Jurying the Army
I've been asked to serve as one of the jurors for the US Army Photography Contest.
I'm really looking forward to seeing the entries, which interestingly enough includes film and video.
Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Jurying the Army
Monday, February 27, 2006
If you haven't heard about Arty Gras on TV, the radio or read about it in the press, then you must be living nowhere near DC!
This exhibition is getting a lot of well-deserved publicity and I hope that I will see you at the surely to-be-packed opening on Feb. 28, 2006 from 7:30-11PM.
Arty Gras is a celebration of Louisiana artists to be hosted at the Warehouse Gallery. This exhibition of New Orleans artists is designed to benefit and showcase the artistic talent of the New Orleans community as well as to raise money for the Habitat for Humanity Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
Opening on Mardi Gras Day (February 28, 2006), the exhibit provides an opportunity to view NOLA artists sharing their diverse styles and unique viewpoints.
The exhibition is being organized by independent curator Beth Baldwin, in cooperation with the Warehouse Gallery, and includes 30 artists including Dr. Bob, James T. Martin, Ryan Ballard, Audra Kohout, Heather Kelly Ryan, Tom Drymon, Emily Hogan and others. The exhibition runs through March 19, 2006.
Meet Hiraki Sawa
Join Hiraki Sawa and associate Hirshhorn curator Kelly Gordon for a presentation of Sawa's latest video and a discussion of his work, Dwelling, 2002, which is currently on view, and was recently acquired for the Museum's collection.
March 2, 2006 at 7 pm at the Hirshhorn's Ring Auditorium. Seating is first-come and admission is free.
Engineers Without Borders
Engineers Without Borders is an University of Maryland student group on campus that works with developing communities around the world to improve people's lives through specific projects.
They're hosting an art auction to be held Saturday April, 8th from 5-8pm and Sunday, April 9th 2-4pm and are currently looking for art donations. The auction will be held at the Leland Community Center, located at 4301 Willow Lane in Chevy Chase, Maryland. All artists are strongly encouraged to come Saturday afternoon during the opening to view the other donated works and enjoy the afternoon of refreshments and music.
25% of the selling price goes to the artist. More details, including the submission form, located here or email here.
I plan to donate and I hope that a lot of you do as well.
Gallery Owners Win Ruling in Kinkade Case
"An arbitration panel on Thursday awarded $860,000 to two former Thomas Kinkade Signature Gallery owners who accused the self-proclaimed "Painter of Light" and his company, Media Arts Group Inc., of fraudulently inducing them to invest in the business — and then ruining them financially."Read the LA Times story here (tks AJ).
Anyone who "invests" in art needs to have his/her head examined.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
Another one under the belt
Just back from presenting the Success as an Artist seminar, which we once again held in partnership with Art-O-Matic at the Warehouse Theatre.
Another 50 satisfied and tired artists and artists' reps!
The next seminar will be held on Sunday, March 26, 2006 in partnership with The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and will be held at the Round House Theatre Education Center located at 925 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD from 10:30AM - 6PM. This seminar is open only to Montgomery County residents.
Please visit this website or e-mail us or call 301/718-9651 if you would like more details. Register using this form (limited to 50 attendees).
And click here to read feedback from artists who have attended the seminar.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Washington Glass School Seminar
Date: March 15, 7 to 9:30pm
The Washington Glass School and the Arlington Arts Center are co-sponsoring a seminar this coming March on the topic of How to Get Your Work Noticed By Newspapers, Galleries and Museums.
Cost: $40 in advance - $45 at the door. To register, call the Arlington Arts Center at 703-248-6800. They will take credit cards over the phone.
Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Boulevard
Right across from the Virginia Square subway
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post Art Critic
Lee Lawrence - Contributing Editor for American Style Magazine
Claire Huschle - Executive Director- Arlington Arts Center
Phylis Rosenzweig - Former Curator, Hirshhorn Museum
Friday, February 24, 2006
By the way, it's official; the most fair gallerina Heather Russell of Irvine Contemporary not only bought some terrific artwork at WallSnatchers' opening last night, but also announced that the move of Irvine Contemporary to the fomer Fusebox space is now official.
Whitney Biennial Scoop
Anon Female Artist seems to have an insider story about the potential (actually highly visible) conflict of interests with one of the Whitney Biennial's curators and his choice of artists.
According to AFA: "Philippe Vergne is co-curator of the 2006 Whitney Biennial. His partner, Sylvia Chivaratanond, is Partner and Director at Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Six artists who are represented by or have been in recent exhibitions at Rubenstein were chosen to participate in this year’s Biennial."
Read the whole story here.
This story ought to make the front page of every newspaper's art section.
Keep Your Eye On
Keep an eye on emerging artist and emerging curator Lisa McCarty.
The work of Lisa McCarty is currently featured in "Figured Out" - a George Mason University Art & Visual Technology Department Women's Invitational show that is being held at PG Community College's Marlboro Gallery through March 9, 2006.
The opening reception is Friday Feb 24 from 6 to 8 pm - see Lisa's senior project here.
You might also recall that Lisa's work was featured in Strictly Painting 5 at the McLean Project for the Arts.
Lisa McCarty will be also the first participating apprentice curator in DCAC's new curatorial initiative funded by the Warhol Foundation. Lisa is apprenticed to seasoned curator JW Mahoney. Their curatorial effort "Hystoria" runs at DCAC from March 3 through March 26 and features the work of Geoff Bell, Julee Holcombe, Betsy Packard, Jeffery Smith, and Champneys Taylor.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Remember that Wallsnatchers opens today. Details here.
Some Places, a body of new photographs by Doug Hall opens Friday, February 24th, with a reception from 6:30 - 8pm at Numark Gallery.
Trace, a body of photographs by Gen Aihara opens at Shigeko Bork's mu project in Georgetown. The opening reception is Saturday, February 25, 5 - 7pm. There will also be a Sake tasting sponsored by Joto Sake.
Anna U. Davis's solo exhibition "Sashimi Me" at Studio One Eight in Adams Morgan has a reception this Saturday from 7 - 10pm. There will also be a artist talk at 8pm the same evening.
