And now a couple items to briefly follow up on (SCENE)metrospace. (For my own 4,000-word take as well as a comprehensive collection of links to local news stories, click here.)
First, (SCENE)metrospace officially became the curatorial domain of MSU’s Dept. of Art, Art History, and Design this past Monday (07.06.15). Just see the following stories for more info (all with highly positive spin from the City of East Lansing and MSU, of course):
City of East Lansing press release (curiously released — and buried — on a Friday afternoon that itself was an historic news day, particularly in this city)
WILX (local NBC affiliate, complete with spelling errors in the title…)
Beyond those articles, how else would you know that AAHD officially took control of the space this week? Good question. I mean, for all intents and purposes, the gallery has been shuttered since mid-April. No “closed for renovation” signs or anything. Just occasional articles and press releases. And locked doors and darkness. So I walked by the space today just to see what was going on, since the most recent round of press releases made it seem that MSU would be in there, guns blazing, getting ready for its debut show that is still two months away (09.11.15). (That’s almost five months from the end of the last show, also an MSU exhibition. So much for keeping the space open during the summer…) I saw no signs detailing the upcoming September show or mention of a renovation. In fact, I saw no MSU presence whatsoever. Instead I saw a City of East Lansing van and some folks inside gathering chairs that I assume belong to EL:
(The posters in the window aren’t related.)
With much of this now in the past, I can say that there is one “consolation prize” in all of this. As an example, at this past Tuesday’s City Council meeting, the (SCENE) divestiture was referenced once each by three separate people (one public commenter and two Councilmembers, one of which being the Mayor) in three different parts of the meeting. The Mayor, who championed the divestiture, referenced it as an example of the City tightening its belt (while continuing to subsidize the space). Although, he coyly only mentioned the dollar amount and not the space itself. The other two references, however, were more explicit and done in a context of the City having lost something of value. In that regard, I can say that those of us who aggressively questioned and criticized this deal throughout raised public awareness at least a little bit, at least to the level of it now being a potential talking point and a form of shorthand when referencing the City’s recent fiscal decisions (and not always positively so). It’s a drop in the bucket, but a drop more than what we had.
(Photos by yours truly.)