A year in review from SPACES Archives.
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Dear Friend of SPACES, 

We have had another busy and productive year at SPACES Archives, and I am delighted to have the opportunity to share some of our activities with you in this annual update.
Refining and adding data to our website has continued to be our major priority in the office this year, and we have been delighted to work with people from all over the globe who have shared their texts, experiences, and photos with SPACES – and, through us, with researchers, scholars, and aficionados from around the world.
new page in our Online Collection features the Beautiful Holy Jewel Home of Loy Allen Bowlin, Mississippi's "Original Rhinestone Cowboy." Photo by John Allison, 1989. 
We’ve added more videos, photos, and updated texts to our Online Collection, making sure that we keep up to date with artist activities and site changes. While we are making progress enhancing and providing a greater depth of information analyzing the primary materials in our archives, we also learn of new art environments almost every week, so the task seems rather Sisyphean – but we’re not complaining, because it’s always fun to learn of new artists and new sites. We have now posted comprehensive texts and/or photos documenting more than 600 art environments, and, as always, we welcome new information from all of our supporters worldwide. This year we have added new sites in Canada, the Russian Federation, Scotland, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, and Vietnam, as well as in most of the United States.
With a more robust communications and new media emphasis, led by Jennifer Joy Jameson, who also works as the Folk and Traditional Arts Director of the Mississippi Arts Commission, we’ve expanded our reach into social media via FacebookInstagramTwitter, and Pinterest and have been gratified by the increased visibility – particularly among younger enthusiasts. We’ve also put an increased emphasis on using our events page to post information about lectures, exhibitions, and all kinds of public programs pertaining to the field, in order to make the website even more useful. Let us know your thoughts and ideas about other material we should post, including sites we should add, events we should include, and more.
This year we have continued to receive generous gifts of information and multimedia related to art environments from all over the world from our wonderful supporters. Among gifts of archival materials this year were a treasure-trove of 288 artist portraits (230 different artists) shot between 1988 and the present by renowned photographer Ted Degener. This is a major acquisition that has dramatically expanded our holdings and puts faces with the images of the sites with which we may be more familiar. Another major gift came in from Jeanne Smith Morgan, one of the charter members of the Committee for Simon Rodia’s Towers in Watts: several boxes of clippings, books, minutes, correspondence, reports, legal and conservation documents, and more, including the grant document deeding the Towers to the CSRTW. Also of special mention is Kristen Hastings’s donation of early footage of a (relatively) young Leonard Knight and the beginnings of Salvation Mountain. This year other significant gifts of films, posters, articles, books, and photographs were received from supporters internationally, including:
  • Verboekte (Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Marie-Françoise Hible (France)
  • Elizabeth Appel, City of Brisbane, Kay Corsun, Randlett King Lawrence, Don Meyer, and the Watts Towers Art Center (California)
  • Paradise Garden (Georgia)
  • Bob Roth (Illinois)
  • Holly Metz (New Jersey)
  • Fred Scruton (Pennsylvania)
  • The Orange Show (Texas)
  • Gilgal Garden (Utah)
We also accepted Giada Carraro’s thesis from the Scuola di Specne in Beni Storico-Artistico at the Università di Bologna, Italy into the collection this year. And we're now working with new students as they prepare their own dissertations and theses through research and interviews with SPACES staff.
Submit to SPACES!
SUBMIT your photos, ephemera, or writing to SPACES Archives today!
Detail of St. EOM's Pasaquan by Fred C. Fussell.
SPACES is increasingly depending on its supporters worldwide to expand our documentation of art environments and populate our website: this is growing into a true crowd-sourced production, which reveals both the interest in these materials around the world and the willingness of far-flung enthusiasts to share their photos, texts, and stories. Among those who provided resources to the website this year are:
  • Pavel Konečný (Czech Republic)
  • Minna Haveri (Finland)
  • Association of Friends of Chomo, Cathédrale Linard, Jean-Michel Chesné, Hervé Couton, Laurent Danchin, Jean-Luc Giraud, Sophie Lepetit, the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval, and Rémy Ricordeau (France)
  • Otfried H. Culmann (Germany)
  • Gabriele Mina/Costruttori de Babele – who provided texts for 56 Italian sites, along with Giada Carraro, Christina Crippa, Mario d’Aurizio, Chiara Davanzo, Maria del Carmen Loffredo, Paolo Grapéla Mangoni, Robecchi, Roberta Trapani, and Michael Werth (Italy)
  • Henk van Es, Rita Boogaart, and the Ruurd Wiersma Museum (Netherlands)
  • Alexander Emelyanov (Russia)
  • Amaia Lorente Bilbao, Roberto Pérez, Marti Saba, and Jesusa Vega (Spain)
  • Andrew Curtis, James Holland, Yvonne Luna, Kevin Meredith, Andrew Thomas, and Lillian Sizemore (U.K.)
