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Letters to the Editor

Art cancellation

May 11, 2007

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To the editor:

As you may know, this year's Art in the Park was canceled due to rain. The organizers have since announced that it will not be rescheduled.

As an artist who was planning to participate, I was very disappointed. Since January, I have been getting ready for Art in the Park. I've purchased hundreds of dollars in supplies, and I've spent countless hours assembling my art and displays. I do have a Web site, but I was depending on this huge event to really jump-start my business.

I'm not saying I wanted to exhibit in the rain. Sunday would have been a horrible day for Art in the Park. No one in their right mind would have been out on Sunday. However, this is spring in Kansas. The chances of rain are decent, and there seems to be a special curse over the weekend of Swap Meet. A rain-out should have been considered more seriously by the organizers. After all, they make money there too. Canceling the event for good should not have been an option. It's not fair to the hundreds of artists who have been preparing for and depending on this event. Please, Art Guild, be more responsible next year, and don't let this happen again.

Katie Jennings,

Lawrence

Comments

cowboy 7 years, 5 months ago

we have a semi permanent farmers market , how bout a semi permanent artist market , how cool would that be , get er done artists !

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x96merrill3 7 years, 5 months ago

"As an artist who was planning to participate, I was very disappointed. Since January, I have been getting ready for Art in the Park. I've purchased hundreds of dollars in supplies, and I've spent countless hours assembling my art and displays. I do have a Web site, but I was depending on this huge event to really jump-start my business."

WOW!!! I totally feel your pain. My childhood home and parent's current place in Greensburg was just wiped flat and everything they own destroyed. Now, that was quite a loss, but NOTHING compared to the suffering that you are whining about. Thanks, Katie, for putting life into perspective.

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Richard Heckler 7 years, 5 months ago

Meanwhile Katie Jennings contact Judy Billings with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce and set up another art fair downtown. Call it Art on Mass Street. Let's do more art fairs downtown in addition to Art in The Park. It's done in the Plaza,Brookside and Westport. They block off s few streets and all have fun.

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Toni Brou 7 years, 5 months ago

x96merrill3, that is uncalled for. What happened in Greensburg (I grew up near there) is devastating. But it does not give you license to lash out at people. Katie wasn't whining. She expressed her problem and a constructive solution (please have a rain date.) To my understanding this is the first time in 46 years of the festival, that there was not a rain date set. It is a valid concern, not only for her, but for 139 other artists who were affected by the cancellation. Paying one's rent or not paying one's rent is a real concern, and this is a big show for a lot of people. Katie is participating in ART IN THE YARD, an impromptu art sale organized by artists affected by the cancellation, so it is not like she is just sitting around boo-hooing.
So if I wanted to behave in the manner you are behaving, I could find a more painful story in the paper than your story, and then compare it to your situation, and tell you to get some perspective, right x96merrill3?

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aquakej 7 years, 5 months ago

Thank you, durablegirl! I didn't find this letter excessivly whiny, and the horrible events in Greensburg have absolutly nothing to do with Art in the Park.
P.S. Please come out to Art in the Yard, tonight from 4-8 and tomorrow (Sat) from 9-5 at 806 Arkansas. Fun times for all! The weather looks promising!

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redglare 7 years, 5 months ago

I was going to pick up a painting at the event, to get something nice and support local art(ists). Too bad about this lack of planning!

I'm also sorry about the Greensburg tornado tragedy, but it makes zero sense to lash out at this letter writer. It's apples and oranges.

I suggest, with all due respect for your loss, that you consider counseling or some form of therapy to deal with the anger and frustration you are feeling over the situation in Greensburg. People from New Orleans have had problems with depression and anger, and also high rates of suicide. I expect Greensburg natives will have similar issues. Another way to deal with it would be to volunteer to help other people dealing with their grief or to help with rebuilding efforts there. I hope nobody from your family or your friends were hurt or killed. If not, there's something to be grateful for and focus on.

Anyway, all of Kansas wants to help and feels for you. Good luck!

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x96merrill3 7 years, 5 months ago

Durablegirl wrote :"Paying one's rent or not paying one's rent is a real concern, and this is a big show for a lot of people. "

I have a solution to that....GET A JOB!!!!! You marginally employed artists LOVE TO WHINE about society but never PLAN for life. If you are not able to pay rent now, what do you plan to do when you reach the age that you are unable to paint/work? Oh, yeah....that's right...you'll rely on the rest of society to bail your carcass out. It's unfortunate that you are of the "Entitlement" mentality. Huh....I wonder why health care in this country is such a mess?????

"To my understanding this is the first time in 46 years of the festival, that there was not a rain date set."

Check your facts...once again, you are wrong.

