Sunday, November 25, 2007

Post-Standard -- Katherine Rushworth

Up Close and Personal

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I know I'm not alone in wondering what direction The Warehouse Gallery will take in a post-Astria Suparak era. Suparak, the gallery's recently terminated director, had built a solid reputation for mounting smart, edgy-to-the-point-of-controversial group exhibitions. She featured national and international contemporary artists who engaged a wide variety of media. Under her leadership, The Warehouse Gallery was providing the Syracuse visual arts community with a quality and range of shows that no other venue in the area was offering - a breath of fresh air.

So, when I heard The Yes Men - a widely acclaimed, sometimes maligned, band of cultural interventionists - had pulled out of their scheduled "show" at The Warehouse Gallery, I was wondering what would, or could, take their place. The answer is - drum roll, please - a photography show.

This was most likely a quick fill to solve the gap created by the cancellation of The Yes Men, so I think it's only fair to the gallery's interim curator, Jeffrey Hoone, that we wait to see what kinds of shows will be charting the future for this important visual arts venue. Hoone, at the eye of the storm surrounding Suparak's termination, deserves a chance to show us the direction he will take the gallery. He knows he's under a microscope and that community expectations are high.

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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.