OPP Artists & Social Media Series: Reverend Lainie Love Dalby Preaches Spirituality via Social Networks

Reverend Lainie Love Dalby is not a pop culture goddess by any means. In a time of heightened economic, spiritual and emotional insecurity exacerbated by media-saturation, the Reverend is here to help people “live their best life”—but not in the Oprah sense of the word. The NYC-based urban priestess, who is often referred to as “The Lady Gaga of Consciousness,” aims to help others through ritualistic practices, workshops and her own effervescent presence. OPP interviewed her about her thoughts on pop culture “deities,” and the interconnectedness that social media and the Internet bring to our hyper-networked lives. She advises us on how to reach enlightenment—not through inundation of media images, but rather thorough a spiritual journey of creativity, love and reinvigorating one’s inner life. Dalby has performed at the SCOPE Art Fair in New York, DALBYWorld in Brooklyn, New York's Riverside Church, Cuchifritos Gallery and the Art in Odd Places Performance festival. She holds a BA in architecture from Cornell University. In 2011, she graduated from the One Spirit Interfaith Seminary. 

This is the fifth and final post in Art Critic & Curator Alicia Eler’s Artists & Social Media Series for the OPP blog.

Alicia Eler for OtherPeoplesPixels: What makes you different than the pop culture deities you emulate?

Reverend Lainie Love Dalby: Quite simply, I am here to be of service to our ailing world. I show up fully in all my work offering my integrity of presence, outrageous creativity and BIG love. I offer any tools and wisdom that I have available to make others’ lives better, harvested from my numerous years of raw personal experience, pain and suffering. I want to make others‘ lives better. Up until 2009, I lived as multiple personas–all constructed within my art practice & life–including an internationally known dominatrix, a celebrity stylist, an avant-garde fashion maven and a pop rapper. I became a shell of myself in moving between these “identity players." I became a full-blown hedonist and fame monster that was totally bankrupt – financially, spiritually and emotionally. My life had become devoid of meaning, with a permanent flashing neon sign exclaiming "CLOSED" over my heart. I had lost my personal anchor to what really mattered. I was in a full-blown premature midlife crisis. I wanted to die, straight up. In that moment though, I knew there had to be a better way . . . so I surrendered and began my spiritual journey. I chose in that moment not just to live, but to live fully and to be vibrantly ALIVE, to find my truth and to make a difference in the world. I chose to redefine what living meant for me, to not accept life has given and to create my own rules. My decision to let go of my old story was my first radical act of self-love and the beginning of my journey to come out of hiding and save my own life as well as countless other lives.

At the end of your life, you're going to ask: Did I live fully alive? Did I LOVE BIG? Did I make a DIFFERENCE in the world? What do you want the answer to be? 

AE for OPP: A friend said to me recently: "The Internet is new age-y." I took this to mean that the Internet allows us to be able to connect with others through a more spirit and emotion-based and less physically confining non-space space. What are your thoughts on this? What does spirituality have to do with the Internet—and specifically with the social web and social networks?

RLLD: The Internet has allowed modern day spirituality, and ancient wisdom as well, to spread in all their numerous forms with greater speed, efficiency and urgency than ever before. It is also helping to end the greatest illusion permeating our lives today: that we are separate, isolated individuals. There is a mass movement to shift the consciousness of humanity, a global awakening towards ONENESS that is occurring via midwives and midhusbands across the planet—transformational leaders who are largely using social media to spread the good word. I am part of this tribe since it is CRUCIAL at this time on our ailing planet. Nearly 20,000 children are dying per day from starvation, gun violence is at an all-time high, over two billion people live in abject poverty on under $1.25 a day, and paintings are being sold for over $76 million dollars. This is money that could be used to feed and educate more than one million children in Africa for a year. If we were to adopt LOVE as our new bottom line, everything would start to shift. I am actually writing an arty book on this topic that will be available soon, and I intend to spread it virally across the Internet via social media. You can find out more about it here for now, though: www.loveequalscurrency.com.

Lainie Love Dalby's forthcoming book, Love = Currency

AE for OPP: Your work relies heavily on social media, or the sense of being connected to others through a non-physical presence. Do you feel like social media is more of a promotional venue, or a space for making actual creative work? I am thinking about your Twitter presence and Facebook page?

RLLD:  I believe that venues of social media are what you make of them. We will never have the same experience on the computer as being with someone face to face, flesh to flesh in an intimate real-time, real-space connection. But often the latter isn’t necessary to communicate important messages and share creativity]. I believe that offering something of VALUE is the most important aspect to remember when using social media. Promotion comes as a side effect of showing up in the world with something meaningful that will help to change someone’s world. One inspirational sentence or kind word can change the course of a person’s life forever, so it’s crucial to be able to stand 100% behind what you’re putting out in the world via these channels of expression—especially since social media certainly pushes us to create more: more connection, more outreach and more value overall. We have to guard it vigilantly and make sure it’s not virulent crap we’re releasing into the world.

I teach a group course each spring for artists, ministers and outsiders on using social media marketing and branding to get their unique voice out into the world—because I know its importance.

Lainie Love Dalby's Twitter presence @lainielovedalby

AE for OPP: I also noticed that your website TEEMGorgeous.com/LainieLoveDalby.com has a presence on multiple social networks, including Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. Tell me a bit about why you decided to exist in so many social media sites?

RLLD: People learn and absorb information differently, so working across multiple platforms of expression and communication allows me to reach a larger audience. Creating a movement, not just making art, requires that you implement as many of the tools as you have available to you at the time. Some people learn best in an immersive context that affects all of their senses—you can see proof of this in my YouTube video of my blessing performances at SCOPE Art Fair this past year—while social media seems more suited for the younger generation that has it born into their blood.

TEEMGorgeous.com is one of my main teachings, and it serves as a multidimensional social sculpture involving installations, art works, self-development adventures and more to generate massive personal and social change. Art is profoundly human by nature, and TEEMGorgeous begins with the premise that every being is an artist in charge of his or her own transformation. Because of this, your greatest masterpiece is creating a life that you would totally love and feel ALIVE in each day in order to TEEMGorgeous in the world. I merely serve as the catalyst for courage, creativity and BIG love in the process. Isn’t it about time that you too took the reins of this delicious idea & began to curate your own life & transformation? Mining the depths of your own human potential? Living fully, laughing heartily and being fired up with intense passions and joy, and following the invisible directions to that radical place where you are "intoxicated by your own rapture."

