Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) CALL Legacy Specialists

Alex Unthank

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Marcos Dimas

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
Along with Marcos and two other specialists, the team was able to identify and inventory over 200 of Marcos’s works, including prints, paintings, sculpture, and works on paper. Together we sorted through Marcos’s artwork and selected pieces to be photographed professionally, and built a website that both represents the breadth of his work and targets his own professional goals. 

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
This experience has helped me apply the same method of breaking down big goals in to smaller steps and action plans. I also learned how to make the most of collaboration with fellow artists to accomplish the goals. This way of working has proven very useful in creating good habits in my studio and personal life that have helped me to set and accomplish goals, and pursue new career opportunities.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The most rewarding aspect was forming a meaningful relationship and helping to create space that facilitates creativity.

What has been most difficult?
Making sure that we were staying on task and that our projects were in alignment with Marcos’s overall goals.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
Don’t underestimate the importance of discussion. It’s an essential part of the process to talk through ideas, both with the artist and any other team members you may have, in order to develop systems in the studio that make the most sense for an artist’s existing way of working.

Alison Owen

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artists Juan Sanchez and Jaime Davidovich

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
We were able to organize all of his prints and photos by edition, wrap all of his paintings, take photographs of the work, and enter them into the database. We also created a database of all of the monographs, catalogs, brochures, etc, that his work was featured in.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
It has helped me be more aware of the ways that I need to protect and organize my work, both physically and digitally.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
I enjoy creating systems for organization. Creating coherent work spaces and archives is my favorite part of the process. It feels really good to help someone create a more productive workspace, so that s/he can continue to make art and also properly store what has been made. Sometimes all you need is a more open and organized workspace to feel inspired to continue making things.

What has been most difficult?
It's hard to figure out where to start, sometimes, because there are decades of work to be organized. It can feel overwhelming. 

What do you recommend to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
I would encourage the LS to be attentive to what the artist feels is the most important, and work toward that rather than toward what the LS might feel is the most important. That way, the artist will be encouraged and gratified by the process, and will continue the work on his/her own.

Top: Owen in studio; bottom: Alison Owen, Transliteration, 2011, dust, gold leaf, found frames, shingles, art from DeCordova museum archive, thread, nails.

Andres Laracuente

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artists Juan SanchezMario Martinez and Emmett Wigglesworth

Can you share what has changed for you as a result of being a part of the CALL program?
I am aware of time in a different way. I understand what I do as an artist from the perspective of a longer timeline.

Can you give us a sense of what needed to be accomplished when you started working with the CALL program?
I have worked with three CALL artist recipients. So a lot has been accomplished. Organization, documentation and access to artwork and information have been the key accomplishments.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The cross generational artist to artist connection that happens.

What has been most difficult?
Having patience.

What do you recommend to artists who might be in the early stages of creating an inventorying system?
At least keep a simple system of documentation and titles and years for everything you make.

Anne Polashenski

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Henrietta Mantooth and Betty Blayton Taylor

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?

Through the CALL program, Henrietta Mantooth and I were able to go through two large flat files of work – 10 drawers total. Our first process was sorting the work into relevant categories we created. Approximately ¼ of that work was inventoried into the CALL Database system. With help of another Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist-Teacher, Ryan Doberstein, I was able to go through Henrietta’s large paintings, roll them with glassine and create triangle boxes for their storage.

I have assisted Henrietta Mantooth in preparing applications for professional endeavors, as well as created a Studio Manual for her to use in my absence. This includes all the steps we use during the inventory process and tips for using Photoshop.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
Although I am already very organized and careful with the treatment of my work, the CALL program reiterated the importance of the inventory process for me. I feel fortunate that I can begin my inventory in the beginning stages of my career, yet I also saw the excitement it brought an artist looking at her work from decades past. I was able to experience Henrietta Mantooth’s process on a very intimate level and was able to appreciate how different we work and how we inspired each other because of those differences.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
I was surprised that my CALL artist became a sort of mentor to me. I don’t know if this would occur with every artist I work with, but it felt right between Henrietta Mantooth and myself. Our personalities clicked right away and I knew our two years together would be a positive experience. I have learned that no matter what age you are, you will have more successful times in your career and less successful times – it happens to us all and we’re constantly trying to figure out a path that works in the moment. These realizations confirmed the idea that I will be an artist for the long haul.

