Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ryan Tebo

Dear Mr. Hoone,

Frankly, I find your response insulting to my intelligence. The sheer
abruptness with which thishas happened and the fact that this is
taking place mid-semester makes it difficult to believe that your
decision is based on "issues related to overall long-term goals and
objectives." If this were true, then you would have done this
restructuring after the end of the spring semester or at least after
the fall semester. If everything is as you say it is, then your
decisions seem rash, irresponsible, unstable and incredibly counter-
productive. However, it is difficult not to be compelled to read a
more sinister intent behind these decisions. This is why people
are responding in the way they are. The most logical conclusion
is that of the many who have suggested that your decision is based
on censoring the content of Astria Suparak's exhibits. You are
apparently responding to something in the immediate, not to the
long term.

I had nothing against you personally before this debacle, and
value your work to build Lightwork, but how do you expect the
community to respond to you when you respond to them with such
insulting disrespect to their intelligence? Are you serving the
Syracuse community or are you serving yourself? Give up your
obstinance and engage the community in a dialogue. The first step
is to retain Astria Suparak as director of the Warehouse Gallery.
After that, a conversation can begin about the long-term goals
and objectives of the Warehouse Gallery. This is a conversation
that needs to involve the community for whom the gallery exists.
Personally, I cannot understand why you would not be proud and
encouraging of Ms. Suparak's success as director of the Warehouse
Gallery. Because of her success I also do not understand why it
is necessary for a major restructuring of the gallery at this point.
What is your vision for the Warehouse Gallery and how can you
possibly justify that it should be your myopic vision alone that
defines its mission?


Ryan Tebo
MFA Filmmaking, Syracuse University

"Dear Mr. Tebo,

A little more than two years ago the Warehouse Gallery was just an idea.
The guiding principle in the inception of the Gallery was the goal of
positioning the arts as an important component of community engagement
by Syracuse University. As such, the Gallery has become an important
venue for the exhibition of contemporary art. We have also defined its
mission so that it can engage the community in a dialogue regarding the
role the arts can play in illuminating the critical issues of our life
and times.

There have been many individuals and groups, both at the University and
in the community, who have played crucial roles in moving the programs
at the Warehouse Gallery forward. As director of the Coalition of
Museums and Art Centers, my role in the process has included helping to
design and conceptualize the physical space of the Gallery, developing
the mission and vision for exhibitions and programs, developing a
windows exhibition space at the Gallery to display installations
commissioned by Central New York artists, and hiring the staff to run
the Gallery.

It is my responsibility to develop the right mix of organizational
structure, skills, talent, teamwork, and substance in order to achieve
those goals. I have made a decision to move forward toward achieving
those goals with a new structure and a revised and broader position for
leadership of the Warehouse Gallery.

This process started with conversations with Ms.Suparak six months ago
and included discussions with other CMAC personnel. These conversations
have also involved staff of Human Resources within a process that
involves confidential personnel issues and issues related to overall
long-term goals and objectives. The final decision was mine.

I am writing to assure you that we recognize the importance of the
Warehouse Gallery and our commitment to strong and inspired leadership
for it. The programs at the Warehouse Gallery will continue to move
forward to achieve its envisioned potential.

I believe it is important to honor the commitment to the artists and to
the faculty who have pledged support to the exhibition "Keeping it
Slick: Infiltrating Capitalism with the Yes Men," planned for November
13, 2007 - January 26, 2008. I contacted the Yes Men on September 17,
2007 expressing our support of their work and our desire to continue
with the exhibition as planned. Unfortunately the Yes Men have decided
not to proceed with the exhibition.

I assure you that we will continue with a full year of programming in
the Gallery as we move forward to continue to build the Gallery as an
important venue for the community and for contemporary art in Syracuse.

Jeffrey Hoone
Executive Director
Coalition of Museum and Art Centers
Syracuse University


Anonymous said...

Great Letter Ryan. Unfortunately at this time we should assume we're talking to a junk mail filter. We need to mount a physical protest. Maybe a "Die in" at Lightwork?

Anonymous said...

Hoone writes: "I believe it is important to honor the commitment to the artists..."

What he doesn't say is that he was the one who canceled the Yes Men exhibition in the first place, then lied about it, then lied that the exhibition was still happening (even when it clearly wasn't).

I think a physical protest is necessary, given the university's silence on the matter.

Anonymous said...

Protesting Hoone's untrustworthiness and ineptitude?


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.