Thursday, May 31, 2007

Tomorrow: First Friday Gallery Openings

Both DC and Philly hold First Friday joint gallery openings and/or extended hours.

In Philly, the Old City area galleries (around forty galleries and art venues) are open from 5 till 9 p.m. Details here.

In DC, the Dupont Circle area galleries (around 15 venues or so) are usually open from 6-8PM. Details here.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Opportunity for Artists

The Arlington Arts Center is currently accepting submissions for their solo exhibitions 2008 occurring in the Fall and Spring 2008. The AAC has seven galleries with 525 combined running feet of wall space as well as two galleries dedicated to installation, technology or other works requiring a complete environment. The grounds surrounding the AAC can also accommodate outdoor sculpture.

Eligibility: Open to all artists in all media in the Mid Atlantic States (DE, PA, MD, DC, VA, WV)

Submission Guidelines: submit up to 20 slides or JPEGs (PC compatible, 300 dpi (or smaller) files, no larger than 4 x 6 inches), along with artist statement, resume, and description of exhibition proposal.

Deadline: All entries must be received by June 25, 2007

Entry Fee: $25 for non member, $15 for AAC members

Jurors: Selected by a panel of artists, arts professionals and collectors. Panelists for the 2008 Review are collector Philip Barlow (DC), Independent Curator Angela Jerardi (Philadelphia), Claire Huschle (AAC), Carol Lukitsch (AAC), Theresa McFadden (NVCC), and Anne Hancock (AAC Board President).

More Info: To download a prospectus and view floor plan, visit www.arlingtonartscenter.org, or send a SASE to:

Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Jim Brossy debuts at Projects Gallery in Philly

This Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts M.F.A. graduate delivers highly textured, mixed media assemblage paintings using art materials, construction and found objects. Tar, latex, cement, wax, string and steel all make appearances in his paintings, in addition to the more traditional acrylic, pastel, pencil and oil. Found objects such as newspaper and old clothes augment the richness and narrative of the work.

His debut show “Unentitled” opens Friday June 1st, with a First Friday artist reception from 5 to 9 p.m. at Projects Gallery in Philly. The exhibition continues through July 29th.

Broken

Yesterday I had a crew over to trim some trees in my front yard, and I was a little concerned because the front of my house has a huge stained glass piece next to the main door. According to our neighbors and postal lady, it was custom made in 1961 by a famed Pennsylvania glass artist who used to live in the house when it was built that year.

So they parked their truck right in front of it in order to block it from any flying debris.

As I once described in Tentacles, there are some instances on this planet, when the laws of gravity seem to take a couple of nanoseconds off. Like when one is walking down a path, and a rock, as if by magic, jumps from the ground and lands inside your shoe. How does that happen? Is it evidence of magic? Time travel? Even if one considers a viable explanation, the most common of which is that the other shoe kicks the rock into the partner shoe, it takes some extraordinary physics and flight acrobatics to imagine a rock being kicked by one shoe, flying sideways through the air as you walk on and sliding into the other shoe. I prefer to believe that the rocks jump straight up and floats into the shoe.

And yesterday a large tree branch was cut, fell about twenty feet to the center of the yard, and a small piece of wood broke off as it hit the ground, and defying the laws and vectors of physics, it somehow managed to teleport itself to the other side of the parked truck, and travel about 25 feet and smash a hole in the only stained glass window in the whole damned house.

Broken stained glass window

The Licht idea for art for the Nats

Recap: Last week I told you about a call for art for the new Nats stadium.

Then yesterday I told you that Michael Neibauer in The Examiner revealed that "plans to decorate the new Washington Nationals’ new stadium with crafts, sculpture and bronze figures are in limbo after the D.C. Council eliminated money in next year’s budget for a public arts project."

Now D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission CEO Allen Lew says in this Nats' fan blog that he will go to bat for "some sort of Washington Baseball Hall of Fame in the Stadium."


