I enjoyed your article on the University Art Museum ("Artistic Differences," Dec. 27). I hope the current management issues are resolved effectively.

This quality museum should be regarded as an asset to Lafayette beyond the direct impact to the student and local art enthusiasts. I occasionally visit other regional cities from Shreveport for art shows. During the museum's construction, I thoroughly enjoyed the outstanding first-class Rodin show and appreciated the new facility for the subsequent Andrew Wyeth Helga show and the recent Photo Realism show. Two of these shows involved overnight trips, and all involved as many meals at your excellent restaurants as I could work in, as well as visits to area attractions.

Art tourism is a meaningful component of the tourism industry for many cities and can be an asset to the city's economy as well as being prestigious for the university, city and region. This museum is built to a standard that can accommodate quality shows that require specific environmental controls, and it can house shows that could not be hosted in any facility in Shreveport and many other cities.

I urge the university leadership and community patrons to have the vision to support this excellent facility and insist on the development of a serious show schedule that will appeal to the regional art connoisseur and be an upscale asset. I hope I can enjoy many more first-class shows in the future at this fine facility, and it would be a shame to see it disintegrate into a mediocre art venue that would host the level of art show one can see anywhere.

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