Does an artist have a responsibility to the community?

In response to my recent post about the Christoph Büchel/MASS MoCA brouhaha, Joshua Field commented:

As an artist living in North Adams, MA , the town where MASS MoCA is located (I am in no way affiliated with the museum), I think it is important to note a crucial component missing from the dialog and that is the responsibility of the museum and the artist to the community in which they are working. MASS MoCA was built as an economic driver in a struggling mill town that had lost its core industry. The idea was always to try to revitalize the local economy through culture. Buchel has demonstrated a penchant for pranks that question the art business (in 2002 he sold his invite to Manifesta for $15,000 on ebay) and apparently

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Treat your art like it belongs in a museum [part 1]

Thee most important thing you can be doing to prepare your art for museum collections and exhibitions is to treat it like it belongs there.

How do you do this? The checklist in my old e-book, The Artist-Museum Relationship (no longer for sale), begins with Materials and Methods.

Materials & Methods

I use museum quality materials that are made to last.

I am a student of my craft (painting, sculpture, jewelry, etc.). I study the mediums and know how they work together and how they stand up over time. I also know what not to use together.

[If relevant] I know the production process, be it a foundry or printer. I have visited the location, spoken with the staff, and am confident in their knowledge and abilities.

[If relevant] I use the highest quality foundry that I can afford.


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