Past Comments

December Issue 2009
by Tom Starland

Correction And Apology

Last month, in an article about an exhibit at City Art in Columbia, SC, I left off the "Goode" in Harriet Marshall Goode's name in the headline of the article. That wasn't good on my part. Sorry Harriet, I had to say it. We know who Harriet Marshall Goode is, she has been a good supporter of Carolina Arts and we're sorry we missed her complete name in the editing process - twice. We also hope we didn't upset her husband - who might have mistakenly read something into that headline. Sorry Martin, you're still in charge of carrying all the heavy art supplies.

The exhibition has been extended through Dec. 31, 2009, and also features works by Wanda Steppe.

In my defense, our home suffered through the flu season in October - even a visit by the H1N1 flu to our son. Linda and I are old enough to have had some exposure in the 50's to a similar flu, but we still suffered from all kinds of symptoms - even if it wasn't the big swine flu.

Then again, typos, like the flu, are hard to find a cure for - no matter what you try.

Holiday Shopping & Giving

On our cover you'll find a woodcut by Kent Ambler stating that art is a good investment - and it is. Just ask the last owner of Andy Warhol's silkscreen titled, 200 One Dollar Bills, which recently sold at auction for $43.8 million, more than three times its highest presale estimate of $12 million. The work was first purchased in 1962 and the last "happy" owner purchased the work in 1986 for $385,000. You do the math - it's way over my head, but that's what I call an investment that paid off.

I'm not saying that's going to happen when you purchase art from a Carolina artist, but I can also say - you never know. Many commercial art galleries and art centers are presenting special holiday exhibits featuring smaller works priced for holiday giving. Art makes a unique one-of-a-kind gift for that special someone - or yourself.

And for you folks out there who might be doing a little better than most of us in the art community - this is a great time of year to make a contribution to struggling artists, art organizations, art institutions, or even an arts publication. We're all looking for a little help this year. You could be someone's secret Santa or a generous rich Uncle or Aunt this year - making 2010 look a whole lot brighter.

What Got Your Attention?

After delivering the Nov. issue I did my regular check of visitors to Carolina Arts Online, our web + version of Carolina Arts and Carolina Arts Unleashed - my blog - just to see how we were doing. Oh my - what a surprise.

In Oct. 09, we had over 390,000 hits. That's 90,000 more than the monthly average over the last year. I'll be very interested to see if those numbers are there for Nov. - if not - I'll be wondering what I said on the blog or what on the website got the interests of so many more viewers in October. I can't think of anything unusual, but 90,000 is a big jump. With a ten-year archive - it's hard to pinpoint anything as a major contributor to that jump, but something got a lot more people's attention. I wonder what it was.

It's still amazing to me that that many people, all over the world (less than 390,000 but still a lot) are that interested in what's going on in the visual arts community in the Carolinas.

Recession Not Over For The Arts

Perhaps technically, by how they measure such things, the recession is over - for now, but the depression that has hit the arts community is still here - especially in the visual arts.

There may be signs that things will get better in the future, but for a lot of us the question is - When? How far in the future? And, will I ever recover all that I have lost?

I wish I had an answer or a good lie, but anyone's guess is as good as mine. All I can say is hang in there as long as you can.

Myself, I'm looking forward to Jan. 1, 2010. That's the day we begin our 14th volume of Carolina Arts and that 13th volume will be behind us. I'm not normally a superstitious kind of guy, but I'm grabbing a hold of the notion that this 13th year has not been good and that next year will be much better.


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Carolina Arts is published monthly by Shoestring Publishing Company, a subsidiary of PSMG, Inc. Copyright© 2009 by PSMG, Inc., which published Charleston Arts from July 1987 - Dec. 1994 and South Carolina Arts from Jan. 1995 - Dec. 1996. It also publishes Carolina Arts Online, Copyright© 2009 by PSMG, Inc. All rights reserved by PSMG, Inc. or by the authors of articles. Reproduction or use without written permission is strictly prohibited. Carolina Arts is available throughout North & South Carolina.