Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Don Martin's eternal quest to bring art to B-town


You really have to admire Don Martin over at Metro Galleries. I've featured Don many times on this blog and all for good reason: he's one of the pivotal players in bringing a thimble full of culture to our community, which after all is known more for its adult illiteracy rate than for art. (read previous posts here) One caveat: lots of other folks have been busy on the local art scene, like the Arts Council of Kern and the Bakersfield Museum of Art, but what Martin and his involvement with First Fridays has done is to make it fun and cool and relevant to a much younger crowd. So you have to really hand it to Valley Republic Bank, the new bank in town, for asking Don to handle a special exhibit coinciding with the bank's grand opening this week.
Don says he sold the bank several pieces for its permanent collection but he'll also have works by Keith Wicks, Art Sherwyn, David Gordon and Bonnie Hineline-Kemper on view. The show is set for this Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the new Valley Republic Bank at 5000 California Avenue, Suite 100. Wine and cheese will be served. Art Sherwyn (read a previous post here) is a local artist and high school art teacher and of course David Gordon works at the Bakersfield Museum of Art.

8 comments:

Lois Henry said...

Looks like the bank got my favorite Sherwyn. But luckily not my favorite Wicks.
You're a Wicks fan, I hear.
Too bad you didn't grab the Cottonwood road piece when you had the chance!

Richard Beene said...

I let a nice Wicks pass that was a view of some Spanish moss at midnight... looked like Savannah... should have bought it

Anonymous said...

Your comment 'known more for its adult illiteracy rate than for art' is one of the most snobbish and insulting comments I have read in a long time. Apparently in your insular world you only see your hometown as ignorant, uninspired and disinterested. Yet, many here support and donate to help those unable to read or write, child or adult. And many of them also go to concerts, plays and art openings regularly.

I hadn't realized that our newspaper's CEO is elitist and judgmental. Maybe by rereading your column you might discover a causation for the downward spiral of the national newspaper business. But, I doubt it.

Richard Beene said...

I won't debate you except to say that this is a wonderful town but its reputation is anything but, and to deny that is to deny reality.

Anonymous said...

Where? San Francisco? West Hollywood? Where? So, since I take you to task for you incendiary remarks you suggest that I am in denial. Amazing.

The Californian just went through a number of lay-offs. This is one reader, though apparently incapable of realizing reality, who understands why.

Richard Beene said...

Anon:
I feel no need to apologize to you or anyone else on my posts, which represent my opinion only. I have never implied nor inferred that this is not a terrific community or that people do not volunteer or contribute or that wonderful things don't happen here every day. In fact, if you review the totality of my posts you would find that I try to celebrate not only what is good about our community, but also who is working to make it a better place. So there is that. Now if you want platitudes or cheerleading, you have happened on the wrong blog. I also deal with the reality of our community, but apparently you choose to either conveniently ignore or simply not to care about others who live here. And finally, that you would cite San Francisco and West Hollywood as potential adversaries is, as you say, "amazing" to me and reflects the smallness of your world. So here's my advice: simply don't come back to this blog. Problem solved!

Anonymous said...

No sweat. According to you I am in denial, my world is small and I cannot find reality. But here is a little reality for you: I did not read your original thoughts about how illiterate our city is perceived by others on this blog post - it was printed in YOUR newspaper on April 16th. And, the link to this post was also printed in YOUR newspaper. So avoiding your blog wouldn't really help, now would it?

Lucky for me, I have a printer. So, I will share your original statement, my approach and your subsequent responses with selected Bakersfield citizens just to get an impartial analysis. Perhaps they, too, will see that our newspaper's CEO is also a self-appointed psychoanalyst with an obsession for invective sermonizing.

Anonymous said...

But, Anonymous! The author of this blog does say nice things! He says them, for example, about the Ford dealership (I'm assuming he drives a Ford, naturally), about charity fundraisers he attends, about places he shops, things he sees when he drives or rides his bike on the bike path, about people who are his friends and about his friends' children, although he seems shy about identifying these people directly as friends. He cheerleads for those folks all the time. Isn't that what blogs are for? I mean, the information doesn't have to be researched or attributed the way a reporter might; it's just all out of the author's head. Honestly, I think the newspaper should print more of his blogs, maybe even as a business column, because he seems to have the news on big things before the paper runs them.