Category Archives: black & white

Blogging for the Creative Capital Blended Learning Program on Tumblr. Blog 2 of 5

The transformative process of the Creative Capital Professional Development Program for artists is real. This program has been working for me as much as I have been working the program. It sounds cliche, but it’s the truth. I started this 4 month workshop just less than a month ago and my eyes have been opened to the reality of my situation as an artist and how to move forward in a sustainable manner.

Last week as part of the Creative Capital workshop, I participated in a webinar “Real Life Budgeting” with Andrew Simonet. One of the main topics was how to create multiple revenue streams. As Andrew explained his success with real estate, many of us were thinking that was out of reach. Most of us are trying to meet our monthly bills and not considering saving for a downpayment on a house. Andrew explained the longterm tax benefits of owning your own home, as well as perks of renting out an apartment within your home. He advised us that there were resources we could access to make this possible like FHA Loans set up by the government, as well as ArtHome which aids artists in buying or preparing to buy a home. He then listed a few things we could do immediately to address our financial situations.

1. Pull your credit report and see where you are standing financially.

2. Contact a realtor and get an understanding of what you would need to do to consider purchasing a home.

3. Track your expenses for the week to see exactly how you are spending money.

4. Figure out what your time costs per hour, per day, and per week.

I followed Andrew’s guidelines, except for tracking my expenses. I realized that itemizing everything I bought for the week just sounded horrible. Instead I took out the maximum amount of money I wanted to spend on miscellaneous items for the next two weeks in cash, put it in my wallet, and that was it. I could spend it on whatever I needed, but the cash was my limit. Somehow I still have $16.00 left and I feel great not using a debit or credit card and trying to work it out later.

Figuring out what my time costs was probably the most important suggestion on the list. I feel more confident in the way I am pricing my time because I have a clear understanding of the amount of money I need to make to survive. I might want to give someone a deal on my work, but that is not necessarily sustainable. I am hurting myself by trying to make other people happy, when in fact we will all be much happier in the long run if I am able to continue my practice as an artist and the work purchased from me increases in value over time.

Only one month go I felt guilty about making my art, embarrassed that I needed to include an artists fee in my budget for my documentary. At this point I am feeling empowered by my work and realizing that no one in their right mind would consider trying to pay all the expenses and donate over 10,000 hours to a project unless, possibly, they were independently wealthy, which I am not. I have to make this work. It isn’t a choice, it’s a responsibility to myself, my future self, to the community around me, and to the legacy of the culture my community has created.

Colleen Gutwein is a documentary photographer working in Newark, NJ. She is currently developing “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project” a photographic documentary cataloging contemporary artists working within the Newark arts community. Gutwein uses both digital and traditional photographic processes to create a range of viewpoints into the community and each artist as an individual.  

Newark Open Doors 2015

We Are The Ghosts of Our Future

We Are The Ghosts of Our Future

Newark is having it’s annual Open Doors arts festival this weekend with over 50 galleries and artist studios to visit, now is the best time to experience the arts in Newark.  For more information about Newark Open Doors and the venues involved click HERE.

Friday October 16th Index Art Center will host the opening reception  for “Forum in Form”, a sculptural exhibition I curated featuring Domonique Duroseau, Amanda Thackray, Bisa Washington, Adrienne Wheeler, and Noelle Lorraine Williams.  To read the full press release, see the post below or follow the link HERE.

The side gallery at Index will be exhibiting the artists from Index Art Center’s studio residency program.  I will be showing some small works from the break-away series “We Are the Ghosts of Our Future”.

Post-Pocket Utopia will be adding to their exhibit #SeeingNewark in their new gallery space at the Gateway Center.  I have some small works from The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project in this group show.   For more information click HERE.

On Sunday October 18th, artists will open their studios throughout Newark.  I will have my shared studio space (with the fabulous Joseph O’Neal) open and will be showing large works from the Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project  break-away series “We Are the Ghosts of Our Future”. follow the Facebook event HERE

The closing reception for “Emerging Ideas”  curated by Adrienne Wheeler will be on view in the Wells Fargo Building, 765 Broad Street, 5th Floor (entry around the corner on Bank Street) and will include large works from the Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project  break-away series “We Are the Ghosts of Our Future”.  For more information follow the Facebook page HERE.

There are lots more events happening in Newark this week…. just pop into one and you can get all the information you need to keep touring around the city.  For transportation information and shuttle services click HERE….ENJOY!

The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project

Jem Jr. contact sheet sample

Jem Jr. Contact Sheet Samples

Over the past two years I have been working on “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project” with support from The Puffin Foundation and Index Art Center. As an artist working in Newark during the past decade,  I have recognized the influx of artists and constant change to the communities surrounding them. Now is the time to capture the energy and creative spirit of the people involved in the current Newark art scene, as well as the physical sites of studios, galleries, and museums through photographic portraits.  The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project is a two part series.  The first part consists of the digital images available to view online at: (artists profiles are constantly being added as this documentary is not completed) .  The second series consists of  interviews and portraits taken with a 1940’s Jem Jr 120 box camera, manufactured by J.E. Mergott Co in Newark, NJ.  These images will be on view as a full collection once the project is completed, and will be accompanied by a book including all of the images.

Newark, NJ 2013

Newark, NJ 2013


cWOW ArtReach Program & Exhibition

When I was 18, Sept 2000 2 copy

When I was 18, Sept 2000 series

Being a mentor in the City Without Walls ArtReach Program allowed me the opportunity to exhibit my photographs with the photographs my student produced in the program.  The student  wanted to develop work based around the concept of time. As she was creating this work, I began my own personal journey in time and developed images from 35mm negatives that I had taken when I was her age.   By rerouting the traditional space that time has created between our 18 year old selves, we will be meeting each other at the same age on the walls at the below exhibition:

cwow 2013 ArtReach Press Release

ArtReach XXI opens on Thursday, June 13 2003 6-8pm with a free public reception at City Without Walls (cWOW) 6 Cranford St Newark NJ 07102.

Group of 6

When I was 18, Sept 2000 series