As part of Carrie-Anne Baade’s graduate Professional Practices course, 3rd year MFA students travelled to New York City to investigate the art scene and to facilitate professional networking prior to their impending graduation in May. One element of this trip was a visit to the offices of Hyperallergic, where students met with the founders and editors of the witty artblog.
The staff, including Hrag Vartanian (Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief), Veken Gueyikian (Co-founder and publisher), Mostafa Heddaya (Managing Editor), and Jillian Steinhauer (Senior Editor) welcomed the six students to their Brooklyn office, encouraging honest discussion. All the members of the editorial staff were candid in addressing the ways in which Hyperallergic covers the arts, providing the graduates a keen insight in to the process of finding and writing about arts and culture. The grads also got to talk about the overarching accessibility and usefulness of an art news source such as Hyperallergic to artists not living in a hotspot like New York, as well as to arts educators and the average interested party. Perhaps most importantly, Jillian Steinhauer emphasized to FSU’s graduate students the importance of artists maintaining online presence so that media outlets such as Hyperallergic, as well as galleries, museums, or other interested parties, can find, research, or simply contact you. She also pointed out social media’s ability to work as publicity for artists, enabling Hyperallergic and others to familiarize themselves with smaller events, emerging galleries, and up and coming artists.
As the graduates and Baade herself were surprised to discover, Hrag Vartanian has a Florida State connection. While Roald Nasgaard was living and working in Ontario, Toronto, Hrag met and briefly studied with FSU’s own Professor Emeritus of Contemporary Art and Abstraction in the Art History Department.
Since 2009, Hyperallergic has “endeavored to deliver playful, serious, and radical perspectives on art and culture to an ever-expanding readership of art enthusiasts, cultural omnivores, and everyone in between.” It has been cited in numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and many more. They publish a weekly news letter sent out to their subscriber base of 20,000+, which is available via email, twitter, the Hyperallergic app, or you can just follow them on Facebook.