Why is our New Mexico Tax Dollars not Invested by State Agencies in Building the Artist Business in New Mexico

David M. Boje. Updated August 17th, 2010

 

In Part I - Why Southern New Mexico Arts and Culture is not on the Map of New Mexico?

In Part II - Why did NM Arts - selection committee for Art in Public Places Not Pick anyone as a Finalist for the NMSU O'Donnell Hall art commission and only select five finalist who did not live in New Mexico? - See Sun News Article Aug 4 2010 by S. Derrickson Moore

In Part III - What happened to Efforts for Las Cruces to apply to the State of New Mexico for an Arts and Culture Designation area?

In Part IV: Why does the Federal and the State Government use Different criteria for who Can be on an Art Selection Committee?

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Return to main site http://talkingstick.info

I teach small business, so my orientation is to do things that help the local NM small business community.

Of course, as people, say you want the best art in any competition. But what if the best art is right here in our home state? What if there is a norm in New Mexico government agencies and my own university that says, always award the big dollar art commissions to out of state artists?

Per capita there are more artists in New Mexico than any state.  That means to me that there is a sizeable population of artists (which the method of DCA, by the way undercounts – see report). 

There seems to be a working ideology of the State that tries to move the commission artists selected to out of town. I think this may explain the action of the selection committee.  There are extra psychic points by the State for giving to commission to an out of state artist.  The story told is that this increases likelihood that our NM artists will get an out of state commission.

As one person put it in Sun-News Sound off on August 7th, "New Mexico artists are starving and New Mexico State University is irresponsible to give our money away." 

I have a working hypothesis: that the state agencies for the arts (NM Arts, Department of Cultural Affairs) are persuaded that the art in New Mexico is not as good as art in NY, California, or Colorado. And this would explain why so many big dollar value art commissions for Art in Public Places, are being awarded to out of state artists. Only the low dollar awards seem to be going to in-state artists.

However, this is an hypothesis, and needs some statistics to back it up.

First priority according to the mission statements of the State and the State university, is to serve the citizens of NM.

A huge priority is for the New Mexico Arts (NM Arts) unit of Department of Cultrual Affairs to follow its own rules. From what I can ascertiaon, the O"Donnell Hall commission was picked up in Sun-News froma Press Release. The Regents designated the NMSU architect to act on their behalf. But this still raises the question of how only 36 applications for a huge commission.

First an overview of how I got started in doing service learning projects at my university to help artists of southern New Mexico.

ONCE UPON A TIME, May 21, 2007 - Ruth Drayer made a plea, that as a small business professor in the region’s major university, that I had a responsibility (i.e. ethical answerability) to do something that would help artists… I heard myself accept her invitation.

Ruth Drayer

Ruth Drayer, accomplished artist who lived in Las Cruces, but in 2008 moved to Santa Fe, because 'artists just cannot make a living in Las Cruces.'

She is among the many local artists in and around Las Cruces that have trouble obtaining a living anywhere above the poverty line. My main purpose in writing this report is to bring attention to a balance of social and economic habits influencing the population of community artists, galleries, and others trying to get by. My assumption is that if the State of New Mexico can recognize Las Cruces as an arts and culture destination (see Part III) and select more New Mexico artists for Art in Public Places commissions (see Part II) that this will help to put Las Cruces on the map (see Part I) and resolve the systemic under-count of artists in this regioin by the State. For these parts of the Arts insitutions to change would mean that socioecomic circumstances of southern New Mexico artists would also change. Right now the institutions in power in the the arts have some well-established, deeply-entrenched social and economic habits that will need to change before southern New Mexico artists can make a living in and around Las Cruces. And these socioeconomic habits are definite obstancels to changing the poverty level of artists in southern New Mexico. There is a socioeconoic statioinary process that has a determined "quasi-stationary equilibrium" (Kurt Lewin, 1951: p. 224). Adding forces for institutional change in socioeconmic habits and reducing institution's resistance to change can move this level of artist poverty in the direction of greater prosperity. The idea of social and economic habits implies that the processes of putting Las Cruces on the state's art-tourism map, using more reliable and valid ways to count the number of artists eeking out a living, getting New Mexico artists the lucrative Art In Public Places commissions, and getting the local Las Cruces arts institutions to move forard on an arts and culture designation from the State --> all depends on changing entrenched social and economic habits. A force sufficeint to "break the habit" is needed to "unfreeze" the current habit patterns (Lewin, p. 225). One could try to deny that the institutions of arts and culture in New Mexico have an "inner resistance to change" in socioeconomic habits. But then one would also need to answer the question: whay does the socioeconomic force field of habits in Las Cruces show such a steep gradient of historic sonstancy to keep the level of artist poverty in place, and allow only a few elites to control the game? There are "vested interests" in keeping the socioeconomic equilibrium of haves and have nots just as it is, as it has been fore several decades.

There is a socioeconomic cycle of regression in play. It keeps progression from overcoming the obstacle: a pattern of socioeconomic habits. There are a great variety of symptoms that this report will examine in regards to the obstacle. The problem of regressioin is an intersection of historical social and eocnomic problems. They point to the sequence of artist experiences in situations of not being able to eek out a living in Las Cruces. They show their art, but not much sells. There are habits of behavior that repeat a cycle of regression, and defeat the forces of progression necessary to raise the level of artist income. If one were to represent the life history of Las Cruces artistes, the velocity of progression keeps being dissipated by a cycle of regression, where the status quo seems to reinvent itself.

Some History: In 2007 we did two focus groups (talking stick circles) with artists and local arts organization leaders and members and identified several critical areas that student groups in my small business classes (Mgt 448, BA 448 and Mgt 548) could work on. We proposed a commission of leaders of local arts groups to advise the city. As you will read in Part III, the cycle of regression set in, and the status quo is now the only advisor to the city.

  1. Copy of 2007 1 page Flyer pdf (quick download)
  2. Copy of just the 2007 implementation chart 1 page
  3. Copy of 4 Page Summary of Final Report - Word version - PDF version please note new dates of Task Force Meetings May 7 2008 presentation

In2008, we did the arts convention meetings and I began (Oct 2008) working with Virginia Maria Romero. We had met with the local Dona Ana Arts Council executive and several board members. They told us not to bother with the City, or forming a commission to advise the mayor. The executive director (mistakenly it turns out) said that DAAC had a MOU to be sole representative to the city. Again the cycle of regression set in, and the status quo had its way.

Virginia Maria Romero

Virginia Maria Romero

We did presentations to the City Council of Las Cruces and of Mesilla, and to various parts of the University, and to the Dona Ana Arts Council. There was much interest in overcoming socioeconomic obstacles, but not enough to overcome the cycle of regression.

15 Sept 2008 slide show to City Council ; 16 Nov 2009 Slide show to City Council has results of Oct2-3 2009 What's Art Convention

  1. Copy of Entire FINALReport pdf (takes a few moments to download 79 pages) May 7 2008 - version online that incorporates City Council, Dean of Business College, & several arts organization leader's feedback; WORD version of 79 page FINAL REPORT on Arts & Culture Alliance proposal (takes longer time to download)
  2. Online Draft of Powerpoint Presentation -21 April 08 to City Council meeting
  3. Online version of written report 21 April 08 to City council meeting by David Boje at the Dec 8 2008 City Council Meeting of Las Cruces, Title: Las Cruces and Mesilla Valley Arts Scene Forgotten History: An Antenarrative Guide to Socioeconomic Growth David M. Boje, Ph.D. November 22, 2008 Version Dec 8 2008; edited Dec 15 2008
  4. Slide show to Dec 8 2008 City Council Meeting
  5. Documentary Film of the Sep 2008 1st Convention and Dec 2008 City Council presentation
  6. Poem - The Enchanted Shadow - by Gerri E. McCulloh - for the Las Cruces Arts Scene 21 Apr 08

ARTS CONVENTION REPORT Missions, Goals, & Action Plans of TASK FORCES as of 22 Sep 2008

Database of Contact info - breakdown of the task forces, etc after Sept 15th event

DATA BASE of Contact info for attendees of Sept 8th event

Lots of artists got together in 2007 and 2008 to figure a way to overcome the socioeconomic obstacles, and get some new habits of economy in place.

And began to work with Pat Boneau White, a water color artist, and member of several arts organizations in Las Cruces

Pat Boneau White

Pat Bonneau White

 

We did the first Arts convention Sept 2008 - to get people up north to know about Las Cruces. We held it 3 different days in Corbett Center on NMSU campus.

 

In 2009 we were invited by Irene Oliver Lewis to help a bigger and better Arts and Culture Convention at Alma d'arte Charter School (Court Youth Center).

2009 aRts Convention Team

To my right: artists, Pat Bonneau-White, Virginia Maria Romero, and Irene Oliver-Lewis

The idea was to continue the process of change to the obstacle set in motion in 2007, again in 2008, and do it once more in 2009.

Powerpoint of presentation to Las Cruces City Council on November 16th 2009 summarizing outcomes and recommendations from the WHAT'S ART Convention.

It was a lot of work - WHAT'S ART - SALE GALLERY | Brochures, flyers, posters | How to Help as Vendor, Sponsor, Workshop Leader | Facebook |FINAL VERSION OF WORKSHOP SCHEDULE - BROCHURE | Media/ Pre

Then we had Key note speakers: Sabrina Pratt & John Villani

John Villani was one of the keynote speakers - He said after a tour of the Las Cruces arts scene, and talking to lots of people from the local arts organizations, he was definitely going to put "Las Cruces" in his list of 100 top arts cities in America.

