Ocean Statement: ‘Locally Sourced’ keeps it light at Craftland (The Providence Phoenix, 09/04/13)
How do we define local art? It seems like a simple question, but immediately you start asking: Must it be made here? By artists who live here? Do you include art made by folks who live in, say, New York but teach at RISD? Or art made by people who grew up here? Or once lived here?
As a person who coined the term “yokelism” to talk about and support locally-made art, I find myself getting tripped up at times by the definitions. Different answers can have different effects. Do you define it narrowly, trying to support people who live here making art now? Are you trying to acknowledge a long legacy? Do you define it broadly to lay claim to and build off of all that energy?
“Locally Sourced” at Craftland (235 Westminster St, Providence, through October 19), which arrives as a complement and cheeky answer to “Locally Made,” the RISD Museum’s Rhode Island art extravaganza, tries out defining locally made as narrowly as possible by rounding up 14 local artists who make art from materials they find locally — a definition that for these smart alecks includes discovering them at their local art supply shop.