Home Art Chase R. McCurdy Says Artists Live “With a Certain Spirit”

Chase R. McCurdy Says Artists Live “With a Certain Spirit”


What questions do you feel aren’t being asked of or by creative people in your community?

In general, I feel artists spend too much time publicly engaged in questions about self, about art and self, art itself, art in galleries, art in institutions, etc. etc. This is not to say that there is not a time and place for every discussion. However, there is nowhere near enough time publicly spent engaged with real questions and concerns in society right now, today. Not just, “how can I make art to talk about X,” but more asking how we can use our skills cultivated as artists to be of practical use now to our communities. And maybe put the personal “art/artist” concerns on the back burner.

How do you experience art and culture?

I experience art and culture in the everyday act. For me, art is living within a certain spirit, a way of going about my every daily activity. Very much a personally-based experience. I experience culture in the group or social setting. When many of us come together to share space, share perspective, etc. For me, that is culture.

In Las Vegas I experience this in everything from small group gatherings in the warmth of someone’s home, to conversations and talks hosted by larger community arts institutions such as the Las Vegas Clark County Library District Art Gallery system, or the two major UNLV art institutions, Black Mountain Institute and the Marjorie Barrick Museum, among other various independent events around the valley.

ChaseRMcCurdy EXPLORATION  Install LasVegas 070519 3
Chase R. McCurdy, E X P L O R A T I O N, installation view (courtesy the artist)

Who in your community of artists, curators, archivists, organizers, directors, etc. is inspiring you right now?

The arts community in Las Vegas benefits from being small but accessible, and is able to form community quickly, share information and resources, and come together as an affiliate network. Las Vegas art spaces have done a good job in this current situation of finding ways to engage the broader community in the arts using technology as a mediator.

Right now the people inspiring me most are those who are serving the people in this time of need, or otherwise expending their energies toward the stabilization of our shared society. This comes in many forms from those on the frontlines, those bringing food to those who are in need of that service, to those working toward developing more humane and conscious business models for the world we are collectively working to build.

I’m inspired by my people in the Mass Liberation Project NV struggle, my cousin William McCurdy II who is currently running for local office in Clark County, the various artists I know creating and sustaining community, and everyone out there just trying to survive. Keep your head up, stay strong.

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