Thursday, March 23, 2017

Entries for the 2017 Trawick Prize are due two weeks from tomorrow on Friday, April 7

Don’t miss your chance to apply for this award! One artist will be named Best in Show Winner and will receive $10,000. A second place prize of $2,000 and a third place prize of $1,000 will also be awarded. Young Artists (must be born after April 7, 1987) are also eligible for the $1,000 Young Artist Prize.
Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and permanent, full-time residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.
For more information, eligibility requirements and to apply, please visit:

Fundraiser for Alma Selimovic’s Project in Berlin

Otis Street Art Project Studio is hosting a fundraising event for DMV artist Alma Selimovic.

Alma is going to Europe for a two-month residency at the INSTITUTE FÜR ALLES MÖGLICHE in Berlin, Germany. The focus of the residency will be to create digital drawings of people from Eastern Europe who are queer, trans and/or gender neutral. Alma’s drawings will be exhibited in Germany and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The final installation, "In Transition" will be exhibited in the USA and potentially a few other locations.

About the Fundraiser:
This event will feature a presentation by Alma, a screening of a documentary about her activist work in Bosnia and Herzegovina (Queer Sarajevo Festival: Documentary), and an exhibit and silent auction of her sculptural work and smaller works by her sister company RozArt.

All proceeds from the sales will go toward “In Transition” project. Alma would like to compensate travel and time of all of her models. Other expenses are included, such as the creation of a working team that will assist Alma with logistics, audio translations and photography. This project will geographically span Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia, in order to reach more people.

Alma has initiated a GoFundME campaign
Please visit the page and donate and share it with others.

April 1, 2017
6:00 PM -9:00 PM
Otis Street Arts Project
3706 Otis Street
Mount Rainier, MD
Facebook Event Page
Photo Transfer Class
with Alma Selimovic

Saturday April 8th, 2017
Sign Up for the Class 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Please just sign it somewhere...

Dear artists: Just sign the damn thing... somewhere...

One of the most curious things that I have puzzled about in the many decades of making art, presenting art, selling art, and dealing with both artists and art collectors (as well as art dealers), is how often artists anguish over a signature.

"Why don't you sign your artwork?", I ask.

The eyes wander away... the hands twist... mental agony is clearly evident, and more often than not, a semi-puzzled answer is "I just don't."

There are gazillions of ways to screw up a work of art with a signature - the most common one is where a work of art is marred by a giant signature in glow-in-the-dark silver color marker or some hideous color like that.

Even a tiny and elegant signature can distract from a work of art if placed in the wrong area of the work. Imagine an elegant abstract, such as a Mondrian, with a signature in the middle of one of the color geometric shapes.

And, the real truth is that if you care at all about art as a commodity, then I will tell you that most collectors, especially the savvy ones, will always ask about the signature, if one is not apparent at first inspection. You can give them all the certificates of authenticity on the planet, but they want that siggie somewhere.
"A Picasso with a signature may be worth twice as much as one without a signature," said Mark Rosen, former head of the print department at Sotheby's, which sells approximately thousands of prints per year with prices ranging from a few hundred dollars to over $100,000. "Chagall did a series of prints called 'Daphne and Chloe' and those that are signed are worth 10 times as much as those that are unsigned. Otherwise, they are the same prints."

By now you're itching to yell at me: "Lenster! What is this? Damn if you and damn if you don't?"

Nope - it's just damn if you don't; just do it in the proper place(s).

Some easy to remember DO NOT Rules when signing artwork
  • Never sign with a gigantic signature; a normal signature (or even smaller than normal) will do fine.
  • Never sign anywhere on the surface where it interferes with the composition.
  • Never sign with that glows, shimmers, is metallic, or will fade.
  • No need to put the little "c" inside the circle "copyright" sign by your signature. You already own the copyright no matter what!
  • If you sign on the back (verso in Sothebyse), make sure that it doesn't bleed through!
  • Don't sign using inks that will fade in time, or worse, separate, such as "Sharpies" do after a few years, when they acquire a yellow border around the faded black ink.
You want to know where to sign, right?

Cough, cough...

By the way... I'm meandering all about signatures on two dimensional work; you sculptors are all on your own, as long as you don't pull a Michelangelo on the Pieta stunt.

