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About Open Ground

Open Ground is a social space dedicated to collaboration and community building, a site for connections and the free transfer of knowledge and experience. The participating artists value Open Ground as an opportunity to support each other and be open to new perspectives. These values are not tied to any physical space but can grow and be passed on through new mediums like collaborative documents (our website), ongoing discussions, meetings, workshops, and events. While Open Ground adopted the gallery model for our presentation of contemporary and emerging art we do not feel limited to its confines, but use it as a platform to present exhibitions and community events.

Open Ground’s first event was a music showcase in April 2000, and we continued to present new music to the public with two more events in 2001. The first gallery exhibition opened September 15, 2001, and over the years Open Ground has been the site of 28 visual art exhibitions, a performance event, a music benefit for the Williamsburg waterfront, 2 OpenSound events, 5 OpenForum events, a slide review, and a designers gallery: altogether exposing the activities of over 250 artists.

Once an artist exposes their work to a public, what they hope to express becomes open: for reinterpretation, for contention, for support, and for inspiration. Our collective practice sustains an ongoing conversation examining the place of art and artists in the world today, buoyed by the value of creative exchange and collaboration.

Open Ground proves that showing art is an important yet unrecognized part of the art-making process: cloaked by academia as the end in and of itself, or by a gallery as the means to sell the work. Both of these contexted meanings fail to give art the possibility of dialog and therefore impact.

We are not alone in this purpose. We are surrounded by other organizations that share our focus on grassroots exhibition practices and open communities. We will continue to work together and expand an ongoing dialog.

Values

The artists of Open Ground support one another.

  • Collaboration
    • Each person contributes what they are able to and everyone learns from the experience
    • Each person is responsible for addressing problems as they arise, understanding that coersion is not a viable option
  • creating an open space that is not exclusive and not elitist
    • This is an amazing experiment we are doing, where it goes no one knows
  • being a community that supports and trusts each other
    • This is not a professional environment, this is a very personal environment where we need to create a safe space and an emotional experience
    • Open communication is key to achieveing this
  • we don’t like authority for it’s own sake, but we appreciate the clarity that vested authority can bring to a creative process. If we care about something and feel that it needs an authority figure each of us can choose to take on those responsibilities but prefer to put our energy into building the trust necessary for Open Ground’s values to suceed.
These values are not tied to any physical space but can grow and be passed on through various new media including collaborative documents and ongoing discussions, meetings, and workshops. While we have adopted the gallery model for the presentation of contemporary and emerging art we do not feel limited to its confines but use it as a platform.

Open Ground is an endeavor to open a space for collaboration and community building, for connections to occur, and as a site to share our experience.

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