Where was the art at Artscape?

July 19, 2011

In Friday's paper, you wrote that various prizes "make Artscape a magnet for high-quality entries from artists across the region and raise the city's profile as a cultural destination." Huh?

I was at Artscape on Saturday. I estimate that about one-third of all booths were selling commercial products, including two home improvement companies peddling new windows, two auto companies displaying new cars, at least two banks (neither were local), a booth displaying electric fans and vacuum cleaners, and trucks promoting razor blades and hot dogs. Many vendors sold T-shirts, women's clothes, fashion accessories, posters and homemade soaps. The individual artists and artworks were scarce. I did see one painter, one photographer, and one local potter.

Is selling booth space to commercial businesses a way to attract high quality artists from across the region? Or is it a way to raise even more revenue by selling overpriced real estate for a three day street fair?

Ed Schneider, Baltimore

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