Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Congratulations

To super hardworking DC area artist Matt Sesow, who has one of his paintings being shown on the VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown (started last Saturday Feb. 24th). It repeats until this coming Saturday. Matt has built a mini-video on his website that shows the segment where they show his work. Click here to see it.

Matt also has a solo show opening next Saturday, March 3, 2007 in Oceanside/San Diego at the D Gallery. They have just under 70 of his paintings on display. Matt Sesow paints, shows and sells a lot.

Weekend Openings

Because it is First Fridays, the coming weekend is certainly one filled with the opening of important and interesting shows across the Middie-A. Take a look below, set aside some gallery time and go out and see some shows.

Greater DC

Friday: It's First Friday and most of the Dupont Circle area art galleries will have either openings for new shows or extended hours.

Studio Gallery will be featuring Jan Willem van der Vossen, who will be showing paintings on tile, cityscapes, and collages. A reception will be held Friday, March 2, 6- 8pm (in conjunction with the Galleries of Dupont Circle 1st Friday openings) and a second reception will be held on Sunday March 4, 2.30 - 5.30pm.

Conner Contemporary will be kicking-off Matthew Sutton's "The Kudzu Project" from 6-8 PM. Details here. Leigh will also have new drawings by Mark Bennett (same opening times).

Saturday: Andy Moon Wilson is at it again and this time Curator's Office will showcase a 1000 business card drawing installation plus additional large-format and scroll drawings. Let me be the first one to congratulate Andrea Pollan on taking on this hard-working young artist and also the first one to feel sorry for her in having to hang 1000 drawings in her office/micro-gallery! Business by Andy Moon Wilson runs Saturday, March 3 through Saturday, April 7, 2007 and opens on Saturday, March 3 from 6:30 - 8 pm.

Also on Saturday, Irvine Contemporary has "Joseph McSpadden: Flesh and Bone," on exhibition from March 3 - April 7, 2007 and opening reception with the artist on Saturday, March 3, 6-8 PM.

Baltimore

Thursday (OK, OK not really weekend): The Maryland State Arts Council 40th Anniversary celebration multi-media exhibition "New Legacies and Living Icons" at the James Backus Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland from March 1 - May 4, 2007. On exhibit recent works by Denee Barr, Min-Jung Cheon, Linda Day Clark, Richard Cleaver, Pepe Coronado, Jane Cottis, Annet Couwenberg, Brent Crothers, Laure Drogoul, Luis Flores, Carol Frost, Joan Gaither, Craig Herndon, Jose Mapily, Ulysses Marshal, Nancy Roeder, Jann-Rosen-Queralt, Joyce Scott, Rene Trevino, Deborah Winram, Gene Young, and Al Zaruba. Opening Reception Thursday, March 1st from 5-7pm with Gallery Talk at 6pm. Curated by Dr. Leslie King Hammond, Dean of Graduate Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Location: Maryland State Arts Council James Backus Gallery 175 West Ostend Street, in Baltimore.

Friday: It's also First Fridays in Baltimore and most of the Fells Point galleries and art venues will have openings and extended hours. Details here.

Philadelphia

Friday: It's also First Fridays in Philly and most of the Old City's galleries and art venues will have openings and extended hours. Details here.

Projects Gallery concludes its group show season as it stages an exhibition that challenges the typical vision of the landscape show. Projects Gallery has selected artists who present a different view of the subject of landscape: “Altered Landscapes” opens Friday March 2 with a First Friday reception from 5-9PM. Work by Douglas Wirls, Nic Coviello, Frank Hyder, Steve Cope, Tom Brady, and Venezuelan painter Henry Bermudez. The exhibition continues through April 1st, 2007.

Monday, February 26, 2007

ColorField remix

More than 30 Washington area museums, galleries, arts organizations and businesses are participating in ColorField remix, the largest celebration of painting ever held in the Washington area.

Per the news release and website, "the event honors the 1950s and 1960s Color Field visual art movement and the Washington Color School, which put Washington, DC on the art world map. ColorField remix includes exhibitions, public art projects, artists' talks, lectures, children's programs, and special events honoring Color Field and Washington Color School painters as well as contemporary artists influenced by those movements. The project was conceived by The Kreeger Museum and is being held in partnership with Cultural Tourism DC, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation."

Check out all the events, details and exhibitions that will be synchronized across the DC area between April - July 2007. Details here.

Around the Reviewsphere

Greater DC

At ARTifice, Lauren Rice reviews Stanley Lewis at the Katzen. Also at ARTifice, David Waddell reviews the third Maria Friberg exhibition at Conner Contemporary.

At Thinking About Art, JT reviews Colby Caldwell at Hemphill Fine Arts and also reviews Graham Caldwell at G Fine Arts.

At the Washington City Paper, Jeffry Cudlin reviews the Phillips Collection’s current show, Moving Pictures: American Art and Early Film. The CP's photography critic Louis Jacobson also reviews the Sixth Annual International Photography Competition at Bethesda's Fraser Gallery. The CP also has a Kriston Capps review of "5 + 5" at the District of Columbia Jewish Community Center’s Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery. Also at the CP, Dave McKenna profiles High School photographer Fireu Retta.

The Baltimore Sun's art critic Glenn McNatt takes a rare trip outside of Baltimore and also reviews the Phillips Collection's "Moving Pictures: American Art and Early Film."

And The Examiner's Robin Tierney also reviews the Phillips Collection's "Moving Pictures: American Art and Early Film." Robin also delivers a superb profile and review of "Together One Hundred and Eight," at Art Enables’ new location.

In the Gazette newspapers, Dr. Claudia Rousseau reviews Baltimore-based artist Joan Erbe at the Heineman-Myers Gallery in Bethesda.

At Solarize This, Alexandra has a review of Tim Laman at the National Geographic Society.

In the WaPo, Blake Gopnik questions African art in his review of "African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection" at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art. The Gopnikmeister also has this to say about the exhibition. Also in the WaPo, art critic Michael O'Sullivan reviews "Girl Power! Girls' Comics From Japan," at the Japan Information and Culture Center.

The Georgetowner's John Blee reviews Marsha Mateyka's group show.

Maryland

In the Baltimore City Paper Deborah McLeod reviews Maryland Institute College of Art’s retrospective "The Visual Journalism of Jan van Toorn". The BCP also has a byline-less review of Glittering Ruin at Current Gallery.

At the Washington City Paper photography critic Louis Jacobson reviews the Sixth Annual International Photography Competition at Bethesda's Fraser Gallery.

At the Gazette, Dr. Claudia Rousseau reviews Baltimore-based artist Joan Erbe at the Heineman-Myers Gallery in Bethesda.

In the Annapolis Capital, Theresa Winslowprofiles some of the art treasures at The Hammond-Harwood House.

Philadelphia

At the Inquirer, Edith Newhall reviews Jina Valentine at the Fleisher/Ollman Gallery and also Jon Poblador at Larry Becker Contemporary Art.

In the Philly City Paper, Shaun Brady reviews Ted Knighton at International House. Also in the PCP, Robin Rice reviews Mark Blavat, Syd Carpenter, Quentin Morris, David Stephens at Art Around Gallery.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Nov 30, 2007

The Korean Cultural Center in LA is seeking submissions from US artists for the Center's 15th Annual exhibition. Open to all media. Awards of up to $2,900. No entry fee. Send SASE to:

Korean Cultural Center
15th Annual Exhibition
5505 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Or call them at 323-936-7141 or fax them at 323-936-5712(FAX) or email them at exhibition@kccla.org

Opportunity for Video Artists

Deadline: March 10, 2007

Call for Video Submissions. In 2007 VVVF, Venturous Vanguard Video Festival, is celebrating its third year. VVVF is curated by the artist Shoshana Brand and funded by Contemporary MAP: Contemporary Modern Art Projects.

In April, 28, 2007 VVVF will be screened in Mission College, in Sylmar, California, together with the 4th Annual Carless Drive-In Video Festival.

