I will admit being tempted by the scheme as Bob Keyes outlined it in his Dec. 7 article about Art Collector Maine (“New gallery draws competitors’ ire by charging artists for exposure”).

As a Maine native, I have resented Maine Home+Design redefining what Maine is to fit their wealthy, urban ideal. That’s not the Maine I love or want visitors to know. But Maine Home+Design markets to transplants who want their experience, and they found a niche.

Reading Keyes’ beautifully neutral description, it sounded more attractive. It’s hard getting good results with advertising. Wasn’t this just another form of advertising targeted to art lovers, and what was that about a huge readership? Hmmm.

But Union of Maine Visual Artists leaders took a stand, objecting to using ads as journalism, putting business before art (“Letter to the editor: There’s conflict of interest behind pay-to-play galleries,” Jan. 4). Many art magazines do that. Take it for what it is.

And why object to being blacklisted from their galleries? That’s called a bad fit. So don’t patronize them.

But their practices will in no way sully my reputation, nor Peggy Golden’s, nor the Gleasons’. The UMVA leaders would be better off helping artists understand what ethical behavior is from a gallery and other artists, rather change Maine Home+Design.

There are many artists who fit well with Maine Home+Design, and we should not judge them. We all know that what they promote is not the “Best of Maine Art” just because they say so. Most of us try not to deal in those kinds of superlatives.

But in the end, you cannot unchange change. This does not mean that we can’t continue to work with our clients and artists ethically and support each other as best we know how. I’ll stay with the tried and true.

Good journalism, Bob.

Marsha Donahue

North Light Gallery

Millinocket