Project 4, DC's newest gallery, opens this Saturday, Feb. 25 with a reception from 6-8:30 PM. Details here.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Wilson Building Art Collection
Deadline: This Friday!
As I mentioned here, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is currently accepting applications for the Wilson Building Public Art Collection and the deadline is this Friday.
The Wilson Building is located downtown at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW in our capital.
The historic building serves as the headquarters for the Mayor and City Council for the District of Columbia. The works purchased through this call for entries are specifically designated for permanent installation in the Wilson Building.
And this is a very big building, with some very art-friendly walls, is just waiting to be filled with artwork. Only DC, Virginia and Maryland artists are eligible, and I believe that DC residents have some priority.
And as I've said before, I really think that this collection stands a chance to become a very strong and significant opportunity to put together (in one place) a very good sampling of Washington, DC regional artists.
And (of course) this being a public art collection, it immediately leaves out all nudity and any remotely controversial subject - but that's not the Commission's fault, nor the curator's; it's just an unwritten rule in American public art.
Nonetheless I think that this opportunity is as good as any as they come because:
(a) There's no cost associated (entry fees, etc.)
(b) It's easy to enter (you can send slides or CD ROM)
(c) You have a month to prepare (deadline is Feb. 24, 2006)
(d) The curator (Sondra Arkin) is actually someone who has really deep roots in the DC art scene, and knows what makes it tick - artists, galleries, dealers, schools, etc.
And I sincerely hope that some of my fellow gallerists encourage some of their big name area artists (just as we have) to apply and submit to this call, and hopefully be included in the closest that we'll have in this area to a permanent DC artist exhibition.
Download the application here.
Parsons on Transformer
Seems like DCist has finally found a couple of writers to cover the visual arts regularly (about time!). And Adrian Parsons checks in with a really refreshing review of the Relationship Show at Transformer Gallery.
Read the review here.
Curated by our own Kelly Towles and presented by the WPA/C, what promises to be a very interesting exhibition opens tomorrow at the old Staples store in Georgetown.
Wall Snatchers showcases graffiti and street art from Boston, Florida, New York, and Washington DC. It features work by Bask, Eon, Faile, fi5e, Mister Never, Nick Z, and Tes One.
These aren't all your average graffittimeisters. For example, Fi53 (pronounced like the number five) is an MFA graduate from Parsons who has collaborated with Eyebeam to work on new technology that he has applied to street art.
Here's a short video to watch.
It appears that these artists are trying to take the genre to a new place, still somewhat ephemeral, but now "safe" in the sense that they're doing no damage and still getting their message across?
He will be projecting his work on the facade of the old Staples building at 3307 M St. in Georgetown on Thursday night and then they hope to move on to the Corcoran and do the same.
The opening reception is this Thursday, February 23rd, 6:30 - 8:30 pm and the gallery hours are Friday 6 - 10 pm, and Saturday & Sunday 12 - 8 pm.
Picturing the Banjo
NPR has a rare and pretty good local visual arts review and story on the much maligned "Picturing the Banjo" exhibition at the Corcoran.
In fact, it' such an interesting review that I am going to go see the exhibition and make up my own mind about it.
Job in the Arts
Deadline: March 24, 2006
The College of New Jersey has a full time ten-month renewable position available for a Curator/Director in support of The College Art Gallery at The College of New Jersey, beginning Fall semester 2006.
The Curator/Director works closely with the Art Department faculty, the Dean of the School of Art, Media and Music, student Art Majors, and the community to create exhibitions, collect works of art for the campus collection, and contribute to the larger presence of art on the TCNJ campus. This individual must be an experienced professional and scholar who is able to perform the following duties: act as gallery registrar; plan and implement 6 exhibitions per year with faculty input; install exhibitions (student workers available); develop patron relationships; provide programmatic leadership; assist in the development of financial resources through grants and gifts support; assist in growing and developing the college collection; supervise student assistants; teach (as needed) in areas related to museum studies and contemporary art.
TCNJ is in the midst of designing a new Art building that will provide for a new gallery, additional space for exhibitions, collections, and interactive learning areas. By the post mark deadline of March 24, please submit a letter of application, current resume, documentation of recent exhibitions, and a statement of curatorial philosophy to:
Gallery Director Search Committee
Department of Art
The College of New Jersey
P.O. Box 7718
Ewing, NJ 08628-0718
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
New gallery opens this weekend
I've mentioned it before, but I wanted to make sure that anyone that can show up, will do so, and welcome to our area our newest fine arts independent gallery: Project 4.
The opening reception is this coming Saturday, Feb. 25 from 6-8:30 PM. Details here.
See ya there!
First of all, althought it was named after the Jeffersonian Monticello, in the Arkansas version, it is pronounced with a soft "c"... as a Spaniard or Frenchman would pronounce it: Montisello.
Population 9,146 and home to the the University of Arkansas at Monticello, which has quite a nice looking campus - more "University-looking" in fact, than that ugly eyesore that is the University of Maryland's main campus. And it goes beyond that; it is clear that it is quite a good University, and it's clear that the state, or someone, is pouring a lot of money into it.
It's different being down here in the real rural part of the nation. On the way from the parking lot to the local WalMart, every single person that I passed say hello to me.
Even inside WalMart people were saying hello all over the place. It was kind of nice.
I think that this may have been the first time that I've been inside a WalMart, and let me tell you: it's huge! And I
suspicion suspect that a lot of Monticellans work here, and they're all so friendly!
And everything is soooo cheap! A Nats ballcap was five bucks - not the $12.95 to $19.95 range that I see around the DC area.
And all the restaurants are buffet style! I think I've gained five pounds in the last two days just eating catfish alone.
A very nice little place: Monticello, Arkansas.
Anyway, heading back home later this morning.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Padget Moving on
Jonathan Padget, who authors the twice-a-month "Arts Beat" column in the WaPo is moving on.
Starting Tuesday, he will be working as a the new Style copy editor. His arts editorial aide duties will be handled by Kate Wichmann through late March, with coverage after that TBD.
Everytime the WaPo says TBD for one of their arts column I get nervous; the last TBD that we're still waiting for the "D" was for the addition of a new freelancer to replace Glenn Dixon and bring the "Galleries" column back to once a week.
