Second Saturday freeloaders

Johnny Flores is a local artist and designer

I think for the next Second Saturday I’d like to have an exhibit called Wine & Cheese.

It would consist of a gallery with a table in the middle of the room and an assortment of cheeses, crackers, and a variety of whites and reds for people to drink. All of the walls would be bare save one, which would have a 3-inch by 3-inch placard reading, “We know you’re only here for the free food and beverages, so we didn’t bother hanging anything up.”

If I seem annoyed, it’s because I am.

I was invited to be in a show with two local artists, Paul Imagine and Laura Edmisten (better known as Asbestos Press), at SN&R. It was an honor for me to be included in a show with two insanely talented and gifted artists. They pour their hearts and souls into their work, as do most of the artists in our community.

So it gets frustrating when people from the suburbs arrive at the galleries and boutiques looking to eat and drink for free with no intention of buying art, or even entertaining the idea of making a purchase.

You’re lucky to be living in a community that not only presents the opportunity to look at amazing contemporary art on a regular basis, but also gives you the ability to purchase it at affordable prices. Most artists I know price their work for under $100. It’s criminal that these artists present their deepest dreams, hopes, fears and desires for so cheap—and you’re more concerned about getting your hands on another shrimp purse.

Second Saturday isn’t about what you can get for free; it’s about celebrating the art your community is producing.

I hope that the next time you’re in Midtown showing off your new dress or your Blackberry, you stop for a second and really examine the art on the walls. Instead of trying to throw back as much Two Buck Chuck as you can before moving on to the next gallery, seriously consider buying an inexpensive piece of art.