Mickael Broth 
Member since Jan 18, 2013


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Re: “Remaking Petersburg

How about some love for the Petersburg Area Art League? They're located right in the historic downtown on Old Street and have been fostering art in the community for decades. It's a super terrific place that encourages the arts among youth and the wider community.

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Posted by Mickael Broth on 10/01/2014 at 2:49 AM

Re: “Color Them Impressed

As one of the two Richmond-based artists Shane met with (I didn't have a scheduling conflict actually), I wanted to share my most recent email to him in hopes of providing a bit more context.
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Shane,

It was definitely good to meet up and talk about some of the concerns that the Richmond community has been expressing about the Richmond Mural Project. I've been giving a lot of thought to what we discussed. We definitely should have started the discussion in January when I first voiced the concerns publicly as that would have allowed for meaningful local involvement this year. But as it is now, it's too late to really involve local voices in the this year's events. And while I appreciate your offer to have me paint the Taboo wall, I don't think that is the right solution for a number of reasons.

I am glad to hear that you are open to including local talent in a project that is named after our city. However, it doesn't really seem to me that one artist per year is an adequate way to engage the community. I know that picking some number is very arbitrary, but it seems to me that at least three out of the ten artists you are proposing each year should have at least some local connection. That is where the conversation should begin. This is particularly important considering that you seemed to be planning for the RMP to continue for many more years. It had always been my impression that this was meant to be a five year project. At what point is it enough? When we literally have no more walls left to paint?

When you say you want to help grow the mural scene here, I really feel that one way to do that would be to include some local talent and at least one artist who is just beginning their public art career. As a young artist, it can be extremely difficult to secure funding and space to create a large scale work. The RMP can be a vehicle for these people. I know you have an interest in launching the careers of artists such as the Etam Cru, but why not provide the same opportunity for Richmond artists, rather than just using our walls and corporate funds to provide the opportunities to out of towners? I understand you are grooming artists who you intend to show in your gallery, but this should not just be a way for you to promote those artists whose work you appreciate. Going forward, I would be happy to help you expand the roster of artists who would be good candidates.

As to the project I told you I've been organizing: Welcoming Walls (murals along the highway walls), I would be open to discussing some sort of collaboration in the future. But as you know, my primary concern would be an appropriate amount of local involvement. I'm sure you can understand why some people, myself included, take issue with you soliciting funds from Richmond based organizations. Funds which are then directed out of the local economy. Of course there are benefits to the RMP, but they are largely intangible. As things are currently structured, the RMP does little to actually incubate an art community, rather it simply serves as a portfolio of what you have organized.

To be completely honest, it's become clear since we spoke that a number of things you said were half-truths at best. This does not inspire confidence in you, or your words. I feel that our discussion was in some ways designed to allow you the ability to say you'd reached out, while making no real effort to address the concerns I expressed (and have expressed numerous times on social media). This isn't to say you aren't making any effort, but it seems that it's being made simply to placate the artistic community, rather than to engage it. As someone who doesn't live here, perhaps you're not aware of how tight-knit the Richmond arts community is, but that's important for you to understand. I'm still happy to discuss this whole thing further, but there needs to be transparency. I will be posting this letter to all relevant social media, as well as forwarding it along to any media outlet that has covered this as a story. I am hopeful that you'll understand that this is meant to allow the Richmond community a better understanding of what is going on behind the scenes, and to allow them an opportunity to voice concerns about something that affects the city in which they live.

Talk to you soon,
Mickael

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Posted by Mickael Broth on 06/12/2014 at 10:05 PM

Re: “Outer Spaces

Great to see some of the good walls (Stormie, Etam). Too bad not one of the artists involved in the "Richmond" Mural Project has any connection to Richmond, nor does the organizer.

Posted by Mickael Broth on 08/27/2013 at 3:23 PM

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