John Boylan’s Next Conversation: “The Professional as Artist”

Event Date: Tuesday, February 18, from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Admission is free. Tell your friends.

This roundtable conversation series happens at Vermillion, an art gallery, bar, and neighborhood gathering place at 1508 11th Ave, Seattle ( For more information on the series, call John Boylan at 206-601-9848. If you want to link to this announcement, you can do so at

A history of the conversations is available at

The Summary

This time we’re building on November’s popular conversation “The Artist as Entrepreneur.” But now we’re coming at the subject of arts and business from the opposite direction.

Read on for the details.

The Guests (see bios below)

Cheryl dos Remedios

Cyan James

With a couple more in the works. Stay tuned.

The Story

I’ve been thinking lately about the extent to which art permeates everyday life. In this culture, we tend to think of art as something for museums and galleries, stuff done by “artists.” There is a counter view, of course, that art is integral to how we live our lives—or should be, in the best of all possible worlds. That view risks a level of reductionism: everything is art. Everything certainly is not art. But I think that it is worthwhile to recognize that the core challenges of art, the risks, the intelligence, the insights, the discomfiture and the deep pleasure, exist in unexpected places. And that the work done to create and maintain our built environment, our commerce, and our social structure can, and should, contains many components that are art.

In November we had a good, high-energy conversation about “The Artist as Entrepreneur.” Now I want to build on that, but come at it from a very different direction. Rather than looking at the entrepreneurial elements of being an artist, I want to examine the way in which art intersects professional experience. I’m using the term professional in broad terms: work based on training, work that is often complex and intense. How does art factor into everyday work, especially work that is complex and intense? Can art be better interwoven into what we do, without diluting what art is? And should it? Does such interweaving change the ways in which we think about art, make art, and educate for art?

I was just reading Buckminster Fuller’s classic book, “Critical Path.” In the foreword, he quotes e. e. cummings: “A poet is someone who feels, and who expresses his feelings through words. This may sound easy. It isn’t…the moment you feel, you’re nobody-but-yourself. To be nobody-but-yourself—in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else—means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

Can this fight even be seen as part of everyday life and work? Or can we afford a world where it is not part of everyday life and work? Come and talk about it.

What’s Coming Up

Cities—On March 18, we’re expecting that the conversation will have one guest: former Mayor Mike McGinn. We’ll talk about the ways in which cities work and don’t work, about Seattle as a place, a working city, a cultural center, and about visions for what Seattle can become as the 21st century unfolds.

Performance—On April ??, we’ll have a conversation about performance, as a discipline, as an art form.

The Guests in Detail

Cheryl dos Remedios has an interdisciplinary background in art, project management, public works, and landscape preservation. Known for her success in connecting communities to the designed landscape and to the environment, she is currently leading Gustafson Guthrie Nichol’s public communications and marketing endeavors. Prior to GGN, Cheryl worked as an artist and public art administrator, most recently focusing on the stewardship of the Herbert Bayer Earthwork. Active in the local art and design community, she currently serves on the Pollinator Pathway Advisory Board and the Great City Board, and she is a past member of the Port of Seattle Art Oversight Committee, Advocate4Culture, the Rainier Beach Neighborhood Advisory Committee, 4Culture Public Art Advisory Committee, and the Arboretum Foundation Board. Cheryl is also the founder of aLIVe: a Low Impact Vehicle exploration.

Cyan James was born in the Mojave Desert in southern California and still loves the feel of strange wide-open places. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan and is currently completing a PhD in public health genetics at the University of Washington. Her everyday work spans bioethics, public health, and storytelling – she is particularly interested in using art and narrative within peace-keeping and social justice approaches. She is finishing a novel and a collection of essays—after graduation she expects to work in public policy while wedging in as much art as possible.


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