Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Rye Arts Center Caption Contest

I am quite at home in the world of the arts and even in the world of the sciences, but in the world of politics I cannot be said to tread lightly. Now recall if you will that today nearly every arts institution in the country is significantly underfunded, and it should be obvious that it would not be politically savvy of me or indeed of anyone to enter a promotional cartoon caption contest sponsored by a leading arts center with a joke poking fun at every art institution's Achilles heel: its finances.

Yet witness what I blundered into in the recent Rye Arts Center Caption Contest. The drawing is by Benjamin Schwartz, himself a man of the arts and of medicine, and, for all I know, of shrewd and cunning politics as well. The caption contest was judged by Dr. Schwartz, by New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake, and by former New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff, each of whom contributed original work to the current exhibition. The winning caption has been on display at the Rye Arts Center gracing the original artwork since the opening on April 28. "Turn the Page: The Evolution of Cartoon and Comic Art" will remain on view at the Rye Arts Center through Saturday, June 9.
"I sense there's a fund drive coming."

Did I really submit that? Say it isn't so! These captions, on the other hand, just weren't artsy enough:
"I knew I forgot something."
"Quick, hand me a Sharpie!"
"It takes me back to the refrigerator door I had as a child."
"It's more fun to be a critic."

"I just don't get it."
"It was all I could come up with."
"The curators are getting lazy."

Note:  Those who find themselves seeking artistic fulfillment in Westchester might greatly oblige me by stopping in at the Rye Arts Center prior to June 9 and snapping a photo of the winning caption (which should now be permanently appended to the original cartoon). Help me to report the outcome of this contest to my readership and to protect it from the sort of political bumbling some of us—ahem!—might otherwise be prone to. 

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