But the best idea comes from Mike Licht in this comment:

When Allen Lew worked on the DC Convention Center, $4 Million was included in the basic agreement for sculpture, paintings, and other artwork to enhance the facility. On the baseball stadium project, art was an afterthought, and now the DC Commission of the Arts and Humanities has been asked to fund it, with corresponding opportunity costs for art in our residential communities.

The DC Arts Commission has tried various ways to sneak the money under the stadium budget cap (borrowing the money rather than granting it, for example), and by claiming that the custom-made, site-specific art would just be "loaned" to the stadium but still owned by the commission. That is like saying your dental work is on loan from someone else.

Public art projects like this are normally funded by the developer or tenant, and the public arts agency gives technical assistance in the art project's execution. The Commission's "exhibition game" is a "shell-game" and exhibits poor public policy, poor judgment, and questionable ethics.

It is too late to include art in the basic agreement. Here's a solution: the Lerners establish a nonprofit corporation for stadium art, throw in some bucks, get their pals to do the same, and ask the DC Arts Commission to provide technical assistance in the art project's execution.
I'll be damned if that's not a great idea that may in the end deliver both more money and better artwork to the Nats' stadium.

If done right we may end up with the best art stadium in the nation.

Let me be the first one to endorse the Licht Plan, and the second one to call for the Lerners to establish a nonprofit corporation for stadium art, for our area's deep pocketed baseball fans cum art lovers to contribute some money to it and for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities to provide technical assistance in executing the project itself.

On the latter aspect, personally I would hope that the Commission follows the model of how the highly successful City Art Collection was curated: hire a hard-working curator with deep knowledge of the DC art scene (Sondra Arkin are you reading this?), give her a budget, maybe let her hire an assistant or two, and let them loose on the Greater DC area's artists' studios, homes and slide repositories.

That way you have a good chance of ending up with a really good art collection in the stadium, rather than "airportism."

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The 2007 Sondheim Prize finalists

The 2007 Sondheim Prize finalists are listed below. To me the surprises are some of the artists who didn't make this finalists' list:

Richard Cleaver (Baltimore MD)

Frank Hallam Day (Washington DC)

Eric Dyer (Baltimore MD)

Geoff Grace (Baltimore MD)

Gabriel Martinez (Washington DC)

Tony Shore (Baltimore MD)

Karen Yasinsky (Baltimore MD)


You may recall that Tony Shore also won last year's Bethesda Painting Award.

Opportunity for Artists and Curators

Deadline: June 15, 2007 (Postmark)

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is requesting proposals for exhibitions for its main gallery space for periods of approximately 4-6 weeks. Proposals will be accepted from artists, independent curators, or arts organizations.

Visit this website for more details.

Talking About Drawing

Tomorrow, Wednesday, May 30th, 2007, from 6-9 pm, DC's Civilian Art Projects will host "Draw In."

This open to all community drawing event is organized by artist and musician Reuben Breslar. About the project, Breslar says:

"The Draw-In project, as I have come to name it, is a community awareness happening composed loosely around art environments and the act of drawing.

It is in continuum and will occur as often as possible. It combines issues of personal sincerity and interaction in the public scenario. The idea has evolved from the crossroads of two major influences in my life. The first being the joy of drawing amongst friends over drinks, and the conversation and serendipitous moments that come about from social engagement based around drawing. The second stems from issues of cultural awareness and identity- subjects that need to be addressed in the artworld as well as the public sphere amongst the contemporary artmarket and other pressing insularly 'conversations.'

My end goal is to have the event serve as a reminder as to the potential of art and the need for wholesome human relations."
When: Wednesday, May 30th, 2007, 6-9 pm

Where: Civilian Art Projects (406 7th St., NW, Floor 3 WDC 20004, 202-347-0022)

The event itself is an after work affair, an evening of drawing, drinking, eating and having a good time. Some drinks will be provided, all you have to do is show up. Please come with your materials of choice.

Art for DC baseball stadium struck out of budget

Last week I told you about a call for art for the new Nats stadium.

Now Michael Neibauer in The Examiner tells us that "plans to decorate the new Washington Nationals’ new stadium with crafts, sculpture and bronze figures are in limbo after the D.C. Council eliminated money in next year’s budget for a public arts project."

