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Blogging for the Creative Capital Blended Learning Program on Tumblr. Blog 4 of 5

I find myself working in the darkroom, that cool dark place, where I am locked away in the basement of an old mechanical building, totally oblivious to the world passing by.  I find myself deep in thought with the ventilation humming away, joined by sounds of jazz and bluegrass penetrating the air. I find myself constantly working on this documentary.  I spend time in the darkroom with all of my friends, new and old, who are artists in Newark.  I spend so much time in this one-sided relationship while working on their images, that when I see them in person after months, sometimes years, I feel like no time has passed at all.  I want to pick up the conversation right where I left it, under the enlarger, in the drying rack, or muddled under the soft ripples of developer cascading over their faces.  I live in a world of fantastic imagination with my friends.  Within that world of the darkroom, I find myself thinking that this may be the most important moment of my life.  After all of my hard work, years of education, after hardships, friendships, and worldly travel, after I am dead and gone, what I create in this one moment may be the only physical thing that survives. This one little piece of a negative, or that one print.  Who will find it?  Will anyone be able to connect these puzzle pieces to the vibrant Newark community which is now full of life, and love, and artistic power?  How will we be remembered?  Would anybody even care?

Leaving the darkroom, sunglasses sheltering my eyes, I climb up three sets of concrete stairs with heavy legs.  I am leaving the darkroom with more proof of my existence, and the existence of my peers, than I had before I entered.  I sit in the steamy car and review negatives and contact sheets.  Reality begins seeping back into my mind as I make the drive home.

How can I sustain my work?   What if I don’t get funding to continue this?  How will I pay my rent?   I roll down the driveway, say hello to my partner, and shower off the small of chemical.  I sit at the computer, follow up on emails, try to find ways to restructure my freelance business, and scour the internet for grants and fellowships.  I applied for three grants last month.  Is that enough?  How many more can I find to apply for this month?  My partner meets with a reputable gallery and sends emails and letters to collectors.  We are making work, important work.  But how do we move forward?   The uncertainty will surely lead to insanity if we don’t get a break soon.

I crack open that Creative Capital workbook and sign on for classes. I review my notes from the webinars and contemplate my peer group support meetings. I review my newest artists statement, bio, and CV. I have followed the Creative Capital writing program and am so thankful to be on task, and much more diligent in finding ways to secure my future.  It dawns on me that if I made it this far in my career with none of these tools, I will be ahead of the game when I finish this workshop.

While reviewing my life goals in the workbook I see that I have left graduate school off of my list yet again.  I have wanted to go to graduate school for over a decade now, but its off the list.   Where would I find the money anyway?  I don’t want a mortgage sized loan with no house to live in.  How could I ever afford it?  This program has made me realize that it is still ok to have these goals.  It’s ok to dream without having money, because life changes abruptly.

In the evening when I should be slowing down my mind, little voices start creeping into my head… Oh my I don’t know how you do it….  Thats incredible you don’t have to work a real job….  How do you think you will be able to have a family as an artist?…  It’s so cool you get to do what you want.  … Could you donate to this?… I just want a really small photoshoot…. When are you going to finish the project?… I soon realize that I am battling other peoples fear of living this life as my own, and drift to sleep.

As the days march on, the workshop shifts.  In the beginning of the program more things are assigned with clear deadlines.  At this point in the program, less than one month away from completion, we are keeping tabs on ourselves and being held responsible by self-regulation and  peer group meetings.  We have completed the webinars and are given the option to take three online courses at our own pace.

I started my first online course with the blended learning program last week.  I decided to take the Grants and Applications course since this is where I am with my project right now.  I followed the first half of the seminars reviewing strategies on how look for funding.  What struck me was the idea that anyone who partners with me and my documentary is not giving me a handout, they are partners because they share the same values that I do, and find my work to be important to the community.

The Creative Capital program is teaching me a variety ways to get the end result I need to sustain my work as an artist.  The main thing, as I talked about in my last entry, is to just keep doing it.  The cornerstone of writing better proposals is based on the amount of time I am spending writing them.  Writing helps to articulate the goals of my project, and gives me a clear direction for the future  Writing was something I used to shy away from.  By forcing myself to do these journal entries, and rewriting my thesis for my current project over and over, I have been able to translate my work from photographs to words.  This only makes me more confident in talking about the work and my processes.  Without this program I definitely would not have pushed myself so hard.  I am in training right now and I feel the growing pains.  The most encouraging aspect of this training program is that I believe I am getting back what I am putting in.

