About Steven Durland

Steven DurlandFor the past 35 years I’ve worked as an artist, writer, magazine editor, nonprofit arts organization administrator, designer and web consultant in varying combinations, and occasionally I’ve found myself trying to do all of them at the same time. For the most recent 30 of those years I’ve shared my life with Linda Frye Burnham and vice versa and as a result our personal and professional lives are inextricably intertwined.

For a few years I was a card-carrying union typesetter in New York and I once taught performance art at the University of California, Irvine. I served a very brief stint as a consultant in arts and marketing to the government of El Salvador and I’ve spent time in Japan on a research grant. For a year I was a community artist for the small town of Madison, South Dakota, previous to which I was part of the South Dakota Arts Council’s artists-in-the-schools program. I’ve also worked as a computer consultant, a grade school art teacher and an art gallery director.

I have a BFA from the University of South Dakota, and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts.

I have no intention of keeping an updated curriculum vitae available here. Rather, here’s a short summary overview of key areas.

Visual Art

My background is as a visual artist. Originally a ceramic sculptor, I went through a conceptual and performance art phase and eventually settled into working in assemblage sculpture and installations and most recently digital imagery. I have been creating large-scale images from nature and printing them on canvas for indoor display and vinyl to hang as installation works in the woods around my home and my Bourbon, Dogs and Art studio.

Writing

I do two kinds of writing. The first kind has consisted of essays, commentaries, interviews and reviews about art. This writing has appeared in a variety of publications, but most frequently in High Performance magazine. The second has consisted of social satire, whose primary vehicle was Tacit, later The Tacit Observer, a self-published satirical pseudo-newspaper. Currently that energy goes into several pseudo-blogs (Blogdogs, Gerret Swirled) and one real one (Bourbon, Dogs and Art).

Editorial

I served as Managing Editor of High Performance magazine from 1983 through 1985. I became editor-in-chief in 1986 and remained in that position until the magazine folded in 1997. In 1994 High Performance won the Alternative Press Award for coverage of cultural issues. Linda Frye Burnham and I co-edited the book The Citizen Artist: 20 Years of art in the Public Arena, an anthology of 20 years of High Performance magazine that was published by Critical Press in 1998. We are currently co-editing a series of ebooks on community-based art.

Arts Administration

I was the Executive Director of Astro Artz, the nonprofit organization that published High Performance and various arts books from 1983 to 1986. I resumed that position again from 1989 to 1993 when the organization changed its name to 18th Street Arts Complex and expanded its mission to include artist and arts organization housing, a presenting space, and an art gallery in Santa Monica, CA.

In 1995 Linda Frye Burnham and I co-founded and currently co-direct Art in the Public Interest, an arts nonprofit that produced the Community Arts Network.

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