Baltimore artist Robert McClintock—most famous for his portraits of dogs and local landmarks—won’t be at Artscape this weekend, and he’s encouraging others to skip the event, too. Through Twitter and e-mail blasts, the artist has suggested locals “opt out” of the art and music festival.
McClintock said the idea comes from his inability to pass the event’s juried application process last year, despite his participation from 2001 to 2010.
“Yes, I’m bitter that I didn’t get into Artscape,” said McClintock in a phone interview. “I’m a local artist promoting the city, and people look for me there.”
Artscape’s organizers aren’t worried about McClintock’s suggestion to skip the event. “The point of Artscape is to foster artists, and if that [campaign] helps him as an artist to sell art, then at the end of the day we wish him all the best,” said Tracy Baskerville, communications director at Baltimore Office of Promotion of the Arts.
McClintock didn’t apply this year, instead choosing to opt out of the festival. He feels Artscape is forgetting its roots in an effort to become nationally recognized. “They invite people from around the country to come here when I think it should be a Baltimore-based event supporting Baltimore artists,” he said.
Baskerville attributes the increasing number of regional and national artists to the event’s popularity. “As Artscape’s reputation has grown, more artists from around the nation want to participate,” said Bakersville of the specific markets McClintock’s work falls under. She pointed out that Artscape’s performing arts are still largely local groups.
McClintock’s offering an alternative to the event at his Fells Point gallery, where he’ll be giving away free signed and framed mini-prints (if you spend $45 first, according to the gallery’s Facebook page).
After getting some backlash from a customer, according to The Baltimore Sun, and some not-so-nice comments on Twitter, McClintock has softened his campaign.
“Not everybody in the world goes to Artscape,” he said “If you don’t want to watch the Super Bowl, you can watch Gone with the Wind on another channel. It’s something else to do."
—This post was written by editorial summer intern Rebecca Kirkman