For Gerald Mead, professor of art at Buffalo State College, collecting art is about more than just adding pretty things to look at on his walls at home. Sometimes it’s about even more than celebrating and supporting Western New York artists.
Sometimes it’s about the kids just getting started.
“When I was a younger, I benefitted from mentorships from artists that were further along in their career,” Mead said. “I found that to be helpful.”
“It’s incumbant upon established artists to give that same mentorship to younger artists.”
Through his years as an art professor, collector, curator and all-around in-the-know guy when it comes to Western New York’s cultural scene, Mead has had plenty of opportunities to mentor artists who have just gotten started.
To that end, an exhibit of artworks he’s collected by area artists who have been featured over the past 10 years in the Castellani Art Museum’s TopSpin series — exhibits featuring emerging artists — will be on display at the Carnegie Art Center in North Tonawanda.
The show, “Castellani TopSpin Artists: Works from the Gerald Mead Collection,” will coincide with the Castellani’s “TOPSPIN 10,” a 10-year retrospective of the 29 artists who have had a TopSpin exhibit since the series began 10 years ago. Mead, himself once a TopSpin artist, has works by 21 of the 29 artists in his personal collection.
“The intention of the TopSpin series it to very practically help artists with their careers,” he said.
“My TopSpin experience was in 2004 and since that time I’ve been encouraging artists to apply because I know that I’ve benefitted a great deal from it,” Mead said. “I can literally point to the fact that a number of opportunities came as a result of having that show.”
For emerging artists, the ability to put a solo exhibit on their resume and have a professionally produced catalogue to go along with it is invaluable, Mead said.