Friday, September 28, 2007

Rebekah Scotland

Although I may be too late in writing this letter, I would like to show my support for this tremendous effort to keep Astria Suparak from being wrongly dismissed. While visiting Syracuse this past week, I was disgusted to learn about this entire mess. I met Astria in 2006, while helping her set up a traveling video show that she had curated and brought to Spark. It was our biggest SparkVideo event of the semester, and it met all of my high expectations. Not only did she show a diverse array of videos, but Astria engaged the audience in many fun and unique ways. It was obvious how much energy and effort she put into her work, and I came away from that experience thinking how great it was to see a curator so dedicated to stepping beyond the traditional boundaries of the curatorial role. I was delighted at the chance to see her in action. I feel sad for all those students who won't have that opportunity.

As a former Art Video major, I was thrilled to learn that Astria had become such a big part of the Syracuse Art Community. During my time at Syracuse it was obvious how much we needed more female perspectives in the art community, and more people willing to take risks to revolutionize our art program. It's a real shame that we're going to lose such an awesome voice, just so that these few decision-makers can remain rooted in oppressive traditions and the status quo. Have any of these decision-makers considered the consequences of this?

Rebekah Scotland
2006 graduate of Syracuse University, College of Visual and Performing Arts

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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.