It’s not about the art

By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 3, 2008

Even the tough-as-milquetoast Portland Press Herald arts section recently ran a column calling the project “controversial.” (Note to those reading daily newspapers: the word “controversial” is code for “We hate this, but aren’t comfortable saying it ourselves, and we can’t be bothered actually talking to anyone to get a quote.”)

Project creator Jean Maginnis has an answer to all of those critics. “A lot of people” tell her they like the project and its semifinalists and are willing to support it with their time, energy, and money. Fighting back tears, she explains that this work is “valuable . . . because art matters.”

Jeff Inglis can be reached at

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