Monday, October 05, 2009

Yokelist Manifesto Number 3: Hire locally

Wonder why locally-made art isn’t featured more prominently in our most prominent local museums?

One reason is that if you work in a Boston-area museum, your previous job likely wasn’t around here and your next job most likely won’t be around here either. You climb the curatorial ladder by moving Away. And Away doesn’t give a damn about art made in Boston. In fact, Away thinks curators who pay much attention to Boston-made art are crazy.

How can we Yokelists change this? Push for hiring and promoting more local curators here.

Hiring and promoting local curators doesn’t guarantee that we’ll see more local artists on local museum walls. But hiring and promoting local curators is more likely to promote the representation of local artists in local institutions than our current system. Because finding and championing good locally-produced art begins with developing local relationships and leads, it begins with local on-the-ground research.

How much can we expect curators recruited from out of town and heading back out of town for their next job to care about art made here? Local roots don’t have time to develop. And what would be the incentive to develop them if they won’t be sticking around for long? So, of course, they’ll primarily be connected to the Circuit of jet-set biennials and art fairs plus Chelsea, New York. How could they not be?

Yokelist Manifesto Number 1: Boston lacks alternative spaces?
Yokelism at the 2008 Boston Art Awards.
Yokelist Manifesto Number 2: Montreal case study.


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