I got an e-mail from the OPTIONS 2005 people about the previous post. Here it is -
Thanks for your email and giving me an opportunity to clear up any confusion with the OPTION's curatorial process. The process involves two concerted parallel efforts: one is the call for entries which is open to anyone who wishes to apply, no fee, no membership required in the WPA\C, and the second effort involves visiting all graduate schools that have an MFA program in the greater DC area to view graduate student's work. Neither approach is new and both have been used with past OPTIONS shows. Libby will be making her second trip to D.C. this week and she will be finishing her graduate school visits and continuing to review calls for entry; so not everyone's entry has been reviewed and not every grad school has been visited, we are still continuing to work through the process.
Hopefully, all entries and graduate school programs will be thoroughly examined after this visit and her next visit will be concentrated on studio visits of her choice. I spoke with two artists this weekend who had applied to OPTIONS and not received any communciation from WPA\C, all I could say is either their entry had not yet been reviewed or they were still in the running. After Dr. Lumpkin's visit this week, her goal will be to narrow the choices and communicate to all artists interested and involved about where they stand in the process.
It's nice that they got back in touch but this submission process sort of reminds me of the Whitney Biennial's last call for entries - a token gesture. A grad student who doesn't apply to the show seems to have a better chance of getting into it than a person who applies. Libby Lumpkin will visit the studios, meet the students, get schmoozed by the pr guy (i mean department head) and taken out for a nice lunch. Dare I ask if she is compensated at all by the schools?
Here is a list of the fifteen artists that were included in the previous OPTIONS show, OPTIONS 2002, in which I've highlighted the names of the artists who were students at the time -
Nick Barna, Kristen Beal, James Busby, Mary Cahill, Javier Cuellar, Rachel Egenhoefer, Will Kavesh, Sandra Luckett, Thea McKenzie, Ryan Nelson, Brian Randolph, Lisa Rundstrom, Trish Tillman, Alessandra Torres, Danny Yahav-Brown
Six VCU students and two from MICA. They might very well all have been grad students at the time, the ones that aren't highlighted are artists I can't find any biographical information on. I guess I'll e-mail the OPTIONS people back and ask which of the artists included in OPTIONS 2002 were not grad students at the time.
FYI - this is not an anti-grad student post, only trying to point out that a bunch of artists are entering a show and the work is not all being considered in the same way. we deserve to know that.