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The Artist Interview Workshops 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.
With support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Workshop was developed in response to a cross-disciplinary appeal from arts professionals seeking to engage in thoughtful, guided conversations with artists and to share the outcomes of these projects with their peers. At its inception, the program offered arts professionals a unique learning opportunity to connect with a diverse group of colleagues and gain a greater understanding of the skills needed to conduct successful artist interviews. Over the last six years the conversation has evolved, moving beyond methodology and the exploration of why interviews are an essential component of contemporary art preservation. Today, the workshops investigate the very nature of stewardship, probe the contours of memory, review best practices for recording and archiving interviews, and consider the legal frameworks for their use.
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. Their 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, the different approaches interviewers can take, and common challenges in the process.
Since 2012, VoCA’s Artist Interview Workshops have served over 500 arts professionals from more than 200 institutions worldwide. We look forward to growing this number and reaching our new colleagues across the globe. In January 2018, we hosted a VoCA Summit to mark and measure six years of this signature program; for more information, go to http://summit.voca.network/.
If you have any questions or would like additional information about this program, you can email VoCA’s Program & Communications Manager, Margaret Graham, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VoCA’s Artist Interview Workshops are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Lunder Conservation Center at the Smithsonian American Art Museum
Dallas Museum of Art
Albright-Knox Art Gallery (exclusively for ANAGPIC students)
To our past workshop participants: we are curious to learn more about the ways in which attending the Artist Interview Workshop has affected your professional life and practice. In order to help us measure the impact these workshops have had on the landscape of contemporary art stewardship and to better anticipate where the field is headed, we ask that you please fill out this quick survey.