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PRINT December 2005

Frances Stark

LA’S ART SCENE continues to propagate with unwarranted optimism, like the palm trees that we natives call “volunteers,” the ones always poking through the cracks between the curb and the sidewalk. One simply can’t keep up with all the sprouts and weeds, let alone the bushes and trees. We have no fewer than nine art schools in the region with competitive MFA programs, meaning that every year an average of about 180 (mostly) young artists complete their studies. So every two years LA churns out 360 degreed individuals—and that makes for a massive circle. That vastness doesn’t even account for the city’s cadre of legendary artist-teachers, who are in the business of exhaling those circles like so many dissipating smoke rings. Whether the teachers inhale or not is the metaphorical-rhetorical question we’ll have to save for later.

Who can deny that fits of nostalgia occasionally prompt us

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