What has been most difficult?
My CALL artist had some physical problems after a fall in 2011. It has been a difficult time, but she has been able to pull through it slowly. Watching her voice frustration about her possible inability to make large work again, or her being able to make art in a particular moment was very difficult. However, she also saw the positive side of things and I could tell that my presence had an effect on her creativity. I’m grateful for that.

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
I think it is really important to listen. You are a guest in the artist’s home/studio and this is the most important step in the CALL program. You are gauging what the artist’s needs are and taking in a lot of information. Once you become more familiar with the artist’s work, more comfortable with each other and a routine has been created, I then think it’s important to discuss what is actually realistic within the two years of the program and to figure out the priorities together. It is also very important that the Artist take ownership in the archiving process and that he/she sees the value in it.

Antonia Perez

Legacy Specialist with Gladys Triana


Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
My CALL artist and I were able to accomplish quite a bit in the year we worked together through the CALL program. During our initial meetings and conversations we established some goals for working together, assessing her needs and the condition of her studio. We began with reconfiguring her physical studio space, which exists within the small apartment in which she lives. There were corners that were under-utilized, practical rearranging that needed to be made for her daily use of equipment and storage areas that needed to be organized. Her works on paper were not stored in an archival manner. What resulted was a great shifting of shelving, storage units, tables, and files as well as the addition of a large shelving unit and many archival boxes. The next step was assigning inventory numbers and the proper wrapping and archiving of the works on paper. At this point the CALL Database came into play and she began entering the works. This became a regular activity for her in between our work sessions. As we neared completion of the goals we had set out to accomplish in her home studio, we moved on to her outside storage space in which 100 large works on canvas and a number of sculptures are held. All of this work needed to be numbered, wrapped and labeled as well. Though we were able to complete a great deal, there still remains much more to be done that was not included in our original goals. This will be an on-going process.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
The CALL experience has influenced they way I think about myself and the way that I handle myself as an artist. Every aspect of organization that we entered into I realized I had to replicate with my own work and began to do that for myself. The attitude of perseverance and longevity that a lifelong practice requires of an artist impressed me. Being involved in this process with another artist made me think about my own legacy and what I will be leaving for my descendants.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The most rewarding aspect of this work is getting to know another artist and experience her life’s work with her as it is slowly uncovered through the process of documenting and archiving. Hearing her stories and seeing her artistic process as evidenced in the work and its transformations over time was absorbing and inspiring. It is rare to get to know the in and outs of an artist’s work so intimately.

What has been most difficult?
The most challenging aspect of this process is the tedious nature of numbering, entering data and wrapping artworks. There was also a sense of urgency to complete as much as possible before the year was up.

What do you recommend to a anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
For anyone embarking on assisting an artist in the career documentation process, I recommend going into it with a positive attitude and clear understanding of the priorities. Patience, attention to details, note taking and humor are all valuable tools in the process. It is important to consider the elder artist’s abilities and limitations as well as your own.

Beth Krebs

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artists John Koos and Arlan Huang

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
We built an archive of more than 2200 artworks (mostly paintings on canvas and paper), and organized the work in his studio so it is safely stored and can be easily located. This organizational groundwork then made it simple to apply for opportunities and organize work for a website.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
The surprise and delight John finds in the world and in rediscovering his own work has been a profound reminder of how I want to live. The CALL experience has given me a picture of what a long and deep commitment to art making can look like.
 
What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
Getting to know John, his life and work.
 
What has been most difficult?
Ending our work together when it never feels finished.
 
What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
It seems useful to talk to a few different people who have done this work. I’ve learned a lot from the ideas and approaches of other Legacy Specialist-Legacy Artist teams.

