Determining who is worthy as a contemporary artist Part 2

Read part 1 here.

There were other things that happened, but I have big shoulders, and these other people have small minds. I wonder if they realized what an ass they were being. When I consider the attitude of today’s “contemporary artists” as defined by the local artist run centre, it strikes me that there is no difference between the current attitude of these centres NOW and the attitude of the French Les Beaux Arts in 1863, which refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of artists such as Manet, Courbet and Whistler. I have to note the correlation between the present day universities and the French Academie des Beaux-arts in the 1860s – while the French Academie strove to facilitate the technique, the present day universities focus on the idea. But to me, there is no difference in these principles.

Fast forward to 2007. A studio came available, and there were a number of applicants. I need to state that I feel all the applicants were worthy and that I can understand a case being made from each one. I know both of the artists discussed in this article, and I like both. Dawn has her strengths the same as Tari. What I do not understand or accept is the attitude of superiority, as displayed in this article, on behalf of some of the “contemporary artists” of this town.

Read the article here:

Event article on Dawn Emerson and Tari di Bello
Event article on Dawn Emerson and Tari di Bello

And then ask yourself, what is the attitude towards these two artists from the writer? Certainly, one can be taken as the friend, and the other….. not.

Did you notice this section: “Art career challenging Artists often start their careers knowing a lot about art but little about self-employment. Yet when Kelowna painter Dawn Emerson recently made a full-time commitment to her art practice, she wrote a business plan.” This writer was not the one who made the comment to me about my not being a contemporary artist. I do believe this writer is more openminded than most when it comes to the challenges of being a contemporary artist.

However, read this:. “Emerson, secretary-treasurer of Cool Arts, wanted to work in the studio on her own art while helping drop-in clients, a plan aimed at fostering greater public awareness of the creative potential of people often pushed to the margins of society. Instead, the Rotary will rent the studio to Tari Dodd-DiBello, a self-taught artist and former show skater who is married to Tom DiBello, winemaker at CedarCreek Estate Winery.

You see, the problem I have with this whole article is that it disparages one artist in favour of another. It is making judgements of who is worthy and who is not. How does the writer of this article know is what the past experience of Tari Dodd-DiBello?

According to Tari, that writer never even bothered to contact her to ask any questions. Now I have a problem with that. What was written was a flippant dismissal of Tari – the article left me with the impression that she’s an exshow girl skater, self-taught, and knows nothing about life, the universe and everything, has had no relevant experience, and the implication that her husband Tom, who also has no brain because he is a winemaker.  How is that unbiased well rounded reporting? That article was completely one sided, distasteful and judgmental. Yes, there are cliques in this town, yes, there are things going on beneath the surface – however if you don’t talk to the other side of the story, how are you to know what they are?

I know Tari, and she is smart funny and has a great deal of experience of this world. I have met Tom many times as well, and he is enjoyable to talk to, very personable. He knows his stuff. I think there was an opportunity to learn a few things about some people and that opportunity was not taken to its full advantage. Sad.

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