Jar is a small Charitable Trust for promoting strong, singular art for public consumption. We could talk a lot about the art we have in mind but not yet and not here. It has to be seen.
Things will become clearer as we go along, and for us too. We will approach artists whose work fits what we are looking for and offer the opportunity described below.
Such invitations will initially be based on the single Jar facility that exists so far, a small, single room building at 589 New North Road Kingsland in Auckland, New Zealand. The building stands by itself and is visible to a lot of traffic. The front of the building has been removed and has been replaced by a transparent wall. 589 New North Rd is practical and looks good as well.
We seek projects where:
- The work is probably not independent of the building, and will make good use of it
- The work is effective for a public audience who can't go inside the building to view it but who experience it by looking into the space from the outside
- The artist is a leader
More generally the Jar offer provides that:
- Each project will stay up for a long time, probably for between 6 months and a year or maybe longer. We hope these projects will have staying power and will develop into talking points
- The artist has the space to him or herself and there is no other artwork to be seen around about
- A Jar publication will accompany the work to assist with audience take-up
- Jar will develop effective public relations channels to help the work gain more public visibility, and
- Ownership of the work can stay with the artist
Jar is a bigger idea than is obvious in the New North Rd space. We want to create other Jar projects in other locations. There is a coherence to the Jar model, a practicality, that could create that reach.
It's a not-for-profit group. Jar is not a dealer. We're for the public, our way. That might help us be more effective for what we want to do. As well, Jar is pretty economic, using a low value, dead-right building now and maybe more of them in the future. There are a lot of them around the country, and people travel. Further, the Jar Trustees are generally useful and have relevant networks and reputations. Lastly, the Jar proposition for artists is unique, and can't be offered by public art museums or private commissions or dealer galleries, and so it could be quite productive.
So: out of that mix you might get an art-excited public who experience in each Jar project something with small size but big scale, something to look at and wonder about a long time. Then the ingredients for leverage would be in place, an effect gained by the jar in Wallace Stevens' great Anecdote, which draws shape from the common wealth:
Anecdote Of The Jar
I placed a jar in Tennessee,
And round it was, upon a hill.
It made the slovenly wilderness
Surround that hill.
The wilderness rose up to it,
And sprawled around, no longer wild.
The jar was round upon the ground
And tall and of a port in air.
It took dominion everywhere.
The jar was gray and bare.
It did not give of bird or bush,
Like nothing else in Tennessee.
There are antecedents for Jar, good institutions elsewhere which were or are focal points of private patronage for public purposes, with high levels of specific content and low levels of democracy. They promote projects that public institutions cannot promote as easily, possibly because of work size, materials, in-situ dependence and allowance for the time it takes to achieve visibility.
The Jar hope is that the public, itself, and each artist from time to time will be better off, and so the next project and the one after that will get easier, and easier again, and so on.
Jar was conceived and settled by Leigh and Susan Davis.