Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Gordy Grundy of Art Report Today .com

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Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Gordy Grundy of Art Report Today Is Helping To Change Our World

Be kind. There are not many lessons that will sustain you throughout your entire life. Your existence is always changing and new rules constantly apply. To be kind is evergreen; it always works in every situation.

As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gordy Grundy.

The Southern California native is an artist, arts writer, and columnist. He is celebrating the 160th issue of Art Report Today, a comprehensive arts and culture news platform.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

It wasn’t a stretch, as I’ve spent most of my life in the arts, in and around print. I was wanting to help my pal, expand her business that publishes a print art magazine in Los Angeles. I had one of those a-ha moments, a revelation, of ringing clarity.

I took a fresh look at our arts media, from the glossy glam of Artforum to blogs such as Doug Harvey’s Less Art to Glasstire, an online publication aimed at art in Texas. It was obvious that the art world doesn’t need another chic rag. It needed something comprehensive, a catch-all, a one-stop-resource for the arts. I have always been impressed with the success of the Drudge Report and that became the model. In an elevator pitch, I just say, “We’re the Drudge Report for our arts and culture.” People get it.

I believe our civilization should have a resource like Art Report Today. I took the leap. It came together rather quickly and within two months, we were live.

Of course, we have always known and joked about the limited interest in the arts. I mean, if our site was focused on porn or K-Pop, I’d be calling you from my private plane.

The arts have made my life far more significant and spectacular. I want to share those ideas, the people, the values and their stories. And all that it has taught me. The arts are a philosophy of life, of earnest living.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

Too many stories! There has been an unending flow of miserable narratives. Art Report Today debuted in the middle of a media meltdown, which continues, by the way. Then along came Covid and the world froze. Then the White House became more entertaining than Hollywood. Then came an economic depression. It’s been a laugh riot. Never dull.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

There are so many funny mistakes, with a lesson-learned, on a daily basis that I couldn’t begin to choose. I could make a blooper reel.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

Yitzi, as this mad world of ours starts spinning too fast, Art Report Today is designed to pull us back from the edge of the abyss. We need the arts, now, more than ever. Our tag line below the masthead reads, “A Deep Beautiful Dive into Our Worldwide Arts and Culture.” The site is an oasis to the creative. A source of inspiration. A resource for new ideas, materials and new mediums.

How can we make a greater social impact? The fine arts is a rarified place. It can be elitist and snooty. The fine arts media is generally focused on the one percent of collectors who generate the ad revenue and who keep all ships sailing and auction hammers falling.

Art Report Today is designed to welcome a whole new audience to the arts. We present a fresh, plain-spoken voice, to all of the people who have an interest in the arts, who have broken museum attendance records and who have had the arts in every level of their education for the last 30 years. Art Report Today is designed to speak to them. We are entertaining and we’re fun.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I see it all the time. We are making a significant impact. Art Report Today is truly a yell leader, a cheerleader for the arts. We are constantly profiling ideas and people, bringing attention to their good works, in new and fascinating ways.

We had a scoop that a fabricator was about to retire. A fabricator is the guy or gal who makes the art work. The artist envisions something mad and impractical and the fabricator figures out how to make it. Jack Brogan produced many of the great significant art works that define the Light and Space movement, from the Sixties to the present day. Jack is a genius who has happily stood behind the curtain. His story of endless curiosity, rampant entrepreneurism and sheer will is absolutely inspiring. Hearing that Brogan may be retiring, we produced a series of articles that created an amazing and thorough profile of the man. We were able to bring attention to this quiet and unassuming guy and his lifetime of good works.

When Covid hit and the art world went online, we created five virtual art galleries, each with a distinctive interest, and have been showing work ever since. Artists are listing these shows on their CV’s. To see the art, Click Here.

There are some exciting things going on. The Fictive Art Movement is gaining some steam. Long in practice and newly identified, this entertaining and creative medium is focused on art, hoax, the experience and provocation. We’re doing everything we can to promote, to invite folks to try their hand at something, to be challenged by this new medium. I think Fictive Art is like a school of art, a stage, a tool, an umbrella to stand under. Read about it here, first!

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Eh, no. I don’t think the government should comingle with the arts. It never works out well.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Just by doing. Quite simple really. Do what you say you were going to do. Accomplish your promise; to the very best of your ability. Keep your word and you keep moving. People don’t understand how important that is.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1) Marry up. 2) Never loan or borrow. 3) Stay open and engaged. 4) Jump gleefully, but keep an eye on the landing pad. 5) Hydrate.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?

Art is meaningful and values the pursuit of beauty. This is a more harmonious focus to life. We’ve always joked that ‘Art is a Religion.’ Well, let’s give it a try.

I personally have received so much, by doing and producing so much; I mean, the art world activates you. You make things. You think wider and brighter. An arts community is a fascinating bunch of folks who pursue beauty with action and production. Make stuff! Against stereotype, artists are very practical engineers. Deadlines are always met.

Life, through a filter of the arts, is worthy of your consideration.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Be kind. There are not many lessons that will sustain you throughout your entire life. Your existence is always changing and new rules constantly apply. To be kind is evergreen; it always works in every situation.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Anyone who picks up the check is fascinating to me.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I’m a Southern Californian and there is a certain sensibility to that. Breakfast beers on the beach and dinner at the ski lodge. Surf and Ski! All in one day! Drive through lazy orange groves! Dream! Do things! Make things!

Growing up, my Pop didn’t like to travel. His reasoning was simple: he was born in a Southern California beach town. “Why would anyone want to go anywhere else?”

I am grateful for my upbringing. On my mom’s side, was an uncle, with two wild daughters who vexed him and enchanted me. The blonde, not the brunette, was a soul mate in a way. Fascinated by Black culture, she introduced me to a world of wonderful things. At a very young age, I knew the nuances of Philadelphia Soul. Across the street, growing up, was a household of crazy musicians, who played jazz late into the night. All the neighbors were doing something, building a boat, a business or a hot rod. On the block was a small family of four, including two very cute and much older girls. They loved me and I loved the attention. I was enamored with their dad. He was an old-school surf cat who made comedy short films. Nutty, fun stuff. Later in life, he and I made several short comedies, shot in 16 millimeter, no less. The nearby Hollywood, aerospace industry and Los Angeles were always an influence. Action sports was a growing phenomenon; new thrills were invented every day. I grew up with a sense of community and being a member of it.

To answer your question, the milieu of my formative years made me who I am. That regional sensibility has been the most influential.

What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?

Ever since Covid smashed into our windshield and everyone went mad, I keep thinking of Kipling and his poem “If.” Michael Caine reads it quite well. “If you can keep your head…”



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This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Thank you, Yitzi. Art will change the world!

Social Impact Heroes: Why & How Gordy Grundy of Art Report Today .com was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.