Sunday, September 30, 2007

Carmel Nicoletti : Re: Hoone

Jeff Hoone's comment that the drawings by Juliet Jacobson would be
"clearly offensive to a great many people" concerned me. I wonder if
he's ever attended a figure drawing class or walked through the halls
Shaffer Art Building? He seems clearly out of touch with the art
community and their comfort with the human form.

Carmel Nicoletti
Dept of Art and Foundation

Jane Tam

come on
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Reposted from here

Syracuse has been going through some tough art politics lately with the surprising dismissal of Astria Suparak from Syracuse University funded gallery, The Warehouse Gallery. Astria was appointed gallery director a year ago, almost instantly curating an Art Video Festival at the local art space, Spark. Many are outraged at the sudden firing and overwhelming confused on the bad decision made by the Coalition of Museums and Art Centers's Director, Jeffrey Hoone.

Some speculated the decision was due to the current exhibition up at the Warehouse Gallery, titled, "COME ON:Desire Under The Female Gaze." The CMAC heads were not too keen on the subject matter and how it would be perceived by the Syracuse public. Here is a the description of the show from the gallery website:

The Warehouse Gallery of Syracuse University launches a bold new exhibition, COME ON: Desire Under The Female Gaze, which focuses on the psychological, social, cultural and political dimensions of desire, subjectivity and pleasure.
COME ON reveals what is not represented in popular culture and provides a counterbalance to the ubiquitous imagery of sexualized female bodies created for mainstream heterosexual male sensibilities.

The art community in Syracuse have been growing at a fast rate thanks to Astria's influence and connections with the art world. This scuffle throws the growth back 10 steps in making Syracuse a city with a quality art community.

The backlash has succeeded in receiving many supporters for Astria as well as a blog, titled "Syracuse Loses Again." From there you can read the many many letters and press coverage about the situation. You can even read the obvious art censorship argument between Astria and Jeffrey Hoone in their email exchanges. Another interesting blog is Keep Astria.

The City of Syracuse Common Council appointed Astria Suparak to the Public Arts Commission for the period of three years, effective October 1, 2007. See The Post Standard Article.

Here is a flickr set of the COME On exhibit~


K. Erik Ino/Peterson

Dear Mr. Hoone -

My name is K. Erik Ino/Peterson. I am a video artist, musician, and--by profession--a freelance graphic designer. I am currently finishing up my BFA in Art Video through Syracuse University/University College. I have been in Syracuse for 6 years and have been enrolled as a student for nearly 5. Changing majors 3 times does not make for a quick undergraduate career. However, it has given me a good opportunity to experience and embrace the city of Syracuse and what it has to offer.

In my 6 year stay in the Salt City I have always felt like the arts were under-appreciated. So, when I was brought in as a freelance videographer for the CMAC, in the summer of 2006, I was surprised to learn that things were about to change. I had met and interviewed the illustrious Astria Suparak and knew something great was about to happen. For the first time in 5 years, I was excited to be in Syracuse. For the first time, I felt like Syracuse was the place to be.

I'm writing to express my concern regarding the Warehouse Gallery and the supposed personnel changes. For the last year and a half I have been able to enjoy a truly diverse experience in the arts, via Astria Suparak and the events at the Warehouse Gallery, and I do not want that to end. There has been an interest in the arts, by both permanent Syracuse residents and the SU student body. Something currently exists in Syracuse, that has not existed since Bill Viola or Nam June Paik.

I firmly believe that we owe this to Astria Suparak. She has proven her merit, with shows like Come On: Desire Under..., Faux Natural, and Embracing Winter. Astria made these events happen... and these events are what made Syracuse happenin'! Astria has given the scene a new and important presence... but it needs to be cultivated. If she were to leave now, the scene would wither back to what it used to be and the arts would be dead!

Mr. Hoone... We need to foster the arts in Syracuse; we need Astria Suparak.

Thank you for your time.

K. Erik Ino/Peterson
Syracuse, NY


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.