Today's sessions will focus on art environments in situ and strategies for art environments preserved in place and their caretakers.

9:00–10:30 a.m.

Community Side of Preservation

Long-term preservation of artist-built environments requires multiple layers of effort to educate, build awareness, and develop allies in the community and beyond. This side of preservation requires tremendous skill and care. Without it, the environments will not survive, and our shared cultural heritage will diminish.

This panel explores key elements that need to be in place for the community side of preservation to be successful.

Anne Pryor moderates. Panelists: Rich Gabe, Ron Harvey, Hannah Blunt, Gary LaFleur, and Dennis Sipiorski.

10:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Current Issues Facing Site Stewards

When an organization makes the decision to become the steward of an artist-built environment, it takes on a complex and ever changing role. Issues arise and shift over time. Organization members are called to wear many hats and to stretch resources.  It is a multifaceted responsibility, and when changes arise it is important to signal to others who can provide support, advise, and collaboratively learn from the process.

This session will offer practical advice and anecdotes from real experiences about the challenges and rewards of stewardship of vernacular art sites, from individuals who have witnessed success as well as failure and learned the fine art of compromise in the process.

Mike McFalls moderates: Panelists: Peter Tokofsky, Erika Nelson, and Jim Draeger


The Influence of Conservation on the Work of Living Artists                                 

As conservators working with self-taught art or artist-built environments, do we have an influence on the artist and, in turn, the art? Is this a positive or negative influence, or neither?

This panel brings together three conservators who have experiences working with living artists. They will reflect on these experiences and provide insights into the processes and pitfalls involved. And ultimately they will ask the question of themselves and colleagues, does the intervention of historians, conservators, the media, and the marketplace play too great a role in the artist’s creative process?

Panelists: Jason Church, Dennis Montagna, and Ronald Harvey

12:00–12:45 LUNCH

12:00–2:00 p.m

Thinking of/through Pasaquan

Session with Karen Patterson, Mike McFalls, Jon Prown, Anne Smart Martin, and Fred Fussell

(More information to come.)

2:15–3:30 p.m.

Preservation Issues in Real Time

The preservation of vernacular art environments poses numerous challenges––one of the most critical being the element of continual change. The documentation and preservation of sites that are still in the process of being built present particularly demanding considerations, including how to “preserve” something that’s alive and growing, how to respect an artist’s freedom, and how to structure relationships between artists, non-profits, and communities.

This session brings together environment builders, preservationists, and other creative professionals to discuss the hazards that must be successfully negotiated to balance the ongoing creation of environments, a range preservation issues, changes in philosophy, and community relationships.

Panelists: Dr. Charles Smith, Fred Scruton, Jenenne Whitfield, Emily Smith, and Isaiah Zagar


Developing curricula session with Dr. Liz Rex

(More information to come.)


3:30–6:00 p.m. HAPPY HOUR


A Hearty Welcome for the SPACES Archives, from California to Wisconsin. A tribute to Seymour Rosen.

“There is something out there.” With these words Seymour Rosen (1935–2006) proclaimed the existence of the grand genre of vernacular environments, while admitting that the “something” evaded exact definition. In 1959, Rosen founded the nonprofit organization SPACES (Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments) in Los Angeles for the purposes of identifying, documenting, and advocating for the preservation of art environments.

At this post-dinner event current and past SPACES board members will offer a whirlwind presentation of SPACES’ history, the scope of the archive, and its value to scholars and appreciators.

Presenters: Jo Farb Hernandez, Lisa Stone, Bill Swislow, John Foster, and Peter Tokofsky

Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe performance of a sound piece specific to Emery Blagon’s Healing Machine.