Read the article here.

Drawing!

Because drawing is my preferred genre of art, "Three Part Harmony: Definition, Delicacy and Detail in Drawing," an exhibition co-curated by Dr. Fred Ognibene and Andrea Pollan, and opening this coming Saturday, June 2, 2007 from 6 - 8 pm at Curator's Office in DC, is one show that I am really looking forward to.

The show has a powerhouse of a list of artists from the USA, Canada, Uruguay, Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Germany, Japan, Iceland, and England, including:


Gary Batty
Sandra Cinto
Marcel Dzama
Peter Feiler
Adam Fowler
Mary Judge
Avish Khebrehzadeh
Takehito Koganezawa
Ricardo Lanzarini
Kristofer Lee
Amy Lin
A.B. Miner
Beverly Ress
Frances Richardson
Eduardo Santiere
Chris Scarborough
James Siena
Sigga Björg Siggurdardóttir
Zach Storm
Daniel Zeller

Not that they need my help, but to this list I would have added Ben Tolman, whose drawings have to be seen to be believed. Read the 2005 City Paper profile on Tolman here.

New DC gallery

A while back I told you about a new DC area gallery that would be opening next year. The WaPo's Amy Joyce has a profile on the idea for this new space and the man behind it.

Read it here.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Lawrence on artDC

Writing for Artnet, Sidney Lawrence delivers a superb discussion and review of artDC, the District's first contemporary international art fair.

Read it here.

Bin Diving

In the past we've discussed the merits of bin diving, or the art of ahh... finding art in art schools' and artists' trash bins.

My own particular practice started in art school, where anytime that I needed some stretched canvas for a new assignment I would visit the large trash bins behind the art school and always come up with a few discarded canvasses. After that I would remove the canvas, turn it around to the unpainted side, re-stretch it and bingo! a new surface to paint on.

Anyway, this Guardian story describes the recent auction of the trash from artist Francis Bacon's studio in west London, which just made £965,490 (close to two million dollars) for the garbageman who bindived for it over the years.

Venice Biennale May Start Selling Again

Most art critics and some art bloggers have this Utopian sense of writing about art exhibitions where the commerce of art is often viewed as a bad thing.

Nevermind that galleries are the second most-likely-to-fail business in the US (restaurants are the first).

The Venice Biennale, which used to sell art openly from 1942 to 1968, may be doing it again. Read the Art Newspaper article by Anna Somers Cocks here.

Opportunity for Sculptors

Deadline: Thursday, June 14, 2007

Art League Sculptors at Washington Square
August 5 – November 3, 2007

This is an opportunity for artists to exhibit large-scale three-dimensional works in a beautiful atrium exhibition space in downtown Washington, DC. Members of The Art League, Art League instructors, and Torpedo Factory artists are encouraged to submit work for jurying. Washington Square is located at 1050 Connecticut Ave, NW near the Farragut North metro (red line). A maximum of 35 pieces will be selected. Please note: large works are encouraged; there is limited space for small pieces.

2007 Calendar

• Drop off for CD with digital images, or actual work: Thursday, June 14, 2007 - 10:00 am – 5:00 pm or 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

• Jurying - Friday, June 15, 2007

• Pick-up of actual work (Artists will find out at time of pick-up if their work was accepted) Saturday, June 16, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, June 17, 12:00 noon – 5:00 pm - Work not picked-up by 5:00 pm on Sunday will be assessed a $5 per day per piece storage fee.

• Digital images of accepted work due to Art League Gallery - COB, Tuesday, June 26, 2007.

• Accepted Work delivered by artist to Washington Square - Sunday August 5, 10:00 am – 12:00 noon

• Artists' reception at Washington Square - Thursday, August 9, 6:00 pm – 8:30 pm

• Exhibition closes - Friday, November 2, 2007

• Pick-up of work from Washington Square - Saturday, November 3, 9:30 am – 12:00 noon

Eligibility: This exhibit is open to members of The Art League, Art League instructors, or Torpedo Factory artists. Any interested artists may join The Art League at any time. If you are not currently a member and wish to submit work for this exhibition opportunity, please contact the Gallery regarding pro-rated membership rates.

