Annual Report 2021

Submitted by: Rebecca Friedman, Sara Ellis, SIG Co-Coordinators
Date: March 2022

Group Roster or Membership:

  • Members indicate interest in the Artist File SIG on the ARLIS/NA membership form. The organization’s members are welcome to any Artist File events without a formal SIG membership. Last count was 185 members as of Feb. 2020. We haven’t asked for a more updated list from Headquarters.

Incoming Group Leadership Roster:

  • Leadership updates are TBD and will be determined at the SIG’s upcoming spring meeting, scheduled for March 30, 2022.

Requested Action:

  • None at this point, but the SIG leadership has been in touch with Rebecca Price, ARLIS/NA Vice-president/President-elect about the Artist File Directory (Artist Files Revealed) that Sam Duncan, previous SIG Coordinator, created and maintained. A Python/Django host would be needed to support this project as is. All of the files Sam built are archived in GitHub at the moment. Rebecca suggested that CORE in Humanities Commons might be possible.

Annual Goals for the Group:

  • Consider projects or initiatives going forward, considering some of the group’s past interests and activities, like born-digital artist files, digitizing of artist file materials in general, standards for artist file forms, DEI/EDI considerations, etc.

Summary of Activities Completed:

  • A spring meeting was held online via Zoom on April 26, 2021, in advance of the annual conference, with 34 attendees.
    • Topics discussed included: an update on the ongoing Artist File Directory project, themes that emerged from the Miro board collaboration tool used by the SIG in May 2020 in lieu of a spring meeting, 2021 goals for the SIG, and possible opportunities for enacting DEI initiatives.
    • Incoming Vice-president Rebecca Price visited with the SIG.

      [Strategic Directions: Organizational Advancement, Art Information Professionals, Diversity and Inclusion]

  • An online discussion panel was organized and held via Zoom on August 9, 2021 on the topic of EDI and artist files. Close to 30 people either attended, or signed up, or expressed interest in the event after the fact; actual attendance was closer to 10.
    • 3 guest speakers delivered presentations on their work in this area: Jane Devine Mejia (Vancouver Art Gallery), Amy Furness and Adrienne Connelly (Art Gallery of Ontario), and Rebecca Friedman (Princeton University).
    • This was followed by group discussion using guiding questions focused on the following themes: Underrepresentation, Improving visibility, Decolonization, Best practices, Praxis (applying practices at our respective organizations), Institutional initiatives, Acquisition, and Promotion.
    • A shared Google Doc was developed and distributed for participants to contribute to.
    • A recording and transcript of this event have been made available via the ARLIS/NA Channel on Kaltura with Meredith Hale’s help.

      [Strategic Directions: Diversity and Inclusion]

Ongoing and/or Planned Work:

  • The SIG continues to solicit submissions of new content to the Artist Files SIG blog.
    • One organization has agreed to submit a blog post later this year (2022).
    • A call for expressions of interest will be shared on the ARLIS-L listserv following the spring meeting.

      [Strategic Directions: Organizational Advancement, Art Information Professionals]

  • The SIG Co-Coordinators have discussed running a second session of the EDI and artist files panel, with updated questions and themes for group discussion.

    [Strategic Directions: Diversity and Inclusion]

Share Accomplishments and/or Goals Related to Anti-racism, Diversity, Equity, and/or Inclusion:
See above.

Preliminary Goals for Next Year/Incoming Committee:

  • The SIG will continue to seek out opportunities for collaboration with other ARLIS/NA SIGs.
  • The SIG still hopes to move the Artist Files Revealed project forward, to create infra-structure to maintain the project—even if in a stripped-down version–and keep it sustainable long-term, if this is possible. See “Requested Action” section above

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