Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Jeremy Bailey

Mr Hoone,
Dear Mr Hoone

I'm pleased to hear you will proceed with the Yes Men Exhibition,
though you have doubtless sent a message of confusion and weak
leadership by subverting Astria's initial plans.

While I understand it takes many people to run a gallery, I know form
personal experience it takes but a single person to destroy one.

By removing Astria Suparak as Director you are taking on a very
unpopular and lonely role as The Man who crushed the hopes of an
entire city and you will certainly be held accountable in local,
national and international media (already on the verge of
publication). I'm not sure you understand how many supporters Astria
has both in the United States and abroad.

It's not too late,
I encourage you to act now to reverse your decision before you make
an embarrassment of yourself, the University and the City of Syracuse.

It's really not that difficult,
stand up and be a real leader not just a stubborn one,

If this is impossible, please at least acknowledge publicly the
reasons for Astria's dismissal so that they can be addressed by the
public your organization is supposed to serve,

anything less will be viewed as an assertion of your administration's

at this time I should inform you that your reply messages are being
posted to a public forum, here

Jeremy Bailey
Syracuse University Fellow, MFA 2006

On 9/17/07, Jeffrey Joseph Hoone wrote:
> Dear Mr. Bailey,
> A little more than two years ago the Warehouse Gallery was just an
> The guiding principle in the inception of the Gallery was the goal of
> positioning the arts as an important component of community
> by Syracuse University. As such, the Gallery has become an important
> venue for the exhibition of contemporary art. We have also defined
> mission so that it can engage the community in a dialogue regarding
> role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our
> and times.
> There have been many individuals and groups, both at the University
> in the community, who have played crucial roles in moving the
> at the Warehouse Gallery forward. As director of the Coalition of
> Museums and Art Centers, my role in the process has included helping
> design and conceptualize the physical space of the Gallery,
> the mission and vision for exhibitions and programs, developing a
> windows exhibition space at the Gallery to display installations
> commissioned by Central New York artists, and hiring the staff to run
> the Gallery.
> It is my responsibility to develop the right mix of organizational
> structure, skills, talent, teamwork, and substance in order to
> those goals. I have made a decision to move forward toward achieving
> those goals with a new structure and a revised and broader position
> leadership of the Warehouse Gallery.
> This process started with conversations with Ms.Suparak six months
> and included discussions with other CMAC personnel. These
> have also involved staff of Human Resources within a process that
> involves confidential personnel issues and issues related to overall
> long-term goals and objectives. The final decision was mine.
> I am writing to assure you that we recognize the importance of the
> Warehouse Gallery and our commitment to strong and inspired
> for it. The programs at the Warehouse Gallery will continue to move
> forward to achieve its envisioned potential.
> I want to specifically clear up some uncertainty this change may be
> having for some about upcoming exhibitions at the Gallery, and
> specifically the exhibition, "Keeping it Slick: Infiltrating
> with the Yes Men," planned for November 13, 2007 - January 26, 2008.
> believe it is important to honor the commitment to the artists and to
> the faculty who have pledged support to this exhibition. I have
> contacted the artists involved in developing the exhibition and will
> working with the staff at the Warehouse Gallery and will, with advice
> from faculty who have made programming plans based on the exhibition,
> develop strategies to allow us to continue the exhibition as planned.
> In any event I assure you that we will continue with a full year of
> programming in the Gallery as we move forward to continue to build
> Gallery as an important venue for the community and for contemporary
> in Syracuse.
> Jeffrey Hoone
> Executive Director
> Coalition of Museum and Art Centers
> Syracuse University
> jjhoone@syr.edu
> -----Original Message-----
> From: baileyorama@gmail.com [mailto:baileyorama@gmail.com] On Behalf
> Jeremy Bailey
> Sent: Monday, September 17, 2007 12:40 PM
> To: Jeffrey Joseph Hoone
> Cc: Nancy Cantor; Eric F Spina; Carole Brzozowski
> Subject: You need Astria Suparak and The Yes Men more than they need
> you.
> Dear Mr Hoone,
> Several alarming events have recently come to my attention that have
