Sunday, February 11, 2007

Studio Controversy (2007)


So much of this blog centers on issues that were current 100 years ago -- it's hard to return to the reality of today ....

But one of today's realities is that there is no studio committee -- no studio chairman -- and consequently no management of either the sculpture or painting studio -- so in both places -- an individual has stepped forward to take control -- under her/his own authority.

(subsequent to writing this, it was brought to our attention that on 5/19/2004 there was indeed announced a "subcommittee for studio lighting: Clayton Beck (chair), Val Yachik, Mike Van Zeyl" -- but since that time this committee has never announced a meeting or made a report to the board -- so I completely forgot it existed -- see comments below.

On the other hand -- it's also true that this committee -- like all committees -- "may not act on behalf of the Academy or bind it to any action but it may make recommendations to the Board of Directors."

So nobody had any business permanently obstructing the studio windows without first going to the Board for authority.




Last Summer it happened in the sculpture studio -- leading to a petition of redress signed by all the other sculptors -- and this Winter it's happening in the painting studio -- leading to the petition signed above by all the Sunday painters.



At issue -- are these north skylight windows -- which the self appointed authority had covered with paper to diffuse the light (you can see the shreds that remain after it was torn down (vandalized ?) by the Sunday painters)



Also at issue are these black curtains some self-directed person used to cover the back windows.

A certain controversial individual has recently compelled the board to schedule meetings for all the P&C committees -- and I think this shows why they're needed.

12 Comments:

Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Go ahead--name names.

Clayton Beck was the force behind the window screening. I don't know who is the impetus for the meetings.

February 11, 2007  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

P.S. I will sign the statement tomorrow--wasn't there today.

February 11, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

The leader of the conspirators is none other than the Ten-foot green snake , our visitor from the PRC, Mary Qian

February 12, 2007  
Anonymous Brian Minder said...

I don't understand why a committee is needed. It is the job of the open studio monitor to make sure the studio is returned to original condition after open studio sessions during the week. I think this falls under that category, because I am almost completely sure that the weekly monitor was aware of this.

I signed the "petition" on Sunday not because I thought the screening was a bad idea (its not, no more than putting a spotlight on the model for a certain light effect), but because the screens weren't put in to be removable. The monitor should have seen to that as I pointed out above.

I wouldn't label Clayton (whom I do not know well) as being some sort of villian or "self-appointed" authority. Others might. I also wouldn't characterize Mary as being any different from him in this regard. To me they both acted in a similar fashion. And they both did what they did without consulting one another, so what kind of courage or consideration does that show?

It would be a good thing if situations like this weren't blown up to be more than what they are, minor incidents that can be easily resolved. A little more cooperation and comraderie amongst the best painters at the P&C would be a welcome change. I don't think a commitee is necessary for this.

Also, Marci Oleskiewicz and I are beginning a monthly critique group that begins this Friday Feb. 16th at 2:00 pm. Subsequent meetings can be scheduled for a different time slot. But the idea is to have serious painters come together for some ruthless, non-hand holding critiques so we can progress more quickly in our work, and also learn a bit more about the fundamentals and how to put things together. Its an idea we got from the Rose Frantzen workshop we both attended in the Fall. So you are welcome to come Stuart, er, I mean "Cobalt", if you can. One of the ideas is also to make a move toward more finished studio pieces rather than the 3-6 hour alla prima study (although those are also welcome). Please help us get the word out. Thanks.

February 12, 2007  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Brian--does it have to be on Friday during the day? I'd love to come and it sounds like a great idea. Unfortunately work intrudes.

Good points in your comment. Thanks.

February 13, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Some people are more interested in this (or any) studio issue than others.

Some issues can be resolved by friendly, informal discussion -- and some cannot.

The point of a committee is to have a place where all issues can be discussed and resolved by everyone who's interested.

It doesn't have to meet all the time -- it just has to meet when necessary.

February 13, 2007  
Blogger Seckman said...

