Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kickstarter in Houston

by Robert Boyd

Kickstarter is a platform for raising money for various artistic projects, whether non-profit or for profit. I've supported a couple of projects I like with small donations through it, but really never delved too deeply into what all is there. But this morning, I went to Kickstarter and typed the word "Houston" into the search engine to see what I'd see. Here are a few of the local projects that seemed worthy of support.

The Pozos Art Project. This is a deal by my old photography professor, Geoff Winningham and his wife, artist Janice Freeman. The project is to teach art to a bunch of kids in a village in Mexico (where Winningham and Freeman have a home) and in Houston. Winningham has been an outstanding teacher all his life, but teaching art to younger kids is something quite different from teaching photography to 20-something slackers (like me back in the day). They can explain it better than I can, though:

The Museum of Broken Relationships. You can go see this right now at the Blaffer. I checked it out last night and found it quite amusing. It's filled with artifacts left over from failed romantic relationships, along with little descriptions of the significance of each artifact. It's not really an art exhibit, but the act of curation of this collection is its own work of art. And they want to build a permanent Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia. I find this highly symbolic. Croatia as a separate country is itself the result of a broken relationship, a six-way divorce following a some serious domestic violence.

(Why is this a Houston project? Because you have the choice of supporting the Blaffer show, the Zagreb museum, or both.)

Many Mini. This is a Skydive project. You know how most residencies involve giving an artist studio space for some period of time (a month, a year, etc.). With Many Mini, that period of time for the residency is as small as 30 minutes with a maximum of 12 hours. You can get more details here. Basically what this funds is a whole bunch of artists doing stuff. And artists doing stuff is one the most exciting things there is.


These are just a few of the Kickstarter projects in Houston. I am supporting each of these in my own modest way. But there are a lot more projects there trying to raise funds. I encourage you to check them out.


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