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Thursday, December 21, 2006

Details on the death of the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery

Howdy!

Props and shout outs to Joel Goldberg, he broke the news about the Bronfman's getting out of the exhibition business and into the theater business. Now we get the details from Janice Arnold about how it went down.

It seems like someone decided to hire these expensive arts consultants who tout loudly that they 'create cultural capital.' These expensive arts consultants (who listen to their clients) apparently told their clients that in this case it was better to destroy cultural capital. And for those of you who are having difficulty following my parenthetical statements. If Lord Cultural Resources state that they listen to their clients, then I would imagine that the idea to close the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery did not originate with Lord Cultural Resources.

Ms. Arnold also points out that 'the SBC has been repeatedly unsuccessful in securing an operating grant from the Canada Council.' Although I, personally, find it strange that the Bronfman family would drop a cool $1 million on the Canada Council in order to secure the memory of one of the previous directors of the Canada Council, and then install Mr. John Hobday (aka that very same previous director of the Canada Council) as interim director of the Saidye Bronfman Centre, and then whine about not getting grants. Or in other words 'Give Me a Break.'

As I've pointed out before you can easily get $50,000/year from an investment/endowment of $1 million dollars. I also would figure that if they had been gracious enough to speak to Mr. and Mrs. Taran before the decision had been made, instead of after the decision had been made, Mr. and Mrs. Taran might have been able to pony up a little bit more cash for the endowment. I can't imagine that the operating budget of the Liane and Danny Taran Art Gallery was much more than $150,000 (3 employees at about $30K to $40K/ch plus incidentals. Exhibits get funded by specific grants, and instead of showing and stopping, you first show and then you tour the show that way you can at least cover your costs.) Or in other words the gallery could have been saved if they had wanted to save it.

Then finally laying any blame on the 'obscure nature of the exhibits' just ends up showing how dense, and unaware Peter Kalichman, and John Hobday actually are. Personally I would lay the blame squarely at the feet of whomever was in charge of not getting a replacement promptly after Sylvie Gilbert left. An art gallery without a director is sort like a person without a head.

I'd love to go on about the art school as well. But I have an art gallery to run.

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