Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Opportunity for artists

Deadline: January 1, 2017


Equality Matters Conversations on Gender and Race Exhibition

Exhibition Dates: February 13 – 25, 2017. The exhibition will take place during second annual WWU’s Equality Matters-Conversations on Gender and Race Symposium, which takes place in February 2017. Artists are invited to submit art that explores their understanding on how issues of gender and race influence contemporary culture. 

Steps:

2.Fill out and mail/email the form along with your image submissions to nicole.petrescu@williamwoods.edu.

3.Call in, fax or mail your entry fee no later than January 1, 2017.

Eligibility: Open to artists and art students in the United States.

Media: Open to all traditional and non-traditional genre and media (2D, 3D, digital). -Artists are responsible for the delivery and the pick-up of the artwork according to the schedule.

*St.Louis artists, contact Nicole for special delivery arrangement

Gateway Arts District Open Studios this Saturday

Come see what they're up to at the Washington Glass School this Saturday! Part of the Gateway Arts District Open Studio. 

Go there first, then see all the other artists participating in the event. 







12-5pm Saturday December 10... start at 3700 Otis Street, Mt. Rainier, MD.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The 11th Street Bridge Park project

The 11th Street Bridge Park is a nonprofit project led by Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC based in Southeast D.C. Every dollar they spend comes from generous donations from corporations, foundations and individuals like you. Did you know that in addition to securing $45 million to build the Bridge Park, their team also annually raises:
  • $210,000 for the Anacostia River Festival
  • $1 million+ for the implementation of our Equitable Development Plan
  • $40,000 for urban farms working with local faith communities
  • $200,000+ for additional cultural programming like September’s Lantern Walk

The Bridge Park is positively impacting the community and creating opportunities for residents in so many different ways. We need YOU to be a part of it.  DONATE TODAY.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Heading back to the DMV


Flying on Facebook - a cartoon by F. Lennox Campello c.2009

Heading back home in a super early flight from Ft Lauderdale - another ABMB art week in the bag!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Context, the last day

Today was probably the most crowded day at the Context Art Miami fair in Wynwood, and from the reports that I got throughout the day, it was also packed at Aqua and at Scope.

Over at Scope I worked a morning telephonic sale for Tim Tate for a major piece heading to a well-known collector in Naples, Florida.


In spite of the large crowds, and the hundreds and hundreds, and hundreds of photographs that people always take (of the art) at the art fairs, it was somewhat slower, as far as sales go, although Jodi Walsh did manage to place a large clay installation with a local collector in Miami.

Wall Installation by Jodi Walsh
As we were closing at 6PM, I did manage to sell a large drawing, which happens to be my latest piece; it's always great to close the fair with a last minute fair.

As we always do, we had strategically parked the van by the loading gate - this means getting to Wynwood at 7AM to find a parking spot, and then hanging around for 4 hours until the fair opens. But the huge payoff is that then we were out of there by 7:30PM!

From there we headed to Miami Beach to load Tim Tate's work that was featured at the Scope Art Fair.

That load out was another story - the way Scope is located right on the beach necessitates a complex chess games of vans and trucks, etc., all apparently requiring police escort into the sand. It also means that no one really gets to park close to the tent, which means that the artwork has to be schlepped one piece at the time on the sand, as no wheeled vehicle to carry multiple pieces can be used (because of the sand). Also, for some inexplicable reason, the Scope management doesn't allow hand-carrying of work via the tent's loading dock. This requires even longer treks in the sand, all resulting in a brutal load in/out procedure for those who hand-carry/drive their own art.

Lesson learned? If you do Scope, then it is imperative to use an art delivery service and pay them to deal with this nightmare.

In spite of all of this, and via the use of a couple of hired hands, there were four of us loading, and it took about two and a half hours... by 10:30PM we were heading to Little Havana, hoping to hit the sack for an early morning wake-up, as Audrey hits the road for the drive back to the DMV around 4:30AM and my flight departs around 6AM.

Another year, another big dance done!

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Context Saturday: Best day so far

We departed our beach hotel in Hollywood and will spend the next two nights in my cousin's fortress in Little Havana, as we have done for the last few years.

Different scent in the crowds at the Context Art Miami fair today; there are still loads of women as slim as rifles, and men in impossibly tight pants, but there are also a lot more folks at Context not to be seen, but to see the artwork.

Tim Vermeulen,me, Jodi Walsh and Georgia Nassikas
Saturday saw the sale of another Tim Vermeulen painting, two of my drawings, a major hook-up between Jodi Walsh and a NYC design firm, and Audrey Wilson got invited to participate in a curated show at Union College in upstate New York.


Friday, December 02, 2016

Context Friday: The collectors arrive

Large crowds at Context today and a different sense in the air... more purpose to the buyers.

We had multiple sales today at the Context Art Fair... both my large mixed media videos found homes, as well as several drawings, plus three oil paintings by Tim Vermeulen and a wall sculpture by Elissa Farrow Savos.

Also some visits by DMV artists doing some of the other fairs.

The curious case of Fidel Castro and La Quinceañera

Yesterday at the Context Art Miami fair, one of the cleaning ladies was nearby our booth and speaking on her cell phone using the machine gun steccato of Cuban Spanish that drives other Spanish speakers crazy.

"Cubans," once wrote the Argentinian writer Jacobo Timerman, "use Spanish as a weapon."

I could tell that she was trying to calm someone down on the other side of the conversation. When she hung up, she burst into tears.

