Posted on July 19, 2011


Hand-in-Glove is a new semiannual conference for independent visual arts facilitators working at the crossroads of creative administration and studio practice. This conference is open to people engaged in the pragmatic realities and imaginative possibilities of organizing exhibitions, re-granting programs, publications, residencies, public programs, platforms for projects, and a variety of other programming that challenges traditional formats for the production and reception of art at the grass-roots level. These include, but are not limited to, artist-run exhibition spaces, independent programming series, unconventional residency programs, and artist-run pedagogical experiments. We welcome spaces and projects that are self-organized, independent, noncommercial, and currently operate with an annual budget around or less than $500,000. We also welcome those organizations into the conversation who started small but have grown big, retaining the artist-run values and priorities that were part of the founding.

This conference is a way to start a national conversation on grassroots creative activity happening outside of traditional institutions and spread the word about innovative organizing models that could be useful to artists and organizers. A vibrant and vital art world would be unimaginable without these opportunities, but despite the fact that these programs offer most — if not all — of the ground floor support for artists, they operate with very little to no funding or resources beyond sweat equity, volunteer labor, and personal resources. In short, they lack the proper support system and infrastructure to really thrive and actualize their programs on a fully resourced scale.

In response to this realization, the 2011 Hand-in-Glove conference brings together these independent arts organizers to address the practical and philosophical issues prevalent in their work. threewalls is organizing the conference in conjunction with a newly forming initiative, the Alliance of Independent Arts Organizers (AIAO) which will be a professional organization that provides resources to independent, grass-roots organizers and facilitators who support creative practices that challenge traditional formats, and innovate new genres. Advisory members include Shannon Stratton (threewalls), Abigail Satinsky (InCUBATE/threewalls), Bryce Dwyer (InCUBATE), Sarah Workneh (Skowhegan), and Elizabeth Chodos (Ox-Bow).

Posted in: Hand-in-Glove