Friday, September 08, 2006

Wanna go to a DC opening this weekend?

The read Heather Goss over at DCist as she has a list of the top shows opening this weekend as the "arts season" kicks in with a bang at the Greater DC area's top galleries.

Read the openings list here.


I don't know if it is true or not, but a friend of mine told me a while back that some of the subjects in Trawick prizewinner James Rieck send hidden signals/messages via their hands' depictions.

If you know how to read that sort of stuff, go here and tell me if the top two paintings of the little girls are "messaging" anything.

Is it just me or...

This recent Zippy comic strip looks influenced by like Mark Jenkins' "Embed."



When Zippy references something -- like Mark Cline's Foamhenge out in the Virginia country, there is a tiny "Tip of the Pen" credit of thanks to the person who made the reference. There is no tip of the pen here so he probably came up with idea without knowing about Mark Jenkins' tapework. Nonetheless, the Tapedude rocks!

Update: The Tapedude informs me that the Zippy comic "is a drawing of a bronze sculpture that exists in LA... and when I did my 'embed,' I had people asking me if that piece had inspired mine (it hadn't)." Jenkins just had a show in Rotterdam, Holland last week and the below piece is from that show.

Trawick Prizewinners

The winners of this year's Trawick Prize were announced yesterday and they are James Rieck of Baltimore, MD, who was named as the Best in Show winner of $10,000; Kristin Holder of Washington, D.C. was awarded the Second Place prize of $2,000; Molly Springfield of Washington, D.C. was honored with the Third Place prize of $1,000 and Jason Zimmerman of Washington, D.C. was given the Young Artist Award of $1,000.

The work of fourteen finalists will be on display at Creative Partners Gallery from September 5-29, 2006.

The 2006 Trawick Prize was juried by Ashley Kistler, Director of the exhibition program at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond; Dr. John Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center and Gerald Ross, Director of Exhibitions at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

Rieck has won a ton of money from Ms. Trawick this year, as he was also the Second Prize winner in the Bethesda Painting Awards, which this amazing lady also sponsors.

As a quick search shows, this is a widely exhibited artist, with a solid gallery record in New York and other major markets (and apparently seldom exhibiting in the Greater DC area). I'm not too familiar with his work, other than what I saw at the Bethesda Painting Awards exhibition, but it was clear to me that this was the work of a very gifted artist, both technically (which is so easily dismissed by those that can't accomplish or understand how difficult it is to do) and in its intrinsic sense of delivering mental ideas and messages through intelligent composition and dramatic cropping of imagery.

What impressed me the most about the work, once we get past and recognize the enviable technical expertise (which was also shared in this year's prizewinning crop by the amazing and also technically-gifted Molly Springfield), was the sense of questioning (and foreboding) that his paintings planted in my mind. This is an artist whose work is intended not only to impress with technical finesse, but also reach deep into accepting minds and plant the seeds of understanding how the power of visual art can make the chemical connectors in our brains cause us to gasp at the realization that we are truly being awed by a master artist.

A good choice and well-deserved, and had I been the juror, I'm pretty sure that he would have won a prize, although I would have given the Trawick to Molly, who shares nearly all of the same attributes, skills and subtle bravado as Rieck, but whose work I know better and understand on a deeper level.

And that's how prizes are won or lost.

PS - Capps on the Trawick.