" MAE" 20 minute iPad drawing, 5"x7" approximate. Executed 2014 @ EHCC Tuesday Night Figure Drawing Group
This blog is a step away from the Taoist painting thing I've been doing and concerns a little bit of local art business. Specifically it regards the East Hawaii Cultural Center and a figure drawing group that used to meet there Tuesday nights.
Those who know me, know that figure groups have an especially soft spot in my heart. I grew up as an artist, both technically and socially, at a figure group at the Art Students League of Denver back in the late 80s. Long Pose Painting, 3 hours, five bucks. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Big cities have figure groups.
Hilo does,too-by the skin of its teeth. Running one in Hilo has never been profitable, but there had been a group meeting at the EHCC for the last decade.I ran one myself prior to that, at Art In The Ironworks. I know this figure group thing from all sides. I've even modeled, though not nude. A nice way to make fifty bucks, but you'll be sore later.
With Lourdan's moving on, a new regime is in charge at the EHCC, and they have proposed to charge the figure group a significantly higher rate for use of the upstairs room on Tuesday nights, a rate that prohibits the group to use the EHCC as a venue. The group is currently meeting at One Gallery on Bayfront(Thanks to Deborah for rescuing!). But the group's rightful home has been, and should be, WHERE THEY WERE. UPSTAIRS,AT THE EHCC, TUESDAYS from 6 to 9 pm. Uninstructed, bring ten bucks and your own materials.
The callous handling of this group of local-as in, living here- artists, bodes ill and reflects poorly on the new EHCC regime. Artists who work the figure in these rooms are the gym rats of the art world, paying to work on their chops, to get better. The new regime seems either not to get this, or not to care. Neither is good. I propose that the EHCC offer, GRATIS, use of the upstairs Tuesday nights. In perpetuity. That would be true Hilo-style. It would also be an opportunity to show the Hilo artist community that they understand the EHCC's role as Hilo's artistic clubhouse. Remember when the place mattered? Good fun- and we miss it.
An aside- thanks to Codie King and the Wailoa Center for their efforts to provide Hilo artists as many opportunities for us local artists to exhibit and interact as they do. Her position is seriously constrained by the Wailoa's official status as a Park that happens to have a very cool gallery plopped down in the middle, and the Parks Dept. affiliation holds her back. Next time you see her, thank her- and remind her that she's one of Hubbard's big-time heroes in this backwater little town. That and a nickel will make her five cents richer, but my admiration is real.
Also, be prepared for the EHCC to become some sort of annex to UH-Hilo. That seems the only explanation for so many college professors being involved in the new EHCC regime. Mike Marshall and the Marshallettes- I wish I could get more excited. I know I'm not alone among Hilo artists in having the sinking feeling this prospect engenders. Hilo and UH-Hilo are like mongoose and rat in the rarity of their meaningful interactions. We will wait and see...
As I see things, the new regime is missing a golden oppertunity to show Hilo that they care about Hilo. Providing the Tuesday Night figure group with an affordable venue(and from my own experience in this small town, that means FREE, trusting the group to throw The EHCC a few bucks if/when they get flush) would get a lot of goodwill for basically no expense. It's not like the place is bustling Tuesday Nights-or ever.
I've said for the last couple of couple of months that we would know this regime by how they handled the gym rats at the figure group- and I certainly hope they are not as they appear from this bit of business. They appear to care more about money than community. Let's see if they have a change of stance. I encourage all interested parties to voice their opinions to the new guys-and if you'd like to see the email thread between Juliana Ziegler/Graper and Andrzej Kramarz, upon which I've based this rant, let me know. I'll forward the thread.
(Let me say here that I have never met Andrzej, though I saw a show of his photographs at Kea'au Fine Art Center- the last show Robbyn Peck hosted in that gorgeous room. I still remember the work. Andrzej's photos were like Poetry.)
As always, thank you for your time. Until next time. Hubbard