So while you marginally employed artisans are trying to figure out where you will scrape up your next few bucks for that groovy neon purple mix-paint you just discovered I'll be taking a sizeable portion of my paycheck and actually helping someone in the world with a donation to the Red Cross for the Greensburg relief fund.

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Eileen Emmi Jones 7 years, 5 months ago

I wish they would reschedule the Art in the Park.

I cannot imagine why they cannot or will not.

And what kind of poor planning led to this event being scheduled without an alternate location or an alternate date in case of rain? It's not as if it doesn't rain in Eastern Kansas in the spring!!!

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blackwalnut 7 years, 5 months ago

cowboy (Anonymous) says: we have a semi permanent farmers market , how bout a semi permanent artist market , how cool would that be , get er done artists !

An excellent idea that would bring more people into Lawrence from other towns, to spend money.

The CC and Chamber ought to be supporting ideas like this, if they really care about the economic health of Lawrence. Oh, I forgot - no developers would cash in on this idea, so it won't anywon't get any support from the new city commission at all.

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drake 7 years, 5 months ago

Yup, therapy is in order for you x

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TheHeartlessBureaucrat 7 years, 5 months ago

Some folks react to sadness by outward bitterness and anger toward anyone who has their own complaint. Folks in crisis tend to become VERY egocentric. Greensburg is a horrible tragedy. but so is the flooding of farms in central Kansas, the Ferryboat tragedy in Haiti, Darfur, Cancer and countless other problems.

On behalf of myself and anyone else who cares to join me, I'm sorry about your town, I'm sorry your art, I'm sorry about the flooded fields, the drownings in the sea, Darfur and all that Cancer.

At least we can reschedule the art...

THB

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Confrontation 7 years, 5 months ago

Awww, and I was so (NOT) looking forward to purchasing her art made with insects! Darn! Please don't cry for her, she'll be providing her junk tomorrow:

http://www.lawrence.com/events/2007/may/12/20083/

Use your hard earned money to help pay Katie's rent!!!

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blackwalnut 7 years, 5 months ago

I would be sad to live in a world without art.

The same people who whine about how artists shouldn't be allowed to make a living, happily give Bruce Willis even more money to make films about violence and torture.

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bluerose 7 years, 5 months ago

as much as i hate catching myself reading these boards, so full of negativity and depressing, judgmental conservatives, this deskMonkey/artist is GLAD to have read katie's letter today! how else might i have found out about Art in the Yard? i can't even find the events calendar in this new LJW layout!

i'll be there! i'll shop! then come home and put out some food for the postal carrier's collection. and clean out my closet for the Red Cross to send to Greensburg. you can support in more than one place. hey. i might even go see an exciting mainstream movie.

but i will NOT go to walmart. nope.

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aquakej 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow, confrontation. That was pretty presumptious of you to assume that I (Katie) am dependant on you to buy my "junk" so that I can pay rent. I have a good job as an office manager, own my house (therefore don't even HAVE rent to pay), and manage to contribute to society by paying plenty of taxes (among other things). I wasn't dependant on income from Art in the Park. I just like to get out and share my art with others. It is NOT junk. It's my hobby, and a fulfilling one, at that. I do have friends who were dependant on that income, so I was writing my editorial for them as well as for myself. I'm lucky I don't have to depend on income from my art, but others do. Why the negativity?

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concernedparent 7 years, 5 months ago

Good luck Katie. Ignore the asses... apparently when something isn't important to one person it shouldn't be important to anyone. Sorry you have to be treated like that.

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Confrontation 7 years, 5 months ago

If you aren't reliant on others, then why complain about this event not taking place?

"It's not fair to the hundreds of artists who have been preparing for and depending on this event."

depend(d-pnd) intr.v. depended, depending, depends 1. To rely, especially for support or maintenance: Children must depend on their parents.

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ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 7 years, 5 months ago

I was fixin' to take my grandbabies to this art show and they got to fussin' when I told them it was cancelled. My four year old grandson had his heart set on finding some Sesame Street paintings. With tears in his eyes, he looked up at me and asked, "PeePaw, why don't they have the art show on another day when it ain't rainin' instead?" I replied, "I'm sorry little Billy Ray, but apparently the Lawrence Art Guild doesn't like youngin's." Since the art show was cancelled, I took him shopping to Third Planet instead. Feeling cheated by the authorities, he decided to buy a bumper sticker that says "Kansas as bigoted as you think." When we got home, he quickly ran out to the shed and put the bumper sticker on the back of his tricycle.

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Keith_GS 7 years, 5 months ago

Well done, Katie. Just a couple points in response to the unfortunate but typical incivility posted here. First, people who hate art/artists are not compelled to like artists or buy their art, but neither is there any need to disparage them for doing what they enjoy or desiring a place/way to offer their creations for sale. Also, I don't see how any reasonable person could think someone's innocuous, valid complaint regarding an unrelated Lawrence community event somehow undercuts the tragedy of the Greensburg disaster, much less how it's even possible to compare the two.

