SO LONG, SARAH
Fenske will be missed in the Valley: Sarah Fenske's move to become a managing editor in a big city is great for [St. Louis], but a great loss for the Valley. In a media storm of divisive reporting in all forms — print, television, radio and online — Fenske has been a breath of fresh air. Though I know basically nothing about Sarah, she has a mind for legal issues and [understands] the realities of business, social networks (beyond the online variety), and has an instinct for justice that is not driven by emotion.
There have been no other writers at New Times who have inspired me to look inward as I go about my daily life, interacting with the homeless, the powerful, the hungry and the power-hungry, the lovers, haters, movers, the shakers, and the takers. Sarah has met all of them and has told us about them — actually, she has "shown" them to us and allowed us to ponder. It is her respect for the intelligence of the reader that shines through.
New Times feedback
A writer is paid (meagerly) not to opine, but to investigate. Sarah Fenske has displayed both integrity and knowledge in her presenting some of the Valley's biggest and strangest stories for many years. Pretty much all my friends would be placed on the "right-wing wacko" side of the ledger, and so would I, based upon physical appearance and how I am perceived by others when I am "among friends." Where I stand politically or socially is unimportant, but if I found myself in a pit of confusion or painted into a corner, the only person I would want to interview me would be Sarah Fenske — her writing hand and her elbow resting on the desk are like the scales of justice.
Yes, success is not a bad thing, and happiness (for Sarah) is an emotion I will allow for myself, but not one I feel the need to foist upon others. I suspect, however, there are many who will weep briefly but give well wishes to Sarah as she is soaring on over to St. Louis.
Barry Hegrenes, Mesa
Story points out tenuous existence of galleries: I loved Niki D'Andrea's well-written story. It was a pleasure to read such an informative article about the state of the local art scene in New Times. The story points out the truth that, despite a resurgence of sorts, the future for Marshall Way art galleries is, indeed, uncertain.
Rich Danson, Phoenix
Pop-ups not really a win-win situation: You know the art "scene" in Arizona — especially in Scottsdale — is in a sad state of affairs when the galleries on Marshall Way have given way to "artists once relegated to vendor booths on Roosevelt Row." First Friday in downtown Phoenix is laughable, at best. It seems any gallery (or vendor booth) is available to anyone, regardless of quality of art.
If you have the money to pay rent, you can display your work. Obviously, Marshall Way property owners are extremely desperate. Perhaps this is a wake-up call for gallery owners throughout the metro area — especially when "25 cent" pieces are the hot item.
A gallery is a business. If you are unable to market and sell the work of artists you represent, then it's time to find new artists or, ultimately, close your doors. Having people walk in and talk about art doesn't pay the bills. I find this win-win situation in Scottsdale short-lived. I hope I'm wrong.
Roy Biv, Scottsdale
An accurate picture: Bravo! A truly accurate representation of what is going on! Gracias!
Baron Gordon, Enjoy5and6.com
Justice is served to the arts community: Very well done. I'd like to see more of this type of in-depth reporting on the arts in the Valley. A good news story with wide appeal that does justice to the art it covers, too. Good job. More, please.
Finally, a serious look at art: Kudos on this excellent article! Proof positive that art/culture can be reported as news without having to marginalize creative types' work and efforts via "What Are You Wearing/Eating?"-type puff pieces that barely mention the art itself. This story is the real deal. Thanks!
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The women behind the men: I loved Sarah Fenske's piece comparing Laura Bush to Norris Church Mailer. It was an interesting look at the women behind the men.
I agree that without his helpmeet, George W. Bush might have faded into the oblivion of baseball-team owner, or some other rich-boy pursuit. Maybe we have her to blame for inflicting him on our country. Just saying . . .
As for Ms. Mailer, Norman would have been what he was with or without her. That she stayed with the lecherous old lout for as long as she did speaks more to her enjoyment of the New York high life than anything else. She was just another well-kept woman.
Mo Bradley, Phoenix
Better than the tired, old New Times recipe: Sarah, as usual, your writing is impeccable. You were able to take the world's most "bo-ring" book and turn it into a "bo-ring" book report. That's okay, though, it was refreshing to see a copy of New Times that wasn't based on the old, tired recipe of "Hate Arizona, Hate Joe Arpaio, Embrace Debauchery."