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Art vs. Mediocrity

Open Letter to ArtWalkRavenswood

In 2006 and 2007, Ravenswood artists participated in two of the most successful and well attended Tours of Arts and Industry in the six-year history of that event. It is now the start of February 2008 and the artists in Ravenswood have not yet heard from ArtWalkRavenswood. We have had no report on the success of the 2007 Fall arts tour, no request to return signage or participate in any post-event surveys. We need to hear from ArtWalkRavenswood and to know that you continue to represent our interests.

In addition to being entrepreneurial businesses that invest time, talent, and money into our creative ventures and communities: we are also volunteers, teachers, and activists. We want to care for and contribute to our working environment and to share our creative work with others. The partnerships that ArtWalkRavenswood has developed over the past six years have gradually brought attention to the many artists who live and work here. The growth of new businesses and improvements to existing buildings has increased within that same time frame. The annual Tour of Arts and Industry, coordinated by ArtWalkRavenswood, is an opportunity for artists to show their work and for visitors to see the inside of an artist’s studio. It promotes the experience of art and shows that artists have a respected place working and contributing along side small-businesses and manufacturers.

ArtWalkRavenswood has the potential to be a leader in community development if it maintains the relationships and trust cultivated over these six years. Creating opportunities to show art in local businesses, forming a partnership to create a mural, or instituting a Ravenswood gallery space would help to keep our urban space a vibrant destination point and promote its high-level of artistic excellence.

As an artist, my studio is the core of my creative development and I have a stake in the future of Ravenswood. An updated organization website, public meetings, newsletters and requests for feedback are ways that ArtWalkRavenswood can and should seek the participation and input of its community of artists. Keeping your public informed of your activities and expectations strengthens our investment and equally assures the success of the annual arts tour that has become your signature event.