I believe this to be a powerful message that creates deep value in people’s lives. It also serves as a means for growth and overall happiness, so any way that we can get it out in the world is valid, ergo multiple channels of creative expression via social media. The overall message: Wake up. Reclaim your inner life. Make something out of nothing. Be risky. TEEM Gorgeous. And change the world.

The ARmaTure for Prayer: A Wearable Sculpture of Visible & Potent Global Prayers (post Hurricane IRENE)
12" x 18" Metallic Print (Edition of 3)
Wearable sculpture made from 1000 Origami Cranes with Prayers folded inside

AE for OPP: The Healing Hut for O.P.R.A.H. (Open Prayers, Recommendations & Hugs) makes me think about the power of Oprah, who is clearly a celebrity. I'm thinking about how Oprah positions herself as a pop culture deity, offering up a way for people to discover their true selves. How does this piece subvert the notion of Oprah as an all-loving pop culture deity? Or is this reinforcing Oprah's place in American pop culture?

RLLD: Oprah is one of my (s)heroes, and people have long looked to her work as a place of refuge in an ailing world. I deeply admire her life path and her own powerful journey of self-transformation and effecting change. The title Healing Hut for O.P.R.A.H. (Open Prayer, Recommendation And Hugs) is a tribute to her tireless work and her great importance in the world. The interactive sculpture was the centerpiece for The Diamond Den NY solo show, where I invited participants to crawl into this sacred sculptural artifact so that they could release their suffering, examine themselves, forgive and learn to "live their best life." Almost like a modern day confessional—or like Oprah’s work—it served as a space for solace and refuge.

Interior of The Healing Hut for O.P.R.A.H. (Open Prayers, Recommendations & Hugs)
Sacred memorabilia from 'The Diamond Den NY'

As people continue to move away from church-based communities, they still need the sense of community that churches used to provide. To be tapped into a network of millions of women from across the world is a powerful pull and a necessary home for some. From her magazine to her book club to new programming and #SuperSoulSunday, Oprah offers a powerful way for women (and men) to learn the transformational journeys of other individuals. Overall, she is a fellow midwife shifting the consciousness of humanity, and I am deeply honored to be working alongside her and other incredible women of our time.

Oprah and Rainn Wilson present SoulPancake, a one-hour program exploring "love through many lenses." 

Alicia Eler is an art critic and curator whose projects focus on American pop and consumer culture, social networked identities, and the history of queer aesthetics. Her recent reviews examine our modern perception of the natural world. Alicia is currently the Chicago Correspondent for Hyperallergic and Artforum.com, Blogger-in-Residence for the Art21 Blog, Curator for ACRE Projects, Visual Art Researcher for the Chicago Artists’ Resource, and Writer/Editor for the OtherPeoplesPixels.com Blog. Her writing has also been published in Art Papers, RAW Vision Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Flavorpill, ReadWriteWeb and Time Out Chicago. Visit www.aliciaeler.com.

Artists & Social Media Series: Julia Barbee’s Social Scents

Portland-based artist Julia Barbee wants to know what you smell like. Or, at least what type of scent you would select based on your ecommerce profile or a Craigslist ad that you post. Barbee wanders into that strange strip of creative space between fine art and high fashion, adding touches of anonymous Internet moments along the way. In the portfolio section on her website, she lists her social media projects and offline, physical artworks, which often inform each other. She is interested in the temporal aspects of one’s identity, including experiences of the visual, the auditory and the ephemeral. Barbee received her MFA in 2011, graduating magna cum laude from California State University at Long Beach.

This is the fourth post in a five-part series about how artists use social media. Read the previous three posts about artists Jake Myers, Sabina Ott and Ellen Greene. Have ideas for a topic you’d really like covered on the OPP blog? Email us at blog [at] otherpeoplespixels.com.

Alicia Eler: One of the first Web-only pieces on your site that I noticed was Oral in which you post images of your mouth missing teeth, post-bike accident, to social media sites. The inspiration is taken from something that happened to your physical body, but the project itself exists only online through images. Tell me about the project. Could it have worked offline?

Facebook Portrait #18
Digital Photo

Julia Barbee: A local fashion writer published an article about my bike accident in response to my first Facebook image and status update. It created an audience in the newspaper's online readership. I was posting images with a personal Facebook account. The text responses became an important part of the screenshots I kept to document that work. This was before I decided to change my Facebook to only a business page. While on bed rest from my accident, I started a personal Pinterest account as well, and pinned many of those images there. I exhibited the Oral series of portraits offline in an installation for a show called Content 2012 at the Ace Hotel in Portland, Oregon. I launched a new perfume called "Couple Found Dead in the Fragrance Hotel," taken from a word search of "hotel, perfume, and crime." I am using documentation from the Content show to sell "The Couple Found Dead in the Fragrance Hotel" perfume on Etsy.

Couple Found Dead in the Fragrance Hotel Perfume
perfume, glass, plastic

AE: Interesting. So in this way, the online work ended up translating to an offline exhibition and then subsequently to an ephemeral line of perfume that combined both ideas. On the perfume and Pinterest front, I love how you couple an image of a bison with the text from a Craigslist ad that in some way relates to the smell of a lover. Talk a bit about how this functions on Pinterest. Why did you post it to Pinterest and not to Facebook?

I don't have a girlfriend
digital pin on Pinterest

JB: My online work is largely experimental, intuitive and framed by my interest in ephemera and scent. I am not interested in the proliferation of my splintered identity through countless social media accounts, but rather in the idea that the combined image and text become decentralized and do the work on their own. The largest critique people have of Pinterest is the lack of authorship, so I am exploiting that.

In light of the narcissism these social media sites breed, I knew publishing images of my face missing skin and teeth on any of them would fight directly against the promotion of a desire to be ME. Subsequent to the "pins," of the Oral series, I wanted to push my exploration of the aesthetic on Pinterest in particular, because the sole function of the site is to "curate." Initially I started searching for "bad" or "ugly" photography, thinking in terms of the visual language of the site. Those searches only displayed beautiful photographs of puns, and posters with animals saying things like "bad hair day," "bad boy," or kitsch photography. I knew Craigslist would be a source of "bad" or "ugly" images, without the use of the retro photo filters you find on Instagram. These images would be devoid of self-consciousness. I use Craigslist Portland for the tangibility of pinning images from local geography, and I started combining my ongoing collection of text from Craigslist related to smell with disparate images from Pinterest.  

