Gratitude, Favorites from 2014, Predictions for 2015

Last 2014 snap from the studio in LIC.

Happy New Year!

I recently read an article (thanks to Sharon Louden for bringing my attention to it on Twitter) that suggested the most common mistake artists make is forgetting to thank the people who have helped them. Thus, my first task of 2015 is to thank the people who supported Two Coats of Paint and my studio practice in 2014. It turns out that the list is extremely long–please forgive me for not thanking you sooner.

First, a big thanks to the readers (you!) who, despite all manner of distraction, have continued reading Two Coats of Paint. Whenever I think I’ve had enough, I get a lovely note from someone telling me how important it is to have independent (non-market) voices in the art world. I’m grateful for the encouragement.

Thanks to all the writers and artists who generously contributed posts to Two Coats of Paint in 2014 : Jenny Zoe Casey, Andrew Ginzel, Mary Addison Hackett, Hannah Kennedy, Dion Kliner, Heather Leigh McPherson, Rebecca Morgan, Helen O’Leary, Betty Lou Starnes, and Jonathan Stevenson.

Thanks to the people and organizations who make blogging possible financially: Creative Capital/Warhol Foundation selected Two Coats for a Arts Writing Grant last year, and Nectar Ads, masterminded by Veken Gueyikian and Hrag Vartanian, afforded Two Coats commercial sponsorship throughout the year. Thanks to all the people who have given me advice about grants and written recommendations for my proposals and applications–you know who you are.

I couldn’t have continued producing Two Coats of Paint without visiting artist invitations and commissions from Gail Spaien at Maine College of Art, the MFA students at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the MFA students at Brooklyn College, Leslie Bostrum and Wendy Edwards at Brown University, Anne D’Alleva and Judith Thorpe at the University of Connecticut, Clint Jukkala at Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and Marie Thibeault at California State University at Long Beach.

In terms of course preparation, I want to thank Heather Darcy Bhandari at Brown, Eileen Neff at PAFA, and Judith Schaechter at PAFA, who each provided teaching materials and ideas for course content. Major thanks to all the students who shared their work with me throughout the year; they make teaching worthwhile.

I loved curating “Possible as a Pair of Shoes,” the MFA show for Brooklyn College, last year. Thanks to Christopher Stackhouse for letting us use his poem in the catalog essay and thanks to BC alumni Sam Jablon, Chris Moss, and Fran O’Neill for participating in the panel discussion we organized in conjunction with the show. Thanks to the BC faculty (chaired by Michael Mallory) and staff who helped hang and promote the show, and Showroom Gowanus for hosting it.

In the studio, I am grateful to all the artists, curators, and gallerists who included my work in exhibitions this year: Robert Yoder at SEASON and NADA; Deborah Brown at Storefront Ten Eyck; Stephanie Theodore at Theodore:Art; Adam Simon at Lesley Heller; John O’Donnell at Artspace; Brece Honeycutt and Chris Duncan at Union College; Janet Goleas at the Islip Art Museum; Julie Torres at Bushwick Open Studios; Brian Dupont at Adah Rose Gallery, Fran O’Neill at Life on Mars; Justine Frischmann at George Lawson; and Peter Makebish at MAKEBISH.

Thanks to the critics, bloggers and journalists who covered these shows and contributed to the dialogue: Loren Munk, Julia Schwartz, Hrag Vartanian, Karen Lipson, Michael O’Sullivan, William Eckhardt Kohler, Anne Russinof, Paul Behnke, James Panero, Paul D’Agostino, Enrico Gomez, and Brett Baker.

Also I want to thank artists Joy Garnett, Teri Hackett, and Patricia Smith for sharing their studio space with me while they were either working on other things or out of town, and Lisa Kim and Kate Gavriel at Two Trees Management for helping me with my application and then inviting me to participate in the Cultural Space Subsidy Program for the next three years. Thanks too to everyone who came out to the show of Thomas Micchelli’s work (alongside my own) that I organized during DUMBO Arts Festival. Thanks, Tom, for participating. I love your work.

Thanks to Jenna Lucas at the New Britain Museum of American Art for inviting me to curate Nor’Easter, their upcoming members’ exhibition.

To phenomenal printmaker and artist Laurie Sloan who invited me to work at UConn’s Counterproof Press as the Artist in Residence during 2014: Thank you (and Ned, too)!

Panels and presentations: I want to thank Timothy Nolan for co-chairing “Articulating Abstraction,” a panel discussion at the College Art Association’s Annual Conference with me, and thanks to Sharon Louden for filling in when I unexpectedly couldn’t make it to Chicago. Thanks to panelists Alexander Kroll, Keltie Ferris, Rebecca Morris, Terry R. Myers, Barry Schwabsky, and Jessica Stockholder for agreeing to participate and keeping the conversation going without me. Thanks to Mark Tribe, Deborah Brown, and Jsun Laliberte for inviting me to participate in “Abstraction and Its Discontents” a terrific panel at the School of Visual Arts.

Appearing with Sharon Louden on numerous panel discussions during the book tour for Living and Sustaining a Creative Life was a lot of fun–more thanks to Sharon for including my essay in the book. In 2014, Raphael Rubinstein, Miriam Stern, Saul Chernick, Meredith Etherington-Smith,

Anne Kelly

Anne Kelly,  Natasha Conway, and Erin Wiermsa commissioned me to write essays, and the process was invariably edifying; much appreciated.

And last but not least, I’m grateful to everyone who invited me to their studio or visited mine. Let’s keep the conversations going in 2015.


And now for the year in review.

Paul D’Agostino, art editor at the L Magazine, asked a gaggle of artists and writers for their favorites or highlights from 2014 and a few predictions or hopes for 2015. Thanks to Paul for including me; here’s my contribution:

2014: Christopher Wool and ZERO Group at the Guggenheim, Sigmar Polke at MoMA, Supports/Surfaces at Canada. �Exchange Rates� in Bushwick was a crazy idea that actually worked. Seeing Michelle Grabner, an artist engaged in numerous DIY projects, curate a section of the Whitney Biennial was extremely gratifying. 2015: I�m looking forward to the term �atemporal� replacing �zombie� in painting discourse, and watching migrating NYC art communities help bring Detroit and other downtrodden cities back to life. Will Jerry Saltz finally unravel?

Contributors include Two Coats film reviewer Jonathan Stevenson, Deborah Brown, Meg Lipke, Charlotte Kent, Kate Teale, Vincent Romaniello, Cathy Quinlan, Todd Bienvenu, Jillian Steinhauer, Benjamin Sutton, Don Voisine, Kerry Law, Fran O�Neill, Paul Gagner, and Matt Phillips. Click here to read more.


Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. For permission to use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.


  1. Sharon, Apryl Miller here. I was written up in your blog this year by Jenny Zoe Casey. I know I thanked you both, via FaceBook, but let me thank you again, (also being prompted by Sharon Louden), for accepting Jenny's proposal and then for actually publishing it. A big thank you again for doing that. I just had a thought. I'm going to send you a message on Twitter. Happy New Year. Apryl Miller

  2. Very glad my studio is currently enjoying your company and so glad to have made the connection with you, Sharon. Now I need to go spread some thank you's of my own — thanks for the reminder!

  3. Elizabeth Riggle

    I love the way simple thankyous, as they accrue on a page, tell us more about a year in the life of a working artist than any other kind of synopsis at years end. Well played!

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