How is the project operated?
Seed Space is an artist-run, non-profit lab for site-specific installation, sculpture, video and performance-based work in Nashville. We support our program in three specific ways. We bring in nationally recognized art critics to write our exhibition essays. We host regularly scheduled public talks. We facilitate meetings among artists, critics and curators. Through these means we aim to foster an exchange between a growing network of local and national artistic communities, which we believe is one of the best ways to support the careers of emerging artists. Located within a 100-year-old hosiery mill in South Nashville, Seed Space is a programmatic arm of NCAP, the Nashville Cultural Arts Project, which is a 501c3.
How long has it been in existence? What was your motivation?
I [Adrienne Outlaw] founded Seed Space in 2009 as an experiment in social sculpture and run it as part of my social practice. I started this 100 square foot space, which is located within my studio, as a way to support my fellow artists, develop new ideas, and broaden opportunities. As part of my practice, I am now working to expand ideas of social sculpture, in part by making more opportunities available for artists wishing to more fully engage with society.
How are programs funded?
We fund our programs in a variety of ways, with most of our financial support coming from grants and sales of our Community Supported Art program.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project. Who is responsible for the programming?
Adrienne Outlaw is the founder and director of Seed Space. Rachel Bubis is the curator. We have several interns and volunteers working with us on a daily basis and without whom we could not do what we do. In April, 2013 we established an artist advisory board and a new board of directors.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
We curate six solo and two-three group shows per year. The solo shows and one group show are each up for six weeks. We fit other more performance based work in between exhibition slots.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Our events include performance based exhibitions, workshops of many kinds (ranging from professional development to art and technology demonstrations), participatory artist talks, and studio tours.
How is your programming determined?
We determine our programming based on loose guidelines we set for ourselves each year. For example, this year we are focusing on art and technology. Next year we will be focusing on social practice works with an emphasis on art and technology. We issue a national call for proposals and from those, select what we believe to be the best. We also invite artists to show.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Yes, we accept proposals/submissions. We will issue a call this summer for 2014 schedule.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Artistically and curatorially we are interested in intellectually rigorous work with strong aesthetic appeal. We select artists whom we believe can communicate their ideas not only through their art but also in person as we often host them for residencies and invite them to give artist talks so that we build a bigger network.
What’s working? What’s not working?
We have been running Seed Space by ourselves for too many years. There are only so many hours in a day and we have realized that we need to more fully involve the community. In order to keep going and consider growing we have formed an artist advisory board; developed a strong board of directors; and are creating project specific ideas for interns and volunteers.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We hope to be a place where artists feel comfortable discussing challenges both within their practice and within the community. We want to be a place that creatively problem solves. We strive to be a space that encourages risk and celebrates failure in our desire to challenge, stimulate and encourage creativity.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
We are most excited about working with others rather than running the ship by ourselves! We started this in part to meet other people and are excited working more closely with others to build better ideas and actions. I am specifically interested in developing a new paradigm for what an artist-run space can be and how we can develop a new model for support of the arts that is distinctly different from what art non-profits are now. Those interested in learning more about what we do are invited to read more about our space here and here.
Images courtesy of Seed Space.
Photos by the artist unless otherwise noted.