David Bratton

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist John Koos and Emmett Wigglesworth

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
John and I, along with the other Legacy Specialist, were able to document over two-thousand artworks, enter these into the database for reference, create a website for John’s work, set up a safe storage area for much of the artwork, clear out unwanted items from his work and storage areas, and implement a system of documenting and archiving that John will continue to use for past and future artwork.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
I had the privilege of spending time every week with one of the most selfless, talented, and dedicated people I’ve ever met. Experiencing John’s artwork opened up a new world to me; his ability to express the nature of human beings with sometimes a few pen lines or brushstrokes still mystifies me. Going through his sketchbooks, it becomes apparent how comfortable John is with drawing the figure, an animal, an ambiguous blob, …and without fail I always ask myself, “How does he do that!?”

Probably the answer to that is that John is an inquisitive person. It’s the greatest lesson I’ve learned from him. He is, to use the cliché, a student of the world. And when you’re curious about the world around you, it doesn’t leave much room for negativity. John has such a passion for making, and his dedication and intellect are evident in his work. Anytime I’m viewing his drawings or paintings, I’m making mental notes about his color choices, the way lines intersect, and the way he uses space in a composition.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
From the beginning of this process, John and I were able to recognize his prolific history. He was so prolific for so long that going through his work, as he describes it, was like seeing it for the first time. John has mentioned how seeing all of his past work has positively influenced what he is painting recently.

Personally, it’s been an honor to see an artist’s life of work. I’ve listened to stories of travel, teaching, parenting, and the joys and pains of living an artist’s life. It’s been such an enriching experience with a unique person, that I wish John’s story could reach more of the world, whether through a biographical book, short documentary, etc.

What has been most difficult?
The biggest obstacles have been the sheer number of works to document and creating a work environment conducive to our mission. John and his family are collectors; their house is full of wonderful treasures and an unending collection of their artwork. During the second year working in his home, it became necessary to assist John in sorting through his magazines, knick-knacks, supplies, etc to determine what was essential to keep. By clearing out the unwanted items, we were able to create areas for storage, and more importantly, the ability to access certain areas of rooms that had been previously blockaded by those items.

Additionally, the ending of this process with John has been difficult. There is so much more work to be documented and reorganized, and I wish my time with him could continue for another two years.

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
Never underestimate the benefits of studying the contents of an artist’s studio/storage areas to best determine the methods of documenting and archiving the work. This might require multiple conversations and “permitted sleuthing” to fully understand the artist’s processes, evolution of style, current methods of storage, etc. In one sense you are performing triage within their work environment – possibly handling crises first, and then down the line in rank of importance, - but you also don’t want to rush into the process, or else the work done in the beginning might prove to be inefficient or not the best method for what is discovered later.

Denise Schatz

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Mimi Smith

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
Mimi Smith is a prolific artist who is fluent in all mediums. Her database includes artist’s books, drawings, paintings, prints, sculpture, performance, audio and installation. Finding a way to connect the dots between works that involved various mediums was important to her archive. The database allowed us to organize pieces individually and as installations with various parts. By viewing the notes section of an installation record we can find all the corresponding pieces that make up the entirety of the installation and where they are located in the studio. In the next few months we are hoping to work on installation instructions to accompany these entries.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
Mimi makes incredible drawings and each time we would open a drawer in the flat file, another stack of treasures would emerge. She kindly shared technical tips and concepts that helped me with my own work. Mimi is diligent and meticulous about creating strong photos of her pieces. I learned how essential good photographic documentation is for an archive, especially as climate and storage can affect a work over time.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
Getting to know an artist and their body of work has been a real privilege. Being in a position to hear the thoughts behind certain pieces and the way in which different works evolved has been very exciting for me. Mimi is inspiring, smart and funny. I love talking with her about the art world and life in general.

What has been most difficult?
While we did a tremendous amount of work, there are always places where we could expand or add details. Luckily the database allows for flexibility in altering or adding to various records.

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
Take time to get to know the person you are working with and start with reasonable goals. Embrace the fluidity of the project because sometimes there are stops and starts, be it technical or personal. Maintain a sense of humor! Mimi and I laugh a lot.

