Friday, September 28, 2007

Alex Villar

I am shocked over the news of Astria Suparak's dismissal. The news were especially distressing in view of the growing credibility of The Warehouse Gallery at Syracuse University in international art circuits. Customarily, university art galleries are a quiet business, largely occluded from broader visibility because of the often disconnected scope of their mandates. I believe Astria is doing an excellent job at approximating the programming at The Warehouse Gallery to current debates in the contemporary worlds of art and culture. She took the necessary bold steps to attain the independent and characteristic voice for The Warehouse Gallery that are so necessary to establish the relevance of a cultural art space. Her work has only began; to interrupt it now at such an early stage might compromise the reputation of the space and rob The Warehouse Gallery audiences of everything that was yet to come.

Alex Villar, New York based artist

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Syracuse has lost one its greatest assets. Astria Suparak, Inaugural Director of The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University, was removed from her position as of Sept. 30th, 2007, despite widespread support from community members, students, faculty, and the international art community. This decision was made unilaterally by Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director of the Coalition of Museum and Art Centers (CMAC).

At the time of Suparak's dismissal, Hoone also canceled her forthcoming exhibitions, including "Keep It Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men," due to open in November 2007.