Not sure if Ms. Oland was being sarcastic by stating this about the Rockwell exhibit, but I got a kick out of it;
“To have work by an artist of this stature displayed at the Washington Pavilion is wonderful for our community,” Oland said. “It will be a great opportunity to expose a new audience to artwork that many will find relatable and unintimidating.“
Relatable to what? An America that doesn’t exist? Sure, the photos in the exhibit are real and very relatable, but Rockwell was a illustrator/cartoonist. Norman’s work is like asking Caravaggio to illustrate an episode of Scooby Doo. While very good and entertaining, not what you would call ‘high art.’ And don’t get me wrong, I am a gigantic fan of low-brow and outsider art, I just chuckle a bit when people refer to artists like Rockwell as some freaking European Master. Not even close.
Calling the show ‘unintimidating’ is right on the mark, and sadly funny at the same time. Art should challenge us, not bottle feed us. Maybe that’s why they had to charge for the show, to create some kind of buzz where it doesn’t exist. “Gee, if I have to pay to get into the exhibit, it must be good!”
Shows at the Visual Arts Center’s six galleries usually are free, and this exhibit’s admission fee doesn’t sit well with some art patrons.
“It is unfortunate that the Washington Pavilion is charging for the Rockwell exhibit, considering there has been more significant shows in the past that they did not charge for, like Rodin,” said Scott Ehrisman, a Sioux Falls artist, referring to the May 2009 exhibit for French sculptor Auguste Rodin, who sculpted “The Thinker.”
A condition of the sponsoring foundation was that the Rodin exhibit be free, said David Merhib, director of the Visual Arts Center.
Why do you think that is David? I’ll let you figure out the answer to that question on your own.
“I also have concerns that this may become a trend at the Visual Arts Center,” Ehrisman said. “I have always felt the best part of the Pavilion is its free art museum. That is why I have donated to Arts Night in the past. It is truly an asset to our community.”
And I stand by that statement. That was part of the agreement with the community when the Pavilion was built, the VAC would remain free to the public, and now, we can’t even depend on that?
“But without a rental fee, the Rockwell exhibit would not be here,” Merhib said. “We just wanted to recoup some of the cost, but also wanted to keep the price low enough so that people in the community and surrounding region can come in and see the exhibition.”
What a load of crap. The Pavilion and VAC receive city subsidies, grants and private donations for a reason, so the community can enjoy at least a few things for FREE at the Pavilion. Are times tough? Sure. But just admit it, the rental fee is way to high for the caliber of this show, and you were suckered. Well guess what? Suck it up. I don’t know about you, but if the Pavilion is going to start charging for mediocre exhibits it’s time to cut the purse strings. Then let them charge whatever they want.