Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Still the Question: Why No Roanoke Artists?

(Update: The City Arts Commission members are listed here.)

My buddy Valerie Garner has put together a slide show of the works of the artists who are finalists for their art to be displayed at the renovated Roanoke City Market Building. The show can be seen here.

I'm not an art critic, but one word comes to mind with these pieces: "underwhelming." I don't see any quality here that could not have been achieved through local artists. None at all. So, the question not only remains, but it grows with the lack of a compelling reason to go to California for candidates: Why in the hell are there no Roanoke artists on the list?

(Above is a detail from one of the works, provided by Susan Jennings, arts and culture coordinator for Roanoke.)


  1. This reminds me of controversy in 1963 during the WV centennial. A state-spnsored art contest chose a piece titled "WV Moon". See more here:http://www.dailymail.com/News/201006150926
    WV residents poke fun at the decision to this day. I sure wouldn't want that to happen to Roanoke.

  2. Dan:

    I had a look at the finalists. It's all horrible! It looks like corporate clip art! With someone as talented as Susan Jamison living here, why isn't she represented? Our public art needs more edge. I particularly don't like the way that fireman/pilot is smiling at me. This is bad art. Bad, bad art, and it doesn't reflect Roanoke.


  3. I mean it's truly awful! I do not want to encounter these la-la land happy faces when I visit downtown Roanoke. Nothing about any of these art suggestions says "Roanoke" to me. It all looks trite and dated -- already!