MeFi Visual Arts Club, a new group suggestion for Mefites October 22, 2021 5:30 PM   Subscribe

I would like to propose a space for Mefi visual artists to post works in progress for comments and suggestions (recently mentioned here), as well as suggestions for related videos and podcasts, possibly weekly or monthly art prompts, and that sort of thing?

This is almost certainly a request for a group at an outside location rather than a group on Metafilter itself, but the intention would be a group specifically for Metafilter members. While a visual art space similar to the existing music one here would be totally awesome, it does not seem like a feasible request at the current moment (or possibly ever).

In the place I imagine, there would be no barrier to entry aside from an interest in making art with pen/pencil/crayon/paintbrush/other mark-making apparatus. Whether you have never started or your work is hanging in galleries, all would be welcome.

But really, I think the first thing is a place to do this. Facebook is one option because I belong to some art groups there and it works ok, but I appreciate that FB is extremely horrible and some people will not go there. (But let's not talk about those reasons in here!)

Another way is to have a blogging group where there are a small number of hosts who can make weekly posts, and then all members post their own link, and people go visit everybody, like
Paint Party Friday, which is still going I see, holy cow! or
Thirty Paintings in Thirty Days, which is no longer active
Or Illustration Friday, also no longer active.

Wet Canvas is a painting forum which looks like it has been updated more recently than my last visit some years ago. Is anyone familiar with the new Wet Canvas?

Maybe there are new types of groups out there? Mefite unearthed suggested a place called doodlewash, but this seems to be watercolor only.

What do you think? Would you join?
Do you know of a platform I haven't mentioned that would work?
Do you have the best idea for a name for this group and what is it?
posted by Glinn to MetaFilter-Related at 5:30 PM (24 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

I don't have any specific platform suggestions at the moment, but I think the idea sounds great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:36 PM on October 22, 2021 [2 favorites]

I could never wear platforms. But I like art. How, without posting pictures, would that work? Would we visit each others virtual spaces?
posted by Oyéah at 5:47 PM on October 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Would we visit each others virtual spaces?
That is definitely an option, or at least a complementary activity. At minimum I would be happy to compile a list of all current Mefite artist links so we all know where to visit each other.

For this group I am hoping for something slightly more structured, like one spot where you visit and see all the people's posts. Or, we could create a new blog to do that, and give everyone access to post on it? Or maybe take turns posting weekly prompts along with the links of everyone participating in that prompt?

Or if several of us have blogs, maybe we could take turns hosting posts with images from everyone in the group participating that week? (Though if the group were very large at all this might not make sense.)
posted by Glinn at 6:16 PM on October 22, 2021

Discord? Each person could have their own channel for their own art, plus general conversation/chat. Or different channels for types of art. There are any number of ways depending on the feel you're going for I suppose.
posted by lemonade at 9:38 PM on October 22, 2021

I like this pony, especially if no one gets to be sniffy about the boundaries of ‘art’ as it shades towards craft and crafts.
posted by janell at 11:32 PM on October 22, 2021 [10 favorites]

> there would be no barrier to entry aside from an interest in making art with pen/pencil/crayon/paintbrush/other mark-making apparatus.

I’m a pro artist who’s been using Adobe Illustrator as her primary medium for the last twenty years. Am I disinvited? All the linked examples of online art clubs seem to be focused on physical media so I’m gonna assume I am until further notice.
posted by egypturnash at 6:51 AM on October 23, 2021 [2 favorites]

I'd love to join in but have no useful thoughts on making it work. I've done similar things on FB (but yeah, not everyone will put up with that) and on a teacher's personal site forum.
posted by mkuhnell at 7:07 AM on October 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Am I disinvited?

Back in my museum consulting days, the "What is art?" question arose whenever an institution wanted to mount an exhibit deemed somehow at odds with its brand identity, usually by elderly conservative donors. It never helped and always left people feeling dissatisfied.