Where to sign two-dimensional work:

1. On the back (make sure that it doesn't go through and can be seen from the front); in fact, the more info that you can put on the back to help art historians of the future, the better. 

2. On the lower margin of the piece (usually the right margin, but that's up to you). 

3. Photographs can either be signed (and numbered in a small edition, cough, cough) on the verso (there's a million "special" photo-signing pens for all you photo geeks; they "write" on photo paper and dry in nanoseconds and don't smear, etc.) Or you can sign them if you leave a white border all around the printed photo. Even signing the mat in the lower margin in pencil was in vogue in the last century and is OK.

If you don't believe me about the power of a signature, then just go online and research the difference in price between a signed Picasso (most of them) and the two dozen or so fully validated, authenticated and documented unsigned Picassos (the ones that he gave to one of his ex-wifes that he hated).

That will learn y'all a lesson about signatures and art, Jethro... and don't get me started on dating artwork as well.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Coming in from the North Sea

A while back I posted about some of the artwork that I did while I was living near Brechin, in the Angus region of Scotland from 1989-1992. You can see some of those works here.

It has been of extreme interest to me to see several of these pieces come up for auctions and estate sales here and there, as sometimes the buyers contact me for information about the work.

In this case, this work was acquired at an estate sale in Hannibal, Missouri of all places. I recall selling it via an art show in Aberdeen, Scotland in 1990!

Coming in from the North Sea, Heading to Montrose, Scotland - 1990 watercolor by F. Lennox Campello
"Coming in from the North Sea, Heading to Montrose, Scotland"
16x20 inches, Watercolor on Paper, circa 1990
By F. Lennox Campello

Monday, March 20, 2017

Art Scam Alert!

Triple threat from these three idiots! Ignore and delete! DO NOT open the attachment!
Date:  Mon, March 20, 2017 3:16 am
Dear Sir/Ma'am,

We went through your works from a partner, we like to do business with

Please refer to the attached document & kindly reply with urgent

Sent from my iPhone
Henry Bloom/ Purchase Manager
9 Battery Road, #28-01
Straits Trading Building
Perth, Australia

Date:  Mon, March 20, 2017 3:40 am
 Dear Sir/Ma'am,

We went through your works from a partner and we love them, we like to do
business with you

Please refer to the attached document & kindly reply with urgent quotation.

Sent from my iPhone
Henry Bloom/ Purchase Manager
9 Battery Road, #28-01
Straits Trading Building
Perth, Australia

From:  "Henry Bloom"
Date:  Mon, March 20, 2017 4:57 am
 Dear Sir/Ma'am,

We went through your works from a partner and we love them, we like to do business
with you

Please refer to the attached document & kindly reply with urgent quotation.

Sent from my iPhone
Henry Bloom/ Purchase Manager
9 Battery Road, #28-01
Straits Trading Building
Perth, Australia


The World Is Your Stage opens this week

"The World Is Your Stage" Photo Exhibit by Sir Harvey Fitz 

1231 Good Hope Road, SE Washington, DC 20020
Show Dates: March 25 - April 4, 2017. Free and open to the general public. 
Meet the Artist Opening Reception: Saturday, March 25, 4:00-6:00 pm. 
Anacostia Arts Center HoursWed. - Thurs. 10AM - 7PM; Fri. - Sat. 10AM - 8PM; Sun. 10AM - 3PM
Sir Harvey Fitz’s photo exhibit, titled “The World is Your Stage” is a documentarian depiction of the seven stages of mankind from grand stages to street corners. This exhibit celebrates the passion that drives an artist or performer, regardless of the stage of life that they’re in – from being a dreamer of the craft, to a veteran, or someone who longs to return to their art.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wanna go to an opening in G'town tonight?

Closed Monday Productions and Architect Robert Bell 



You are cordially invited to
Meet the Artists Sunday, March 19, 2017
5 PM - 7 PM

Historic Georgetown Theater
1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20007

Closed Monday Productions LLC presents the Art of Legacy exhibition at the newly renovated Old Georgetown Theater, a former silent movie house from the 1900s.  The exhibition features Washington DC area artists, John Blee, Barbara Januszkiewicz, Anne Marchand, Martha Spak and photographers Marissa White and Matt Leedham. Recently added to the exhibition, sculptorRaymond Kaskey and his famous sculpture Portlandia.
The Pop up exhibition will be on view from March 9-26, 2017. A   reception “meet the artist” will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2017, from 5-7 pm at the newly renovated space located at 1351 Wisconsin Avenue NW in Washington DC, Georgetown.  All artists will be available to meet and discuss their artwork.

