Upon flipping through a recent Reader, I couldn't help but notice that I had offended and confused Kathleen Lawless Cox with something I had written about The Floating World exhibit at the Figge. (See "Figge's Print Exhibit Resonates," River Cities' Reader Issue 642, July 18-24, 2007.) For that reason I feel the need to clear up a few things.
First of all, the condescending tone Ms. Cox uses in her letter leads me to believe that she is under the impression that I am either a child or extremely uneducated. I would like to stress that assumptions of this kind are incorrect. Also, she seems to think I threatened how "special" a trip to the museum is for her. This was not my intention, because, as we all know, the Figge is a very special place to the Quad Cities. I'm still not sure what was so wrong with the last sentence in the letter I wrote, but I was not degrading the museum in any way. In fact, I could swear an angel gets its wings every time I step into the Figge, because it's that special of a place. I will surely choose my wording more carefully next time.
As far as not understanding my opinion: What's not to understand? I stated what I thought of the exhibit, and my reasons for thinking that. I realize that she and Bruce Carter don't agree with it, but understanding it should not be a problem. I would also like to clear up that I wasn't disrespecting Mr. Carter's opinion; I was just stating that I thought he oversold the exhibit, and I still think that.
Mr. Carter thoroughly explained in his article about the Japanese culture and the process by which these prints were made, and I acknowledged that this was interesting. I thought Mr. Carter's article was very well written; I just didn't agree with it. So Ms. Cox preaching this again was a little, shall I say, redundant? Also, my opinion was about the art itself, not Japanese culture. There was no teacher there answering all of my questions and explaining the Japanese culture to me, so the art itself was the only thing that I was writing about. Again, in comparison to the rest of the museum, especially the high-school scholarship winners the next room over, I found The Floating World to be quite drab. I'm not asking anyone to agree with me, and someone who claims to be so respectful of art and expression should be able to respect an opinion.
I actually wish I could have seen the "gaggle of excited children" viewing the exhibit. I also wish I could have felt the poetic messages and bitter cold that Ms. Cox claims to have felt. I don't know how I overlooked the life-altering effects of this exhibit.
Ms. Cox clearly wants it to be known that she is a "Quad Cities Poet Laureate." I guess it should be known that I am not. Though I have studied art extensively throughout school and on my own time, I have been to many museums, and I do quite a bit of art myself, I merely sit in a cubicle all day at a job that has nothing even remotely to do with anything artistic. I hope this doesn't devalue my opinion. Though it wasn't stated in her letter, I sort of felt it implied that she thinks I don't know anything about art and don't respect it in the least. Art is my life; just wanted to clear that up.
So for spitting my caustic opinion all over her magical, whimsical world full of love, where everything is beautiful and nothing is ugly, I extend my sincerest apology to Kathleen Lawless Cox, and anyone else I may have offended and/or confused.
Quad City Art Enthusiast
In last week's Annual Manual for the Arts, we mistakenly printed information for Augustana College where there should have been information about the Black Hawk College theatre. The phone number for Black Hawk theatre is (309)796-5419, and the Web site is (http://www.bhc.edu/index.asp?NID=715).
Answers to the Hardacre Film Festival quiz (What's Happenin': August 1 - 7)
1) c, 2) a, 3) j, 4) b, 5) d, 6) i, 7) g, 8) f, 9) h, 10) e.