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Fiona McGuigan on EDGE

Fiona McGuigan

2009 EDGE Professional Development Program Graduate

Fiona McGuigan, Duwamish Series (View from Herring's House Park), Sumi Ink on board, 10"x12", 2012.

Late on February 25, 2012, after attending Artist Trust’s Benefit Art Auction, Sue Danielson and I were standing on Mercer Street, in the dark, freezing, waiting for a bus. We were talking about what we wanted to do that year—I was applying for a residency outside of Rome but realized while writing my application that I didn’t know my own city. I had never explored parts of Seattle, and neither had Sue. So, that night we decided to create our own residency (the Duwamish Artist Residency), right here in Seattle. Why not?

Sue and I met in 2009 during Artist Trust’s EDGE Professional Development Program. We spent a whole week together, in lectures, doing homework, reading over each other’s artist statements. It was pretty intense, a little intimidating, lots of work, and the message for me was pretty clear: You want to be an artist? Please be professional, and here are the tools. Yes, you do have to keep organized files of your work, and a mailing list, and update your website. PR is part of the deal, but so is a clear vision of what you want to do. There are no promises of large amounts of income, but an understanding that it takes work and perseverance to create your own way. Also, you don’t work in a vacuum, you have to be part of something bigger. Work gets made, you have to know about it. Passion and interest in other people’s work is luckily part of being professional.

This year, Sue and I are organizing the 3rd annual Duwamish Artist Residency. It’s pretty amazing to get to explore your own city and work side by side artists you admire. The Duwamish Residency artists will be showing their work at the 4Culture Gallery in March 2015.

Read more about Fiona and Sue.

Read more about the EDGE Professional Development Program. Applications for the 2014 EDGE are due March 24, 2014!