I would like to comment to the article referencing the mayor's program "Sights & Sounds Downtown". As I read of plans for involvement of a variety of local businesses such as galleries, restaurants and retail shops participating in promoting visual and performing arts downtown, I began to wonder what kind of pressure this would mean to the "established" and more traditional art venues available for local artists.
Sure enough, Mr. Bingham's anxious commentary confirms. Veiled behind words like "creative", Mr. Bingham expressed his desire to see the work of Utah artists channeled through the tightly controlled venues such as they are currently. To believe that the tastes of the "world" art buyer would only be served by frequenting "high level professional establishments" as he states, implies that low level, amateur work will be produced and presented in the mayor's vision for downtown. This is the kind of snobery that keeps many of the art buying public uptight in such establishments as Mr. Bingham would have dominate the art scene.
I hope that the recent success of the Arts Festival's return to downtown is a positive sign to the mayor that the browsers, buyers and artists alike all benefit and there is room enough for all venues. No high level professional establishment's livelihood was threatened in the process. It would seems likely to me that the more the public is exposed to the arts, the more they will seek it out and not just to buy but to enliven and enrich their lives.
Stephanie Levendoski Utah artist