One of the unexpected results from participating in the blended learning program is the emotional connection to other artists around me, more so than I already had with the documentary project.  The peer groups create a platform for us to share our struggles, and has highlighted the importance of working together as a community.  We can easily unify in our passion as culture bearers.  We can start with that common bond and work forward towards a system for our children, and their children, to truly be free in the way they contribute to culture and society.

Colleen Gutwein is a documentary photographer working in Newark, NJ. She is currently developing “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project”   

Blogging for the Creative Capital Blended Learning Program on Tumblr. Blog 3 of 5

“Inside of a ring or out, ain’t nothing wrong with going down. It’s staying down that’s wrong.”
— Muhammad Ali

It’s 39 days after the initial Creative Capital Professional Development meeting, and this is by far the hardest entry I have written. I find myself thinking about so many other things that I would like to get done, but “CC Essay Due” is sitting right there in the middle of my calendar, highlighted in red, for today. I start the laundry, I do everything else on the calendar, I get a snack, I complete email responses that don’t need to be completed until much, much later, but still, “CC Essay Due” is right there in the middle of my day today.

I can’t push it off another day. If I procrastinate any more I will never find the time to get it done. I can already hear the very mean little internal dialogue to myself when I don’t get the article to Ana on time, who’s main goal is to give us a voice and let other people know about our progress in this blended learning program. The charm of the workshop has worn off as I kick my own ass into high gear and complete my task list everyday. The program is really helping me with discipline, and organization. It would be an emotional blow to my schedule if I didn’t get this essay done.The charm has worn off all right, and now it feels as though I am fully committed to running the marathon of my life as an artist.

In marathon running there is something called “The Wall”.  This “Wall” it is a very real, physical, mental, and emotional breakdown which can take down any runner, and usually occurs somewhere around the 20th mile.  The “Wall“ goes something like this: you start to feel a creepy foreboding sensation come upon you… slight at first, and then your legs are filled with lead, your stomach disowns you, you lose the ability to think about anything else except for the agony you have intentionally brought upon yourself when you decided to run this marathon.  The strongest athlete can be in the fetal position on the side of the race track.  If you pass someone who has hit their “Wall,” don’t look back.  You want to help, but you trained and dedicated everything you had to this race, so you look forward and continue.

I believe there is a metaphorical “Wall” for anyone who has chosen to follow their heart and soul and do what they want with their life, especially in the arts. Right now Creative Capital has gifted me this inspirational tool of running shoes. I have to push myself to lace up and go for a run  I don’t have to be the best, but I do have to be honorable to myself, my work, and to all the people who have believed in me and supported me in my decision to live my dreams. I am the connector to the other godly world of art. It is my responsibility to myself and all those around me to make the connection, to reach my potential, and to continue far beyond that potential.

I am now giving myself time to think, breathe, read, regroup, reorganize (thank you helpful organization webinar by Byron Au Yong) and reconsider what is important to me. I am aware I have only a finite amount of time to be able to obtain my dreams and to create the work that is burning inside of me.  I am radically redeveloping my life to be more committed to myself, and learning how to say no. It really is a beautiful word.

So maybe this blog post was just an internal inspirational talk to myself, but I think if I am feeling this way, there is a very low likelihood that I am alone in these feelings.  As we wade through the murky waters of trying to make a living as artists, its easy to get down on your art practice, yourself, your peers.  It is hard to stay upbeat when you are drowning with work and cradled in debt.  But really, we have the ability to create culture, influence society, and cultivate relevant communication through our lives and work.  We have both a voice, and an obligation.

—Colleen Gutwein is a documentary photographer working in Newark, NJ. and currently developing “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project”   (www.newarkartsphotodoc.com)

“Forum in Form” opening 10.16.15

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Forum in Form
10.16.15 | 11.13.15
Reception: 10.16.15, 6-11pm
Index Art Center
In conjunction with Newark Open Doors 2015

Dominique Duroseau
Amanda Thackray
Bisa Washington
Adrienne Wheeler
Noelle Lorraine Williams

Five coeval artists from the Newark area reclaim ideas, materials, and roles for their specific use in creating new forms. They conjure a discussion of culture and identity spanning through time.  This exhibition will fuse the sculptural works of the artists by exploring the use of tradition and myth to define history,  present day, and future.

