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Local matters globally, a response


[Ed note: Shelley is commenting on a recent post by James Rosenthal.]

Post by Shelley Spector

I am writing in response to James Rosenthal’s recent entry about Philadelphia’s art scene being positively featured in the New York Times. To put it in a few words, Rosenthal said, “We still suck.”

He cited his ongoing problems with the city and used the closing of SPECTOR as an example of the city’s failure when it is actually just the opposite. I opened SPECTOR seven years ago to “act locally, think globally.” Its agenda was to promote Philly artists and start a ripple by being a hub of creative opportunity. I dealt with a national and international audience. Many of the gallery’s artists have grown to have high profile careers. Now I carry on with SPECTOR Projects, same mission, less traditional format.

Thom Lessner, Tug
Thom Lessner, Tug, From SPECTOR’s 2002 show, PHILLY

I am just one of a large community that includes gallery directors, artists, curators and collectors who are grateful and excited that our efforts are being recognized and promoted by a prestigious publication like the Times. What would be the purpose of negating that?

In the last decade, the landscape of the Philly art scene has changed so drastically for the better that it is barely recognizable. Philly is a rock star. Only time will tell whether we are Madonna, Jimi Hendrix, Neil Diamond or Nilly Vanilli.

–Shelley Spector is a regular contributor to Artblog. New SPECTOR Projects include:

–January 2007 –, a tale by William Pym, gallery director at Fleisher-Ollman.

–April 2007 – Jim Houser’s THIS BEATING HEART ACTS AS A TIMER, a solo show at the Painted Bride Art Center.

–Spring 2007 – In conjunction with Silicon Gallery, The SPECTORCollection, a new suite of limited edition prints by gallery artists.