We were all expecting the Dona Ann Arts Council, the City Manager, and the Downtown Partnership (Main Street Program) leaders, to sign off on an application to the State of New Mexico, for Las Cruces to be an Arts and Culture Designation area. But that did not happen.

In sum, this is four years of volunteer, service learning, and civic engagement work by students and a professor from NMSU working with local artists to bring about change in the artist economy of southern New Mexico. The result is the obstacle is still in place, artists are still barely (if that) eeking out a living, and the cycle of regression keeps reinstalling the same quasi-stationary equilibrium level. There is just no movement.

What follows is in three main parts:

In Part I - Why Southern New Mexico Arts and Culture is not on the Map of New Mexico?

In Part II - Why did NM Arts - selection committee for Art in Public Places Not Pick anyone as a Finalist for the NMSU O'Donnell Hall art commission and only select five finalist who did not live in New Mexico?

In Part III - What happened to Efforts for Las Cruces to apply to the State of New Mexico for an Arts and Culture Designation area?

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PART I - 1st Problem: Southern New Mexico is NOT on the Map! And, there is an under-count of the number of people employed in arts and culture jobs in New Mexico due to a flaw in the methodology used by the state.

July 24 - 2010 SUMMARY - by David M. Boje

When a new public building is constructed 1% (sometimes more) is set aside for 'art in public places.' My university, New Mexico State, has a number of these art commissions in and around its buildings. So does the City of Las Cruces, where I live (in southern New Mexico). The problem I see. Very few of the commissions are awarded to New Mexico artists. An exception is the Trader's sculpture behind outside the Business College (between Gutherie Hall and Business Complex buildings). In the City of Las Cruces, a number of new buildings (City, County, State, & Federal) have art in public places (but as far as I can tell not much of it is by a local artist). For the past four years, I have been doing service learning projects and civic engagement projects in the courses I teach (BA and Mgt 448 & Mgt 548 small business consulting; Mgt 655 systems complexity; Mgt 388G Leadership & Society; Mgt 685 Storytelling Consulting). And I have made several presentations with local artists to City Council.

This has been an effort by faculty and many students (67 student teams in just Mgt 448/548) that have worked with local artists and arts organizations to put Las Cruces (& Mesilla), and all of southern New Mexico on the map since 2007.

We in Las Cruces are not even on the map in New Mexico!

E.G. A map from a consultant's report to the State of New Mexico (a map on p. 34):

This is an example of storytelilng and consulting

On page 34 of this presentation by Thomas Aageson (2008) consultant, presenting to the National Lieutenant Governor's Association is the above map of New Mexico's "Creative Enterprise Corridor" and "Creative Metropolitan Centers." Download report. You will notice something conspicuous by presence, and something else conspicuous by its absence.

If you look at the small cities that are identified as "Favorite Art Destinations: you will also see an absence. See American Styles Magazine Smaller Cities Arts Destinations and you will notice an absence .

o What is wrong with this map? Taos is not a metropolitan area (defined officially as 50,000 and above in population). The 2nd and the 3rd largest metropolitan areas in New Mexico are missing in action. I live in Las Cruces, and for Santa Fe we don't exist.

o Storytelling consulting research, a subject I teach, looks at the storytelling by consultants, as they impose sense on reality. In this case a consultant is creating a map of metropolitan areas for the State's executives to use to understand how to build arts and culture in New Mexico.

Top Population Cities in New Mexico

  Name C E 2009-07-01
1 Albuquerque 528,497
2 Las Cruces 93,570
3 Rio Rancho 82,574
4 Santa Fe 73,720
5 Roswell 46,576
6 Farmington 43,420
7 South Valley 39,000
8 Alamogordo 35,984
9 Clovis 32,899
10 Hobbs 30,838
source

Let's pay Thomas Aageson a compliment. He asserts that investing in artists is at the heart of makes a creative economy. He lists these as 'Cultural Industries: Music, Performing Arts (Theater, Dance), Literature, Visual Arts, Museums, Craft, Film, Cultural & Heritage Festivals and Markets, Culinary, and Culturally based education, Architecture, Healing Arts, Design, Publishing, Web 2.0"   (Aageson, 2008).

However, there is another problem. The way in which the State of New Mexico, relies on consultants to build estimates of the number of artists and arts organizations throughout the state. That means that the Creative Economy estimates are under counts in the State of New Mexico.

  State reports are “products of peculiar ways of counting and accounting for moments in the institutional life of people who are at some times” members, patrons, visitors, donors (Dorothy Smith, 1990: 108).

Take this as an example, NM Arts (unit in Department of Cultural Affairs), their consultants report:

Zeiger, Dinah; & Radich, Anthony. (2005). Nurturing the State’s Economy. Report prepared by the Western states Arts Federation for NM Department of Cultural Affairs (NMArts is Division of that department), January. http://www.nmarts.org/pdf/westaf-econ-impact-report-jan05.pdf

There are two methods used by states to compile statistics on arts and culture employment. New Mexico is among those very few who rely on a consulting firm to interview people who have active grants, in this case from New Mexico Arts (NM Arts), a unit in State of New Mexico's Department of Cultural Affairs.

What is at stake is what is called the 'Creative Economy.'

Fig 1 Creative Sectors

Source: P. 11 Arkansas report on Creative Economy, 2007

Fig 2 Jobs in the Arts and Creative Economy

Source: Arkansas Creative Economy, p. 13

Creative Eocnomy Model

Source: P. 11 Arkansas report on Creative Economy, 2007

The point of Figures 1 to 3: “The visual and performing arts segment represent the heart and soul of any creative economy, the sectors that generate creativity.” -- p. 17, Arkansas Creative Economy Report, 2007.

So what you ask: In the case of Las Cruces, New Mexico, only four interviews were conducted, and the estimates give to the state's executives in various state departments such as Economic Development, and State Tourism. In other states, such as Arkansas, estimates of numbers of people employed in arts and culture comes from the population census, from actual employment data.

Dorothy Smith, an ethnomethod scholar, asks us to look at how institutions and their consultants compile numbers. For example, look at what happen in a consultant study for NM Arts trying to estimate the size of the arts and culture employment base in New Mexico:

•NMArts study from their consulting firm, estimates “300 nonprofit arts organizations… directly spend more than $63 million in the New Mexico economy…. Employ 853 persons on a full-time basis and 1,484 persons on a part-time basis” and “underwrite more than 2,500 part-time contracted work positions in the state”, “attract more than $6 million in contributed goods and services”, and “attract nearly 800,000 paid attendees to cultural events” (p. 3).

A study I did with MBA student Candle Turner in 2008, using actual census track and employment date found very different numbers.

•Just Doña Ana county where Las Cruces is located, we found  arts workers in the census    1,241
•All Southern New Mexico  counties   3,981
•In Northern New Mexico counties  11,546
•Total from census method used by Boje & Turner:           16,768 people have jobs in arts and culture occupations
CONCLUSION – NMArts report using consultant’s survey under-counts the arts and culture work force in New Mexico.

How is this result in storytelling consulting possible?

•NMArts is focused on a subset of PNP’s it funds. It only asks the consultant to interview and survey those folks.

•NMArts allocations “approximately $1.4 million in grant funds annually to some 150 nonprofit arts organizations and individual traditional artists stateside” ( Zieger & Radich, 2005: p. 6). That is a very small portion of the number of non profits, and completely ignores all for-profit organizations who employ arts and culture workers.

Arkansas, North Carolina & New England states use Census of occupations/ wages

New Mexico uses the consultant study, where: Only 107 arts organizations identified, and only 72 were interviewed who were part of NM Arts funding base or executives of local NM Arts Councils.

Boje – found 130 arts organizations in Las Cruces alone http://talkingstick.info

Response rate in the Zieger & Radish (2005) consultant study done for NM Arts:

  94% of over $1 million budget

  84% of mid size budget

  17% of small budget

Therefore: very few of the smaller arts organizations have any voice at all in identifying employment in the arts.

•The main point: NMArts ( Zieger & Radich, 2005) study samples a very narrow subset of the population, ignoring the private sector, and marginalizing small non-profits

“This relatively small return rate was acceptable for the project of impact of these entities that, while important, have relatively little economic impact.

The Zieger & Raich survey results (N=72) were extrapolated to the estimated universe of 200 nonprofit arts organizations operating in New Mexico” (p. 8).

POINT: The Universe has been stripped-down by the way in which folks are selected to talk to, and what is admitted as a number.

•Gender hypothesis: NMArts study does not look at gender, at all (no mentions)
•Compare to a census of occupations, where gender, private and non-profit employment is admitted to the population
•NMArts report – only 4 references to arts organizations in Mesilla & Las Cruces: A Children’s Theatre (p. 48), Doña Ana Arts Council’s Renaissance Craftfaire (p.57), Ballet Folklorico and other festivals held on Mesilla Plaza (p. 57), Las Cruces Museum of Fine Arts (pp. 45, 64).

