Run by Jasmine Moorhead
First the statement of intent:
Krowswork Project Space & Gallery was founded in the fall of 2009 to provide a dedicated venue for video and photography in Oakland. Jasmine Moorhead, curator and owner of Krowswork, feels that in an increasingly media dependent world, an understanding and appreciation of the art of video and photography provides needed insight and perspective into these fundamental mechanisms of contemporary culture, the reality they presuppose, and their creative potential. The work presented at the gallery will be representative of the broad range of aesthetic and conceptual concerns that these mediums have addressed historically - from documentation to performance, from abstraction to narrative, and from imagery of the mundane to representations of the sublime. Krowswork takes an experiential approach to contemporary art exhibition, in which traditional gallery presentations are intermixed with site-specific installations, live artist performances, curated screenings, and experimental exhibition design.
Now more candidly about my funding/process:
I founded Krowswork in December 2009 with a very little bit of savings. What I had for support, though, was a day job, which I still have, as a researcher at a gallery in San Francisco. I underestimated, I think, the costs associated with opening the space. It's always twice as much time and twice as much money as you think. But on the other hand, it was completely gratifying - a birth, a product of your own imagination only. It was important for me to have a support network of family and friends, who were able to help me with the physical and emotional work. It was an interesting process, because I think of myself as a pretty organized person with good sense of prioritization. In trying to find the art, build out the space, get set up as a business, get press, and get people interested, that broke down for me. My family, especially, was able to help me navigate.
Krowswork is in the uptown district of Oakland. One thing I benefitted from is an incentive program run by the city of Oakland in this district that will match some of funds for setting up the space - the Tenant Improvement Program. My understanding is that it came about for this area of Oakland, most of which is zoned as a historic district, so can't be redeveloped, but that the manufacturing businesses which used to fill the spaces just aren't there any more. Many of the galleries and restaurants in this area have benefited from this program.
I am obviously working to build a collector base, but in the meantime I am looking to special events such as screenings and art performances to help offset the rent. I think the key in this economy is creativity, and people are looking for, and willing to pay for, art that is experiential, even if they are not collectors per se.
I will also be applying for some grants. First on the list is the Alternative Exposure grants from Southern Exposure in San Francisco, funded in large part by the Andy Warhol Foundation.