Tuesday, October 26, 2004

New OPTIONS 2005 Curator Named

The Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran Association (WPA\C) has announced that Ms. Libby Lumpkin has been named as the WPA\C OPTIONS exhibition curator to replace fired curator Philip Barlow.

Libby Lumpkin is an internationally noted art historian, critic, and curator who serves as Director of the Museum Studies Program at California State University and Assistant Professor of Art History, Long Beach. She was the founding curator of Steve Wynn's Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art in Las Vegas (man... Tyler Green will have fun with that bit of resume news), and has served as Visiting Professor of Art Theory at Yale University, Visiting Lecturer on Visual and Environmental Studies at Harvard University, Visiting Professor of Theory and Aesthetics at the University of California Santa Barbara, and Visiting Lecturer at Umeå University in Umeå, Sweden.

She also served as Assistant Professor of Art History and Curator of the Donna Beam Fine Art Gallery at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Lumpkin is the author of Deep Design: Nine Little Art Histories, as well as Ingrid Calame and Jean-Michel Basquiat: War Paint. She edited and produced the catalogs for the Bellagio Collection, and has authored numerous critical essays on contemporary art and design. Dr. Lumpkin was a contributing editor of Art Issues magazine of Los Angeles, and is a regular contributor to Artforum of New York.

She is founding director of a design institute for the Institute of Modern Letters at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to open in January 2005. After spending two years in Long Beach, she returned to Las Vegas with her spouse, art critic and curator, Dave Hickey.

Ms. Lumpkin has stated that

"The emerging artist scene in the Washington, D.C. area is unexplored territory for me. I look forward to discovering what's out there. I'm hoping that artists of all types who do not yet have gallery representation will respond to the call for submission for consideration so that we can set up appointments to view works. I'm sure most of the artists will be young, but I'd love to hear from artists of all ages, anyone who is presently working outside the gallery system. I'm as interested in the private, eccentric artist as in those whose works are engaged in prevailing cultural discourse. I'd like to end up with an exhibition that presents a lively mixture of types."
Does this mean that Ms. Lumpkin is automatically excluding any and all artists who have gallery representation? Someone better tell the Corcoran Board of Trustees right away before she buys her plane tickets to come visit our area.

The WPA\C will soon announce submission guidelines for artists who wish to submit materials as preliminary research for the benefit of the curator. Because this is not a juried exhibition, there is no fee to submit materials and artists do not have to be a member of the WPA\C to be considered. These guidelines will be posted on the WPA/C website on Nov 1, 2004. Ms. Lumpkin will perform on-site studio visits while working on the exhibition in Washington, DC.

It is a smart move by the WPA/C to hire an outside curator to replace Barlow, but I wonder how much this is costing them; I suspect that curators such as Lumpkin do not come cheaply.

I wish Ms. Lumpkin the best of luck with a most difficult show. It won't be easy, but I am sure that she will do a good job; we will be watching.

Tonight I will be at one of my favorite charity art auctions for a great organization and a great cause.

It is at the Carnegie Institution of Washington (16th & P Streets, NW), the Walker Whitman Clinic will be having their annual Art for Life Auction, in my opinion one of the best art auctions in the city. Viewing from 6:00 pm and the auction starts at 7:30 pm.

See you there!