Kate Dobbs Ariail makes some excellent and well-founded remarks about the N.C. Photographers Annual Exhibit [Nov. 22]. Perhaps unintentionally, however, she succinctly points out one of the main reasons for the NCPAE's downward spiral. The photographers she lists, those whose work she misses seeing in this show are--with the exception of one who lives in the far reaches of Hillsborough--from the Triangle area.
No matter how the crow flies, this Old North State stretches all the way from Murphy to Manteo. I find it hard to believe, for instance, that Charlotte--home of The Light Factory--doesn't host a panoply of accomplished photographers. Why are they not represented here?
Broader questions remain for the NCPAE: Are juried shows like this one merely for the emerging artist to become better known? Should there be invited artists as well as those who are juried in? Should there be a portfolio review, rather than a submission of a paltry four prints to be juried at a relatively high $25 fee? Since this is the N.C. Photographers Annual, not the Triangle Photographers Annual nor the Meredith Photographers Annual, should the location of this exhibit vary every couple of years within North Carolina?
Ultimately, the NCPAE doesn't need "life support." What it desperately needs is a double transplant--heart and soul.
---DIANA HOOPER BLOOMFIELD, DURHAM
In "Living with Kids" [Nov. 22], I get a kick out of the way Mary-Russell Roberson pats herself on the back for sending her kid to a public school. The only options she seriously considered were two Montessori schools, one private and one public. The public Morehead Montessori Magnet school has a pupil-to-teacher ratio much lower than that of other Durham public elementary schools, has a waiting list and allows only about 200 children to attend.
I don't know which public school she's zoned for, but I know it has no waiting list. Morehead Montessori is technically public though, so everything works out very nicely for Roberson. She has managed to dispel her guilt over sending her kid to a private school while at the same time avoiding our undesirable public schools, and she didn't even have to move to Chapel Hill.
--BRAD MARCUM, DURHAM