  • Thang Nguyen (Vietnam)
Our stateside “deputies” include:
  • Ginger Brook (Alabama)
  • Julianna Bach, Rita Barela, Chris Carlsson, the City of Brisbane, James Dewrance, Rebecca Factor/becpix, Ted Fullwood, Rich Gabe, David Hoffman, Diane and Richard Klein, Molly Marquez, Kenneth Scambray, Thomas K. Seligman, Kate Steffens/The Family Acid, Peter Tokofsky, John Torrey, Richard Watts, and the Watts Towers Art Center (California)
  • Evie Altman (Washington, DC)
  • Tim Gallagher/Sioux City Journal (Iowa)
  • William McGrath, Emily Betts Susanin, Bill Swislow, and Jim Zanzi (Illinois)
  • Matt DeFord, Shane Rasmussen and Irene Rible (Louisiana)
  • Alissa Nicholls (Maine)
  • Jessica Straus (Massachusetts)
  • Timothy Burke (Michigan)
  • Kelly Ludwig (Missouri)
  • John Allison and Jennifer Joy Jameson (Mississippi)
  • Holly Metz (New Jersey)
  • Masha Maltsava, Christine McCollum, and Apryl Miller (New York)
  • Blaire Johnson (North Carolina)
  • Jeff Elersic and Charles Wince (Ohio)
  • Margo Hoover (Oklahoma)
  • Jordan Beckham, Randy Gilson, Gary Lefebvre, Norman Girardot, and Fred Scruton (Pennsylvania)
  • Brit Hessler (Tennessee)
  • Sally Griffiths, Larry Harris, Houston Art Car Club, Laurie Jasinski/Handbook of Texas Online, and Shad Vetko (Texas)
  • Ann Oppenheim (Virginia)
  • Debra Brehmer, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Karen Patterson, and Lisa Stone (Wisconsin)
  • The National Park Service's National Center for Preservation Technology and Training – which provided conference lecture videos related to sites in California, Georgia, DC, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas
This is a truly amazing group of supporters!!

Please keep SPACES in mind as you consider your own personal archives and their ultimate disposition – we will give them a secure and accessible home.

All of this, of course, feeds into our dissemination efforts; in this past year we provided images and/or documents for books, films, exhibitions, and papers by individual researchers including Elizabeth Appel, California; Katherine Austin, Montreal; Leticia Alvarado, Brown University, RI; Rebecca Brown, Johns Hopkins University, MD; Laurent Danchin, Paris; William Hackman, California; Brett Hanover, IL; Chris Jenkins, University of California-Santa Barbara; Kim Stringfellow, California; and Emma Wilcox, NJ. We’ve also continued to work with a range of institutions as well, including museums, filmmakers, galleries, and publishers such as Anonymous Content in Canada; the Collection d’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland;  Gagosian Gallery, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, WI; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux; Paris Musées – Musée d’Art Moderne; Paris Premières Television; National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; Victoria – Art of Being Contemporary, Moscow, Russia, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN.
In terms of exhibitions, I worked closely with the Collection d’Art Brut in Lausanne, Switzerland to co-curate an exhibition of photographs of art environments in conjunction with their recently opened Architectures display. Earlier this year, the Singular Spaces exhibition of photographs of Spanish art environments opened at the Fowler Museum at the University of California in Los Angeles; I provided a powerpoint lecture to celebrate the opening, and was pleased that the museum scheduled several trips to Southern California art environments in conjunction with the display (April – September, 2015).
Jean-Michel Chesné's threatened Grotto and Garden in Malakoff, France. Photo by the artist, 2012.
