Monday, September 17, 2007

Jesse Stiles

I am writing to express my concern about recent developments at the
Warehouse Gallery, a Syracuse University affiliated public art gallery.
In the past few weeks it was announced that the Warehouse Gallery would
be canceling the upcoming retrospective of the renowned artist/social
activist group The Yes Men and dismissing the Warehouse Gallery's
Director Astria Suparak.

Astria is an acclaimed, visionary curator who has put together extremely
impressive shows at the Warehouse Gallery. I have followed her
curatorial career for years and have been continuously impressed with
her insightful work, professionalism, and her ability to curate
cutting-edge artists from the top of their fields.

When my partner was recently offered a position as Assistant Professor
in the Art Department at Syracuse University, Astria's presence at the
Warehouse Gallery was one of the deciding factors that made us choose
Syracuse over other areas where we had received job offers. I am a
professional artist and musician and felt that by moving my studio to the
Syracuse area, I would be joining a cutting edge, progressive, and
forward-thinking art community as exemplified by Astria and the excellent
shows she has put together at the Warehouse Gallery.

The near-simultaneous dismissal of Ms. Suparak and cancellation of the
Yes Men retrospective sends a dark message to the art community in
Central New York. The message is that young, innovative, progressive
artists are not welcome at the Warehouse Gallery, at Syracuse
University, or in the Syracuse arts community as represented by the
Coalition of Museums and Art Centers at Syracuse University. I find
this message disturbing in the extreme.

Jesse Stiles

No comments:


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.