By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
No Class and No Response
I want to thank Ted B. Kissell for keeping the William Clarke scandal alive ("No Class," May 27). Following his first informative article, I launched my own campaign to have this parasite removed from the school-district payrolls. I have been met with complete indifference at all levels of the school-district administration, despite the fact that more than one million dollars in taxpayer money has been spent to protect this sexual predator, money sorely needed in our public schools. To think that more taxpayer money would be spent on his attorney is just adding salt to the wound.
I have sent letters to all the school board members and have yet to get even a slight response. When I called yesterday, two weeks after sending the letters, I was told they were still in "transit" by the office manager. If it takes two weeks for letters to be transported from a fax machine to the desks of the board members in the same office, it is no mystery why our school system is in its present condition.
I did manage to get a response from Nelson Diaz, deputy superintendent. In his response he states, "Mr. Clarke's defense of record presents a plausible case of retaliation by employees with performance concerns." Obviously the courts, which represent an unbiased opinion and cannot be swayed by the evil eye of board chairman Solomon Stinson, found otherwise. If this was Clarke's excuse and the school board bought it, then why did they pay so easily? I have proposed this to Mr. Diaz and am awaiting his reply. It would suggest that the school board will roll over and pay any such complaint that comes before it, and allow a person found guilty by a court of law to remain on the payroll.
Mr. Diaz continues in his letter: "Please be assured that Mr. Clarke's performance is currently being monitored and the district is making every effort to prevent any such incident of perceived harassment from occurring...." Do they have Mr. Clarke tied to a chair or something? I am of the opinion that the only sure method of ensuring that this doesn't happen again is to not provide Mr. Clarke with any employment paid for with our tax dollars.
I have been equally puzzled by the lack of response from Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas, despite numerous letters sent to his office. I realize he has no direct power over the school board, but as our local supreme leader he has an obligation to address such issues when it is so obvious the board is throwing away taxpayer money. He has been given the political clout. He should use it to address Mr. Stinson's stranglehold on the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
One last suggestion for those who take the time to vote: The apathy of the school board members is an endorsement of sexual harassment in the workplace and a giveaway of public funds to those who engage in this type of behavior. This is an endorsement voters should keep in mind, especially those who voted for Mr. Stinson in the last election.
Let Me Tell You a Few Things About Purvis Young
Judy Cantor's article on Purvis Young ("From Outsider to Insider," May 20) begs a response. While I fully expect to be misquoted (and I was), I do not expect to be dissed as an art dealer. Having been in this business for more than 30 years, I have enjoyed a fine reputation among my peers, collectors, and artists. I must take exception to the implied conclusions drawn by Ms. Cantor.
Purvis Young is an exceptional talent whose reputation and recognition in the art world owes much to my gallery's diligent work in bringing him to the public's attention. While under exclusive representation, I was able to place his work in museums as well as in some of the finest galleries in the United States, including the first Purvis Young donated to the Museum of American Folk Art.
I have curated and lent work to many museum shows. The most recent was the Museum of Contemporary Art in Lake Worth, Florida, this past January and February, which exhibited more than 140 Purvis Young works from the Joy Moos Gallery. This is all part of my continuing effort to further the career of the artist, a position any responsible dealer would take whether or not he or she represents the artist exclusively.
Mr. Young received his 50 percent share of sales at all times (as do all artists who consign works to our gallery). He never asked for "more than his share." He and his advisors simply wanted higher selling prices so he could make even more money, certainly a common wish by all artists, even when realistically only time and public acceptance can legitimately increase an artist's price.
In response to Silo Crespo's "she took 3000 or 4000 paintings" and "made a million dollars," I can only say, Ha! Wrong on both accounts. If I hadn't suffered years of financial stress to prove otherwise, it would be laughable.
To set the record straight, Mr. Young, in deposition, asserted that Silo Crespo always was his partner and received one-half of all his money from sales. Their on-again-off-again relationship is not new. Selling and emptying his warehouse is also not new for Mr. Young. His desire is to paint, not accumulate. So when it becomes impossible for him to move around in his studio, he lets it be known that he is eager to sell the lot. As Ms. Cantor noted, after the Rubell purchase it is already being filled with new works. Mr. Young makes it clear he has much more to create.