“The Art of Legacy exhibition has successfully enhanced this exquisite newly renovated space featuring natural light and views of the unique outside garden.  Curating the current show has reminded me of the importance of art in the community and why it matters.” says Marsha Ralls, “It’s a perfect meeting of historic DC with artists whose work reflects the very nature of the city.” Ralls, the curator and CEO of Closed Monday Productions, worked closely with architect Robert Bell to create a showcase for some of her favorite artists.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Come say hi to me at Zenith Gallery today

REJUVENATE WITH ART: CELEBRATING 39 YEARS, Accent on the positive... Let's celebrate!
  March 17 - April 29, 2017
Zenith Gallery
1429 Iris St. NW, Washington DC 20012
MEET THE ARTISTS RECEPTIONS: Saturday, March 18, 2 - 6 PM    

Vegas by Joyce Zipperer
Aluminum, Acrylic, and Glass Beads
7” x 4” x 8”
Price request

Closing Reception: Saturday, April 29, 2 - 5 PM

Come to hear me talk tomorrow

Last weekend I had the honor and pleasure to jury The Friends of The Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery's 18th Annual High School Student Art Exhibition. This art competition is an annual event for all high school sophomores, juniors and seniors from Montgomery County, Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington DC.

To say that I was astounded by the quality of this show would be a gigantic understatement!

Below are some examples of the work... prepare to be astounded! Award ceremony and judge’s comments take place tomorrow, Sunday, March 19th from 4:00 – 5:00pm. Exhibition is open Saturday, 12 to 5PM and Sunday, 12 to 5PM.

Let me tell you, after several decades of jurying, curating, reviewing, and looking at hundreds of art competitions, exhibitions, and fairs, it is rare for me to walk into a room full of art awaiting to be juried, and still be completely (and pleasantly) surprised by the extraordinary amount of talent, creativity and skill present in that room! 

And yet this was exactly the case with this competition: It must be clear to the most casual observer, that once you view the works that I selected for this show, that there’s an extraordinary abundance of artistic capital in these young minds.

The award winners and selected artists must be congratulated for this achievement. The level of this competition was very high and it was an exceedingly difficult process to jury.  Additionally, there were several outstanding works of art that could easily have been included for awards.

To the selected artists: I encourage each one of you to continue to press on with your artistic gifts – you are at the beginning of a lifetime of creation and I charge each and every one of you to continue to leave an artistic footprint as you mature in life.

Angelique Nagovskaya - “Tension”

Julia Chien – “The Call”

Kern Lee - "Deep Market”

Kristina Waymore – “The Bucket and The Basement"

Rayne Layton - "Art is NOT a Crime”

Sophie Nguyen - ”Renaissance”


Así decía un rumbero
Allá por el malecón.
Oye, deja la palucha
Y ponte a bailar el son