Etsy, where I sell perfumes, and Pinterest are starting to fold in on each other, just like Instagram and Facebook. Etsy has changed some of its language to emulate Pinterest’s. In the section where you see the most current activity of shops you "admire," the language is now "followers" and "following” like on Pinterest. Etsy has also recently reformatted that page with larger images to reflect the Pinterest-style layout. I’ve been a small business owner for a decade. I owned a deconstructed clothing and accessories line for ten years and have been an antique dealer for almost the same amount of time. Throughout this time, I have been fascinated by the combination of the DIY movement, the nostalgic aesthetic, the acceptance of blatant plagiarism, and the rapid growth of small businesses online. The homogenized, tribe-based aesthetic on both Pinterest and Etsy had appeal in the beginning.

AE: You mentioned that you started using Pinterest while on bed rest. What maintains your interest now, post-surgery and resting period? How has participating on Pinterest change the work you make with it and on it? 

JB: Amusement derived from my own practice is largely what maintains my interest, so finding strange and intuitive combinations keeps me energized. I think it is healthy to critique a system where people are taking themselves and their taste way too seriously.

My initial relationship with most social media sites was that of a complacent user. However, all of these social sites ultimately center on self-promotion. Promotion of my lifestyle, my taste, my world, my products, and your jealousy of me and my style. And I eventually find myself wanting to critique the behavior I start to abhor in myself as a result of participation in these virtual worlds. Pinterest in particular gave rise to the misuse of the word "curate" I would postulate. 

Etsy Treasury List
I did an olfactory search of the word smell, as part of my art practice, and picked one item per page, placed them in order, and restricted myself to choosing something on every other page.

AE: I’m also noticing that on your Etsy project, Treasury Lists, you curate a collection of work that wouldn’t normally end up on that ecommerce site. What’s the deal?

JB: My Treasury List work on Etsy is a critique of their DIY homogenized aesthetic, and my Lists are developed through scent-based text searches. I highlight work that has low numerical value measured in "Views" "Admirers" and prior inclusion in "Treasury Lists;" on some level it is my exhibition and promotion of the underdog. Looking at my practice on these respective sites as virtual exhibition is critically important; I want to create dialogue from within, rather than trying to launch a critique externally. However, documenting the work through my website allows me to reach both willing, and unwilling participants in the conversation.

glorious giant a spiced voluptuary howling mystery
perfume, glass, plastic

AE: I'm interested in your fascination with the ephemeral nature of perfume; perfume exists as a physical form, yet the essence of it and the responses it produces can travel through the Internet "air," as such. How did you become interested in perfume-making as an art form?

JB: While in graduate school, I was examining my career in independent fashion and working with physical materials as wearable sculpture. I became interested in perfume as sculpture. I used my body as site, removing visual cues and performing with scents. It remains a challenge to communicate the invisible through visual means. I use text a lot. I am interested in the evocative phenomena of poetry, which sometimes appears in the unexpected form of a Craigslist personal ad. It is a means to translate these ideas because language is similarly ephemeral. My visceral, scented work can challenge the visual culture, but it does make the pictorial representation of my practice a challenge.

AE: I’d like to take a turn away from social media sites as spaces for artmaking toward the more straight up social media strategy questions. How do you use Facebook for personal use? For professional use?

JB: I hated Facebook from the beginning and saw it solely as a means for self-promotion and voyeurism. If I had my druthers, I would not use the Internet much. So the fact that my practice is moving so heavily towards the digital medium is a stretch for me personally and professionally. I try to see it as a tool like any paintbrush or camera. I interact on Facebook as a business owner and artist. This does include personal relationships with clients or friends, but I keep my personal life as private as possible.

AE: Do you use Twitter and Tumblr? I didn't see links to those on your site. If you don't use them, why is that?

JB: I don't use Twitter and Tumblr. I would rather spend more of my time offline; it's a form of self-protection. I want to fight social media's influence on the way I see myself. The ease with which I can find my value in "likes," "friends," "followers" and "repins" is alarming. I don't want to live my life online to the degree that I forget my neighbor who sleeps in the street. So much of the world lives without computers at all. We live in a scary world of mind-altering affluence.

AE: I agree. Spending too much time on social sites can really warp one’s sense of relationships. But what about Craigslist, another site that interests you. Do you see it as social media site? Why or why not?

JB: I think that ultimately it is a social site. People are promoting themselves on Craigslist as much as on any other site. There are people who regularly post to different forums, and have created personas through personal ads. In front of a screen, our various representations of ourselves collide with each other. 

AE: Do you see much difference between our online and offline selves? Or do we just flow between the two? 

JB: I think those things flow most of the time. Online personas are likely to be much harsher, dirtier and more fantastical. They can be prideful and judgmental, and I guess we just have to decide which personas we want to spend time feeding.

Artists & Social Media Series: Jake Myers on the Importance of Facebook Etiquette

Jake Myers is visible on and offline as an artist and in the artist-run project space scene through The Octagon Gallery, a space that he runs out of his home. It's not a stretch to say that Jake Myers is everywhere. In his artwork, Myers seeks to deconstruct the myth of artists as pale, gangly and unathletic. In the READ Posters series, he appropriates those 90s-era READ posters that typically picture athletes holding up a book and replaces them with Chicago artists. The posters act like offline memes, yet they embody Myers’ distinct aesthetic—equal doses light 90s nostalgia and local art community participation. The opposite of an egotistical artist, Myers is instead most concerned with remaining chill and making sure everyone else has a good time. When I arrived at Jake and his girlfriend Lara’s loftspace/studio that doubles as The Octagon Gallery, I was greeted by Leland, their loveable, two-year-old greyhound rescue pup. "He only raced for two years," says Myers, sympathetically rubbing Lee’s elongated skull. "That’s not very long, but he didn’t do very well." As I sat down on the couch to start our conversation, Lee hopped up and nestled his long body next to mine. Then Jake and I put away our touchscreen phones and started talking, IRL.  

This is the third post in a five-part series about how artists use social media. Read the previous two posts about artists Sabina Ott and Ellen Greene. Have ideas for a topic you'd really like covered on the OPP blog? Email us at blog [at] otherpeoplespixels.com.

Artist Jake Myers with his pooch, Leland

Alicia Eler:  How do use social media as an artist? I'm talking about Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Reddit, Digg…

Jake Myers: I pretty much only use Facebook—that is the only social media outlet that I do. I've set up Tumblrs, but that’s mostly to show documentation of things, and to show the aftermath of projects. I'm not doing the sharing, liking, following of people on Tumblr. It's a fast way for me to be at a show, take a picture, and share it. The Tumblrs end up acting more like archives. I send people to those Tumblr links when I'm applying for grants. 

