"MARK is the New York Foundation for the Arts'(NYFA) new statewide six-month program for visual artists who want a unique opportunity for individualized focus on the professional side of their creative practice. MARK is designed to address the concerns of artists living outside of New York City while providing them with a new network statewide. Participating artists can expect MARK to spark goals and help to define concrete steps while providing individual and group feedback on how to better present yourself."
-New York Foundation for the Arts
In January 2010 I became a member of the MARK program in the Troy region of New York state. It was a long road to Troy. I applied for the program in 2008 but there were a lack of applicants in my region. I enrolled the following year and soon found I was overbooked with freelance assignments in NYC and unable to attend the MARK meetings in Norwich, NY. This spring, however the timing was perfect and the program is remarkable.
I find myself slowly assembling the building blocks of presenting myself as a painter: writing an artist's statement, a biography, updating my resume and critically reviewing my work samples. Sharing the process with artists across the state is fascinating.
A year ago I could not imagine myself on Facebook, twitter and blogging, nor did I have a website for my work. I simply could not imagine being so public. While I still feel like a private person, the internet is a means for getting my work out there and for connecting with other artists. Articulating the process of going public is quite a bit different from being in the studio painting. The MARK seminars are providing me with specific tools for presenting my paintings to the world.