VVVF presents video shorts made by international artists. The 2007 Festival theme is: "Laugh, Cry, Be Poetic, Get Crazy" for which all interpretations will be considered. They are accepting short movies, 10 minutes max, from all over the world. Entries are juried. No entry fee. Submission deadline: March 10, 2007. (postmark) Selected movies will receive a VVVF Favorite Cash Award. VVVF is accepting few experimental movies, longer than 10 minutes, for a special guest screening. To obtain an entry form and guidelines, email them at info@contemporarymap.org.

Call for Artists

Beyond the Canvas gallery in California is seeking professional artists in all mediums. Send them 8-10 images that show range of work, description of pieces including title, size, and medium. Also include your bio and artist statement. Prints, CD, or Jpegs. No entry fee. Send Package to:

Beyond the Canvas
27758 Santa Margarita Pkwy #337
Mission Viejo CA 92691

Scope NY

Scope is apparently going gangbusters in New York, and hardworking Maryland private art dealer Rody Douzoglou got a nice mention in this ArtInfo report by William Hanley.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Congratulations

To DC gallerist Marsha Ralls, recently profiled (Gallerist Snapshot) in the current March issue of Black & White Photography magazine.

Read it here.

Marsha is also taking work by the artists that she represents for a four day exhibition at the Four Seasons Exclusive Club in Dubai March 6-10, 2007.

Greenhalghian Love

The March Washingtonian magazine issue has a must read article on Corcoran Director and President Peter Greenhalgh and the upcoming $2 million Modernism exhibition which opens March 17 and claims to be "another debut moment for the 138 year old Corcoran Gallery of Art."

"Greenhalgh is the son of a blue collar construction worker, a divorced father of two grown sons with a strong charm & personality that has made him a hit at 'a quarter of a million cocktail parties' as he tries to figure out Washington society."

More importantly, he already owns local art! He recently purchased Linda Hesh's table centerpiece at the recent WPA\C auction.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Airborne
Returning home a bit earlier. The newsfolk in Denver were talking about a possible snow storm late on Friday, so considering that Denver has been attracting snow in the kind of immense quantities that cause travel nightmares, I decided to bite the bullet, and pay for a ticket exchange and leave earlier.

So I called United on Friday, pay $115 samolians to change my departure from 4:51PM on Friday evening to 12:15PM on Friday afternoon.

About 6:30AM on Friday morning my cell rings and it is one of the worst computer voices that I have ever heard, butchering my name, and then telling me that the 12:15PM flight has been cancelled, but they have managed to re-sked my departure on the 6:38PM.

Crap!

And so I call United and tell the nice lady who answers the phone the whole story, hoping to have her find the logic of the fact that I paid United an additional $115 bucks to leave earlier, and now I have been re-booked on a flight that actually leaves later than my original sked.

She understands my telephonic bewilderment when she informs me that it is not United policy to return the exchange money, since it was I which initiated the exchange. True, says I, but United did not deliver on the contract to deposit me home earlier.

She wants to talk to her sup.

A significant amount of air minutes later, she comes back, offering me, provided that I can get to the airport in time to catch a 10:23AM departure to San Francisco (by now is around 8AM and I haven't packed nor checked out of the hotel), to then get me home on a nonstop from Frisco to Philly.

I just want to get out of Dodge Denver before the snow hits the fan and so I agree.

With speeds closely approaching the original Star Trek warp factors I somehow get from Littleton to Denver International in under an hour and happily, just barely make my flight.

Home...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline March 14, 2007

OPTIONS 2007 - Call For Entries

OPTIONS features talented under-recognized and emerging artists in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia region.

* Artists working in all media will be considered.
* No Entry Fee.
* Artists with gallery representation are ineligible. (ie: having a gallery/agent working on behalf of the artist to promote or sell his/her artwork.)
* Artists who have exhibited in past OPTIONS exhibitions are ineligible.

OPTIONS 2007 Curator:
Paul Brewer is an independent curator and writer based in Brooklyn, NY. Previously, he was Director of Exhibitions for the Corcoran College of Art + Design where he organized exhibitions by artists such as Tara Donovan, Critical Art Ensemble, Anthony Goicolea, and Seimon Allen, among others. His writing has appeared in museum publications and art journals in the US, Europe, and Latin America. He is currently a consultant to the Office for Contemporary Art Norway in the areas of communications and international programming.

Download the prospectus here.

Opportunity for Silver Spring, MD Artists

Deadline: 5pm March 16th, 2007

Gateway's Heliport Gallery is seeking works from Silver Spring based artists for an
exhibit in April, 2007.

The show will predominantly be curated through online submissions via artdc.org. Curators for the show are Nevin Kelly Gallery Deputy Director Julia Morelli and Gateway's Silver Spring Project Manager David Fogel.

Artists of all mediums are encouraged to submit three jpgs. (1000 x 1000 pixels max optimized for the web) of exhibit ready work. Submissions should include:

Medium and Size of piece. Artists will also be required to submit their zip code. Artists whose studios or homes are in Silver Spring qualify.

Submission deadline is: 5pm March 16th, 2007.

Find the call here.

Job in the Arts

Executive Director: Cecil County Arts Council, Inc. - Maryland
CCAC is the county's umbrella cultural organization and awards grants to school and nonprofits presenting arts programs. It has a two-person full-time staff, including E.D.; $92K budget from state grant funding/ dues/ corporate support/fundraising. Programs include visual arts exhibitions, concerts, poetry/art workshops, scholarships , after-school outreach programs. E.D. qualifications: Commitment to community outreach; ability to maintain/nurture/inspire membership; knowledge of art-related issues; managerial, grant writing/fundraising experience; outstanding communication/presentation/ public relations skills; experience in working with a board of directors.

Qualified applicants can expect a salary starting at $38,000-$41,000. Benefits: health/dental coverage, retirement, paid vacation/holiday/sick/personal time. Send resume, cover letter , references to:

Personnel Committee
CCAC
135 E. Main St.
Elkton, MD 21921

Or email copy of resume to maggie.creshkoff@gmail.com.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

New Arts Blog

ARTifice is a new (new to me anyway) visual arts blog by AU students. Loads and loads of art reviews by AU students! Visit them often here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Airborne
Airborne again today and heading to Denver. More later...

Time for the Trawick Prize

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is now accepting submissions for The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. The 5th annual juried art competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to four selected artists. Deadline for slide submission is Tuesday, April 10, 2007 and up to fifteen artists will be invited to display their work from September 4 – September 28, 2007 in downtown Bethesda at Creative Partners Gallery, located at 4600 East-West Highway.

This year's competition will be juried by Anne Ellegood, Associate Curator at the Hirshorn Museum & Sculpture Garden; Amy G. Moorefield, Assistant Director and Curator of Collections for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery and Rex Stevens, Chair of the General Fine Arts Department at Maryland Institute College of Art.

The first place winner will be awarded $10,000; second place will be honored with $2,000 and third place will be awarded $1,000. A “young” artist whose birth date is after April 10, 1977 may also be awarded $1,000.

Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. Original painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, fiber art, digital, mixed media and video are accepted. The maximum dimension should not exceed 96 inches in any direction. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years. Selected artists must deliver artwork to exhibit site in Bethesda, MD. All works on paper must be framed to full conservation standards.

The Trawick Prize was established by local Bethesda business owner Carol Trawick. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda. She is the Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District and past Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership. Additionally, the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation was established in 2007 after the Trawicks sold their successful information technology company.

For a complete submission form, please visit www.bethesda.org or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc., c/o The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Job in the Arts

Curator, Firehouse Gallery in Burlington, Vermont. This position is responsible for selection, installation, and interpretation of exhibitions and artwork displayed in the Firehouse gallery, and to act as a representative of the City's commitment to the Visual Arts to the community.

A Bachelors degree in studio art, art history, or related field required as well as an additional year of experience, at a minimum, in a museum or gallery.

Pay: $17/hour. Details here.

