Thursday, September 20, 2007

Harrison Willis

"What in tarnation?"

Losing Astria Suparak and, in turn, Brett Kashmere as
well could possibly be the most mind-numbingly
unfounded idea I have heard from the administration of
our collective arts community thusfar. If it weren't
for Astria and her progressive curatorial tactics,
Syracuse would still be trapped in the same tiresome
hegemony of ultra obscura and predictable judging that
many of the most prominent art scenes in the country
and the world still cling to so desperately.
Attracting groups outside of the arts in Syracuse
seems most important to me for the continuation of the
Warehouse Gallery's rising recognition, and Astria
certainly has been a wise promoter for shows unique
from the white wall mold of most galleries. Brett also
has drawn out the best in Syracuse' young artists by
constantly advertising his partner's talent alongside
his own at every opportunity.

We hear a lot about the loss of the precious object in
this age of po-mo aesthetic confusion, mourning the
death of originality in the art pieces themselves. It
seems to me now that the originality in danger; the
precious object we claim is coming under fire, has
become the artists, and art promoters themselves.
People who push boundaries never have it easy right
away, as we all know, but the phasing out of two of
our communities strongest creative minds would
certainly count to me as the loss of two real precious

-Harrison Willis

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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.