August 10, 2020
Update: VS Facebook group

Perhaps an apt descriptor for Project VSONOMA is a ‘Creative Incubator’. A wider view envisions a project-driven enclave of liked-minded, yet varied artists (working across a variety of mediums) sharing, discussing and supporting each other's work. Simply stated, the format (still residing within the FaceBook platform) is based on members identifying a creative project of their own choice. Posts by a member will track their project's progress from conception through completion...and everything in-between. Other members will add comments to the 'originator's post in the usual Facebook manner.

Sample projects may take the form of a photographic series, an involved painting, experimental art, research projects or an artist's stretch into a new medium. The nature, substance and range of a chosen project is literally wide open — as it should be!

Mission Statement
Honest and open discussion about art (and our projects) is the goal. The sharing of constructive, insightful and supportive dialogue concerning other member’s projects will help define the group culture. This will all occur within a safe, private and respectful venue.

How it Works
1. Members will chose and define their own ‘Creative Project’.
2. Members will initially start their project with an artist statement or short overview description. Members may maintain two projects at any given time. If a project is sputtering or starts fighting you, vanquish it, along with your project thread and start a new one.
3. A member’s posts will track and document creative efforts, ongoing developments and progress as their project(s) proceed.*
4. Member Projects will consist of ‘new work’ and adhere to a contemporary realm as they understand and interpret it.**
5. Upon completion of a project, members will be encouraged to finalize their work within a tangible format. An eBook, a direct to print hardcover book, a comprehensive essay, an online presentation are a few examples. Hopefully, the talent pool that begins to occupy 'this incubator' should stand ready to assist others in completing the aforementioned final stage of a project. A core function of this proposed thought experiment is to support each other's work!

* Note:
To help jump-start a new project, a variety of related materials may be introduced. Web-based articles, outside visual samples, past work that is relevant or inspirational work by other artists. This could be invaluable in soliciting feedback from the group within the conceptual stage of a new project.

** Note:
Regarding functionality within the Facebook platform, all ongoing posts by a member should be made and 'live' within their original thread. This will maintain project continuity, move their thread to the top of the feed and alert other members of new project updates. This also keeps the overall Project VSONOMA feed clean and organized (by artist and project).

What type of work is accepted?
Initially, the following Visual Arts will be accepted

1. Photography and Digital Compositions
2. Illustration (analog and digital)
3. Painting
4. Mixed Media Art and Constructions
5. Ceramics/Sculpture

Status of the VSONOMA web site
The VS web site will remain but at a distance, somewhat disassociated from Project VSONOMA. It will maintain its own space and identity and receive some strategic revamping and long overdue attention. Individual member projects will be highlighted and presented on (at least) a quarterly basis. The site itself will be promoted beyond Facebook.

Prospective members may apply to the group and will be accepted within a TBD process.

Next Steps

On August 31, the VSONOMA Facebook group will be reset to zero members. All current and former members (who I will recontact) have the option to request a new membership based on their own personal interest levels. Obviously the group won’t be for everyone and it will require a true collaborative effort and sincere commitment to jump start this initiative. Current and past VS members and new prospects who wish to join Project VSONOMA will be asked to submit a short rough idea of what an initial project would be. If you're a member of numerous other groups, this one may not be for you.

Maybe only a few will join…but then again that’s standard operating procedure for any start-up endeavor. One that will go against-the-grain of the 'like mentality' within a typical Facebook photo sharing site!

As a sidenote, The initial group of new members will beta test the format within a TBD time frame.

Questions and comments would be appreciated at the current VS Facebook group page during the remainder of August and also feel free to private message me via Facebook or standard email.


Mark Wegner