Saturday, July 8, 2017

July 8, 2017

Good writing n the morning. Good painting in the afternoon. One of the features of life in The River Arts District is the stream (a stream in some places, a trickle for me) of gawkers and looky-loos, who sometimes are charming or inspiring and often are tolerable. Often, not. But the central attitude of the process is off-putting. I think of this when waiters are going on about how tipping is a duty and an obligation. (It’s not, but that’s another story). I think that tourists should not come to the River District, or other arts districts, unless willing and prepared to make a major art purchase, and I don’t mean a mug or another packet of pretty note cards. If waiters deserve to make a living wage, so do artists. If you shouldn’t go to a restaurant if you’re unable to tip adequately, you sure as hell shouldn’t go to a street of studios without the means and willingness to support the source of your amusement and enlightenment. We are not museums. We support ourselves. You wouldn’t expect to go to the cinema and see the movie for free. The landscaping in a “free” city park is maintained and paid for by SOMEBODY.  Of course, restaurant tipping should be replaced by an adequate wage from the restaurant owner. In the same way, the city should pay a stipend to artists who make a place like Asheville a destination it would not otherwise be. Asheville without its artists is Johnson City, and if it doesn’t know that, it should. How to convey this to travelers from Florida or New York who wander through and assume we’re a kind of folk exhibit maintained for their amusement?  Ask, understand, grow, buy, or stay home. This doesn’t always bother me. Today it did.

Major revision of Night ,Sleep.– less a revision than reading through and being satisfied that it is right.

Fed potato chips to the crows. Painted crows.

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