Past Commentaries

April Issue 2001
by Tom Starland

A Ceramic Hangover

Charlotte area non-profit exhibit spaces are having an exposure hangover this month due to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) annual conference which took place there on Mar. 28-31. You might notice that all those exhibits which filled up our NC and SC Institutional Gallery listings last month are missing this month. We don't know if there is any life there after the NCECA conference since no one told us about any following exhibitions. You see, before the conference even took place, we were working on our April issue of Carolina Arts - in fact, the April issue was already at the printers before the conference started.

People who work in the publishing biz work in the future. We have to write about the future before it happens, so you can read about it and respond - that's no easy trick at times when most people only live in the here and now world.

The point of all this, and it's an important point for all who present exhibitions in the Carolinas, is that advance exhibition schedules don't serve any useful purpose if they are not distributed to the media. And, all media work on different deadlines. We require just a two-week heads up on exhibit info, press releases, and ad space reservations. If you want to be included - you have to plan ahead. Of course, like Jello - there is almost always room for ads, but not always (deadline for the Spoleto issue - that's our May issue - is Apr. 15th).

Now the daily newspapers and television and radio work on a daily basis, but they don't care about your "free" exhibit listings - they don't care about the arts in general.

Triennial 2001? - Triennial Anytime?

It's that time again when the SC State Museum and the SC Arts Commission present their every three year survey of college and university art professors. The exhibition, which is stated to be a survey of "contemporary" art from throughout SC, is nothing of the kind and I haven't even seen it yet - probably won't either - although it will be on display forever.

I don't care how good the artwork is. I don't care how worthy the artists included may be. And, I don't care what the staff members of the State Museum and the Arts Commission, or their "in their pocket" critics write to justify their actions - the exhibit is a lie - a fraud - a despicable joke being played on SC's visual art community and the public at large.

If they called it a survey of academia art - then OK - that's what it is with a few others thrown in to fool some, but it's nothing else.

One of this state's university art professors recently had the nerve to tell me that, "after all, who else would they show - we are the best artists in the state". They even went further to imply that they are the only real artists in SC.

I'm not going to say that is the attitude of every college and university art professor in SC. Maybe the tenured ones feel that way, but the rest know they'll probably be looking for another job in a year or two. And, since they tend to have a lot of time on their hands in-between positions, they have probably spent some time trying to get their work represented in a gallery or even selling it, and have found that "if" they are one of the best artists in SC - no one else knows about it.

It's a good thing for the rest of us that the public and I don't agree with that instructor.

I can guarantee you that more people will enjoy the art presented during Artista Vista in Columbia, SC, (Apr. 27&28), the next French Quarter ART WALK in Charleston, SC, (May 5) or the new Palmetto Hands Exhibition at the North Charleston Arts Festival's Main Event (May 5&6). Very few people pay to go see the Triennial exhibitions. And, those who get invited to the reception don't spend much time away from the tables of food and drink looking at all the art - and they are the friends of the Arts Commission and the State Museum.


[ | What got printed | What didn't get printed | What no one would talk about | Past Commentaries | Home | ]


Mailing Address: Carolina Arts, P.O. Drawer 427, Bonneau, SC 29431
Telephone, Answering Machine and FAX: 843/825-3408
Subscriptions are available for $18 a year.

Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc.
Copyright© 2001 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2001 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.