by Janet Glatz, Director/Curator/Artist
I wonder if there is as much envious backstabbing in the music field,or the literary field as there seems to be in the art world in Maine.
If you live under a rock, you probably haven't seen nor heard the long and (largely) uninformed arguments concerning Art Collector Maine's methods of promoting artists' work, their "vanity" galleries in Portland and Kennebunkport, and their membership plan. I, unfortunately, do not live under anything except an ominous feeling that a lot of ill will is circulating.
The Gallery at 11 Pleasant, in Brunswick, Maine, (which I manage and which operates in full transparency as a rental space venue,) has not yet been named in these rather caustic exchanges. I fear, though, that this will happen sooner or later.
It is no secret that I have been a member of ACM for half a year; but I resigned my membership three weeks ago. The fact that my name, picture, art, and bio are still up on the ACM site signifies only that they are slow to do their site maintenance. In fact, that slowness was one of the major reasons I resigned. The other reasons are my business and nobody else's.
But don't get me wrong. I hold no animosity toward Jack Leonardi or his various ventures. In fact, I enjoyed a great deal of publicity, sales of work, and opportunities under his auspices.
Isn't the bottom line in all efforts to market anything simply "whatever works for you?"
If artists are able and willing to pay a company for help in marketing, why is this wrong?
And, if those who choose not to market this way fail to sell their work, whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the artist because they lack the skills necessary to move their product? Or, is their product not what the public wants to buy?
I wonder how much success the galleries and artists who vilify "vanity galleries" and "conflict of interest business dealings" have in their own businesses. As an artist who enjoys a fairly lucrative career and a curator/director whose gallery is raucously successful, I truly wish people who are neither artists, nor curators, nor gallerists would stop inciting unrest in Maine's artistic community.
It's a free country, folks. Deal with it.