Houston Press Using FOX News Tactics?
After reading the latest article in the Houston Press about the Elder Street Artist Lofts I was utterly disgusted. First of all I could not even figure out why the article was being written. I had heard it was going to be written about the process of getting into affordable living spaces for artists here in Houston. However, it turned out to be one big slam jam on the Elder St. Lofts spouting one negative comment after another.
I want to go on the record right now and say that just about every single piece of negative criticism written is completely false when it comes to my experience of getting into this space. The editor even hinted at getting my input numerous times as far back as one month before this article dropped. For reasons unknown I never received a call back even though I agreed more than once to help out. Instead, he decided to focus the story around one poor girl’s experience there and support the argument with rumors spouted by disgruntled people which are no longer there.
The most obvious of all lies is that there aren’t a lot of artists living there. To date I’ve met 2 gallery owners, an Art Crawl organizer, a displaced New Orleans artist, a newly engaged couple with more tattoos than motley crew, an organic gardener and have seen numerous artsy looking types crawling around the property. Not to mention myself being an artist or the fact that the third place winner of this year’s big show, Matthew Sullivan lives there. This is only a fraction of the artists who are there because I hear from other residents about the people residing there and what they do for a living along with the fact that there’s artwork scattered around the corridors of the building created by the residents. Another point HP lied about.
The whole wait-listing artists and only letting in friends bit? Give me a break. I didn’t know a single person there and the management could have easily turned me away at my first attempt to snag a place but instead they reworked not one, not two but three different applications (spanning 3 weeks) to help me get in due to my financial situation. I didn’t once feel like I was being discriminated against or being given special privileges. The management was super helpful and polite during the whole process and has continued to help me get settled in. Not to mention the fact that they have allowed me to hang my art in the halls contrary to the HP’s report about not being able to do so. And that guy whining about not being able to run a business there? Well how do you explain the Gallery on the first floor?
I could go on and on but I thought I’d just point out how the HP decided to ignore a positive experience and focus on nothing but bad ones to produce a prime time hit piece slamming the space from end to end. Where are the voices from the residents who are still living there and have lived there for over 2 years? FOX news uses this same tactic so you can expect the same effect. Which is, why should we continue to support or even think about building affordable living spaces for artists when we couldn’t even get this one right? This article is nothing BUT detrimental to Houston’s progression as far as art studios & living spaces are concerned. If you’re going to produce an article that goes city-wide in front of people’s faces and talk mess about something then I think it’s only fair to expect some kind of solutions or alternatives to be presented, which weren’t.
You know that anyone who reads the article will walk away thinking the project didn’t work. When in fact, it’s the complete opposite. It IS working and the space is amazing. Who knows, maybe in the future things will change my mind but as for now, I’m sticking up for these people and my new home because it’s worth fighting for. That’s how great it is.