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Young and cynical
Zane Fischer's column, "Who sets the table?", strongly resonated with me—particularly his desire to see young, creative types call Santa Fe home. I am 26. In 2007, I studied screenwriting at the New Mexico Filmmakers Intensive, which was held at the College of Santa Fe.
The year I spent at NMFI was fascinating. It was a magnet for creatively vigorous people focusing on the art of cinema—exactly the kind of thing I want to be around. And now what is it? A Facebook group where we can keep in touch. It seems strange to me that nobody in Santa Fe or the state government is willing to make a substantive financial commitment to keeping a vibrant art school alive in a town that bills itself as artsy.
I'm too cynical to be disgusted by all of this. Spineless ineptitude is what I've come to expect from leaders; CSF's implosion seems to prove a sad rule.
I'll be moving away shortly to pursue an MFA in screenwriting from a major film school. It's an idea that would never have crossed my mind had it not been for CSF and its NMFI affiliate.
It's very important to make a clear distinction between the duties of commissioned art and the duties of those who commission it. It's never been the responsibility of any artist entering a commercial design contest to design around a marketing message that hasn't first been meticulously considered, crafted, then totally supported by the jurying committee responsible for the commission. If the design submissions for the City of Santa Fe poster contest were off the mark, expected, boring or lacked vision, the fault ultimately lies not with the submissions but with The Santa Fe Arts Commission.
Artists somehow always end up getting the fuzzy end of the paintbrush. When they create a successful image for a commercial purpose, the public is traditionally polite but passive. After all, all those successful creative solutions out there on billboards, in stores, on the web, everywhere are so darn simple, eh? But miss the mark or design around misguided marketing direction and badda bing, suddenly everyone becomes Tony Soprano, the art critic…ready to crank up the Uzi and let 'er rip. Hey, everyone knows it's a no-brainer how to make something more communicative. More hip. More real. More Santa Fe. You know, "Better!" Right?
I get that the focus of your critique was directed not just at the artists, but at the "predictability" and "blandness" of the Arts Commission's choices. I would have appreciated your article far more, however, if you had, well…put a dab of your own creativity where your mouth is. You know, a counter-blandness suggestion or two. I don't believe that anyone has the moral prerogative to criticize anything "creative" in the commercial arena unless [he/she] can offer up a better alternative. No one. Ever. Take a shot. If it's not one of the hardest things you've ever done, I owe you dinner.
How about another article studded with marketing gems that'll help guide the Arts Commission and future poster entrants toward making Santa Fe the hottest, coolest 21st Century destination ever. Ka-ching!
I want to thank the Native Americans behind the plan to rid Santa Fe of the blight of trees at the Indian School that had blocked out the sky for so long. It's now a pleasure to drive along Cerrillos and be able to see the sun and the mountains where previously only leaves and limbs, spewing their toxins into the air, had been. And not to be accused of half measures, you didn't leave one of those suckers standing.
It was very courageous of you not to get into a debate with the other members of the community who may not have had the foresight to see the danger posed to future generations.
I'm sure you'll be equally as caring when it comes to the dust the wind is sure to whip up from the property and pave over the entire area so that not so much as a speck of dirt escapes.
Clearly Santa Fe will be greatly enhanced by the museums, concert halls and theaters you will no doubt be constructing to better the cultural and spiritual life of our shared city.
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