I’ve only ever received one “hate mail” letter here at the magazine. It was in response to a story we ran on an art collector. Go figure! Well, last month that record was broken after the story we ran on Stacie Huckeba’s This Shoe Doesn’t Fit exhibit at Art & Invention Gallery. If you missed it you can read it online at Nashvillearts.com. The exhibit centers around a pair of Ivanka Trump shoes. Several people wrote to tell us that we had no business running articles that were political in nature and that we should stick to what we do best, writing about art, which is, of course, exactly what we were doing. Many of the articles and exhibits that we have featured over the years have had political messages. Nashville artists like Marlos E’van, doughjoe, and Mary Mooney all tackle big political issues in their work. Nothing new there. Art has always reflected the political and social environment that we live in better than the politicians have. That’s a fact.
Our job is to present what is happening in the art community here in Nashville. Stacie’s exhibit was a legitimate art statement made by a Nashville artist, and I was pleased to run the story. I thought her work was intelligent and well executed. Did it represent my political views? Well, that’s my business, and I will keep it that way. But I will tell you this, had we been introduced to an exhibit that presented an opposing view to Stacie’s, we would have considered that as well, but to date no artist has presented us with work that expresses that opposing view.
Art should stimulate conversation; it should evoke emotion, get us thinking, scratching our heads, whether we like it or not. Sometimes it gets the blood boiling, and that’s a good thing. Again, nothing new there.
Paul Polycarpou | Publisher