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RE: About the Gates/Mixed Emotions


From: Fields, Linda (fieldsl_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Mon Feb 14 2005 - 10:09:48 PST

I kind of understand how you feel (it's how I feel about space exploration), but, on the other hand, I am a proponent of individual's rights insofar as their own monies. I would feel differently if public funds had been used, I think, but since the artists themselves raised the money, I believe it is their right to spend it as they see fit, just as it is your right and mine to spend our salaries on cancer research, or whatever. Linda

-----Original Message-----
From: []
Sent: Sunday, February 13, 2005 7:54 AM
To: ArtsEdNet Talk
Subject: About the Gates/Mixed Emotions

Hi, All!
Yesterday I spent all day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. For those of you that don't know it, the museum is located right next to Central Park. Our group, Long Island Art Teachers Association, had a docent who took us to strategic places in the Met that overlooked "The Gates" in Central Park, and she gave us valuable information about this Installation Art. We saw it from the stairwells on the second floor in the American Wing, the Rooftop Gardens of the Museum, the cafe in the American wing, and then walked through in installation itself in the park.
As an art teacher and practicing artist, I can appreciate and I understand the concept behind this exhibition, but there's a piece of it that chaws at me....
The fabric is a gorgeous vibrant "saffron", as Christo calls it. When the light changed throughout the day, its reflection impacted the color, and the changing hues were spectacular. I learned that the artists chose February specifically because the bareness of the trees at this time lends itself to seeing the exhibit and there would be no leaves to disturb. The enormity of the project, 30 years in the making, as well as the enviromentally friendly way that the stands are installed (each on 600 lb. standing weights, not dug into the ground) is impressive. The artists paid 21 miliion dollars of their own money for the exhibit and the materials will be recycled when the exhibit is over in two weeks.. Many jobs were created by this project, and it has generated a tremendous amount of tourism to New York City in February, a traditionally slow month.
So, with all that said in the positive, I still can't help think that 21 million dollars is an awful lot of money, even if it is for art experience. It's the enormous amount of money that was spent that is bothering me. All was raised by the revenue of Christo and Jean-Claude's books and drawings and by donations. With so many illnesses for yet we are to find cures, and so many hungry children in the world, a part of me wonders if, in this day and age, the money spent on this exhibition isn't frivilous and wasteful.
How do you feel about this?
Susan on Long Island


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