Bad at Sports
Bad At Sports is a weekly podcast about contemporary art. Founded in 2005, focuses on presenting the practices of artists, curators, critics, dealers, various other arts professionals through an online audio format.
Bad at Sports Episode 408: Juan William Chavez, Kiersten Torrez and the Northside Workshop

This week: After an inexcusably self-indulgent, alcohol fueled intro where Duncan, Richard, Dana and Emily and Nick from ACRE join us, we get on to an excellent interview. Part three of our St. Louis series recorded at the Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis. This time we talk to Juan William Chavez and Kiersten Torrez about the Northside Workshop, bees, social practice, and record an advert for penicillin.

Northside Workshop (NSW)

Northside Workshop (NSW) is a non-profit art space dedicated to addressing cultural and community issues in North Saint Louis. Our programming focuses on incorporating socially engaged art and education with the goal of fostering social progress in North Saint Louis communities.

In 2010, a collaboration with the Old North Saint Louis Restoration Group, the Kranzberg Arts Foundation and artist/cultural activist Juan William Chavez began an intervention to regenerate a historic North Saint Louis brick building in danger of being destroyed. Two years in the making, this building is now transformed into a dynamic community art space.

Juan William Chavez
Founder and Director

Juan William Chavez (born in Lima, Peru) is an artist and cultural activist whose studio practice focuses on the potential of space by developing creative initiatives that address community and cultural issues. His projects include Urban Expression for the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, the Northside Workshop and the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary. His awards include the Art Matters Grant, the Missouri Arts Award and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2012, Chavez received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship.

Kiersten Torrez
Director of Programming & Sustainability

Kiersten Torrez is an arts organizer focused on innovative sustainable practices. She has aided in developing community-based projects such as Beautification of Vacant Space, the Pruitt-Igoe Bee Sanctuary and Team Cookbook (creative workshops designed to community build through the sharing of recipes and stories in Old North Saint Louis). Torrez is currently planning a Year of Listening, a series of socially engaged events focused on co–generating programs to address the physical and social dimensions of the Old North Saint Louis neighborhood.

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_408-Chavez_and_Torrez.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:08am EST

Bad at Sports Episode 407: Jessica Baran

This week: Part 2 of our residency project at the Contemporary Art Museum of St. Louis! This week we talk to critic, poet, gallerist, the award winning Director of the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts Director and Art in America contributor Jessica Baran. This was one of those interviews that I will look upon as a personal favorite. Besides Bad at Sports declares war on Art News. What could be better.

Jessica Baran is the author of the poetry collections "Remains to be Used" (Apostrophe Books, 2010) and "Equivalents" (winner of the Besmilr Brigham Women Writers Award, forthcoming from Lost Roads Press, 2013), as well as the poetry chapbook, "Late and Soon, Getting and Spending," produced by All Along Press (2011). She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, where she is a freelance art writer and co-curator of the fort gondo poetry series.

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_407-Jessica_Baran.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:23am EST

Bad at Sports Episode 406: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Director Lisa Melandri

This week: The first in our St. Louis trip interviews. We talk to Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis Director Lisa Melandri live and without a net at our opening, in front of a moderately baffled audience. Topics include the Jeremy Deller show that was up at the time, institutional purpose, why certain LA museums are looney tunes, and so much more!

From Alive Magazine:

When Lisa Melandri took her position as Director of CAM just last August, she brought with her some serious credentials. While she was Deputy Director for Exhibitions and Programs at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the museum grew significantly, nearly doubled its staff and budget, and drew national and international acclaim. Now she plans to bring the same magic to St. Louis. “I’m really thinking in depth of what a contemporary art institution is and who it can serve,” Melandri says, envisioning a space that functions as a living room where people come just to “hang out.” It’s what she calls a “sea change” in perception. Part of that change is using the museum to its fullest capability, where even a discreet nook is potential exhibit space. “You should always be running into art,” Melandri says, referencing the highly anticipated Jeremy Deller exhibit this month. “I want to see art in the bathrooms and elevators.”

Go buy the Mr. Litte Jeans single Oh Sailor on Itunes, it's swell.

Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis appoints Lisa Melandri

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Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_406-Lisa_Melandri.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:38am EST

Bad at Sports Episode 405: William Pope.L

This week: Live from the Arts Club of Chicago (with great thanks to Janine Mileaf and Allie Foradas!!) Duncan and Richard talk to William Pope.L, about the forthcoming performance "Pull", his show at the Renaissance Society "Forlesen", and more!

William Pope.L (born 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American visual artist best known for his work in performance art, and interventionist public art. However, he has also produced art in painting, photography and theater. He was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and is a Guggenheim Fellow.

Hi Richard,

It was nice to meet you yesterday-- also it's always fun to put a face to a podcast host voice! Thanks for plugging PULL! through the podcast and the social media hoo-ha as well. I am pasting below two announcements (labeled Message #1 & #2) that have gone out about the project and the important websites too.

As you know we really need to get funding at this point so the kicker is to promote the USA Projects site here:

I hope you'll Tweet and Facebook as much as you think is reasonable from now til June 9, using the materials and info I've included. Also the hashtag for the project is #pullcleveland so you can attach that to whatever you post as well.

Other ways to help would be to Like Pope.L's Facebook page here:

and it would be HUGELY awesome if you could invite as many people as you are able (and encourage them do the same) to the event page:

If you have questions or concerns, be in touch.

All best and hope to see you at HCL on June 30 for the talk!




Pull! an artwork about work.
William Pope.L invites you to take part in his newest project - Pull! -a celebration of small city might, a performance-discussion on job rights and joblessness as well as an opportunity to do some work.
Pope.L in collaboration with the arts organization SPACES, has challenged the city of Cleveland to help him pull an 8 ton former ice cream truck, by hand, 34 miles from the eastside of the city to the westside over 3 days, June 7 to 9. And he needs your help to do it.

If you live in Cleveland (or plan to visit!), you can help pull the truck. If elsewhere, help us provide stipends to folks who'd like to participate in a volunteer art project but can't afford to. See our cute but edgy and informational fund raising video @ USA projects.

You can also send us images on work @ SPACES. Or just spread the word via Facebook or Twitter.

Pull! is a massive group effort, and we can't do it without you! It is a testament to the power of shared labor, and a chance to spark a national conversation about what work means to those who have jobs and want something better and those folks who just want a job.

Thank you for your support.


PULL! needs pullers!

Pope.L's newest project - PULL! - needs participants to help pull by hand an 8-ton truck 34 miles across the city of Cleveland as a symbolic act: an unequivocal 'no' against unemployment and huge 'yes' for more and better jobs. If you are in the Cleveland area June 7-9 come join this performance-action for job rights, fair pay and benefits.

Pull! is a massive group effort, a testament to the power of shared labor, and a chance to join a national conversation about what work means to those who have jobs and want something better and those folks who just want a job.

Please join us in Cleveland! Or, add your voice to the nation-wide conversation on Twitter and Facebook and support the pullers by making a contribution at our USA project site.

Thank you for your support.

William Pope.L

to supportPull! go to

to participate as a puller or to submit a photo

to join the conversation about Pull!

Direct download: Bad_at_Sports_Episode_405-William_Pope_L.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 2:59am EST