Friday, March 17, 2017

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

Opening Reception, Friday, March 17, 7:00-9:00 pm
Benefit Reception, Friday, April 28,
7:00 - 10:00 pm
 Closing Reception, Friday, May 5, 7:00 pm
 All Benefit tickets will go on sale March 1st at
10:00 am
 Log in HERE to purchase your Benefit ticket
       This year not only marks Smith Center for Healing and the Arts' 20th anniversary, but also the 5th Alchemical Vessels exhibition and benefit. This year's concept for A-V-5 is The Night's Journey: 125 artists, chosen by 20 curators, have been asked to create or choose a vessel to tell their story about the cyclical passage from pain to healing - a journey that resonates with all of us.
       Once again we are offering the opportunity to take home one of these unique artworks and this year we've added an additional ticket option based on your feedback. Each ticket sold directly supports our mission as Washington DC's only independent integrative cancer support organization.
This years participating artists include:
        Lina Alattar, Jennifer Anderson, Kasse Andrews Weller, Sondra Arkin, Rushern Baker IV, Julia Mae Bancroft, Marilyn Banner, Joan Belmar, Michael Booker, Lenny Campello, Sally Canzoneri, Elana Casey, Mei Mei Chang, Hsin Hsi Chen, Schroeder Cherry, Vachu Chilakamarri, Travis Childers, Mara Clawson, Irene Clouthier, Ellen Cornett, Brian Dailey, Lama Dajani, Richard Dana, Delna Dastur, Ana U Davis, Rachel Debuque, Rex Delafkaran, Nehemiah Dixon III, Jim Doran, Spencer Dormitzer, Sarah Eargle, Mary Early, Cheryl Edwards, Lauren Emeritz, Heloisa Escudero, Lisa Farrell, Gregory Ferrand, Mary Freedman, Emily Fussner, Ric Garcia, Mark Garrett, Shaunté Gates, Donovan Gerald, Janis Goodman, Stefan Greene, Matthew Grimes, Adam Hager, Mia Halton, Key Han, Mansoora Hassan, Caroline Hatfield, Sean Hennessey, Jeffery Herrity, Mary Higgins, Leslie Holt, Jackie Hoysted, Aaron Hughes, Melissa Ichiuji, Sarah Irvin, Charles Jean Pierre, Wayson Jones, Jessica Kallista, Sally Kauffman, Don Kimes, JT Kirkland, Micheline Klagsbrun, Catherine Kleeman, Reagan Lake, Kyujin Lee, Liz Lescault, Yue Li, Erin Lisette, Nathan Loda, Steve Loya, Tsedaye Makonnen, Marty Ittner, Jenee Mateer, Carolina Mayorga, Freda Lee McCann, Olivia Morrow, Kristine Moss, Minna Nathanson, Nahid Navab, Nasrin Navab, Thien Nguyen, Shanti Norris, Sarah O'Donoghue, Javier Padilla, Anthony Palliparambil, John Paradiso, Nara Park, Judith Peck, Lyric Prince, Susana Raab, Carol Reed, Mojdeh Rezaeipour, Jamea Richmond Edwards, Lisa Rosenstein, Kevin Runyon, Jac Rust, Nancy Sausser, Gretchen Schermerhorn, Alma Selimovic, Samantha Sethi, Alexandra Sherman, Ellen Sinel, Anne C Smith, Michael Snowden, Susan Stacks, Hillary Steel, Dafna Steinberg, Anneliese Sullivan, Martin Swift, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Mars Tokyo, Patricia Underwood, Andrea Uravitch, Mark Walker, Jenny Walton, Leslie Weinberger, Ellyn Weiss, Josh Whipkey, Millicent Young, Helen Zughaib
Thank you to this year's curators:
Joan Belmar, Adah Rose Bitterbaum, Jim Doran, Nekisha Durrett, Tim Fleshner, Helen Frederick, Judith Heartsong, Phil Hutinet, Jessica Kallista, Kunj Patel, Gloria Nauden, Henry Thaggert, Anne C. Smith, Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, Dolly Vehlow, Zoma Wallace, Ellyn Weiss, Nikki Brugnoli Whipkey
Here's what's new this year:
Benefit Tickets for sale:
Premium - $300  TICKETS # 1-15
Admission for one to the benefit event and a priority ticket number to choose your favorite vessel (1-15).  *Tickets  1-15 are assigned first come, first serve beginning March 10th, 10:00 am – The 1st purchaser of a premium ticket will receive 1st choice of a vessel, 2nd purchaser will get the 2nd choice and so on.
Standard - $175                     TICKETS # 16-125
Admission for one to the benefit event and a standard ticket number to choose your favorite vessel (16-125).  *Tickets 16-125 are assigned first come, first serve beginning March 10th, 10:00 am – The 1st purchaser of a standard ticket will receive 16th choice of a vessel, 2nd purchaser will get the 17th choice and so on.
Benefit only - $50
Admission for one to attend the Alchemical Vessels benefit, a lovely and lively evening of catered food, live music and complimentary wine and beer all night. This ticket does not include the purchase of a vessel.
Please contact our Alchemical Vessels coordinator Deirdre Darden for any questions or more information. Thank you!