Hey John Doe,
After our meeting on Friday, and reviewing the answers to my 50 or so bulleted questions from artists, I’m afraid I will be unable to proceed with the Nucleus show this Fall at City Hall. You have said it yourself, it is a government/public building space first, and the Arts aspect of it can be a bit of an uphill battle when working with the various factions of the City.
I have to have my artists and the safety/proper exhibition of their work as my first priority and the show is simply not evolving into the kind of undertaking I had in mind. I understand that you are a huge supporter of the Arts, and that your hands are tied in many respects, but I just don’t feel comfortable with a lot of the changes and compromises that would have to be made, even on a purely visual level, in order to execute an exhibition.
As I mentioned, this was the one major curation I was looking to entertain this year. And when you inform me that committees would be looking for any reason to shut this down, and can pull an installation at whim, I feel less than enthused to fight tooth and nail on every aspect of the curation as opposed to working with a group of individuals who are at their core supportive of the Arts and willing to work out ideas and alternatives. There is a difference between fire hazards/safety issues and a simple unwillingness of factions to entertain new and innocuous aesthetic additions to the space, which is where the majority of our issues lie. When originally asked if I would be interested in exhibiting a show in the space, I anticipated at least a base level of support coming from the City and am unwilling to act as a lone wolf in all this.
I sincerely appreciate the opportunity you provided me in offering such an iconic and historically significant building for me to showcase the work of some of Boston’s brightest talent in. Hopefully I have not left you up a creek without a paddle for October, but I’m sure there are many artists on the will-call line to exhibit their creations.
As I’m sure you are aware, this is my labor of love, and the artists labor of love, and I just think my time and energies would be better spent working on another home for this show or securing myself a permanent venue in Boston where I can better carry out my vision.
In closing, I look forward to seeing future shows at City Hall and around the city. There is boundless talent here and I am determined to do my part in ensuring that Boston makes a name for itself in the Arts. That being said, I hope to see you at my next show and wish you the best of luck in your future curations.
As I’m sure you gathered, this was a letter I sent to a City Official over the weekend regarding an exhibition I had been working on within the City Hall space.
This post was going to be a lot more schwoopy until I just received a heartfelt:
“OK Good luck.”
That sentiment seems in line with the overall sense of ennui I experienced while trying to work on this project.
Regardless, it has been nice to hear from some of the artists involved in the show who stand behind my decision, are supportive of my endeavors and appreciate that someone is looking out for their best interests.
Apart from logistical nightmares, I just didn’t feel their work would be safe. Or valued. Period.
My heart was in the right place. Later this week I will share exactly what the hang-ups were with this project and how it relates to the greater issues we are all facing when trying to push forward Arts initiatives in Boston. ♥