Obviously the WaPo has decided that they will keep "Galleries" to just twice a month and are too chicken to announce that fact.
If you don't get it, you don't get it.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Thank You Marc and Komei
Before I get started: the more that I visit the new Katzen Art Center’s galleries, the more that it dawns on me that we now can boast to having one of the best visual art spaces in the Mid-Atlantic; the place is just amazing, and I am hypnotized by the way that walls pop in and out and curve around, forcing the visitor to admire not only what’s on display, but the space as well.
On display currently is the massive "Remembering Marc & Komei" exhibition through March 12, 2006.
This exhibition introduces 92 artists from the 2,500 plus art collection of H. Marc Moyens and Komei Wachi, the deceased owners of the now closed Gallery K in Washington, D.C.
This exhibition, the first to show the collection since Walter Hopps curated a show of Moyens’s collection for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1969-70, is a truly unique opportunity to view, study and learn what makes successful art collectors and successful art dealers often merge into one entity.
At first sight, the initial reaction is to try to write that Moyens and later Wachi had an amazing diverse and eclectic taste in art. Once we check that initial impulse with the fact that the collection spread over many decades, it is easy to see that their tastes and insights changed over the years, but never their curiosity and zeal to acquire and grow their collection.
In fact, it’s a fascinating guessing game to see what and who came first. This is not easy, as these two gentlemen collected both area and national artists as well as many European artists who were often known better abroad than in the United States.
It has been written that "Moyens and Wachi eschewed fashion in favor of the offbeat, the magical, and the visually arresting." And I would agree with some reservations, in the sense that I don’t think that they eschewed fashion, but were in several cases, ahead of the coming fashion trend, and like experienced collectors, often stuck with their instincts, and were handsomely rewarded later, once the ever swinging art fashion pendulum swung back to align with their selections.
Let’s walk through this amazing show.
On the ground floor gallery, we discover a very early Joe Shannon. Titled "Businessmen" and painted in 1970, it is a precursor to the harsh, warring paintings that Shannon would produce over the next 35 years. It is also curious to see a fully dressed Shannon appear in the painting (he’s the bearded man to the left), as Shannon usually makes his appearances in his works in the buff.
This talented Puerto Rican artist has been a key member of the DC art scene for nearly five decades now and he has been ignored way too long, and Shannon is overdue for a major museum retrospective here in DC.
Take a deep breath.
And then we are surrounded by my earlier points. How could a collection be so eclectic and diverse? How could the same collector that picked up John McLaughlin’s "#21-1959" possibly in 1959 and Annie Truitt’s "Arundel XIV" in 1975 and Morris Graves barely there pastel on paper "Bird of the Inner Eye" in 1955, also select Fritz Kothe’s "Honda" in 1966?
Because he or they, liked them.
And sometimes there are stories associated with the pieces, that remind us what kind of mensch these two gentlemen truly were.
There’s an amazing, and highly personal piece in the exhibition by DC artist Sidney Lawrence. It is called "Peaceable Kingdom" and Lawrence created it in 1982, when it was part of his solo exhibition at Gallery K.
The piece, which depicts the artist (Lawrence's face is in the sun) and was dedicated by Lawrence to his father (who had died about the time that the work was created and is depicted as the phantom face on the left) in a very intimate and story-telling world, sold to a local DC collector. The iconographic work depicts Abram Lerner, then Lawrence's boss at the Hirshhorn, talking to artist Jody Mussoff. Lawrence created the work from a photograph taken at an opening, and as he recalls, they were discussing the fact that a drawing by Mussoff was about to be bought by Joe Hirshhorn, and then donated to the museum.
This intimate, iconographic work was not an easy piece of art to acquire, and it shows a courageous and savvy collector with a very good eye for art.
A few years later the collector died, and his children, who obviously did not share their father’s valiant taste in artwork, asked Komei and Marc if they could return the piece and get their money back.
I was astounded that someone could be so bold as to ask to return a work of art acquired years earlier.
But I was even more astounded to discover that Komei and Marc, did indeed return their father’s money and then decided to keep the piece for their own collection.
It is also clear to see that these two gents liked surrealistic and fantastic images in their collection. There’s a spectacular Ernst Fuchs oil and tempera on board titled "Angel of Death" (c.1952-58) that reminds me of both Bosch and more specifically of DC’s own Erik Sandberg, who exhibited with Gallery K for a while, but is curiously not included in this exhibit, and probably should have been (if his work is in their collection).
But my favorite work in this genre was an odd painting of a bald lady, appropriately titled "Bald-Headed Lady" and painted in 1960 by Zoltan Von Boer, superbly standing alone in its oddity and outsider-like feeling.
Another masterful work in this genre is Margarida Kendall Hull’s (who was Sandberg's biggest influence when he was her student at GMU) jaw dropping "Lillith," painted by Kendall in 1993. Kendall Hall had a series of highly successful solo shows with Gallery K, and has since then, in a paradoxical departure, enjoyed spectacular success in Europe, where her work has been selling so briskly, both to museums and collectors, that Kendall now has a sizeable wait list, while all but disappearing from the local DC art scene.
There are other surprises from the area artists in this collection (besides seeing a dressed Joe Shannon).
Such as a great graphite on paper drawing by Fred Folsom titled "Chesterfields" and done by Folsom in 1978. Another one of my favorites is a dual litho by Scip Barnhart and Jody Mussoff, a joint self-portrait of these two well-known DC artists done in 1993.
Who else is there?
There are strong pieces by Lisa Brotman, Jean Dubuffet, Edward Dugmore, Pierre Soulages, and Ken Young. There’s a box (done in the 1950s) by Joseph Cornell, a 1977 Sean Scully and Sandra Skoglund’s weird Ciba "Revenge of the Goldfish" from 1981 and Andrea Way’s "Floating Time" from 1985.
But the lesson here is very simple.
When you love art, (if you can) you buy art. And then you buy what you
Thank you Komei; thank you Marc.
Saturday, February 18, 2006
From the Studio at the Katzen
The top floor gallery of the beautiful Katzen Arts Center’s galleries is currently hosting "From the Studio," a group show that brings together the artists that make up American University’s studio art faculty (both full time and adjunct professors).