I hope this idea, which I like, can avoid limiting participation, e.g., to people who rely on "mark-making apparatus" to create art. Plenty of MeFites, for example, pursue textile and needle arts, make jewelry and instruments, practice woodworking, etc. Why can't this space be self-nominating, in the way that MeFites can submit their work to the Music space regardless of genre? It seems like the outcomes will be self-correcting: folks who don't get useful feedback will drift away or change how they participate.
posted by carmicha at 8:26 AM on October 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

Digital art is welcome, apologies for the oversight! Originally I was going to make a painting group, but didn't know if there would be enough interest so I added all the physical media but should have included digital art.

I don't know much about Discord, except that I tried to join some groups there and I feel like I just did not get the hang of that platform. (Or it may be the groups I was in did not have much activity.) If anyone wants to drop me a line with some Discord pointers, that might help. Does anyone else have opinions on Discord?

on preview: carmicha, thank you for the input. In some ways I feel like what you are suggesting - to include jewelry, textiles, woodworking, etc - is just another, different kind of group. I was not trying to suggest that art ONLY includes the things I mentioned, but my initial impulse was for the kind of specific art as in the groups mentioned in my initial post. In fact, originally I was just going to suggest specifically a painting group.

But to be perfectly honest, the main thing I am hoping for is some sustained interaction from some minimum number of people, for the inspiration, motivation and other helpfulness/social benefit that comes from talking about what you are making with other people who are also making things and sometimes struggling with making things. So yes, please if you are interested and make anything at all, please feel free to join.

I am working on a plan to gather info by email, which I will post soon.
posted by Glinn at 9:07 AM on October 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

What about someone that uses an anonymous AI algorithm to plagiarize the Boston NOT ART guy?
posted by sammyo at 10:18 AM on October 23, 2021

If it's posting works-in-progress, I would rather it be within Discord or a private FB group (or similar) rather than an open blog. But I'm interested!
posted by xo at 11:46 AM on October 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

This is a neat idea!

In terms of implementation, I'm currently an art student and we've been making a lot of use of the online platforms Miro (a big free collaborative whiteboard program) and Padlet to share work for comment/collaboration. Padlet works a bit better in terms of allowing comments on individual posts and the organiser of the weekly event or whatnot can create a new padlet every time for everyone to upload (anonymously or not) work to once they've done the activity or task.
posted by fight or flight at 12:16 PM on October 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

Posted a bit too soon, I meant to add that IME it might work best to have a weekly or monthly task/group/meetup, maybe via Zoom or similar, where a group task or inspiration point is shared and everyone either goes away for an hour or so to create a piece inspired by it, or comes back the next week/month to share what they did. This creates an ongoing structure and also gives people a bit of a push if you're struggling to keep motivated or looking for something to do as a warmup for your general practice or something.

Each task could be just a general theme or an idea to explore, or could even branch off into challenges with different mediums if people are up for that. I've been to classes where we were tasked to try a new medium or do something wacky like paint or draw with food, create sculptures with paper, etc. Then during the actual meetup, attendees could ask for constructive feedback or just hang out and chat about their practice.

Another idea is virtual life drawing, which I've done a lot of during the pandemic, but that might obviously cost a bit of money to pay the model etc and may feel exclusionary to crafters or artists who don't work from life.
posted by fight or flight at 12:22 PM on October 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

Oh great! Padlet is just the kind of suggestion I was hoping for. Though, I’m still reading through it. I believe it says people can post for free without signing up, and also options start at $8/mo to have more of your own personal profile/blog on the site.

Other people want to go take a look?
posted by Glinn at 2:54 PM on October 23, 2021

I believe it says people can post for free without signing up, and also options start at $8/mo to have more of your own personal profile/blog on the site.

Yep, for school stuff I'm a free user and I can post on other Padlets just fine, but I can only make a certain amount of my own Padlets (I think it's either 6 or 8) without upgrading to a paid account. Free users are also limited in the size of images and things you can upload, but the sizes are reasonable for doing things like sharing art.

