Blogpix, The Panel

Click here for Blogpix, The Show
Click here for first Armory post, Show Me the Money
The Blogpix panel, which took place on Saturday, March 7, followed the Thursday opening of the Blogpix show at Denise Bibro's Platform Project Space in New York.

This is not a report. I was moderating, and totally focused on making sure the right questions got asked, that panelists got to respond, and that the audience got its pennies in, too. But Olympia Lambert, the organizer of both events, Twittered the event so you can access a running stream of comments.
Here, let me show you some pictures of folks involved. Then I'll post some of what I remember (aided by the Twitter feed).

Denise Bibro, far left, welcomes bloggers to her gallery. Standing next to her is Blogpix organizer Olympia Lambert. The panel is identified in the picture below. In the audience Sharon Butler, Blogpix exhibiting artist and author of Two Coats of Paint , turns to face the camera.

The event took place not at Platform Project Space but at Denise Bibro Fine Art, the larger gallery next door. The work here is by Lisa Dinhofer

Our distinguished panel: Hrag Vartanian (; Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof (; Bill Gusky (; and Brent Burket (

Hrag, Roberta and Libby are curators, along with myself, of the Blogpix show; Bill and Brent were invited to round out the panel. If you're wondering about Brent's blog title, "Heart as Arena," we learned that he'd originally named it "I Love Mary Boone" but changed it to a phrase taken from a Basquiat painting

Martin Bromirski ( took all the pics except for the top one, which I snapped just before my moderating duties began. And if you're wondering what "Anaba" (accent on the first syllable) means, it's a Japanese term for "special place." See what you learn at a blogger panel?

That's me moderating

Here's the audience. Well, part of it; the chairs spread out in a wider arc and in deeper rows. I'd say we had about 40 attendees. I recognized a few folks: Sharon Butler at far left; Steven Alexander, exhibiting in Blogpix and author of ; Alyce Nicole Dunn, an artist new to New York, welcome!; Loren Munk, aka James Kalm, author of The Kalm Report, whose video coverage of the New York art scene is rich and in depth; and Ben La Rocco, one of the Blogpix artists

Veken Gueyikian ( is seated behind James Kalm. And Olympia Lambert, our intrepid Twitterer, is at the laptop behind Veken

Here's Olympia, below. Did I mention she posted so many comments that she exceeded her Twitter allotment and got shut down?

Here's a snippet of the conversation:

Given the decline of print media, are we bloggers getting more power than we asked for, expected, or even want?

Roberta Fallon had the funniest and probably most honest answer: "We love pontificating." But Sharon Butler offers a good example of how that power can be used in a good--no, a great, way. After writing about how she got her portrait painted by Matt Held, who is working his way through a portrait project, all kinds of great things started happening for Matt (see Sharon's update at the bottom of her original post).

Brent sees blogs as "a supplement" to print media. But given that print publications are on the decline--here, several people rattled off a list of newspapers that are in trouble--we noted that only so much of their editorial space and budger can go to arts coverage. That's where we come in. And we can do it immediately.

"Is there a sense of ethics and protocol among you?"

The question came from Denise, and was primarily with regard to advertising, which some bloggers have, and some don't. We all said, essentially, "Ads or no ads, our voice and vision are our own." I must add that all of us have journalism in our backgrounds, and we take our mission seriously--even if we have fun while doing so. "When we started, we came out of a writing and journalism background," said Roberta of herself and Libby; both write for print in addition to blogging. Olympia, also, come out of J-school. Hrag writes for PBS's Art 21; Brent for the non-profit Creative Time; I spent 20 years as an editor

How do you know if the blog is worth reading?

This is not the exact question, but it captures the gist. I responded that readers make the evaluation. If you feel you're getting propaganda, relentless self promotion (beyond the normal stuff we all do; hey, we don't get paid for blogging!) back-scratching coverage because of advertising, or plain bad writing, you won't return. The blogosphere has much to offer, and you can access (or delete it) with a click. So trust your instinct and go with your taste.

Why are we blogging anyway?

Hrag: "I find I get more satisfaction from my blog than the other venues."

Fallon and Rosof: "We love that you can go to a blog in Philly and read about a show in London."

Panelist (sorry, I can't identify from the Twitter feed): "The direct response-- having people comment means something."

Bill: "I like to be the Rush Limbaugh of this stuff--but in a good way.



Martin said...

hi - i loved seeing those round space paintings floating over and behind the panel.

anaba is not really accented at the first syllable... no one syllable is accented in japanese, no stress accent... they use more like a pitch accent, like intonation.

the talk was fun... and denis bibro was great. i remember she asked about responsibility. a number of my answers would have been different from those of the panelists.

Joanne Mattera said...