•Boje’s count is over 130 arts organizations, plus 12 museums, & 35 galleries in Mesilla Valley of Las Cruces, NM See http://talkingstick.info

As one of our local artists put it, "How astonishing that only  [local Arts Council] was surveyed by the Western states survey....to find out the number of artists in the area!) …. That would mean all the XXXX work.....putting together a website (which has been operative for at least four years)......XXXX, would be useless!!!  No one knows that we (the remainder of the Doña Ana artists exist!!)” (local artist, 20 Aug 2009)

•Core of Doña Ana county economy is the female workforce where men are more the core of the Northern NM county’s work force
–62.45% Female in Doña Ana County
–48.89% in Northern NM Counties

PART II - Next Problem: Even when Southern New Mexico Artists apply for NM Arts - 'Art in Public Places Commissions,' the Deck is Stacked against them -- See e-mail exchange with NM Arts July 20 2010

See Alb Journal article about George Mendoza and the Art in Public Places Award - Aug 3 2010

See Sun News Article Aug 4 2010 by S. Derrickson Moore

I learned , what was to me shocking news in July 2010. It would appear that New Mexico's Department of Cultural Affairs (NM Arts), has created a selection committee for awarding a lucrative contract for O'Donnell Hall's $170,900 'Art in Public Places' commission, and that this committee was composed of 7 people from Las Cruces, of which 4 work for NMSU. They did not pick even one New Mexico artist as a finalist, preferring instead to only look to out of state artists. And the more I learn, the more that it seems that picking non-NM artists for such commissions is said to be a way to get our NM artists to succeed in getting non-NM commissions. I don't know of any artist locally who has succeeded in either (an exception is an arts professor at NMSU who has something in the Federal Building AIPP). I am not sure this bet on the future, of states awarding non-resident artists awards is working for New Mexicans. Does anyone know?

I have a basic challenge: It seems the missions of these institutions is all about doing the right thing for the artists of New Mexico. to help them make a living here. Read the missions and decide for yourself.

What is the mission of the Education College (O'Donnell Hall): The mission of the College of Education at New Mexico State University? - to serve the people of New Mexico through education, research, extension education, and public service with specific emphasis on innovative practices, overcoming barriers to learning, international activities, technology, and literacy for the diverse populations of New Mexico, surrounding states and border communities. The College’s motto is “Transforming Lives.”

What is the mission of the University? "New Mexico State University is the state's land-grant university, serving the educational needs of New Mexico's diverse population through comprehensive programs of education, research, extension education, and public service." Source.

What is the mission of NM Arts (Department of Cultural Affairs, State of New Mexico)?: MISSION: “New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The 15-member governor-appointed New Mexico Arts Commission serves as our advisory body. Our primary function is to provide financial support for arts services and programs to non-profit organizations statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico.” (emphasis mine)

What is the mission of the NM Arts Commission? The mission of the Arts Commission, in conjunction with New Mexico Arts, is to stimulate opportunities for artists, arts organizations, and other groups for activities or projects to provide artistic or cultural services to the state, to maintain and encourage artistic excellence, and to promote awareness of and access to the arts for all of the people of New Mexico.

What is the mission of New Mexico Arts (Division of Cultural Affairs) that oversees awards for Art in Public Places? "To preserve, enhance, and develop the arts in New Mexico through partnerships, public awareness, and education, and to enrich the quality of life for present and future generations."

What is the mission of the College of Business at NMSU? It is to serve the educational needs of New Mexico's diverse population by providing quality education, conducting research, and participating in service and outreach within the global community.

The Question: If all these missions are to enhance the live and economy of artists in New Mexico for the people of New Mexico and preserve the art of New Mexico, then why is so much of our taxpayer dollars being given to out-of-state art? Where is the accountability? Where is the answerability for these missions?

13-4A-8 Artist selection (1997 Repl.) http://www.nmarts.org/pdf/legislation2.pdf
13-4A-8. Artist selection.
The division shall establish guidelines for the art selection process. This process shall provide
for participation from representatives of the contracting agency, the user agency, the division,
the project architect, visual artists or design professionals and interested members of the
community.
History: Laws 1986, ch. 11, § 8.

How were these people picked to award New Mexico tax payer dollars? No one is going on record as to how The Magnificent Seven were selected:

  1. Project Director/User Agency Representative: Wynn Egginton, Director, Education Research and Budgeting Office, College of Education, NMSU
  2. Owner Agency Representative: Michael Rickenbaker, University Architect and Director of Facilities Planning and Construction, NMSU
  3. Architect: Jim Vorenberg, AIA, Van H. Gilbert Architect [located in Las Cruces]
  4. Artist: Tom Gerend, Watercolorist, signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society, the Rio Bravo Watercolorists and the Border Artists. He paints regularly with the Artamants, a Las Cruces art group.
  5. Arts Professional: Sally Cutter, Owner, The Cutter Gallery [located in Las Cruces]
  6. Community Member: Sheryl Parsley, Alumna, College of Education, NMSU
  7. Community Member: Liz Marrufo, Director of Elementary Instruction, College of Education, NMSU

August 2nd I was told by NM Arts that the leadership of NMSU picked the selection committee to represent local artists, the Education College, and architects. And this committee then decided to look at submissions that had extensive background in public places art commissions.

NOTE: All are residents of Las Cruces, New Mexico. There ties between them and a critical tie between NM Arts (Department of Culture Affairs) and this selection committee. Glenn Cutter is a NM Arts Commissioner for the State of New Mexico (Department of Cultural Affairs). The selection committee itself has inter-locking ties. Tom Gerend shows in Sally and Glenn Cutter's Gallery. (codirector of Arts Center of NMSU is wife of the NM Arts Commissioner/ Plus the Artist Tom Gerend is showing his art at the Cutter Gallery - June 12, 2010 ... LAS CRUCES - Physician-turned-artist Dr. Tom Gerend and his ... They're having a joint art exhibition, "Generations," at the Cutter Gallery. ... m.lcsun-news.com/lcs/db_12533/contentdetail.htm; http://artscenter.nmsu.edu/committee.php And  Sheryl Parsley is listed as an alumni of Education College, but she is also on NMSU Center for the Arts [Board] headed Co-Leader of the Leadership Committee-- Sally Cutter.

History: in 1986, the State of New Mexico added a statewide law for Art in Public Places.

FOLLOWING THEIR OWN RULES. It appears that NM Arts has followed the rules in composing a selection committee (i.e. while there is no member of Board of Regents, that is left to the Regent to attend or not) and in advertising the art competition locally (the competition was mentioned in a column, briefly, in Sun-News).

 

Here are the RULES from NM Arts - Department of Cultural Affairs)

1.  From AIPP - Project Director Responsibilities:  [my underlines for attention.]

       -  Written quote from AIPP Director Minette:  "The Project Director  is responsible for selecting the community representatives of LSC."  [an open door for fraud]

       - "Mandatory - for colleges and universities, a member of the Board of Regents or designee must be present at all meetings of the LSC."

       -  "It is imperative for all 5 members (6 members for colleges and universities) of LSC to be present at each meeting otherwise the meeting will have to be rescheduled."  [AIPP coordinator from Santa Fe is required to be at every meeting.  #2 rule states: "Meetings on Friday are discouraged."

2.   4.12.11.9  NMAC General Procedures

          B(2):   "Local participation in decision-making is a major concern of the NM Arts Commission, in order to best assure that works of art selected reflect local tastes and attitudes."

          D(1):  "The LSC is comprised of five members and in extenuating circumstances, seven members."

                   "Local Selection Committees are composed of seven to eleven members." 

          D(3)    "The membership of the committee [LSC] must reflect the cultural diversity of the community involved."       

      4.12.11.12 NMAC Development of the Prospectus:

          D(8):  All state public art projects must be open competitions, available to all eligible artists who would like to apply."

       E(2): Public Service Announcements: "The AIPP staff will send public service announcements to appropriate media, including newspapers, arts publications, and radio stations, locally and statewide."

       E(3):  Press Advertisements:   "Each local selection committee should designate one member who will make sure the project is advertised in the local media."

                [Question 7 from Paul F. Weinbaum to Director K. Minette, AIPP Program Manager: 
                 "Please provide the location of known public notices for Prospectus #155 meetings."

                  Response:  Public notices were sent to the Las Cruces Sun-News at least two weeks prior to  each meeting of the LSC for Prospectus #155"]

                  (Note: We personally inspected several months of the daily issues of the Sun-News and there were no notices for #155.  And did fine one for Western NM at Silver City.)

 

Here is what I found out:

There was a posting of the prospectus on AIPP in the Sun News. Here is an example of several press releases issued:

 

From: "Blyth, Anna, DCA" <anna.blyth@state.nm.us>
Date: Mon, 16 Aug 2010 12:48:31 -0600
Conversation: RE: NEW MEXICO ARTS ANNOUNCES SEVERAL CALLS FOR ARTISTS
Subject: RE: NEW MEXICO ARTS ANNOUNCES SEVERAL CALLS FOR ARTISTS

AIPP
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 16, 2010

Contact:
Anna Blyth, Public Information Officer
505-827-6490, 800-879-4278 (statewide)
anna.blyth@state.nm.us
 
 
NEW MEXICO ARTS ANNOUNCES SEVERAL CALLS FOR ARTISTS

Santa Fe- New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs announces the following calls for artists for the Art in Public Places Program (AIPP).  

Prospectus #210: New Mexico Only Purchase Initiative
 
New Mexico Arts announces the New Mexico Only Purchase Initiative.  The project is designed to continue to diversify the state's public art collection by purchasing artwork from artists in all stages of their careers. The project is open to artists and galleries located in New Mexico.  All media in all genres, suitable for both interior and exterior display, will be considered for purchase. Artwork must be durable, permanent, low-maintenance and in compliance with ADA guidelines upon installation.


