News / Press Releases

Artist Trust Helps Ensure the Legacy of Washington State Artists

For Immediate Release:

Artist Trust is working to expand the knowledge, awareness and discussion about archiving and documenting artwork through the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) Program. This exciting program, supported with a grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, provides visual artists with information and necessary skills for archiving and documenting their work. Artist Trust is one of four organizations nationwide selected to participate in the pilot program.

The life of a work of art continues far beyond the life of an artist—but only if it can be accessed in some way. Works of art can reach beyond the time and the geographic place of their creation, though this eternal life depends on many factors. Artists often wrestle with how best to ensure that their artistic legacies are accessible. This legacy can be physical works of art, digital documentation, evidence of artistic practice or records tracing accomplishments, hurdles and other facets of an artist’s life. Artist Trust seeks to provide Washington State artists with information to assist them in documenting and sharing their artistic legacy.

The Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) Program is comprised of four major components:

    1. Training of Legacy Specialists in archiving, documentation and related skills, and working with Washington State master artists to archive their legacies.

The CALL program focuses on assisting visual artists in organizing and digitally documenting their artwork. Four master artists over 55 years old were selected to receive assistance from Legacy Specialists trained on archiving and documenting. The artists benefiting from the pilot program are: visual artist Marita Dingus; ceramicist Anne Hirondelle; weaver Lisa Telford; and cartoonist Jim Woodring. With the assistance of the Legacy Specialists, these prominent Washington State artists are getting the help they need to ensure their legacies and the continuation of their invaluable and diverse contributions to our community.

“If I didn’t have an archive or sorted inventory, there would be nothing for anyone to understand. All of my work was in folders stacked from floor to ceiling. Who would come in and sort through all these folders? No art historian would do that.”  [CALL Artist]

    2. Technology skill-building for artists through workshops and the comprehensive new Tech EDGE program.

The CALL program has allowed Artist Trust to develop and offer new resources, workshops and webinars which provide artists with methods and tools for documenting visual arts in the digital age. These elements will be assembled into a new comprehensive Tech EDGE program in Fall 2014, offering hands-on instruction from experts in the field on necessary aspects of technology for artists including: digital photography; image manipulation and resizing; digital portfolio creation; and other aspects of using digital technology as a powerful tool to manage an art career and ensure an artist’s legacy. Visit www.artisttrust.org for information on upcoming technology workshops and Tech EDGE.

    3. Development of an online resource of archives relevant to Washington visual artists.

As a service to a wide scope of artists, Artist Trust has gathered information on visual art archives, including answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) on archives and repositories for visual arts, as well as information on a selection of local, statewide and national archives. The archives have been chosen for their relevance to Washington State artists: the featured archives can or do include material on visual artists from Washington State. Visit our Resources webpage under “Art, Archiving and Documenting.”

    4. Investigation into and community dialogue about new platforms for preserving cultural legacy and archiving artists’ work.

Artist Trust is in discussions with libraries, museums and other archives and repositories about issues around the best ways to gather, secure and share the legacies of Washington State artists, from original artwork to cloud-based archives.

For more information on the CALL Program, visit our Creative Career Center webpage.

Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in Washington State artists since its founding in 1986, through grant programs and direct support. Artist Trust also provides a comprehensive suite of career training and professional development resources to help artists achieve their career goals.

Artist Trust is a not-for-profit organization whose sole mission is to support and encourage individual artists working in all disciplines in order to enrich community life throughout Washington State. Find out more at www.artisttrust.org.

Major supporters of Artist Trust include many individual donors along with: 4Culture, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Amazon, ArtsFund, ArtsWA, The Boeing Company, The Dale & Leslie Chihuly Foundation, The Klorfine Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, Raynier Institute & Foundation, Seattle Art Fair, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Jon & Mary Shirley Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, and Vulcan Inc.