It seems that more and more I like to reveal my hand very early on a review, especially when reviewing a group show, and let me tell you right away that the best work in this show is by Zoe Charlton, who is exhibiting several pieces from her Undercover Series (sorry - I don't have any good images).
Charlton, who works mixed media on vellum, is an artist who has managed to create and deliver on a very hard assignment: the marriage of sensuality with the most economical presentation possible. It is as in viewing her work, perhaps anchored by the bare presentation on vellum, we are seeing individual cels from an animated, sexy film, the kind that one would see at those artsy erotic film festivals in San Francisco or Seattle, but never here in DC.
In any event, this professor brings some fresh new ideas and loads of talent to our area, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of her work over the years.
AU students seeking to learn how to paint properly, should all immediately sign up for Ben Ferry’s class (I hope that he’s teaching paining); he’s without a doubt the best technical painter in the faculty, and his mysteriously-titled painting "Jumping in the Grass," easily shows that even the most common of subjects (in this case a dog) can be elevated to a sublime place by that most ancient of mediums, which keep surprising all of those who keep clamoring that painting is dead. As long as talented painters such as Ferry wield brushes, painting will never die.
Trawick Prize finalist Jeff Spaulding shows why he nearly won that highly competitive prize a few years ago, and his "Endgame" sculptural installation was not only evocative in its mental references to Saint Sebastian, but also popped into my head that famous painting by Frida Kahlo where she has depicted herself as a deer full of arrows.
Luis Silva’s video installation, titled "March 6" and Susan Yanero’s weird and super busy "Mollie’s Life," a huge oil on canvas, rounded up what I thought were the most successful works in this group show.
Overall the exhibition is an excellent opportunity to peek inside the faculty at AU and discover both fresh new talent, established artists and the usual head-scratcher that comes along with any group show.
Exhibiting artists include Tom Bunnell, Zoe Charlton, Mary Cloonan, Billy Colbert, Tim Doud, Ben Ferry, Sharon Fishel, Carol Goldberg, Lee Haner, Kristin Holder, Tendai Johnson, Deborah Kahn, Don Kimes, Isabel Manalo, Mark Oxman, Randall Packer, Luis Silva, Jeff Spaulding, Robert Tillman, Seth Van Kirk, and Susan Yanero.
The exhibition runs through March 12, 2006.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Gopnik on Dada
The WaPo's Chief Art Critic reviews the terrific Dada exhibit at the NGA, and very early on the review he shows his solid neoCon right wing colors by throwing in the now blase reference to Abu Ghraib in an art review, which will surely merit a few thousand words of response from you know who.
And you get to read the review here and now (a day and a half early), as it will be published next Sunday!
The review also includes a really cool "Learn the ABC's of Dada" link. See that here. I don't know if the printed version of the review will carry it, but online it is a brilliant departure from the usual type of review, and yet another marker on the road to the burial of the printed press.
Well done to Gopnik and to the WaPo for this multimediaish review!
O'Sullivan on Bourgeois
Michael O'Sullivan has a really good review of the "Louise Bourgeois: Femme" exhibition at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore.
Read it here.
Midwives at Round House
Last night I snagged a couple of free tickets and went to see Midwives at the Round House Theatre in Bethesda.
The play is based on the #1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah's Book Club selection novel Midwives by Chris Bohjalian. It was adapted by Dana Yeaton and directed by Mark Ramont.
The play is set in a small Vermont town (I wish I had known this at the beginning of the play - more on that later), and as the play unfolds, we discover that we're witnessing, and being somewhat part of, the events and memories leading up to the trial of Sibyl Danforth (played by MaryBeth Wise), a lay midwife, who has been charged with manslaughter in a childbirth gone disastrously wrong.
The play starts 15 years after the event, with a very pregnant woman making an entrance into a hospital room from within a very beautiful stage prop that arches over the entire stage. It is sometimes lit, and sometimes translucent, and it is sort of a remarkable cage where stripped tree branches are caged and suspended around and over the stage, looking like a huge Yuriko Yamaguchi sculpture.
The pregnant woman, we soon find out is Charlotte Bedford (played superbly by Kimberly Parker Green), and she now lives in the imagination of the retired midwife, who is recovering from cancer.
Her daughter (Connie Danforth, played by Stephanie Burden), is now a medical student in Boston, and is visiting her mother, who has apparently shipped her all of her journals to Connie.
Narrated by a variety of characters, the play moves back and forth in time, slowly decomposing for the audience a set of clues and information about what happened on the night that the childbirth went wrong.
As Connie looks back on her mother's trial, both her and her mother (and silently the ghost of the dead woman) are attempting to understand and figure out what truly happened on that night, and heal the wounds left on their psyches in the years that followed.
The audience is treated to a very horrific re-enactment of the childbirth, which is taking place in the Bedford's home on a wintry and icy New England night. A night when the phone lines are down and the the roads are so slick with ice that no one can even get to their car when the delivery gets complicated.
The midwife, thus unable to get her patient to a hospital, tries courageously to save both the mother and unborn child while her inexperienced apprentice of three months and the woman's terrified husband (who is a minister and is played by Gene Gillette) generally get in the way.
The audience is led to believe that the mother dies but that the baby is saved thanks to an emergency C-section done by Sybil with a kitchen knife.
And this is where the issue becomes complicated, as first the the apprentice and then the husband suggest that maybe the mother wasn't really dead when the midwife cut her open.
And the rest of the play presents the case, showing bits and pieces of the trial, re-enactments of the operation, and the final resolution between mother and daughter, as to what may or may have not happened that night.
For the first twenty minutes or so of the play, the Charlotte Bedford character is completely silent, usually just ghost-stepping around the stage or sitting on the bed. And I was thinking to myself: "This actress has the best role ever in a play: no lines to learn!"
Soon I became fascinated by her silence, and began to realize how her facial and body postures were affecting the audience and I.
Eventually, when she spoke, both in her role as Charlotte Bedford and later as the voice for the judge in the trial of Sybil Danforth, it was clear to me that Kimberly Parker Green had the most difficult role in this play and she stole this show.
