Visual Arts Program

Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 11:30 a.m.

Artists Anonymous

Free and open to all artists.
Limited seating capacity.

Participants MUST pre-register.

RSVP to by February 19.

This event is not open to spectators.
There will be NO audio or visual recording.

In 2014, performance and visual artist Karen Finley conceived Artists Anonymous as both a tongue-in-cheek satire of 12-step programs and a genuine self-help session for artists "addicted" to making and consuming art. After premiering the participatory project during New York Makers: The MAD Biennial Exhibition of the Museum of Arts & Design (MAD) in NYC, she brought a version of the event to Hallwalls as part of our 40th-anniversary season and invited Western New York artists to participate. Both of the packed local sessions she moderated proved wildly successful, and participants were eager to continue meeting.

This February, with Finley's blessing, Hallwalls is once again opening its doors to artists who feel that their lives have been affected by the trials of maintaining a creative life and career in a larger world that does not always share their passion. The informal and open gathering will offer participants a space to meet each other and reflect on the challenges that people in their line of work often encounter, employing Finley's original structure, which includes testimonials, prompts for discussion, and other hands-on exercises. (New participants are welcome; you need not have attended an earlier session.)

In Finley's absence, WNY-based writer and performer Ron Ehmke will take up the moderating baton, joined by other artists from the region as guest speakers. The co-dependent addictions of art production and art presentation (both of which Hallwalls perpetually enables) will be addressed freely, frankly, and bluntly with the knowledge that what is spoken in Artists Anonymous stays in Artists Anonymous.

Coffee and refreshments will be served.
Seating is limited, so please pre-register as soon as possible.

The "13 Steps" of Artists Anonymous
1. We Are Powerless Over Art
2. The Power Of Art Is Greater Than Ourselves
3. Turn Our Will And Our Lives Over To The Care Of Art
4. Admit We Are Artists
5. We Are Addicted To Art
6. Ready To Make More Art
7. Get Out Of The Way We Are Making Art
8. Whatever It Takes Make The Art
9. Art Is All Around Us. We Make Art Available To Others
10. Continue To Make Art Despite The Consequences
11. Give Of Ourselves With Our Art To Others Whether They Like It Or Not
12. Hope To Provide A Spiritual Awakening With Art And Maybe Some Cash
13. Life Is More Important Than Art But Life Is Meaningless Without Art

Karen Finley, 2014