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The BECA Foundation is a not-for-profit global, artist-centric, visual arts organization with a home base in New Orleans, LA and a branch office soon opening in Denver, CO. BECA is an acronym for Bridge for Emerging Contemporary Art. Our organization serves as a bridge by which new ideas and new art + design flow freely between New Orleans and the larger national and international contemporary art + design communities. It supports innovation, exploration and the advancement of new ideas in contemporary visual art + design. The core program focus is on developing public exhibition opportunities for emerging and under-recognized visual artists + designers for the benefit of artists, designers and the general public. Those opportunities are also extended to established visual artists + designers who are forging new pathways by exploring new mediums, ideas and processes not previously associated with their work.
By presenting new artistic visions from around the world within the public realm via both physical and online venues, we expose a very large and diverse range of participants to emerging contemporary art and culture. Our exhibitions engage and educate both new and established audiences while encouraging ongoing dialogue.
Beyond our core program focus of developing public exhibition opportunities for emerging artists and designers, we will address broader issues within the current art world system and its institutions. Many of the issues we will address are creating problems and roadblocks for emerging artists and designers. In turn those problems and roadblocks ultimately limit what the world can gain from the advancement of new art, new design and new ideas and those benefits which could be derived. Many of those issues also thereby limit the public's opportunity to participate in the discussion, creation, collaboration, observation and experience of art and design in the broadest sense.
The BECA Foundation evolved during 2008 when artists, collectors and former BECA gallery Directors, Melissa Roberts and Kurt Schlough, began to see firsthand that their gallery program was far too small to address the broader needs of emerging artists and designers. BECA gallery existed as a rare gallery space focused on introducing both emerging contemporary art + emerging contemporary design. Assisting collectors, who were seeking leading edge, innovative new works and new artists, while simultaneously assisting emerging artists and designers with their professional development became the cornerstone of the gallery program.
Along with the success of the gallery program came the realization of how much truly innovative emerging work was not being given a public audience. No gallery or art space can be everything to every artist and while exhibition opportunities for emerging artists and designers do exist, many deserving artists and designers aren't at the receiving end of that opportunity pool. Many emerging artists will argue that although there are many exhibition opportunities for contemporary artists, the pool of opportunities dedicated to emerging art + design is just too small. Thus, both the public and the artists miss valuable opportunities to engage in dialogue with one another while Roberts and Schlough argue that global society in general loses out on the enrichment and advancement that a broader expanse of emerging contemporary art + design offers.
"New art and design fuels the best of what's yet to come on this planet so we wanted to create an avenue where these benefits could be realized in an expanded and evolving format unrestricted by commercial constraints. Is it going to satisfy all of the exhibition wants and desires of every emerging artist + designer? Probably not. Will the BECA Foundation use everything at its disposal to create new, exciting, experimental, exploratory, interdisciplinary, adventurous and challenging opportunities and programs for both the participating public and emerging artists and designers most efficiently and effectively? HELL YES!" - Melissa Roberts and Kurt Schlough, Co-Founders/Directors
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