Foundation for Art Resources, FAR
Los Angeles, 1977–Present
Foundation for Art Resources was founded by the innovative gallerists Morgan Thomas, Connie Lewallen, and Claire Copley, for the production and presentation of contemporary art projects outside of the gallery structure. Their earliest projects were a film by John Baldessari, Six Colorful Inside Jobs, and a book and performance by James Lee Byers, Open America. In 1979 the founders moved on to other pursuits and direction of FAR was transferred to artist Dorit Cypis.
Between 1979–1982, Dorit Cypis, with Co-Director Christina Ritchie 1979–1980, developed collaborative partnerships amongst many private, public and educational institutions throughout Los Angeles to produce and present contemporary art as site-specific installations, publications, video, film, performance, dialogues, radio interviews, and the lecture series, Art Talk Art, addressing theoretical and critical issues of contemporary art and culture. Art events and dialogues were produced in public contexts including the International Design Center, the Downtown Los Angeles Public Library, an abandoned residential site, neighborhood movie theaters, a shopping center, etc. Participating artists included Mike Kelly, David Askevold, Louise Lawler, Candace Lewis, Matt Mullican, Glen Branca, Michael Smith, Barbara Bloom, the Kuchar brothers, Jenny Holzer et al, Edit DeAk. as well as writers and historians Howard Singerman, Christopher Knight, Ann Rorimer, Ingrid Sischy, and Benjamin Buchloh. This was but a beginning for what was to be generated over the next three decades, initiated every few years by new artist members.
Cypis and Ritchie initiated a change in FAR internal governance to stipulate that the Board of Directors would also be the working members and that the Board would be handed over to a new group of young artists every 2-3 years. The goal was to structure FAR as a nomadic organism with change built into its identity and to challenge artists to work collectively. From 1977–2008 FAR has been in the hands of more than 20 different Board groups with the participation of more than 100 artists as Directors, producing and presenting over 100 public art events.
FAR is the longest extant arts collective without an exhibition space in Los Angeles. Currently there is a growing cultural interest in collective relational structures for art production. Artists globally are increasingly working collectively and are more socially involved in public contexts where there is no spectator rather a relationship established with audience members as participants. FAR has been exploring this vision for thirty+ years.