Along with a new Director, a new space, a new Assistant Curator, and a new Director of External Affairs, venerable Houston alterna-space Diverseworks has just announced a new artist board.
A recent press release from Diverseworks describes the reshuffle as a return to the org’s artist-founded roots: “as DiverseWorks celebrates its 30th Anniversary, we have launched a reinvigorated Artist Board in order to recapture the spirit of its original intent. The renewed Artist Board will help set DiverseWorks’ programmatic direction, develop policies, and curate specific programs” and appends a list of worthy new artist board members for 2012-2013.
But when the release goes on to detail the responsibilities of the new artist board, they seem meager: “specifically, the Artist Board will help define and select the participants for two exciting new public programs: DiverseWorks on Wednesdays (DWOW), a weekly evening “mash up” of activities; and Diverse Discourse, a series that brings internationally-renowned arts professionals to Houston to give free public lectures and conduct studio visits with area artists.” In years gone by Diverseworks’ artist board had more or less total control of the programming at the curator-less org. This was not always a good thing: lack of paid curatorial staff made curating a hit-or-miss affair, and left former directors with vision struggling to sell their ideas to a heterogeneous collection of egos.
More professional, perhaps better, but certainly not a return to the 1982’s idealistic vision of a truly artist run-organization.