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SPOTLIGHT: San Diego Arts

Arts Beat

March 02, 1988|LEAH OLLMAN

Installation, one of two alternative art galleries in San Diego, will end three months of darkness when San Diego performing artist Eleanor Antin opens an exhibit March 12.

During the past few months, Installation has gotten more attention for its apparent funding crisis and the rumors circulating about struggles between the organization's staff and its board of directors.

"No bones about it, there were some personality problems," said Dan Wasil, director of the nonprofit space. "Everyone's trying to pursue a vision, but the means to that end are always in question. This is natural for a young organization. It's an organic process of growth."

Wasil, who had served as interim director since March of last year, was appointed director of Installation in January, amid a reorganization that included a turnover in staff, the addition of several new board members and a strengthening of the organization's fund-raising arm.

"We had some cash flow problems which have been alleviated and are not a problem at this point," Wasil said. "Everyone always needs money, but it's not cutthroat for us anymore. We're definitely here."

Wasil said Installation is now looking ahead toward greater national and international visibility. After taking a long, hard look at the organization's current status and goals, Wasil and the board are now developing a five-year plan, searching for a full-time curator and addressing questions of long-range programming.

"We're wending our way toward becoming more of a multidisciplinary center for the arts in this area," Wasil said, adding that April's ArtWalk will feature music, theater and dance events in addition to its visual arts offerings.

With less than two years left on its lease, Wasil said the search has begun for a permanent space and he is hoping to get some help from the city.

"We're hoping for a dollar-a-year-for-99-years situation. We've been around for eight years. It's time we had a permanent space."

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