Recently I decided to close my art studio in the Kaslosky building in downtown Palmer, AK. This was partially due to COVID-19. But what ultimately pushed me to a decision was the landlord insisting I remove the Black Lives Matter signage in my studio windows.
I wrote the full story in an Op Ed published in our local paper, the Mat Su Valley Frontiersman.
But I want to post this here on my website and blog as well. After all, if Black Lives Matter signs are removed and a studio closed with no one who knows about it, what does it matter? For posterity’s sake and so no one wonders where I stand as a human and a small business owner: Black Lives DO matter, and I think that is the barest minimum statement of fact. Although it’s painful to shutter a studio I loved so much, it would be corrosive to who I am and what I stand for to stay. I made a pact with myself that my decision to shut down the studio due to removal of the signage would be paired with amplifying this message through all of my channels, so here we go.
I hope you will take some time to read my piece, which is written with the predominantly white audience of Palmer business and civic leaders in mind. I truly hope, in my heart of hearts, that it sparks reflection, dialogue, and action even in some small way. If it does resonate, keep going. The official Black Lives Matter website is here and in the incredible age of the internet there are a billion other resources right at your fingertips.
I will keep going and find somewhere or something new. This is far from me giving up! This simply marks the end of one phase, and the beginning of something new.