Perambulating the Bounds

Friday, June 30, 2006

Back to the blog

For several weeks I’ve left the blog aside to keep the piece on Will ClenDening on the top to make sure people saw it and took the opportunity, if they wanted, to add a comment. It’s been almost a month, so I’ll get back to posting. (BTW, I think some folks are working on a memorial to Will on the Watkins website.)

The Scene announced this week that our former Managing Editor Jonathan Marx has taken a job at the Tennessean, filling Alan Bostick’s old job. For those who don’t know, as Managing Editor, Jonathan coordinated and personally edited most of the visual art coverage. Nothing against Bostick (whom I’ve never met although I have benefited from his coverage for projects I’ve been involved with), but having Jonathan at the Tennessean is a big deal for the Nashville art community. He is so well tuned in to art and artists, and so smart about it, that having him at the Tennessean will expand the range of coverage. As a daily paper, there are some things the Tennessean can and can’t do in comparison to an alt-weekly like the Scene, but there is no doubt that Jonathan will look for every opportunity to say something insightful.

Just look at his first piece for the paper, on the Frist’s Egyptian show. He covers a lot of ground. In addition to describing the material in the exhibit and the main themes, making good use of curator Mark Scala’s voice (whose presentations on the exhibit are, not surprisingly, very good), JM has also worked in observations about the curatorial process and the logistics of putting on the show. With an exhibit like this (really any exhibit), it pays to think about the institutional as well as the aesthetic dimension.

One thing to consider is that up until now, Jonathan has mostly exercised an indirect influence on visual arts coverage as the editor of other people’s writing, outside of picks (where he was able to make significant comments). Now people will read his articles on art. People in the art community are going to want to keep up with what he is writing about and what he is saying.

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