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Karen Finley Presents ‘Artists Anonymous’ as Part of NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial

Open Meetings to Be Held Every Other Friday from July to October, 2014

New York, NY (July 17, 2014)

As part of its NYC Makers: The MAD Biennial exhibition, the Museum of Arts and Design will host Karen Finley’s Artists Anonymous from July to October 2014. Known for her performances, visual and conceptual works, New York-based artist Karen Finley has appropriated the self-help model of 12-step programs to create her new work, Artist Anonymous. Finley will host a series of meetings and outline her own 13-step course of action for recovery for the “artistically afflicted.”

To be held every other Friday, beginning July 18, Artists Anonymous is conceived as a series of open meetings for artists who feel that their lives have been affected by art making, the art world, and the trials of maintaining a creative life and career. The meetings will offer the group a space to consider and reflect on challenges that artists encounter.

Reimagining the 12-step program, each meeting will begin with a brief topic, prompt or creative exercise proposed by Karen Finley. Guest artist speakers will join each meeting and offer testimonials of transformation. Artists will be able to share, address the prompt, offer gratitude, or vocalize an issue that they are going through. Other exercises will be explored during these sessions. Artist Anonymous meetings are open to the public and free with Pay-What-You-Wish admission. Coffee will be served.

Artists Anonymous

Museum of Arts and Design
Fridays, July 18, August 1 and 15, September 12 and 26, and October 10, 2014
7-8pm; Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission 

Do you have a problem with art? Do you need help with that problem? If so, Karen Finley and the Museum of Arts and Design are here for you.

Artists Anonymous
13 Steps

  1.  We Are Powerless Over Art
  2. The Power Of Art Is Greater Than Ourselves
  3. Turn Our Will And Our Lives Over To The Care Of Art
  4. Admit We Are Artists
  5. We Are Addicted To Art
  6. Ready To Make More Art
  7. Get Out Of The Way We Are Making Art
  8. Whatever It Takes Make The Art
  9. Art Is All Around Us. We Make Art Available To Others
  10. Continue To Make Art Despite The Consequences
  11. Give Of Ourselves With Our Art To Others Whether They Like It Or Not
  12. Hope To Provide A Spiritual Awakening With Art And Maybe Some Cash
  13. Life Is More Important Than Art But Life Is Meaningless Without Art

About Karen Finley

Karen Finley is an artist, performer, and author.  Born in Chicago, she attended the Art Institute of Chicago and received her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Working in a variety of mediums such as installation, video, performance, public art, visual art, memorials, music, and literature, she has performed and exhibited internationally.  Finley is interested in freedom of expression concerns, visual culture, and art education and lectures, and gives workshops widely. She is the author of eight books, including her latest Reality Shows, published by Feminist Press in 2011.  Her recent work includes Open Heart, a Holocaust memorial at Camp Gusen, Austria; Broken Negative, where Finley reconsiders her infamous chocolate performance that brought her to the Supreme Court; and Sext ME if You Can, where Finley creates commissioned portraits inspired by “sexts” received from the public.  A recipient of many awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is an arts professor in Art and Public Policy at New York University.


The Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) champions contemporary makers across creative fields—presenting artists, designers, and artisans who apply the highest level of ingenuity and skill to their work. Since the Museum’s founding in 1956 by philanthropist and visionary Aileen Osborn Webb, MAD has celebrated all facets of making and the creative processes by which materials are transformed, from traditional techniques to cutting-edge technologies. Today, the Museum’s curatorial program builds upon a rich history of exhibitions that emphasize a cross-disciplinary approach to art and design, and reveals the workmanship behind the objects and environments that shape our everyday lives. MAD provides an international platform for practitioners who are influencing the direction of cultural production and driving 21st-century innovation, fostering a participatory setting for visitors to have direct encounters with skilled making and compelling works of art and design.

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