Published in the catalogue Antfarm Decade to commemorate our first 10 years
These are the opening pages of the catalogue, the exhibition, in celebration of antfarm’s first ten years, was held at the NCSU Gallery of Art & Design August 13-September 28, 2003.
The antfarm, an artists’ cooperative, models a way in which young artists can unite to support each other through the arduous process of becoming established in their respective fields.
While unique to Raleigh, antfarm joins a long line of similar institutions that have evolved to help artists find their way into the working world with success and with feelings of integrity intact. Lope Max Diaz’s essay describes this process admirably and discusses antfarm’s important connection to North Carolina State University. Suffice it for me to add the Gallery’s gratitude to Dave Wofford and other antfarmers for proposing the exhibition and working closely with the staff here to achieve it. It is a true pleasure to celebrate the tenth anniversary of this wonderfully creative studio.
The Gallery would also like to thank Rebecca Black and The Glenstone Foundation for support of the exhibition publication. Being able to adequately document these ten years is significant for the antfarm, the College of Design, and North Carolina State University.
Charlotte V. Brown, Ph.D., Hon. AlA Director
It seems as if it was only ten days ago Brad, Allison, Chris, Becca, Cam, Rich, and others were talking with excitement and amusement about their experiences of searching, finding, and rehabilitating an old dilapidated downtown warehouse into an art studio space. They were about to graduate from the College of Design and soon would need their own art/design studio space where they could continue working, growing, and nurturing each other in an atmosphere of camaraderie and artistic creativity.
A decade has transpired since the time in which I was privy to those ambitious conversations of my former students about what they wanted and hoped for in their immediate future. It was indeed a very special time in my teaching career. Unknowingly, I was witnessing the genesis of what was to become
a vibrant community of artists, craftspeople, and designers located in the Boylan Heights neighborhood of Raleigh, and subsequently to be named the Antfarm.
Since its early days, the studio space layout and environment at the Antfarm has been similar to the one most of its members experienced while being students at the College of Design open workspace!
Everyone has visual and oral access to each other, each other’s artwork, and their respective artistic agendas.
In my view, this familiar workspace scenario has had the positive effect of smoothing that transition from being a college student to becoming a professional practitioner in one’s chosen art/design discipline. What’s missing from this new studio space is the teacher and his/her daily talk and studio walk-through.
Nevertheless, the Antfarm is the arena where I have been afforded the unique and challenging experience of interacting with former students while simultaneously interacting with their potential clients. The outcome is that I have experienced the artistic coming of age of some of my most talented students.
At its tenth anniversary the Antfarm is an important artistic factor in the cultural fabric of the City of Raleigh as well as in North Carolina. Through the national dissemination of some of its former members, its presence and influence stretches from coast to coast. It is, therefore, fitting and most deserving that the premier exhibition space at NC State university, the Gallery of Art and Design, welcomes them home and recognizes their professional artistic accomplishments through this exhibition.
LOPE MAX DÍAZ
The following is printed in the back of the catalogue to explain and credit grantors and contributors:
The North Carolina State University Gallery of Art & Design collects, interprets and exhibits exemplary hand- and machine-made objects to foster learning and understanding of the cultures of North Carolina and the world.
antfarm (all rights reversed) is an unofficial, unincorporated loosely based concept which is really nothing more than a name and a few commonly shared beliefs and ideas. “It” has never received any grants or funding (past the tip jar at the openings).
This catalogue was designed by former farmer Dave Wofford of Horse & Buggy Press and its publication was made possible by a generous grant from the Glenstone Foundation. The catalogue was printed on paper made entirely of recycled post-consumer paper waste and processed chlorine-free. The covers were letterpress printed on a hand-fed Vandercook SP-20.
ISBN 0-9726218-1-4 Library of Congress Control Number 2003109719