Why are Denver’s art dollars going to artists OUTSIDE of Colorado?

District News
Jack Pappalardo

Last Thursday, the Denver Business Journal’s Morning Call - a free service that delivers a roundup of Colorado business news to your email in-box every weekday, reported some figures that greatly affect Colorado artists. The news report is restated below:
                                                                                                                                                                                                             
Denver’s art dollars going to artists outside Colorado
Denver Business Journal
Date: Thursday, September 22, 2011, 6:02am MDT

The city of Denver has spent about $3.5 million to buy public art over
the past two years, and most of that money has gone to artists outside
Colorado, KCNC-TV reports. Off the 22 art projects that money
purchased, just eight of the commissions went to Colorado artists, who
were paid a combined $400,000.

The city of Denver has spent about $3.5 million to buy public art over
the past two years, and most of that money has gone to artists outside
Colorado, KCNC-TV reports.


This is an issue that has troubled Colorado artist for years.  I was introduced to the problem during the Democratic National Convention, which was held during a period of substantial momentum for the local creative sector in 2008.  We were truly posed to live up to Visit Denver‘s mantra and show the world that we are the “Creative Capitol of the Rocky Mountain Region” by rising to the occasion and doing something big on the world stage.  So what happens?  The commissioned art for the Democratic National Convention goes to 7 outside of Colorado!  Yes, our stage and $750,000 was handed over to outsiders.

The artist community in Denver felt like it got punched in the stomach and had its collective wind knocked out of it.

Why?  How could this be? 

Well, the answer I received was that it was a rare opportunity to obtain artists of the caliber that we could attract from outside of the state, and the job of our cultural affairs office is to look out for the interests of the general public, not our artists themselves. 

My reply?  That’s total bullshit!  Challenge and support our local artists and they will rise to the occasion and create something on a par with or better than any! 

Sincerely,

Jack P. Pappalardo
President of Denver’s Art District on Santa Fe

Georgia Amar Fine Art, LLC
Habitat Gallery & Studio
828 Santa Fe Drive
Denver, CO 80204
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

View the original article here at http://bit.ly/qHCRnp.


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