Juror: John Jayson Sonnier will jury this exhibit. Sonnier, a sculpture instructor at the Corcoran School of Art and Design, specializes in garden design. Continuing the stone carving tradition, Sonnier was taught by Master Sculptor Constantine Seferlis. Sonnier’s work is currently on display at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Library; Katzen Center of Art at American University; Creative Partners Gallery, Bethesda, Maryland; Arts and Humanities Council, Silver Spring, Maryland; Art Galleries of the National Institute of Health; and at his website.

Image Specifications

• Jurying will be done from digital images submitted on CD or from the actual work.

• Digital Submissions: Artists may submit images in .tif or .jpg format on a CD. Each image can be no larger than 4” X 6”, 300 dpi, with a file size of 2 MB or less. Label each image file with the artist’s last name and the number of the image, i.e. “Smith_1”. Please write artists last name on top of CD with black marker. CDs will not be returned. *Artists who submit CDs may call the gallery as early as Saturday, June 16 to find out if their work was accepted into the exhibit.

• CDs must be accompanied by a hard copy, typed image checklist with numbers corresponding to image numbers on the CD. The list must also include: title, medium, dimensions (h” x w” x d”), sale price or if Not for Sale (NFS) the insurance value. Please also include all of your contact information (name, address, phone, and email).

• CD submissions can be mailed to The Art League Gallery to arrive no later than June 14th or brought to gallery during drop off times on June 14th.

• All accepted artists must provide the gallery with digital images of their artwork by the close of business on Tuesday, June 26, 2007. This is required by the management of Washington Square. Please have images of your artwork ready ahead of time. Images should follow the above specifications.

Fees: The entry fee is $5 per sculpture. Maximum of three entries per artist. Artists bringing in actual artwork must attach an entry form to each submission.

Accepted Works: The artist must deliver accepted works in person to Washington Square, 1050 Connecticut Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20036, on Sunday, August 6, 2007, between 10:00 am and 12:00 noon. If Washington Square management believes any works to be inappropriate for display, they retain the right to exclude or withdraw such works from the proposed exhibition. No accepted work may be withdrawn before the end of the show for any reason. Work not picked up between 9:30 am and 12:00 noon on Saturday, November 4, 2007, will be assessed an additional $25.00 per day fee. Individuals are responsible for transporting and installing their own works; the exhibit designer will determine locations for work.

Awards: Aaa awards, including cash awards, will be presented at the reception. Awards will be chosen at the discretion of the juror.

Sales: Work in this exhibit may or may not be for sale. Prices are to be determined by the artist. The Art League Gallery retains a commission of 40% from works sold from this exhibit or while the piece is being displayed at this exhibit. Payment to the artist will be mailed within 30 days after final completion of the sale. Prices should be an accurate reflection of the artist's sales history and should not be inflated.

Insurance: All reasonable care will be taken with the accepted artwork, but it is to be clearly understood by the artist that The Art League and Washington Square assume no responsibility and shall not be held responsible for any damage of any kind occurring during shipping, installation, de-installation or while on exhibit. All artists will sign a loan agreement and receipt form. Permission to photograph any work in the exhibition for publicity purposes or for documentation is considered granted.

About the Art League Gallery: The Art League Gallery is located at 105 N. Union Street in the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. The Art League is a private non-profit membership organization, which provides continuous opportunities for artists to have their work judged by professionals in the visual arts.

Questions regarding the Art League Sculpures at Washington Square or The Art League may be directed to:

The Art League Gallery
105 N. Union Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-1780; or
email: gallery@theartleague.org

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cubans

Photographer Rachel Been has just completed a really good photo documentary addressing Miami's influential Cuban and Cuban-American population. See her photos here.