Julia Rooney

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Tara Sabharwal

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
We created a data inventory system that organized over 700 works by Tara from the 1970s to the present. We assigned each work an inventory number, and also noted its title, date, medium, size, documentation type, and provenance. The data inventory corresponds to the image inventory we created, which contains digital files (thumbnails, JPEGs and/or TIFFs), many of which were digitized from 35mm slides. Using the computer inventory numbers, we labeled each physical work in the studio, and organized them into archival storage boxes, flat files and/or polyethylene envelopes, making them easy to find and stay protected. From this thorough organization, we were able to begin designing a website that presents the range and depth of Tara's nearly 40-year career. 

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist? 
Working with Tara has influenced me both creatively and professionally. Most inspiring has been seeing the evolution of her subject matter, use of materials, and source material as she traveled between England, India and the United States. Meanwhile, going through Tara's 35mm slides, photographs, and notes -- starting from her college years -- has motivated me to be more responsible in documenting my work early on. I have come to realize that organizing the work is not just about preservation, space management and one's presentation of it to the world. It is also a creative impetus: a way to see current projects in relationship to previous work. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
Getting to know Tara through her work and our weekly conversations has been the most rewarding part. While we are both proud of the studio work we accomplished, the relationship we developed feels really special, and something that will extend beyond the CALL program.

What has been most difficult?
Prioritization of tasks was an ongoing and challenging process. Each week we had to evaluate what needed our attention most based on deadlines, scheduling, work flow or simply our desire/interest. Balancing short vs. long-term goals required consistent evaluation.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
I think it's important to always be thinking about the work in relationship to the artist's life. Since CALL work is by nature meticulous and detail-oriented, it can be easy to lose sight of the work's context. But it is the stories the artist might remember, and the work's place in the arc of his or her life that is at the heart of the CALL work and partnership. 

Lael Marshall

Legacy Specialist for CALL Artists Gwen Fabricant and Kazuko Miyamoto

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
There is a now digital image for every piece of artwork in the studio, along with information such as size, date, medium on a master list, as well as in the database. Each piece has an inventory number on it, and can be located by classification, size, or year, depending. We were able to move and reorganize the studio, not only better serving to find existing work, but also creating space for future work.

We made a website, and that (daunting) transition from paper and slides, to all digital means of photographing, sending and receiving images and applications a possibility.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
I have adopted the same inventory process in my studio. I have also learned to be more disciplined about documenting, wrapping, and storing my own work.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The friendship we built while getting so much done at the same time.

What has been most difficult?
Juggling between 2 computers.

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
Spend plenty of time at the start to determine the best way to classify the work for the database, and also how best to physically organize it in the studio (by media,
dates, size etc…)

Lehna Huie

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Marcos Dimas

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
Our team has been able to accomplish incredible tasks in creative ways. We were able to envision our goals and realize them utilizing the Road Map as a main strategy for our work together. Team Dimas was comprised of 3 Legacy Specialists and the CALL Assistant and each of us brought different skills and strengths to the table. It was wonderful to be able to put our heads together and collectively organize the artist’s paintings, prints, drawings and political posters. We were able to organize the digital inventory system and create a website that fits the system we created. Additionally, we were able to organize the studio in a functional way that the artist is proud to present his work in while also familiarizing him with user-friendly tools in the world of technology. This meant that we all walked together every step of the way, building a working relationship where we were able to reflect and explore together. We built trust as team and this led us to have the greatest outcomes during the CALL experience. 

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist? 
The CALL experience has greatly influenced me, and my work. It has allowed me to broaden my perspective on multiple platforms. I now understand that each experience is a contribution to my development as an artist; every stage of my life is equally unique and important. When it comes to being a working artist, the personal and the professional are often blended. The CALL Program strengthened my confidence in finding balance in juggling the tasks of maintaining a sustainable art career in today's world. It taught me the importance of preserving and shaping my legacy and that I indeed have agency in my legacy. It gave me the tools to explore my interests and have a better understanding of the breadth of what makes my art what it is for me and for the world. Of course, I cannot underestimate the significance of note taking and documentation and this program allowed me to practice a more functional way of doing this. The program helped me to practice telling my story, organize my work, and helped me with time management, prioritizing tasks and protecting the work. It also allowed me to realize that time is one of the greatest gifts of all. Being in this program has reminded me of the importance of staying true to myself while being patient, open minded, humble, practicing deep listening and sharing in all that I do. 