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Kontum1972 7 years, 5 months ago

so merrill what are you still doing here in lawrence?...mb u should be in greensburg helping clean it up instead of jumpin in this girls poop....the natl guard cant do the job they are deployed fighting a war so u can shoot off your big mouth here....

her plight has nothing to do with greensburg....the bizness was art cancellation not greensburg thats on a different page......get a grip clyde! OBTW...i make my living as an artist for the past 25 years....and i gave $200.00 to the red cross for greensburg now i wish i didnt.....i would like a refund, and i hope the rest of the people from greensburg are not like you! .....If so Heaven help us!

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Kontum1972 7 years, 5 months ago

obtw....if u shop dillions when u check out say u want a the greensburg contribution and dillons will contribute to the relief fund. It will not affect your bill the donation comes from the dillions corp, but then again this might already be known i just found out about it.

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blackwalnut 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm very sorry for the people of Greenberg. Greensberg will be fine, as far as rebuilding money goes. Greensberg is a political opportunity for Bush, Brownback and others. The Bush administration has much to answer for after Katrina. The Republicans know they are walking a tightrope with many people they once could count on unconditionally, and they are not about to mess this one up.

Brownback is talking about making Greensberg part of a federal program to attract people to rural communities. Translation: federal $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Sibelius is talking about making Greensberg an "green city" model. Translation: federal $$$$$$$$$$$$

I wish the folks in Greensberg only the best. They deserve whatever help they can get.

I hope people are paying attention to this: This is a bit of socialism at work. Rural America has a way of recognizing socialism only when it is someone ELSE who is benefiting.

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blackwalnut 7 years, 5 months ago

Kontum1972 (Anonymous) says: obtw:.if u shop dillions when u check out say u want a the greensburg contribution and dillons will contribute to the relief fund. It will not affect your bill the donation comes from the dillions corp, but then again this might already be known i just found out about it.

And Wal-Mart is doing exactly WHAT in this area?

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greengoblin 7 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, she totally was not whining. It's reasonable to ask for the event to be rescheduled because art is a form of employment for some people. The Art in the Park is in no way related to the devastating tornado in Greensburg, so Merrill, maybe you should go be depressed somewhere else. I, for one, do not believe you story at all. In fact, I believe Merrill and X96Merrill3 is the same person with multiple personalities, and a very sad life.

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shirinisb 7 years, 5 months ago

I think you can sell arts/crafts at the Farmer's Market, can't you?

I think that comparing the horrible tornado last week with an art cancellation is ludacris. That's the same thing as if I wrote in complaining about potholes and someone made a crack about their child being ran over by a drunk driver or something. Come on people if someone wants to write a letter to the editor, then comment on it. Making sarcastic illogical comments do not help anyone and have nothing to do with the original subject, other than the fact that it was weather related.

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pelliott 7 years, 5 months ago

I think the comment "y question is why it wasnt moved to another venue. I KNOW there is more space around town, how about the fairgrounds? That would be a great place with plenty of room (and for once, parking), to accomodate a rescheduled festival. was excellant.
Artists and writers usually get little money for the work they do and most of them that I know are quick to give to the community. Art in the park is not just sales, it is a great opportunity to show and see original and local work. No one who uses their brain says that making money from art is easy. So when the chance for cash comes it is sad to see it evaporate. the artists do the work to get ready for it and then it just falls apart. obviously the whiner on this isn't the artist. I wish it was easier to just laugh at the hateful remarks (stupid too) but they hurt people and distract from decent conversation. The suggestions of how this could of been avoided, the sympathy for the disappointment, the questions of how and why the decisions were made are questions and discussion worth community attention. All are more imortant than ol merrill is being nasty again,.

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blackwalnut 7 years, 5 months ago

The Art Guild should have planned a rain date or an alternate location into this. And since they did not, they should refund the $40 the artists paid. I think the artists have been treated shabbily.

Even though Lawrence appreciates art and music more than most towns, artists do struggle. They basically give away their time and effort. The teachers at the Lawrence Arts Center, who are experts and have bachelor's or master's degrees in their disciplines, are paid $12 an hour. The Phoenix Gallery takes a 45% consignment fee. At the last Art in the Park, the rumor was that there was a great deal of looking and not much buying. Even in Lawrence, artists struggle.

I'm just glad artists are willing to put up with this hand-to-mouth lifestyle and supplement their incomes as waiters and carpenters - and still create things of beauty and intelligence for others to enjoy. I'm grateful to them for what they contribute to the world.

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Toni Brou 7 years, 5 months ago

No, you can not sell arts and crafts at the Farmer's market. The people who sell crafts there now may be grandfathered in, but there is now a clause that new vendors accepted can only be FOOD producers.

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