Dominique Duroseau’s work focuses on both a philosophical and physical level of being.  Her  choice of material and pallet creates rhythm and multiplicity throughout her work.

Amanda Thackray uses non-traditional materials reflecting common objects which examine the idea of identity as a human being.

Adrienne Wheeler uses bundling techniques to create powerful and power-filled forms highlighting contemporary ideologies and our personal role in culture and violence.

Bisa Washington repurposes specific objects in her sculptures as a way to reclaim nationality, identity, religion and customs and develop legacy.

Noelle Lorraine Williams integrates craft and history to discuss our role in society and the communities we are actively part of.

Curated by Colleen Gutwein.

Gallery hours are Thursdays 6 to 9pm, Fridays and Saturdays 1 – 4pm and by appointment.

Admission is free and open to the public.

This event is sponsored by our neighbors 27 Mix and Kilkenny Alehouse.
Our featured artist at 27 Mix is James Wilson.


Index Art Center
237 Washington Street
Newark, NJ 07102
www.indexartcenter.org
index.gallery@gmail.com
Gallery ph. 862-218-0278

http://www.27mix.com/
Kilkenny Alehouse

Two New Articles Released for “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project”

artist: Kati Vilim

artist: Kati Vilim

Over the past few months I have been fortunate enough to be interviewed by Emma Wilcox, the owner of Gallery Aferro in Newark, for the Newark Happening website, as well as by Carrie Stetler, former editor of Hycide Magazine, for the Newark Bound magazine.  Both are available to read online at the links below:

Newark Happening interview by Emma Wilcox

Newark Bound interview by Carrie Stetler (pages 40, 41,& 45)

To see more images from the ongoing documentary please visit the official website: www.newarkartsphotodoc.com and keep up to date as more artists are added to the website through the official Facebook page.

“Everything Like This” Opening Saturday December 6th.

Arkansas 7

“Arkansas 7”

Everything Like This
presented by Javier Santiago Studio

Joseph O’Neal
Jose Camacho
Colleen Gutwein

December 6 – December 20 , 2014
opening reception December 6  4-9pm
available by appointment after December 6th
ph 973-223-9909

Three artists have entwined their individual works to create a silent yet audible exhibition ranging from paintings and drawings to mixed media works in the intimate setting of Javier Santiago Studio.  These subtle works invite viewers to experience their internal roars while encouraging transcendent thought.

Jose Camacho has exhibited extensively throughout the New York/New Jersey metroplitan area as well as in his home country of Puerto Rico. Camacho has been the recipient of a Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the arts in 2008, as well as a Print and Paper fellowship from the Brodski center in 2006 respectively.

Joseph O’Neal is an internationally collected artist having been involved in; group and solo shows in New York, New Jersey, Miami, California, North Carolina, Connecticut, Georgia, South Carolina, and Switzerland. O’Neal creates a transcendental dialogue through a system driven by the archaic. Symbols, phonetics, and imagery come descendent from a past that, in the words of Motherwell, “…could only have been conceived of at present.”
Colleen Gutwein is a New Jersey native, and has exhibited her work  throughout the NY/NJ area, Oregon, and Japan.  She was awarded a photography grant in 2013 from The Puffin Foundation, and has taught cyanotype workshops at The Newark Print Shop and the Montclair Art Museum.  Her cyanotype collages open a new dialogue between alternative photographic processes and a modern digital era.

Javier Santiago Studio
133 Glenridge Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042

map

*NYC travelers take NJ Transit, Montclair/Boonton line to Bay St. Station. Exhibition is a short walk from station.

directions from Bay St. Station

Open Studio Oct 10 & 12 for Newark Open Doors 2014

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The 13th annual citywide arts festival “Open Doors” is presented by the Newark Arts Council  October 9th- 19th, 2014.  Please join me in my studio at INDEX ART CENTER on the 3rd floor Friday Oct. 10th from 6-10pm and Sunday Oct. 12th from 12-6pm.  

