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Bouquets & Brickbats

September 13, 1987|ZAN DUBIN

The California Arts Council has handed out nearly $1 million to a dozen major visual art institutions in the state, but not without chastising half of them.

These six organizations, along with one dance and one theater troupe, have "chosen not to have one single member of the multi-cultural community" on their boards of directors, said Darlene Neel, who spoke at a recent council meeting in Sacramento. Neel, a council panelist, helped determine the amount of its Support to Prominent Organizations Awards, the state agency's heftiest grants.

Citing shame at recommending grants to organizations with this lack of ethnic representation (the full council actually awarded the grants), Neel said about 1% of the arts groups the council funds had "people of color" on their boards of directors.

"That's not good enough for a state of this (racial) diversity," Neel said, especially because for the past two years the council has "attempted to give clear messages to grant applicants" to include minorities on their boards. Neel later offered several policy changes to right the dilemma that the council will consider.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art was one of the six institutions singled out by Neel, manager of the Bella Lewitzky Dance Company. It received a $152,549 grant, which are given to visual arts, theater, dance and music organizations with operating budgets of $1 million or more.

Other institutions Neel cited were the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which won $122,916; the La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art, winning $46,787; the Newport Harbor Art Museum, awarded $37,375; the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, given $29,130, and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, awarded $8,000.

Other visual arts institutions receiving council grants for fiscal 1987-88 are the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco ($187,071), Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art ($86,090), San Francisco's Exploratorium ($120,444) and Asian Art Museum ($67,811), the Oakland Museum Assn. ($66,300) and the San Diego Museum of Art ($25,644).

The council, which has a $14.5-million budget this fiscal year, also awarded $459,016 in smaller grants to 64 visual arts organizations with budgets of less than $1 million in its Artistic and Administration Development category. Among the local top winners were: the Woman's Building ($22,620), the Self-Help Graphics ($15,475) and the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach ($14,700).

The total of this fiscal year's council grants to arts groups in all disciplines represented more money than ever doled out by the agency. But some in the arts community still are not satisfied.

"When it comes down to the bottom line, there simply is just not enough money," David de la Torre, director of San Francisco's Mexican Museum, told the council members gathered in Sacramento. "It should be said over and over until politicians and legislators realize we're not where we need to be as relates to public support of the art in the state."

CUTTING THE RIBBON: Exhibits of the art of Mexican painter Rufino Tamayo--and an appearance by the man himself--will inaugurate two Southern California cultural institutions.

On Saturday, the Cultural Foundation of Woodland Hills plans to christen its 4,000-square-foot Artspace Gallery with an exhibit of Tamayo oils, pastels, gouaches and mixed-media works dating from 1929. A $150 tax-deductible contribution will allow guests to meet the 88-year-old artist at a gala reception Friday evening.

Next Sunday, the nonprofit Modern Museum of Art in Santa Ana is slated to make its debut with a show of Tamayo oils. The artist will also be present there at a private preview.

This museum's focus is less on extensive exhibitions than on education. In addition to an on-site 7,000-square-foot exhibit space and audio-visual center for art-related films and videos, its organizers plans to distribute educational programs, using video and audio tapes and film, to public schools throughout the country. (See art listings for further details.)

ALL ABOARD: The Los Angeles Conservancy will offer a daylong bus tour next Sunday to six architecturally significant houses that typify design traditions explored in two current Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibitions, "The Art That Is Life: The Arts and Crafts Movement in America, 1918-1941" and "The Machine Age in America, 1918-1941."

The tour will swing by the Gamble House, designed by brothers Charles and Henry Greene, and the private home of noted tile maker Ernest Batchelder. Other stops include visits to the How House and Buck House, designed by Rudolph Schindler, the Lovell House by Richard Neutra, and the Smith House by William Kesling.

Tickets are $75 and include lunch at Bullocks Wilshire. The tour runs from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Reservations required: (213) 623-CITY.

ERRATA: The new Dorothy Goldeen Gallery is at 1547 9th St. in Santa Monica. The address was incorrectly printed on a map of Santa Monica galleries printed by The Times.

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