Thursday, March 01, 2007

Appeared in the Statesman Examiner February 27 07

PO Box 375 Colville WA 99114

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dear Editor,

I disagree with the letter from Evelyn Romo of CVPAA who claimed their organization was the only organization to “sponsor professional artists”. She should have stated “sponsor professional performing artists”. Colville Arts Foundation has strived to present many professional visual artists in our community, and worthwhile visual arts exhibits and displays. Working with the Colville Chamber of Commerce, who has been extremely supportive, we have worthwhile programs such as “Art Around Town” placing art in different business venues to give more visibility to our local PROFESSIONAL VISUAL artists. Also, the only 3-county self-guided arts tour, “North Country Artist Trails” presents a dazzling compilation of professional visual artists in the 3-county area to tourists and locals alike.

In its 5-year existence, Colville Arts Foundation has garnered very little support, yet we continue to believe in the arts, continue to support artists and performing artists. I beg to differ with Ms. Romo about the performing artists. Recently, a blues concert was held at Orient Elementary School with over 200 people in attendance. The Fat Tones were clearly professionals. Last year there were professional performing artists from The Blue Door Theatre in Spokane, (improvisational artists and actors), at Colville’s now defunct “Art Burst” (its demise due to a lack of attendance and support!). Art Burst’s performing and visual arts venue was an incredible effort by Dot Javorka and Jan Beardsley and many others, but its demise is a sad reflection of the lack of support. In 2004, Colville Arts Foundation sponsored Jason Webley, a professional musician from Seattle.

As the administrator of a generous Washington State Arts Commission grant, we are pleased to have “Tears of Joy Puppet Theatre” from Bellevue visit Orient and Valley Schools. This event is sponsored by Orient/Inchelium/Valley Arts Consortium. There are professional visual and performing artists in and around Colville but they are tough to find out about. This particular visit is sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission.

I support all the arts, as an artist myself, but have found it necessary to go outside this community to present my own art, as the Bible states, “a prophet is not honored in his own hometown”. I hope we (as supporters of the arts) are growing in number and will have a voice--someday. Maybe we’re just a bit ahead of the curve.

Two years ago, Colville Arts Foundation lost its art gallery space, and if not for Colville Woodworking and Stained Glass and the library, there is NO community venue to display local PROFESSIONAL Visual artists’ work. Hence, the aforementioned, “Art Around Town” which valiantly conspires to display local professional visual artists’ works.

Please support the arts in any way that you can! In general, artists are the most educated and underpaid of the population. As Stuart Wilde, a metaphysical writer stated his book, The Little Money Bible, “We don’t remember the businessmen of Rome or the various generals that fought the Trojan wars. Even the kings and queens of old are fairly uninteresting. What we value is the art, the architecture, and the feelings of bygone societies. What they believed in, what they did, the art they left behind—the Colosseum, Versailles, paintings, books—those are the things that have meaning, and so they last.”

We have the Spokane Symphony’s Woodwind section visiting Orient and Kettle Falls Elementary Schools. It doesn’t get any more professional than that.

What Stevens County needs is an arts council, a clearing house for performing and visual artists, a clear indication of its support for the arts. A local arts agency that can attract performing and visual artists, and support the local artists performing in and around Colville and the whole of Stevens County—providing venues and exhibition halls for dancers, actors, musicians and visual artists. It’s sad that we do not have such an entity.

Sincerely Yours,

Gloria de los Santos
Colville Arts Foundation Director
Visual Artist

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