The Promotion Project is underway. Putting together a successful application for academic promotion is an unapologetically narcissistic undertaking. The process involves sifting through years of paperwork from past projects and attempting to explain their relevance�-without sounding like a egomaniacal blowhard. Where I teach the activities are divided into four categories: teaching, creative activity, professional activity and service to the University. To make the process more interesting and to help put blogging, community building, and the multitasking, DIY nature of contemporary art practice in context, I�m asking readers to participate.
My goal is to get letters from people at all levels of the art world (artists, critics, collectors, dealers, curators, readers, and, of course, bloggers) to support my application, and I hope @ Bushwick & Main readers, Two Coats subscribers, Facebook pals, Twitterati, etc., will consider participating. The letters will be exhibited as a group show (each writer will be considered a collaborator), and will also be published in an artist book (probably through Lulu.com). The letters should be more about the writer, art, art criticism, art blogs, bloggers, than they are about me and my small contribution. Although there isn�t much time, a short paragraph, a sentence or two�-hell, a few words, would certainly be welcome. I need the letters by Monday, October 12, but let me know if you need more time.
Please send letters to:
Department of Visual Arts
Eastern Connecticut State University
Willimantic, CT 06226
Clarification/Update: Thanks, everyone, for your interest in participating in the Promotion Project, but I’ve gotten several notes wondering exactly what the letters should say. First of all, they are recommendation letters supporting my promotion to full professor, and although writers will send them to me at the above address, the greeting should be “Dear Committee.” Perhaps you would like to say something about who you are and how you have become familiar with my work. If you are familiar with the blog, write about that. Don’t feel you have to cover every aspect of my career or need to do any research. As they say in the Creative Writing Department, write what you know–and please, stay in character. The content of the letter is up to you of course, and I hope you will give your own work a little boost as well–after all I’m planning to exhibit the letters publicly, so please take advantage of the opportunity to draw attention to your projects, which will help put my work in a larger context. Thanks again. I look forward to hearing from you.
September 21 Update: Letters of Support are arriving
October 11 Update: Progress report
The Promotion Project, which includes my (embarrassingly) self-regarding application for promotion and all your amazing letters of support, has grown to fill 5 binders and one accordion folder. Today I hope to finish the narrative summary, which at this point includes far too many �In addition to…� type phrases, and desperately needs a good edit. Luckily the award-winning writer who works downstairs has agreed to help. Also, the College Art Association has expressed interest in showing the project at their Annual Conference in Chicago this February. Can you think of a more appropriate venue? I can�t. And besides, I’d love to spend a few days in Chicago, even in February.
November 3, 2009 Update: Promo Project complete…and then not
I handed in the five-binder Promotion Project last week (image below), which I thought was excessively long, but Visual Arts colleagues suggested I was in fact too humble, that I needed to beef up the section on my creative work, add more narrative about each project, and tie my activities more tightly to the university’s mission statement. I spent the last week obsessively reworking the project, which ultimately required adding an extra (6th) binder.
November 4, 2009 Update: Exhibition in Chicago
Ross Harney, ECSU student
Paul Gustafson, Farmingdale, NY
Ross Page, ECSU student