Paved with Good Intentions
We haven’t posted anything since the beginning of the year. It’s a shame really. By this time we had hoped the database would be completed and all the while, the blog would be featuring a new artists every couple of weeks, getting a buzz going on, receiving comments, getting our name out and about, connecting to other blogs, inserting ourselves back into the the art world and genre at large, and just generally being a participant of the world wide web. It’s not fun to have to sit here and type out a disappointing blog post with no great new to report, or no news at all the report for that matter. I can only tell you of the grand plans we have for Picklebird and what it is to be one day – one fine day. Intentions are good, but didn’t someone say once that all roads to Hell are paved with good intentions? Or something like that, Yes?
Well, I refuse to let this all go to hell in a hand basket! Or, as I like to say, a henbesket. Yeah, you heard me right. We’re a little strange here. We have odd little inside jokes that I myself don’t even understand. They are weird for the sake of weird.
Believe it or not it took a good year (part time of course – we have lives and other things going on ya know) to get the database in order. It took a long time to build it into a custom system specifically for our particular collection to accept each entry and the future fate of each piece, because boy do we have plans. Database building takes just as much vision and planning as any art form really. It’s a thing of its own. You have to plan ahead or else you have to rebuild the thing every time you want to make a major change – so the trick is to think big. Artists: take note. When you are thinking about documenting your work into some kind of database, don’t just think about title, medium, size, and price. Think about the big picture. Like, future resales and appraisals, museum loans, conservations… Think about it as if you are creating the provenance for this artwork for the person who acquired it 100 years from now. Make their life easy!
Once the tables and fields and cross references were all in line, we were finally ready to enter data. Piece of cake, eh? try documenting hundreds of artworks in your “spare time,” photograph it, describe it, and enter all the information about where you got it, what you paid for it and all the detective work on it before YOU got YOUR hands on it. Yeah, not something you can do on a daily basis. This is something that could take many hours – and so, maybe you spend an hour a week, a few hours a month… Maybe life just gets in the way and it’s an overwhelming task. A year goes by and you see that a couple dozen pieces are entered and you wonder if this project will ever be the fantastic Wonka Factory you envisioned. And who cares about it but you?
What are these intentions anyway?
Well one day, once the collection is online and completely viewable to everyone and anyone, with all the information about the works and the artist – like an online museum, Picklebird could have access to connect to venues and co-curate a real life exhibition; find new artists to add to the collection; auction off a piece once and a while to fund a new artist’s work, like a small grant or award. One day, we hope to become a real foundation that helps to support emerging artists that are a little outside the mainstream. If that means we become a 501(c)(3), then that’s what we’ll do. Until then it’s like a poor man’s Menil Collection without the nice buildings.
Not too poor though, despite the horrible economy, within the last year we were able to add a little bit to the collection for 2010. More Charles Bukowski (prints, signed limited editions), Sam Cherry (signed photographs), Tibor Jankay (original painting), and a James Scott drawing.