To be honest, I mostly use Facebook. I feel really annoying—I'm always inviting my friends to art events that happen at least once a month. But it's cool, because they show up.  They wouldn't know about these things otherwise, because we don't go to high school or college together anymore. Facebook is the channel that can pull all these people in. I can kind of keep tabs on how many people will probably show up. I have a formula: You take the number of people who say they are going and divide it in half. That's usually about the number of people who will show up. Facebook helps you know how much beer to get and also what kind of expectations to have for the show.  

AE: Do you post your own work to Facebook?

JM: I don't know. I'll occasionally post work-in-progress, and I'll occasionally post those READ posters like the one with Eric Fleischauer reading a the book Howl by Allen Ginsburg, but yeah….I don't know what the significance is as far as copyright goes on Facebook. Do they own it?

Eric Fleischauer Reads, 2012

AE: There was some weird copyright stuff going on lately about how if you don't repost this Facebook status update, Facebook will own all your images and text.

JM: Which is weird because I don't know if I necessarily believe in copyright, so I don't know why I'd repost that or even be concerned with it. I guess I occasionally post things, but mostly in-progress work. I don't want to post too much, because you don't want to give away everything that you're about to have at an opening. 

AE: That's something I think about a lot. There's this one artist who posts all of his work in-progress, almost-done…it's like watching reality TV, watching him go through the emotional turmoil of making work. If I am watching the entire thing on Facebook, I'm less inclined to go to the show.

JM: Yeah, I'm mostly concerned with annoying people by filling up their news feeds. I already feel like I'm posting too much about my artwork. I'll post "hey I'm at this show!" or "hey I'm doing this tonight." After awhile it becomes white noise to people. I have one friend who invites me to events of his three or four times a week. It gets to a point where you almost stop paying attention to it if you hear it so many times. I try to post just enough so people are like, "oh, I didn't even know that was happening!" I don’t want people to think, "oh my god, this guy again!"

Jake Myers takes a break from clogging everyone's news feeds with posts about his artwork and event invites to The Octagon Gallery for this serious portrait of him and Leland, 2012

AE: So what's a good posting amount? How do you find a balance?

JM: I'm still figuring that out. If I'm in really huge group shows, a lot of the time I won't invite all of my friends. I'll just invite the few people who I know will want to go. If I'm in a solo show, I’m solely responsible for bringing people there. It's a really weird equation that is mostly about guessing. 

AE: I see you on Facebook as a real community leader. I don’t think you’re over-the-top or obnoxious—just a guy who’s trying to get the word out. I remember thinking “oh, it’s that Octagon Gallery guy! He’s having a show!” Judging from your Facebook presence, you just appear really involved in the local art community. 

JM: OK, that's cool. That'd be awesome if other people thought that, too. I like to try to bring together as many of the cool, endearing art people as I can. Just judging by the amount of people that are coming to Octagon, I feel like I've been pretty successful. We show amazing artists at Octagon, too. So I guess I am successful as an organizer.

The Octagon Gallery's team-focused logo

AE: Do you think Facebook actually makes a difference in the way you organize? Do you think you would be at the same point you are without Facebook?

JM: That's hard. I don't think I would have met as many people or gotten as many people to show up without Facebook. It has been integral. It's really weird, because I've thought about it, and my uncle is an artist at Packer Schopf Gallery in Chicago. He does paintings about the Internet and YouTube—Doug Smithenry is his name. Yet he does very little Facebook or social media promotion. I invited him to be at the show I curated called Society of the Spectacular, which questioned how simulated realities, virtual landscapes and digital social networks shape our daily experiences and what we perceive as reality. Because the show was all about how social media has affects us, I went overboard with the Facebook posts—it was a conceptual gesture. Doug was just floored by how many people showed up. He was like, "this is unreal! How did you get so many people to show up?" People were sharing the event and posting about the event, so I feel like in that way. Facebook has been really positive in spreading the influence. 

AE: Your READ posters feel really meme-like to me. Was that intentional? 

JM: That's cool. I want to make as many of them as possible. I want to build on them and photograph as many Chicago artists as I can in this weird, athletic, super official way…they're bossy, really bossy, but also funny and quirky, because there's this other thing of them being artists and athletes. It’d be cool if they became a meme. Right now it's more of a physical meme. I made a READ poster for the Industry of the Ordinary’s mid-career survey at the Cultural Center. You can take one of those for free. I'm hoping that the 2,500 posters I printed will be up all over Chicago.

AE: Memes are memes, and then art that references a meme is different than a meme itself. But what if other people wanted to make their own READ posters? That’s very much in the spirit of the social web—like, “hey, we can all join in and make this!”

JM: Like, we all join in and make our own READ posters? That'd be pretty cool. I'll just start a website that's a hub of these. Not a Tumblr. I think it would be better to do an archive of them with the original file size, so people could download them and print them off and just have a collection of these absurd posters. Cuz I give 'em away for free, and it would be awesome if I didn't have to pay for the printing cost.

AE: I think you should meme-ify them.

JM: It's weird faux nostalgia too, so to meme-ify it and make it fresh is a weird gesture.

AE: This has been a pretty weird IRL interview, so I might send you some Facebook follow-up questions….

JM: OK, that sounds good. I'm way better at responding to email questions, I've lived in the Internet age so long. When I'm talking with someone face-to-face, I feel like I leave my body and someone else just starts talking for me. It almost becomes like word salad, a stream of consciousness. It happens all the time when I'm giving a lecture at school. I'll realize that I've been talking for like five minutes straight. 

Face of Fatality, 2011

Jake and I said our goodbyes. I rubbed Leland’s head, walked past the giant skull outside of the Octagon Gallery wall curtain, and headed out the door. The very next day, I spotted an article on Hyperallergic that I thought might interest Mr. Myers, especially in light of our recent conversation about visibility via social media. The Hyperallergic article I forwarded to Jake was an interview between two NYC-based performance artists. This part seemed pretty relevant:

SR: Do you have any advice for young artists trying to make it in the art world?

JC: Work really, really hard. Go to openings, meet people in the art world, make them recognize you. Then any small show you have, make it count. Take a huge risk, spend money you don’t have. Invite important people. Eventually, they will come.

