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Friday, January 20, 2017

Common Field: a Visual Arts Organizing Network

Common Field is a visual arts organizing network connecting contemporary, experimental, noncommercial artist-run and artist centered spaces and initiatives.

Common Field’s membership includes alternative art spaces, publications, digital exhibition venues, festivals, residencies, collectives, collaboratives, and individual organizers. These projects and spaces provide interdisciplinary and hybrid forms for art production, reception, and exchange.

Our members generate independent, responsive, grassroots, artist-centered cultures. They support artists, they connect artists with the public in intimate, experimental, and generative ways, and they are deeply involved in the shape and characters of the contexts where they work. Our members stimulate ideation, imagination, and innovation in their communities.

Many of our members create organizations that support artists and are artists themselves. Common Field explores the ways in which the practice of art organizing represents an integrated formation of practices that involve putting the work and creative process first.

Common Field is building a platform for sharing learning and exchange between these groups, and connecting them with related fields. Common Field's programs include convenings, research, membership resources, and advocacy. Our aim is to develop a more accessible and resourced field of visual arts organizations.

  • creating broad public visibility for artist organizations and organizers
  • articulating the common practices and values of visual arts organizing 
  • sharing histories and stories of the field
  • facilitating forums for convening, peer-to-peer knowledge, and exchange across geographies and communities
  • ​providing platforms for resources, tools, and advocacy
  • demonstrating responsive, diverse, and accessible approaches to creative production
Artist-centered organizing is central to creative culture. It supports artists, their process, and inquiry through structures that are as mutable and flexible as the creative process itself. It exists through collaboration, partnership, risk-taking, generosity, and reciprocity. It supports inquiry, plurality, diversity, new and vulnerable practices. It thrives on interaction by exchange. It is by nature evolving and hard to define. It empowers, advances, and responds to artists and the conditions within which artists create. It advocates and articulates the value of artists to society.

The Common Field Convening is an itinerant annual gathering created by and for the field of visual artists’ organizations. These organizations support artists and foster experimental projects that are responsive to and embedded in the places and communities in which they live and work.


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