Friday, September 21, 2007

Jim Supanick

Dear Mr. Hoone and CMAC Staff,

I'm writing in support of Astria Suparak and the outstanding work she's done at the Warehouse Gallery and as an independent curator. I first became aware of Astria's work while she was still a student at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn; I was amazed then to learn that some of the most sophisticated and adventurous film programming in all of New York City was being done by a student, and with little institutional support. Astria brought light and life to the moving image community far beyond the capacity of the rest of us mere mortals- and this, in a city where there's no shortage of brilliance from other sources. After Pratt she continued in this vein as an independent curator, quickly establishing herself as tireless, gutsy, and brimming with creative ideas- though I never worked with her, I can say that artists who have wish there were a few more like her. When she was hired as a curator for the Warehouse Gallery, I was thrilled to know that Syracuse had made such an enlightened choice.

It's not too late to reinstate Astria; in fact, I believe it would be seen as a wise and sensitive response to the outpouring of community support. I hope that clarity will return to you and the CMAC braintrust, that same clarity that led you to bring Astria aboard to begin with- she is a gem that you shouldn't want to lose.

Sincerely,

Jim Supanick
Videomaker-Writer-Educator
Brooklyn, NY

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BACKGROUND

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.