Tuesday, October 2, 2007


To whom it may concern:

It is not often that I am compelled to write letters of support for
people and situations that I am not intimately involved with. I am
an artist with a developing media practice that is looking for
opportunities to nurture and focus my work further. Naturally, this
has made me consider applying to graduate schools not just within my
own country but in the United States. Essentially, I am looking for
an open, nurturing yet rigorous and challenging environment to expand
my practice. Syracuse as a community is known for fostering new and
distinct talent and bridging it with artists whose work that is
renowned the world over. Syracuse University is able to attract an
eminent faculty that teach with the same passion that they put into
their own work. This is quite a rare situation, and it seems as if
the surging arts community in Syracuse is at a high point.
Personally, the Transmedia program at SU seems like a perfect fit.
From what I can tell, it is an innovative program with a healthy
balance of international students that are nurtured by a renowned
faculty and buttressed by a wealth of curators, galleries and open

This perception has been undermined by the overtly autocratic removal
of Astria Suparak. News of her dismissal has traveled fast and far,
and its effect has resonated beyond the immediate Syracuse arts
community. The negative publicity surrounding this action and the
subsequent publication of the emails between Suparak and Jeffery
Hoone are eye opening to say the least. I am not presuming that I
know what it takes to run a space like the Warehouse, nor would i
dare say that I know anything about the political machinations
necessary to support potentially offensive material. I can only
assume that it must be difficult and time consuming to balance the
needs of various special interests in order to support challenging
work within the framework of a large American university. However, I
do know the adverse effect of a bureaucratic infrastructure that is
completely at odds with the artistic community that it claims to
support. To make matters worse, the email chain exposes Mr. Hoone's
critical blind-spots, his lack of interest in young and developing
practices and worst of all a thinly disguised and wholly destructive
ego that refuses to let one of SU's brightest people share her gift
for innovative curation.

This shameless display of ego, the tyrannical nature of this disposal
of a great asset and the insular protection of Mr. Hoone by the
undemocratic structure of the CMAC have made me seriously reconsider
if it is worth submitting any application to your school.

respectfully yours,


Vancouver, Canada

Geri Wittig

Dear Chancellor Cantor,

My name is Geri Wittig and I am an artist with C5, a new media
collective that has exhibited internationally, including the venues
such as the London ICA, Ars Electronica, and the Whitney Biennial. I
am writing as a professional artist who would like to advocate for the
reinstatement of Astria Suparak to her position as Director of the
Warehouse Gallery. I met Astria this past July, when I visited the
Warehouse Gallery to see the exhibition, Networked Nature, which
included work by C5. During my visit, over the course of 24 hours, I
realized quickly what an asset Astria is to the Syracuse art
community. Firstly the press packet I received from her regarding the
exhibition was one of the most comprehensive and professional press
packages that I've ever received as an exhibiting artist. Over the
course of the evening in discussion with Astria, I came to know an
extremely knowledgeable and professional curator, who was working
diligently to create art events and exhibitions that are on par with
what is being exhibited in centers for cultural production, such as
NYC and Berlin. In fact one of the artists in Networked Nature, Shih
Chieh Huang, was included in the Venice Biennale this summer – the
exhibitions Astria presented were of a high caliber that was in
alignment with the most professional levels of the fine art arena. In
visiting with a variety of art professionals in Syracuse, such as city
officials with the public art program and Anthony Malavenda of the
Redhouse Gallery, I saw and admired a strong desire and will to
enhance and further develop the cultural landscape of the city of
Syracuse. In all of these discussions, it was apparent that Astria was
a key player in those efforts. I believe letting her go from the
Warehouse Gallery really is a huge loss to and setback for those

Geri Wittig
C5 Corporation


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.