I will be showing images form my cyanotype series “Modern Blueprint”, as well as some of the contact sheets from the film part of my ongoing documentary “The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project”  …more about the documentary here: http://www.newarkartsphotodoc.com

“In 2014 Index Art Center opened the doors of Goodwin Hall and launched Index Art Center’s Studio Residency Program. Goodwin Hall consists of nine studio spaces. Each studio is occupied by a single artist or an artist collaboration.

IAC is committed to serving artists and the arts community in Newark, NJ. The Residency Program aims to foster relationships within the community and give additional exposure to the talented and hard-working artists accepted into the program. ” 

For a complete schedule of Open Doors 2014 events visit the Newark Arts Council: http://newarkarts.org

For information regarding Index Art Center: www.indexartcenter.org

To be on my mailing list, please sign up on the CONTACT page.

Cyanotype Workshop at Montclair Art Museum, Yard School of Art, this Sunday

Printmaking with Cyanotypes
Sunday Oct. 5, 2014 10am – 4pm
Instructor:  Colleen Gutwein
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Find out about the history of cyanotypes and create your own cyanotype prints on paper and cloth.  Learn to mix the chemicals, lay out your piece, and use the sun to expose your cyanotype.  After washing and drying, your pieces will be ready to take home to frame, give as a gift, or use in craft and sewing projects.  Materials are included in tuition.  Students should bring a smock and avoid wearing valuable clothing or having exposed skin.
For more information follow the link below and search Adult Workshops:
Montclair Art Museum Yard School of Art

Newark Arts Photo Doucumentary Project shown in HYCIDE Magazine’s Newark Issue

The Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project is rolling into it’s second year of shooting.  I have completed roughly 45 shoots with artists, curators, program directors, and gallery owners since receiving funding from The Puffin Foundation in 2013.  Some of the images I have been working on were proudly shown in The Newark Issue of HYCIDE Magazine last month.   For more information about the documentary project or the magazine, please follow the links above.

2014 Hycide Group

pg. 55 article: “Black & White” author: Lucy McKeon

2014 Hycide Jay Wilson

pg. 96 article: “The New People” author: Akintola Hanif

Newark Arts Council Celebrates Women in the Arts at Upcoming Gala

Featuring an Array of Works by Local Women Artists

All Eyes on Newark
The City of Newark has a rich arts history, with a host of visual artists living and working here as well as musicians and poets who also call Newark home. Next week the Newark Arts Council will hold its annual Art & the City fundraising gala at the Newark Museum. This year’s theme celebrates Women and the Arts, and that goes far beyond the shining group of honorees: Ruth Lipper, Cissy Houston, and Mary Sue Sweeney Price. 
The celebration is rounded out with a lovely selection of artworks by local women artists available for auction. Among the ranks are: Jeanne Brasile; Patricia Cazorla; Lisa Conrad; Jacqueline Cruz; Gladys Grauer; Colleen Gutwein; Nell Painter; Armisey Smith; Adrienne Wheeler; and April Zanne Johnson.
Newark has been at the center of many conversations lately; and the cultural scene that exists within this city is at the forefront of many of these discussions. Here we take a look at some of our contributing artists for this year and add to the dialogue.
Please note: The remaining contributing artists and other notable women in the arts will be featured in another next week.
Contributions Off Canvas
In addition to their obvious talent, each artist on this year’s auction roster has a lengthy list of projects and contributions they have made to the city and its cultural landscape.
Printmaker Lisa Conrad (work pictured above) is the founder of the Newark Print Shop which relocated to its new home at 131 University Avenue above old Newark landmark Skipper’s Plane Street Pub, which is no longer active. After a fire forced Lisa and her studio mates out of their former Broad Street location (Index Art Center) she, with the help of partners Jackie Cruz, Stephen McKenzie, and Samer Foud (all local artists and arts administrators) resurrected the now beloved and unique Newark Print Shop.

Photographer and printmaker Colleen Gutwein has worked internationally but calls Newark her home base. In addition to her creative direction at Index Art Center, she is the pioneer of the Newark Arts Photo Documentary Project which chronicles Newark’s rich arts history through a series of photographic portraits of contemporary artists working here. Her work Arkansas, a mixed media piece, is pictured below.