If you wanted to make an account to host a task every week or month, you might have to get a paid account, or delete older ones as you go along. But it's a good platform for this since you can easily organise things and also browse and comment on other people's contributions in real time (you can watch a page updating as people add to it).
posted by fight or flight at 3:02 PM on October 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I'd be up for this too, in whatever form it takes. I think this is a great idea.
posted by Chairboy at 5:03 PM on October 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

I would love this but only if it is NOT a Discord. I hate Discord with every fiber of my being.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 5:27 AM on October 24, 2021 [1 favorite]

I have spent a little time on Padlet (thank you so much, fight or flight!), because this really looks like it will work for our purposes, and I figure we can give it a shot. You can sign up for a free account, and you can also sign up for a $10/month account (or $96/yearly) in order to have your own page and ability to upload unlimited posts ("padlets"). However, you do NOT need to sign up, even for the free account, in order to participate. You will be able to make your own contribution to each padlet, as well as comment on the contributions of others. You can include your real name and your Mefi name, or one or the other, or neither, as you like.

I have posted a first experimental padlet here: Mefi Art Club Introductions

And then I figured we may as well get this thing going? So I have also posted: Mefi Art Club Share Prompt 001
(Yes, I am optimistically projecting we will get to 100!) My thought is anyone can post there from today and for another week? Two weeks? And that eventually this one will close to new contributions in favor of the next, current one, where people can post their response to this prompt, or the new one or any other one, or any current work of any sort.

I did not turn on moderation (which means I would have to approve every contribution but that is an option in case, I don't know, marauding trolls happen upon this board.)

This teacher video has a nice introduction to the platform.
posted by Glinn at 8:58 AM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

It's nice to hear that you really mean to include lots of visual art. I'll note that a lot of my art is created out of jigsaw puzzles, while the rest uses books with found objects. Occasionally some paints make their way in, but not often. So not usually any of the stuff you listed at first. (I added my art site to my profile, but I don't update it often.)

Discord or something new sounds nice. I will not join Facebook for this, I quit for a reason.
posted by blueberry monster at 10:40 AM on October 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

An updated note about joining Padlet: If you do not join, then your comments on other people’s posts will show as from anonymous (though you have the option of including an identifier in the text of your comment.)
posted by Glinn at 11:31 AM on October 24, 2021

Great idea and would love to be part of this club.I do all kinds of art but lately more into procreate.
posted by SunPower at 1:40 PM on October 25, 2021 [1 favorite]

Planning to sign up as soon as I get home tonight. And eat dinner. And call my cousin. Yay!
posted by bunderful at 12:11 PM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

It's great to see all the interest!
As I posted upthread, I have created a space on Padlet for us to try the platform for this group. If you click the link, you will find this space. Everyone who makes any kind of thing (or wants to), please feel free to join. If you are a beginner, don't be shy. We have all been a beginner. I am an intermediate. I hope people who have been making things longer than me will join, and also people who haven't started yet. Join! You want to.

The Link: Mefi Art Club Introductions

You do not need to sign up for this platform, or you can sign up for free, your choice! But please feel welcome to come over, click the pink plus sign in the bottom right corner and post a recent work or work-in-progress, tell us your Mefi name (if you want) and maybe a little bit about your art goals, or hopes for this group, or anything else you want to include?

We are also able to comment on each other's posts. (There is an additional option for smilies and thumbs up type buttons, but I turned that off because it's not a competition and it's meant to be a happy sharing space and not a popularity contest - this is my thinking, but if people want to use those, let me know.)

Please feel free to post here or send me a Memail if you have a question.
posted by Glinn at 3:22 PM on October 26, 2021 [1 favorite]

Wheee, I'm in!
posted by ikahime at 2:24 PM on October 28, 2021 [1 favorite]

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