> caused me considerable concern. I was recently informed that a dear
> friend of mine Astria Suparak is in danger of losing her position as
> director of the warehouse gallery and that an extremely significant
> exhibition at the gallery has been canceled.
> It is with great conviction that I have to let you and others who are
> in a position to manage such matters know that you are making a grave
> error in judgment.
> As former director of Spark Contemporary Art Space and an active
> member of the Syracuse art community for 3 years it was my pleasure
> introduce Astria to the city as a guest curator in 2006. I was
> to host her because I knew that her profile exceeded the capabilities
> of our small student run gallery. And yet, as I knew then and I know
> now, Astria is a very strong supporter of local community and
> in bringing disparate geographies and social groups together, not
> tearing them apart. She is the type of person that inspires everyone
> around her to make great things happen. In essence, she is exactly
> type of person that Syracuse so desperately needs.
> For these reasons it was my pleasure to introduce Astria to the
> Warehouse gallery search committee, and it was my delight to discover
> she would act in the capacity of director.
> Since that time I have left the city to be a practicing artist in
> Toronto, but I continue to go out of my way to return to the
> gallery when I visit Syracuse and when I travel anywhere near the
> limits. Furthermore it has been an absolute pleasure and sometimes
> shock to hear from curators and artists here in Toronto and on trips
> to Buffalo, New York City, Philadelphia and beyond about "How hot
> Syracuse is right now". You have to understand the significance of
> these words. You must know that Syracuse hasn't been hot or
> significant in any way since David Ross was curator at the Everson.
> And believe it or not, you are currently in the presence of another
> David Ross, Astria Suparak is the type of Curator that you are going
> to kill yourself for not having cherished.
> Case in point, the canceled exhibition in question. The Yes Men are
> one of the most relevant group of American artists living today. A
> quick look at the exhibition histories of major national and
> international museums will turn up their name frequently (I first
> discovered them at MASS MoCA). Indeed, I spoke recently with Claire
> Schneider, curator at the Albright Knox in buffalo where I am
> currently exhibiting. She told me that she had recently been asked to
> make a presentation at this year's CAA on the topic of Collectives
> Collaboration in contemporary art. She spoke of a distinct interest
> internationally in this type of art making and that she was very
> excited to research and present the topics and strategies these
> artists are working with. I don't need to tell you The Yes Men were
> one of the first such groups that came up in our discussion.
> You are about to cancel the most significant show in Syracuse history
> since Nam June Paik had his retrospective at the Everson.
> I urge you to reverse whatever decisions you have made regarding both
> Astria and her programming choices. Indeed, I'd like to encourage
> take this as an opportunity to increase funding, promotion and
> attention for the Warehouse gallery and to honor the excellent work
> Astria has done in only 12 short months as director.
> ask yourselves how many other members of the Sryacuse community have
> done as much,
> ask yourselves whether you can afford to lose even one of them,
> I trust you know the correct answer to these questions,
> please call me if there is anything I can do to further convince you
> of Astria's or the Yes Men's considerable merits, there are many
> 416 895 8---,
> sincerest regards,
> Jeremy Bailey
> MFA, Syracuse University, 2006


Anonymous said...

I have just been informed that Jeff Hoone is LYING. the Yes Men have confirmed they will not exhibit in light of Jeff Hoone's incompetence. In other words, Jeff wants to see this blow over. We must expand our efforts to bring light on what appears to be one of the worst Art Administrators in the country.

Courtney said...


Great letter! Very well written. Thanks.

-Courtney Rile

Courtney said...

By the way, I just got the exact same reply to my email to Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't Jeff Hoone just come out and say: "I was threatened by Astria's popularity and success, and I didn't much care for exhibitions dealing with topics such as the environment, climate change, youth culture, feminism, sexuality, gender, women's issues, inequality, inhumanity and corporate greed... What I'd really like to see are more photographs of people's living rooms."

Anonymous said...

Aw, Come On, Jeffrey!


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.