Hailing from South Jersey, Logan Cryer ’19 always knew they would be an artist. As they began planning their next steps out of high school, Cryer soon realized the gift that Moore would be. Not many other schools offered an Art Education curriculum that still enabled students to pursue studio courses. After they enrolled, all of that studio time gave Cryer a new vision about the artistic career they were heading into, and they shifted to become a Fine Arts major with a Curatorial Studies minor. This opened their career path to be a more unorthodox journey that has greatly benefited their personal work and professional desires.
View of Icebox Project Space’s lobby, featuring inventory from Other Book & Co.
Upon graduating in 2019, Cryer worked part time in Moore’s Continuing Education department while beginning to establish professional relationships with local arts organizations. Today, Cryer is the co-curator of Icebox Project Space, a Philadelphia-based organization that describes itself as “an innovative and experimental contemporary arts platform.” Icebox encourages local artists to push boundaries and incite change through their works by providing ample space to exhibit and display their creativity. Cryer describes Icebox as “the largest exhibiting space that’s not a museum, making it a very accessible platform for new and upcoming artists to display their work and begin their professional arts journeys.” As co-curator, Cryer develops programming for Icebox which includes managing rentals of the space, planning for future exhibitions, coordinating with artists, looking for grants and funding, and much more.
In addition to their position as co-curator, Cryer independently runs an Instagram gallery called Snail Gallery. Cryer also works with Philly Tax Prep, an association of artists with a specific goal to assist fellow artists as they traverse the menagerie of tax season and provide accessible filing education. Additionally, they write for ArtBlog and host podcast and radio shows through that company. Although Cryer hasn’t shown a lot of their personal artwork recently, they have been fortunate to find time to reinvigorate their studio practice with hopes of exhibiting in the near future.
Installation shot of “Dark Sousveillance” curated by Logan Cryer and on view at Vox Populi November 18, 2021 – January 16, 2022. Features artwork from Danielle Morris and Kenyssa Evans, who graduated from PDA in 2020 from Moore. Photographer: Raúl Romero.
All of these opportunities can be attributed to the foundation that was established through their undergraduate career at Moore. It is because of the detailed lectures and hands-on experiences they received at Moore that Cryer was able to ease into their professional journey. Professors like Li Sumpter, Ph.D introduced Cryer to curators and other exhibitors within the Philadelphia area, who provided valuable insight on how curating works in the real world. Certain courses at Moore, like Idea Lab, provided familiarity with the industry, thanks to classes that were held in public art spaces.
“You can have classes and courses and they can be really helpful, but they won't mean as much if there isn't also the ability to go out into the city and meet people and visit galleries,” Cryer says. These experiences expanded their idea of what a career in the fine arts would look like, and they were able to connect with multiple organizations that catapulted them into the career they have today.
Moore’s spirit of experimentation was also key to Cryer’s growth. The first pieces of work they curated were created by other Moore students, and starting off within such a tight-knit community, with such an openness to constructive criticism and creative problem-solving, laid the groundwork for their current success as a professional curator.
Portrait and installation shot of Annie Wilson’s video “Allens from out of Town” part of 20/92 Video Festival curated by Icebox Project Space and on view from February 10 – March 5, 2022.
While their Moore education was the perfect foundation for their professional life and untraditional pathway, Cryer notes that it is their own motivation and effort that amplifies this education and helps them continue to fine tune their artistry.
“You can take medicine,” Cryer explains, “but you also need to change your lifestyle.” This takes discipline, self-reflection and even stillness, but as Cryer reiterates, “It’s needed and it’s worth it. Learning to be okay with moments when you feel like you should be doing something and you're not, is such a big key to sustainability. You feel like you need to be doing everything all the time, and that can burn you out. Or you can feel so discouraged because you haven’t made a new piece in so long, which makes you feel like you should quit. But it’s okay. This isn’t something that I didn’t know, but it’s a process I’ve had to learn over and over again. Be okay with slowness and stillness.”
Self-portrait. Taken during the installation of "Dark Sousveillance."
For more from Logan Cryer, check out this ArtBlog interview with another local artist, Lee Newswanger, where they discuss their art school experiences and the uncertainty and pressure that a season of stillness can bring.