Kimberly Parker Green, managed to make her silent parts become integral parts of the discussions and fights going on between mother and daughter. In part thanks to excellent lighting, in repose she (because this actress is very fair skinned and light-haired), became almost like a Vermeer painting, except when her subtle facial expressions added fuel to an argument (Sybil can see Charlotte) or reproachment to an excuse.
One thing that I completely missed: Why were both Bedfords (the preacher and his wife) speaking with heavy Southern accents in a scene set in rural Vermont?
Either they have their geography wrong, or maybe I missed a part where they were Southeners who had moved to Yankee-land. In any event, it was a bit distracting and out of place with everyone else's lack of any noticable accent, as no one attempted a New England accent (caps instead of cops, ps instead of pierced, and yaaad instead of yard, etc.).
The play is powerful and well-directed, and the audience (average age around 65) visibly winced many times at the harshness of the events unfolding in front of them.
With the singular exceptions of Parker Green, and Lynn Steinmetz (who superbly plays both a nurse and a doctor in two different roles) I became somewhat annoyed by the rest of the acting performance.
In part this was a cascade effect from the extended arguing scenes between the midwife and her daughter. Both actresses kept the same tone and style of speech throughout all levels of fighting; the daughter very shrill and screechy, and the mother very stoic. Meanwhile I kept thinking: "This isn't how people really argue - at least no one that I know."
Nonetheless this is a very powerful play, and surprisingly eye-opening in the sense that it offers us a window into a nearly extinguished aspect of American life: the lay midwife.
The play runs through Feb. 26, 2006. Read the WaPo review of the play by Lisa Traiger here, and read the Wash Times review here, and the WCP review here. Isn't it nice how every paper in town reviews theatre? When was it the last time that we saw the big three review the same gallery show?
Sibyl Danforth: MaryBeth Wise
Charlotte Bedford: Kimberly Parker Green
Connie Danforth: Stephanie Burden
Bill Tanner: Paul Morella
Louise, Dr. Gerson: Lynn Steinmetz
Lori Pine, Anne Austin, Patty: Rana Kay
Asa Bedford, David Pine: Gene Gillette
Stephen Hastings: John Lescault
Dr. Lang, Barton Hewitt: John Dow
Parsons on Frenn
Adrian Parsons reviews our current Chawky Frenn exhibition at Fraser Bethesda.
Read the review here.
LAT looking for art
This was emailed to me (not interested), but we all know someone who is somewhat qualified for this job, and who should apply to it, and who then should be hired by the LAT and then pleeeeease move to LA!
Arts writer, Los Angeles Times:
The Los Angeles Times hopes to add an additional arts reporter to its staff. This person would be expected to break news, write a range of features and help analyze the exciting developments in visual and performing arts in the region and the country. This will be an exciting job for a writer with proven reportorial skills and the energy to keep up with the fascinating cultural life of L.A. Expertise in visual arts, architecture, classical music, theater, dance or any combination would be a plus, but curiosity and flair are what's required. Mail resume and clips to Lisa Fung, arts editor, or Bret Israel, Sunday Calendar editor, Los Angeles Times, 202 West First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012. No calls or emails, please.
Opportunities for Artists
Deadline March 3, 2006
Photo Exhibition to Aid New Orleans. Photographs will be sold to benefit displaced New Orleans artists. Photos should include emotional and political statements thematic to New Orleans. Contact:
332 Julia St
New Orleans, LA 70130
or call 360-385-2135 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Deadline: Mar 15, 2006
Dimensions 2006. Open to all media. May 5 - June 3. Slide or Digital Entry. 1st prize: $1000. Juror: Brooke Anderson, Director of the Contemporary Center, American Folk Art Museum, NY. For prospectus send SASE to:
Associated Artists of Winston-Salem
301 West Fourth Street
Winston-Salem NC 27101
or 336-722-0340 or email email@example.com
Deadline: March 31, 2006
Direct Art Magazine, Volume 13 Sixth Annual Competition for publication in Volume 13 of Direct Art Magazine, Fall/Winter 2006 issue. Twenty six awards; over $22,000.00 in value, including covers of magazine and feature articles. For prospectus e-mail Direct Art at mailto:DirectArtMag@aol.com or download the prospectus here.
Deadline: May 19, 2006
IX Annual International Fine Arts Competition. Open to all 2D artists (except photography) wall-hung sculptures, 18 years and older working in a realistic or representational genre. Enter via slides or digital files. The winner of the Best in Show award shall receive $500 in prize money. First, Second and Third Prize winners will receive $200, $150 and $100 respectively in prize money. Juried by yours truly. Visit this website for more details and an entry form or call 301/718-9651 or send a SASE to:
7700 Wisconsin Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814
Deadline: June 15, 2006
International Juried Digital Art Exhibition. They are seeking entries from 2D artists for exhibition, Jul 5-31, 2006. Open to all styles, techniques, and themes (except racist references, comics, jokes, or caricatures). Submit only one work. Selected entries will be printed in color, A4 format, and framed (55x45cm) for exhibition. Prizes include 3-week solo exhibition, travel and accommodations to Venado Tuerto, Argentina. No entry fee. Please send entries with subject heading of full name and with message of name, DOB, address, title of work, technique, .JPEG attachment (min. 150dpi/in, min. 1MB) in A4 format, and attachment
with artist's photograph to address listed here email Oscar Poliotto.
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Me on Video
The ArtsMedia News TV program has been putting some clips from the TV program on Google Video.
This is a clip of me from a show that we did last summer on outdoor art fairs.
And this is a clip of the Nicholas Nixon show at the NGA.
And this is a clip of the Warhol exhibit at the Corcoran.
If you don't get... you don't get it
The WCP has an excellent article by Mike DeBonis and Jason Cherkis on what happens to freelancers who don't toe the line and follow the rules at the WaPo.
Rule No. 1: Don’t Suggest That Your Beat Is Lame
Rule No. 2: Save Your Opinions for Your Review
Rule No. 3: Don’t Make Mistakes
Rule No. 4: Don’t Place a Post Superstar in a Negative Light
Rule No. 5: Don’t Tell Your Paper to "Eat... a ‘Bag of Cocks’"
Read the article here.
