Art, Politics, Racism Revisited After Publishing Letter Critical of BCFA's Exhibit of Artist Mark Clark
"Yes, my guard stood hard when abstract threats
Too noble to neglect
Deceived me into thinking
I had something to protect
Good and bad, I define these terms
Quite clear, no doubt, somehow
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now"
"My Back Pages," Bob Dylan
|Mark Clark, Artist, |
Owner of Galleria 409
When this blog published a letter from two Hispanic artists to the Brownsville Museum of Fine Arts, critical of the museum's decision to exhibit the work of artist Mark Clark, we received a substantial amount of feedback, particularly on Facebook.
Longtime local newscaster, Bill Young, who also happens to be the father of the Cameron County Republican Chair, Morgan Graham, described the viewpoint expressed by artists Celeste de Luna and Nansi Guevara as "liberal/progressive fascism," a phrase frequently used by Fox News' Sean Hannity to describe those who try to "smear President Trump."
Jack White, Interim Director of the Good Neighbor Settlement House with a long association at UT-RGV, stated in defense of the exhibit: "Gee...I will have to attend in support of an open society."
When Alix Torres told White that, "as a white man," he couldn't "get it," White responded: "You are right..how can I comprehend that culture? But to bar my expression would be inconsistent with enumerated freedoms. It's your choice to take a position...."
|Juan Fidencio Trevino,|
Publisher of the Brownsville Bright
Juan Fidencio Trevino, publisher of a local blog, Brownsville Bright, felt that artist Clark was taking a "step out of (his) lane" to "represent a bit of culture that an educated and talented indigenous individual should be presenting. . . "
Trevino continued his line of thought: "The thing is, here, you have an outsider to the culture, albeit a nice guy from what I've seen, benefitting from information that those who pertain to said culture have not had the opportunity or the luxury to learn and cherish."
There were many other cogent comments from Mary S. Rey, Teresa Saldivar, Maggie Galvan, Johnny Chingaz, Saul del Angel, Israel Galindo and others.
|Eduardo del Rio|
Eduardo del Rio, a UT-RGV professor, originally from Havana, Cuba, countered Juan Fidencio Trevino's arguments with: "Those two things are not mutually exclusive. Both are possible, and needed. Instead of criticizing and claiming "cultural appropriation," we should celebrate Anyone's effort to educate others on art and culture, regardless of the artist's race or ethnicity."
|Josie del Castillo|
One local Hispanic artist, Josie Del Castillo, made a Facebook statement in support of Clark: "I want to give a big thank you to Mark Clark for giving me the opportunity to work on my paintings at his gallery. He helped me frame my work, invited me for dinner, and had a lot fun talking about art and artists. He is truly a great man! I am very thankful for everything he has helped me with."
While Ms. Del Castillo includes several styles of personal work on her Facebook page, we submit an example of her "reflective art," a self-portrait: