her tremendous joy and optimism.

I'm not suggesting that your titles will automatically guarantee increased awards or sales. But, in some circumstances, a title may make the difference between capturing the viewer's attention or missing an opportunity.

Surely, when jurying the "Celebrate The Healing Power of ART" exhibitions there were many artists who were selected for their outstanding art work, having little or nothing to do with their titles. However, if that is important to you why not take advantage of using your title as a tool to communicate your creative vision?

 Call For Artists - 2014
Manhattan Arts International will be soon accepting entries for Celebrate The Healing Power of ART 2014. We will be seeking art that fits the theme. We will also be asking artists to submit brief statements about how their art relates to healing.   
Learn about Manhattan Arts International "Celebrate The Healing Power of ART juried exhibition 2014.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Interview with Jill Conner, NYC Art Critic, Curator, and Founder of AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS

It is an honor to present this interview with Jill Conner, one of the most talented, dedicated, and intelligent art professionals I know. There are many who share my belief that she has a keen perspective on the best of art being created today, so if you have an interest in stepping up your knowledge about contemporary art I encourage you to follow her very closely.

We are very appreciative that she will be giving "Jill Conner Critic's Choice Awards" in our Manhattan Arts International Celebrate The Healing Power of ART juried exhibition.

In her busy schedule as a writer and curator Jill Conner took time to answer a few questions about her role as founder of AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS, why she started it, and her other artistic projects.

Jill Conner. Photo credit: Michael Anderson.

"The role of AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS is that of an archive, to provide a historical record for artists whose work is very strong but currently not represented in New York City."

About Jill Conner

Jill Conner (www.JillConner.net) is the New York Editor of Whitehot Magazine as well as the Editor of On-Verge | Alternative Art Criticism, a collaboration between the International Association of Art Critics (AICA) and CUE Art Foundation. She is a contributor to Afterimage, ArtUS, Art in America, Interview Magazine, Performance Art Journal and Sculpture Magazine. She has provided editorial assistance to Dorothea Rockburne, and she is also a Board Member of AICA.

As an independent curator, Jill is interested in opening discourse for strong art that has been overlooked. Her upcoming projects include Frag•ment a curated group exhibition at A.I.R. Gallery, April 4-27, 2013 (Brooklyn, NY) as well as THAW a group show that will appear at the Dorsky Gallery, in November 2013 (New York, NY).

She is the founder of AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS, (http://artists-studios.com) a database of the strongest non-represented art vis-à-vis New York City that seeks to create an online space in which one can view art that is less accessible than art created by represented artists.

RP: Jill, could you please tell us about AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS?

A: AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS is a capped database of non-represented art vis-à-vis New York City that seeks to create an online space in which one can view art that is less accessible than art created by represented artists.

The observation of contemporary art is viewed primarily in the context of the market, located at the opposite end of artistic creativity. Through the fusion of art history and art criticism, AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS serves as an archive, document and resource of the strongest non-represented art vis-à-vis New York City, that is made in studios throughout New York City and Paris, France.

RP: What was your primary purpose for establishing AS?

JC: AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS was established to reposition art writing and the curatorial selection process as more catalystic and less connected to spectacle. Its narrow focus counters this otherwise high-volume, confusing but ubiquitous environment.

The Biennial press previews have provided a unique juxtaposition in that curators claimed they were presenting the most cutting edge art in America, yet much of the work by emerging artists was found while visiting the studios of college art departments. Thus ignoring a population of artists who are seriously working daily in their studios with more artistic experience and growth.

The role of AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS is that of an archive, to provide a historical record for artists whose work is very strong but currently not represented in New York City. This project also seeks to revisit the contemporary art community in Paris, France while reviving the historic connection between these two cities.

"The best art is made by those artists who do not grow comfortable with a specific process but, instead, continue to take risks."

RP: Jill, I understand a strong motivation for you came from the recent changes in the role of art criticism. Could you elaborate on this?

JC: Art criticism has become a redundant form of arts coverage due to the fact that the focus of subjects is narrowly confined to what appears in galleries and museums. Moreover art critics no longer go out and actively find artists. Instead they write what they see in front of them. But going to studios and filtering through art work has been an abandoned process, primarily due to the fact that it requires work, as well as a personal conviction.

RP: What requirements do you follow in terms of selecting artists for AS?

JC: AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS only considers applicants who are not enrolled in degree programs. This is not to say that AS | Artists cannot eventually pursue a degree in higher education, but their work must stand purely independent of academic instruction at the time of application.

The best art is made by those artists who do not grow comfortable with a specific process but, instead, continue to take risks.

Phyllis Ewen, Northern Waters 5,2013. Inkjet print, gouache, graphite, puzzle pieces, archival paper, 19" x 27" x 2", from Frag•ment, a group exhibition curated by Jill Conner, at A.I.R. Gallery (www.airgallery.org), April 4-27. Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

RP: How do you describe your professional relationship with these artists versus brick and mortar galleries and other exhibition venues?

JC: I can’t speak for physical galleries. However AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS seeks to catalogue and promote the growing careers of each artist that it represents. Many of them are in several shows each year, in physical galleries. AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS serves as a concentrated resource for interested observers.

RP: Could you tell us something about your relationship with art communities outside the U.S.?

JC: AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS is currently partnering with L’Association Premier Regard in Paris which discovers artists early in their careers and spotlights the strongest non-represented artists in France. However after exhibiting with L’Association Premier Regard, many of the artists move on to gallery representation within Europe.

RP: As a writer for several magazines, what subjects do you enjoy writing about?

JC: I am drawn to art that is provocative, but I also prefer to revisit historical Modern art.

Louisa Bermingham Flannery, She Had A Puncture, 2010, hair, watercolor, ink, 6" x 4",
from Frag•ment, a group exhibition curated by Jill Conner, at A.I.R. Gallery, April 4-27. Artwork is copyright protected by the artist. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without the artist's permission.

RP: Could you tell us something about "Frag۰ment" the exhibition you curated to take place at A.I.R. Gallery (www.airgallery.org, 111 Front St., Brooklyn, NY), April 4- 27, 2013?

JC: Frag•ment embarks on a journey through contemporary aesthetics that capture complimentary perspectives through an array of genres made by 20 artists and showcases new work by the National Members of the A.I.R. Gallery. A series of sentiments piece together and emerge from different areas around the world, strikingly identical in their response to current fast-changing narratives.

"Do not waste time with comparisons.
Instead, artists should focus strictly on their own work."

RP: Another show you curated is "THAW" at Dorsky Gallery (www.dorsky.org, 11-03 45th Ave., Long Island City, NY), in November 2013. Please tell us about that exhibition.

JC: Thaw presents drawings, paintings, photographs and videos made by Janet Biggs, Blane De St. Croix, Elise Engler, Andrea Galvani, S. Itty Neuhaus and Scott Walden venture out to remote locations such as Newfoundland, Antarctica, the Svalbard Islands and the Gobi Desert. These artists collectively address different aspects of the earth’s natural but forced transference, hinting at the potential scientific and geopolitical effects that are expected to occur in the near future.

RP: A lot of artists I know who want to have a successful career suffer from many anxieties.  What advice can you offer artists who feel the stress and strain of competition?

JC: Do not waste time with comparisons. Instead, artists should focus strictly on their own work. Much like competitive swimming, it is important to only focus on what is directly ahead, without looking left or right. What counts is the gradual improvement of pace and time. It’s not so much about the color of the ribbons.

RP: Finally, I am grateful that you will be awarding
"Jill Conner Critic's Choice Awards" in the Manhattan Arts International "Celebrate The Healing Power of ART" juried exhibition. Why did you agree to do this and will you be looking for when you choose the winners?

JC: Out of my interest in looking at emerging art... I'm interested in artists who push boundaries with their media -- who take risks.

To learn more about Jill Conner visit www.JillConner.net

To learn more about AS | ARTISTS STUDIOS visit http://artists-studios.com.

To learn more about Manhattan Arts International juried competitions visit www.manhattanarts.com/Gallery/index.htm