Friday, July 11, 2008

Why I do what I do

I received an awesome letter from textile artist Marjorie Puryear, thanking me for the review I wrote for the New Bedford Standard-Times of her current solo show at the Fuller Craft Museum.

Among the wonderful things she said were: "I was extremely excited by your insight into my work and the subtleties of my concept that you considered. Reviewers of textile work, no matter what the subject, rarely spend so much time on content, usually focusing on the materials and technical qualities, which isn't really as interesting or satisfying to the artist. ... I am delightfully overwhelmed by your positive understanding of my formal aesthetic, and also the way you perceived my intentions."

Marge's kind words made my day. This is exactly why I write these art reviews for the newspaper: Artists work SO HARD to express and share subjects which are near and dear to their hearts, and often their efforts are met with frustrating comments such as, "How long did it take you to make that?" Published reviews are rare, and when they do come, they can be vague at best and rude at worst.

As a reviewer, I feel that my job is to be, as my husband calls it, a "booster." Fortunately I am in a position not to have to review shows that I don't care about. When I write about a show, it's because I picked it, and because I want to encourage readers to go and see work that I believe is of value and distinction.

Here is the link to my review of Marge's show.

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