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The small title on the cover of the March issue of New Orleans Magazine: “The new, the swell, the groovy: Art markets” doesn’t quite prepare you for the viciousness that lies ahead. In the very first sentence of the article it says: “The scene: the corner of Canal Street and Canal Boulevard.” I don’t know what that scene is, but it’s not the Mid-City Art Market. As a matter of fact, the two streets don’t even intersect. The very next sentence starts off: “To be more precise, the fourth Saturday of the month.” Well, you have to first be precise to then be more precise. Again, this was wrong. We are actually the last Saturday of the month. From there, it just gets worse. Mid-City Art Market has something to offer for everyone, not just a select few. We are a nonprofit neighborhood organization that works toward neighborhood development. We support our local merchants, by giving our merchants discounts and so many other wonderful things. The most devastating part of the article was the attack on the artists themselves. Of the six noteworthy artists that are mentioned in the article, five have shown at Mid-City. Since about 80 percent of the artists show at both Bywater and Mid-City, I’d like to know which artists are the “amateurs.” There are random quotes throughout the article that are attached to no one, such as creating beaded jewelry so that one can have extra money for shopping. If you could see what all of these artists have to go through to set up their space and then tear down, with no guarantee of one sale, I could think of much easier ways to make extra money. What determines a “serious” artist from a “hobbyist”? Is a serious artist a painter and not a folk artist or a potter and not a photographer? Ninety percent of artists who show in galleries locally don’t have the luxury of making their art full-time. I know of no “arts-and-crafts fair” that has gallery-quality artwork selling upward of $1,000. I was especially offended by the author’s reference to so many photos of cemeteries, Jackson Square and Garden District homes. These are the things that make New Orleans unique and keep countless tourists coming back to our great city year after year. This, sadly, is another example of why artists of all types have to leave New Orleans to make their living, leaving behind the cemeteries, Jackson Square and the Garden District homes, just to name a few. Wendy Laker Director, Mid-City Art Market •

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