Friday, August 08, 2008

ProvFlux V

From my preview of ProvFlux V:
Feeling lucky? It’s a question to ask yourself when you consider attending the fifth annual ProvFlux art festival, which begins in Providence on August 7.

“Part carnival and part conference,” the event’s Website explains, “ProvFlux brings together artists, theorists, urban adventurers and the general public to share their visions of what the city can be, and to take action to make it a reality.”

This year’s, ahem, schedule includes a naked bike ride, urban gardening, lectures, yoga, kickball, and parties. Everything is free and open to anyone who would like to participate. But as of press time earlier this week, the lineup of participants, times, and even locations was still in flux.
Read the rest here.

ProvFlux V, around Providence, Aug. 7 to 10, 2008.

Pictured: Sarah Zurier’s “Green Zone” organic garden in reused tires, shoes and shopping bags outside Firehouse 13, as photographed by Jonathan Bell. And ProvFlux IV's "Mobile Urban Research Laboratory (MURL)" at AS220's FooFest last year.

LEF Foundation narrows funding focus

On Wednesday, the LEF Foundation announced major shifts in its New England arts funding. It’s “Contemporary Work Fund,” which has supported local visual art, new media art, dance, music, theater, performance, and museums, will fund only visual art and new media during the 2008-2009 fiscal year, and then the program will be eliminated. It’s "Moving Image Fund" will continue, but will now only support independent documentary films and videos.

Executive director Lyda Kuth writes: “As many of you may know, LEF has taken a year to step back and evaluate its relationship with the New England arts community, its grant investments, and future direction. As a result, in its next stage of grant making LEF plans to make fewer, larger, and longer term investments in a focused group of artists.” Read her entire statement here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Yezerski move probably delayed

Construction at 460 Harrison Ave. behind schedule

Howard Yezerski Gallery’s move from Newbury Street to 460 Harrison Ave. in Boston appears to be delayed because GTI Properties’ renovation of the building is behind schedule, Yezerski says. He had planned to be in the new space at the start of next month.

“We just found out that it doesn’t look good for September because the windows aren’t going to be in,” Yezerski tells me today. “I’m hoping it’s just going to be a couple weeks [delay].”

Developer Mario Nicosia’s GTI Properties owns the building as well as numerous other South End properties, including the main galleries building at 450 Harrison Ave.

At the end of June, Yezerski moved out of 38 Newbury St. (pictured above) and moved into temporary space in unit 201 of 450 Harrison Ave. He says he planned to move into 460 at the start of September (which would have slightly more space than his Newbury Street gallery at roughly half the cost), finish a build-out, and present an exhibit of work by Lalla Essaydi the following month. “Realistically we weren’t thinking of opening till October anyway,” he says.

Yezerski says his lease with GTI promised that he could move into the new space by Sept. 1 or he could occupy his temporary space rent free until 460 Harrison is ready for him. “We won’t have to be paying rent after Sept. 1. Not that I’m particularly thrilled about that,” he says.

“We actually are delivering most spaces [at 460 Harrison Ave.] for Sept. 1. Some people have more elaborate build-outs that will take longer,” GTI commercial leasing director John Kiger tells me today. “We’ve always represented that we will deliver the vanilla box on Sept. 1, and that’s going to happen.”

In March, Kiger told me, “I think this year we’d bring on something like 10 to 15 more galleries [to 460].” Some dealers were skeptical of that number then. And since the start of the year at least 11 Boston-area galleries have announced plans to close (at least temporarily) and additional galleries are restructuring. Today, Kiger maintains that, in addition to Yezerski, other galleries will be moving into 460, but he declines to name them. “That wouldn’t be fair to them,” he says.

Yezerski has operated a gallery in the area since 1968, when he and David Sullivan opened Andover Gallery in Andover. He took over operation of the gallery in 1971, and then moved to 186 South St. in Boston in 1988, 11 Newbury St. in 1993 and 38 Newbury in 1998. Since moving into his temporary location at 450 Harrison Ave., he says he has continued doing business. “Thank God for the Internet,” Yezerski told me in July. And he was fond of the new neighborhood: “I like the energy.”

Monday, August 04, 2008

John Bisbee’s studio

Here are some photos from my visit to John Bisbee’s studio in Brunswick, Maine, on July 28. A survey of the sculptor’s work was on view at the Portland Museum of Art early this year.