Why does Boston produce such an immense number of young artists and yet retain so few of them?
This is the question that began the call for work for last year's yBos 1 exhibition at UMB's Harbor Gallery, which called itself "The first young Boston Artists juried exhibition at UMass Boston." Now in its second year—and with a current call for work (deadline October 21st), yBos gets right to the heart of a problem that Boston has long struggled with: how to create opportunities and room for young artists to grow and start careers. With so many world-class institutions producing new graduating classes of inspired artists every year, how does a city like Boston absorb them and support them?
At Big Red & Shiny we've written extensively in the past about the loss of community and opportunities that accompanied the closure of many alternative spaces. This has affected young and emerging artists the most, as non-profit spaces offered them the visibility and community they need to start a career. Without active "incubator" spaces, a city like Boston offers few paths from the classroom to the white cube. yBos 2's call for work is an attempt to re-think this problem by creating a dedicated juried exhibition to provide "exposure and support an ongoing dialogue on the work of young artists with the established art community."
Note that this call for work places restrictions on submissions. yBos 2 limits submissions to those Boston-area individuals "currently enrolled in an undergraduate program or have been enrolled in one or graduated from one within the last two years (not before Fall 2011)." This year's jurors are Meredith Hoy, curator and Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Boston, artist Jarrett Min Davis, and Big Red & Shiny's very own editor, Leah Triplett.
If you are a young artist reading this, get your submissions together! The rest of us will be watching closely to see what great work is to be found in these new young artist showcases.