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ArtRage, PO Box 6865, Syracuse, New York, 13217
Dear Friends & Supporters of ArtRage,
Thanks to the generous gift of the Putter family in 2008, ArtRage was able to make the transition from dream to material reality. Without that financial gift to carry the gallery through the initial years, there would be no ArtRage, since there is very little public funding for the arts, let alone for the political arts!
In order to sustain and grow, ArtRage has developed a number of successful annual fundraising events, including the July Extravaganza and silent auction, the International Women’s Day pancake breakfast, the annual Phonathon, and (their most recent effort) an annual Bike Ride. In other words, the staff and board are doing their part and putting in their time to fulfill the necessary budget projections through fund raising and grant writing.
But a little more is always needed, and this letter represents another necessary annual event – the fund appeal letter!
I was honored to be asked to write this year’s letter.
I do have a story to share with you.
Once upon a time, when I was way too young to know what I was doing, I went to a prestigious art school and majored in painting. Lo and behold, my mind became boggled and confused about the validity of spending my time lost in the aesthetics of color and form on canvas.
In the way that only an earnest young person can, I felt sure that I could see the meaninglessness of (abstract expressionist) art, while others didn’t seem able to. I talked with faculty and fellow students. I have a clear memory of a walk around the East Village in New York City with a young visiting artist from Paris, who tried to inspire me to turn my art in a political direction, as was then happening in conjunction with activism in France.
I didn’t get it. I couldn’t see art and politics coming together in any way that was authentic. As a result, I left art school and the art scene at a tender age, and moved over to the humanities, where I imagined I could be of some use and at least live my life interacting with people, rather than holed up and “suffering” in a studio. Oh the drama of youth!
The point is that ArtRage is here to fill the place that I could not even imagine as a young, but politicized art student. A space that provides a venue for artists who work outside of the traditional art “scene,” and whose work joins political purpose and relevance with visual aesthetic. It is truly a unique and insanely valuable resource in our community – always, but especially at this politically dangerous time.
When I met ArtRage, I knew I was home.
The second chapter in my personal saga began to unfold many, many years after the artistic crisis of my youth.
ArtRage filled that old space of confusion with understanding, satisfaction, and models of how indeed, art can be both the medium and the message. Especially when it is presented with the skill and thoughtfulness provided by the ArtRage staff. Who are committed and talented. Who do not get paid nearly what they would in another gallery or museum, or what their skill and experience are truly worth.
I completely enjoy being one of the crew of “Saturday Staffers,” gifted with time in the gallery and an incredible opportunity to look carefully at each show. I am still deeply connected to political life, and deeply appreciative of the fundamental beauty of visual art.
So yes, it’s time to step up with a donation, or an additional donation. Whatever you can.
I know you appreciate the work ArtRage does and we all thank you in advance for your consideration and support.
Come visit me on a Saturday!