Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Artist Fellowship and Dying Newspapers

A couple weeks ago I received word from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities that I will be awarded one of the FY11 Artist Fellowship awards. the excitement that underlies this award is the potential (and hopeful achievement) to open "The Gun Store," a work that examines the second amendment and the practicality (or lack there of) of gun bans and restrictions.

Already this idea has gained some traction, and as I learned in the days leading up to the grant announcements, I am not the only DC artist who has this idea in mind. Cory Oberndorfer, another DC artist and American University alumnus who has made a name for himself around town by painting murals of roller derby girls at an incredible scale, was conceiving of a similar idea, except he wants to open a gun store that sells nothing but toy guns... or is it a toy store that sells nothing but toy guns? Either way, the stream-lined direction of his store, I must admit, is enviable.

Maura Judkis caught wind of the news of these "dueling" gun stores and wrote about it on TBD.com. So, the ante has been raised in terms of perceived expectations and accomplishments. Time to get the ball rolling!

An exhibition of grant recipient work will be on view in the Corcoran's Gallery 31, which is typically their student gallery, October 21-31. I believe admission is free. No gun work will be in that show, only newspapers from my series of erased newspapers in honor of the dying medium. For this exhibition I have acquired the final editions of the Honolulu Advertiser and Star, and the first edition of the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. The papers merged in June signaling the death of two and the genesis of one. For many cities around the nation that have two newspapers, the market place is like the thunderdome: two papers enter, one paper leaves. Such is the death of print journalism in the past and future decades. It probably won't be long before newspapers have dwindled into state newspapers, rather than city newspapers, with regional inserts to cover local news. I know I am not helping; we haven't subscribed to a paper in several years. If we had more time to read the Washington Post we would still subscribe. Or if we had a parakeet.