Alarmed, I walked up to her and asked what was wrong. Prior to this event, we had exchanged pleasantries and she had told me that her family was from Matanzas. With tears on her face, she related that she had been speaking with her niece in Cuba.

It seems that her niece was in the middle of her Quinceañera party when the Cuban police showed up.

A Quinceañera party is the coming of age party that Cuban girls, and girls throughout Latin America celebrate on their 15th birthday. It remains one of the most important and strongest traditions of the Spanish-speaking world.

In Cuba, because of the extreme necessities of the Cuban people, setting up a Quinceañera party often takes years of preparation, usually in close coordination with relatives in other countries who can hand-carry and bring the required items needed to stage the most important social event in a young girl's life.

In this case, the teary cleaning lady told me that she had made half a dozen trips in the last two years binging party items, shoes, dress, candy, stockings; the list went on and on as she sobbed.

The local police showed up to the party, and informed the family that they were in violation of the official nine days of luto (mourning) for the death of Fidel Castro Ruz; parties and music-playing was strictly forbidden.

All guests' names were taken down and all were ordered to leave. When La Quinceañera's mother began to cry and complain to the police, she was pushed to the ground and punched in the mouth. When La Quinceañera's father tried to help his wife, he was also beaten and then arrested.

That's why this nice cleaning lady was trying to calm her abused family members across the miles, and then broke down once she hung up.

"Even after that desgraciado is dead, he's still abusing us," she sobbed in Spanish. I hugged her, and we cried a little together.

That's Cuba after Fidel, week one.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Context Day Two

Brutal drive to Wynwood to get to the art fairs - that needs to be fixed... how? see this.

Bit of a slow day, as all dealers seem to be commenting about how the separation of Context Art Miami from its sister megafair Art Miami has/will affect Context.

Personally I think that Context has begun to outshine its elder sister - not just me, but loads of collectors have expressed similar views; only time will tell.

With Audrey at the wheel of the huge cargo van, we arrived just in time after spending nearly an hour to go the last 2-3 blocks in Wynwood. By eleven AM we were set.

I strolled a little and spent some time speaking to Ciara Gibbons from Gibbons & Nicholas, a wonderful Irish gallery with a powerfully curated booth dealing with socially inquisitive artwork that addresses the worldwide problem of mass migrations. It would be good to see that artwork and those Irish artists in a DMV museum... very appropriate to these interesting times.

In the late afternoon we finally broke the ice and sold one of my drawings to a nice French couple from Miami Beach; it was soon followed by a sale of one of the very talented Georgia Nassikas to a Miami couple.

Later on the day there was a sports celebrity sighting in the booth, as legendary golfer Phil Mickelson and his wife dropped by the booth, took notes and pictures and admired some work... more on that later.

As the fair closed at 8PM, as we were packing we spent 45 minutes with a last minute collector who ended up buying two of my drawings and commissioning three more.

Day two done.

Artomatic is coming back on 2017!

 
Building on a partnership that started in 2007, Artomatic will return to Crystal City
to host a signature event in the spring of 2017. They anticipate attracting a large and diverse crowd showcasing a variety of creative work, including visual art, music, film, live performance, fashion, and more.
 
Look for more information about the next Artomatic in January when they kick off the New Year with a spring event in Crystal City!

The curious case of the Miami Art fair week, Wynwood, and traffic

There is a certain connection that exists between the success and survival of big events, the hosting city, people, businesses and traffic.

Make it hard for people to get to a concert venue, and they won't go. Make it difficult for people to get to a sporting event, and they'll stay home and watch it on TV.

Make it impossible for people to drive to art fairs during ABMB and they will not go to the fairs.

The cities of Miami and Miami Beach have a cash cow going on with the explosion of the Art Basel week of art fairs. By my unofficial count, there are no less than 26 art fairs going on around the Greater Miami area, plus countless side art events, plus museum parties, etc. They generate a lot of business for the local area, a lot of tax revenue for the cities and a lot of good stuff for Miamians.

And all that is in extremis if the cities (and the fairs) do not do a better job of traffic management.

"All they need is some police presence guiding and directing traffic!" noted the exasperated Uber driver. "Just like they do for concerts or football games; you never see this kind of traffic nightmare in those cases... why?... because the friggin' cops are on the corners directing traffic!"

I suspect that in those cases, the events/venues have a contract with the local police force, so that they pay a fee to get the traffic coverage. For the last two nights in Wynwood, traffic has been a nightmare, often taking over an hour to move one traffic light. I hear that in Miami Beach it is even worse.

Unless resolved, this is going to kill the fairs in Miami and Miami Beach. We've already heard complaints over the last years - this year has been the worst. "You can't get an Uber or a Lyft," noted an exasperated collector via text last night. "They can't get in the area!"

This has to be fixed.

All the Wynwood art fairs, and all the Miami Beach art fairs needs to get together and arrange for police support during the art fairs - there hasn't been any for the first day or two...this is not just advice, but a must do unless they see the traffic jams kill attendance and thus infect the subsequent death of the fairs. You never want to hear: "I used to go to the fairs, but now it's impossible to even get in... so..."

Art fairs are run by business entities; not artists - if this issue is this clear to most attendees and most exhibitors (who also have to get to the fairs in and out), then they must also be clear to the most casual observer.

Miami/Miami Beach: Fix the traffic jams, or the fairs will die off. 

Update: On Wednesday and Thursday night cops magically appeared (at least in Wynwood) and traffic improved significantly - it's still packed, but at least moving a little!