The soon to be opened new art gallery at the University of West Terrier is engaged in a battle with the Park Museum for the opportunity to house and display a selection of works by members of The Park’s endangered species.
Although some of the pieces in question formed part of the 2015 Park ART Walk in August, most of the artists whose works were displayed have to date refused invitations from The Park’s art galleries in favour of private showings, most often at their own abodes.
“Obviously, this would be a real coup for us, but that is by no means the only reason we want to house the art,” said Bibiano Montanaro, spokesAnimal for the President of the University, in an interview on TMD Radio yesterday.
“As an educational institution, we feel we are the appropriate place for this art and that’s why we are engaged in this battle. But, I must say, we didn’t think we would have to fight at all, let alone this hard,” he said.
For its part, The Park Museum maintains that its mission is to house as much as it can that is representative of life in The Park.
“That means, past, present and even future,” says curator Dorika Pumi, who failed in her attempts as curator of the Park Museum of Contemporary Art (PMoCA) to attract artists who were members of endangered species.
And although Pumi contends that this “isn’t personal at all,” many in The Park’s art world believe otherwise.
“I don’t blame her for trying to redeem herself, but I don’t think she should do it on the backs of endangered artists,” says Anastazja Koci, an alumna of the Hani Gajah School of Art. Koci, who was shortlisted for the position of curator at the UWT art gallery, says she was taught by Pumi and maintains the utmost respect for her.
“But I think she’s pushing too hard on this,” she says.