Our Mission and History

Where we came from and where we are going.

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Our Mission and History

The Mission Statement below was originally written in 1998 when ARTFaces | ARTPlaces was first launched. There have been a few changes over time, both in our mission and in our website, including a major site redesign in 2006, but our individual artists continue to be the focus of AFAP.

We hope you enjoy our site and also enjoy the story of how we started. We will continue to improve over time, but our focus will always be the individual artist.

ABOUT SALONS:
The phenomenon of the "salon" -- the purposeful gathering of people together to have conversation, dialog, and debate--has been bobbing up in news and media more and more in the past several years. Obviously, a hunger has developed in our fast-moving world for old fashioned conversation. Nowhere is this more evident than in the online version of the salon, the "bulletin board."

In The Painter's Place, and The New York Times Art and Architecture online message boards, members have moved from banal chatting to meatier discussions of things that concern artists, i.e., tools of the trade, philosophy of art, the triumphs and difficulties of the life of an artist, the vagaries of the market place, and other such issues. A true community has developed, with healthy debate, the sharing of ideas, kinship in the struggle, and applause in moments of triumph.


FROM DIALOG TO ACTION

This energized group of artists and artisans moved from conversation to action: designing a unique Website featuring a fascinating array of self portraits which link by a click on an image to brief biographical statements and to the artist's own Web site for a more comprehensive representation of the artist. Alternately, a front page listing enables viewers to bypass the rogue's gallery and go directly to a Web site.

The ARTFaces | ARTPlaces Website is, in a very particular way, an expression of the group itself: people coming out into the public eye in the strength of numbers; being counted. We have among us established, widely collected and celebrated artists who have work in prestigious arenas. We also have emerging artists making their first mark in the visual arts scene. It is a grass roots museum, a gallery of the greater Art World!

It is a coup for artists everywhere that these people arrive on the Web in a cohesive group! Artists are typically "loners" working in seclusion, and often disconnected from each other. Our strength is that we believe in our work, wish each other well, and recognize a kinship in the pursuits and struggles of making art. The diversity of art in these pages is what makes AFAP strong. The vision of AFAP will be realized if the viewing public gets a picture of the greatness, diversity and power of the artist community worldwide.


THE ROGUES IN THE GALLERY
The idea of seeing a "rogue's gallery" of artists as rendered by the artists themselves seemed an entertaining way of indexing an ever widening network of artists. The way the pages were put together behind the scenes is a story in and of itself. People working night hours, odd instant messages crossing cyberspace, from Huntington Beach CA, to Seattle WA, to Wilmington NC , to New York NY, to West Alexandria OH, to Carlsbad CA , and to Deland FL, where one of our key board members had to evacuate in the middle of things because of wildfires on the Florida coast.

The anecdotes are pretty special, from succor to one who had run over a dog and was suffering inner anguish, to the brilliant creativity of a droll logo animation. The constant communications produced much online laughter, required more than a little byte count in the mail files, and emergency rescue efforts extended to certain of us drowning in the foreign language of HTML. Where we needed expertise, we got the cream of the crop! In administration, web page development, editing savvy, and design excellence, an amazingly talented and professional staff was drawn from the World Wide Web to give of their time and expertise to this project. How can we help but make an excellent mark on the Web?


INTENT OF the AFAP home page

It is expected that the page will change as time goes on, technologies change, and as "bugs" appear (as I expect they will), but the skeleton engine intends to efficiently support the artists, and not be the "main event" in and of itself; thus, we have created pages with little content other than that which supports the artists and the links to the artists' own sites.

We are a true grass roots organization, with a heart to do things well, with a great deal of respect for one another and a high regard for what we know in our bones will be a growing group of Internet viewers who find our pages engaging.


PARAMETERS
We are not interested in pornography or work that is designed to offend the sensibilities of decent people. The shape of the network will decide itself, within these parameters. We will include craft arts, and installation arts, as well as two dimensional works. We will gladly accept to our pages the caliber of art which you might find in an upscale gallery or museum offering.

MEMBERSHIP

Our first goal was met in July 30, 1998 when the AFAP pages went live and membership was opened to applicants in the US and internationally.
Our ongoing mission is as follows:
A modest yearly fee will be charged for representation on AFAP pages. A rotating panel will decide whether the applicant's art is appropriate and in line with AFAP's standards for our pages.

Important: This is the coveted jury of peers that artists have been wishing for! Some of us in the art community have longed for the time when our work can be judged by a committee not subject to financial self interest. Here is the time and here is the place!! The jury members will look at the whole body of art on an artist's Web site in their decision making, and make nominations. Then there will be a voting process, and a decision will be made. No juror stands to win or lose anything from the selection.


THE PAST AND THE FUTURE
As the years have gone by, some of our original dreams were realized and some weren't. Our original, all-volunteer staff shrunk as other life events took priority. Our dream of becoming a recognized, non-profit Art Guild almost became a reality. We passed all the legal hurdles, and became a test case for an online Art Guild, but in the end did not have the staff to maintain the ongoing requirements. So, the application was pulled, the corporation was dissolved and the remaining volunteers became the core of the new AFAP.

Since that time, AFAP has been a labor of love for those involved. And while the original six founders never did have that vacation in Paris, on a barge on the Seine, there is a bond that will always remain, not only between these six, but also between many of the Charter members who experienced the birth and growth of the website.

The future remains bright. We are well-established on the Internet and our artists are a visible presence. Our recent redesign will make it easier for both viewers and members.

We have more ideas for the site that we will implement over the coming months for more art and more artists. So, check back and watch us grow!

 

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