Catriona Fraser has just selected the photographers for the IV Annual Bethesda Photography Competition and they are:
The following photographers has been selected for the exhibition;
David Ashman, Annapolis, MD
Kerry Stuart Coppin, Providence, RI
Sandi Croan, Centreville, VA
Chris Davis, Arnold, MD
Adriana Echevarria, Bethesda, MD
Lee Goodwin, Washington, DC
David Hovgaard, San Jose, CA
Eleanor Owen Kerr, Baton Rouge, LA
Prescott Moore Lassman, Washington, DC
Veronika Lukasova, Washington, DC
Jesse Mechling, Bethesda, MD
Eric Moore, La Plata, MD
David Myers, Kensington, MD
Margaret Paris, Rockville, MD
Aleksei Pechnikov, Gaithersburg, MD
Victoria Restrepo, Potomac, MD
Chris Scroggins, Lutherville, MD
Bert Shankman, Olney, MD
Mary T. Vogel, Bakersville, NC
Cynthia Walker, Black Mountain, NC
The Philadelphia Inquirer has a great story on Zoe Strauss, the talented and exuberant Philly photog who was selected for the next Biennial.
Zoe is terrific.
And it also makes me sigh because I cannot recall the last time (or ever) when one of our local major newspapers ever had a story such as this one for one of our area visual artists (even the ones who have been selected in the past to exhibit at the Whitney).
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
A little help needed
Iona Rozeal Brown had two notebooks taken from her car last night as it was parked behind 1515 14th Street.
They contain all of the work she did in her recent 6 month residency in Japan. If anyone comes across any info about the the notebooks or about pages from the notebooks that have a hip hop asian feel, please get a contact number for the person and let me know.
New Art Blog
Mark Cameron Boyd has started Theory Now, a new art blog which he describes as "an ongoing discursive site about the relevance of art theory now."
Mark started the new blog so that his Corcoran students (from his "Theory Now" class) would have a forum for their discussions involving art theory, contemporary art topics, and plain old "shop talk" -- but they're open to "posts" from anyone.
Visit Theory Now often
As most of you know, last year I was retained by the Washington Project for the Arts/Corcoran (WPA/C) to curate a multi-gallery exhibition for them called Seven.
After looking at nearly 30,000 slides and digital files, I organized seven thematic exhibitions in seven separate gallery rooms for them.
In one of the rooms I began the exploration of artists who employ textual elements as an integral, key part of their work. What was initially explored in that Seven exhibition has evolved into a "Text" exhibition, curated by me, which will open next April 1, 2006 at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, Virginia.
Set aside that date and see you there at the opening!
New photo auction record set
A rare print taken by US photography pioneer Edward Steichen has set a new world record for the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.
The photograph (titled Pond-Moonlight ) was taken in New York in 1904 and was auctioned by Sotheby's for $2.9m, more than doubling the previous record.
It was put up for sale by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which has another copy in its collection.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
If you see me limping around, it is not from having worn my knee out from giving someone that once promised and well-deserved ass kicking.
This story is nothing compared to Tentacles but...
Today as I was getting dressed, I was barefooted, and as I have hardwood floors, managed to pick up a huge sliver in my left foot.
Luckily, I was standing next to my bed, and so I collapsed on top of it while holding my foot aloft, as one of the key things to do in the event of a sliver attack, is to isolate the attacked limb, lest we break the sliver and have to resort to emergency needle surgery.
So I managed to preserve the sliver intact on the bottom of my foot.
Next, what is needed is good light, and good vision, in order to extract the attacking sliver.
So, holding my foot aloft, I hopped over to the bathroom, and turned the lights on.
I then lifted my left leg, in order to do the acrobatic act of remaining balanced while exposing the sole of my left foot.
I however, failed to account for the bathroom door handle, and smashed my kneecap on the handle as I lifted the leg up, while attmepting to balance on the other foot.
Now I am really hopping on one leg and screaming bloody murder, as my knee complains bitterly at the unwarranted smash-up.
Eventually I manage to settle down, and to my relief the splinter is still whole and sticking out of my foot. Luckily, in a paradoxical way, it is a massive splinter, which is bad for the pain that it is delivering to my foot, but good for the fact that I can just grab it with my fingers and not spend several hours looking for the tweezers.
And so I grab it out, and I think that I performed a clean extraction.
However, this is a massive rain-forest sized chunk of wood, and some blood begins to seep out. Since I do not know what sort of postmodern germs are now ferociously attempting entry into my blood stream, I decided to put some first aid cream on the wound.
Half an hour later and I still haven't found the cream, so I decide to use that bottle of iodine that has somehow managed to stay with me since it came with my first aid kit in Navy bootcamp eons ago.
Do they even make iodine anymore?
So I open the small bottle of iodine, and this bottle is so old, that the little plastic tip that dips into the iodine just falls off as I open it, landing squarely on top of my pants, after caressing my suit jacket on its downward spiral.
So now I have an iodine track on my jacket and on my pants; and a ruined suit, as iodine (as far as I know) does not come off.
I eventually put some of this prehistoric stuff on my wound, and as everyone knows, iodine stings like a M@#$%^&*^er.
I pretend it is the pain from all those germs being killed by whatever uberchemical makes up iodine (isn't iodine an element by itself?).
I think that I got all the wood out, but now my foot still hurts like crazy.
A day in the life of a gallerist.
Opening at the Katzen Tonight!
Body Languages: Mary Coble and Robert Flynt at the Katzen Center of the American University Museum.
Opens tonight, February 14th from 6-9pm. The exhibition runs through March 12, 2006.
See ya there!
From: F. Lennox Campello
To: All Washington, DC Museum Curators
Subj: Manon Cleary
Question: Now that one of you gave Sam Gilliam his well-overdue and richly deserved retrospective at the Corcoran, when is one of you going to step up and give Manon Cleary a museum show in her own hometown?
Does she have to die first?
P.S. From 2004.
The College Art Association assists artists financially in completion of MFA and Ph.D. programs. Grants of up to $5,000 are awarded to individual artists. Deadline is ongoing. For information, contact:
The College Art Association
275 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 691-1051
Bethesda Artists Markets
The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the June 10 and July 8, 2006 Bethesda Artist Markets.
