.LDOC is proposed by Joseph Wilcox and Danielle Wilcox

How did you hear about the grant, and what inspired you to propose this specific project for the Crusade for Art grant?

I originally heard of the grant last year through the Chicago Artist Resource. I thought it was really cool that an organization was donating $10,000 just to help artists engage audiences with artwork. I really enjoyed the DIY grassroots aspect to the organization and this fit with my ethos. I applied last year, and was ultimately unsuccessful, but came back this year with an even better proposal. My wife and I have always appreciated accessible and unpretentious art efforts and had discussed doing some kind of public distribution of a publication geared towards art and writing. When the grant cycle came up for this year, we jumped on the chance to pitch our idea to Crusade for Art.

What is the most engaging art event/collecting event you’ve been to?

One that immediately comes to mind is an Art Battle held in Detroit, MI that we participated in. At this event, organizers rented out a huge warehouse space, split the space up amongst artists, and then allowed artists to create live for viewers. The viewers voted on their favorite art piece at the end of the event and that artist or team won $1,000. This was a great way to turn art into a live event where people can watch the artistic process. It gave the audience ownership over the value of the artwork.

How do you think artists should play a role in educating the public or their audience about their art or art in general?

It depends on the artist. If you are an artist that benefits from the idea that art should be expensive and elite, then you probably shouldn’t educate the common public about art. This could hurt your profit margins. But if you are an artist who believes in the idea that art should be accessible, both financially and conceptually, then it is important for artists to engage the public in a way that fits into each individual’s understanding of what art is and what art means.

Why do you think many people find art intimidating, and how can we lower the perceptual barriers to entry for collecting art (and specifically photography)?

Art can be intimidating for a lot of reasons. The places where art is held often feels exclusive, like you need to be part of a club to go there. Artists are portrayed as geniuses knowing something we don’t. Also, a lot of art doesn’t make sense. At least not until you understand the language of art. And every media has its own rules: brush strokes have meaning in a painting, a camera angle in film. It can be hard for someone who hasn’t learned or studied art to have a point of entry to engage with work.

Our project tries to create this point of entry. By using photography, a media many people are familiar with; text, a linguistic tool people communicate through; and newsprint, a familiar and unintimidating material, we hope to create an experience where people can start to develop an understanding of what art means, both to them and at large.