Hmm, in a language with accented syllables, how would one say a word with intonation only? (Sort of like, how do you see red if you're colorblind . . .)

So give us your response to "responsibility." The discussion can certainly continue herein cyberspace.

Oh, and lovely to finally meet you!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was exciting, Joanne. One of these times I'll fly in to be part of something like this, repressenting Sharkforum, if you organize/run it! I hope your surgery went well. Still inetersted in doing a short theory piece for Proximity?

Joanne Mattera said...

Surgery? You mean the knee? It's better-ish. Or are you referring to the impending surgery for the tooth that broke when I bit into a piece of chocolate (what I now refer to, none too fondly, as "the $5000 chocolate bar)?

Anyway, yes, we have to get you to NY for a panel.

And, yes, I'm thinking about a piece for Proximity. I'm taking a little break from painting so it's actually possible now.

Mark Staff Brandl said...

GREAT! (About the theory piece, not the $5000 chocolate bar!) Good luck with that!

Ace said...

It was great meeting you at this Blogpix event Joanne! I can't believe I ran into you the day afterwards at the Armonry show too -- and amongst that huge slew of spectators! Everyday I'm more and more surprised by how small this city seems sometimes... Anyway, I've been checking out your blog, and I wanted to tell you that I absolutely love the Marketing Mondays. I actually went to school for Business instead of Art, which may or may not have been to my advantage (I'll let you know how it goes...), but my Marketing knowledge is not art industry specific at all, so I've been learning a lot. I can't wait to see what your future posts will be. Are you going to discuss marketing as a female artist in particular? What about marketing in Manhattan vs. in other boroughs or in regions outside of New York City altogether? There's so much I want to know! I can't wait! I'm sure I'll run into you again soon-I have a way of popping up like that :-)

Mark Staff Brandl said...

Joanne --- Alyse's comment made my mind jump off in another direction. I was in a big discussion the other day with a gallerist (and diploma-ed art historian), a curator (no relevant diploma) myself and the curator was declaiming how the "new model" of apartment galleries etc was so good --- (we don't really have those in Europe, btw) --- and I was criticising how the obsession in Kunsthallen etc. here leads to an obsession with "hot new talent," and one of the most victimized groups are middleaged women. Men too, have troubles, I have been lucky due to looking like a baby, but there are agesit problem, and I still assert primarily for women my age. Have you done and particluar blogs or article or so addressing this? I'd like to bring it up over on Sharkforum and in panel discussions and stuff and would like some URL links to discussion by someonw who knows more than I do.

Mark Staff Brandl said...

Oh I mentioned the diploms, forgot to include that I have them in art, art history and humanities, --- but my point was that the gallerist/art historian agreed with me, the not-yet-middle-aged woman curator (with diplomas in business) did not. I think Yuppie-type career-succes schooling may be still be a source of blindness, even when circumstances disfavor your own gender.

Joanne Mattera said...

This is a huge topic. We have learned to recognize sexism, racism and other isms, and although we don't like them and can't control them, we know how to deal with them. Then, whomp, you get hit upside the head with something you never thought applied to you. And, in fact it didn't until you cross a temporal threshhold.

It's a big topic, and one I'm going to have to think about and research. But I will stay in touch with you about it, because while I think women have a greater burden here (quelle surprise!), it's an issue that affects men, too--at least those who haven't made it into the art stratosphere.

You ask about issues relating to women. ANother huge topic, and one that has been covered in some detail. One thing you might do is check out the work of Jennifer Dalton, who is represented by Edward WInkleman. She's a conceptual artist who touches on the tangible career issues, like the relation of women artists to men. And check out EVERYTHING on the Guerrilla Girls.

Anonymous said...

Ageism is indeed a huge topic. It's funny that young people don't think about ageism until they start feeling it directed toward themselves. Not everyone is going to eventually become black or a woman or gay or in a wheelchair (or other possible targets of discrimination), but everyone is going to end up old(er). So you would think that everyone would be aware of the dangers of ageism. But it must be one of those DNA-based evolutionarily-adapted things that people don't conceive of themselves as "old" or even middle-aged until other people start treating them as such.

It was a rude awakening the first time someone called me "an older woman". And I was only about 42. (The person saying it was about 17, but still, I was shocked, SHOCKED. And I swear, I didn't look a day over 41.)

Sheree Rensel said...

This post was worth the read just to see a pic of James Kalm (Loren)!!! LOL LOL
I have to hand it to you. I am so happy for you all. You have this concentrated cadre of influential people who have the power to make a difference. Others, like myself, look on with awe. Keep doing what you are doing. It is worth it for you, for them, and for me. Thank you.

kalm james said...

Hey Sheree Rensel, (wizzlewolf),

pretty disappointing huh.