Also more locally, the National Arts Organization has several art related jobs open, ranging in starting salary from $45,000 - $58,000. Contact for more information: The Rosen Group, Inc., 3000 Chestnut Ave #300, Baltimore, MD 21211. Phone: (443)451.7906; E-mail: jobs@rosengrp.com

New DC gallery

New to me anyway: Prison Art Gallery, located at 1600 K Street NW, Suite 501 in Washington, DC. The gallery is directed by Susan Galbraith.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dorkbot Meets Tomorrow

Dorkbot DC will meet tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2007, 7-9 PM at Provisions Library (1611 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20009).

Presentations: Gail Scott White and Kirby Malone: "Live Movies"

White and Malone are the artistic directors and founders of Cyburbia Productions, "a multimedia performance studio which focuses on the collaborative creation of 'live movies,' syntheses of cinema, theater and music. The company's work employs digital projection, sound technologies, and filmic narrative techniques to construct moving stage pictures and sonic theater, in which live actors interact with animated performers, and emerge from or vanish into projected environments, settings and dreamscapes."

White is an Associate Professor of Digital Arts at George Mason University, where she teaches 3D animation and digital imaging, and serves as Associate Director of the Multimedia Performance Studio (MPS).

Malone is Assistant Professor, InterArts at George Mason University, where he teaches courses including Cyberpunk and Performance Studio, and serves as Director of the Multimedia Performance Studio.

My good friend Thomas Edwards will be presenting "Introduction to the Arduino." Read this press release:

Hardware artist Thomas Edwards presents a "Hello World" style introduction to the Arduino, an inexpensive open-source physical computing platform. Based on the Atmel ATmega processor, the board is programmed using a simple language which makes it easy to access its digital and analog I/O systems. It is a great way to become involved in physical computing.
I love these guys! I wish I could drag one of the curators of the 2008 Whitney Biennial into one of their meetings.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Art Fair Types

As we approach Armory & other assorted art fairs in NYC, I thought that this would be a good time to republish this post from 2004:



One of the more eye-opening things in attending an art fair is seeing the dynamics that go onto the decision to buy a piece of art.

Put together a few thousand people, paying an entry fee to enter the fair, an assortment of dealers, and a huge diverse variety of offerings and it's an education in people watching.

The married couple:
"Do you like it?"
"Yeah, I like it- it's just what we've been looking for."
"Where would we put it?"
"We have a couple of spots that it'd fit."
"Do you really like it."
"Yeah, how about you?"
"Yeah, I kinda of like it."
"Should we get it?"
"If you want it."

(five minutes later)
"Let's think about it."
"OK"
[To me] "Do you have a business card?"

The couple (not married):
Her: "Do you like it?"
Him: "Sssoright"
Her: "Where would we put it?"
Him: "Dunno."
Her: "Do you really like it."
Him: "So'OK.. Yeah, how about you?"
Her: "Yeah, I kinda, sorta, really like it."
Him: "Dunno though"
Her: "What? You don't like it?"
Him: "If you want it."
(five minutes later)
Him: "Let's think about it."
Her or Him: "OK" [To me] "Do you have a business card?"

The Single Woman (SW) with a Woman Friend:
SW: "WOW! Now, I really like this!"
Friend: "Yeah... it's nice"
SW: "It's exactly what I've been looking for!"
Friend: "I have a friend who does work just like this..."
SW: "I am really drawn to it!"
Friend: "Are you really sure you like it?"
SW: "Uh - yeah!... why? Don't you like it?"
Friend: "Yeah... it's OK"
SW: "I think it's really good... I think it's the first piece in this whole show that I really like."
Friend: "There's a few more booths we haven't seen."
SW: "I think I'm going to buy this."
Friend: "Are you sure?"
SW: "Uh - yeah!... It's a good price too.... why? Don't you like it?"
(five minutes later)
SW: "Do you have a business card?"

The Single Woman (SW) with a Man Friend:
SW: "WOW! Now, I really like this!"
Friend: "Yeah... Cool"
SW: "It's exactly what I've been looking for!"
Friend: "I think it's a lithograph" [it's actually a charcoal]
SW: "I am really drawn to it!"
Friend: "Are you really sure you like it?"
SW: "Uh - yeah!... why? Don't you like it?"
Friend: "I have something like it... I got it cheaper though..."
SW: "I think it's really good... I think it's the first piece in this whole show that I really like."
Friend: "You like lithographs?"
SW: "I think I'm going to buy this."
Friend: "Are you sure?"
SW: "Uh - yeah!... It's a good price too.... why? Don't you like it?"
(five minutes later)
SW: "Do you have a business card?"

The Single Focus Dream Buyer:
[Walks straight up to one piece, never looks at the rest of the work in your booth]
"I'll take this"
[Me] "Thank you... it's a very striking charcoal drawing - will be that be a check or charge?"
"Charge"
[Me] "I can send you more information on this artist..."
"That will be great - I love this work - it's exactly what I'm interested in!"
[Me] "I have a few more pieces here, would you like to see them?"
"No, thanks..."

The "I'm glad you're here guy (IGYHG)":
IGYHG: "Hey! I've been looking for you!"
[Me]: "Hi, how are you?"
IGYHG: "... been walking this whole fair looking for you!"
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!"
IGYHG: "Howsa been goin'?"
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..."
IGYHG: "Well, let me look at what you've got!"
[three minutes later]
IGYHG: "Well... I'm glad you're here... see ya next year!"


The "I Shudda Bought It Last Year Guy (Shudda)":
Shudda: "Hey! You're here again!"
[Me]: "Hi, how are you? Yeah... It's our 7th year here..."
Shudda: "... been walking this whole fair looking for you!"
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!"
Shudda: "Howsa been goin'?"
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..."
Shudda: "Well, let me look at what you've got!"
[three minutes later]
Shudda: "Where's that really good watercolor of the fill-in-the-blank?"
[Me]: "Uh... I sold it last year - but I have a few more pieces by that artist."
Shudda: "Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?"
[Me]: "Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---"
Shudda: "I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too..."
[Me]: "Maybe you'd like some of his new work..."
Shudda: "I shudda bought it last year"
[Walks away]
Shudda: "You gonna be here next year?"

The "Where's That Piece Guy (WTP)":
WTP: "Hey! You're here again!"
[Me]: "Hi, how are you? Yeah... It's our 7th year here..."
WTP: "... been walking this whole fair specifically looking for you!"
[Me]: "Yeah... lots of dealers this year... glad you found us!"
WTP: "Howsa been goin'?"
[Me]: "Yes... quite good actually..."
WTP: "OK... last year I saw this piece... it was a fill-in-the-bank and I should have bought it then! "
[Me]: "Yeah... that is a nice piece."
WTP: "I've been thinking about it for a whole year"
[Looks around the booth and doesn't see it]
WTP: "Do you still have it?"
[From here there are two paths...]
Path One -
[Me]: "Uh... I sold it last year - but I have a few more pieces by that artist."
WTP: "Ah! - I really wanted that one! Do you have another one?"
[Me]: "Well, no... it was an original watercolor, and I sold it; but I have ---"
WTP: "I really wanted that piece; and it was a good price too..."
[Me]: "Maybe you'd like some of his new work..."
WTP: "I shudda bought it last year"
[Walks away]
WTP: "You gonna be here next year?"
Path Two
[Me]: "Let me get it for you... I have it in the back!"
WTP: "Great"
[I bring it out and give to WTP]
WTP: "Yeah this is it! It's great!"
[Me]: "This artist has done really well this last year and ---"
WTP: [Handing it back] "Excellent! I'm glad you still have it... until what time are you going to be here?"

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Beer + Art = Smart?

(Via Jesse) Why didn't I think of this? A British husband and wife have come up with a new artsy business idea being called "probably the most unusual nude art gallery in the world."

The gallery mixes selling nude art and also selling 10% ales. They've done this after being granted a licence to sell beer, something which would never ever happen in the US.

"The venture is the brainchild of Trevor and Kathryn Cook who have combined their talents for brewing and art.

Trevor runs Barearts Brewery in Rochdale Road, Todmorden, from which he produces beers of up to 10 per cent strength.

And Bacup-born Kathryn owns Barearts Gallery further up the road.

