I’m writing to apologize to those who read your wonderful article on the new Lodi Community Art Center and felt that I insulted people without college degrees.
I was trying to respond to a comment I had made earlier that art is a tough sell in Lodi. Of course you don’t need a college degree to appreciate art! However, there are other towns in our area like Tracy, Livermore, Pleasanton, Stockton, Roseville, Napa and more where fine art gets more attention and more outside financial support.
I was trying to say that the more people are exposed to fine art during their developing years, the more likely they will be interested in it as an adult. I know there are other reasons people are drawn to fine art. However, I still think it is sad that children in public schools are deprived of the opportunity to explore their artistic interests and abilities in their classrooms until they reach high school. Unhappily, there seems to be no ground swell of community indignation over it.
The Lodi Community Art Center is dedicated to promoting art in Lodi. We just relocated to downtown Lodi to be more accessible to our public. We spent several thousand dollars to renovate our new space to provide a professional setting for our artists. We are planning to have a fundraiser in the near future to replace these much needed operating funds. Unlike many of the communities I mentioned earlier, we have no endowments, nor major financial sponsors to help us meet our operating expenses.
We do get some grants from the city to provide special programs that benefit the public such as awards for our Student Gallery and scholarships for college bound art students, which we could not provide otherwise. I hope that my poorly expressed comments about the difficulties in bringing fine art to the public in Lodi will be forgiven with my apology to Lodi’s art lovers.