  Eligibility:   Artists who reside in and galleries that are located in New Mexico.   
  Budget:   $1,000 to $20,000 all-inclusive   
  Deadline:   11:59 P.M. (MDT), Thursday, August 26, 2010   
  Apply:   Online using CaFÉ <https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=554&amp;sortby=fair_name&amp;apply=yes> ™   
  Contact:   Carmella Brennand, <mailto:carmella.brennand@state.nm.us?subject=Prospectus%20%23210%20New%20Mexico%20Only%20Initiative>  AIPP Program Assistant, 505- 827-6490, 800-879-4278 (statewide).  
Prospectus #211: New Mexico State University Center for the Arts
New Mexico Arts and a local selection committee at New Mexico State University seek an artist or artist team to create a site-integrated commission project for the Center for the Arts Performance Hall in Las Cruces.  This RFQ is open to professional artists or artist teams who are citizens of the United States, Canada, and Mexico, and possess experience commensurate with the project scope and budget.  Artists experienced in creating large-scale ceiling murals are encouraged to apply.


  Eligibility:   United States, Canada, and Mexico   
  Budget:   $276,800 all-inclusive   
  Deadline:   11:59 P.M. (MDT), Thursday, September 30, 2010   
  Apply:   Online using CaFÉ <https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=579&amp;sortby=fair_name&amp;apply=yes> ™   
  Contact:   Ben Owen <mailto:ben.owen@state.nm.us?subject=Prospectus%20%23211%20New%20Mexico%20State%20University%20Center%20for%20the%20Arts>, AIPP Project Coordinator, 505- 827-6490, 800-879-4278 (statewide).  

New Mexico Arts uses the CaFÉTM electronic application and selection process at http://www.callforentry.org <http://www.callforentry.org/> .  There is no application fee to apply for a project or to create an account on the system.  All materials must be submitted according to the specifications outlined on the CaFÉTM website.
###


New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, is the state arts agency.  New Mexico Arts administers the state’s One Percent for Public Art program, awards grants to nonprofit organizations for arts and cultural programs in their communities across the state, and provides technical assistance and educational opportunities for organizations, artists, and arts educators throughout New Mexico



Research Question: Since 1986, how many of the awards went to New Mexico artists.

For example, in NM Arts newsletter, "Artspeak" Summer 2010" (page 6), "Art in Public Places Commission at the San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington" made an award to an excellent Denver artist, Madeline Wiener (source). While there are many small awards for AIPP to New Mexico artists, we do not know how many of the really big commissions go out of state?

Conflict of Interest could be an issue: NMSU has guidelines for conflicts of interest that apply "Any university community member. This includes: regents, employees, and others acting on behalf of the university.  Employees include administrators, faculty, staff, and student employees" http://hr.nmsu.edu/ It is however not clear if there is a conflict of interest since the selections were made by NMSU leadership.

State of NM has a few guides for conflicts of interest. http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/pdf/isd/GI%2009-26-Conflict%20of%20Interest.pdf Artists are required not to have conflicts of interest. http://www.nmarts.org/assets/files/aipp/aipp_psc_example.pdf But we don't know about selection committees. Next is a form that other review/selection panels fill out http://www.ped.state.nm.us/EdTech/dl09/Conflict%20of%20Interest%20CertificateFY10.pdf We just do not know what are the conflict of interest guidelines and codes for NM

Arts selection committees. According to General Services of State of NM: "Relationship
The firm should list and describe the firm's professional relationships involving the
Agency for the past five (5) years, together with a statement explaining why such
relationships does not constitute a conflict of interest relative to performing the proposed
audit."

This does not seem to directly fit the circumstance of a selection committee making a $170,900 award. In Austin TX, it says "Panelists reflect the ethnic, artistic, economic, and demographic diversity of the community. All panelists must possess knowledge of contemporary visual art, trends in the public art field, and be willing to serve in a panel process without conflict of interest."

Such a process would be quite different than what has happened in Las Cruces.

In a northern county of NM, there is a conflict of interst clause that says, "Conflict of interest. A board member having a financial interest in the outcome of any policy, decision or determination before the board on which he serves shall, as soon as possible after such interest becomes apparent, disclose to each of the other members voting on the matter the nature of his financial interest in the issue, and shall be disqualified from participating in any debate, decision or vote relating thereto." Section 18-34. Again, this does not seem tp apply, as none of the selection committee had any financial intersts in the result (so I am told).

How does the NM panel reflect the ethnic, artistic, economic, and demographic diversity of the NM and Las Cruces community?

A key question remains: How is it that 7 Magnificent people from Las Cruces would choose non-New Mexico artists for a $170,900 commission when the State of NM is in the budget hole by $150 million, the university is in budget hole and surrendering 160 faculty and staff positions, and the artists of Las Cruces are experiencing the aftermath of the mortgage banking scandal? Is this not the time for the state institutions with missions to help the economics of New Mexicans to do the right thing?

As it turns out, a selection committee can decide to make the competition for just New Mexico tax payers, or decide to conduct a very wide national search and not actively consider locals. The reason, I am told by a local arts organization president, for New Mexico having the alternating program where one year is New Mexico artists - only - and alternate years is open to their states also is....BECAUSE.... That way New Mexico artists are also eligible to compete in other states. Others tell me there is nothing in official policy or in writing saying that NM Arts alternated one year New Mexico artists, and next year out of state only get selected.

This is a fact: Once in the CaFE system, your art is visible to selection committees in the various public arts processes.  You must be registered on CaFE before you can apply to any public arts calls. "The Art in Public Places program uses the CaFÉ electronic application and selection process online at http://www.callforentry.org. There is no application fee for the project or to create an account on the system. Please note all materials must be submitted according to the specifications outlined on the CaFÉ website."

It is important that New Mexico artists enter the next competition for NMSU art in public places:

Prospectus #211: New Mexico State University Center for the Arts

The Art in Public Places Program of New Mexico Arts and the Local Selection Committee at New Mexico State University seek an artist or artist team to create a site-integrated commission project for the Center for the Arts Performance Hall in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This RFQ is open to professional artists or artist teams who are citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico, and possess experience commensurate with the project scope and budget. Artists experienced in creating large-scale ceiling murals are encouraged to apply See http://www.nmarts.org/current-opportunities.html . 

Eligibility:
United States, Canada and Mexico
Budget: $276,800 all-inclusive
Deadline:

11:59 P.M. (MDT), Thursday, September 30, 2010

Apply: Online using CaFÉ
Contact:

Ben Owen, AIPP Project Coordinator

 

Perhaps next year, with the new buildings at NMSU, local New Mexico artists should be eligible for this $278,800 commission.

In this last go around: There were 359 applicants. The committee chose to ignore 36 New Mexico artists (including George Mendoza, Las Cruces) and instead only selected as five finalists non-New Mexico artists: Lynn Basa of Chicago, IL, Judith Collins of Lakewood, CO, Daniel Goldstein of San Francisco, CA , Tim Prentice of West Cornwall, CT, and Koryn Rolstad of Seattle, WA. has over a dozen public and corporate art commissions. In addition the criteria for the section changed, after the deadline, from 2D (painting, fabric, photo art that hands on walls or columns) to 3D art (suspended by cables from the atrium of O'Donnell Hall..

Further inquiry by an NMSU faculty member, in interviewing members of the selection committee, found that the 5 artists were selected as finalists because they had experience in doing art in public places, and for art that could be suspended from the atrium of O'Donnell Hall at NMSU. Evidently the New Mexico artists did not have such experience. For example, finalist Lynn Basa lists 9 art in public places commissions in her resume. Perhaps if NM artists had read her book: The Artist's Guide to Public Art: How to Find and Win Commissions.--> this might have helped NM Artists. Visit Amazon's Lynn Basa Page Next is Judith Collins (could only find folksinger by that name, perhaps it is another Collins or Judy Collins has 2nd career); Daniel Goldstein is an interior designer & sculptor who has some public works (not clear which are art in public places); Tim Prentice does kinetic sculpture, and Koryn Roldstad has dozens of public and corporate art commissions.

There seems to be a process problem in that nowhere in the call is it permitted (a) for the artist to propose what they would do, and (b) in the call for artists it does not specify that a suspended art piece was the preference of the committee.  To be clear the call for artists said NOT to submit proposals.

  1. The criteria for the selection changed mid-stream. (no suspended sculpture was indicated in the call, and the architectural drawings called for wall and pillar mounted items.
  2. George Mendoza, a resident of southern New Mexico did his submission under the criteria of the selection guidelines, which the selection committee then changed
  3. The selected folks were those fitting the new criteria – sculptures that hand in the atrium. Evidently not one of the 36 New Mexico submissions knew of this change.
  4. George was told the O'Donnell Hall atrium is not designed to support suspended sculptures and the architectural drawings clearly show wall and column areas of O'Donnell as criteria for submission.
  5. The guidelines say no proposal is allowed to be submitted, only the past art images and bio
  6. Yet, somehow the five finalists were able to communicate a suspended art proposal/

In point of fact, when George Mendoza looked at the application instructions, it said to NOT submit any proposals. See George Mendoza application. He followed the rules.  
He looked at the designated website, with the architectural drawings of exactly where art would be placed, and it does not say anything about suspended art.  https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=469
https://www.callforentry.org/fair_plans/469.pdf

Chuck Zimmer told George Mendoza and my management class at NMSU, over the SKYPE phone when he was in my Monday class at mid-semester ----- Original Message ----- As George tells it, "he told me that nothing can be supported on the skylight.  then I told him my plans about tiled murals and quilts based on my best selling cotton fabric designs.  He told me not to worry about any details for now.  just a simple cover letter and resume and ten images" (e-mail from George Mendosa 3 Aug. 2010).
  

