You are not alone.
It may seem like you are at times because you do so much work by yourself in the studio, but the art ecosystem is enormous and you are not alone. There are so many good people who are advocating on behalf of and supporting artists in their businesses and careers. I want you to know about these resources so that you can tap into them. They’re waiting for you.
In this episode of The Art Biz, I’m talking with Louise Martorano, the Executive Director at RedLine Contemporary Art Center in Denver, Colorado. RedLine is a nonprofit whose mission is to foster “education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change.” In many ways, RedLine behaves like a traditional arts council. But they’re far from it. Louise and I discuss their artist-in-residence program, affordable studio space, and how they collaborate with other art organizations in the U.S. and beyond.
The history and mission of RedLine Contemporary Art Center. (1:45)
The local and global need for artist career support. (7:46)
Visual arts coalitions fill in the gaps of an artist’s career. (11:23)
The staff, budget, and $22 million re-granting programs at RedLine. (19:15)
Details on residencies, applications, and juried interviews. (25:18)
Open studio doors increase opportunities for artists. (32:03)
Commission opportunities, stipends, and other program benefits. (33:58)
How to find artist support programs in your community. (37:19)
Group meetings and other expectations of artist residents. (41:01)
Auditing relationships and leveraging your community. (45:45)
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/advocate-martorano-podcast
“Artists are really expected to be all the departments in their career.” — Louise Martorano
“Artists’ careers can live and die on the relationships they build and the opportunities they have.” — Louise Martorano
“We’re trying to link arms with each other in Colorado to see if we can create a more seamless journey for artists as they gain traction and opportunity in their careers.” — Louise Martorano
“Talking about your work is like exercising a muscle. The more you do it, the more refined your language is.” — Louise Martorano
“Artists need to reevaluate who they know and who they’re connected to and see how they can use those arteries of opportunity.” — Louise Martorano
Louise Martorano is the Executive Director of RedLine, a non-profit contemporary art center and residency located in Denver, Colorado. RedLine's mission is to foster education and engagement between artists and communities to create positive social change. Under Martorano’s leadership, RedLine has received the Denver Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2014 and 2015), the Greenway Foundation’s “Partner in Change” award, acknowledged by Denver Public Schools for excellence in community engagement, and has presented and organized over 100 exhibitions over the past 10 years.
Martorano holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an M.H. from the University of Colorado, Denver with a focus in Contemporary Art History & Music. In 2017, she was awarded a Livingston Fellowship from the Bonfils-Stanton Foundation for promising nonprofit leaders who hold significant leadership roles in Colorado.