Patuto is the newly appointed executive director of the Brooklyn-based art community devoted to embracing “the integrity of creative exploration and the spirit of unfettered artistic expression by offering a vital meeting place for disparate forms of creativity.” The project curates a seemingly endless range of programs, events, and exhibits that allow artists a space to truly explore their work in a welcome environment.
Patuto himself is a transplant from the West Coast. As cofounder of VOLUME, a similar “curatorial catalyst for interdisciplinary new-media work,” he’s also worked with a battalion of art institutes and has spent a hefty portion of his life working in the nonprofit sector.
We caught up with Ed over the phone:
What is the main goal of ISSUE Project Room?
ISSUE Project Room provides a rare opportunity for artists to go beyond the norm and experiment between mediums. We encourage artists to push the limits of their work and try new things in a challenging environment.
Are there any particular moments or stories that stand out to you?
We had an exhibit surrounding three women composers. We invited younger artists to perform their work as well as work inspired by them. We hoped to promote intergenerational creativity and do it while the artists are still with us.
Too often in history, meaningful work goes unnoticed. It’s important for artists who have taken risks to be given recognition while they’re still alive. I personally admire artists that stick to it—even if they may not get the recognition (or the wealth)—in an unflagging pursuit of their passion.
Do you consider yourself a good man? Why or why not?
I do consider myself a good man. I see people who are in different ways giving back—I’ve spent my whole life working in nonprofits. I like to think of my life as being in the service of others, and I’m moved by the thought of a life of giving.
What makes a good man in your eyes?
A strong commitment to improving our planet. It may sound generalized, but when I moved from San Francisco to Brooklyn, I found that what tied the two was similar values. Everyone on earth can relate to one another and find their full potential as human beings.
I also think that [what makes a good man] is defining your values consciously and living your life according to those values.
Who has been the ultimate good man in your life?
There really isn’t just one person. People who will do good because they want to, not because there’s something in it for them. We all do. Everyone can be the best teachers in life.