For contemporary artists living and working outside the world's art centers, regionalism has long been a high-risk, low-reward career path. To choose it is to work in a style whose heyday is long gone, to opt for a future with built-in limitations, to abandon all hope of ever being The Next Hot Thing, to be consigned forever to Sotheby's arcade. There are good and historic reasons for this state of affairs, many of them painted in the 1930s by Thomas Hart Benton or one of his nativist disciples. Some of these reasons are also visible in the form of mindless arts boosterism, cheerleading for the "local art scene," and other fatuous forms of discourse. Still others are circulating in the lesser work of the "Dallas Nine" and bad WPA murals of shirtless workers, art that celebrates backward values with a... More >>>