And to give Trevor's brewery a boost the art gallery has got a licence to sell his products.
Read the whole article here.

Save this date

On Wednesday, March 7, 2007, Transformer Gallery in partnership with Provisions Library will present Framework Panel #5 - The Role of the Arts Writer: Critiquing Art Criticism.

This panel will focus on the function of arts writing and contemporary arts criticism. Participating panelists include: Rachel Beckman, formerly of the Washington City Paper and now the "Arts Beat" columnist for The Washington Post, Glenn Dixon, the former Arts Editor of the Washington City Paper, and now writing for the WaPo Express, art critic and author and Corcoran faculty Andy Grundberg, Glenn Harper of Sculpture Magazine, and fellow blogger and web policeman Kriston Capps, who also reviews the visual arts for the Washington City Paper. The panel will be moderated by Ryan Hill, Manager of Interpretive Programs and Curatorial Research Associate for the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution.

Framework Panel #5 - The Role of the Arts Writer: Critiquing Art Criticism will take place March 7, 2007 from 6:30 - 8pm at Provisions Library. Attendance for this event is free. Seating is on a first come, first seated basis.

Armory Week

Armory Week is next week, and DC art galleries Irvine, Conner, Curator’s Office, and G Fine Art will all be in various NYC art fairs and venues during the week. I think this is the strongest showing in NY yet for DC galleries during the Armory Show fair cluster.

Irvine Contemporary is picking up from its experience last year and even expanding the scope. Martin Irvine is partnering with Michael Steinberg Fine Art and 31Grand for 29West, a special collaborative event in a recently renovated 3,800 sq. ft. loft space in Chelsea at 515 W. 29th St.

The exhibition will be open from Friday, Feb. 23 through Sunday afternoon, Feb. 25. See the 29West event website for details and updates: www.29westshow.com.

Irvine Contemporary has also been invited to participate in Factory Craze: A Week of Andy Warhol at the Gershwin Hotel in New York during the week of February 19, which marks the 20th anniversary of the death of Andy Warhol. They will present a selection of photographs by the award winning photographers Carl Fischer and Curtis Knapp.

Meetings and Passers-By

LA artist Brian Mallman "Meetings and Passers-By," drawings on board and paper, opens with an opening reception for the artist on Thursday, March 1, 5:30 – 8pm at Charlottesville's Migration Gallery.

"Passers-By” is a series of imagined and remembered composite portraits of strangers in the strange town that is L.A. There will be an exhibition catalog containing all the portraits that will be available for purchase. Brian will sign them Thursday and Friday night.

Laura and Rob Jones continue to do and bring interestintg shows to C'ville.

New Location for Bethesda’s Gallery Neptune

On March 1, 2007 Bethesda’s Gallery Neptune will open at its new location, 4901 Cordell Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland. The new space is in the heart of the Woodmont Triangle. With a corner location, the gallery will have much higher visibility.

The gallery’s new hours will be 12-7 PM, Wednesdays thru Saturdays and 12-4 PM on Sundays. The gallery will continue to participate in Bethesda’s monthly Art Walk, including the Art Walk’s guided tours scheduled in the warm weather months.

Now in its fourth year, the March exhibit at the new space will feature a first time solo show for Erica Orgen. Erica is the daughter of distinguished Bethesda artist and one of my favorite DC area painters, Lisa Brotman. A reception for Erica will be on Saturday, March 3, 2007 from 7-9PM.

Residency in NYC

Deadline: March 23, 2007

Call for Artists: School of Art Summer Residency Program 2007 at The Cooper Union School of Art,, New York.

The Cooper Union School of Art is accepting applications for its Summer Residency Program 2007 which takes place June 13th - July 14th, 2007. The Cooper Union School of Art, one of the premier colleges of art and design in the world, host this exciting opportunity for artists to live and work in New York City for five weeks this summer in an intensive, non-credit, studio residency program. Now in its fifth year, the School of Art Summer Residency Program is designed for emerging artists to develop their work while gaining exposure all the arts resources that New York City has to offer.

Application Deadline: March 23, 2007
Visit this website
Email: residency@cooper.edu

Friday, February 16, 2007

Last Nite

I dropped in to the opening of Nevin Kelly's first ever photography show, featuring work by Mark Parascandola and Yanina Manolova.

Considering how brutal the night was, and how icy U Street was, the opening was packed, and while there I ran into the talented artist Scott Brooks and also the ubiquitous Vivienne Lassman.

I particularly liked Yanina Manolova's "Death Time for my Body," a superbly twisted and odd dual body composition of a female body. This photographer's work is sexy and skilled and also a really good deal, as most photos are under $400.

I also liked Mark's visualization of the Alhambra, one of my favorite buildings in the world. His saturated colors really deliver striking images. I'm a little prejudiced, as Parascandola is a graduate of one of our "Bootcamp for Artists" seminars and is obviously doing well with his career in using the lessons learned there.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

One for the good guys

I generally give the WaPo a lot of deserved crap over their heinous lack of visual arts coverage. But when the WaPo gets something right about local arts coverage, then they also deserve some credit; today they do.

Bob Samsot, the Editor of the WaPo Fairfax Extra wrote a terrific article about the Gold Key Scholastic Arts Awards. You can read his article here.

Furthermore, I am told that the front page of the Fairfax Extra itself features cover art by one of the award winners - plus, the paper is filled with images of additional award winners. The names and titles of works of the winners are also published here.

I think it's terrific that Bob and the Fairfax Extra published this, and in one day he's given more column inches and images to the local arts news than I've seen in the past couple of years in the Style section of the WaPo!

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: March 15, 2007

Call to Artists: Drawing Invitational exhibition sponsored by the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL. Media: Drawing. Open to artists 18 and over, no size restrictions. Each artist may submit up to 10 images in slide or jpeg format with a return SASE. Works of art will range from intimate, transitory thoughts in numerous drawing media to finished drawings that are intended by the maker to rival the serious nature of other fine art endeavors such as painting, printmaking, photography, and sculpture. Exhibition is scheduled for October-November, 2007. A catalog will be produced. For more information please contact: Allys Palladino-Craig at 850.644.1254 or apcraig@mailer.fsu.edu.

FSU Museum of Fine Arts
530 W Call St.
250 Fine Arts Bldg.
Tallahassee, FL 32306-1140

Wanna go to a DC Opening Tonight?

The Midcity's Artists' Winter Exhibition at Rseults Capitoll Hill. Opening Reception, Thursday February 15, 6:30 – 8:30 PM - 315 G St. SE Washington, DC. Hosted by Bobby Van's Grille.

Featuring artwork by Chuck Baxter, Joan Belmar, Jeff Code, Robert Cole, Scott Davis, Robert Dodge, Gary Fisher, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Charlie Jones, Bridget Sue Lambert, Marc Monteleone, Lucinda Murphy, Betto Ortiz, Mark Parascandola, Byron Peck, Brian Petro, Marina Reiter, Nicolas, Shi, Steven Stichter, John Talkington,
Robert Wiener, Anita Walsh & Colin Winterbottom.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

More on Art-O-Matic 2007

Yesterday I broke the news that there will be not one but two AOM's in the DC area this year.

They are getting two floors (the 6th and 8th floor in the Old Patent Office Building in Crystal City) - each floor is 45,000 sq. ft. and one has around 130 offices still walled in while the other one has been gutted.

I've been in this building many times and it is a great location and very easy to get to either by car, bus, subway or even Virginia rail. There are some great views from all the outer walls. The other cool thing about this location is that thousands and thousands of people both work and live right around this area, and I predict that because all of these people live and work there, this will be the largest attended AOM ever. I will predict 80,000 visitors to this art event.

The official AOM announcement will come February 26, 2007, and online registration for artists will start March 5, 2007, so start getting ready!

Keep an eye on the AOM website for details.

Oh yeah... the event itself will run from April 13 through May 20, 2007.

Super Bowl day drawing

Not that I was bored (well, maybe a little), but while watching the Superbowl I doodled the below drawing.

Campello drawing of Female Nude Catching a FootballIt's a charcoal drawing about seven inches tall by five or so wide on 300 weight white paper.

