To the editor:
Lawrence has lost visual arts momentum with the recent closure of three galleries. Also, it is sad, despite the firefighter sculpture (located at Fire Station No. 5) being a very nice work, that a local area artist could not be chosen for that commission out of the hundreds of talented artists we have.
Mindie Paget correctly publicized the issues that local artists face, but she neglected to mention the local resources that work to solve this problem. Lawrence volunteers work hard and donate hundreds of hours and significant amounts of money each year to help Douglas County area artists sell work. For six years, the Lawrence Own Your Own exhibition has been a success in publicizing local artists, displaying their works, and helping them make sales, asking nothing in return.
The LOYO committee, other volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce Senior Council and local merchants provide the resources to have this annual exhibition at no cost to the participating artists. This year, Sabatini Architects was the primary financial benefactor. Merit awards were donated by individuals and businesses, and 15 patrons guaranteed purchases. Twenty-one others contributed to the event. Nancy Marshall created Art-On-The-Fly. That piece and 20 percent of the proceeds of sales went to support Bert Nash Center.
Our community supports the arts. Now we need to create events and galleries that will bring in visitors from outside the community to truly make Lawrence the Santa Fe of the Midwest. The Lawrence Corporation for the Advancement of Visual Arts, of which I am chairman, will help wherever it can.