The Artist as Culture Producer: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life is a collection of essays by 40 visual artists. Edited by artist and educator Sharon Louden, the book describes how artists extend their practices outside of their studios. All of these contributors have impactful, artistic activities as change agents in their communities. Their first-hand stories show the general public how contemporary artists of the twenty-first century add to creative economies through their 'out-of-the-box' thinking while also generously contributing to the well-being of others. Although there is a misconception that artists are invisible and hidden, the truth is that they furnish measurable and innovative outcomes at the front lines of education, the non-profit sector, and corporate environments.
An extensive schedule of programming is planned to support the book’s publication in early 2017. Building upon the success of the previous 62-stop book tour that supported Ms. Louden’s first publication, Living and Sustaining a Creative Life: Essays by 40 Working Artists, panel discussions, symposia, and town-hall forums are being planned across the country and abroad. Artists will be cross-pollinated among regions through the expansive public conversations between important stakeholders in each community, including contributors to the book, local artists, critics, non-profit participants, thought leaders, and other members of the general public. Through these events, participants will learn about, lend voices to, and be inspired by the vast range of influence that visual artists exert on society. As with Louden’s last book tour, important data and information will be culled from these events, increasing our understanding and valuing of artists as culture producers today.
This title is a welcome alternative to so much of the general interest writing on art and artists’ lives, which tends to focus on attention-grabbing topics such as multimillion-dollar auction sales, celebrity gossip, or tragedy. The essays steer clear of literary flourishes and artspeak, offering straightforward descriptions of each individual’s struggles as they navigated life and career paths. Recommended for students and aspiring artists who hunger for this kind of real-life experience, advice, and wisdom, and for those in organizations that work with them. - —Michael Dashkin, Library Journal