I am writing to express my disgust and anger in regard to Marta Peluso’s commentary on behalf of ARTS Obispo, “We’re all about art” (March 26). Ms. Peluso’s weak excuses were exactly what I would expect from someone who is desperately clinging to paling power and cash flow.
To state that we artists have it “favorably” compared to other cities because we are being gouged less is cold consolation. Hard-working artists, most with daunting day jobs and families, are being sold the idealistic view that a flawed, no-guarantee “investment” will reap beneficial fruit with their hard-earned money. Mr. Claassen and other members of SLO’s New Art Movement have excellent ideas and, from what I understand, Ms. Peluso has yet to contact him. Even if all of Jeff’s ideas in his commentary “All aboard the art train” (March 19) aren’t feasible, his involvement in the community is legitimate: He is a successful gallery owner and is constantly exposing new talent to the public. To ignore him is to perpetuate the idea that the only way to do things is Peluso’s ARTS Obispo way, a sort of country-club meeting, where technology is obviously shunned and shrouded exploitation is key.
If you’re setting up a newsletter online, why not set up a PDF- formatted catalog that can be printed from home computers? I may be an idealist, but when I think about the vacant storefronts on Marsh, Higuera, and Monterey streets, I can imagine them hosting temporary art shows. If you are paying so much for a permanent space, why not work from home and rent a spot solely for the art shows?
When you crunch the numbers Peluso provided, ARTS Obispo still turns a profit. Her organization isn’t “all about art.” It’s a business, and profit is the bottom line, which is not a bad thing. If she’s trying to fool the art community into thinking otherwise, she’s either underestimating our intelligence or afraid to admit it. The new generation of artists should turn a deaf ear to dated, often exploitative ideals that are hiding under the veil of “community.” Her complaints are merely the sound of the wheels on a bureaucracy rusting away.