— by Destiny Anderson, Social Media Coordinator

A monograph about inaugural Walentas Fellow, Caroline Woolard, has just been published by Onomatopee Press, with support by Moore College of Art & Design.

Art, Engagement, Economy is a unique look into her experiences creating art, proposing a “politics of transparent production in the arts” that encourages interdisciplinary collaboration. The book presents the often mundane and drawn-out work behind the scenes that is required to bring interdisciplinary art projects. Woolard draws from experiences, such as a commission at MoMA and a self-organized, international barter network with over 20,000 participants, and offers contextual analysis of the modern political economy of the arts.

“I share heated negotiations and mundane budgets alongside documentation of finished gallery installations. This book suggests that artists can bring studio-based sculptural techniques to an approach to art-making that emphasizes interdisciplinary collaboration and dialogue,” said Woolard.

Caroline Woolard library workshop

Woolard began her tenure as the inaugural Walentas Fellow in 2018. The Jane and David Walentas Endowed Fellowship was endowed by Jane Zimmerman Walentas, who graduated from Moore in 1966, and her husband, David. This prestigious fellowship underscores Moore's ongoing commitment to social engagement by offering opportunities to thoughtful artists who bring their vision for the future of cultural production to the Moore community and the larger artistic community of Philadelphia.

Above right: Caroline Woolard (center) leading a workshop at the Free Library of Philadelphia.

During her time as a fellow, Woolard created a two-year prospectus of initiatives, including workshops with students and Moore faculty on inclusive critique practices, participation in programming at The Free Library of Philadelphia’s new Robert and Eileen Kennedy Heim Center for Civic and Cultural Engagement, and work with Esteban Kelly, director of the United States Federation of Worker Cooperatives.

Woolard’s new book features a foreword written by Moore’s Chief Academic Officer and Academic Dean Patti Phillips, providing an in-depth look at Woolard’s work as the first Walentas Fellow and praising her creative approach to navigating the ever-evolving priorities of the modern art world.

“As a self-determined artist and indefatigable organizer (and analyst) of established and emergent forms of cooperation and collaboration within creative communities, Woolard is a striking example of the evolving priorities, passions, and critical practices of contemporary artists,” said Phillips.

Going forward, several pieces created during Woolard’s fellowship will soon become part of The Free Library of Philadelphia’s extraordinary loanable collection of resources. These objects will be available to be checked out to support Philadelphia’s dynamic cultural and collaborative communities.

Read and support Art, Engagement, Economy: the Working Practice of Caroline Woolard here. Keep up with Caroline Woolard on her website and follow her on Instagram.