A Love Letter to Bill Davenport
While enjoying the verbal water-balloon fight in the comment feed of OK Art at the Party-Tyme Corral (“New York! Pop! Market-driven! Pop! Contemporary! Pop!), I’m intrigued by the accusatory tone of the majority, validated or not.
Let’s begin with Bill’s treatment of young, budding writers... He spoke with me on the phone the other day, for a while. I’m sure within two minutes he realized that a) I have no idea what I’m doing, and b) I’m a saccharine-level optimist when it comes to the challenges of art writing about Lubbock. He even responds to my emails! Albeit, in two-word responses which may be underinvested, but encouraging nonetheless. I would proffer that rather than turning writers away at the door while chortling at their efforts, Bill has standards (okay, maybe he chuckles at idiot savants like me as he tidies up his inbox). One example would be the writing of Ryder Richards. I sort-of-know Ryder--I have had a crush on him ever since his mother showed his figure drawing sketchbooks to my Design I class (I was seventeen). Maybe this is turning into a love letter to all of Glasstire. Ryder illuminates artwork through visual, informed descriptions, cautioning against both harsh criticism and blatant laudation. Like I said, Bill has standards.
It is my wild imagining that beneath this weatherworn, tired exterior, there is a secret optimist. One who privately encourages writers (he has yet to publish anything I have written, but here’s hoping), and who knows that the comment feeds for positive reviews aren’t exactly buzzing. You’re a sly dog, Bill. You understand that self-criticism, and a nothing-is-quite-good-enough attitude is the only way for the Third Coast to be taken seriously.