To encourage others to fall in love with self-publishing the carbon based mistake founded the Art Exchange Program, which offers two different small grants on an annual basis. One grant is for the veteran zine maker and one is for the beginner. Creating art goes beyond whether or not you’re making money from it. People make art because they love doing it. The Art Exchange Program is an award of thanks for that and hopefully an incentive to try your hand at what might just become a life long obsession. It’s called perpetual art, and we need more of it.
The History of the Art Exchange Program
In 2004 I started this small $150-$200 (depending on my personal finances year-to-year) grant because I’ve always wished I had the money to start a scholarship, but being a working class artist; I’m not exactly swimming in gold coins. Then I realized I didn’t need to be a millionaire to start a grant. It could be something I could manage financially and still be a benefit to others. The grant only lasted one year, but in 2011 my best friend Jon Krueger was diagnosed with cancer and I saw the things I was taking for granted. I had been in the midst of a several year artistic dry spell at the time and his sickness scared me out of it. I wanted to make things again and have something to leave behind. We all had more time with Jon than we expected, but like all great friends who die; not nearly enough time. Jon passed away in May of 2012, 13 months after his diagnosis, and in his void I found myself starting to rethink what I wanted to do. He had really shown to me how limited my time was. He lived a very full life for having died so young. I hadn’t done a fraction of the things I wanted to. I needed to do more than just hope people made things. I needed to start helping people do it, so I revived the grant. Usually these contests involve people who already do this kind of work just sending in their latest and greatest. But that does very little to inspire someone to make that first step. The first step is difficult, so hopefully with the goal of entering this contest motivation will be ignited. This first step could lead to a lifetime of art, which could inspire others, who would go on to inspire someone else, who might go on to create something truly unique and beautiful… this is called perpetual art, and we need more of it.
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