Gallery in Tucson

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Posted by panch from ( on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 at 2:21PM :

It was a strange moment when I saw the large postcard that would be the first mailing from the gallery to the buyers and movers and shakers in town. There were four pieces of art reproduced as nicely and cleanly as youīd wish. Three paintings and one sculpture...the maquette of Ashurbanipal.

I just stared and stared at it...realizing for the first time that I am more guilty than any Assyrian I have ever blamed...for not having faith in us, in our art. Why did it strike me as so odd...why did I have less faith than the owner of the gallery...a Jew no less?

To be fair I never wanted to try it before because I knew if I succeeded I would never agree to come back to the community to receive the kind of treatment I have...the kind I really didnīt know would come my way...theough I had my suspicions.

While we were together for that one day another strange thing happened...strange for me. We were sitting at his computer when he received a letter from another artist who would be showing there as well. Established artists who show at several galleries are concerned who the others will be...what kind of work will be on display alongside of their own. Apparently this one had been given my site address and was writing back to say heīd visited it. Among the kind things he said was that he would be proud to display alongside of me...and the owner should tell me that.

I felt like this Heritage badly battered and buffeted...not by others, but by our own...that it seemed Iīd found an oasis where I could heal...but was immediately struck at the fact that it was an oasis made of strangers...not my own people.

How on earth did we get such a low opinion of ourselves...why would John and Jackie and Atour do these things...and in our name? Why do our artists and scholars have to go outside the community to get any respect? Why do we seem to hate the idea of Assyrian excellence...why do we embrace mediocrity and entrone incompetance? How have we become saddled with leaders who have a vested interest in keeping us backwards and dumb enough and confused and twisted in knots enough...and all for the reason that we would be more likely to submit to them?

Thatīs why they chased me out and replaced my work with three pots at Jackieīs convention...because I point to a place they canīt go...because my example encourages other Assyrians to join in and lift us where we belong...where these part time leaders will be of no use to us. They lead us for their own sakes...they use us to promote themselves and their visions for what we should be...a sort of marching band or drill team for America and the Christian Church...pick which sect you will.

Thatīs what this was all about.

-- panch
-- signature .

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