Carolyn Witschonke: I call myself an Artist

Interview By Shauna Lee Lange, Art Addicts

Lange: You graduated from Marymount College with a BA in French language and literature. Your MA is from Central Connecticut State University in French poetry, and then you went on to earn a BFA from Corcoran College of Art and Design. Recently, you've stated art that is your passion; a very good friend that never leaves. Tell us about the juxtaposition of continuing education, French literature, fine art, friendship, printmaking, and painting.

Witschonke: All these aspects of my life led me to who I am today and to what I choose to express through art. Languages and how words are used to express ideas can be a parallel art form, not just a means of communication. For me, whatever medium I choose to use becomes a vocabulary of expression and communication. Just as I use languages to explore meaning and expression, I use painting, printmaking, and encaustic to visually explore and express meaning. Art has been my friend since I can remember. It has taught me things I needed to know and consoled me at times when a constant friend was needed. Below is Solo Poppy, oil.


Solo Poppy

Lange: Can you speak to the challenges and the rewards of being a full-time freelance artist? How do you divide your time between making art and selling art?

Witschonke: Being a studio artist is what I have chosen to do full time. It takes lots of time and the monetary rewards are minimal compared to the efforts put forth, but I get to do something I really love. I work in my painting studio in Arlington, or in Printmakers Inc. at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria. I rarely sell my work myself; I prefer to use galleries or art spaces. This allows me maximum studio time. Doing this of course means usually paying large commissions to the selling agent but then I don’t have to do both jobs. I do have a website at www.carolyn4art.com.

Lange: Being fairly well traveled and having lived in Germany with adventures throughout Europe, what are some of the subtler ways travel, journey, location, and exposure to European masters helped shape your current work?

Witschonke: My European experiences directly influenced my art, especially printmaking. In my earlier work, the European style of painting and aesthetic is, I believe, evident. Vermeer and Degas especially influenced me. Seeing the various cultures and how people and their mores ultimately manifested into the art and culture of the times influences me even today. The history, myths, and traditions all contribute to my ideas and what I choose to do in my artistic expression.

Lange: As an oil painter and print maker, your recent work focuses on interconnectivity, choice making, and universality of humanity. How do you best bridge the gap between the artist's vision and communicating that vision for juries, competitions, award venues, and the general public?

Witschonke: In my latest show in the Solo Artist Gallery in the Art League, this very subject was its content. With a title and brief artist statement I like to introduce the viewer to my concept. After that, I hope the viewers’ own experiences will enable them to interpret and appreciate my efforts. In creating this series, I was careful to choose materials, and in most cases, colors that have significance enough to support and express my ideas.

Lange: What major differences do you find between exhibiting in 2000 at the Newport Museum of Art in Newport, RI; the '98 - '99 show at the Resurgum Gallery in Baltimore; and the 2000 exhibition in the Bridge Gallery of Dublin, Ireland?

Witschonke: As far as exhibiting in these venues, mainly the logistics presented the most challenges - particularly shipping... very practical aspects.

Lange: When you call to mind the great printmakers throughout time, who most inspires you? Of living artists in the DC area today, who do you expect to see rapidly rise in the art world?

Witschonke: The printmaker that has most inspired me is Jim Dine. As for DC, there are so many fine artists who don’t get much recognition because they are not well known. A sample print entitled Deep Forest Green:

Deep Forest Green

Lange: Your collections span the Library of Congress, The National Institute of Health, and the Philip Morris Companies (quite divergent enterprises). What responsibilities do artists have in monitoring where, when, and how work is exhibited and to what end their personal ideology allows for commercialism?

Witschonke: If my art is purchased for a collection and is bought for its own sake I don’t discriminate buyers. As far as doing commission work directly related to a cause or enterprise, it is up to the individual artist to decide.

Lange: Can you tell us a little about growing up in the small town of Litchfield, Connecticut, and your journey to becoming an artist (how you shifted to art, when you knew you wanted to "art", how it was sharing that vision with family, how it's been to realize the vision, what you're looking to accomplish in ‘07)?

Witschonke: I’ve been lucky. Even though I loved art and did art sporadically as a child, the fine arts were not encouraged as a profession. I studied violin for many years but when it came time to make a career decision, I chose teaching with the concentration in French. I had many youthful and idealistic ambitions. I married at 23 and moved to Germany. Inspired by the setting the need to do art resurfaced. Through the years as a military wife I was able to take many art classes, travel, and visit museums until I ultimately earned a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art and Design. Even though my parents did not support art as a career choice, they were artistic and creative people. Both of my sisters are artistic as well; one works with textiles, weaving and quilting and the other is a painter. It is wonderful to have them to share my art with. My husband has been very supportive of me, especially on two pivotal occasions, the first when I decided to abandon my teaching and concentrate on art and the second when I wanted to attend art school full time and earn a degree. For 2007 I will continue to expand the Passages series as well as print and continue a series in encaustic, From Line to Shape.

Lange: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec is credited with having said, "You come to nature with all her theories, and she knocks them all flat." Can you speak to your interpretation or experience with this theme?

Witschonke: Ah, nature, the wonders of it. The inconsistencies of it supply us with its mysteries and keep us intrigued and guessing.

Lange: Your love for nature, trees, and flowers, using a variety of mediums and techniques, is well catalogued in your works. It is true today there are a variety of opinions about the reality and the growing concern of global warming, environmental health, and the necessity to save mother Earth. Do you view your work as chronicles of these politics, and if so, how? What differences would you like to effect?

Witschonke: My work is not political. The environment is extremely important to me but does not constitute political commentary in my work. My love of nature comes from more of a spiritual and philosophical basis. Alpha to Omega appears below:

Lange: Carolyn, what new or inventive art related non-profits are you involved in? We are always interested in highlighting causes using art to achieve goals. Lastly, if you could be director of the National Gallery (or other DC National Museum) for one day - what immediate change(s) would you implement? If you couldn't create art, what would you do instead?

Witschonke: I am not directly involved in any innovative non-profits. Printmakers Inc is my closest involvement. Participating with this group at the Torpedo Factory enables me to make myself directly available to the public, informing them about original printmaking processes and art. Having children’s groups and tours are especially rewarding. Many schools are limiting students’ exposure to art and this is an exciting way to stimulate their interest. I really don’t know anything about running a museum so I wouldn’t be able to make a productive change. If I couldn’t create art... hmmm... I am not sure that’s possible!

This sounds interesting

*gogo art projects is pleased to announce Matthew Sutton’s The Kudzu Project. For this dynamic installation, Sutton is planting kudzu in the front window of Conner Contemporary Art / *gogo art projects. Kudzu, indigenous to parts of Japan and China, is known throughout the Southern United States for its rampant, invasive and widespread growth. The plant was originally imported to the United States primarily as a government initiative to help control erosion, but it quickly became known as “the vine that ate the south”.
The Kudzu Project will be on view until August 1st, 2007. *gogo art projects is located at 1730 Connecticut Avenue, NW – 2nd Floor, Washington, DC 20009.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Opportunity for Artists

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently taking submissions for Bethesda’s June and July Artist Markets. Selected artists will be invited to participate in the Bethesda Artist Markets on Saturday, June 9 and Saturday, July 14, 2007 from 10am-5pm.

Deadline for application and slide submission is Wednesday, February 28, 2007 by 5pm. Participating artists will be selected by members of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee.

Details here.

Artomatic is on!

Just in! There will be an Art-O-Matic this year!

The location is the Old Patent Building in Crystal City, Virginia from mid April to mid May, 2007. The installations will take place at the beginning of March.

I am also told that there will also be a second AOM within the district itself later in the fall.

Two Art-O-Matics in 2007.

Woo Hoo!

Whitney Biennial Curators Announced

Because the 2006 Whitney Biennial was without a doubt, and by far, the worst museum show that I have ever seen, I was curious about the direction of the 2008 Biennial.

