Jacqueline Falcone might be a relatively newer-ish name to South Florida’s art scene but she is quickly establishing herself as one of the more dynamic curators/programmers working in the contemporary arts. Equal parts concept, DIY and community-oriented, her “Bed & Breakfast” provides an experience not normally found within the cold aesthetics of galleries and/or museums: intimacy.
While “Bed & Breakfast” might immediately denote a sense of “profit” from its niche in the hospitality business, Falcone’s repurposing does manage to retain the boutique aspect of such enterprises but also forces a warmer viewer-to-subject relation with the works she exhibits.
With three full exhibits under her belt and numerous participations in other artistic arenas, Falcone’s looking towards the future of her concept and her role within South Florida’s art scene and rising artists.
Cristy Almeida from Help You Help Me
Tuff Gnarl: Let’s start with who you are and what background you have in the arts.
Jacqueline Falcone: I have worked for several art nonprofits and galleries, but I really enjoy programming. I am trying to have as much public programming in conjunction with exhibitions at the Jacqueline Falcone Bed & Breakfast. The idea is that eventually I will be running an actual functioning B&B as my business, but with these exhibitions and lots of programming. I want it to be a place for the community to come and try something they are working on or even just a meeting place of sorts to exchange ideas and eat yummy treats.
When did you first envision the concept of promoting art?
I’m not so sure I had some exact moment. I was studying Photography at Palm Beach State College and working for an amazing photographer and curator, Samantha Salzinger. She put me in charge of curating some student exhibitions and I had more fun than I think I thought I would. I pushed myself and my classmates to take it really seriously and we actually put together a couple of great shows. After that Samantha sort of implied “hey, why don’t you try doing this?” and I took that and ran with it. I have branched out to some more unorthodox practices since then, but it didn’t take me very long to realize I enjoyed orchestrating these kinds of situations far more than I enjoyed being a photographer.
Was the Bed & Breakfast your first idea? How important is the sense of intimacy and private/personal space for you in this endeavor?
I wouldn’t say it was my first idea, but it is definitely my most solid one thus far. All of the other things I’ve worked on were just temporary projects of some sort, but it’s the first thing I’ve done where I’m like “Wow! This is what I want to DO!” It’s a long-term goal, you know? I want to do this for a long time and I want people to come to the B&B to stay or to see an exhibition or participate in a happening-experience something.
The intimacy aspect is pretty important. I like to sort of blur the lines between public and private. It’s also important to think about on a personal level because I have to live inside of these shows for two months at a time. The way that the work affects me is amazing, especially over time. This past exhibition closing this week was all about Self-Help and I’ve been surrounded by tons of Self-Help publications as well as works based off of these books and the ideas they hold. I am sooooo full of all of these totally insane self-affirmations. There are points where it’s a bit manic.
A Bed & Breakfast conveys two distinct notions to me: a) practicality and b) vacation. How true is that in your mission?
Okay, so there is a bit of practicality involved in this project but from a really selfish position. I have this thing where I don’t really like to compartmentalize. So, the idea of having everything in one place is a total dream for me. To live where my business is (or perhaps in another house next to it) where my family also lives, where my studio or office is, my practice, my baking-everything. I know this is a little crazy and I totally get the whole “separate workspace” thing. I think that artists should have a space outside of the home for the most part, but for me and how I work this is perfect. My actual mission is to commit to social interaction in art as a means of community growth and expression. I want to discover spots where art and hospitality cross paths. I certainly don’t frown upon the typical gallery mode, however it’s not the kind of work I’m interested in doing. I want to sort of create this feeling of “home” and hospitality where it’s lacking (the art world, perhaps?) Make people who might not otherwise be comfortable in this sort of environment feel at home.
As far as “vacation” goes, I sure hope people feel like they can come to the future JFB&B and leave all their worries behind!
You’ve had three shows thus far, what have been their similarities and/or differences?
The first show called Marriage, Blood, and Adaptation was about family in all its different forms. It was about the concept of family and how the artists’ interpretations, physical and metaphorical, represent my own idea of family: a unit formed not exclusively by blood-an allegory for those ideals that I aim to live by. The second show called The Tibetans Have a Word for That was exploring the “in-between,” being in limbo-something everyone can relate to. This current show called Help You Help Me is also pretty universal. I like when I can put something together that is really personal or even kind of privy that can also be that way for most anyone who walks into the space.
Would you ever consider expanding outside of your home? Or would that impair the concept behind the B&B?
I am relatively open. I have had a couple of happenings outside of my house so far. I would be open to someone else’s space or something of that nature. For this project, I just think it makes the most sense within the home at this time. I don’t think it would impair the concept so long as it remained in the same context.
How does one go about booking the offer of spending the night and getting breakfast?
I haven’t had any super serious inquiries yet, to be honest. I think most people think it’s a joke. Basically you just have to email me. I want to keep a pretty strict format to the situation – someone pays a fee to come and stay one night, have breakfast in the morning, and “check out.” I hope they can have a miniature-version of the experience I go through in living with the work for two months.
What is next on the docket for exhibits? Any artists in particular that you’d like to work with?
The next exhibition is called Bored Horny that I am doing with a great artist from Killingworth, Connecticut named Christopher McDonald who I met working on a project with Ragnar Kjartansson a couple of years ago. He is an amazing sound engineer amongst other things. He strayed away from his practice in photography and sound to make these drawings and paintings for the show. It’s dealing with the palpable atmosphere of boredom. I’m super excited about opening this one on May 9th! There are so many people I really look forward to working with. It all happens pretty organically in the sense that a friend or someone I’ve just met begins to tell me about something they are interested in trying and me saying “Let’s do it at the B&B!” There is a great artist friend from Iceland I am trying to pull a project together with named Lilja Birgisdóttir.
I’d also really like to do a big project of collaborative works with my boyfriend, Kenton Parker. That’s another great thing about doing this – I am totally allowed to be biased in my curatorial decisions! I work with people because I like what they are doing or I am interested in something they want to try to execute. They can experiment in the space and no choices in who I give a show to can be taken as playing favorites because the nature of the B&B is to work with only artists whom I have some sort of relationship with. With that said, it’s this really cool challenge I created for myself; I am constantly investigating what my old friends and my new friends are working on, or want to work on. I just hope that my peers whom I invite (and their work) benefit from and are informed by its inherent intimacy.
Kevin Arrow from Help You Help Me
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