And George also had a proposal which he was ready to submit when that was a valid and allowed part of the process. He also checked with the technical staff of NM Arts and with an engineer. He was told  O’Donnell Hall Atrium would “not [support] a large 3d suspension at O’Donnell which they state they cannot do because the sky light will not support a 3d art piece.  how can this all be?” (e-mail Aug 3rd, 2010, bracketed addition, mine).

Aug 4 email: "Mr. Mendoza was specifically told that it would be a 2-D project and that he could not submit a proposal.  His application reflected the directives issued to him by [NM Arts]. If you "changed" the application requirements, shouldn't the artists have been advised that they could submit proposals? You also indicated that you were looking for nationally recognized artists, however,none of us can locate Judith Collins-does she have a website?" e-mail august 4 2010).

It says the following in the call for artists: " The space is capped by a large skylight that cannot support an additional structural load. Due to the diverse use of the space, free-standing artwork cannot be accommodated on the ground floor of the atrium." https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=469

Therefore, a question:  Had the 36 New Mexico applicants known to submit the suspended art proposal, would they not be in violation of the call procedures and instructions? How is it that the non-NM artists submitted such a suspended art proposal? How is it that the committee was able to discern proposals form the five finalists when no such proposals were permitted. Perhaps as it says at the end of the call for artists, the technical support office of NM arts got involved.

In the call it says this is to be a “fair and open process..” as the call guidelines assert. See for yourself. Here are the guidelines from NM Arts – designated Café site  https://www.callforentry.org/festivals_unique_info.php?ID=469.

But it’s not clear how proposals got selected, or how the NM Arts selected the particular people to represent NMSU and NM Artists. Can you clarify how it is the committee was in contact or technical support was in contact to discern the submission of suspended art proposals when the instructions state no such proposals will be accepted in the process? We are told in the Sun-News article that the selection committee did not look at names of artists, only at the art. However, names of artists are listed on the art. See Sun News Article Aug 4 2010 by S. Derrickson Moore

Finally the architectural drawing for the competition, submitted, specified walls, columns and an outdoor area for the art. There did not seem to be any mention in the O’Donnell drawings of this type of art. https://www.callforentry.org/fair_plans/469.pdf

This, in my view, is a catch-22. Las Cruces (and many New Mexico) artists have never had an 'arts in public places' commission. And as such, were eliminated from the competition. Can a State University and a State government agency find a way to get New Mexico artists into a place where their art has a chance to compete with artists from other states who have big 'art in public places' resumes?

How did the advertising for the commission take place. Were there ads for this in New Mexico, other than the NM Arts Newsletter??

You can get some sense of the catch-22 in looking at this e-mail exchange.

===========================================================================

EMAIL BACK AND FORTH - What follows is an e-mail exchange between Las Cruces Artist, George Mendoza, and Professor David Boje, who then contacts the NMSU faculty and State of New Mexico's Department of Cultural Affairs, and its Unit, 'NM Arts.'

 

Artist, and author George Mendoza gave me permission to share this on July 20 2010

From: George Mendoza [mailto:spiritmangeorge@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 7:05 AM
To: David Boje
Subject: Re: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

Good morning David, sure …---!  this is nuts!  and very sad.  we tried and not even one New Mexico artist is selected.  I feel bad for our NMSU students who tried and worked so hard on this.  best, gm
----- Original Message -----
From: David Boje
To: 'George Mendoza'
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:59 AM
Subject: RE: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

Hi George,

This seems quite ridiculous.

You are a top international artist with an extensive reputation. 

What on earth is the selection committee doing, not even considering the best artists form New Mexico?

Can I have your permission to share this on faculty list serve and raise the issue on campus

 

David

From: George Mendoza [mailto:spiritmangeorge@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 4:02 PM
To: dboje@nmsu.edu
Subject: Fw: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

hi David, you got to be kidding me!  not one artist from new Mexico?  this is a _____ crime!  shame on this state and program!  gm
----- Original Message -----
From: Carmella Brennand
To: George Mendoza
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 3:17 PM
Subject: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

Boje Email to Faculty Talk

CaFÉ login: wisetree

George Mendoza:

Thank you for your interest in New Mexico Arts' Art in Public Places Program and for taking time to submit your qualifications to Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O’Donnell Hall.

We received 359 applications for this opportunity and the LSC narrowed the pool of applicants down to a group of 5 finalists/teams who have been invited to prepare a proposal for the project. Unfortunately, your application was not selected for further consideration. The finalists that have been short-listed for this project are: Lynn Basa of Chicago, IL, Judith Collins of Lakewood, CO, Daniel Goldstein of San Francisco, CA , Tim Prentice of West Cornwall, CT, and Koryn Rolstad of Seattle, WA.

Every selection committee is different; as is every public space and we hope this decision will not deter you from applying to future AIPP opportunities.

Again, thank you for submitting qualifications for this opportunity.

Best Regards,

Carmella Brennand
AIPP Program Assistant
NM Arts

======================================================================================

Artist, and author George Mendoza gave me permission to share this:

From: George Mendoza [mailto:spiritmangeorge@gmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 7:05 AM
To: David Boje
Subject: Re: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

Good morning david, sure …---!  this is nuts!  and very sad.  we tried and not even one New Mexico artist is selected.  I feel bad for our NMSU students who tried and worked so hard on this.  best, gm
----- Original Message -----
From: David Boje
To: 'George Mendoza'
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 6:59 AM
Subject: RE: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

Hi George,

This seems quite ridiculous.

You are a top international artist with an extensive reputation. 

What on earth is the selection committee doing, not even considering the best artists form New Mexico?

Can I have your permission to share this on faculty list serve and raise the issue on campus

 

david

=======================================================

From: George Mendoza [mailto:spiritmangeorge@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 4:02 PM
To: dboje@nmsu.edu
Subject: Fw: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

hi david, you got to be kidding me!  not one artist from new mexico?  this is a _____ crime!  shame on this state and program!  gm
----- Original Message -----
From: Carmella Brennand
To: George Mendoza
Sent: Monday, July 19, 2010 3:17 PM
Subject: Prospectus #206 New Mexico State University O'Donnell Hall

======================================================================================

Email by D. Boje to 7/20/2010 to NMSU and to NM Arts

Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

George Mendoza is one of Las Cruces’ most unique and talented artists. Besides his current zeal for painting, producing works that have shown in shows at NMSU, Albuquerque, and nationwide, Mendoza is also an author, former motivational speaker and record setting runner. 

This is a story of how the State of New Mexico cannot find even one local artists for the O’Donnell Hall award finalists. In a time of NMSU budget ‘retrenchment’ I think we need to ask how wisely is State money invested in NMSU?

Question: Why did George Mendoza’s world-renowned art proposal not make it into the list for consideration for the $170,900 artist contract for NMSU O’Donnell Hall’s art in public places?  Indeed, why was not even ONE New Mexico artist’s work a finalist for consideration by the selection committee? Who was on this committee? Members of NMSU and local Las Cruces Arts Commissioner? Why did only the artists from Illinois, Colorado, California, Connecticut, and Washington state get to the final round of consideration for the O’Donnell Hall art?  Why does a NM state agency (NM Arts) and NMSU powers that be, not invest these precious dollars in NM artists’ work?  You may want to check out the mission of http://nmarts.org

MISSION: “New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The 15-member governor-appointed New Mexico Arts Commission serves as our advisory body. Our primary function is to provide financial support for arts services and programs to non-profit organizations statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico.” (emphasis mine)

Not that big a deal you say? Perhaps the art of New Mexico is inferior to that of Chicago or Seattle.

Actually, it is a big deal, since George Mendoza is legally blind, and his art is considered worldwide to be the best of the best of not only New Mexico, but U.S. artists. You may wonder if George put in a quality proposal. I can testify that my business class (Mgt448/Mgt548) worked with George to submit his proposal to NM Arts (a state agency) since he could not read the instructions on their website. We also had the State people check to see that all the t’s were crossed, and the I’s dotted. Maybe George did not work hard enough.  George Mendoza attended every class during the semester and helped students with their projects (projects involved small business consulting to artists and arts organizations). Students worked with George to sort out what was needed in the submission. They found carefully tucked away instructions for the proposal, that computer science geeks could not find. Students of NMSU checked to make sure every aspect of the proposal was first rate, and highest quality. I will pay $25 to the first person who can find the link to the architectural drawing for O’Donnell Hall in prospectus #206.  Unless you knew where to find them, or had some major help, it was unlikely even someone with 20/20 vision could find them. Try it yourself http://www.racc.org/resources/prospectus-206-new-mexico-state-university-odonnell-hall and https://www.callforentry.org/faq.phtml#fees  

Not that big a deal you say? Just one more Las Cruces artist, not recognized by Santa Fe.

But this is not just any artist. He is an icon. Some of his story: “At age 15, George Mendoza began to lose his vision from a hereditary syndrome called fundus flavimaculatus. Most individuals with this disease have macular degeneration and a macular lesion, and at this time, there is no known cure. Mendoza does retain about 20% of his peripheral vision, and the ability to see color, which explains, in part, the nature of his paintings, all of which maintain large amounts of bright, swirling colors, similar to what he is able to see now-‘kaleidoscope eyes’ is how he sometimes describes it.” In addition he is the most world-renown blind artist, and his work sells, worldwide to great acclaim. “Since I can’t see the outside world, I paint what I dream. I have a great relationship with my dreams, and I don’t ever copy other artist’s work, so since my source is my dreams, my work is filled with originality. My blindness has led into unique dreams and inner vision.”

Not that big a deal you say? No special privileges for the handicapped.  