PO: Don’t worry about selling your work. Worry about people knowing who you are and what you do. Be seen. Nobody’s going to know you if they don’t see you. It’s a chess game whether you like it or not."

Jake responded via email: 

JM: I read the article and thought these guys would be fun to party with. Probably obnoxiously overconfident and ironic, but they still seem like fun. I'm wondering how this works in terms of social media. This idea of "being seen" vs. just being annoying and eventually getting blocked from peoples’ feeds. Maybe I'm being overly self-aware?

Either way, I am so excited about the future Internet exposure coming from your article with OPP and will promote it a bunch on Facebook!

AE: Do you think we're different on social media than we are in real life?

JM: Probably. That's a really loaded question. You can't really pick up on someone's body language or verbal tone on social media, but I guess that's pretty obvious. I think social media informs how others view you and can definitely inform your interactions in real life. Your interactions with people in person and how well you know their personalities probably gives the text you read and the pictures you see of them additional context as well. To answer your question: Yes, we're different people online, but both identities inform each other. 

AE: How do you decide when to change your profile picture? Why do you change your profile picture?

JM: I tend to decide on impulse. 

In Jake Myers' latest Facebook profile picture, he is pictured riding Sarah and Joseph Belknap's "How I Learned to Stop Worrying" (2012). This sculpture was part of The Octagon Gallery's booth at Chicago's MDW Art Fair.

AE: Should our offline lives mirror our online lives? Is Facebook a mirror or a refraction?

JM: Theo Darst or Ryan Trecartin would probably give you a more informed response, but I'll try. 

I don't have any concrete advice about how people should construct their online identities. Everyone does it differently, and some are more of a mirror while some are more of a refraction. Circumstances for people change as well, and sometimes people won't post something for weeks just because they are busy but if they have newfound free time, you might see a lot more activity. 

Again, I think that both online and physical identities affect one another. Or, depending on your audience, they might not: I bet my relatives who aren't on Facebook might not even know that I'm making art or curating. 

AE: Is it possible to have too many Facebook friends? 

JM: I don't know. I don't have anywhere near 5,000 which is the maximum number of friends you can have. Maybe after this article I'll have some more.

Artists & Social Media Series: Sabina Ott Discusses the Politics of Facebook Inclusivity and Why Tumblr is Perfect for Artist-Run Project Spaces

Artist Sabina Ott is no stranger to the social web. For more than 25 years, she has been investigating the process and act of painting. The Internet and Gertrude Stein’s prose are two of her major influences. “To me, Stein is the prescient literature to the Internet because her work follows the process of present, lifted, moved, re-experienced, present, lifted, moved, re-experienced,” says Ott. "The idea behind Stein's work mirrors the process of experiencing content on the web, from the layered world of a single Wikipedia page to the rabbit hole of prowling someone’s world as seen through their Facebook profile."

Currently Ott is working with grotesque, environmentally hazardous materials to create life-size sculptures chipped from giant blocks of Styrofoam—the modern day artist’s carving stone, if you will—along with plants one might find at chain convenience stores and swaths of neon spray paint. Her work is a meditation on the convergence of personal subjectivities, manmade synthetic objects, memories of the past and the effervescent landscape of the future. She also runs the artist project space Terrain out of her Oak Park home. Utilizing the front porch, she creates opportunities for artistic interventions in the suburban landscape. Terrain provides artists, ranging from emerging to established, the opportunity to gain additional exposure in a non-commercial setting. Tumblr is integral to Terrain—and sometimes, this artist project space only exists in that virtual form. 

This is the second post in a five-part series about how artists use social media. For the first post about OPP artist Ellen Greene, click hereHave ideas for a topic you'd really like covered on the OPP blog? Email us at blog [at] otherpeoplespixels.com.

Ben Fain at Terrain 

Alicia Eler: When did you first join Facebook? 

Sabina Ott: I first started being on Facebook so that I could reach out to artists I knew all around the world. But I had no filters. I said yes to anybody, because I thought, that's what this was—a global network! This is not about being picky and keeping an isolated community of friends. So I instantly got 1,500 friends. I was like, “Yahoo! Everybody! Yes!” But what happened was I started running the artist project space Terrain out of my Oak Park home. I was using social media to promote Terrain, and as a result I stopped using Facebook to promote my own work. It takes so much energy to do both. Plus when I logged into Facebook, my news feed was just a stream of political commentary and peoples' baby pictures. Right now my main activity on Facebook is hiding people from the news feed. I’m trying to curate it so that I see what I want to see. I can’t deal with another photo of someone's three-year-old doing something completely uninteresting. But on the other hand, I completely understand their impulse to post these photos. 

AE: Tell me about the experience of posting your own artwork to Facebook. 

SO: I posted a lot of my art in 2010 when I started this new body of work. I had stopped making work for awhile because I got really sick. When I began again, I was making these Surrealist eyeball paintings and sculptures—they were about seeing and being seen and about asserting my body or eye into a space. Facebook was a perfect platform for that, because it brings up questions of voyeurism, of who is seeing what, and of how people see in a non-physical space. I just posted tons of this work to Facebook. I would get into conversations about the work, and people would say it was wonderful and be all "Yay Sabina!" And I would say "Yay thank you!" I would just get this high, this incredible high. 

"that" (2011) from Sabina Ott's Facebook page
polystyrene, plexiglass, pigment print on paper, foam, canvas, acrylic and enamel paint
28" x 18" x 10"

People were like, “I cant wait to see this!” At one point I thought, who needs a gallery if the whole point is to have your work seen? Facebook is great for that. It really works. Recently I changed my Facebook cover photo, but on the whole I haven’t been posting my work that much. It takes a lot of attention. But then I posted one piece of artwork and received 30 likes on Facebook. That was really satisfying. Then I thought maybe I should withhold a bit and post less of my artwork; before I had been so out there with my art. I hadn't been doing the personal aspect of Facebook either, and then I started listing my family members on there. So I opened it up to family, not just art people. It was an idea about a personal politic, really. Why can’t I have my husband, dog, nieces, nephews and art students all in the same space?  

AE: Would you consider the Facebook profile a space for political intervention? I am thinking about ideas of the personal as political.

SO: Yeah, I do. It’s important to think about Facebook in this way. It's similar to the way I am doing Terrain, too. It’s like, yes, it’s my house—but yes, you can come over. I think that sort of inclusivity is important. At the same time, when I got like 1,800-1,900 Facebook friends, I kind of overdosed on it. That’s when I stopped doing my personal posting as much. 

