i am very interested in returning to Birmingham to investigate the gallery culture. the seminar was held at Space One Eleven aka SOE, non-profit gallery devoted to the artist and non-traditional gallery experiences. i met Anne Arrasmith and Peter Prinz the founders of SOE, both generous, hospitable, and sharp people whose mission is to run a gallery that allows artists to exhibit non-commercially viable but vitally important work.
everyone was astounded that i had driven 4 hours to attend, but the seminar seemed perfect to keep me energized about my work and the next steps i need to take. the cost of the trip was around $250 for room, food, gas, and attendance fees. which seems affordable for the chance to network in the region. the drive was really easy, and I discovered that Birmingham in addition to being close to Pensacola, it really a nice central hub for the major urban areas of the (non-Florida) Southeast. it is within 3hours of 4 major cities (Memphis, Atlanta, Nashville and Knoxville).
i had the chance to talk to several other faculty about developing visiting lectures both amongst ourselves in the region and to bring in other high profile artists/theorist to out campuses through sharing of costs. most of the faculty in attendance were from Alabama with a few from GA and TN.
the trip yielded a new colleague, Sarah Marshall who is at University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Sarah also brought a fantastic undergrad by the name of Patricia who is doing some high level aesthetics-data moshing around the culture of cancer. i was energized when Sarah shared her experience about marketing when the Apatow film that shares her name came out. i let her know that the ideas of identity is an important topic in my work, and we were fast friends.