It’s so much easier to make art by yourself and show it and sell it by yourself. And this approach works for many artists.
But there are many other artists who crave connection and community. These artists have benefited by creating projects that involve numerous artists and, often, additional members of the community.
They are high on collaboration.
In this episode of The Art Biz I talk with Nanci Hersh about an exhibition she organized with 25 artists from multiple states and countries.
The show used the central theme of tears to explore empathy, compassion, and understanding within a sacred space—a metaphorical chapel. She says, as artists “we are so fortunate that we can use our art to make sense of life experiences.”
Nanci and I discuss:
- The ripple effect of art when it impacts the artist first.
- The training she received to facilitate uncomfortable conversations.
- The benefits of taking on such a big project and why it’s important that it aligned with her values.
- How the exhibition was paid for and ideas she has for improving funding options in the future.
- How she stayed organized.
- The importance of clear lines of communication, accepting help, and practicing gratitude.
“I really trusted the artists.”
“There’s something really fun about being given a challenge.”
“We are so fortunate that we can use our art to make sense of life experiences.”
“Tears reflect a liminal state, meaning they come from inside and they come outside. They’re transitioning.”
“Once you can meet someone where they are, then so much is possible.”
“Don't assume anything and just stay on top of things.”
“The next time I do a show, I would make sure that there's more local artists.”
About My Guest
Nanci Hersh is a contemporary artist whose work is informed by the experiences, relationships, and places in her life. Her two-dimensional work, as well as her sculptures and installations, are at the intersection of personal narrative, art-making, and community engagement—exploring the grace, beauty and fragility of our lives.
Nanci is also a curator, illustrator, educator, arts advocate, and former Executive Director of the Delaware Institute for the Arts in Education. She has one foot in Pennsylvania and the other in Delaware.
Follow her on Instagram @nancihersh