I love the idea of a critique group and would attend if the time slot was either in the evening or on the weekend. The original post states that the paper was torn down by "the sunday painters" which is a generalization that seems to present a consensus of thought and action that is not necessarily present.

February 13, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

The office has just informed me that:

"Clayton Beck is the studio chair. Val Yachik and Michael Van Zeyl are on the committee. Master Russian painter Misha recommended the changes. After informing the office, the committee had the curtains and tracing paper installed. The purpose of the paper is to diffuse the variances of warm and cool light that reflects off the new buildings in the area. The black curtains were to offset the same. The Sunday painters did rip down the paper without permission and we're currently dealing with the situation. The monitor has apologized."


My problem is that:

The "studio committee" has not reported to the board in at least two years.

So there is no record that Misha or Michael are on that committee or that Clayton is the chair -- and, of course, there is no record that this committee has ever discussed this issue.

What SHOULD have happened is:

The studio committee announces when it will meet and what it will discuss -- so that concerned parties can participate in a more positive fashion.

No great crimes have been committed -- and there's no need to find fault here -- we just need to take organizational structure a bit more seriously.

February 13, 2007  
Blogger Cobalt Blue said...

Whether or not the studio committee exists--I guess it does, in the persons of Clayton, Val and Michael--or has reported to the board recently, I can't ever remember the question of window screens being propounded to the users of the studio by the members of the studio committee.

Suddenly the screens appeared, as did the great black curtain, and that was that. It might make sense to give notice of changes like this before they occur so that they do not seem like fiats--and so they are not answered with fiats.

February 13, 2007  
Anonymous Brian Minder said...

Stuart and Aaron,

I know that this current meeting is inconvenient, but we made the date about three weeks ago. I know the time should be changed, and probably the day of the week too if we want more people. Since we plan to do it once a month, the March meeting can be scheduled differently.

Please indicate what day of the week and what time would be good. Take into consideration that for many people, Saturday and Sunday are painting days, both outside and in the open studios, plus times to do things with family and friends. I think it would be best to do it during the week, but that presents other problems (parking, etc.). For Marci, who works at the P&C, and me, who works less than full-time and lives nearby, its not a problem. How about Mon, Tues, or Wed around 6-7pm? Also, be ready for some brutal honesty. This means two things--you've got to be committed not to put feelings first and also you need to bone up on fundamentals so you can give a brutally honest, substantive critique in return. One thing that I am worried about is that too many people might show up, and not be ready to hear that their work isn't so great, and also a proliferation of fuzzy, non-descript comments. We want to hold it to more advanced painters who are not receiving critiques from instructors and also are working on independent projects other than studio studies or PAPC Saturday outings, though those can be part of it. One of the reasons we also decided to form the group is that we both want to work towards gallery representation and national and regional shows, which means consistent, high quality work. Keep that in mind.

Last but not least, I didn't rip down anything. I just signed the petition. Sounds like a good idea to me if that's why they put up the screening in the first place, but the screens should be removable. Not everybody is so dependent on copying things so exactly. People should be able to start out in a color and harmonize the rest. In additon, that studio is also used for quick sketch where quantity of light is more important than color temperature changes. If its that bad, you can always turn on the lights. On cloudy days it gets too dark in the studio with the screens. My two cents.

February 13, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

We need to remember that according to the current version of our bylaws (passed a year after the Studio Lighting committee was last mentioned in the Board minutes)-- committees are now called "advisory committees" -- and

"No advisory committee may act on behalf of the Academy or bind it to any action but it may make recommendations to the Board of Directors."

So nobody had any business permanently obstructing the studio windows without first going to the Board for authority.
****************************************************


According to the office, the Studio committee will be meeting in March -- and anyone who is concerned about this issue should attend that meeting.

(or else shut up and accept whatever the committee decides)

February 13, 2007  
Anonymous Alan Hruby said...

No one likes to be surprised by unwelcome changes. Though I agree that the Board should have sole authority to accept or reject proposed changes, I believe that their decision-making would be improved if they adopted a policy of providing notice of proposed changes to the membership and then giving them an opportunity to comment before taking action.

February 14, 2007  

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