Greetings from the staff at Grand Arts!
As you may have noticed, we have been a bit quiet of late. We are currently working towards developing a large-scale public installation with the artist John Salvest. The process of gaining the necessary permissions, documentation, and engineering specifics has been a journey. The experience has been illuminating and has served as the catalyst for many in-depth conversations among our staff and the collaborators with whom we find ourselves working to realize this piece.
After many meetings, documents, and conversations, we have at long last secured the site for John Salvest’s public project. It is a thrilling prospect to create work in the public sphere and we expect the sculpture will contribute to a healthy dialogue regarding some of the pressing issues that we, as a culture, are currently facing. Many thought-provoking ideas have surfaced even in the beginning stages of this endeavor. Does the nature of the site as public property give us the right to use the space as a venue for contemporary art? If so, what are the limits of free-speech in such a context? Whose voice may speak from such a platform and how might the work provide the opportunity for larger conversation? As we navigate the various hurdles necessary to achieve our goal, these are but the most surface questions with which we are faced. We are delighted to have the chance to use contemporary art as a vehicle to energize conversation and thought among our community.
The work we do at Grand Arts necessarily requires us to meet the unique challenges of projects as they come. Such work demands that we take a fluid and holistic perspective when approaching these problems- which, more often than not, puts us in unexpected positions with some unexpected people. Such unpredictability is part of what makes Grand Arts such a stimulating place to be. Contemporary art is one of the few fields of study where the boundaries by which it is defined have all but dissolved. Though some might fear that the nebulous nature of what constitutes ‘contemporary art’ has rendered the term and its practice obscure in the least, we at Grand Arts believe that the transdisciplinary approach of contemporary art practice is one of its greatest boons. We are not held captive by narrow definitions and find ourselves in the unique position of being able to explore the world with a wide lens. Our current project with John Salvest is a prime example of this. When we can see and inhabit a world less defined by conventional divisions, we can create meaningful connections to which we may have been previously occluded. The emergent hybrids formed by these connections often serve not just as novel cross-pollinating, but work to produce qualitative and fundamental evolutionary strides in human culture. Such growth is a worthwhile endeavor for the arts—even if it means we have to hole up every once in a while to do the work. The unique challenges of working in the public sphere have deepened this belief and have served to catalyze the mission of Grand Arts. We can’t wait to share with you.
Please check back often, as we are excited to share the development of our upcoming projects!