Cultural bragging follows: I think that one of the reasons for the spectacular success of the Miami-based art fairs is the economic and cultural power of Miami's Cuban ancestry population, which as anyone who has been to Miami knows, is the dominant ethnic group in that city.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics, we Cuban-Americans represent only about four percent of the 45 million or so Hispanics/Latinos that are living in the US, but unlike other Latinos, your average C-A is a Republican, disproportionally represented in Congress, and C-A average annual income is higher than that of Anglos and other non-Hispanic whites and Non-Hispanic blacks, and more than 50% of the top 100 wealthiest Hispanics in the US are Cubans as are more than 50% of the top Hispanic-owned businesses in the US.

So why do Miamians with disposable income, and New Yorkers of all ancestries with disposable income buy art, but Washingtonians and Philadelphians of the same wealth level do not?

A while back I submitted my theory for DC's case here; now working on Philly's case. More later...

Wanna go to a Virginia opening tomorrow?

Habatat Galleries

click on card for a larger image

Wanna go to a Philly opening tonight?

Schmidt Dean Gallery has an opening reception for Susan Fenton: "Japan Series," and Wei Jia: "Made in China." Through June 30, 2007. Starts at 7:30PM.

Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow night?

"Industrials" opens this coming Saturday at Randall Scott Gallery in DC featuring works by Jackson Martin and Michael Sandstrom.

Small Talk by Jackson Martin
The opening reception is May 26th 6-9pm and the exhibition goes through June 16th, 2007.

Trawick Prize Semi-Finalists Announced

Thirty-two artists have been selected as semi-finalists for the fifth annual Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards. 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 a $1,000 prize sponsored by the Fraser Gallery.


Travis Childers, Fairfax, VA
Mary Coble, Washington, D.C.
Eric Dyer, Baltimore, MD
Mary Early, Washington D.C.
Susan Eder & Craig Dennis, Falls Church, VA
Suzanna Fields, Richmond, VA
Inga Frick, Washington, D.C.
Eric Garner, Bethesda, MD
Jason M. Gottlieb, Potomac, MD
Jeannine Harkleroad, Chesapeake, Va
Maren Hassinger, Baltimore, MD
Linda Hesh, Alexandria, VA
Jason Horowitz, Arlington, VA
Ian Jehle, Washington D.C.
Lisa Kellner, Hanover, VA
Nathan A. Manuel, Washington, D.C.
Baby Martinez, Washington, D.C
Robert Mellor, Chatham, VA
Steve A, Prince, Hampton, VA
Beverly Ress, Silver Spring, MD
Christopher Saah, Washington, D.C.
Michael Sandstrom, Baltimore, MD
Kathleen Shafer, Washington, D.C.
Foon Sham, Springfield, VA
Jo Smail, Baltimore, MD
Judy Stone, Riverdale Park, MD
Matthew Sutton, Washington, D.C.
Rob Tarbell, Richmond, VA
Tim Tate, Washington, D.C.
JL Stewart Watson, Baltimore, MD
Bruce Wilhelm, Richmond, VA
Nicholas F. Wisniewski, Baltimore, MD

With some "new" names excepted, that list is essentially almost a "Who's Who" in the art scene of the Greater DC area - perhaps the toughest field in the Trawick's short history.

The jurors for the Trawick Prize are Rex R. Stevens, who is the Chair of the General Fine Arts & Drawing Departments at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, Maryland; Amy G. Moorefield, who is the Assistant Director and Curator of Collections for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Anderson Gallery as well as an Assistant Professor there; and the fair Anne Ellegood, who is the Associate Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden where her focus is contemporary art.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Opportunities for Artists

Call to Artists working on Women's Issues - Honfleur Gallery in DC is seeking artists working in two or more of the following themes for an upcoming project/exhibition; womens issues, feminism, nutrition, self/body image and race. Visual artists working in any media may apply. The chosen artist/team of artists will participate in programming including workshops and artist talks as a part of this project.

$4,000 of support is available to the artist or team of artists chosen. Further
inquiries should be addressed to Briony Evans, Creative Director, Honfleur Gallery, via email at bevans@archdc.org or telephone at 301-536-8994. Applications due June 4th, 2007 should include 10 slides, an artist's statement and a resume.

MICA Student Art Sale

We at Middie-A are big fans of student art sales and events.

