I'm going to jump on the bandwagon with the whole non-issue-issue snafu that's erupting over Mera Rubell's visit to randomly selected DC artists (my name not selected, sadly, especially since I'd planned to meet her in a bar rather than my teeny living space where she'd probably bump her head). In a nutshell, the renowned collector decided to visit DC to select random studios to visit, talk to artists about their work, and select a few pieces for an upcoming show at the Katzen Art Center. Somehow this experience has opened the floodgates on whether or not DC is taken seriously as an artistic hub, and how tired it is of being compared to its artsier older sibling, New York. If you're a local artist, like I am, it's an interesting mini-drama to watch unfold, although lots of the criticism over DC's local coverage strikes me as bit misguided. DC is small, and its artist population is smaller, the fact that critics, being critics, are going to have the odd negative comment should be expected. I personally hate the idea of local critics deemed "non-supportive" when they don't say nice things, and I get the impression that a lot of DC artists constantly have their guards up, ready to cry foul if a writer doesn't happen to like something. It's shooting yourself in the foot, really. The best critical writing tends to be the stuff where the critic is very discriminating, and the only way to know if someone honestly respects your work or not is if they are able to point out its successes and failures alike.