You be the judge – his disability gives George tremendous color ability  – You tell me, is this art that could at least make it into finalist consideration by the selection committee for O’Donnell Hall? check out the art at http://www.georgemendoza.com/ or see http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/8521/what-color-is-the-wind-beautiful-fabric-created-with-blind-inspiration or
or http://www.georgemendoza.com/Press_Kit_George_Mendoza.pdf or maybe http://www.facebook.com/pages/WISE-TREE/460631980283

Not that big a deal you say? The State of New Mexico has lots of money to invest.  

Questions: In this time of economic peril, how could the State of New Mexico spend its art investment money on Non-New Mexico Artists?  How is it that the O’Donnell Hall Art selection committee composed of folks from Las Cruces, NMSU, and NMArts Commissioners, not even consider ONE local artist from New Mexico?  What happened to George Mendoza’s Prospectus #206? Maybe we need more southern New Mexico commissioners who can tout the credits of our artists?

Not that big a deal you say? A committee will always make a camel out of horse. Nothing can be done, so why bring it up.

To me it’s a big deal. To me, it is a metric of the way in which the State of New Mexico is investing its money outside the state.  Perhaps with the next NMSU building (the Arts Center Complex), there can be greater oversight and participation to insure that NM residents are being considered for the awards. Why are we investing in Chicago or Settle? I wonder if this selection system would meet the test of Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics on Justice? See Book Five on Justice: in distribution, in exchange, in political, and in just action at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.5.v.html

Thank you George Mendoza for your excellent volunteer work with students in my two small business classes. I appreciate you and your art. You are an awesome mentor to the students. I hope you will work with us again, next term.  Someday, perhaps the State of New Mexico agencies will recognize better the value of our own artists of southern New Mexico.

Sincerely,

David Boje, writing as independent citizen. Disclaimer: My views do not reflect those of my university, college, or department.

Ps. According to NM Arts: Questions/Follow Up

Questions regarding the project should be directed to Ben Owen, AIPP Project Coordinator, at 505-827-6490, or 800-879-4278 (statewide), email: ben.owen@state.nm.us. For questions about the College of Education at New Mexico State University, contact Wynn M. Egginton, PhD, Director, Education Research and Budgeting Office, at 575-646-7649, email: wegginto@ad.nmsu.edu.



====================================================================================

 

EMAIL REPLY BY BOJE TO WHAT WAS RECEIVED FROM A CONSULTNAT TO THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS -- July 20 2010

Thanks John.

Well said.

Still, it is odd, that with New Mexico having more artists per capita than any other state, that our New Mexico tax dollars could not locate a New Mexico artist in the finalist list.

Thanks for your comment.

 

david

From: John and Diane Schutz [mailto:johndianeschutz@msn.com]
Sent: Tuesday, July 20, 2010 10:10 AM
To: dboje@nmsu.edu; faculty-talk@nmsu.edu
Cc: ben.owen@state.nm.us; carmella.brennand@state.nm.us; wegginto@ad.nmsu.edu; spiritman@georgemendoza.com
Subject: RE: [Faculty-talk] Why did not even One New Mexico Artist get chosen as a finalist for O'Donnell Hall's Art in Public Places. $170, 900 award?

It seems to me that with 359 applications, from all over the Nation,  it may be possible that a New Mexico Artist was not selected in the final 5.  Stiff competition needless to say.  Without seeing the other 359 entries,  we cannot assume that New mexico was not considered.  I am sure that the prospectus did not indicate that New mexico artists would some how be given home court advantage. 
I have served on these selection committee's and know how hard they work at evaluation of the applicants artwork.  Let's not assume the worst.
 
John Schutz,  Fine Arts consultant, Las Cruces Public Schools

Diane & John Schutz
NMACDA President/LCPS Fine Arts Consultant- jschutz@lcps.k12.nm.us (work email)
575-644-6863/575-644-6298 
Personal email: johndianeschutz@msn.com



 


Date: Tue, 20 Jul 2010 09:31:15 -0600
From: dboje@nmsu.edu
To: faculty-talk@nmsu.edu
CC: ben.owen@state.nm.us; carmella.brennand@state.nm.us; wegginto@ad.nmsu.edu; spiritman@georgemendoza.com
Subject: [Faculty-talk] Why did not even One New Mexico Artist get chosen as a finalist for O'Donnell Hall's Art in Public Places. $170, 900 award?
Dear Faculty, Students, and Staff,

George Mendoza is one of Las Cruces’ most unique and talented artists. Besides his current zeal for painting, producing works that have shown in shows at NMSU, Albuquerque, and nationwide, Mendoza is also an author, former motivational speaker and record setting runner. 

This is a story of how the State of New Mexico cannot find even one local artists for the O’Donnell Hall award finalists. In a time of NMSU budget ‘retrenchment’ I think we need to ask how wisely is State money invested in NMSU?

Question: Why did George Mendoza’s world-renowned art proposal not make it into the list for consideration for the $170,900 artist contract for NMSU O’Donnell Hall’s art in public places?  Indeed, why was not even ONE New Mexico artist’s work a finalist for consideration by the selection committee? Who was on this committee? Members of NMSU and local Las Cruces Arts Commissioner? Why did only the artists from Illinois, Colorado, California, Connecticut, and Washington state get to the final round of consideration for the O’Donnell Hall art?  Why does a NM state agency (NM Arts) and NMSU powers that be, not invest these precious dollars in NM artists’ work?  You may want to check out the mission of http://nmarts.org

MISSION: “New Mexico Arts is the state arts agency and a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs. The 15-member governor-appointed New Mexico Arts Commission serves as our advisory body. Our primary function is to provide financial support for arts services and programs to non-profit organizations statewide and to administer the 1% public art program for the state of New Mexico.” (emphasis mine)

Not that big a deal you say? Perhaps the art of New Mexico is inferior to that of Chicago or Seattle.

Actually, it is a big deal, since George Mendoza is legally blind, and his art is considered worldwide to be the best of the best of not only New Mexico, but U.S. artists. You may wonder if George put in a quality proposal. I can testify that my business class (Mgt448/Mgt548) worked with George to submit his proposal to NM Arts (a state agency) since he could not read the instructions on their website. We also had the State people check to see that all the t’s were crossed, and the I’s dotted. Maybe George did not work hard enough.  George Mendoza attended every class during the semester and helped students with their projects (projects involved small business consulting to artists and arts organizations). Students worked with George to sort out what was needed in the submission. They found carefully tucked away instructions for the proposal, that computer science geeks could not find. Students of NMSU checked to make sure every aspect of the proposal was first rate, and highest quality. I will pay $25 to the first person who can find the link to the architectural drawing for O’Donnell Hall in prospectus #206.  Unless you knew where to find them, or had some major help, it was unlikely even someone with 20/20 vision could find them. Try it yourself http://www.racc.org/resources/prospectus-206-new-mexico-state-university-odonnell-hall and https://www.callforentry.org/faq.phtml#fees  

Not that big a deal you say? Just one more Las Cruces artist, not recognized by Santa Fe.

But this is not just any artist. He is an icon. Some of his story: “At age 15, George Mendoza began to lose his vision from a hereditary syndrome called fundus flavimaculatus. Most individuals with this disease have macular degeneration and a macular lesion, and at this time, there is no known cure. Mendoza does retain about 20% of his peripheral vision, and the ability to see color, which explains, in part, the nature of his paintings, all of which maintain large amounts of bright, swirling colors, similar to what he is able to see now-‘kaleidoscope eyes’ is how he sometimes describes it.” In addition he is the most world-renown blind artist, and his work sells, worldwide to great acclaim. “Since I can’t see the outside world, I paint what I dream. I have a great relationship with my dreams, and I don’t ever copy other artist’s work, so since my source is my dreams, my work is filled with originality. My blindness has led into unique dreams and inner vision.”

Not that big a deal you say? No special privileges for the handicapped.  

You be the judge – his disability gives George tremendous color ability  – You tell me, is this art that could at least make it into finalist consideration by the selection committee for O’Donnell Hall? check out the art at http://www.georgemendoza.com/ or see http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/8521/what-color-is-the-wind-beautiful-fabric-created-with-blind-inspiration or
or http://www.georgemendoza.com/Press_Kit_George_Mendoza.pdf or maybe http://www.facebook.com/pages/WISE-TREE/460631980283

Not that big a deal you say? The State of New Mexico has lots of money to invest.  

Questions: In this time of economic peril, how could the State of New Mexico spend its art investment money on Non-New Mexico Artists?  How is it that the O’Donnell Hall Art selection committee composed of folks from Las Cruces, NMSU, and NMArts Commissioners, not even consider ONE local artist from New Mexico?  What happened to George Mendoza’s Prospectus #206? Maybe we need more southern New Mexico commissioners who can tout the credits of our artists?

Not that big a deal you say? A committee will always make a camel out of horse. Nothing can be done, so why bring it up.

To me it’s a big deal. To me, it is a metric of the way in which the State of New Mexico is investing its money outside the state.  Perhaps with the next NMSU building (the Arts Center Complex), there can be greater oversight and participation to insure that NM residents are being considered for the awards. Why are we investing in Chicago or Settle? I wonder if this selection system would meet the test of Aristotle’s Virtue Ethics on Justice? See Book Five on Justice: in distribution, in exchange, in political, and in just action at http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.5.v.html

Thank you George Mendoza for your excellent volunteer work with students in my two small business classes. I appreciate you and your art. You are an awesome mentor to the students. I hope you will work with us again, next term.  Someday, perhaps the State of New Mexico agencies will recognize better the value of our own artists of southern New Mexico.

