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The Thriving Artist - The Clark Hulings Fund 23rd September 2016
Project Management: An Impressionistic Art Form

Project Management: An Impressionistic Art Form

Ghost of a Dream, a moniker for the collaborative duo Adam Eckstrom and Lauren Was, create large sculptural installations, collages, and immersive texts made from lottery tickets, romance novels, playing cards, and other raw or discarded materials.

Most recently, Ghost of a Dream has been working on a project they call The Fair Housing Project. They’ve created a house from art fair materials, which they’ve immersed in a sea of fog and filmed documentary style. The house, film, and other works created by this duo will be showing at Smack Mellon from September 24 -October 30, 2016. They’re also Clark Hulings Fund 2015 Business Accelerator grant recipients, which means they participate in the educational program of the fund, and they’re also receiving critical funding for The Fair Housing Project. Topics include:

The Fair Housing Project:

  • Dealing with project challenges: original goals vs. reality
  • Collecting and reusing materials as a part of their Studio Practice
  • Commentary on the contemporary art world, art fairs, and the environment
  • Showing at Smack Mellon this fall
  • Business Accelerator Program funded the transportation of the house and video equipment for the documentary
  • Project management as an impressionistic art form.

Art Fairs: A Double-Edged Sword

  • Galleries make over three-quarters of their annual sales from art fairs
  • A vital part of the art market
  • Art fairs challenge the way we see art, both for environmental reasons and just seeing that much art packed into one space.
  • Necessary evil: helps pay artists’ bills and offers exposure but not great for viewing individual works

Business of Large-Scale Installations:

  • Unintended lags in sales: making business sustainable
  • Working w. 3 different types of work simultaneously
  • “We’re able to get people really excited by these huge projects but then also have something that you can put in your living room.”
  • Being type-cast vs. branding
  • Importance of “not being limited by our materials or the processes that we know how to do.”
  • “We’re always learning new tools and new ways to make things, to do these things we haven’t done before. That keeps it fun.”

Romance/Work/Collaboration:

  • Learning to compromise
  • “There’s something really lucky about having two of us working together because one person can be focused on that part of the day while the other person is getting work done in the studio.
  • “I think we make better art because we’re really truthful with each other, and we can tell each other exactly how we feel something is being read or how it gets taken.”
  • Working with other artists to start ArtGarda, a residency program.
  • Art for Artists, a curated opportunity for artists to exchange their work with other artists.
  • Benefit of living and being around artists communities.

Teaching:

  • Great networking tool.
  • “Learning comes from teaching, so it’s exciting to share with people because new things just come out of that.”
  • “Teaching just gets me really invested in process and how to inspire and create people to start from the beginning.