We have also been involved in several important preservation efforts this year in Spain, France, and the U.S., sending letters and taking meetings with supporters and government officials. Threats to Roberto Pérez’s Finca de las Piedras Encantadas in Granada, Spain; to Jean-Michel Chesné’s Grotto and Garden in Malakoff, France; to David Hoffman’s Last Resort Lagunitas in Marin County, California; and to Rev. H.D. DennisMargaret's Grocery in Vicksburg, Mississippi are among the important art environments targeted by SPACES staff for active advocacy.
My book, Singular Spaces: From the Eccentric to the Extraordinary in Spanish Art Environments, continues to generate publicity for SPACES and for art environments in general. In conjunction with three other women who have recently published books on various aspects of art brut (Graciela García-Spain, Giada Carraro-Italy, and Yaysis Ojeda-Cuba), a presentation of the books has been organized for the important Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid in mid-December. I am delighted at this continuing interest in this project, and hope to spread the word even further, so please let me know if you know of opportunities for author readings/booksignings, museum or university lectures, or other options in your area. A signed and personalized copy of the book is still available directly through SPACES for the discounted rate of $70, or through most online bookstores; I anticipate that you will find the work of these 45 amazing artists as compelling as I do.
In addition to the Singular Spaces book, I also contributed the introductory essay to the recently published Where the Heaven Flowers Grow: The Life and Art of Leonard Knight. (Seattle: Outsider Press, 2015), and wrote articles published this year in Forecast Public Art (New Zealand); Out of Art (Netherlands), Raw Vision (UK), and Osservatorio Outsider Art (Italy).
When I read through the above, I am, once again, impressed by what we have accomplished this past year with such a small team of workers. But we want you to know how far your support stretches!
Today is #GivingTuesday, and the world of those interested in art environments and self-taught art is fairly small, so I hope that you will help us to maintain our activities through a tax-deductible gift to SPACES at this time.
Donate to SPACES!
DONATE to SPACES today to receive limited edition gifts! 
Detail of St. EOM's Pasaquan by Fred C. Fussell.
I am delighted to be able to continue to provide a signed and personalized copy of my award-winning 2005 book, Forms of Tradition in Contemporary Spain, as a thank-you gift this year. The paperback will be available for donors of $100 or more, and the hardcover for donors of $150 or more. In addition, we will continue to offer:
  • donors of $50 of a copy of Seymour Rosen’s paperback book In Celebration of Ourselves (1978)
  • donors of $100 a hardcover copy of Seymour’s book
  • donors of $250 or more, both the hardcover of Seymour’s book plus a copy of the Clarence Schmidt paperback by Gregg Blasdel (1975)
    • OR one of the above plus Two Arks, a Palace, Some Robots, and Mr. Freedom’s Fabulous Fifty Acres: Grassroots Art in New Jersey Communities (1989) by Holly Metz
    • OR many of the early issues of Raw Vision.
These items are limited, so we will provide them for donors on a first-come/first-serve basis.
We are honored by your confidence in our work and, with your help, look forward to continuing to make major strides in our goals to document and advocate for art environments worldwide. Don’t forget that we have some wonderful gift-worthy books, DVDs, and vintage Watts Towers buttons still available for the art environment enthusiasts on your holiday list—please contact us for the complete inventory. And again, we are also always interested in accepting donations of archival materials, as you visit sites, take photos, collect publications, or clip articles.
Thanks again for your interest in SPACES, and warmest wishes for the holidays and upcoming new year!
Jo Farb Hernández
November, 2015
Explore EVENTS
Check out and submit SPACES Events! Relevant events (including Fred Scruton's upcoming exhibit) may be submitted through this form on our website to be featured on our Events Calendar. 
Journeys into the Outside on the SPACES Blog
Explore the SPACES Blog: Find fun and interesting articles on the SPACES Blog, like a feature article on musician Jarvis Cocker's 1990s BBC series on art environments, "Journeys into the Outside."
Rev. H.D. Dennis' Margaret's Grocery - Vicksburg, MS. Photo by Kelly Ludwig.
Explore this hashtag on each of our feeds to learn about threatened art environments, Iike Margaret's Grocery in Mississippi, as well as sites that are currently being conserved or restored. 
Copyright © 2015 Saving and Preserving Arts and Cultural Environments, Inc. (SPACES), All rights reserved.

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