1708 Gallery's "Arts Count 2000" 

Calling All Artists ...

Interested in finding a piece of pottery or a painting done by a Virginia artist but don't know where to look? If so, you are in luck. 1708 Gallery is embarking on "Arts Count 2000," a project that will result in a database of Virginia artists, which will eventually be available to the public.

The project will be composed of several parts, says Nancy Gray, executive director of the gallery. "The first thing we'll do is gather information," she says. "The second stage will be an exhibition and a publication."

1708 Gallery is putting out a call for Virginia artists through professional art publications and statewide art galleries. Then in January, the gallery will distribute surveys to the state's artists in order to find out such information as their backgrounds, the mediums with which they work and the places at which they sell their art. Any Virginia artist who is producing original work is welcome to participate.

Gray hopes the database, which will be available through the Virginia Division of Tourism and the state's art galleries, will benefit the artists as well as the public.

"We feel it will be helpful for artists to refer to the database and see the economic impact they have in Virginia," she says.

Along with the surveys, artists will receive invitations to submit their work to the "Arts Count 2000" exhibit, which will open in the fall of 2000. Gray says there will be a submission and selection process for the exhibit, but it will be as inclusive as space allows. "We want it to be broad but not repetitive," she says.

Accompanying the exhibit will be a free public forum that will address the role artists will play in Virginia in the new millennium and an artist/voter registration drive. Gray hopes the project will increase awareness and prove that art impacts Virginia

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