Two annual, much-anticipated art sales take place at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) bringing together past and present students and their art. A longstanding tradition and one of Baltimore’s favorite sales exhibitions, 15x15: An Alumni Benefit Exhibition & Sale runs Saturday, June 2–Sunday, June 24 in Fox Building’s Meyerhoff Gallery at 1303 Mount Royal Avenue. A reception is held on Sunday, June 3 from 1–4 p.m. Coinciding with 15x15, the annual Graduate Art Sale takes place Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 from noon–4 p.m. in MICA’s recently rededicated Mount Royal Station (1400 Cathedral Street); Studio Center, fourth floor (113-131 W. North Avenue); and the Fox Building.

15x15: An Alumni Benefit Exhibition & Sale features small artwork not exceeding 15 inches in any dimension (including framing, matting, and/or boxes) by more than 200 MICA alumni from across the United States and around the world. This exhibition and sale benefits the exhibiting artists, as well as current MICA students with 40% commission on the sale of any work going towards the College’s Alumni Scholarship Fund. Gallery hours for 15x15 are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday from noon–5 p.m.

MICA’s annual Graduate Art Sale provides an opportunity to see and buy outstanding contemporary art by the accomplished artists of the Hoffberger School of Painting, Mount Royal School of Art, Rinehart School of Sculpture, as well as the graduate photography and digital imaging and post-baccalaureate certificate programs. All proceeds raised benefit the artists.

"15x15: An Alumni Benefit Exhibition & Sale” runs Saturday, June 2 – Sunday, June 24, with a Reception on Sunday, June 3, 1–4 p.m.

“Graduate Art Sale” takes place Saturday, June 2 and Sunday, June 3 from noon–4 p.m.

For more information, visit www.mica.edu or call 410-225-2300.

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: June 25, 2007

The Arlington Arts Center is currently accepting submissions for Solo Exhibitions 2008 occurring in Fall and Spring 2008. The AAC has seven galleries with 525 combined running feet of wall space as well as 2 galleries dedicated to installation, technology or other works requiring a complete environment. The grounds surrounding the AAC can accommodate outdoor sculpture.

Eligibility: Open to all artists in all media in the Mid Atlantic States (DE, PA, MD, DC, VA, WV).

Submission Guidelines: submit up to 20 slides or JPEGs (PC compatible, 300 dpi (or smaller) files, no larger than 4 x 6 inches), along with artist statement, resume, and description of exhibition proposal.

Entry Fee: $25 for non member, $15 for AAC members.

Juror: selected by a panel of artists, arts professionals and collectors. Recent and/or current panelists include Stephen Phillips (Phillips Collection), Phyllis Rosenzweig (formerly of the Hirshhorn), Carole Garmon, Maria Karametou, Philip Barlow.

More Info: to download a prospectus and view floor plan, visit www.arlingtonartscenter.org, or send a SASE to 3550 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201.

NEA Bucks

The House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee, which sets the initial funding level for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), has just approved a $35 million increase for the NEA for its FY 2008 spending bill.

If this funding level is maintained by the Senate and signed into law by President Bush, it will represent the largest increase in NEA history.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Jury Duty

Next month I will be the juror for "Paint Alexandria," which will be on display from June 6 - July 2, 2007 at the Art League Gallery in the Torpedo Factory. I will be selecting pieces from both Art League School instructors and member artists.

Artists can join the Art League here.

Talking about the Torpedo Factory, I've been hearing good things about the Target Gallery's current exhibition, in which Target has teamed up with the Northern Virginia Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to join in the celebration of the AIA 150th Anniversary by presenting the exhibition Sense of Place. This exhibition showcases artists and architects from across the country portraying their perspective and personal interpretations on the idea of a sense of place. The exhibition goes through June 10, 2007.

DC Mural Looking for a home

DC artist Rita Elsner writes:

I'm sending out this general inquiry to some of you in the DC arts community to see if anyone may have information as to where I might be able to relocate a mural. I hope to find an organization, school, library, marketplace, etc, or possibly a grant opportunity, if one exists.

