In media ranging from steel to fiber to video, Marta Staudinger wants to see women and nonbinary creatives come to the forefront.
So this fall, she’s organizing the third year of See Support Collect, an initiative that pushes for art collectors to pay more attention to those marginalized artists.
“I want to be creating as many vehicles as possible for these artists to not just exhibit but sell their work, receive grants … pull other artists into projects,” Staudinger says.
Staudinger, the director of D.C.-based Latela Curatorial, curated three of the exhibits in this year’s See Support Collect herself. She partnered with the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art and Mason Exhibitions Arlington to develop two more, “Forecast” and “Cast/Recast.”
Among the exhibitions Staudinger curated: Schaun Champion’s “Monuments and Black Bouquets,” two series of photos examining ideas of commemoration and Black joy; Julia Chon’s “Five Directions: Vessels,” a display of painted kimchi pots; and “Body Autonomy,” the work of 24 women and nonbinary artists engaging with recent attacks on reproductive rights, trans rights and more.
At the moment, See Support Collect is seasonal, with exhibits running for varying lengths up until mid-February. Staudinger, who organizes the initiative almost single-handedly, thinks the initiative will likely remain temporary for the foreseeable future.
“I don’t really have the capacity to make it an everyday campaign or a business or brand. I think it’s also important that we don’t commercialize everything either,” she points out.
She adds that this current moment seems like the perfect time to run the initiative.
“We just had midterms and I’m spending my time on Instagram posting about body autonomy,” Staudinger says. “Body autonomy — I just, right now, really wanted to provide a platform for that, because it’s so important. And artists are making work in their rage.”
What Staudinger wants to see next: more support for that work.
Staudinger recognizes many don’t feel connected to art collecting, partially because sellers and exhibitors have a messaging problem: “It can be really hard to communicate action steps for people and also make sure that they feel invited.”
Through See Support Collect, however, Staudinger aims to make tangible action steps easy and clear: Buy art. If you can’t, or don’t want to, check it out. Promote it online. Even just giving the online page a few views can boost it in the algorithm on the art sales website Artsy, so others might be more likely to see it.
But even as she encourages individual support, Staudinger knows the onus of change should primarily fall on institutions like the press and art sales platforms.
“No matter how much generative, intersectional work we do — matriarchal work we do on the ground — we’re not hitting past that glass ceiling in a lot of ways,” she says. “We do have sales. But I feel like that is still very minimal, because it’s on the responsibility of a one-on-one collector. And I’d like to see systems with more power, specifically in the art world, emphasize our efforts.”
“Body Autonomy”: Available online on Artsy until November 20.
“Cast/Recast”: Available at Mason Exhibitions Arlington until December 3.
“Five Directions: Vessels”: Available at the Conrad Washington DC until January 13.
“Forecast”: available at the Tephra ICA Signature Gallery until January 22.
“Monuments and Black Bouquets”: Available at The Silva Gallery until February 12.
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