Bethesda Artist Markets are one-day events featuring 30 local and regional artists in the Bethesda Place Plaza. Applications can be downloaded from their website.
To request a hardcopy, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Bethesda Artist Market
c/o Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814
The Bethesda Artist Market will be held from 10am – 5pm in the Bethesda Place Plaza located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda. The Bethesda Artist Market is produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District and is free to the public.
Artists must be 18 years of age or older. All fine art and fine craft are accepted including, but not limited to: painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, fiber art, digital, mixed media, clay, wearable fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, paper, ceramics and wood are accepted. Reproductions are accepted. All booth space are 10’x10’ and all artists must provide their own white 10’X10’ tent. No staking is allowed and artists must bring their own weights.
Each artist must submit five slides of their work and one slide of their booth, application, a non-refundable entry fee of $10 and a separate check of $50 for the booth fee. Please call 301/215-6660, Ext. 17 with any questions.
Wanna go to an opening tonight?
The Physicality of Ballet is the MFA Thesis Exhibition by Pamela Nabholz, on exhibition from February 14 - 26, 2006, and the artist's reception is today, February 14, from 4 - 7pm at the Dimock Gallery, Lower Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University.
The WPA\C Experimental Media Series
Deadline: March 1, 2006
The WPA/C is calling all video, performance, and sound artists for their Experiemental Media Series - No membership in the WPA/C is required to enter.
Works from this open call will be selected by Kathryn Cornelius & Djakarta, and will be viewed on May 24th from 7:00 - 9:00 pm. This is the final night of a three-night WPA\C experimental media series held in the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Armand Hammer Auditorium.
Download calls here.
The WPA\C Experimental Media Series:
7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Auditorium
Night One - March 30th - Curated by Kathryn Cornelius
Night Two - April 26th - Curated by Djakarta
Night Three - May 24th - Juried submissions from Open Call by Kathryn
Cornelius & Djakarta
Richard on Muhammad's Pics
The WaPo's former (and now semi-retired) Chief Art Critic discusses a little art history of images of the Islamic prophet that exist in our area and in many Islamic nations.
Read the WaPo article here.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Opportunity for People with Nokia Phones
Deadline: February 28, 2006
Nokia is sponsoring an online photography competition of photos taken with their phones.
All submissions are displayed on the competition website, which also includes attempts by the professionals to "shoot new" using Nokia's N90 camera phone.
This competition is free to enter.
Download complete details and submit your image today though this website.
WPA/C Auction a huge success
The threat of snow didn't stop buyers and collectors (although it stopped me, and I am sorry to say that I chickened out at the last minute and didn't go) and I am told that that WPA/C auction had an amazing turnout and the highest number of sales of artwork in auction history.
The pieces that didn't get any bids and are still available are listed on their website and will be sold at their starting bidding price.
There is available work by Jim Goldberg, Paula Crawford, Emily Hall, Carlton Newton, Richard Roth, Amy Gartrell, Tom Texas Holmes, Fritz Welch, Laurel Farrin, Jason Gubbiotti, James Hilleary, Madeleine Keesing, David Kohan, Carroll Sockwell, Nancy Blum, Myron Helfgott, Paul Ryan, Diego Sanchez, R.M. Fischer, George Herms, Marcus Lutyens, Trevor Amery, Michael Fitts, Marie Ringwald, Anne Slaughter, and Betsy Stewart.
Secrets on the air
That spectacular success story known as Frank Warren will be on the Kojo Nmandi show today on WAMU 88.5 to discuss his amazing PostSecret project.
Tomorrow, there will be a special one day only PostSecret event at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore. Warren will have a couple hundred postcards on display, most, never before seen, He will also be talking about the project and signing books. The are also going to try to get the new PostSecret DVD playing.
Update: Listen to Warren on the air here.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Chawky Frenn Opening
The professor opened his third solo exhibition with us to packed crowds this last Friday who came to see Frenn's latest. Below is the main gallery wall just before the opening:
Frenn is not an easy artist to sell because his work is so visceral in nature, and without an ounce of irony. In fact, in the three solo exhibitions that he has had with us, every single painting that has sold, has been acquired by either collectors from Europe or from New York. We've yet to find the Washington, DC collector with the courage to hang work so loaded with political or social commentary.
And Frenn, and his difficult work, is a perfect example of the many different parts that go into running an independent fine arts gallery with a focus and cultural dialogue that is serious and committed to developing both presence and substance.
He certainly packs the gallery with visitors, and it is obvious that his students adore him as a teacher, and the critical press has been all over him in the last few years, but it takes a special collector to hang work that is presented by a master painter who revels in delivering difficult subjects and harsh topic after harsh topic.
The New York Times once wrote that "Chawky Frenn is a painter who has nailed down the figurative mode, and this accomplishment gives him the license to convey anything he wants, including the grand theme: the elusive meaning of human existence."
The Washington Post wrote that his work "is most effective, however, not when it's taking rather obvious swipes at American imperialism... but when it's making subtler hints about xenophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism and other tools of oppression."
The show runs through March 8, 2006.
For a long time it looked like it wasn't going to stick, but it kept falling and falling and last night it looked like this:
And this morning is pretty deep out there; this is the view from my second floor window and looking out towards the front of the house:
And now a couple of things for sure:
- Althought the Soviet Socialist Republic of Montgomery County is the highest taxed county in the United States of America, and property taxes went up 69% last year, and Kommissar Duncan's appetite for more taxes continues to be legendary, my street will probably never be cleaned. I can only recall one time that it was actually cleaned, and then it was by the third or fourth day.
- One reason for that may be because at some point today, one of my neighbors will attempt to leave the cul-de-sac where we all live, and get his or her car stuck in the slight uphill, forever blocking any exodus for the rest of us, or any entry to any snow-cleaning truck that may actually get lost and wander into our street to clean it. This has happened every single year that I have lived here. I haven't been outside yet, but I bet that there's a stalled, stuck car out there already.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
Kriston Capps on Fusebox's last show.
Jeffry Cudlin on Ian Whitmore at Fusebox.
Jeffry Cudlin on Heike Baranowsky at G Fine Art.
Louis Jacobson on Vesna Pavlovic at Fusebox.