AE: How did your Facebook posting change when you hit that number? 

SO: I was just getting a lot of crap on my wall. I lost focus on it as a sort of subversive act of blending my art, personal life and public persona. And I realized I was collecting friends, which I like doing as well…

AE: What do you think of the way New York Magazine Senior Art Critic Jerry Saltz uses Facebook? He’s like the Facebook Art Critic. 

SO: You know, I'm a contrarian—I can't stand the way Jerry uses Facebook. You realize that all these people he is friends with are posting comments for him, but only kind of. People are having conversations on Jerry’s wall on the slim chance that he will look in and say, “That one! That one is brilliant! I'll go to their studio!” Facebook has really worked for him as an artistic presence. It's interesting that writers and curators can have that sort of presence on Facebook, maybe even more than visual artists. 

A post from Jerry Saltz's Facebook page

AE: Let’s go back to how you say you rebuilt your community first through Facebook. Tell me about why this happened. 

SO: I think it happened this way because I moved so much—from Los Angeles to St. Louis to San Francisco to Chicago. Nobody knows where I'm living or where I'm from anymore. I was very much identified as an LA artist for about 15 years of my career. Recently someone asked me how I was enjoying St. Louis. That was 15 years ago, and I was running the grad program at Wash U. Through the Facebook virual presence, I am able to re-establish my physical location and presence.  

"First Eye" (2008)
ostrich egg, plastic rose, ink print, glitter and spray paint
14 x 12 x 6 inches approx.
Private collection, Pasadena, CA

AE: Has Facebook reconnected you with people from your past? Do you use Facebook Lists at all to filter your friends?

SO: No, but I should use lists. It was the strangest thing watching people from elementary school and people I used to sleep with who were like, “Hi!” I have so many old boyfriends that are now Facebook friends, which is hilarious to me. I have much better relationships with them on Facebook than I did in real life. This guy I was previously engaged to twice is a real pontificator on Facebook. He's a philosophy guy and a Jungian therapist. He's decided to take on my work through Facebook. He'll say things like, "Imminence! You've always been about imminence!" And he'll go on and on about my work in Facebook comments and messages. I'll say, "Will you write a catalogue essay for me?" And he'll say, "You're lazy! You've always been lazy!" So there is this kind of distilled relationship that happens on Facebook—it is simultaneously personal and artwork-related. 

AE: How do you use social media for Terrain, the project space that occupies the front porch of your Oak Park home? 

SO: The Terrain site is on Tumblr and Facebook. The Tumblr page is more formal and elegant. The Facebook Group is like, "Bah! Go here! Go there!" I went onto Facebook and put everyone I know into the Terrain Facebook Group whether they like it or not. It's a Group, not a Fan Page. The Facebook Group makes it so that every time I post something, everyone gets a message about it. But I mostly post stuff like, “This is happening here and there.” Terrain has been really successful in a year, and by successful, I mean people know about it, it has a presence and it has an identity. In fact, it has exactly the kind of identity I want it to have—it’s participatory, and people also feel that if they see it on Facebook and Tumblr, they don’t have to go and see the real, physical thing. And that’s perfectly okay with me. 

AE: Really? You don’t care if people actually come out to the space and openings? That’s something I think about a lot when it comes to artists and social media. Sometimes if I see a lot of artwork on Facebook, I’m less inclined to check out the show. Doesn't that bother you, too?

SO: It's different with Terrain—it's one piece, one thing that’s subject to the elements. And it’s in the suburbs of Chicago. A lot of people I know aren't going to get there. They may come to the opening if they are within a 10-mile radius. I truly want people from all over the world to look at Terrain and the work we show. It worked tremendously well for Claire Ashley, who showed at Terrain in April–May 2012.  

Claire Ashley at Terrain

I like that the Terrain Tumblr allows people to know about the space without having to physically be there. Terrain isn’t meant for the social web per say, but it does work well on there. On the other hand, if an exhibition feels like it’s meant just to be photographed and posted on the web, that’s annoying. But in this case, it gives a shelf life to something that’s really impermanent. There are scraps of Terrain—like the space I had at the MDW Art Fair—but they will never be installed that way again. It’s best to have Terrain be a piece within a piece within a piece. Terrain as a concept is a piece, the Terrain Tumblr site is a piece, and then there are pieces within that, which are the artists' works at Terrain. Facebook is the active voice of Terrain—the conversational part of the place, if you will. I don't know how I would do that kind of meta-interplay with my own artwork.  

AE: I was reading the artist statement about networking that you have on your website. You discuss similarities between the act of painting and the digital, virtual world. You write: “So- somewhere in the middle of the textures, gestures and the overall formlessness that makes up painting (that special space within which subjectivity thrives) I form connections to the digital virtual world. Perhaps it’s the permeability, the boundary-less-ness of the web—overflowing with information and simultaneous endless connections and associations—that seems so very painterly. Indeed, one of the qualities of painting is its all-over-ness, because to experience a painting is to escape from linearity and simultaneously experience the past (memory), the present, and the future (fantasy). Experience becomes flat –as in systems theory, where flatness is used to describe non-linearity.” Does this include the social web, or are you just speaking about the Internet as a digital, virtual world?

SO: I think these ideas connect to the social web, because I can’t separate roaming on the web from the social aspects. The Internet is a portal, and so it is a portal to information; but it's also a portal to someone else's mind, and it's very personal too. I surf a lot on Facebook. I'm like the perfect Facebook person—I disappear into the rabbit hole. There might be someone I never sit down and talk to in real life, yet I am following their interests on Facebook. To me, that’s a gift, and I am happy to receive it. I am sure there are people who explore my Facebook page in the same way, following the Facebook path down its trajectory. 

Sabina Ott in her studio with new work

AE: Is there an artist on Facebook who you follow closely? Or are there artists who, through their Facebook presence, influence your work?

SO: Artist Stephanie Barber did a piece at The Poor Farm around the same time I showed there. She cut out a poem that she wrote out of grass turf. Stephanie lives in Baltimore. She writes these weird haikus, and if she lived here, we would definitely hang out. Instead, we are Facebook friends, and every time she writes a poem it pops up on in my Facebook news feed. Being able to see her work and that of other artists I admire but who don’t live nearby, makes my world really big. 

