The Art Support team showed up well for 2010. We waited for the inevitable crunch of activities to perform, but found that the busy period was smooth and consistent. Many factors contributed to this collective experience of ease. All members were set and ready when the art began to arrive in numbers, we were practiced in radio protocol and interdepartmental communications, and we commanded an effective team structure amongst ourselves.
A couple of themes were present in the activities of Art Support in 2010. They included a) maintaining a single point of contact within the ARTery; b) maintaining a living, day-to-day shift schedule; c) meeting consistently each day with Support Services, the Artery staff, then amongst ourselves; and d) ensuring that every team member retained autonomy and the ability to have time to do tasks and activities that were most enjoyable to them. There is nothing more empowering than having the freedom to do the things we like to do within the structure of our team dynamics.
Eyes On Art, previously just a set of activities, became an actual role by the end of the 2010 event. One Art Support team member took the initiative to create a plan for what needed to be done and actualized that plan throughout the event and during setup. Based upon a pure joy of performing the role, the possibilities for Eyes On Art were expanded. Many lighting and safety issues were identified this year. Various forms of lighting were utilized to temporarily light art projects until the artists could provide their own. Throughout the event, Black Rock Rangers were able to call in art-related safety and lighting issues to Eyes On Art, and these were addressed in real-time by Eyes On Art late into the night.
However, a subtle challenge arose within the ranks of the Art Support team as this new role took form due to an unclear understanding that Eyes On Art was evolving into a separate entity from Art Support. Distinguishing the new Role of Eyes On Art as separate from the Art Support team will be helpful in creating a clear, supportive relationship between the volunteers involved.
The relationship between Art Support and Support Services continued smoothly this year. An Art Support team member was tasked to ensure art-related resources were being collected in a manner consistent with the needs of the Art Department reporting processes. While a fantastic tracking system was implemented in 2009 through Support Services, the system was found to be less operable this year. So we took on helping to make sure we got the information we needed. Heavy machinery support for the artists went more smoothly than ever. Feedback from artists often noted how well they performed.
It became clear this year that the phrase Art Support was used in several ways other than meaning the Art Support team. There were Art Support camps as part of the Theme Camp Placement process, there was heavy machinery providing art support, and then we had the Art Support team. Many incidents arose before, during and after the event in 2010 which give a strong impetus for managing the use of the phrase ‘Art Support’ throughout the event infrastructure and in relation to the artists. We want credit to properly go to those to whom it was given!
Overall, 2010 happened smoothly for the Art Support team and Eyes On Art. Many of us like the ‘crunch’ time each year, but we found some extra time and energy to be able to go out and enjoy the event more. We will strive to make this the norm.