Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Rita Gonzalez

To: Nancy Cantor, Chancellor; Eric Spina, Vice Chancellor/Provost; Tom Walsh, Senior Vice President; Jeffrey Hoone, Executive Director, CMAC; and Carole Brzozowski, Dean of CVPA

I am writing to protest the unexpected dismissal of Director and Curator of the Warehouse Gallery at Syracuse University, Astria Suparak. I have been familiar with Ms. Suparak's curatorial years for ten years. As freelance curator and more recently in her position at the Warehouse Gallery, Ms. Suparak has developed a reputation as a risk-taking and intellectually curious curator. She single-handedly put the Warehouse Gallery on the map with her energetic programming which must be a tremendous draw to the student and art loving population in that region.

Ms. Suparak's dismissal seems motivated by ideological differences which is truly unfortunate. But what seems highly unethical and unprofessional is the manner in which Ms. Suparak was let go. Certainly her track record in her position--the sheer amount of programs and the numbers of attendees--do not merit such treatment.

I hope you realize that Ms. Suparak has given the Warehouse Gallery a kind of visibility that the organization previously lacked. I stand in support with the large number of Ms. Suparak's colleagues and supporters in asking you to overturn this decision.

Best,

Rita Gonzalez

Assistant Curator
Special Exhibitions
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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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.