BLOG*July 6, 2010

Brendan Monroe (detail)

I have known Mark now for many years, watching him rise as a graphic designer, publisher of fine art books, event designer, artist, and now film maker. The one thing that has always stood out for me about Mark is his commitment to championing the artist. He is always ready to raise that flag and wave it for someone he believes has a unique perception. Mark is putting together a huge exhibition called Survey Select (Private opening July 15) with 55 artists from around the world. It’s really more of a multi-media event as the show is only one part of the festivities. I am presenting an Artist As Brand Workshop at the gallery space/museum in San Diego, with Mark, Roxana, and other possible guests. It will be awesome!

Mark took a moment during count down to the opening of Survey Select to answer some questions about his inspiration and what he loves!

GS : Tell me why you love what you do.

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio puts you in the state of mind to get things done. Grey weather for most of the year encouraged me to discover space that allowed creative freedom. My life long mission has been to collaborate with creative minded clients, archive living artists and create inspired exhibitions for the public. Oh yeah, I love to design for clients, book publishing and film industries.

Matt Furie featured in the next Scribble Film

GS : Tell me a little about your “Scribble” documentary.

Scribble.08 was filmed in 2003 capturing the heart and soul of the Southern California art movement. It was more than a film, it was a historic moment that needed to be captured on film, as the Clayton Brothers were inspiring a new generation of artists that included Jeff Soto, Martha Rich and Camille Rose Garcia. Scribble.08 was filmed with DV cams with friends piled into a Jeep fighting through 8 hours of highway traffic over the course of 2 weeks. TenStories backed me with editing support and MANUOK scored a great soundtrack. The public response has been great and the film has been featured at the Kent Film Festival in CT, DocuWest in CO and New Film Director’s in NY. Volume two is in production featuring Souther Salazar, Mark Todd, Esther Pearl Watson, Matt Furie, Shawn Barber, Kelsey Brookes and many others.

GS : You have an awesome art exhibition, “Survey Select” opening July 15th in San Diego with artists from around the planet. What was the inspiration for this show and what makes it different from your other venues?

“Survey Select” is an exhibition that celebrates Narrative Art and 55 fine artists from around the world. The exhibition is a modern day salon that introduces the public to visual storytelling, critical writing, live performance, films and a workshops held in the space over 8 weeks from July 15-Sept 5. “Survey Select” looks to inspire new thinking in the world of contemporary art by establishing a select grouping of talented artists free of intellectual labeling.

Beautiful Loosers, Scribble.08 and 7 films featured during double feature film nights

What makes “Survey Select” is uniquely different from past exhibitions, “Heaven and Hell,” “Dialogue,” “SuperHero” and Miami Art Basel exhibitions, because it is a museum installation that features a conceptual space that houses art, educational materials, films and supporting artists who specialize in fragrance, interior, creative writing and musical design. Eight weeks provides everyone the opportunity to travel to San Diego and participate in the exhibition.

Traveling artists featured at workshops and Survey Select receptions

GS : You will be on my panel with Arnie Fenner, Ciruelo, Tara McPherson, Donato during this coming Comic Con (Friday, 23, 6:00-7:00PM. Room 8 ) for a discussion about artist empowerment and sustainability. How do you define artistic empowerment?

Artistic empowerment starts with invitation and continues with purposeful exchange. For me, sustainability comes from public and private support. The art world is riddled with folks who look to make investment or turn on an investment, and for me it is more about soulful exchange. The honorable exchange is to archive living artists in books, films, exhibitions and critical essays. You never know what you are onto, and history beyond my years will be the final judge. (You can see more in my personal manifesto).

Scott Daniel Ellison : Shawn Barber : Mark Todd


GS : I am presenting an Artist As Brand workshop at your gallery in August in alignment with your exhibition. How would you define a brand? Do you consider yourself a brand?

Brand is a notion for the complete package that starts at the core of who you are. If it is applied to a product, it is the essence of a product, and if it is a person, it is about where you come from and what you are about. Brand is really a corporate word for “soul.” Yes, I am a lifestyle kind of an artist. It is all encompassing, all moments of each day, the opportunity to exercise the left and the right side of my brain. I think I am much better at the creative side.

Tasha Kusama : Miss Van

GS : What do you feel artists will gain by taking this course?

The course will help me take a moment to reflect on the process and progress of my career and offer a concentrated moment to enhance and focus. I look forward to the opportunity to take a moment for myself, which typically, almost never happens. For artists, I believe that the course will help redirect focus and assist in the narrative of their personal pursuits. Very important facts when it comes to explaining what it is that you do to others, especially museums, collectors and galleries.

Mark Todd featured in the next Scribble Documentary


GS : Any last pearls of wisdom?

Pursue your inner creative at all times. Take a moment to enjoy.

Thanks Mark! I will see you soon at your opening of Survey Select, at Comic Con and for my Artist As Brand workshop!

To empowerment and prosperity,

Greg