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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art Announcements

Posted by on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 2:22 PM

1. The Museum of Northwest Art is located far away from Seattle. It's in La Conner. That is why it became exhausting for the very good Seattle-based arts administrator Tim Detweiler (this guy, here for several years) to continue in his job as director at MoNA. Detweiler is leaving MoNA after October 10, and will be consulting-while-parenting.

"Too much driving, not enough time with my kids," he wrote in an email. "I figured out that if I added up all of my driving over the past year and a half it was like driving 45 days straight!"

Would it be smart for the "Museum of Northwest Art" to relocate closer to the cities of the Northwest, where much of the art gets made and talked about? This question gets raised perennially and probably will not lead anywhere soon. I haven't done a full analysis, so all my thoughts at this point just lead to more questions.

2. Lois Harris, who's been Provost/VP of Academic Affairs at Cornish (sort of the president under the president) for 12 years, is retiring. I love this line from her bio: "Her teaching interests beyond music include Holocaust Studies and Ornithology."

On October 1, associate provost Jenifer Ward will take over as interim provost while a national search is conducted. Given Ward's extraordinary participation and vitality in the arts community in her five years here so far—she has collaborated on projects and writings, published her own book, organized some of the most memorable recent events at Cornish, and generally become the college's most visible and steady link to the visual art and artists in the city)—it would be best for all of us if that national search takes very seriously that the best candidate may be sitting in the next office over.


Comments (6) RSS

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Brad Owen sucks. He spoke at a joint fundraiser/birthday party for Bob Hasegawa and only talked about his own campaign, even soliciting help for his event the following week. Stay classy, Brad...

I think I'll actually cast a vote for Finkbeiner in that race, if only to get rid of Owen.
Posted by birthday guest on September 26, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
Fnarf 2
La Conner likes to think it's an "art town" but it's really a dreadful enclave of rich hippies and the kind of sub-Chihuly monstrosities they like to plop in the foyers of their McMansions. Like Magic Dolphin Art, only for people with money. The place gives me the willies. So, yeah, he should move.
Posted by Fnarf on September 26, 2012 at 2:56 PM · Report this
Fnarf, you are, as usual, clueless. La Conner is a tourist town of 600 people, and about 3 of them are "rich hippies". There are a sizeable community of retired farmers, some Latinos, some artists, fishermen, poets, cooks, and Indians- across the slough are hundreds of Native americans, and they are NOT rich.

Anyway, MONA serves the entire area, not just the tiny town of La Conner- frequent visitors come from the San Juan Islands, north to Bellingham, upriver towards Concrete, and the whole Skagit Valley.

If a curator or museum director is unwilling to move to the vicinity of their musuem, I would say THAT is the problem- should every single thing in Washington State move to convenient commute distance to Seattle? Isnt that what the failed experiment of Bellevue is?

The fact is, a regional museum is a perfectly good thing. It does different things than a big city museum does, and that is as it should be. But a regional museum, to be run properly, needs people who live in the region.

For instance, shouldnt the Seattle Art Musuem just move to NYC or LA, as the revolving door of curators and directors there seem to prefer living in those cities, so it would be SO much more convenient for them if the Museum was there too, n'est ce pas?

The real fault, of course, lies with the board of the Museum, who wouldnt insist that residency was a condition of hiring.
Posted by CATSPAW666 on September 26, 2012 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Fnarf 4
@3, I am aware of the reservation across the river. I didn't see any of those people on the streets of La Conner, at least not the street where all the "art" galleries are. And everything on that street gave me the mega-creeps. Call 'em tourists if you want to; but the "art" that's available there costs thousands, and is uniformly horrible and, yes, hippiefied. Personally, I blame Tom Robbins.

I suspect the board doesn't make residency a condition of hiring because that would reduce the pool of applicants to the point of idiocy. I assume they want someone with a little more savvy than your average Thomas Kinkade boutique owner or ice cream server.

In what way is Bellevue a failed experiment? It's arguably the healthiest city in the region. I think they even have a net in-migration of commuters nowadays, i.e., the population is higher from 9-5 than outside that time, with all the people who live in the bedroom community of Seattle but work in Bellevue. And there's been more construction cranes in Bellevue than in Seattle for quite some time now. Of course those aren't the highly sophisticated tourists who waddle down the streets of La Conner looking at the $8,000 giant glass frogs.

Hell, move to Bellingham if you're trying to draw from the region. La Conner is nowhere.
Posted by Fnarf on September 26, 2012 at 4:43 PM · Report this
oh, THAT 5
No, the Museum of Northwest Art is not far, far away from Seattle - all of 1.5 hours driving, if that.

I've visited the Seattle museum once or twice. I've visited the Museum of Northwest Art four or five times. I live in San Francisco. It's a absolutely wonderful museum and it's right where it should be in my opinion.
Posted by oh, THAT on September 26, 2012 at 5:37 PM · Report this
One director moves on and the place should pack up and follow? to be closer to Seattle's $8000 glass frogs? That's absurd. It's the best small museum I've ever been in and the programming is solid. I vote for hiring Jake Senuik, retired curator at Port Angeles Fine Art Center. He'd be a perfect fit.
Posted by Steven Mesler on September 26, 2012 at 7:39 PM · Report this

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