Thursday, September 20, 2007

Leah DeVun

Dear Mr. Hoone,

I'm writing to express my disappointment at the termination of Astria Suparak as director of the Warehouse Gallery. I worked in early 2006 to bring Ms. Suparak to Texas A&M University, where she showed the short film program "Quantum Leaps" and spoke to undergraduate students. Ms. Suparak struck just the right tone during her talk. She was accessible, yet she required the students to think and be challenged by the content of the films. This is the point of art programming at a university. Texas A&M is generally a more conservative institution than Syracuse University, and if the students here can profit from Ms. Suparak's curatorial practice, then certainly those at Syracuse can. In addition, I know from my later conversations with Ms. Suparak that she was extremely committed to making Syracuse a vital arts community. I believe her termination is a serious mistake, and I hope that you will reconsider.


Leah DeVun

Assistant Professor, History and Gender Studies

Texas A&M University

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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.