Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Thanks to AJ...

The Democratization of Cultural Criticism by George Cotkin is a must read.

"If literary criticism is marked by vicious prose and petty bickering, then art criticism exists without firm judgments... The state of cultural criticism today, in the view of many, is debilitated, perhaps even moribund... our present generation of cultural critics, arriving after the assault of postmodernism and the increasingly widespread commercialization of culture, has been cast adrift, without any firm basis for judgments... Critics today, it is also claimed, are too cozy behind the ivied walls of academe, content to employ a prose style that is decipherable only to a handful of the cognoscenti."
And does this sound familiar in reference to a couple of our local art scribes?

"Today the complaint is that literary culture lacks civility. We live in an age of commercialism and spectacle. Writers seek the limelight, and one way to bask in it is to publish reviews that scorch the landscape..."

Aaaah! The power of the Internet...

A few days ago I commented on a striking photo on the front page of the NY Times by someone named Jae Hyun Seok.

DCARTNEWS reader Sarah Schumacher was nice enough to drop me a note with the information that Seok is South Korean. He was held in a Chinese prison for 14 months while reporting on North Korean refugees.

This is an interesting story about him, and his stuff is online here.

Thanks Sarah!

It's official now.

Arts-related businesses make up 4.3 percent of all the companies in the United States, and employ almost 3 million people, according to this study commissioned by Americans for the Arts that I received a few days ago.

The study is the most detailed account yet of their economic impact on our daily life. The New York metropolitan area (including Northern NJ, CT and PA) ranks No. 1 nationally in arts-related businesses, with nearly 55,000. Our area, as expected, ranks fourth, after LA and San Francisco Bay Area, but ahead of Chicago.

So what we in the trenches have been hollering about for years has been now empirically quantified. We have one of the top art scenes in the nation here and yet we are (at least in the visual arts) woefully ignored by the mainstream press.

In fact, according to this article in the Washington Post written as a result of the study, our area art related non-profits employs more people than the legal profession - now that's a shocker!

The DC area nonprofit arts industry provides $1.24 billion in direct expenditures and supports nearly 26,000 full-time jobs and is responsible for nearly $896 million in personal income for area residents.

What makes this study even more important, is the simple fact that our area is perhaps the smallest (in terms of population) of any of the top 20 areas. So that means to me that we then have the highest concentration, per capita, of these cultural assets.

When will the Washington Post and the Washington Times (not to mention any of our local TV stations) get this point? Here's the list:

  1. New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-CT-PA
  2. Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County, CA
  3. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA
  4. Washington-Baltimore, DC-MD-VA-WV
  5. Chicago-Gary-Kenosha, IL-IN-WI
  6. Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
  7. Boston-Worcester-Lawrence, MA-NH-ME-CT
  8. Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA
  9. Philadelphia-Wilmington-Atlantic City, PA-NJ-DE-MD
  10. Houston-Galveston-Brazoria, TX
  11. Atlanta
  12. Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint, MI
  13. Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL
  14. Denver-Boulder-Greeley, CO
  15. San Diego
  16. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI
  17. Phoenix-Mesa, AZ
  18. Cleveland-Akron, OH
  19. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
  20. St. Louis, MO-IL

  • 54,895
  • 48,862
  • 21,232
  • 16,360
  • 16,261
  • 14,202
  • 13,060
  • 12,138
  • 11,328
  • 10,834
  • 10,567
  • 9,209
  • 9,166
  • 7,221
  • 6,886
  • 6,791
  • 6,007
  • 4,870
  • 4,406
  • 4,294

Opportunity for artists...

The City of Greenbelt sponsors an annual, juried art and craft fair in early December. Media typically include paintings and prints, photography, ceramics, glass, jewelry, clothing, quilts, furniture, and holiday crafts. All work must be hand-made by the exhibitor and of professional quality.

Their next show will take place on Saturday, Dec. 4 and Sunday, Dec. 5, 2004. Contact John Norden at 301-397-2208 or jnorden@ci.greenbelt.md.us to request an application. Apply at your earliest convenience for best chances of inclusion. Artists are selected on a rolling basis from January through October based on artistic merit, originality and other factors. To be considered for an exhibition, please forward the following materials to Nicole DeWald, Arts Coordinator, using the contact information provided above:
1) Letter of introduction commenting on your work and your concept(s) for a visually and conceptually unified exhibition
2) Images of your work (no limit). Please send slides, photographs, or digital images in jpeg format
3) Artist’s resume
4) Proposal for related workshop for youth, teens, or adults (optional but desirable)
5) Self-addressed, stamped, padded envelope for return of your images, if desired. Images will not be returned otherwise.

Deadline July 15

Rockville Arts Place 2005 Call for Entries. Rockville Arts Place is accepting exhibition proposals for its 2005 schedule. Thematic and media-based exhibitions will cover all media. Special category for ceramic artist entries for a clay exhibition, February 20 - March 26. Group and individual entries accepted. Work must have been completed in the last three years.

The entry fee is $25. Rockville Arts Place is a membership organization that serves artists with exhibition opportunities, professional development programs, and master workshops. Visit their website to download a 2005 Call for Entries or contact Shelly Brunner at gallery@rockvilleartsplace.org / (301) 309-6900.

Deadline August 2, 5pm

BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown announces 2005 Call to Artists. Executive director Nancy E. Petrisko recently announced an invitation for artists to submit slides and proposals for artwork to be displayed in BRCA's exhibition gallery in 2005. The call is open to individual artists or artist groups with original work only and covers exhibits in the gallery from January through December 2005.

A jury of local art experts will select works for approximately 10 exhibits of five weeks each. Most exhibits feature solo artists, but some may include more than one artist, based on the judgment of the jurors. The application deadline is August 2, 2004 at 5pm. An application fee of $25 is required.

To receive an application, call 301.528.2260 or write info@blackrockcenter.org. Artists will be notified and exhibits scheduled in September 2004. For information about the 2004 gallery exhibits, call BlackRock Center for the Arts at 301.528.2260 or visit their website. BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, Maryland, near the intersection of Middlebrook Rd. and Route 118 (Germantown Rd.).

Deadline August 6

VSA Arts and Volkswagen of America, Inc. have launched a call for entries to identify promising young artists with disabilities. This year's theme, "Driving Force," challenges artists to consider what motivates and inspires creativity.

The program's organizers are interested in both representational and abstract work. Artwork may illustrate actual aspects of the artist's inspiration, such as the environment, myth, or personal discoveries. Abstract work that relates to the artist's feelings or emotions is also encouraged. Work may also reflect the experience of living with a disability and its role in shaping or transforming motivations. Fifteen finalists will be awarded a total of $30,000 in cash awards, distributed as follows: a $10,000 grand prize, a $5,000 first prize, a $3,000 second prize, and twelve awards of excellence in the amount of $1,000.

Selected artwork will be included as part of an exhibit in Washington, D.C., during October 2004 that will then tour throughout the United States for the following two years. Art must be an original work that has been completed in the last three years. Eligible media include paintings and drawings, fine art prints, photography, and two-dimensional mixed media.

The program is open to young artists, ages 16 to 25, living in the United States who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability. (For more information about disabilities that apply, visit: http://www.vsarts.org/resources/general/dag/ ) Complete program and application information is available on the VSA arts Web site: http://www.vsarts.org/programs/vw/