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true pluralism found in texas; discovery of jackalope expected soon

Post #605 • August 18, 2005, 11:00 AM • 11 Comments

Elsewhere I have distinguished between true pluralism, a hypothetical state in which art world denizens treat all styles as potentially valid, and false pluralism, the actual state of affairs in which trendoid poobahs disregard the tradition of art like it was last year's skirt length. But I have dropped by Glasstire and found real pluralism in place - a review of new-media-heavy Treading Water at Ballroom Marfa (featuring Miami's own Maria Jose Arjona), and another of Dan McCleary, who is working handsomely if a bit stiffly in a realist figurative painting style that the Miami Art Museum has forbidden from the premises, even in the course of putting together its own tritely-titled figuration show.

At his opening at Ingalls a few months ago, Nate Cassie told me that art is doing well in Texas. He lives in San Antonio and likes it a lot, saying that warm weather, cheap real estate, and a burgeoning community of artists is making for an exciting place to work.

I now have the answer to the bothersome question of where artists will go once real estate prices force them out of Miami. Forget Hialeah, forget Ft. Lauderdale - we're going to San Antonio, where we'll trade in our flip-flops for cowboy boots, slow down our Spanish to match the locals, and start our own little Wynwood on the Gulf. (Well, not really on the Gulf. More like our Wynwood A Couple of Hours Away from Any Significant Body of Water. But still.)

Comment

1.

Jack

August 18, 2005, 12:21 PM

I can't believe that MAM show is still up. We're talking a nine-month run. Even if it were a significantly better show, that would be excessive. I suppose they can't possibly be bothered to offer the public any more until they've finished making arrangements for their new and presumably world-class facility. We all have our priorities, after all.

2.

alesh

August 18, 2005, 12:50 PM

Actually, it's tempting. San Antonio is one hour from Austin, three hours from Houston, and four-point-five hours from Dallas. That's three quality cities in day-trip (or concert!) range. Not to mention you're within earshot of Mexico, for what that's worth.

Still, one web site (even as nice a one as GlassTire) does not pluralism make. And do I really have to wear cowboy boots?

3.

catfish

August 18, 2005, 1:08 PM

Although Oklahoma is not the cultural mecca that Texas is, property is much cheaper there than just about anywhere else. A brand new 2,000 foot house in Oklahoma City goes for about $150,000. I saw a 7 acre wooded parcel with a 2 year old 2500 foot rock house 10 miles outside the city that went for $89,000. It did need some completion and some of the footage was buried in the soil on the backside. But the frontside of the lower level overlooked a creek that was a nice safe 25 feet downhill.

The cost for a metal building of 2,000 feet runs around $10,000 installed on a concrete pad. They make nice all season studios, even though some days in winter will be too cold to work in one and many days in summer require dedication, though things cool off pretty good at night. There is no necessity to heat or air condition such a building, but one guy I knew a long time ago resolved it by isolating a small area in the middle for heat and air, then using that for actual painting while the rest was storage, stretcher building, and whatever else.

But of course, Okies are not as cultured as those Texans. And they are genetically disposed to move to California in broken down pickups.

4.

Kathleen

August 18, 2005, 2:44 PM

I think this link is relevant to the subject at hand:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/perfi/housing/2005-08-17-housing-valuations.htm

Check out number 21 versus number 289.

5.

Franklin

August 18, 2005, 4:00 PM

Re: #4 - wow.

6.

Mike Crockett

August 18, 2005, 6:02 PM

as an aspiring artist in San Antonio, I can attest to what Mr. Cassie is saying. While in many regards SA is a bit of a backwater, it has an amazingly strong art community, and certainly not just Southwestern art, by any means. And it is inexpensive by the standards of most other parts of the country. Just wish it wasn't so dadburned hot in the summer. Oh well, at least it isn't Phoenix!

7.

oldpro

August 18, 2005, 7:30 PM

San Antonio is a very pleasant city full of very nice people. I have a lot of friends there.
I think the 21st C. is going to be a matter of picking the best places to live, and these places will be learning how to keep their character because the residents will demand it. My son, fed up with the east coast, just moved to San Diego and is happy as a clam. There is no reason to put up with cultural deserts like Miami if you don't have to.

8.

George

August 18, 2005, 11:47 PM

Franklin, here's one for tomorrow.
Hilton Kramer kicks Roberta Smiths ass


oh yeah

9.

oldpro

August 19, 2005, 6:42 AM

George, this link to Smith's review of a Jean Helion show has nothing to do with Hilton Kramer, does it?

10.

George

August 19, 2005, 8:31 AM

HK wrote a tough rebuttal
There's two links click the Hilton Kramer, left side.

11.

oldpro

August 19, 2005, 8:41 AM

OK George. Glad I asked. This is not clear from the link.

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