People say the Internet is bad, and they think it cuts out social graces. But I don't think so. I think it makes people better. They learn more. They are exposed to more. They have to tolerate more. They have to be conscious of what they say. And they have to learn how to reach out. I think it's really good, and I like it a lot. I felt really liberated by the Internet. I first got into it when I moved to St. Louis. It was right before there was this open Internet. Like, you could live without an email address. Schools were trying to require email addresses. I had just made this website, and the background was one of my paintings. I was totally into it, but I think a lot of that happened because I moved away from LA and my home and things just dropped into the rabbit hole. Thanks to Facebook, the chances of people just dropping off when you move away are a bit less. 

I went to Australia in 1996, when the country was much more on the web trek than the U.S. You can see the cultural shift that happened there because of the Internet. With the advent of the Internet, they weren't on the edge of the world in the wrong time zone on an island. When they were, it was so much more alive. Australians had a whole alternate universe island before the Internet. So with the Internet, something is lost—but everything is affected and reflected and still has its own identity. That's what's interesting about how the Internet gives exposure. And you still misunderstand it, which is what you want. 

In Australia, there was this artist there named Mike Parr—he was kind of like what John Baldessari is to the U.S. Or maybe Mel Bochner. Parr’s work was almost identical to theirs, but he was not exposed to international artists via the Internet. He developed his work in an Australian way. This kind of thing happens less nowadays, but even so, you still don’t lose that local sense. 

Mike Parr
Hold your breath for as long as possible (still from video, 1972
Image via NotQuiteCritics.com

To learn more about Sabina Ott, visit her website: http://sabinaott.com

Artists & Social Media Series : Ellen Greene as the Gloved Female Magician

OPP: We're excited to bring you something new today to inform and inspire how you use social media as an artist. Arts writer and critic, Alicia Eler, is the author of this series in conversation with artists who use social media to their advantage. We all know we're "supposed" to be promoting ourselves as creative practitioners on social sites, but how can we do this authentically? Should we and can we use these sites to share our work, create a following, find opportunities or even contribute to and feed back into our art practices? We hope you enjoy this post and stay tuned for more on this subject on the OPPblog.

For this first installation, Alicia spoke with artist Ellen Greene, who puts a feminist twist on the hypermasculine language of tattoo flash. She creates and paints this new lexicon of tattoo flash onto womens’ leather handgloves, which act as a second skin that allows the tattoo-covered mother to tell her story. She recently wrote a catalogue essay for Ms. Greene's latest exhibition, Invisible Mother's Milk at Packer-Schopf Gallery; it will run in the next issue of Raw Visions magazine. 

Have ideas for a topic you'd really like covered on the OPPblog? Email us at blog [at]  otherpeoplespixels.com.

Artist Ellen Greene

AE: Before we get into social media, tell me a bit about your work. You use acrylic paint on vintage leather womens’ hand gloves. Your use of symbols is interesting to me—you take the language of classic tattoo flash and reimagine it through the lens of a badass mom who’s also an outright feminist. Why do you make what you make? Why do you only use gloves? Why not soft leather shoes or even t-shirts, for example? 

EG: I began collecting gloves because they were objects that I found intriguing. They are made with such fine thin leather and stitched together so delicately over every finger. They are symbolic of an über-feminine aesthetic and belonged to a certain kind of lady who dressed very formally for church, funerals and parties. When I would find them in a thrift store, in bins with coin purses and doilies, they just seemed so beautiful and sad at the same time. They were something forgotten. So, for a time gloves were just beautiful things that I would collect and take back to my studio. I began to paint on them around the same time that I was getting tattoos. I was drawn to the hyper-masculinity of traditional tattoo art. When I say traditional, I mean the western tradition of sailor-style tattoos with imagery of panthers, ladies with big boobs, birds, stars and hearts. I loved how the tattoo artist could use only a few simple images to imply so many emotions. The body became magical, covered with symbols of the person's experience. 

Even though my first attempt at painting tattoo images was quite rudimentary, I kept painting on the gloves until I felt that I had an honest aesthetic. The end product of image on glove was something I had never seen before. The femininity in the gloves combined with the tough, masculine aggression of the tattoo vocabulary created something entirely new.  

As for creating shoes or t-shirts, I would never say never—but to me that kind of work feels more like fashion or something that is mass-produced. I paint on gloves because they are a metaphor for ladies' hands. There is a certain kind of historical attitude towards being a "lady." Heavily tattooed ladies' hands are taboo, and taking those ideas to make a kind of gloved object is interesting to me.

Hell Bent
Ink and acrylic on vintage gloves, steel and wood frame
12.5" x 17"

AE: Your work is very visually engaging, conjuring notions of tattoo and biker cultures, while also crossing into the world of womens’ fashion and feminism. How do images of your gloves tend to work on social media sites like Facebook? What is your sharing strategy, if you have one?

EG: I feel like people are discovering this work and its context. How it works in social media is still unfolding. I am still learning how to share it! It falls into many different categories, and that's what makes it spread easily through the different niches that you describe. Tattoo people, feminists, burlesque and sideshow people and fashion people all like the gloves. Social media allows people to see something and re-broadcast it to people in their niches. In doing so, they frame it into a context that means the most to them. I can’t say I have a strategy other than keeping the information output steady, making sure that my website is up-to-date, and continuing to show and make work.

Girls, Girls, Girls
Hand sewn by glovemaker Daniel Storto, painted by Ellen Greene

AE: You have a great Facebook following, both on your personal page and your artist page. How did you cultivate this audience? What do they add to your practice? How do you tend to and engage with that community?

EG: Thank you! I have two pages—a personal Facebook page and a professional Facebook artist page. My artist page has only one identity—me as an artist. No pictures of random family events or what I ate for dinner will appear there like they do on my Facebook personal page. I set up my artist page with the knowledge that I would want a space that would be very professional, could link to my OPP website, and grow past my personal page's capacity. It allows people outside of my personal life to comment, share or interact with me but it keeps me, as a person, at a distance. 

My personal page is where real life and my art interface more. I find a personal page very useful as a way to interact with people who may not see the posts on the artist page, which has limited interaction abilities. I find the personal page useful for talking to people I know in real life, liking posts and just being more casual. I think I engage the community by just sharing about my passion for art. That's what people connect with. I have made many new connections that allow for collaboration and support. Some online connections have become collectors and friends. I feel pretty positive about my connections on Facebook. They lead to some really interesting real life events and opportunities. You just have to interact with Facebook and think of it as a tool you can use well or not.  

