Many in the Los Angeles and local arts communities have been anticipating the upcoming exhibit of my new artwork. My show last May, Water Music/Fire Dance, was a success and attended by collectors from the Valley to the Desert. It was a great experience for me and everyone.
The documentary film on the exhibit was shown for six weeks around the clock in the window of Stay Gallery in Downey during the studio portion of my artist residency earlier this year (December 2016 through January 2017).
My upcoming show, Ordinary Time, an exhibit with sculptures by the inimitable June Diamond and paintings by myself, is canceled. There were irreconcilable differences between the artists and Mary Paxon Gallery of Norwalk.
The exhibit would have been a relevant statement on the disposability of our society.
The arts communities of Downey, Norwalk, Santa Fe Springs, and the surrounding cities are struggling, have been struggling for several years. In Downey, I see an arts community in search of community. The few cultural venues and active arts groups available (except for Downey Theater, Downey Symphony) are young and isolated from the example of more established institutions. Or they are dying. It is, therefore, understandable that the professionalism of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, etc. is not always present here.
It is not, however, understandable that reasonable consideration of the art and the artists themselves is not always present. Common courtesy is not regional.
I will not enumerate here the list of unprofessional and unreasonable requirements imposed by the administration of Mary Paxon Gallery. It will suffice to say that the possibility of community is not supported by its activity.
I regret that this show is canceled but will source another venue for the exhibit.
Roy Anthony Shabla
Director of Collections, Downey Museum of Art