Thursday, September 20, 2007

Roslyn Esperon

To Nancy Cantor and Jeff Hoone:

As a student it is my responsibility to implore you to reconsider the decision to fire Warehouse Gallery Director Astria Suparak. I would like to remind you of the great success that Astria has brought to the Warehouse Gallery. Her shows have made an impact not only locally but internationally as well. I specifically cite Astria’s Faux Naturel exhibit that is currently touring Canada . Astria’s involvement has changed our arts community. Under her direction, the Warehouse Gallery has become a space that brings the community and University together through a greater language of art.

Most importantly, Astria introduces a playfulness to curating and an attention to detail that is inspirational. Who else would be so attentive to make sure that the very hors d’oeuvres that are served at an opening reflect the mood of the show? Astria brings to Syracuse a unique sense of taste that encourages the youth of our University to take interest in the fine arts and provides a fresh look that is desperately needed by the Syracuse University arts community. The Warehouse Gallery has been a happening place on campus that students have responded to. I had been looking forward to applying for an internship at the gallery; however, without Astria at the Warehouse, the thought of an internship is not longer appealing.

It is not too late to reverse this decision. Just recently, the University of California offered and rescinded their offer to Duke Law Professor Erwin Chemerinsky. The Chancellor of University of California feared that Chemerinsky would be too liberal and controversial at the institution. However, I would like to state that it is controversy that leads to the most productive academic discussion. Astria’s current show Come On: Desire under the Female Gaze and the now canceled Keep it Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with The Yes Men exhibit, have and would have continued to produce healthy discourse in this community. If the University of California was able to recognize their mistake and ask Chemerinsky to once again join their faculty, I encourage Syracuse University to be responsible enough to do the same. Keep Astria here.

Thank you,

Roslyn Esperon

Syracuse University Coronat Scholar
Syracuse University Remembrance Scholar
General Supporter of the Arts


Ryan Tebo said...

Also think about the reactionary firings of Norman Finkelstein and Ward Churchill. These actions, including the one against Astria, are maybe too desparate to be called a witch hunt, but I do smell smoke.

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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.