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Viewfinder: Downtown Napa Welcomes "Art on First"

Photographs by Israel Valencia.

Last Friday's launch of "Art on First" drew throngs of Napans to First Street to see the 18 new contemporary art installations in the windows of four vacant buildings and some county offices.

For more information, visit http://www.artscouncilnapavalley.org/artonfirst/introduction.shtml or
www.napaartonfirst.com

Mark West March 04, 2011 at 03:14 AM
In 1994, I put up the Dave Cavagnaro exhibit in the empty window at the County DA Office right there on First Street. No one had ever used this space before. After two months, the DA Office asked to change the exhibit. I felt this to fine. The new exhibit was put with Copia materials. After three months, I requested to use the window again. It seemed a fair policty to have the space rotate. I suggested that the county establish the policy with a signup sheet. After, it was six months passed. I contacted John Tuteur, the County Clerk/Recorder to again request the use of the space. He said that he would get the answer. One year later, I abandoned the use request due the evidence of discrimination. Tutuer simply kept telling me that this would be resolved soon! So the county administration was clearly improper. But what are you going to do... sue the county for using the window to present an educational exhibit. The exhibit of Copia remained in the window. IT IS ONLY ONE EXAMPLE OF WHY COPIA BECAME THE BRAND OF PRIVILEDGE & EXCLUSION - resulting in its total failure. After this time, I moved out of town for some years. Each time I returned, the window reminded me of Napa's lack of civic awareness and inclusion right there in the DA's First Street window. I am glad to see the "art" on First Street cover empty building. But the fact is this: the attitude of exclusion has resulted in empty building in Downtown Napa.

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