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From the Chairman

At last, I get it. During the 3.5 years that I’ve served on the ISC Board of Directors, I’ve heard innumerable references to past ISC conferences and how great they were: “Remember Pittsburgh, Chicago, Houston…” You could hear the longing in the speaker’s voice. And with every such reference, never having been to a major ISC conference, I could only wonder to myself what these people were talking about. While I made it to the “mini-conference” in New Orleans last year for Antony Gormley’s keynote (which was, as anyone there can attest, truly captivating), I didn’t get the full “conference experience.” But I was in Cincinnati for the entire event, and it bears repeating—I get it.

I had thought that the time for these conferences came and went back in the ’60s, ’70s, and maybe even the ’80s, but Cincinnati proved me completely wrong. I found it to be a terrific experience—fun and educational. I met dozens of new people, and I hope that I made a few new friends. I ran into old friends and was shocked to run into some from my own backyard who I had no idea would be at the conference. Perhaps most importantly, I feel as though I learned quite a bit about what it means to be a sculptor today: I have a better understanding of the challenges that dedicated artists face every day, both in and out of their studios. I experienced, first hand, the optimism of sculptors just coming out of graduate school and the pragmatism of seasoned sculptors taking a brief respite from their work. I also saw the genuine camaraderie of several hundred sculptors who enjoyed being together to share their experiences, their knowledge, and their mistakes before retreating to the relative isolatation of their studios. Oh, and I saw some great sculpture.

Although my job as the ISC’s Chairman requires that I critique every aspect of what we did in Cincinnati to help insure that we do it better with each successive conference (and we will), I think I can say that the event was a huge success. Thanks to the generosity of the O’Shaughnessy Foundation, the Garner Foundation, the Pat Renick Gift Fund, and Proctor and Gamble, we were able to underwrite the attendance of over 300 students. In all, we had over 500 registered attendees, along with nearly 70 speakers, panelists, and mentors. I couldn’t possibly thank everyone individually in this letter—there are simply too many of you—so thank you to all who came, all who participated, and all who supported us. And thank you Cincinnati—what a great city. I think it’s safe to say that conferences are, and will remain, a thriving part of the ISC’s overall programming.

If you came to Crossroads Cincinnati, please be sure to tell us what you thought. There is an on-line survey available on our Web site www.sculpture.org. You can also send an e-mail to me at jkanter@sculpture.org or to our Managing Director, Johannah Hutchison, at johannah@sculpture.org, or you can post your comments on Sculpture Community. If you didn’t come to Cincinnati, please let us know why not and what would encourage you to come to a future ISC conference. Remember, whether you are a sculptor, an art professional, or a lover and supporter of sculpture, we’re here to serve you.

I hope to see you at our next conference!

Josh Kanter
Chairman, ISC Board of Directors


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