Esteemed Dog Blog commentator Amber wrote the following in the comments thread of this post:
Perhaps the most maddening thing about your editorial from last week, Stephen, was how you MISSED THE POINT ENTIRELY about why the Dunlop was pissed at the Prairie Dog. If you go back and re-read Greg’s review of the Terrance Houle show, you’ll notice that he says the de-humidifiers were in place to prevent further damage to the works. This implied that damage had already been done, which was NOT THE CASE. As you can imagine, such libelous conjecture caused a lot of trouble for the gallery, both from Terrance and the Plug In gallery in Winnipeg (luckily, the Plug In director is a former Regina resident who was familiar with Greg’s “journalism” and was able to brush the whole thing off with an eye-roll.) However, the damage done to the gallery’s reputation can’t be so easily brushed off, as it can affect the likelihood of other institutions lending works to the gallery in the future. For this alone, the gallery deserves an apology from the Prairie Dog, not this adolescent attempt to publicly shame it.
So let’s recap that: prairie dog printed an assertion the Dunlop disputes. The gallery was embarrassed and has real problems as a result. No one at the Dunlop contacted prairie dog to explain their situation/perspective, or request a correction. Instead a fit was thrown, because the Dunlop was “pissed at the prairie dog” (and vulnerable as hell) and two ads were pulled to punish us. And I was left to read the minds of the supposedly wronged staff. Which I was not in a mood to do after I saw those ads in Verb.
Wow. Passive aggressive much?
Assuming that Amber does in fact have insider information, as a supporter and fan of the Dunlop Art Gallery AND its staff (and maybe even director, I’ll let you know) I’m going to speculate that this near-unbelieveable clusterfudge is the direct consequence of a gallery that’s underfunded, under-appreciated and staffed by people who feel like they’re under siege and are therefore going crazy. How’s that for a theory? Sound about right?
I think it’s time to move ahead on a new library building (UPDATE: or preferably, a massive renovation and expansion) to give the Dunlop, a critically important Regina and Western Canadian art gallery, a stable library home that doesn’t need dehumidifiers.
Get on it, Regina.