Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Christie's Auction House, New York NY 2007
All reproduction rights reserved Wm. Greiner

So it appears that the Art Melt controversies continue with something involving one of the sponsors, Forum 35. A group which is supposed to promote art and cultural activities in Baton Rouge! It's a great mission, but these folks may want to consider what synergy might do for the cause?

From the Baton Rouge Business Report:

‘Artists affiliated with Boudreaux & Thibodeaux, a block down from the Art Melt festivities at the Shaw Center for the Arts, historically have set up a few tables on the sidewalk to showcase their work, piggybacking off the popular event. This year, however, it was a no-no.

Forum 35 volunteers told David Wandell, sponsor for the weekly art lounge at the Third Street bar, the artists who set up in front of the state parking garage hadn’t paid a fee to be there. So the group picked up the tables and set up just in front of the bar, Wandell says.

The Art Melt street closure permit stretched to Florida Street. Forum 35 volunteers returned, this time with a police officer, to have the 12 artists either leave or pay a vendor fee of $50 per table.

“They never approached us about our plans or collaborating,” says Wandell, who talked the volunteers down from $600. “Literally as soon as we gave them a couple hundred dollars we didn’t see them for the rest of the evening. They gave us handwritten receipts with no contact information on it, nothing official that it was Forum 35 or Art Melt business.”

Erin Monroe Wesley, president of Forum 35, says she is investigating the complaints.’

This latest development sounds more like a shake down , rather than an opportunity to promote the arts and cultural activities in Baton Rouge?


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