Wandering Eye:

Renaming Byrd Stadium, Baltimore at Art Basel, and more

If you've got FOMO about Art Basel Miami Beach, you are not alone. Especially since a good chunk of Baltimore artists and galleries made their way down past Alligator Alley to exhibit work there this year. For those who would like to know a little bit more about those paintings floating in a bathtub (Fjord), or what that "Stupid Bar" (Open Space) was all about, check out Art F City Editor Paddy Johnson's recap of the Tiger Strikes Asteroid Artist Run Fair at the Ocean Terrace Hotel, where each exhibiting gallery was given a room to transform in the soon-to-be-demolished hotel. Johnson's post mentions installations by Baltimore's Open Space, Bb, and Platform Gallery (which, full disclosure, is run by friends of mine), along with Art F City's own "F.A.G. Bar" curated in part by CP contributor/Art F City Senior Editor Michael Farley. (Rebekah Kirkman)

 

BuzzFeed has been tearing up an investigation of the work visa system. This long piece published Dec. 1 shows how some employers deny jobs to Americans in order to hire cheaper, more compliant foreign workers under the H-2 program. The H-2 visa allows about 150,000 foreign workers into the U.S. each year to do menial work—farm labor, carnivals, landscaping—that Americans supposedly don't want to do. The companies that hire them are supposed to show that they tried to hire Americans, so what some do is hire U.S. citizens and then fire them immediately, telling the government they all quit. "What's more," BuzzFeed reports, "companies often do this with the complicity of government officials, records show. State and federal authorities have allowed companies to violate the spirit — and often the letter — of the law with bogus recruitment efforts that are clearly designed to keep Americans off the payroll. And when regulators are alerted to potential problems, the response is often ineffectual." The program is being used to depress wages at the low end of the scale. The tricks to keep Americans out of the jobs are legion: advertising in a newspaper hundreds of miles from the job, failing to list a contact number, or setting ridiculous hurdles. "Even for entry-level jobs, or tasks as simple as picking melons, some employers demand that American applicants have months or sometimes even years of experience, clean drug tests, high school diplomas, familiarity with botanical nomenclature, knowledge of diabetic cooking, multiple references, or commercial driver's permits," the story says. There's your "skills gap" right there, people. (Edward Ericson Jr.)

 

A student-activist-led movement has University of Maryland President Wallace Loh pushing to rename Byrd Stadium, where the football team plays. As the Washington Post notes: "Harry Clifton 'Curley' Byrd, who was president of the state university from 1936 to 1954, barred blacks from enrolling until forced to do so by court order. When he ran for governor, he did so as an ardent advocate for segregation." Interestingly enough, one of the students leading the charge is also named Byrd: Colin Byrd. "He and his father, a 1978 alumnus, would not have been allowed to attend the school in Curley Byrd's day," reports The Post. So what's the new name? Maryland Stadium. Yup, Maryland Stadium. Hey, it's not too late to change that name too. (Brandon Weigel)

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