A mural that I produced for a local WholeFoods (72'w x 3'h, on 18 consecutive masonite panels), was recently removed for renovation purposes and I was fortunate to be able to retrieve it. The subject matter is a landscape depicting the four seasons and includes a small reference to the DC skyline. You can see it on my website (Go to Murals --> WholeFoodsMarket, Georgetown).

I would deliver the mural and advise/take part in its installation. In looking for a spot to relocate this painting, my priority of concerns are:

1) To find a location, in DC or w/in the beltway, that offers a "safe environment" for the piece (an indoor setting with an average amount of temperature/humidity control, away from the elements/direct sunlight) with the need to physically alter the mural for fitting/placement kept to a minimum, preferably zero.

2) To find an existing call for public art or grant that this piece may be applied to.

3) To find a recipient to accept this piece as a donation. If a recipient is found, depending on their profit status, a cash donation may be negotiated to be made to a charity of my choice in return for the mural.
If you have any suggestions/insight as to where a new home for this might be found, please let Rita know at info@ritaelsner.com.

For this Saturday in DC

Go see Robert Mellor’s opening, New Scenarios, this coming Saturday at Irvine Contemporary in DC. I am told that this Chatham, Virginia-based, Claremont MFA’s new body of work is an amazing leap forward in his multi-layered figural abstraction painting approach. He was also an awardee in last year's Trawick Prize.

The opening reception is Saturday, May 26, from 6-8 PM and the show goes through June 27, 2007.

Bethesda Painting Award Finalists

The Bethesda Painting Award finalists have been announced. They are:


Heidi Fowler, Reston, VA
Matthew Klos, Baltimore, MD
David Krueger, Hyattsville, MD
Maggie Michael, Washington, D.C.
Cara Ober, Baltimore, MD
Phyllis Plattner, Bethesda, MD
Fiona Ross, Richmond, VA

The jurors are Dr. Brandon Brame Fortune, Associate Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Portrait Gallery; Professor W.C. Richardson, Professor of Painting and Drawing at the University of Maryland; Professor Tanja Softic’, Associate Professor of Art at the University of Richmond.

The finalists will be invited to display their work from June 6 - July 7, 2007 in downtown Bethesda at the Fraser Gallery. There will be an opening exhibition and announcement of the Bethesda Painting Awards winners on Friday, June 8 from 6-9pm at the gallery, held in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk.

Congratulations!

As far back as 2004 I have been telling you about this amazing young DC area artist named Jenny Davis, whom I consider to be wunderkind of an artist. When I first wrote about her, she was 15 years old, but already showing the signs of spectacular talent, and back then she was completely self-taught too.

Since then she has exhibited in several DC area art galleries, is now in college, and continues to grow as an artist at the ripe old age of 18.

And Jenny Davis just won first prize in the National Society of Arts and Letters Career Awards Competition May 19th in Tempe, Arizona.

Her watercolor painting titled Portrait of Tess was selected from a field of 19 finalists from across the country. The jurors were M. Stephen Doherty, Editor-in-Chief of American Artist Magazine; artists Robert and Louise McCall; and Dr. Mel Yoakum, Director of the F. Gilot Archives.

Before naming Jenny as the top national award winner, the NSAL presented Robert McCall with the 2007 National Gold Medallion Award for his lifetime achievements. Mr. McCall is well known for his six story tall mural in the National Air and Space Museum, among many other career highlights.

An exhibition featuring the work of the finalists is on display through June 8 in the City Hall Gallery in Tempe, Arizona.

Dawson on the Washington Body School

The WaPo's Jessica Dawson comes through with a really good review, in fact one of the better ones that she's ever delivered, of Meg Mitchell and Jeffry Cudlin's Ian and Jan: The Washington Body School at District of Columbia Arts Center.

Read Jessica's review here.

Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow?

The Nevin Kelly Gallery, located at 1517 U Street, NW, Washington, DC, will host a solo exhibition of works by Chilean-born, Washington, DC artist Joan Belmar from May 23 until June 17, 2007. The exhibition, titled Color Transparencies presents Belmar's recent work in paint, acetate and Mylar.