Patricia Cazorla, is a visual artist whose career began in New York City in the early 90s. She is the founder of Galeria Galou in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, an unconventional space dedicated to promoting emerging local and Latin American Artists. Patricia’s CV displays significant exhibitions at esteemed museums and institutions around the world, including El Museo del Barrio in Harlem. Her work as an artist was able to flourish in Newark through her residency at Gallery Aferro. It was there that she was able to develop a new series of Newark scenes using new techniques and exploring matters of architecture, social justice, and the complexity of the City. Her piece Klein on the Square is pictured above on the right. Patricia Cazorla is an artist member of the Newark Arts Council and most recently participated in our Open Doors 2013 exhibition series Market Street Convergence, completed in partnership with Gallery Aferro.
Nell Painter is the painter formerly known as the historian Nell Irvin Painter, author of The History of White People. She lives and works in Newark, New Jersey. Her work, digital and manual, juxtaposes the touch of the hand and the blindness of the computer, often in self-portraiture. Beauford Delaney at Yaddo Diptych(2014, pictured below) is based upon a self-portrait Delaney (1901-1979) made while at the Yaddo artists’ colony in 1950. Delaney moved to Paris three years later. In France, Delaney and James Baldwin became close friends. Following in Delaney’s footsteps, she spent time in France and was at Yaddo in 2012.
Artists Inspiring Newark Youth
Jacqueline Cruz is an independent curator, educator and artist working primarily in alternative photography and mixed media. She has her studio and darkroom at the Newark Print Shop. As Gallery Manager of City Without Walls,  she oversees a host of programs that benefit the Lincoln Park Community as well as Newark at large. Programs like ARTREACH match Newark artists and high school aged art students from around the city to work on a collaborative project for several months. Students also participate in studio visits and trips to regional arts institutions while benefiting from their artist mentors and the unique experience of working with professional artists.
Armisey Smith has worked in the field of non profit youth development, educational program management, arts education and instruction, and is an expert in pedagogical patterns for over 15 years. She has been the Executive Director of Protestant Community Centers Inc. since December 2010. During this same year, Ms. Smith is a graduate of Leadership Newark, a prestigious 2-year fellowship program for highly qualified professionals committed to the Greater Newark Community. In addition, Ms. Smith serves on the Advisory Board of HMI To Go – Newark, as well as the Newark Arts Education Roundtable.
About Art & the City
The Annual Art & the City Gala is the major fundraising event for the Newark Arts Council, attracting nearly 200 of the community’s most philanthropic individuals in support of the Arts in Newark. All proceeds from the gala support the Newark Arts Council’s mission of promoting and preserving the arts in the city by supporting local artists and arts education programs and initiatives. To support this event by purchasing tickets or ads, please contact Amanda Parker of Evergreen Partners at 908-322-1100 or aparker@evergreenpr.com.
About the Newark Arts Council
The Newark Arts Council was created to advance and expand the artistic and cultural resources in the City of Newark. Its mission is to bring the transformative power of the arts into the lives of those who live in, work in, and visit Newark through programs, advocacy, promotion, education and coordination. The Newark Arts Council provides leadership, direction, and technical assistance through partnerships with Newark’s many artists, arts administrators, community organizations, community development corporations, planning groups, economic development agencies, and the general public. Our goal is to share resources, promote advocacy efforts, assist in audience development and public awareness of arts and culture as well as to serve as a cultural resource to the community.
http://newarkarts.org

Register Now for my Documentary Photography Class this Winter at Montclair Art Museum

Gutwein Cambodia 6

Title: Documentary Photography NEW!
Course Code: 300DP
Program: Course
Semester/Session: Winter
Time: Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Medium: Digital Media, Digital Photography
Age: Adult
Description: Photography can be used as a way to document a personal journey through the lens. Photographs have changed not only the way people can view the world we live in, but also have become a catalyst in shaping the world around us. This class aims to take students a step closer the world of documentary photography by looking into the history of the practice, and help students to create a basic documentary portfolio in the subject matter of their choice. Each student will participate in class critiques and learn new ways to discuss their work. Students are required to have a SLR or Digital SLR camera (no camera phones) and a basic knowledge of their camera. Class starts January 16 and runs 10 weeks.
Teacher: Colleen Gutwein
Member Cost: $335.00
Nonmember Cost: $365.00 

You can register for this class via the MAM website: 
http://www.montclairartmuseum.org/learn-yard-school.php#.UqXQ5qWLM_0