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Please subscribe to our monthly newsletter for announcements regarding future workshops.

Our Artist Interview Workshops, which launched in 2012, aim to provide conservators, curators, educators, and other arts professionals at all stages of their careers with a greater understanding of the methods and skills needed to conduct successful artist interviews.

Increasingly artists have experimented with an unprecedented range of new materials and technologies – often with untested longevity and built-in obsolescence leading to instability. Gathering knowledge through interviews with artists, studio assistants and other relevant voices is critical to the preservation of contemporary art. Educating our colleagues on the methodology of interviewing is a crucial component to this process.

The structure of the workshops has been crafted by VoCA on a model developed by Professor Richard Cándida Smith and SFMoMA Director of Collections and VoCA Board President Jill Sterrett, whose respective experiences in oral history and museum-based interview programs produced a rigorous, instructive, and interactive agenda. Over the course of two days, various presenters conduct a series of lectures and case studies which are then analyzed via roundtable discussion and tested in small group exercises. Speakers also facilitate conversations with other presenters and attendees, addressing their own experiences with interviewing artists, the different approaches interviewers can take, and common challenges in the process. Topics covered can range from legal and ethical concerns to interpersonal skills, archiving methods, and applicable technology.

The Artist Interview Workshops have been made possible by the continued support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, whose generosity has enabled us to offer this program tuition free. However, participants are responsible for their own cost of travel, some meals, and hotel accommodations. Each workshop is limited to 25 participants.

We look forward to bringing another set of great workshops to our colleagues each year – please subscribe to our monthly newsletter for announcements on future workshops. Or, if you have any questions or would like additional information about this program, please email VoCA’s Program Manager, Margaret Graham, at