Archive for Saturday, May 12, 2007

Art rain-out

Organizers should rethink their decision not to have a backup date for Art in the Park.

May 12, 2007


The Lawrence Art Guild deserves the community's thanks for the many years it has sponsored Art in the Park and other worthy events.

That being said, however, it's disappointing that organizers didn't have a plan to deal with the possibility of rain in Lawrence on May 6.

For many years, the Guild had routinely scheduled Art in the Park on the first Sunday of May but held the next Sunday open as a rain date. If it rained both Sundays the event was canceled, but having two dates doubled the chances that artists would be able to sell their wares and residents would be able to enjoy the exhibits.

After last Sunday's rain-out, organizers said the cost of holding the park open on the second Sunday had become prohibitive for the city. Really? How much money does the city expect to make off South Park this Sunday? Is it enough to justify refusing to accommodate a Lawrence tradition like Art in the Park?

Perhaps the Art Guild didn't want to deal with rescheduling or feared that many artists wouldn't show up for the makeup date. Maybe they were worried about competing with other events this weekend. If any of those factors influenced their decision, organizers should be up front about their reasons for canceling the event.

This weekend's beautiful weather forecast makes the decision to cancel Art in the Park look even worse. The city and the Art Guild should rethink their planning before next year.


blackwalnut 11 years ago

I wonder how many people would have come to Lawrence from outside of town, and spent money not just at the art fair but elsewhere in town.

From a purely economic standpoint, this was handled poorly I think.

nosense 11 years ago

Pogo exemplifies b.s. stereotyping; throwing all outside art as imposterous crafty non-art. In each public art project there are always outside participants who bring nice work to the table. To group all participants as untalented and uncreative craftspeople rather than true artists is just pretentious, uninformed, nonsense. Over the past few years I've listened to "locals" complain about many of the public arts projects, as in Jayhawks on Parade , as being projects that don't support "real art". I would think any true supporter of the arts could see that any funding for public arts projects is good, even if 100 percent of participants aren't Lawrencians, or even if all the work isn't totally avante garde art reflective of the cutting edge arts community you see Lawrence as. Who cares if the next Duchamp isn't exhibiting; in a world of limited art support it's better than nothing. It's very easy to complain about this and that with public art projects, because there will never be one that satisfies everyone in the community, whether the work is in the vein of T. Kincaid or more in the vein of Cerrano. If all you haters want to make Art in the Park the grand event it once was and you feel you're a superior artist, or you know truly innovative locals who want to show or who are just unsatisfied with the quality of the art shows in Lawrence, well then show your stuff or shut your mouth. If you're response is that these artists apply and are rejected because they're not understood or appreciated, well then throw a Salon of the Rejects style show like they used to do as a response to the exclusionary Salon in Paris. All this talk about outsiders taking over this local show is nonsense. If there were enough talented and prepared local artists to fill up the show, then the "outsiders" wouldn't be here. After all, members of the local art guild gets first dibs and discounted rates. Pogo makes these "outside artists" out to sound like they are some corporate enterprise, rather than what most of them really are; artists who are truly giving it the old college try to become successful in one of the most difficult markets to make a living in. I'm an "outsider" who just moved away from Lawrence, where I've lived for the last two decades. It's nice to know I'm now grouped with the wooden animal a-hole artists Pogo describes so well, even though you've never seen my stuff. This series of comments began with discussion of making sure the disappointment of 2007 Art in the Park doesn't happen again, and quickly turned to trashtalking about how cutting edge Lawrence is and how the "real artists" in Lawrence get screwed and how all the shows here just exhibit crap. It happens every time. Thanks, haters, for showing us how open minded and progressive the art community of Lawrence is in words rather than work, because you can criticize every public art affair this community can muster up. It's laughable.

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