Digital Art Forum minutes February 2008

Corvallis Art Guild
Digital Art Forum Minutes
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library
(basement meeting room)
February 2, 2008

The turnout was 24 people.

Co-president Brandi Dayton commenced the forum at 10:10 AM.

Present: Carolyn Madsen, Brandi Dayton, Carol Smith, Honor Hoover, Susan Rash, Harold Wood, Carol Chapel, Terry Tallis, Jane Ann Warkentin, Judy Findley, Sandra Helmick, Wendy Ware, Ruth Tucker, Bruce Tucker, Jim Johnson, Barbara Story, Mike Bergen, Kathryn Friday, Jim Noel, Jasmine Nahorniak, Pat Newton, Carrie Tasman, Kerry McFall, Richard Helmick.

Digital Art Discussion

Mike Bergen (Digital Arts Chair) led the forum and commenced the discussion. The purpose of the forum was to discuss the issues; no decisions would be made. After a brief introduction to the forum, the floor was opened for general discussion. The main points raised are listed below.

• Watercolorists encountered similar opposition to their craft years ago (Mike Bergen)
• Digital art is constantly evolving so is always “new” – discussion may last longer than watercolor did (Richard Helmick)
• Digital art is now a “chameleon” – you can make it look like whatever you want. The medium no longer has a definite signature. (Richard Helmick)
• The focus should be on the artist’s signature not the signature of the medium (Mike Bergen)
• Should be using the term “digital medium” not “digital art” (Bruce Tucker). [There was general agreement on this point.]
• The main issue for CAG is really “non-art” versus “art”, although should avoid this topic! (Jim Johnson)
• Art investors need to know how their piece was created. (Jim Johnson)
• According to some definitions, the “original” resides on the computer hard drive. (Jim Johnson)
• Many museums and galleries currently accept digital art (Terry Tallis).
• When artists make just one print and destroy the hard drive version, it is considered an “original”. (Terry Tallis)
• CAG guidelines talk about “visual art” (two-dimensional). (Terry Tallis).
• So should we include photography, or redefine who we are to only include paintings? (Brandi Dayton)
• If the same piece of digital art is reused in different ways (stitched into fabric, painted, etc), are all new pieces original? (Carrie McFall) [The general consensus was yes.]
• Some artists paint over prints or giclees and sell them as “original” or “augmented prints”. (Mike Bergen)
• Original prints should be signed as “1 of 1” (Jim Johnson)
• Printmaking is accepted in the guild; all prints are considered original since each is slightly different. (Mike Bergen)
• Giclees are often signed twice.
• No difference if there are four copies that are slightly different versus four copies that are exactly the same. (Harold Wood). [General agreement.]
• Some painters will repaint paintings that sell – it’s about money. (Brandi Dayton).
• Carrie Tasman (juror) voiced that she has concerns about the criteria for admitting digital art.
• Need to know how an artist created the work – was it simple? Wants “meat” to it. (Carrie Tasman).
• If it is clearly defined how it was made, is that acceptable? (Mike Bergen). [Yes – Carrie Tasman].
• There is a small photo arts guild, which concentrates mostly on traditional darkroom work. The CAG is a more appropriate venue for digital art. (Mike Bergen).
• Rumor that someone had once submitted a watercolor to CAG that was actually a print. (Barbara Story).
• “Art is art.” Is there a minimum number of buttons to be pushed? Hours spent? (Brandi Dayton).
• Competence is obvious. (Terry Tallis)
• Should be looked at primarily as an object. It would be good to know how it was made. Apply the current jury criteria. (Mike Bergen)
• CAG has been approached with art that is too close to photography. Should CAG embrace it all (including photography)? (Brandi Dayton)
• Some are very passionately against digital art. (Jim Johnson).
• Shouldn’t worry about the medium; it’s the quality of art that is important (Mike Bergen).
• Painters don’t want to compete with photographers – should we do the right thing or focus on money? (Brandi Dayton)
• Pricing is different (cheaper) for photography than paintings. (Carrie Tasman).
• Patrons at the clothesline sale only have a certain amount to spend. Should it be opened up to yet more artists? (Terry Tallis)
• Top quality work and new blood will draw more people (Harold Wood)
• Is the purpose of the guild to help professionals make more money or developing the arts? (Mike Bergen) [General agreement on the latter].
• Art should be evaluated on impact, not on the number of buttons pushed (Kerry McFall).
• A CAG juried show has been suggested in addition to the clothesline art sale (Carolyn Madsen).
• Should be a poll of entire guild about digital art. (Brandi Dayton).
• Some locals think clothesline art sale is just prints and cards. Could increase size, change venue, have separate areas for photography, original paintings, cards. (Dave Ware; non-artist).
• Perhaps cards and prints/giclees shouldn’t be sold at the clothesline art sale. (Carolyn Madsen)
• Could invite other guilds to have their own areas (photography, pottery, fiber arts, etc). (Carolyn Madsen)
• The above idea could further dilute the market. (Mike Bergen).
• There should be a digital artist on the jury committee when jurying in digital art. (Carol Chapel). [This is in progress – Brandi Dayton].
• As younger generation gets older, this will become a non-issue. (Dave Ware).
• This is a guild, not a business. (Mike Bergen).
• Where do you draw the line between two-button art and photography? (Brandi Dayton)
• Need a white paper. (Terry Tallis)
• White paper could be presented before the June potluck, for everyone to vote on at the potluck. (Carolyn Madsen)
• Perhaps need a further definition of who we (CAG) are. (Terry Tallis)
• First digital art will be juried in April – Harold Wood. (Brandi Dayton).
• Don’t expect many people will be joining CAG as digital artists – there aren’t many around. They are not accepted in photo guilds. (Harold Wood)
• Proposed digital arts committee work on criteria for digital art membership. (Carolyn Madsen)
• Not necessary; there shouldn’t be any special criteria in terms of medium. However, might be useful to have a white paper with more thoughts. Need to address “original” (1 of 1). Need freedom to jury it as art. (Richard Helmick)

The forum was adjourned at 11:50 AM.

Next general meeting: Monday, February 4th at 7:30 PM (library).
Next board meeting: Tuesday, February 19 at 1 PM.

Respectfully submitted,
Jasmine Nahorniak, secretary

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