About 601 Tully
Check out our new website! 601Tully.syr.edu
601 Tully is a center for engaged practice in Syracuse, NY developed by artist and professor Marion Wilson with a rotating collaborative team of 54 students and neighbors and Anda French of French 2Design. It's a site for meaningful exchange between artists, community members, and scholars in the co-production of culture.
601 Tully includes a contemporary art space, a public events space, a bookstore, a teaching garden, and Recess Cafe West.
In 2009, Wilson purchased the condemned two-story home and local drug hub, and throughout five semesters, Wilson's design/build class re-zoned, designed, renovated and now sustains the physical and programmatic aspects of 601 Tully. The collaborative team has consisted of artists, architects, environmentalists, Fowler High School students, Green Train Workforce, neighbors, and the occasional passerby.
601 Tully is made possible by the generous support of the Syracuse University School of Education, The Kauffman Foundation, The Near West Side Initiative, Imagining America, Home HeadQuarters Inc., Say Yes to Education, and National Grid.
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Saturday, November 27, 2010
I like to believe that each one of us is unique to the next, has had different life experiences, and views everything with different perspectives, opinions, etc. Therefore each one of us possesses skills to “bring to the table” and if we all voice our opinions, thoughts, and skills, and apply them together, 601 Tully will indeed successfully happen. My interest in this project is tied between a love for art, a study of urban environments and natural environmental issues, and a growing interest in education, specifically focused on and influenced by the city of Syracuse and the public school system.
I believe art is a necessary tool, framework, and activity for maintaining mental health, allowing for communication, problem solving, and seeing in a new light. It sparks creativity in minds and an almost meditative layer of thought. Art can be experienced or “witnessed” by, as well as created by, persons of all ages and cultures, which I find both fascinating and admirable. I’d like to explore the uses and benefits of art in context of 601 Tully. Since being an active part of this project, I have spent time working with kids and facilitating art projects that help them be creative, interactive and explorative while also learning and teaching. Each of us has something to learn from one another, and on some level where we can connect and collaborate, no matter our set “status” or role. Art is a good way to take part in this type of experience, and 601 Tully could be an example of this exchange in action.
Monday, November 22, 2010
I am participating in a collective artistic praxis that re-imagines community and public art through awareness, questioning, a redistribution of power, contact and connection, engagement, efficacy, action, and production. Community is a verb, not a noun associated with land ownership. A community of being, rather than a being of community, demands insight, engagement, commitment. It suggests life and longevity.
With members of 601 Tully, I am collaboratively engaging members of the neighborhood (Boys & Girls Club, Westside Residents Coalition, Café Kubal, among others) in 6-Word-Memoirs. Youth and adults are invited to create their own brief memoirs, drawing from their own experiences and paradigms. The inclusive practice, designed by Smith Magazine, suggests an accessible form that yields rich, varied, inexhaustible artistic response. The structure of six words (no more, no less) offers a manageable space for expression, but the content—the words, the punctuation—are the writer’s. Participants make the form their own. Ultimately, the distance between artist/curator and participant collapses: judgments about expertise, worth, and validity are mostly inapplicable. A reader may be as equally moved by the memoir of an artist as she is by the words of a seven-year-old. Of course, when the memoirs are engraved into the gallery floor at 601 Tully, all memoirs will appear anonymous.
I respect Miwon Kwon’s assertion that in a collective artistic praxis, “coherent representation of [group identity] is always out of grasp,” (154). In our specific writing initiative, we “emphasize the distinctness of individual identities… over the importance of a single collective image,” (119). We strive to resist against reduction, homogenization, or an artist’s vision of unity. We initiate our project through specific inquiry:
As artists, what interpretive and interventionary services can we offer to Syracuse and 601 Tully?
a. How do we “negotiate, coordinate, compromise, research, promote, organize, interview,” (51)?
b. How do we ensure “originality, authenticity, and singularity” (52). How do we make sure the work is about our community (as defined by us)? How do we make sure the city, the block, the location, does not become a commodity?
c. If the artist is reemerging as the progenitor of meaning, even in collaborations, how can we act as authors at 601 Tully?
While I appreciate that Kwon’s model of collective artistic praxis privileges elasticity and flexibility— that it rejects hierarchy and exclusion— I believe there is incredible power in self-naming. A community that is reluctant to identify itself is unfamiliar. It is difficult to interpret, difficult to support, difficult to advocate and assert politically. At 601 Tully, we are witnessing a great deal of interest, investment, participation and excitement from locals who know that we are the new 601 Tully.
I look forward to next semester, when, I’ll continue to create and participate in a community of being with “Writing in the Community,” a course taught by poet Michael Burkard.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
What I see as key to the project's determination of success was its continuation despite an eventual disassociation from its original and major instigator, Sculpture Chicago. The participant group in this "new genre public art" took hold of the project or "piece" and made it their own, fueling its growth and developing it into a full-fledged program that they themselves found value in maintaining almost 15 yrs later. I think it's an important quality to be able to recognize the opportunitites in one's own context, socially, relationally, ideologically, etc. This artist had "the home-field advantage" and saw the possibilities that they could work within to affect their own context to the advantage of the community. This notion has profound implications especially today with the reality of globalization in the large scale and the access we have to specialists, professional, etc, who come from entirely different backgrouds, all the way down to the town or city scale. At the very least this example reinforces the importance of relationships and communication with the communities affected by or involved with a project, building into them and having them build into the project. More importantly, however, it signifies the potentialities for artists, designers, and creatives alike that lay waiting right in front of us.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Sunday, November 14, 2010
On friday Nov. 5th, MLAB payed a visit to the Blodgett School. A group of fifteen 3rd graders from the after school program accompanied members of 601 Tully to the art bus where they composed 6 word memoirs and designed they dream houses.