Member Spotlight: Andrew Purchin of The Curious Project
Andrew Purchin is the founder of The Curious Project, a series of visual art installations designed to confront and explore individuals' political and ideological differences. The project has taken place at various locations and events across the country, including the 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In 2018 it was installed during the 2020 Santa Cruz County elections and will be in five swing states in the months leading up to this year's presidential election. Andrew is based in Santa Cruz, California and has been a member of Fractured Atlas for four years.
How would you describe The Curious Project?
The Curious Project is a series of art interventions placed in the middle of our political polarities. "The Curious Scroll," 170 feet of linen wrapped around two big wooden spools, is the surface for drawing, painting, collage, and sewing. It can be tied into a knot and untied. It gets thicker over time as people on the streets are guided to do several things including finding calm by closing their eyes, moving water-soluble crayons and water while pivoting so as to let gravity create the marks.
"The Curious Scroll" aims to open curiosity by using art to explore difficult questions and to help people feel more compassion towards the other by making art that expresses feelings of loss, anger, despair and fear. In 2020 at community centers in five swing states, opposing sides will try to convince each other of their point of view while they tie the scroll into a knot. How tight do you think the knot would get when let’s say, gun rights activists and gun control activists try to convince the other why they are right as they tie the scroll into a knot? Then both sides will work together to untie that knot in silence.
Finally the Curious Project is also a series of documentaries. So far we have produced two award-winning short documentaries: “The Curious End the the War Against Ourselves” (2017) and “The Curious Scroll” (2019). In 2020 we will be creating Youtube episodes at each location and a final longer documentary. I don’t know what characters and stories will emerge but I do know the resulting documentary will tell a dynamic story about our efforts to become more compassionate and curious towards one another.
What brought you to Fractured Atlas?
My biggest challenge was finding a fiscal sponsor that did not have a long complicated application process. I needed a fiscal sponsor to apply for a grant and I heard about Fractured Atlas from a couple of art organizations. Then I discovered that it is a wonderful national networking and fundraising tool.
How has Fractured Atlas benefitted your artistic practice?
Fractured Atlas offers legitimacy to my out-of-the-box projects and thus supports me to be that much more courageous as I reach out for funding and build partnerships with artists and organizations.
What was your first big win with Fractured Atlas?
In 2012, I got Golden Paints to sponsor my "1000 Artists at the Presidential Inauguration" project because The Wall Street Journal made a short segment of me using Golden Paints at the political conventions that year. Fractured Atlas was my fiscal sponsor.
Why do you think artists and organizations should become members of Fractured Atlas?
Fractured Atlas has helped me step up my game. When I pitched "The Curious Project: 2020" to tech professionals at The Silicon Valley International Film Festival, a number of the professionals were impressed that I already had a fiscal sponsor that was nationally known. I love seeing the Fractured Atlas logo on the closing credits of my documentary. The Fractured Atlas staff also helped me draft proposals.
Do you have any upcoming events that people should know about?
“Make” is taking place at the Museum of Craft and Design in San Francisco on Thursday, February 20th, 6-9pm. It's an experiment in dialogue and collaborative craft, featuring the award-winning short documentary, "The Curious Scroll". Participants will tie the physical scroll from the film into a knot while brainstorming creative design solutions for San Francisco's housing crisis.
Learn more about The Curious Project at www.TheCuriousProject.org and follow Andrew and the project on social media on Facebook at https://www.
About Molaundo Jones
Molaundo Jones is a visual artist, entrepreneur, and arts adminstrator. As Social Media Specialist, he creates strategies and content for social media marketing and works with our members to develop a comprehensive calendar of events. Molaundo is a New York native, earned his MFA in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts, and BA in Marketing at Morehouse College. He is founder of The Clever Agency, a communications consultancy and develops professional development programs for Queens Council on the Arts. He has also worked with the New York Foundation on the Arts' Immigrant Artist Mentoring Program and Artist as Entrepreneur Bootcamp and has served as a grant panelist for Bryant Park Corporation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and the Museum of Art and Design.