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Wichita Falls loses its nerve

Bit of a dust-up over at the Wichita Falls Museum: they've cancelled their next show, Ulterior Motifs 11, after "founder and donor feedback was overwhelmingly negative" to the last show, Cherry Picked: 2007 Survey of Texas Art and Artists (co-curated by Glasstire editor Rachel Cook). According to the notes from a May 25 meeting of the WFMA board of directors, Cherry Picked "has resulted in setbacks for museum support" and "Board and Community input were encouraged…to rebuild relationships damaged by recent events." Gee. Sounds like Picked, which featured TX no-brainers like Helen Altman, William Cannings, Sharon Engelstein, Mimi Kato and Chris Sauter, amongst others, didn't go over too well. It's never a good sign when a board preemptively meddles in the programming, especially last-minute. Until Cohn Drennan took over as director a couple of years ago, we had never heard of the Wichita Falls Museum of Art. We hope he can bridge the gap between his local community and the larger Texas art scene — other small regional spaces have done it (the Stark, the Nave, the Old Jail Art Center, San Angelo and Panhandle-Plains, among many others). What's needed, from our perspective, is some local level-headedness, not cut-and-run donors yanking their support over one show they don't like.

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