Good Children[uds-billboard name=”children”]Good Children Gallery
Address: 4037 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117
Open Hours: Saturday and Sunday 12 – 5 p.m.
How is the project operated?
We are an artist-run for profit space that for the most part makes no profit. We are technically a gallery but many like to think of it as a project space.
How long has it been in existence?
Our first exhibition was in February 2008.
What was your motivation?
Before Hurricane Katrina most of the the art institutions and commercial galleries were closed off to us so we developed a DYI approach to exhibiting our own work in whatever spaces allowed us. After Katrina a lot of us were displaced in other cities. Upon moving back to New Orleans several of us were looking for a space to continue to show challenging work. Also, the Prospect Biennial was scheduled to open later in the year and we wanted a platform.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
We currently have 15 members.
How are programs funded?
Each member pays monthly dues. Also we have occasional fundraisers that include auctions, member portfolios, and performances.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Each member is the director of his or her assigned month. They can choose to do what they please, whether it’s exhibiting their own work or curating an exhibition, or a combination of the two, with additional programming (walk throughs, screenings, performances) also up to the member. Sometimes we will ask outside curators to organize exhibitions for all-member group shows. For collaborative shows we brainstorm, nominate, and take a vote.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
Every month there is a new exhibition, with additional programming depending on the exhibition.
What kind of events are usually organized?
Mostly solo and group exhibitions with artist talks. Occasionally, we have screenings and workshops.
How is your programming determined?
Each member has programing control for their month. They can choose to do anything they please.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
All submissions are forwarded to the members and they may choose to include them in their programming decisions. For example, an artist that submitted work to us via e-mail is included in the December 2013 exhibition because the exhibition was photography-based and the work fit in well with the show. In terms of membership, artists (local and national) are nominated by GC members and asked to present work and ideas to us, and then we vote on their membership.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
This is an interesting question as every member is forced to become a curator of sorts. The obvious choice is to organize a show of your peers making like-minded work. While this happens, sometimes an artist-curator will step out of their comfort zone and organize a show that is drastically different from their own practice. This type of risk taking usually results with exhibitions that offer fresh insight with unexpected relationships/dialogs being formed.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Having a large group of artist adds to the diversity of the shows. As artists we have to focus on our careers and sometimes the space can become secondary. Having many members is also a new challenge with voting on decisions and keeping up the mission of the space.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
Our mission is to add to the cultural landscape of New Orleans by exhibiting engaging work from local, national, and international artists. This includes showing a wide range of artistic approaches. Because we do not have to rely on sales or answer to a board we can choose to show more challenging work than you would see in institutions and commercial galleries. We hope for Good Children to be a beacon for experimentation.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
To find a way for the space to be self-sustaining organically, and constantly taking risks in the contemporary art landscape in New Orleans. We aren’t necessarily concerned with commercial success because many members do have gallery representation already. Therefore, we are excited to show work that pushes boundaries without worrying about a gallery director telling us it’s not sellable.
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