1. "The "Portal Project" is finally getting rid of one downtrodden area of Oakland, yet another one seems to be forming (or is already formed) at the "Boulevard Portal". Kind of a weird location, but not so far removed that empty buildings should be sitting there." Have you seen the proposal for the replacement? bland suburban office buildings. We can do better… See the Oakland 2025 Plan.
2. "The concerns in this article are responsible questions that should be raised, but I'm confident in Point Park's track record…." If they are responsible questions why not wait until a full plan is unveiled; preservation should not be a process of demolish ask questions later. Few buildings will/have survived this approach. PPU has not demonstrated that it cant work (technical, cost, design). An open professional problem solving workshop could resolve this. If we could do it with 5th & Forbes (GC Murphy Block) we can do it here. PPU deserve praise and so does the public/taxpayer for significant funding assistance, now and lilely in the future.
The "pay to play" aspect should trouble ALL artists. Only a n00b would pay $200 for a one night show in a bar. A gallery working on a commission is motivated to sell your art because they get paid when the work sells. When the artist pays up front, there is no motivation to sell... because they've already been paid. There are plenty of opportunities to get your art out there, and to connect with other artists. Unblurred on Penn Ave is the place to go, the place to network, the place to show.
A simple online search will detail the nationwide scam going on here. It's not going to help an artist's credibility to be associated with ANY vanity (pay to play) organization. It's a pyramid scheme, pure and simple. These type of art businesses survive by branching out--always. These websites/ galleries need to have hundreds of artist paying up front fees. These vanity spaces are not looking out for the artists' best interest in the long haul, they are merely trying to keep their exhibition space afloat.
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