Sunday, February 14, 2016

Idiots of the week: Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center

It's nowhere near the DMV, but the idiocy of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center all the way in Texas reaches all the way to the nation's capital.

You see,the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) has announced that it has withdrawn as the host for something called the San Antonio’s CAM (Contemporary Art Month) 2016 Perennial. 

Here is the statement released by GCAC Executive Director Jerry Ruiz:
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will be withdrawing as the host for the CAM 2016 Perennial. While the GCAC recognizes the talents and merits of the artists in this year’s Perennial, we have determined that CAM is simply not a mission-fit at this juncture. The Guadalupe remains firmly committed to the values of inclusion and access to the arts. The lack of diversity in this year’s group of artists, specifically the lack of representation of Latina artists in this year’s edition of the perennial, has forced the organization to make this difficult decision after much deliberation and dialogue with CAM’s leaders.
Are you fucking serious? You're removing yourself as the host from an art show because of the "lack of representation of Latina artists"?  Was the juror or curator (this year's curator is Laurie Britton Newell from Colorado, not Texas) directed ahead of time that she should include Latina artists in the exhibition? If so, how was the curator to identify and segregate the Latina artists? Was there a check box in the entry form to ID the entry as coming from a Latina? Or was the curator allowed to see the names of the artists so that he/she could give extra merit to anyone whose last name ended in a vowel or a "z" (at the risk of missing the millions of Latinas all over Latin America and the US with non-Hispanic last names); Or given a list of Latina artists? Any direction at all?

This year's selected artists are Jennifer Ling Datchuk, Marlys Dietrick, Emily Fleisher, Jasmyne Graybill, Jessica Halonen and Leigh Anne Lester... all women. Should someone be pissed because there are no males included? Or is this always an all female show (thus somewhat destroying the concept of diversity and inclusion from the very beginning)?

By the way, at least one of the artists (Jennifer Ling Datchuk) is Asian; one appears to be Jewish (based on the dangerous practice of identifying people by last name; this is also a mine field for "Latino" names), and I don't know or care what Jasmyne Graybill's ancestral DNA background is, but her work is spectacular!

There is no issue with this show, because a curator (hopefully) always should select artwork for an open show based on the fucking art itself, not the racial, genderl, or as in this case, ethnic background of the artist. Unless the curator is told ahead of time: "You have to have some Latinas in this show and this is how you identify them" then this all stinks of idiocy.

As a Latino, all I have to say to the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center is: "You are all a bunch of comemierdas."


Anonymous said...

Exacto Lenny! Esa gente son unos bobos que viven en una dimension donde todo ofende.


Anonymous said...

Eso le da pena hasta a la Virgen


Anonymous said...

Great post!

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best, funniest, and most accurate posts I've ever read here.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have been stung a couple of times when I unknowingly entered competitions where the juror had a hidden agenda (once gender-, another time city- and the third state-based). Personally I try to avoid competitions that focus on a single medium or artist attributes, but tolerate the right of the sponsors to limit entries however they wish.

In this case, with so few artists accepted, it would have been a-priori impossible to by all inclusive, so the GCAC is wrong in their action.

Anonymous said...

Right to the heart of this silly behavior. One would think that artists and arts administrators would know better!