Monday, December 11, 2006

One Year

Thanks to everyone who's stayed interested and kept reading and commenting in the first year of Art In Newfoundland's existence. Here's hoping you (and I) stick around.


City of St. John's Art Procurement

Last Thursday I went to City Hall to check out which artists our city had decided to support. I had heard there was also going to be free food AND booze, so there was no way I could possibly miss it.

I've mentioned on this blog before how beautiful the galleries at our Provincial Gallery are, and how, should there ever be a show which included a lump of dog shit on its spectacular floors, the tird would still manage to inspire a great deal of awe. Such, unfortunately, is not the case at City Hall. A hulking, cold, grey, concrete bunker, I wonder if anything within its walls (including his Worship) could ever possibly approach anything resembling attractiveness.

That's not to say, of course, that the works presented were sub par (a handful of them were not), but that the paintings and prints on display didn't much benefit from the atmosphere.

I'd give the finger foods a B-, and the beer an A.

What really struck me about the event, which blissfully didn't drag on for too long, was Councilor Shannie Duff's mention of this year's jury for the art procurement.

Get this: they were, in descending order of artistic knowledge: Grant Boland (artist), Shannie Duff (city councilor), and Shawn(?) Skinner (provincial stooge).

I suppose it could be argued that since the art work would be hanging in the chambers of City Hall, a jury comprised mostly of bureaucrats should be able to pick what works they liked. This argument of course would be bullshit, given that the City's art procurement program is supposed to be in service and support of local artists, and not simply to make more pleasant the decidedly unpleasant setting where our city officials work. But then I suppose I should just shut up and be happy that the city buys any art at all, especially given Ron Ellsworth's recent suggestion that we should just do away with the city's art procurement altogether.

Yep, that's some Cultural Capital we live in.