Sincerely,

David Boje, writing as independent citizen. Disclaimer: My views do not reflect those of my university, college, or department.

Ps. According to NM Arts: Questions/Follow Up

Questions regarding the project should be directed to Ben Owen, AIPP Project Coordinator, at 505-827-6490, or 800-879-4278 (statewide), email: ben.owen@state.nm.us. For questions about the College of Education at New Mexico State University, contact Wynn M. Egginton, PhD, Director, Education Research and Budgeting Office, at 575-646-7649, email: wegginto@ad.nmsu.edu.

=======================================================================================

Then my reply to new email, a response for Department of Cultural Affairs (NM Arts)

----- Original Message -----
From: David Boje
To: 'Zimmer, Chuck, DCA' ; 'Owen, Ben, DCA' ; 'Fecteau, Loie, DCA'
Cc: faculty-talk@nmsu.edu ; George Mendoza
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 11:22 AM
Subject: RE: Why did not even One New Mexico Artist get chosen as a finalist for O'Donnell Hall's Art in Public Places. $170,900 award?

Dear Chuck Zimmer,

I appreciate your response.  These are people who know the local artists. And I assume they had good reasons for not choosing any New Mexico artists as finalists.

Your rationale that out-of-state-artists will spend more money on the local economy is interesting.  What the arts organizations in Las Cruces have been doing it trying to help local artists attain visibility and improve their small businesses.

I know that the main objective here is to get the best possible artist to locate their art in O’Donnell Hall.  I saw the way George approached the project, and went to O’Donnell and worked out a way for the blind and the sighted to enjoy his art. 

I am glad that 36 were New Mexico artists.  I am wondering how the others in the 323 came to know about it. Perhaps something can be done to help the Las Cruces artists apply for grants in other states. Since perhaps that is how these things go.

On another matter.

With the departure of City Manager, Terence Moore, and Downtown Partnership director, Cindi Fargo, and executive director of Dona Ann Arts Council, Larry Broxton à Las Cruces now needs three new leaders of these organizations to come together to sign off on the paperwork to have Las Cruces designated by the State as and arts and cultural area.  The three came close to signing in 2008, but one organization’s board, would not sign.

Author John Villani has promised to put Las Cruces in the new edition of his book as one of the 100 top art cities in America.  He was a keynote speaker at the Arts Convention http://talkingstick.info/

So my question: has the state Department of Cultural Affairs have any way of helping Las Cruces in this regard?  Interviews with counterparts in the City, Arts Council and Downtown Mainstreet groups in Silver City and Las Vegas, NM I did, suggested that cities with the State’s designation are doing economically well.

All the best,

David Boje

From: Zimmer, Chuck, DCA [mailto:chuck.zimmer@state.nm.us]
Sent: Wednesday, July 21, 2010 10:56 AM
To: Owen, Ben, DCA; Fecteau, Loie, DCA; dboje@nmsu.edu
Subject: RE: Why did not even One New Mexico Artist get chosen as a finalist for O'Donnell Hall's Art in Public Places. $170,900 award?

Dear David Boje,

Thank you for sharing your concerns about the public art project at NMSU and the art selection process in general. Please allow me to clarify a few things.

The local selection committee that was responsible for the selection of the five finalists included the following people:

Project Director/User Agency Representative: Wynn Egginton, Director, Education Research and Budgeting Office, College of Education, NMSU
Owner Agency Representative: Michael Rickenbaker, University Architect and Director of Facilities Planning and Construction, NMSU
Architect: Jim Vorenberg, AIA, Van H. Gilbert Architect
Artist: Tom Gerend, Watercolorist, signature member of the New Mexico Watercolor Society, the Rio Bravo Watercolorists and the Border Artists. He paints regularly with the Artamants, a Las Cruces art group.
Arts Professional: Sally Cutter, Owner, The Cutter Gallery
Community Member: Sheryl Parsley, Alumna, College of Education, NMSU
Community Member: Liz Marrufo, Director of Elementary Instruction, College of Education, NMSU

It should be noted that all of the local selection committee members are residents of the Las Cruces area.  The selection process that New Mexico Arts has in place is a fair and equitable process and the Art in Public Places staff would never second guess a local selection committee nor dictate art choices from Santa Fe.

This project had 359 artists submit for consideration during our open call for submissions from artists and only 36 of these were New Mexican artists.  That is 10% of the total submissions. So when you consider the low percentage of submissions from New Mexico artists in conjunction with the specific nature of this call, a large-scale suspended piece for a three-story atrium requiring significant experience doing these kinds of suspensions in a large-scale project, it is not surprising that New Mexicans were not in the finalists pool.

While it is a tempting idea to limit the public art competitions to New Mexico artists that would be short-sighted and could actually hurt New Mexican artists in the long run  as other states would respond by not allowing New Mexico artists to compete for public art projects in their states – and we do want our New Mexico artists to be competitive in getting public art projects across the country and around the world. Furthermore, our research has shown that contracting with out-of-state artists brings a significant economic impact to local New Mexico businesses.  The selected artist will stay in a Las Cruces hotel, eat at Las Cruces restaurants, and buy supplies and rent equipment from Las Cruces area businesses.  On average, our research shows that an out-of-state artist spends about one third of their project budget in the community where the art is being installed.

New Mexico Arts is invested in supporting New Mexico artists and promotes many projects specifically targeted at them.  The cornerstone of this support is our New Mexico Only purchase project.  In 2009, our New Mexico Only program spent over $400,000 in purchases directly from New Mexico artists and New Mexico galleries.

I hope that this information helps you to see the larger context in which New Mexico Arts operates and how the local selection committee came to its decision.

Please feel free to contact me if you have further questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Chuck Zimmer,
Manager, Art in Public Places Program
New Mexico Arts
Department of Cultural Affairs
(505) 827-6490
chuck.zimmer@state.nm.us

OK, in the next section, let's examine how Las Cruces could become an area where local artists could benefit economically from State of NM investments in economic development, tourism, and cultural affairs.

 

================================================================================================

PART III - NEXT PROBLEM: Las Cruces lost its bid in 2007 to be a State of NM recognized 'Arts & Culture Destination Area' one that would be promoted by NM Department of Tourism, Department of Cultural Affairs (NM Arts & Downtown Main Street programs), and Department of Economic Development

Here are the facts. In 2007 the City of Las Cruces (City Manager), the Dona Ana Arts Council (Executive Director) and the Downtown Mainstreet Partnership program in Las Cruces (Executive Director) put in an application to Department of Cultural Affairs. The appllication was denied, and instead Sliver City and Las Vegas, NM were selected. See list of all districts: http://www.edd.state.nm.us/artsCulture/meetDistricts/index.html

On NM Arts website, it says the duties of art commissioners for state of NM include:

Who are the commissioners?

Commissioner Biographies http://www.nmarts.org/

Who is on DAAC Board?

Who is on NMSU Center for the Arts Board? source

 

Leadership Committee

Ammu Devasthali
Connie Hines
Sally Cutter
Paul Couture

Center for the Arts Honorary Committee

Jo Raabe Asprey

Povy LaFarge Bigbee

Dolores Connor

Jackie Mitchell Edwards

Gail Gale

Joni Gutierrez

Adair Margo

Ann Palormo

Steve Parsley

Sheryl Parsley

Heather Pollard

Margie Rankin

Margaret Ritter

Ruben Smith

J. Paul Taylor

Who is on board of downtown partnership (Mainstreet Las Cruces) http://www.downtownlascrucespartnership.org/OrgInfo/board-of-directors.pdf

A question: Why would the 2007 application from Las Cruces be rejected by these commissioners?

Our small business consulting students in Business College worked in 2008 to get another application initated and co-signed. However, one of the three executives (the Dona Ana Arts Council) refused to sign. The City Manager (Terence Moore asked that they sign), The Downtown Partnership Executive (Cindi Fargo) wanted them to sign. As a result no application was submitted. In 2008, a new round of awards were announced, for several cities, but not for Las Cruces.

2009 the economy of New Mexico tanked, as did many in the nation, and the world. So Department of Cultural Affairs is not taking any new applications.

Feb 11 - 2009 According to minutes of the visual arts group of Dona Ana Arts Council, it was recorded that the City Manager was the one who would not sign the agreement in 2008 for a state-recognized arts designation (which is a distortion of the factual historical record).

•As an eye witness reports it: "Forty minutes into the meeting, no one had a said a word about working toward getting Las Cruces as a designated art destination in the state.....so, I had to say something. I asked what had happened to the plans for designating Cruces as an art designation?"
•Dona Ana Arts Council Executive said" it was the city's fault.  Then [she] proceeded to say that the city felt it was too expensive"….

So I went to the City Manager, with several artists, put the question to him: "Terence were you the one that would not sign?" "Absolutely not! I am the one that asked everyone to get together and make this happen." He then called a meeting with the successor to the DAAC position, and he and the board president, refused to meet, citing 'too busy' as their excuse.

By this time, more storytelling was being created, as leadership in DAAC was saying that an arts designation from the state had not helped either Silver City or Las Vegas (NM). There was also a question about who would pay for the part time position the state required.

As one artist who was attending the meetings put it, "[another Organization President] said that she didn't think Silver City or Las Vegas were benefiting from the designation. I told her that I had heard differently about Las Vegas. She challenged my claim without proof. I told her I would get her the proof."

