The following is a letter from A K Mimi Allin written after Seattle Women + Provocative Art: Artists Respond to Elles @ SAM,  a multi-disciplinary think-tank curated by Allin in cooperation with Velocity Executive/Artistic Director Tonya Lockyer, presented by Velocity’s Speakeasy Series on November 15, 2012.

First, thanks for attending the Velocity Speakeasy “Seattle Women + Provocative Art” last Thursday evening! I had a very good time and hope you did too. I was surprised we didn’t exhaust our questions and, while I learned a lot by staying with one group, I also missed so much. I never got to the moving room. I never used the cookbook to divine inspiration. I never drew a mustache or helped unwind the fabric ball. And I missed your thoughts on all the other questions I’d love to hear even a word or two about your experience if you have the time. Did any new questions come up for you? How did you experience the activities? Did they add, relate to or underline your dialog?

I stayed with this statement: There is no such thing as women’s art. For me, this led to about six more questions, including, What experiences do women have in common and why? What experiences do artists have in common and why? When does art become a study? Why not children’s art? Must there be intention behind our art? Is pure creation beyond the interest of the museum? Is there a reason to protect the subset Women’s Art? What started as a double-sided question became a whole subset for me. Did you experience this too?

After our mini-dialogs, Vanessa [DeWolf] led an activity that directed and implicated our gaze. I wonder, did that bring up anything for you? I quite imagined a different experience than the one we had. Somehow I imagined we’d gain a lot simply by changing our position in space, but what I gained the most from was hearing the directions of other directors and curating my own directions for the director/model (self-reflection).

There’s so much we didn’t get to. We really didn’t hit on provocative art and what that is and what we might produce by way of a provocative response to the Elles exhibit. We started a group dialog but had to end there. In that short time, Davida put forward an idea to begin a dialog with SAM, to continue to offer our support to them and to ask them to offer their support to us by representing and including us. If you’d like to write, call or visit SAM, individually or as a group, with this express purpose, please let me know. Ingrid contributed her idea by email, inviting SAM to curate a local lottery art exhibit, showcasing two dozen artists per year. What do you imagine? Is there some sort of performance, activity or idea you want to put forward? Please send them to me. I’m happy to take our list to the SAM myself or have a group of us meet with SAM in January.

Also, if you want to write from your experience on Velocity’s online journal, STANCE, I’d encourage you to do so and to think about the potential for local, fair representation as well as short and long-term change at SAM. Write what you wish to see.

Thanks again for being a part of this dialog!

With appreciation & respect,
A K Mimi Allin

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