Mark Jenkins on Remembering Marc and Komei at the Katzen.
Louis Jacobson on Madame Yevonde at Kathleen Ewing Gallery.
Louis Jacobson on Jason Zimmerman at Irvine Contemporary.
Rachel Beckman on Jason Zimmerman at Irvine Contemporary.
Joe Dempsey on Maria Leontovitsch Manley at Alla Rogers Gallery.
Jessica Dawson on "What Sound Does a Color Make?" at UMBC.
Michael O'Sullivan on Appropriately: Five Artists Exploring Humor at the University of Maryland's Union Gallery.
Michael O'Sullivan on Assimilation/Dissolution at Gallery at Flashpoint.
JT Kirkland's Northern Virginia Gallery Round-Up.
JT Kirkland's 14th Street Galleries Round-Up.
Alexandra Silverthorne on Whippersnappers at Connor Contemporary.
Robin Tierney on Cupidity at Neptune Gallery.
Nigerian Art Scam
In the past I have discussed a little bit about the very convincing Internet scam that seems to address a lot of art from artists and art galleries. A few years ago (when this scam was very new) we came really close to losing a lot of money, but luckily (and only after we really pressed our bank for assistance) did we avoid it.
We still get 2-3 emails a week from the scammers.
Can You Picture That (which is a new DC Blog and has been added to the Blogroll) has a good tutorial of how the scam works.
All gallerists and artists should definately review this posting.
Visit Can You Picture That often!
Friday, February 10, 2006
The teenage graffiti vandal known as Borf got tagged yesterday -- with 30 days in the D.C. jail and a dressing-down that no one in the courtroom will soon forget.And the judge keeps on...
Borf, aka John Tsombikos, chose not to address the judge who was deciding his fate. But D.C. Superior Court Judge Lynn Leibovitz had a lot to say to the young anarchist from Northern Virginia. She didn't paint a pretty picture.
"You profess to despise rich people," she said. "You profess to despise the faceless, nameless forms of government that oppress. That's what you've become. That's what you are. You're a rich kid who comes into Washington and defaces property because you feel like it. It's not fair. It's not right."
The 30-day jail term is just the start. If Tsombikos breaks the law again within the next three years, he could be jailed for the 17 suspended months of his sentence. Regardless, he has to complete 200 hours of community service, including 80 hours of cleaning up graffiti. And he must pay $12,000 in restitution, money that better not come out of his parents' bank accounts, the judge said.The prospect of seeing what the inside of a DC jail looks like is a terrible visual to me; it will be eye-opening to see what this month will do to Mr. Tsombikos' future.
"In other words," she said, "not the bogus jobs that your father gives you in New York . . . a real job, going to work like the people you demean, earning it with paychecks and the sweat of your own brow."
But it was the prospect of a month at the jail that most worried Madden, who had asked for probation and pleaded with the judge to at least send Tsombikos to a halfway house.
She wouldn't budge, and she made it clear why.
"I want him to see what the inside of the D.C. jail looks like," she said, "because unlike every other person you've seen in my courtroom this morning, who have a ninth-grade education, who are drug-addicted, who have had childhoods the likes of which you could not conceive, you come from privilege and opportunity and seem to think that the whole world is just like McLean and just like East 68th Street."
"Well," she said, "it's not."
There's also a firestorm of comments going on at DCist; read them and add your comment here.
Irvine to move to Fusebox's space
According to Jonathan Padget in the WaPo, Irvine Contemporary will be moving into the space being vacated by Fusebox Gallery.
Because they were first in the area, and rightfully so, Fusebox had a sweetheart of a deal on the rent of that space. I suspect that the landlord will now want a lot more samolians for the space, and thus making Irvine's position a tougher one to negotiate.
If they can close a deal, it will be a terrific move for Irvine; fingers crossed!
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Tomorrow is the second Friday of the month, and thus time for the Bethesda Art Walk, with 13 participating venues and with free guided tours. Opening hours for the receptions are from 6-9PM.
And today Chawky Frenn is hard at work hanging his very heavy work (Frenn paints on a highly prepared board that weighs tons. This board process he learned under the legendary Gregory Gillespie).
And yesterday we closed the door on Interface: Art & Technology, which became one of our most popular shows ever, and I think will be remembered as the exhibition that planted Claire Watkins as a name to watch over the next few years.
Time to brag.
Not only did all of Watkins' work sell out (including the amazing "Flock of Needles" which has found a new home in Great Falls, Virginia), but we actually now have a wait list for this talented artist.
And yesterday Thomas Edwards' annoying "I Blame You" accusing robotic finger found a home in a Baltimore collection that will also house a Scott Hutchison video and the drawing from which the video was created. And earlier on the week, Kathryn Cornelius' video "Retreat" sold to perhaps DC's best known art collecting couple.
And the show was well reviewed; below is a list of those reviews that have been brought up to my attention:
Washington City Paper by Cudlin
Washington City Paper by Metcalfe
Washington Post Express
Nekkid with a Camera
Shift (Japanese Art Magazine; report by me)
See you tomorrow at the opening... from 6-9PM.
The Corcoran College of Art and Design has a Senior Photojournalism Thesis Exhibition opening at the Corcoran Gallery of Art on February 16, 2006, with a reception from 6-8PM. It is open to the public for only four days (from 2/15 through Sunday, 2/19 from 10AM-5PM).
I am particularly looking forwards to seeing Chris Combs' work, which he titles "Inside the Spectrum: A Visual Canvas of Autism."
In Combs' work, the stories of two young men - one seven years old, the other twenty- five, both autistic - and their families, are told through photographs and text.
Update: A DC Art News reader emailed me and tells me that she's already looked at the senior thesis exhibit and adds that another body of works to see is by one photographer named Arianne. According to the email, "she has incredible vision, a great work ethic, humility and integrity. Her project centers around a home for women recovering from drug abuse. Her effort really distinguishes herself from the rest of the class. In fact, I would normally never interject, but I am really moved to help this woman who I think has a great career ahead of her."
Update II: Another DC Art News reader emails me and tells me that "Wendy Galietta's stuff in the show is also quite impressive. She's documenting modern swingers (in the wife-swapping sense, not dancers)."