Writing Archive

Culture Hustlers: Artists Minding Their Business - Mills Gallery

DigBoston, February 22, 2018 (read there)

Most artists, if they ever had the management acumen to sustain a creative career, would have run the numbers, recognized the fiscal ridiculousness of it all, and entered another field. Lucas Spivey’s mission is to bring business education to them in a form they can comprehend: an exhibition.

He divides Mills Gallery using vinyl silhouettes of five American states. Each area features the work of an artist or team found there, samples of their production, and descriptions of their business model. They range from the sensible to the wacky. You can buy a copper ladle, joining handicraft with modern sensibilities, from Smith Shop in Detroit. You can also commission revenge raps from Derek Erdman of Chicago.

Spivey gathered this sampling over the course of a cross-country tour with a 1957 Shasta camper in tow as his office. His project is an unusual example of art that aims to mend the world in some way: It is lighthearted and optimistic, its goals are specific and modest, and it succeeds.

Word count: 168

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