I wanted to put a Prescott myth to rest and also throw some kudos out there about some art venues in town.
First the myth.
The myth says that Prescott’s territorial heritage, its southwestern conservative flavor and its rural location make for a zeitgeist that is unfavorable to contemporary art and culture. The myth asserts that a Prescottonian’s idea of art must always include some depiction of horses, cowboys, western vistas (preferably with either cactus or Thumb Butte) or flowers. The more included the better. The myth would like you to believe that we all belong to the BHNC* culture club and that if it wasn’t done in the past it shouldn’t be done today.
It is no surprise to anyone here to find out that the person next to you is from some other state or even country. The majority of newcomers in Prescott became residents because we like the town but we didn’t give up our own cultural history in the process. If anything, Prescott is becoming more and more eclectic in its cultural background and needs.
The destination image promoted by the Tourism Bureau is meant as a commercial vehicle but it doesn’t define us as community. Culturally there are as many opportunities here as elsewhere. You just need to look, or be told. And thus the second part of this post.
Now that the tourism season is wrapping up (It is Labor Day weekend), the streets and shops, galleries and entertainment venues will have fewer crowds. The “rhythm of the residents” will pickup. Those who are off-put by the tourist din and difficulty in finding parking will hopefully come and visit the City center. If they do they will be rewarded with a few new places and some old favorites.
New places to mention: The Electro Gallery in St. Michael’s alley across from a favorite, Krieger/Marcusen; Textiles and Textures on North Cortez just a few doors up from the Peregrine book store. For the truly adventurous there’s the “Shed Project” on Madison just off Lincoln, an alternative gallery started by a decidedly younger group that looks very promising. Kudos to both the galleries at Prescott College and Yavapai College who have the courage to show new work, new talent and new ideas. And also let’s mention “5enses” newspaper and “Poprocket” for giving us some roadmaps.
And of course a shameless plug for “A Small Art Gallery” on Goodwin next to City Hall in the Courtyard building. And while here please visit my neighbor “The Vigraha Gallery” which has probably one of the largest collections of East Indian/Tibetan/Asian Sacred art anywhere in the State. A gem.
Several people have told me in the last few weeks that we need more galleries to show great art. I say, we also need more people to come down and see it. Come down, we would all love to show you what we’re offering.
*BHNC = “Big Hat, No Cattle”, or “Big Headress, No Chiricahua”.