Monday, December 11, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

reading this helps me to relax. Honest. Knowing someone is working in the sevice of local artists. whether or not we have the same belief of what art should be, most end up on the same page. I know this isn't whining and i'm glad cfp is relentless in exposing the local community for what it is,.. or isn't in some opinions. Without it, one wouldn't know what the other is thinking. I can go on about what a great thing this is but the most important part about it is cfp's stubborness, even while under fire by his own critics. My only complaint is that the decision makers and jurors (you know - the deciders - as Goerge W calls himself) are not forced to read these critiques and all the discussions that ensue. I'm glad some artists still have fire in their gut.

10:46 p.m.  
Blogger Steve Topping said...

This is let you know... I am still reading and

go get em!

2:00 a.m.  
Anonymous joseph b'ys said...

I was at a thing there once and I overheard someone say, "I like how they've brought the concrete indoors."

4:40 p.m.  
Anonymous joseph b'ys said...

oops wrong thread. but whil i'm here. this site has been an enjoyable read for me too craig. thanks for keeping the lights on.

4:42 p.m.  
Anonymous Jeffrey Boone said...

I am in Vancouver and also enjoy reading your blog. It keeps me in touch with the spirit of the scene back home and the things we don't hear about elsewhere. Write more often... surely to God there must be things going on that are worth a few lines.

3:26 p.m.  

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