Unlike that disaster, which was "curated" by two European-born curators (who had both been living and working in the United States), according to the NYT's Carol Vogel, the 2008 Biennial will go back to locals: leading the effort will be two Whitney curators: Henriette Huldisch and Shamim M. Momin, and Donna De Salvo, the museum's chief curator, will oversee the curatorial effort.

Three outside advisers will help: Thelma Golden, director and chief curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem (and a former curator at the Whitney); Bill Horrigan, director of the media arts department at the Wexner Center for the Arts at Ohio State University; and Linda Norden, a curator and writer who was the commissioner of the United States pavilion for the 2005 Venice Biennale, where she organized an exhibition on Ed Ruscha that traveled to the Whitney.
I am excited that there's a non New Yorker in the pack of advisors, and sincerely hope that this Whitney Biennial finally recognizes that there's artwork being produced in the few thousand miles that exist between New York and LA. However, I'm already gloomy, as the fact that Horrigan is the director of the media arts department at a major midwestern University already prejudices my opinion in that here we'll have yet another guy who still thinks that videos are "new."

And to make it even more likely that this will turn out to be yet another New York-centric artists' home movies exhibition, consider that Henriette Huldisch was responsible for coordinating the film and video program for the 2006 Biennial and Momin was one of the three curators for the 2004 Biennial.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Feh!

Monday, February 12, 2007

WPA/C Auction

Judging from the small number of works that remain available, the WPA/C Auction was a resounding success.

Details on work that is still available here.

New blogger

Tracy Lee has a new visual arts blog. Visit her often here.

New Baltimore Gallery

Gallery 211 just opened last week in Baltimore. They will be featuring contemporary and traditional fine art of emerging and established artists.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

By now we're used to it

Only Blake Gopnik, the intelligent and erudite Chief Art Critic of the Washington Post could get away with writing an introduction to the Spring Arts Preview for the Greater DC area for a Washington, DC newspaper and then tell his readers that "If you've decided it's finally time to come to terms with current creativity, this summer is the time to do it and Europe's the place."

If you read Gopnik's writing over the years, it is easy to detect that he has a special personal antipathy (amongst many) towards two subjects: painting, and especially portraiture.

He's also embarked on what seems like a critical personal crusade against the National Portrait Gallery, and in writing about the coming "Portraits of Sandra Day O'Connor," opening in late March at the National Portrait Gallery, he not only tells us that he will do his best to miss this coming show, but also labels the work of two of the portrait artists in the show that he will apprently never see, as "insipid" and "toadying made flesh."

Gopnikmeister strikes again. Read him here.

On the positive side, the WaPo's listing of visual art shows had for the last few years degenerated into a listing of museum shows, and almost excluded area galleries from the mix. A while back Gopnik told me that he was trying to include more and more galleries in the preview listings, and he has delivered on that promise, as the local exhibition calendar is jam packed with good exhibitions, both museums and galleries, to catch this spring.

A well done to Gopnik for this refreshing and important change!

Save this page and refer to it often.

PS - Gopnik also has a really good article on the Corcoran and its new direction in which we find out all about the future that Greenhalgh is planning (and also that he skipped a traveling Frida Kahlo show over the coming "Modernism" exhibition - AAAARGH!). Read it here.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Mathematics

Much has been written about the rather newish phenomenom of art fairs as the new salons of the 21st century, as magnets where galleries congregate and collectors and curators and the illuminati go to see and buy art. Furthermore, anecdotal figures from the major fairs seem to confirm that a lot of artwork is being sold by some galleries at the fairs. My own experience with them confirms this fact.

Soon the District will have its own taste of its first major "art fair" with the upcoming artDC, and we will see if the model works in the Greater Washington area, which historically has a certain degree of apathy when it comes to actually buying art.

And yet... an idea that I have been mulling in my head for years now keeps bugging me.

Stick with me here.

There's another "world" out there of fine art fairs that, because of the curious high brow attitude of the "high art" cabal, never really gets any attention from the art media, etc.

These are the outdoor art fairs that some of us know well, and many of us think we know well even though they've actually never been to any of the good ones. I am talking about the outdoor art festivals that get ranked as the top ones by Sunshine Artist magazine, fairs such as the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, or the Ann Arbor Arts Festival (actually four separate art fairs that draw over half a million visitors), and of course, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, which will attract about 150,000 visitors next weekend in Miami.

Immediately the clueless sap esso tutto who have never been to one of these will think and imagine what they visualize as an outdoor art market: dried flowers, teddy bears and watercolors of barns. Don't get me wrong, there are thousands and thousands of these type "art" fairs around as well - but those are NOT the ones that I am talking about.

I am talking about the cream of the Sunshine Artist Top 200 list. These are shows where only original art, not reproductions, are allowed, and photography has very severe rules (must be done by the photographer, limited editions only, signed, archival processes only, etc.). These shows are highly competitive to get in (they're juried), and usually offer quite a lot of money in prizes for the artists. The jurors vary from museum curators (people like Terrie Sultan, Jonathan Binstock, and other local museum curators have in the past juried some of them).

I guess I'm saying that there's some curatorial legitimacy to them as well, for the elitista amongst you.

But the destination to which I am driving here is attendance.

Hundreds of thousands.

Locally in our area, there are only two good ones of these fine arts outdoor festivals: The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival attracts around 80,000 people, and the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, which is still growing, but already attracts around 40,000 people to the two-day event.

Consider the median income in either Bethesda or Reston, and what you get out of it is a lot of disposable income.

Art price tags at these two local fairs range from $200 to $20,000. So there's a somewhat comparable universe of prices to the DC area gallery market, as an example.

And I submit that a lot of the people who attend one of these outdoor fine art festivals do not have the "formation," as a Communist would say, to dare set foot in a white cube gallery.

If Mohammed won't come to the gallery, then bring the gallery to Mohammed.

So here's the issue that has been brewing in my head:

All of these huge and highly successful outdoor arts festivals (as far as I know) only allow individual artists to sell their work at the fairs. Why doesn't an enterprising fair organizer go one step further and add a whole new angle to the arts festival and set aside a whole section for independent commercial fine arts galleries?

Because the entry price point is a substantial fraction of what it costs to sign up for a gallery art fair like Art Basel Miami, or Scope, or even AAF, the financial mathematics of this idea make sense to both sides of the equation.

For fair organizers, they could offer the gallery a basic price tag of $1500 for the weekend, which would include a 10 feet by 20 feet double tent and display equipment. Or, and this is a big or, the organizer, in order to attract the art galleries, could offer them zero entry fee and instead a 10% commission on all sales. This may get a little sticky in the monitoring of sales and unreported sales by art dealers who lack ethics and scruples, so a flat fee is probably the best and easiest idea.

For the gallery it would offer them an opportunity to expose their artwork to possibly thousands of new potential collectors, exposing most of them, for the first time, to an art gallery.

It's all in the numbers.

No art gallery that I know gets 80,000 visitors a year, much less in a weekend. Would any of them turn down an opportunity, for a reasonable amount of money (much, much less than it costs them to advertise in an art magazine that will only reach a few hundred people in their local area), to expose themselves to a few hundred thousand people?

You do the math: 1% of 1% of 80,000 people is 8 new sales over a weekend. Not even to mention the possible future sales of new people who become exposed to the gallery at the festival, and start attending openings: new blood collectors.

I would do it.

Now let's see some enterprising art fair organizer run with this.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Changes

As some of you know, I've had some significant changes, both professional and personal, since I sort of moved from the DC area... sort of.

Because of the move and other things, I no longer own a gallery, and for the first time in ten years, I have a little more time in my hands to do other things.

Like... looking for a gallery space in Philadelphia!

Now that I finally sold my house in Potomac, which was costing me around $5,000 a month in mortgage and utilities for an empty house, I've been slowly but surely exploring the city little by little, although the recent tundra like weather has certainly put an end to that. Nonetheless I will continue to look at areas of the city where art galleries have already establish a presence, and continue to chat with gallery owners and local art bloggers so as to learn more and more about Philly's art scene and locations, etc.

So far I am leaning towards the area around North Second Street where Pentimenti Gallery and others are located. In fact there's a really nice space almost next to Pentimenti that's looking real good.

