CALL Legacy Specialists Rose Candela

Rose Candela

Can you share what you and your artist were able to accomplish through the CALL program
Through the CALL program, artist Mel Chin and I were able to gather resources, information, and plans for his first major retrospective, Rematch, which opened on February 21, 2014, at the New Orleans Museum of Art. This retrospective included a printed catalogue, with many rare and obscure information of Mel’s artwork and life included in the pages and scholarly essays. As well, a publication of Mel’s exhibit The Funk & Wag from A to Z, containing 524 collages, was organized during time as a Legacy Specialist. Also, Mel now has a website, which I was able to co-create with the entire team at his studio. Overall, the foundation of his digital archive was created by organizing layers and stacks of paper, information, and stories into one place through my time with the CALL program.

Can you give us a sense of how the CALL experience may have influenced you and your work as an artist? 
I now know how extremely precious concise and clear documentation can be to your presence in the Art world. I am investing in getting professional images taken of my work, and making sure to keep a log of titles, sizes, mediums, and all other museum information now. You have to be ready for requests and opportunities quickly. 

Furthermore, it’s hard to think of the future when you are working to stay connected to your present Art business, but I now see how extremely valuable it is to stay organized. Oh, and make sure you have backups of digital information compatible with the latest technology-that is a huge lesson I am taking away from my experience.  

What has been the most rewarding aspect of this work? 
I really got to see how a conceptual Artist lives, works, and exists in this world today. My professional training is in Art History, so I was used to the biographical stories about Artists, but not the real deal. And throughout it all, I formulated a personal relationship with a great individual. 

What has been most difficult? 
The most challenging aspect for me was seeing the big picture when the details of the Artist's archive can seem vast. My work did have the retrospective as a big goal, so that was a very tangible thing to look forward to seeing complete. But there was so much to comb through to assist the CALL Artist, as well as the people who were requesting images & information for current projects. I just had to practice a lot of patience and diligence through the maze of making an impact in this Artist’s files and archive. 

What recommendations might you make to a Legacy Specialist’s in training on how to prepare for the overall CALL experience?
In planning to become a LS, I’d say be prepared for a lifestyle, not just a job. You will be literally digging through someone’s stuff for a year or two, so you will be involved personally and professionally with your CALL artist. This can be a positive experience, but you have to make sure you take care of yourself, and keep yourself interested and refreshed through the whole time. Ask for help, keep communicating with your CALL Artist about what you are doing to keep your connection to the work strong. And remember, you are making a big impact of the history and understanding of this person’s Art and life. This work is extremely valuable in the Art world, and you are instrumental in the history of creating a living Artist’s archive. 

Read more: 

"Case Study: Preparing for Mel Chin’s Retrospective",

All works are copyright of the artist or artist’s estate.