The billboard read “Cindy Sherman is Here,” with just a simple tagline, “LightWork.org.” I asked myself, “what in the hell is Cindy Sherman, the famed photographer whose portraits are rumored to be some of the most expensive in the world, is a muse to David Byrne, doing in Syracuse, New York?”
After perusing LightWork’s website, I realized what a gem of an organization was in my new backyard. Not only had Cindy Sherman been a one time Light Work Artist-in-Residence, but so had my very favorite; Carrie Mae Weems.
After I attended the Light Work 40 Year Anniversary celebration, I purchased a Carrie Mae Weems photograph, which now proudly hangs in our living room. Every year Light Work invites twelve to fifteen artists to come to Syracuse and devote one month to creative projects. Over 360 artists have participated in Light Work’s Artist-in-Residence Program over the last 40 years, many of them, like Cindy Sherman, have gone on to achieve international acclaim.
The initial attraction of wanting to own the Carrie Mae Weem’s photograph was the sheer fact that it was a limited edition piece; but, more importantly, I was supporting LightWork’s mission: to be an alternative arts organization run by artists for the benefit and support of other artists. Simple as that. Light Work concentrates on supporting emerging and under-recognized artists, giving them the opportunity to create new work, and then making that work part of the ongoing dialogue about contemporary art.
LightWork recently asked me to join an ongoing series titled: “Living With Art,” which features the homes of individuals who curate and create interesting spaces in their homes, offices, or studios. Very Selby‘esqe looking at what inspires, infuriates + excites them about living with art. Here’s the full Q&A on LightWork’s blog, including my feelings on buying art to match your sofa. Which one should never ever do. If you love it, it will find a place: “Living With Art.” Enjoy!
PS: After taking a quick spin of the Light Work facility, I found out they offer workshops and labs for members. Does your New Year’s resolution list include “to be more creative?” How about a course in black + white photography, graphic design, or simply mastering that camera you got for Christmas.