We’re very happy to have Jamie Walsh blog for us again. This time, she’ll be telling us more about her awesome project, the Quickest Flip. Be sure to check out her website and learn how you can support her endeavors (also discussed further in this post).
Quickest Flip is a project I started a couple of years ago. Essentially, I try to promote artists both with and without disabilities in one inclusive space. This interest began after I worked for several years as an art instructor and gallery curator at an art program for adults with developmental disabilities. The majority of visitors to the gallery were awesome people who really loved coming in and looking at the art. Some people even said it was their favorite gallery in town and several people were serious collectors of artwork by some of the artists. However, there would also be those one or two people at each opening who would come in and whisper “this art is by disabled people.” This would upset me. Yes, the artwork was made by people who have disabilities but this wasn’t the issue. The issue was what that fact did in the visitor’s mind. How this fact changed the entire context for viewing the artwork–creating a lens of stereotype for them to look through. So I wanted to have a gallery that showcased artwork by artists both with and without disabilities. This way no one could say “this art is by disabled people” before looking and analyzing the work for what it was.
Inclusion is a tricky concept. It strives for equality but at the same time it is very important to celebrate diversity. My comfort zone is in creating a platform for artists with and without disabilities to share artwork together in an inclusive space. It is up to each individual artist to share whatever information about themselves they wish to share.
I currently run the website, Quickest Flip, and facilitate the magazine, Quickest Flipest, independently (but with a lot of help from friends). Quickest Flipest Magazine provides exposure to over 30 artists from across the country in each issue (artists both with and without disabilities). This includes both written and visual submissions. Additionally, each issue has 4-5 interviews which showcases certain individuals or creative projects.
A little more context about me: I am currently in the Arts Management Graduate program at the University of Oregon. My graduate research project’s working title is: Access and Inclusion-Artwork by Artists with Developmental Disabilities and Mental Illness. This research includes the historical segregation of adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness in the United States, the constructs of the mainstream contemporary art world, and the constructs of terms such as “outsider art.” Additionally, I will be conducting case studies at several art organizations that represent artists with developmental disabilities and mental illness in California. I will be done with school/this research by June 2013.
Quickest Flip is currently fundraising through sales of a limited edition calendar poster (19″ x 13″) and music compilation (Listen to it here!). The project began through a kickstarter campaign. You can find more information about the 2013 Quickest Flip Calendar Poster and Music Compilation at http://www.quickestflip.com/calendar/.
The money will help fund print runs of Quickest Flipest Magazine. These print runs will establish distribution outlets at a handful of independent bookstores/zine shops across the country. Additionally, any extra funds will help produce limited edition prints by Quickest Flip Artists to be sold at quickestflip.com (all sales of these prints will go to the artist).