On June 3, guest columnist Leland Faulkner wrote about the lack of arts appreciation in the Twin Cities.

I joined the Androscoggin Valley Art Association. It started out well, then started to die on the vine. Having opened my big mouth at a meeting, I was invited to take the post of president. Obviously, we needed something to jolt local artists out of their lethargy.

The idea of a sidewalk art show seemed ridiculous at first. After all, Portland had done it. But it was Auburn’s Centennial year, which gave us a huge boost. We were successful beyond our dreams. We gathered members and, for a time, everything was fine. Both cities found space for us, and we attracted many vacationing artists.

Sadly, the pink-tea group, most of whom wanted to socialize, started to make the association over in their image. AVAA is now defunct.

Can the trend be reversed?

Sure it can. Let’s have our artists climb down from the ivory tower and help the amateurs to help themselves.

We need an organization with numbers of members – art supporters as well as artists getting started and halfway there. Juried shows are fine, but a venue is needed for those first starting. We need the kind of participation that is lavished on athletics.

I would love to see the day when I don’t have to hear the epithet “cultural desert.”

Archie R. Travers Sr., Auburn


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