I wanted two pieces of information:

•1. Proof that Las Vegas, NM did better after being designated a NM arts destination 
•2. Is it true that a liaison person must be paid for in the new designation plan? (see below)

I did interviews in 2008 with the Executive Director of the Las Vegas Arts Council

This is direct quote: He says "The Arts & Culture [Entertainment] designation has been a jump start to reorganization."  As in Las Cruces their director took a new job, and they saw it as a time to reconstitute their board. The board of Downtown Mainstreet in LV is working closely with board of LV Arts Council -- what a concept?  They even jointly funded a half time position with a grant …

In 2009 I went back and checked with the executive director of the Arts Council, and this time also talked with an executive from the Downtown Partnership, and director of the Arts and Culture Designation in Las Vegas. They all reported major benefits from having a state-designation, and that it increased grants, and cooperation locally. In addition, it meant the Arts Council was not helping other local arts organizations to succeed, not just having information meetings.

I did the same sort of interviews with Silver City and found similar results.

In Spring 2010 - my small business classes again took up the challenge, and fielded 9 teams of students to work with local artists. This is the point at which George Mendoza, a local legally-blind artist (who paints in fantastic colors) asked for help in putting in a quality proposal for the O'Donnell Hall art in public places commission. See In Part II

What is happening in July 2010- Another team worked with Representative Steinborn to revitalize the 'Arts and Culture Commission' an advisory committee to the City of Las Cruces. There was a presentation to City Council, and it looked like it would go through. And it would allow access of a variety of arts and culture, economic development, and others to work to develop that arts economy of the region. But once, again, such an initiative is being blocked.

The Dona Ana Arts Council is asking to be made sole representative to the City of Las Cruces for all things Arts and Culture, and claiming all their minutes and meeting are public and transparent. That will be news to some.

Resolution No. 11-006: A Resolution Designating the Dona Ana Arts Council (DAAC) to Coordinate and Facilitate Arts, Culture, and Historical Programming in the City of Las Cruces and Delineating Respective Responsibilities.

All three questions in this report have something to do with why southern New Mexico's arts Economy is what it is. For example, we are not about to be put on that map. And the people on the selection committee for that O'Donnell Hall commission seem to be drawn from those at NMSU and the El Paseo Corridor, as the center of arts and culture may be shifting form downtown to University and El Paseo (with the new NMASU Arts Center and with the new Convention Center, and with the transition of Cutter Jewelry to Cutter Gallery). Has no one noticed this? The City of Las Cruces is putting together a revised Strategic. One major part of the plan is the connecting of Downtown with University Ave. via the El Paseo Corridor.  There are public meetings being held on El Paseo Road this next week - July 26 to July 30 2010 (& some being held into August).   Councilor Sharon Thomas is an instigator of this.  She secured some of the monies.  It is time to infuse ideas from Part I, II, and III in the public discussion.

Chat with the City: Tell Us Your Ideas For El Paseo - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Las Cruces residents are invited to join City staff at several businesses along El Paseo Road and share their vision for El Paseo Road. This is part of the Picturing el Paseo: Share your vision of the corridor project. (full story)

As of end of July the Las Cruces City Council has passed a resolutin for DAAC to become the sole artistic advisor to the City Council). That means scores of other artist associations no longer have equal voice. .

It also means that any effort to recognize downtown Las Cruces Main Street as an officially State of NM recognized destination must be initiated by the three key players.

Look at the turnover in the players: Terrence Moore stepping down ad City Manager; Cindi Fargo moving to California with a better paying job in their Downtown Partnership, and Larry Broxton, resigning as Executive Director of Dona Ana Arts Council. When will three new leaders come on board, and then put together signatures?

The new interim director of Las Cruces Downtown Mainstreet wants to initiate an Arts and Culture Designation application in 2011.  How about 2010?

My prediction: The next Arts and Culture Designation by State of New Mexico will be an application from El Paseo Corridor, not downtown.

As someone from City Planning siad in an open meeting, "University Avenue [part of El Paseo Cooridor] is the new Main Street." There is a move of the center of the arts and culture community, it's center of power, from downtown to University, or so it seems.

Part IV: What does the Federal and the State Government Use Different Criteria for who is on Art Selection Committee?

General Services Adminiatrion (GSA) of Federal Government does not use the same criteria as State of New Mexico for selecting artists for commissions. WHY NOT?

Attached is taken from GSA guideline for art selection committee requirements.  Look at highlightedareas that are NOT ALLOWED BY GSA GUIDELINES - not sure if it allies to NM Arts - but is this perhaps one of the representatives that was consulted for GSA federal building art?  Maybe that is why they contacted an attorney in D.C. when I asked who the persons were that were consulted - and still have not received an answer....

From GSA Guidelines:
The Art in Architecture Program Manager, as a designee of the Design
Excellence and the Arts Division Director, also is responsible for
appointing the panel's art professional.  To qualify as an art
professional
, individuals must have knowledge of contemporary
American art,
as evidenced by their profession (e.g., art curator, art museum
director, public arts administrator, art critic, or artist); their education
(e.g., art historian, art educator, or person with an art-related degree);
or their association (e.g., representative of an arts organization or an
individual recognized for his or her knowledge of and leadership in
the visual arts).  Individuals with the following qualifications cannot
be considered
, given the conflict or the appearance of a conflict of
interest: art gallery owners or employees, consultants or agents representing
individual artists
, and artists under consideration for GSA
commissions in other locations.  The art professionals on Art in Architecture panels
cannot be elected officials or representatives of the project's
federal client agency.

 

==============================

A local artist asked about this group of representatives. Who are they are? How are they selected?

 

Our artist contacted:



Many thanks for your interest in the Art in Architecture program.  I have entered your information and images sent via email into our registry, so there is no need for you to send me the info via Fedex or UPS.

Susan

Susan H. Harrison
Program Manager, Art in Architecture Program
Design Excellence & the Arts
Office of the Chief Architect
1800 F Street NW Washington DC 20405
202.501.1812

Who then got a response from their attorney: Steve Kline

The answer: Sent: Thursday, March 04, 2010 10:16 AM

Thanks for your clarifying email.  I know you have directed your
> question to the city, but I thought you might find it helpful if I
> share some more information on how GSA implements and interprets the
> guidelines for the GSA art in architecture panel selection process
> which you reference.  We consider the city very important partners in
> all that we do, but the panel selection process is GSA's
> responsibility, and the city is not necessarily directly involved. 

Panel members can come from many sources and this includes the local
> representative.  In Las Cruces we were fortunate to have substantial
> community involvement from the beginning of the new courthouse project
> due to our consultation with the New Mexico State Historic
> Preservation Office on historic preservation issues.  Through public
> meetings and workshops we got to know the community and civic organizations of Las Cruces - Las Cruces Downtown, Mesquite Historic
> District, Dona Ana Arts Council, and the university.   All these contacts
> were helpful to us in forming our art in architecture panel for the
> new courthouse. 

Finally, as you are aware we need strict
> confidentiality to ensure that all panel members remain free from
> external influence during the selection process.  Local
> representatives are perhaps the most vulnerable to external pressures. 
> We appreciate your respect of  this process, and I am hopeful that the
> community will enjoy all of the wonderful art that will be installed in the new courthouse this year.

> Thanks for your interest,

> Steve

> Steve Kline, AIA
> Regional Historic Preservation and Fine Arts Officer GSA Region 7
> Design and Construction
> 819 Taylor St. (7PC)
> Fort Worth, TX 76102
> 817-978-4229 (phone)
> 817-313-0588 (cell)
> 817-978-2577 (fax)
> Delivery: Room 12A2

 

===========================

Our local artist asks some important questions that are going unanswered:

> I'm trying to understand why members of the Las Cruces Cultural/Arts
> community chosen to represent the Las Cruces Cultural/Arts community
> would not be transparent information to citizens of Las Cruces.  I
> understand that the GSA panel member names are procurement sensitive
> and confidential, but my question is regarding why the members of the
> Las Cruces Cultural/Arts Community that represent the cultural,
> political, and social issues of the locality, is a secret to the
> members of the community for which it represents?

> A couple of the GSA guidelines that Steve sent me stated:
> The Regional Commissioner (or designee) is responsible for appointing
> the panel's community representative.  Such individuals should be
> recognized by the community as a spokesperson for the cultural,
> political, and social issues of the locality.  Suggested individuals
> include representatives of the mayor or city council, congressional
> delegation, civic organizations, and county government.
> Individuals with the following qualifications cannot be considered,
> given the conflict or the appearance of a conflict of interest: art
> gallery owners or employees, consultants or agents representing
> individual artists, and artists under consideration for GSA
> commissions in other locations.  The art professionals on Art in
> Architecture panels cannot be elected officials or representatives of
> the project's federal client agency.

> In my opinion, this is not a question that the GSA Federal Government
> personel should answer, it is a question from a member and resident of
> the Las Cruces community, tax payer, and registered voter for the last
> 19 years, as well as an acknowledged artist, & artist advocate of this
> community that...

Analysis: This is qute strange. In a deomocracy, the people making selection of Art In Public Places (AIPP) in the Federal Government are keep a secret. A secret group of eleite representatives are selected to decide on dispersement of tax payer dollars. How can this be so?

In Part I - Why Southern New Mexico Arts and Culture is not on the Map of New Mexico?

In Part II - Why did NM Arts - selection committee for Art in Public Places Not Pick anyone as a Finalist for the NMSU O'Donnell Hall art commission and only select five finalist who did not live in New Mexico?

In Part III - What happened to Efforts for Las Cruces to apply to the State of New Mexico for an Arts and Culture Designation area?

In Part IV: Why does the Federal and the State Government use Different criteria for who Can be on an Art Selection Committee?

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