One of the amazing things about the International Sculpture Center is our ability to bring people together from across the sculpture world. Now in its third year, ISConnects has proven to be one of our most successful methods of promoting collaboration in the sculpture community.
ISConnects, which began with just four events in 2011, was introduced to provide unique and engaging, small-scale programs at a low cost to artists, arts professionals, and new audiences. ISConnects also brings attention to the ISC, its programs, and publications. Post-event surveys have reinforced the importance of these events. In 2012, approximately 600 individuals attended ISConnects panel discussions, exhibition tours, and artist lectures hosted at a wide variety of venues, including the National Academy Museum (New York), the Museum
of Arts and Design (New York), Bemis and KANEKO (Omaha), Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park (Grand Rapids), and Grounds For Sculpture (Hamilton, New Jersey). The survey results from each of these events demonstrated that attendees appreciated the opportunity to interact with contributors from throughout the sculpture world.
For example, after the four 2011 events, 95 percent of 300 attendees reported high satisfaction, and 98 percent would attend another event or recommend ISConnects to a friend.
At these events, artists gain professional development opportunities; members of the general public gain increased understanding of the benefits of the arts; and arts institutions are better able to engage and connect with artists and the public.
More great opportunities for connecting and learning are planned for 2013. The next event takes place on April 12, in St. Louis. The panel discussion will address “The River Between Us,” an exhibition that connects St. Louis and New Orleans. The exhibition curators will moderate the discussion, which will feature artists who have worked on the project. The event will be free and open to the public. We are also working on upcoming ISConnects events in Boston, Princeton, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Hamilton, New Jersey.
I would also like to welcome Jeff Fleming, the newest member of the ISC Board of Trustees, who brings a rich background that includes leadership positions in arts organizations and many curatorial achievements. In 2005, Jeff was appointed director of the Des Moines Art Center, where he had served as deputy director, senior curator, and curator since 1999. Previously, he served as chief curator of exhibitions at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Arts and Living magazine recently named him one of 11 innovative directors of American museums. I look forward to the many contributions that Jeff will make to our sculpture community.