Another interesting development that has happened to me professionally since I moved, is the fact that I have been retained (initially by one and now by a second) ubercollector to "acquire" work for their collections.

This sounds like a lot of fun, having a five figure budget a month to acquire artwork for others, and in a way it is. However, as I settle down to the nuts and bolts of doing this properly, I'm finding out that I am being a helluva lot more careful with other people's money than I would be with my own.

I think that as I settle down and do this more and more, it may be easier, and certainly all of my acquitisions for them have so far been met with great enthusiasm and acceptance, but nonetheless I am still "involving" them a lot in the decision(s), which I think that (in at least one case) is the rigth thing to do, but in the other case, the collector may really want me to go solo in the decision process, which is a lot more pressurized for me.

Then there's the whole issue of "my artists," as I intend to soon re-surface as a private dealer (website coming soon!) while I continue to search for a gallery space. There's a fine ethical line there, as one of my predecessors was in fact "fired" for pushing too many of the artists that the dealer represented. The trick is to balance ethics and business, which a reputable art dealer needs to do anyway.

Enough for now; heading to the Poconos this weekend for a little fun in the snow.

Around the Mid-A Reviewsphere

DC

Jeffry Cudlin in the WCP reviews "Seen" at Transformer Gallery.

Also in the WCP, Anne Marston has an interesting profile of photographer Susie J. Horgan and her show at Govinda Gallery.

And lastly for the WCP, Kriston Capps does Jenna McCracken’s carving up cuts of preserved pottery at Dupont Circle’s Meat Market Gallery.

In the WaPo, Michael O'Sullivan also reviews "Punk Love" at Govinda Gallery. Susie J. Horgan, the photographer, was also online yesterday at the WaPo answering questions - read the transcripts here and has a nice photo gallery of her photographs here; score one for the WaPo... more please!

Baltimore

Deborah McLeod in the Baltimore City Paper checks in with an intelligent review of Winter: Jarrett Min Davis / Courtney Jordan at the Creative Alliance.

The Sun's Glenn McNatt (himself a photographer) reviews the DC area's Amy Lamb's exhibition at the Steven Scott Gallery in Owings Mills.

DC's Thiking About Art visits Baltimore and reviews "Between the Lines" at Maryland Art Place.

Philadelphia

In the Philadelphia City Paper, Mary Wilson reviews "Emerging Artists Series: Christopher Hartshorne and Hiro Sakaguchi," at the Woodmere Art Museum.

In the Philadelphia Inquirer, Edward J. Sozanski reviews Daniel Garber at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Also in the Inquirer, Edith Newhall reviews "Rocks-n-Glocks" by Ron Ribant and Veleta Vancza at Bambi, and she also reviews the photographs of Serge J-F Levy at at Gallery 339.

In the Philadelphia Weekly, uberblogger Roberta Fallon reviews "Locally Localized Gravity" at the ICA.

In artblog, Libby Rosof reviews Amy S. Kauffman's installation at the Painted Bride.

Who Knew?

Grandma's painting was expected to fetch a few thousand bucks at auction. Instead it sold for $600,000 dollhairs. Read the story here.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Congrats!

To Mid Atlantic Art News DC area contributor Shauna Turnbull, whose marriage now gives her the cool new name of Shauna Lee Lange.

Congratulations

To Transformer Gallery in DC and DC artist Kelly Towles, who just received a joint $20,000 grant from Greater Washington Creative Communities Initiative and The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.

The $20K is to support "The Grate Project," which is "a series of murals painted on roll-down security gates. Towles will hold block parties to engage community residents in painting each piece."

New Grant Programs for Women Artists in the Philadelphia Region

Deadline: February 19, 2007

The Leeway Foundation, which supports individual women artists, arts programs, and arts organizations in the Greater Philadelphia region, has announced the Leeway Transformation Award and the Art and ChangeGrant, two new funding programs designed to celebrate the power and vision of women artists creating change in the Philadelphia area.

Details here.

Mid Atlantic Artists at Arlington

This Friday, Feb. 9, from 6-9 PM, the Arlington Arts Center in Virginia presents "Equinox: A Juried All-Media Exhibition" that features the work of 22 Mid-Atlantic artists. Works were selected by Lorie Mertes, Independent Curator, formerly of the Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia and the Miami Art Museum. Equinox includes large scale sculpture, video, and installation and the human figure.

The Center also has the “Eye on Arlington” exhibition (that’s their series featuring local artists) by Ellipse Gallery Director (and blogger!) Cynthia Connolly. Her photography show is called "See All 15 At Once!" and studies roadside signs across Alabama. Connolly’s constructed an indoor “front porch” with rocking chairs and fans, so that viewers can relax and watch the world go by.

BosmaDance will perform at 6:30—inspired by works in Equinox.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"I Hate You" Ex Outs Herself

The woman whose break-up emails were the subject of Doug Sanford's now famous "I Hate You" photographs outs herself in this angry letter to the WCP.

Read her letter here.

Openings

As usual, I am sure that I have skipped some important openings, if so, please email me the details.

DC

Feb. 7 - "Zenith in III-D." Reception to meet the artists: Wed, February 7, 5-8pm. Showing at 1111 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Wash. DC. (Corner of PENN & 12 th ST NW). More info: 202-783-2963 or www.zenithgallery.com

Feb. 9 - Touchstone Gallery's 9th Annual All-Media Exhibition, juried by my good friend Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum. The opening reception is 6-8:30 pm, Friday, Feb. 9. 3rd Thursday gallery walk is on the 15th from 6-8 pm. Exhibition continues through March 3.

Feb. 9 - “Progressive Art,” an exhibition of new sculptures by Gary “Chris” Christopherson opens at GChris Sculpture Studio/Gallery (3144 Dumbarton Street NW, Georgetown, DC). Opening – 6-10 pm.

Feb 10 - Knew Gallery in Georgetown at 1639 Wisconsin Ave, NW. Opening 5-10 PM. Art fundraiser for Latin American orphans.

Feb. 13 - "Duane Hanson: Real Life," an exhibition of 15 startlingly lifelike, mixed-media sculptures of everyday people by the famed realist Duane Hanson (1925-1996), plus 75 never-before seen photographic studies by the artist, opens Tuesday, Feb. 13, at the American University Museum at the Katzen. There will be a free Artists’ Reception, open to the public, on Saturday, February 17, from 6 to 9 p.m.

Feb. 13 - "Public Display of Affection" opens right before Valentine's Day at Gallery 42 in UDC. The participating artists include a variety of disciplines: painting, printmaking, photography,sculpture, ceramics, and glasswork. The Love-struck artists include: Michael Platt, Jay Davidson, Sean Hennessy, Michael Janis, Meredith Rode, Chuan-chu Lin, Dan Venne, Mare Dianora. The opening reception for the show is Tuesday, February 13, from 6-9 PM. Informal artists talk at 8 PM on opening night. Gallery 42 is at the University of the District of Columbia (4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Building 42, Room A12, Washington, DC 20008 202-274-5781).

Feb. 15 - The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden presents "Refract, Reflect, Project: Light Works from the Collection," a new installation of works created by international artists from the late 1950s to the present. The exhibition is on view from Feb. 15 through April 8 and features objects from the collection in which light—as substance and subject—is central. Among the international artists featured are Giovanni Anselmo, Jordan Belson, Chryssa, Dan Flavin, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Turrell, Thomas Wilfred and Gregorio Vardanega. The exhibition also highlights recent acquisitions by such artists as Olafur Eliasson, Spencer Finch, Christoph Girardet and Iv├ín Navarro.

Feb. 15 - "African Vision: The Walt Disney-Tishman African Art Collection" opens Feb. 15 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art. More than 80 superb artworks from one of the world's finest and most respected collections of African art will go on view through Sept. 7, 2008.