Acrylic and wax on paper

AE: I noticed that you use Twitter and Tumblr as well. How useful are they? How do those function in the confines of your overall art practice?  Twitter seems to be most useful for net-artists of some kind, and I know there’s a big Tumblr community of queer artists. How do your images perform on those sites? Please provide your Twitter and Tumblr names here, too.

EG: I have my Twitter linked to my artist Facebook page. So, it tweets out my Facebook posts at the same time. That way I don’t have to actually go to Twitter. I haven’t warmed up to Twitter as I have to Facebook. I try to look at it, interact with it, but I don’t feel like I have personal connections with people there. That being said, I don’t hate it. I just don’t speak its language! It feels very coded with hash tags and @ symbols—it’s not picture-based, unless you click the links. It also feels very huge; it is corporate and celebrity-based. and very fast-paced. It is fleeting and not personal at all, for me. Twitter is all public all the time! I’m sure if I gave a better effort at it, I would get it. It’s a matter of time and energy that I have for social media and, well, Twitter just doesn’t get that much attention from me. 

Overall I feel very positive about social media. I can’t say I hate any of it. I think some people live in these spaces and that is dangerous, but for me they add a sense of interaction that I wouldn’t otherwise have. Tumblr is nice, but it has a very young identity. There are lots of interesting images but the narratives that people put together on there are very much to do with younger people concerns—music quotes, young love and crushes, product obsessions like makeup and clothes and online celebrity. There is a part of me that remembers what it was like to be a teenager and 20-something, so I understand what that expression is and how it forms an identity for a certain time. It's like when you lived and died by your favorite band quotes. But when I was that age there was no Tumblr or Twitter or online identities. So our teen/twenties aesthetic angst was expressed in mix tapes and paper ‘zines. It was still a very intimate act to share that expression between people. I don’t really relate to putting your heart online. Tumblr feels like a format my oldest daughter would be into. She is just getting into anime online culture and making art and drawings that she posts. I have to tell her to be careful about the energy and identity that she puts out there, but I know that she has an artistic spirit and for her generation growing up online is part of how they frame their youth. She doesn’t feel so alone when she can feel like part of an online community.

I do feel that it is important to be present and interactive with different social media formats, especially for artists. I’m sure I could be doing more to maximize my outreach and exposure on Twitter and Tumblr. But for now, its about the work—not the hype—and I just hope people can see it in real life because the gloves are so sensual in a way digital representation cannot capture.

Twitter: @ellengreeneart

Tumblr: artbyellengreene.tumblr.com

AE: What role does Pinterest play in your practice? The demographic on that site encompasses mostly women, and the niches that get the most traction are fashion and home design. 

EG: I like Pinterest for organizing images and for marking sites that I’d like to visit later. When I was looking for pillows for the living room, I pinned many a pretty pillow and then was able look at them all and decide which one I liked best. It is the most consumer-focused of all my media sites! I am very visual so I like the way it allows me to easily categorize images. In contrast to Facebook, I don’t make Pinterst focused on just my artwork. But I do  have my personal page linked to Tumblr and Pinterest so that when I interact with either of those places, it posts it back to my personal Facebook page and adds to that narrative. That way, it comes full circle and feels cohesive as an online identity.

As far as the niche demographic of it being for lady scrapbookers originally—I love that! Scrapbooking, doll collecting, crafting those are all modes of making that actually interest me. They are all obsessive, ladylike, housewife-type modes of making. I can pin a million different gloves that I don't actually own but that I want to have some visual reference for.

In Memory of My Dear Mother
Acrylic and wax on paper
5" x 7"

AE: Does social media take away from your actual studio practice? 

EG: Only when I let it be a time suck. When I was first starting out I could easily get very obsessive about what everyone else was doing. I participated in their narratives, and realized that I had to pull back and keep it about what I was doing. I don’t have a lot of available time to waste on social media. It actually can be difficult just to find the time to do what I should be doing on there—posting, keeping people engaged and starting conversations. I try to spend much less time posting about non-artwork related information. I also keep out of politics and religion. 

When I use social media as part of my studio practice, it includes networking, collaborating and sharing. I try to post something once a week but I look at and talk about things on a daily basis. Facebook probably takes away more from time I could be reading a book than my studio time. I am very protective of that space and time so I can easily turn off Facebook when I am in my studio. When I am at home relaxing, that’s when I can be on it for too long—it's like watching TV or eating too much candy. You just gotta cut yourself off and know when enough is enough. 

Ellen Greene's Artst Studio 

AE: What are five tips you can offer to artists who are looking to build up a strong audience on social media?


  1. Make strong work
  2. Don’t live your life online—unless it is part of the work. If it is, then great—go for it and make it work for you, but know it is only a small part of reality. 
  3. Say please and thank you to people who support you and say nice things about the work. A like can be similar to  a nice smile or nod of the head IRL acknowledgment. But taking the time to type ”Thank you that means a lot,” or to write a personal message after you see someone in real life can build a nice friendship both online and in real life.
  4. Do reach out and interact with people, but be sure to respect peoples' Timeline space. Don’t junk up your feed or other peoples sites with too much chatter/spammer. 
  5. When posting artwork, share all pertinent information about the piece, including size, medium, where people can buy it, and what you were thinking about when you are made it. Present it in a professional way; add links, and tag people respectively etc.

AE: What’s next for you? Where can we see your work?

EG: My show “Invisible Mother’s Milk” opened on November 2 and is up at Packer Schopf Gallery through December 29th. I am part of a group show at Parlor Gallery in New Jersey that will be opening in 2013. I have lots of projects coming up next Spring. Like my artist page on FB! You will know what I am up to because I keep up with my social media sites. 

Ellen Greene Artist FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ellen-Greene/132461926826773

Ellen Greene's OPP Website: http://artbyellengreene.com/home.html

Packer Schopf Gallery: http://www.packergallery.com

ALICIA ELER contributes art writing and criticism to Artforum.com, Hyperallergic, Art Papers and Newcity Newspaper. Her writing has been published in Time Out Chicago, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Gallery News, Kansas City Review and Flavorpill, and she blogged independently about BRAVO's reality TV series Work of Art: The Next Great Artist, Season 1. Alicia writes catalogue exhibition essays, curates work by emerging contemporary artists, and lectures on art and writing. She is the owner of Queen Bee Creative, a boutique communications firm specializing in creative individuals and small businesses, and is currently the Visual Arts Researcher for the Chicago Artists' Resource. Visit aliciaeler.com for more information.