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Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) is an initiative of the Joan Mitchell Foundation designed to provide support to older artists in the areas of studio organization, archiving, inventory management, and through this work create a comprehensive and usable documentation of their artworks and careers.

This site is a publicly available resource to assist an artist, artist’s assistant, Legacy Specialist, family member, or friend of an artist in the process of career documentation.

How to use this website: This website is organized into topics related to creating an archive, as listed above in the navigation bar. In the drop-down menu for each topic, you can see the sub-topics. You can read this site as a manual, beginning with “Getting Started” and moving sequentially through the topics, using the links at the end of each page. Alternatively, you can jump around as you wish, learning more about the topics that are relevant to your needs, using the navigational bar above, or using the “Search” function in the header.

Beginning Steps for Planning a Retrospective

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Rose Candela Moore and Mel Chin and Amanda Wiles by Ben Premeaux.

In this series of entries, readers will be introduced to ways of using the career documentation process to prepare for a retrospective, solo exhibition and/or catalogue, through reflections by Legacy Specialist Rose Candela Moore on her work with conceptual and multidisciplinary artist Mel Chin.

Beginning Steps for Planning a Retrospective
By Rose Candela Moore, Legacy Specialist to artist Mel Chin

Planning for a retrospective is no easy task. But the end result is very rewarding—for the Artist and all those involved in the preparations.

Mel Chin’s retrospective, opening February 2014 at the New Orleans Museum of Art, has been my main focus for the past few years as I work to develop a comprehensive and usable archive through the CALL program.

The overall planning of the retrospective takes the support and effort of numerous people. The collective effort to sort, organize and inventory the artwork now serves as the central location for research and information on Mel Chin’s life’s work. In this entry my intention is to present the infrastructure my team and I developed for preparing for the retrospective. These areas of focus may help you build a framework for preparing for a big exhibit and/or catalog.

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Preparing for Mel Chin’s Retrospective

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Rose Candela Moore and Mel Chin examine an artwork in his studio

In this series of entries, readers will be introduced to ways of using the career documentation process to prepare for a retrospective, solo exhibition and/or catalogue, through reflections by Legacy Specialist Rose Candela Moore on her work with conceptual and multidisciplinary artist Mel Chin.

Preparing for Mel Chin’s Retrospective
By Rose Candela Moore, Legacy Specialist to artist Mel Chin

I began my work with conceptual artist Mel Chin through the Creating a Living Legacy (CALL) program with a big goal at hand—to prepare for Mel’s first retrospective, which will exhibit 40 years of his artwork.

Mel’s retrospective is opening at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) on February 21, 2014.

This CALL entry will serve as the first in the series on how Mel Chin and I approached the process of planning for his retrospective.

Needless to say, this undertaking is extensive and detailed because Mel Chin creates works in all mediums—from small drawings to on-site installations.

Upon writing this entry, I realized that list making is part of my work for Mel—almost every day I create a list of what needs to be discussed and accomplished. In turn, here is a list for you—a possible guideline on how-to approach archiving and cataloging conceptual artwork.


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