Feb. 15 - In honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Washington DC Jewish Community Center at 16th and Q Streets, the Center's Ann Loeb Bronfman Gallery is presenting an exhibition of 10 artists with local roots: five nationally recognized figures each of whom has selected another artist whose work will be on view as well. Titled "Five Artists Select Five Artists to Watch," the exhibition opens at the Center on Feb. 15 and continues through May 13. The featured artists are: Sam Gilliam, who selected Jae Ko; John Gossage, who selected Pia Calderon; Martin Puryear, who selected Otho Branson; Dan Steinhilber, who selected Y. David Chung; and Renee Stout, who selected Mary Early. The featured artists are: Sam Gilliam, who selected Jae Ko; John Gossage, who selected Pia Calderon; Martin Puryear, who selected Otho Branson; Dan Steinhilber, who selected Y. David Chung; and Renee Stout, who selected Mary Early.

Feb. 15 - "Double Vision: The Photographic Work of Yanina Manolova and Mark Parascandola" opens at Nevin Kelly Gallery with a reception from 6-9PM. Through March 11, 2007.

Feb. 16 - The five Canal Square Galleries in Georgetown will have their usual Second Friday openings and extended hours from 6-9PM.

Feb. 17 - "All Things in Motion," opens at Randall Scott Gallery, an exhibition of art by artists who employ motion in their work. Exhibition is 6-9PM and show runs through March 17, 2007.

Feb. 18 - Rob Lindsay at Washington Printmakers. Artist's Reception, featuring acoustic music by Jay Rees and Basso Moderno Duo on Sunday, February 18, 12-2 pm.

March 9 - The opening reception for DCist Exposed will be March 9, 6:30pm at the Warehouse Art Gallery. The show will run until March 16. Over 200 local photographers submitted their work through Flickr, and from that pool DCist choose 40 photographs by 38 photographers. All work will be framed to archival standards and for sale. Contact heathergoss [at] gmail [dot] com for details.

Baltimore, MD

Feb. 10 - Light Street Gallery has a catered reception from 5-9PM for artist George Sekkal's "The Politics of War - Maximism," which brings the artist's award-winning anti-war political collages to Baltimore.

Bethesda, MD

Feb.9 - Second Fridays for 13 Bethesda area art galleries and art venues, including a free guided Art Walk on most months (starting in April). Details here.

Feb 9 - Fraser Gallery hosts a ton of photographers selected by Catriona Fraser for the 6th Annual International Photography Competition. Opening reception and awards presentation on Feb. 9 from 6-9PM.

Feb. 9 - Neptune Gallery has "Love Birds" with work by Lisa Brotman, Elyse Harrison, Laurel Hausler, Michael Janis, John Lancaster, Matthew Lawrence, Kirk Waldroff and David Wallace. 6-9PM.

March 9 - My Tender Muse - Oil Paintings by Murman Kuchava (who lives and works in The Republic of Georgia) at Creative Partners Gallery. March 6, 2007 through April 7, 2007.

Philadelphia, PA

Feb. 8 - Second Thursdays multi-gallery openings in the area north of Northern Liberties. Details here.

Feb. 8 - Nexus is reopening in its new spaces and they will we reopen Nexus in their new home and at the same time inaugurate "Second Thursdays," a new monthly event of openings by galleries that are north of Northern Liberties. Second Thursday will be held February 8th from 6 to 9 PM. Their inaugural show in their new digs features two digital exhibitions by Jennie Thwing and Catherine Passante. Through Feb. 25, 2007.

Feb. 9 - "Neighborhood Artists" at Twenty Two Gallery (236 S. 22nd Street (on 22nd between Locust & Spruce Sts. Tel: (215) 772-1911). More than 15 artists from the gallery's neighborhood show works that include: oils, watercolors, pastels, fabric, photography and more! Opening Reception: "Second Friday," Feb. 9, 2007, 6pm to 9pm. Exhibit continues through March 8, 2007.

Feb. 9 - Sande Webster opens a new show titled "Refractions," and it runs from Feb. 6th thru March 1st. Reception: Friday, Feb. 9th from 6-8 pm.

Feb. 16 - "Coming of Age: Emerging and Established Wood Artists," at Wood Turning Center. The opening reception takes place on February 16th from 5pm to 7:30pm and will feature a gallery talk by Albert LeCoff, Wood Turning Center Executive Director and a special talk by artist Peter Exton. Artists include Michael Brolly (US), Richard Hooper (UK), Richard Raffan (Australia), Betty Scarpino (US), Mark Sfirri (US), Ben Blanc (US), Peter Exton (US), Louise Hibbert (US formerly Wales), Thierry, and Martenon (France) and Holly Tornheim (US). Through May 19, 2007.

Feb. 17 - JMS Gallery has sculptures by Salvatore Cerceo and Pavel Efremoff and also paintings by Robert Melzmuf opening with a reception on Feb. 17 from 4-7PM. Exhibition through March 24, 2007.

Feb. 22 - "Abu Ghraib Detainee Interview Project: Daniel Heyman" at The Print Center. Reception: Thursday, February 22, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Through May 5, 2007.

Mar. 2 - Third Street Gallery has work by Marge Peterson (also showing Marci Feldman) and the reception is March 2 from 5-9PM. Show through April 1, 2007.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Castro's Deathbed Portrait

When it comes to the brutal dictator who has caused a continuing exodus of millions of his countrymen and women, consistently violated political (and most other) prisoners' human rights, sent thousands to firing squads, jailed and terrorized gay Cubans for being gay, completely banned freedom of expression, and forcibly isolated and segregated anyone in Cuba suffering from AIDS into leper-colony type sanatoriums, I am not very objective.

But as he has done for decades now, this spectacularly intelligent and incredibly lucky man, even on his almost-deathbed still manages to permeate all levels of news and issues, including art.

Fidel Castro bust by Daniel Edwards
Last year, this artist in New York apparently had the common "rosy" picture of Fidel Castro and Cuba, that most people who have never informed themselves about the real facts of Cuba and Cuban life under a Communist yoke, usually have.

And so he decided to create a massive Castro bust as a sort of an homage to the Cuban dictator. And he planned to unveil the huge homage to Castro in New York's Central Park. See the initial YouTube video here (by the way, if you look in the background, you see that this is the same artist who gave us the pregnant Britney Spears sculpture).

Those plans then changed.

Plans for an unveiling in New York's Central Park of Fidel Castro on his 'deathbed' have instead turned into plans for the deconstruction of his effigy in Miami, where he will be prematurely laid to rest. Capla Kesting Fine Arts announces the unveiling of "Fidel Castro's Deathbed Portrait" has been reconsidered by the artist, courtesy of the Miami FM morning show El Traketeo on WRTO 98.3 who protested the sculpture and arranged for the artist to come to their studio to hear the testimonies from several dozen Cuban exiles.

A ceremony for deconstruction of Castro's Deathbed Portrait will take place in Miami, November 8th at a time and location designated by WRTO.

[...]

After hearing hours of face to face testimony from Cuban people who have suffered under Castro, Edwards said on the air at WRTO, "I'm only sorry I wasn't aware of all that pain before my project started. After hearing all these painful accounts, in good conscience, as a friend of the Cuban-American communities, I cannot show the sculpture in Central Park."
And so, the colossal scaled clay model for "Fidel Castro's Deathbed Portrait" by Daniel Edwards, was instead "deconstructed" in Miami on November 8, 2006.

And the lesson here, taught to us by Castro in his deathbed, is that political art, which is more alive and well than many realize, can cover both sides of the political spectrum, and even in some cases, such as this one, switch to the right side of a debate, no pun intended.

My kudos to Edwards and to Capla Kesting Fine Art.

Viva Cuba Libre!

On the other Ebay hand

Swann Galleries is a highly reputable art dealer and auction house and they have 332 lots for sale on Ebay with some real steals (such as a Sam Gilliam starting at $500 Update: It closed at $2600 - still a great deal!).

There are quite a few works by African American artists of the caliber of Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Lois Maillou Jones, Renee Stout and many, many others. By the way, Swann has recently established a new department in their auction house called African-American Fine Art.

Also terrific photography by European American photographers Sally Mann, Imogen Cunningham, Walker Evans, Weston, Atget and many others.

See the lots here.