Speaking of kitsch, here's an article in today's Wall Street Journal about a museum struggling to be relevant to the community it serves:
"ROANOKE, Va.—Mark Cline's fiberglass sculptures of giant ticks and man-eating dinosaurs are the sort of fare that a $66 million art museum would normally keep at arm's length.
But curators at the Taubman Museum of Art have approached Mr. Cline about showcasing some of his unconventional works.
"Nostalgia reigns in Roanoke's core and it isn't reflected in the hyper-contemporary glass-and-steel museum. "We could have used that $66 million to promote our true heritage, like moonshine running, country music and '56 Oldsmobiles," laments David "Mudcat" Saunders, a longtime resident and a political consultant.
"...talk of his looming presence in the Taubman brings dubious responses from some museum supporters.
"Shakespeare sometimes played to the groundlings. I guess we have to do some of that too," says William Rutherfoord, a Roanoke painter and art historian, making reference to English theater audiences that included the poor. Yet Mr. Rutherfoord, whose oil works are part of the Taubman's permanent collection, says keeping an open mind to sharing gallery space with Mr. Cline isn't easy: "My mind has been violently jammed open."
Sculptor Mark Cline has created works with titles like 'Foamhenge' and 'Hunt Bigfoot With A Redneck.' Here's a piece in Roadside America about his studio: