At some ungodly hour yesterday morning, I attended a forum/dialogue/panel discussion about envision Vancouver as a creative city in 2050. There were many people there, including city council members, artists, art organizers, curators, etc. At one point, someone lamented the fact that artists like Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas and Ken Lum are well known internationally, but receive not much hometown love. Their art goes for sale for thousands of dollars, and Vancourites appear to be indifferent. And to be perfectly honestly, I had never learned or heard about these artists until last year.
This brought me back to our own class discussion about the photoconceptualism debate around the artist writing academic essays on each other and not leaving much room for others to join the club. I feel that if there were essays about the Vancouver School, written in concise, non-academic writing with very little jargon, the general public would embrace the art with some regional pride. Those who are not photoconceptualists or art academics in general, and who have a high interest in learning about Vancouver art, should be able to appreciate something as innovative as the works of Jeff Wall or Stan Douglas through non-academic means.