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
It has been so rewarding to learn more about Marcos and the history of his work. I enjoy hearing stories of Marcos's experience as a lifelong artist. Marcos is a major influence in the community and the arts in NYC and it is important for me to learn about living artists who create in the city I come from. Many of the themes in his work are significant to me in my work as a Caribbean artist. I am inspired by Marcos's stories, his artwork and the ways he shares his work with the world. I am grateful for having done this work together collectively at Taller Boricua, a historical space in Spanish Harlem. Just being in the space and often hearing music being played, the sounds of the drums, singing, laughter just lifted my spirits as this is witnessing tradition and that is sacred. The space feels like home. I am grateful to have worked with the team and know that we will all value this time we shared together. 

What has been most difficult?
It is challenging to only have a year to do this work. There is always more to do and I wish we had more time together. It is so wonderful to be able to see all that can be accomplished in such a short amount of time.

What do you recommend to a anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
I would recommend being open, honest and patient. A lot of things are learn-as-you-go, so don't hesitate to get going. Take the time to reflect on your successes and challenges and tracking your progress. 

Maia Palileo

Legacy Specialist with Otto Neals and John Koos

Can you share what has changed for you as a result of being a part of the CALL program?
In terms of my own studio practice, I have restructured my storage system and am working on creating a system of organization similar to that which we have done in their studios.

Can you give us a sense of what needed to be accomplished when you started working with the CALL program?
The first thing was to set up an action plan and create a language with the artist around organizing. In my experience, the first thing we did was physically reorganize artwork in potentially damaging storage situations and move them to safer spots.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
I worked with John Koos and Otto Neals. Both artists are kind spirits whom I respect and care for very much. They have had very long, prolific careers and still make art daily. That is very inspiring to me. 

What has been most difficult?
We had to be really specific about our projects and do them one project at a time. The most difficult challenge was that we had a limited amount of time, so we could only do so many projects.

What do you recommend to artists who might be in the early stages of creating an inventorying system?
Make your inventorying system really simple. So simple that another person can come in and learn it easily. Avoid procrastination and overwhelm. Do a little at a time, but do it! Hire an assistant if you need help, your work is worth it.

Marianne DeAngelis

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Ted Kurahara

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
We created an inventory for Ted Kurahara’s paintings, prints and studies as well as numbered, wrapped and labeled each work. Ted has diligently kept all his notes, exhibition information, letters, etc. in binders which we digitized. We also had newer paintings photographed and we created a website.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
I have a greater sensitivity toward the documentation and care of my own work.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work? 
Working with Ted, hearing his story and gleaning from his experience as an artist. I felt honored to have been able to experience first-hand decades of works in his oeuvre. By reviewing and rediscovering his work, Ted has a clearer sense of what he has accomplished and how it contributes to his work now.

What has been most difficult? 
Allowing for the time to develop trust and create a system from the artist’s perspective and realizing that our time working together is limited and we will not be able to accomplish everything.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
It is important to take the time to evaluate how the artist works by asking many questions. The artist’s needs and perspective are the primary guidelines for developing a functional system. To avoid overwhelm, prioritize the jobs that require immediate attention and break down each job into smaller projects that are attainable. Revisit your plan on a basis to reassess and make adjustments as priorities change.

Rose Nestler

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artists Lesley DillOtto Neals, and Arlan Huang

Can you share what you and your Legacy Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
We were able to accomplish a lot together! The beginning of the process entailed me working with Lesley Dill’s galleries to compile their inventory details for her work so that I could enter information into her personal CALL database. We entered the information and uploaded the images for over 2,000 artworks. I helped Lesley to rediscover and archive a huge body of silver-gelatin and palladium print photographs that were found in her studio. On three different occasions we made trips to Lesley’s upstate storage facility to install shelving, small dehumidifiers, as well as, rewrap and document all of the stored artworks. In the end I think our greatest goal was including and training Lesley’s studio assistants in the archiving process so that upon our departure none of our efforts would be lost. 

