Hard for aspiring artists to gain recognition
Stabroek News
December 8, 2001

Dear Editor,

Mr Harold Bascom's letter captioned "Being an artist is a holy chore" (l4.ll.200l) portrays a certain view of art and artists which many Guyanese artists would find hard to live up to i.e. making art "a holy chore".

This is all well and good, but in the short time he has been abroad he seems to have forgotten the realities of the present situation for art and artists in Guyana.

First of all, he seems unaware that there are few prestigious schools left to employ graduates from the Burrowes School of Arts or University of Guyana. Also he does not know that most of the talented graduates who can sculpt, paint and draw etc. are not considered equipped to function as teachers at primary or secondary schools. This is why they end up going to UG to continue their education.

Secondly, Mr Bascom does not seem to know that the environment for artists is stultifying and discourages initiative and new talent. Castellani House and the Ministry of Culture do not encourage artists.

Many artists have tried to get their work exhibited at Castellani House and have been turned down or put off. A tiny clique of artists are given space to exhibit every year and their works, good or bad, are bought for large sums, so there is no space for rising artists, except on the pavement of Guyana Stores, and no hope for recognition.

Sadly, Mr Bascom may be speaking the truth, for art to continue to exist it may have to become a "holy chore"

Yours faithfully

Linden Thomas