free beer, not a good replacement for engagement
the local art scene has many, random parameters, mostly having to do with socializing, less often having to do with conscious assessment of art
When trends are set by new york magazine mulching hyper intellectualized market-based fetishistas
the curators trained primarily by conservation preservation historical canonical fetishistos,
the consultants encouraged to manage (exploit) the art kids,
while galleries are dismissed so they can be farmed by the consultants,
yet non-profits run by consultants and real estate tax credits
extolled as more virtuous...
The resulting local product list fancy, expensive, slick and well polished.
But no amount of award, essay or retail space can make this kind of production into art.
And cultivating a market of people that don't know art,
to sell them product, doesn't help art -
especially does not build any kind of sustainable ecosystem for over hyped Creative Class that the upper crusties here love to fete but not feed.
What happens, for instance, if we were given a unique advantage, like Google Fiber, but then had to compete with a true grassroots art scene, like Austin ?
Most engaged Bohemians know the difference between Raw and Cooked.
And they know what Cooked looks like.
So who wins in a free beer scene?
The low performers that make product and can't leave.
The only possible solution, authentic engaged critical awareness doing the hard work of helping the educational deficit of the civilians that have zero art education.