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
The CALL experience has influenced my work as an artist in many ways. I now understand the importance of having well-documented artwork and building a system to archive images in a cohesive manner. Working with Lesley has also been a tremendously inspiring experience because she has been continually nurturing of my career as an artist and has offered substantial professional advice and support.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
The most rewarding moment was seeing Lesley take ownership over the legacy work and realize that it was something she and her studio assistants could carry on without the Legacy Specialists.

What has been most difficult?
The most difficult aspect of this process is that it is never finite, it is something that evolves and that you can continue to edit and add to. Once you realize this and embrace the fact that you’re building a living legacy is when things become a little less daunting!

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
I think the most helpful advice I can give is to refrain from pushing your own agenda or expectations on the artist. Ultimately this is their journey and the best thing you can do as a legacy specialist is listen to what they’re asking for; what they need out of this process.

Sharela May Bonfield

Legacy Specialist with CALL Artist Ted Kurahara

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
Through the CALL program we were about to set up an inventory system for Ted Kurahara’s paintings, sketches, books and works on paper. We were able to hire a professional photographer to document Ted’s recent works. Working with the physical pieces we were able to wrap and write the inventory information on each piece. We were able to create digital files of Ted’s slides and negatives. For Ted’s flat files we were able to create portfolios and organize his flat works.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
CALL has influenced me to create my own inventory system for my artworks much like the Excel inventory system created for Ted. Seeing Ted’s dedication to his art practice and his amazement of the tremendous body of work he has accomplished thus far inspires me to continue making work.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work? 
Working with Ted Kurahara I was overwhelmed with his work ethic, kindness and patience. I enjoyed listening to Ted,talk about his process and his life as an artist and as an educator.

What has been most difficult?
The most difficult challenge has been the limited time frame (one year). It felt that we had a lot of small projects to complete and it was sometimes challenging to prioritize what was the most important.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
My advice would be to communicate with your artist at each step of the process. Ultimately the work you are doing is for them so they should have input in what decisions are being made.

Above: Bonfield in studio, below: "My Grandmama Had Said," 2015, cotton, felt, polyfill, rope, thread, ink, 22 x 11 inches

Valerie Piraino

Can you share what you and your CALL Artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program?
My CALL year was a little unusual, in that I was fortunate enough to work with three CALL artists.  We created inventories, housed work, found safe storage solutions and documented work.  We were able to figure out a workflow that is a functional and practical way for them to continue this work on their own.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist?
It really motivated me to update and maintain my own inventory consistently.  It becomes very intimidating and overwhelming if you procrastinate.  I was really impressed by their ability to recall details about their work, but I don't have that much faith in my own memory! CALL definitely motivated me to record as much information as I can, when I can.  I also have a deepened understanding for how to make my digital and physical information more efficient.  I've already noticed that I spend less time with studio administration and more time working in the studio!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work?
I've deepened my appreciation for spending time with elders.  Each artist that I worked with is so different in many ways, but they have all been traversing the art world in New York City for a long time.  Hearing their stories about a New York that we'll never fully know, learning about histories that aren't in the canon was amazing.  They've found ways to prioritize their art making for a lifetime.  The fact that they're still making work and growing as artists is genuinely inspiring.  

What has been most difficult?
It was difficult to start and stop the work.  It takes a little time to get back in the groove of the process and remember where you left off.  It was definitely helpful to leave myself notes in order to remind myself of those idiosyncratic details that are easy to forget.

What do you recommend to anyone assisting an artist in the career documentation process?
Listen!  There's so much to learn from CALL artists.  Listen to their successes, failures, frustrations and musings.  You can really learn what works for them and what doesn't.  I think that's the ultimate goal, is to find a system that will work for them and that they actually use.  Seeing other parts of their studio practice become rejuvenated, is really exciting to watch unfold.