In this edition of Sonoran Arts Network, there is a feature article titled “What Happened to Tucson Fall 2016 Open Studios Tour(s)?”
This is a lengthy piece of narrative journalism that describes the changes that have occurred in Tucson’s fall Open Studios tour since August 2015. The Open Studios Tour (OST) has been important to area artists because it gives us a chance to show our work and to meet potential collectors. So most of us, artists, arts-organization administrators, and art lovers alike, have a stake in what happens to OST.
Sonoran Arts Network has argued for over a year that OST should be turned from a city-wide tour to a city-sector, multi-weekend tour season. The article explains why (again).
“What Happened to Tucson Fall 2016 Open Studios Tour(s)?” is quite critical of:
a) Tucson Pima Arts Council (now Arts Foundation of Southern Arizona) for delaying an announcement of the cancellation of fall 2016 OST until the 4th weekend in August (despite having made the decision to cancel much earlier in the summer); for forgetting its promise to provide direct support to grassroots artists’ groups; and instead, suddenly turning OST over to Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA);
b) SAACA for failing to follow its own promise to “facilitate” fall OST, but instead partnering with, and then significantly changing the OST of two very successful grassroots city-sector OST groups (Art Trails and Heart of Tucson Art ) in two key ways - boundaries, and membership - thus diminishing the effectiveness, and potentially, the long-term survival, of these two grassroots artist’s tour groups;
c) David Aguirre for creating a competing OST that regurgitates the old dysfunctional city-wide model of OST that has not worked well for many years; for refusing to recognize the existence of the two existing grassroots tour groups (Heart of Tucson Art, Art Trails); for refusing to recognize the in-built bias of that the city-wide model has against artists around the city; and for recreating an OST that favors a small group of downtown artists only.
Please read the entire article “What Happened to Tucson Fall 2016 Open Studios Tour(s)?” and feel free to comment.
C.J. Shane is the publisher and editor of Sonoran Arts Network. She is an artist and writer. Visit her website at www.cjshane.com to learn more about her.