The gallery will host an opening reception with the artist on Thursday, May 24, from 6 until 9 o'clock p.m. The public is invited. Show runs May 23 – June 17, 2007. Opening Reception Thursday, May 24 from 6 – 9 pm.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Eve and The Lilith

In this charcoal drawing (which I also sold last week at Reston) I have tried to use all of my technical skills and creative schemes to deliver a drawing full of clues and information.

I have also used many psychological clues to deliver the full meaning of this work, at least as I intend it to be viewed. Click on it if you wish to see a larger version.

Eve and The Lilith by F. Lennox Campello
We see Eve to the left of the composition, an apple in the middle, and the mythical Lilith to the right.

According to biblical legend, after God created Adam from the dust, in response to Adam’s request for a mate, he then created Lilith from the same dust, which by then had been trod and made dirty by both Adam and the animals of Eden.

Adam and Lilith never found peace together; for when Adam wished to lie with her, she took offence at the recumbent posture that the first man demanded.

"Why must I lie beneath you?" she asked. "I also was made from dust, and am therefore your equal."

Because Adam tried to compel her obedience by force, Lilith, in a rage, uttered the forbidden and magic name of God, rose into the air and left him.

God then creates Eve from Adam’s rib and the biblical mother of the human race is thus born.

In the drawing Eve is to the left, while Lilith is to the right. The left side is closest to the heart and thus the preferred position.

Eve is solid and present, while the mythical Lilith is ephemeral and almost vanishing, as if predicting her dismissal from not only Adam’s side but from Genesis as well.

She is also covered in forbidden tattoos, as Lilith, after leaving Eden, had been living near the Red Sea, a region abounding in lascivious demons, to whom she bore children known as “lilim,” as described by the angels Senoy, Sansenoy and Semangelof.

The drawing is full of light as evidenced by the minimalist composition, and the light sources are blinding to Lilith, almost erasing her from the composition.

The light is also strong but from a different source to Eve, but this light is defining her as if the shadows have come to her life. Yet another source of light illuminates the apple.

The apple lies between Eve and Lilith, a little closer to Eve than to Lilith. We see Eve agonizing over the temptation of biting the forbidden fruit, while Lilith, quiet but resourceful, awaits the first Sin.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: June 30, 2007

McLean Project for the Arts has a Call for Entries for their MPA Artfest in McLean, Virginia.

This is a one day juried fine art and craft show and sale featuring the work of 40 local and regional visual artists. This is a brand new community festival focusing on fine art from around the mid-Atlantic region. To be held on Sunday, October 14, 2007 10 am - 5 pm in McLean Central Park, McLean, VA. (In the event of inclement weather, MPA artfest will be held in the McLean Community Center) For entry form and more information, visit this website or call 703-790-1953.

Art for the new DC baseball Stadium

Deadline: Monday, June 18, 2007 at 5 pm.

Suspended Installation. Total Budget: $200,000. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with the Washington Nationals, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, and Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum, P.C., seeks an artist or artist team to design and create a suspended public art installation along the main concourse of the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium. The goal of this public art project is to provide an exciting arts enhancement to the interior of the ballpark while celebrating the spirit of our national pastime. The work will be visible along the main concourse, across the field from Baseball Plaza, and from street level on the south side of the ballpark.

The total budget for the project is $200,000. Download the New Baseball Stadium: Suspended Installation Call for Artists here. For more information, contact Emily Blumenfeld or Meridith McKinley at art@viapartnership.com or call (314) 664-5902.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: July 6, 2007

"Driven" Call for Entries for emerging artists with disabilities. $60,000 in awards!Deadline: July 6, 2007 (midnight, MST). Sponsored by VSA arts and Volkswagen of America, Inc. Open to emerging artists with disabilities, ages 16 -25, living within the United States. No entry fee. "Driven" challenges artists to pinpoint the motivational force behind their artistic expression and to identify the catalyst that sustains their creative energy. Art must be an original work that has been completed in the last three (3) years. Eligible media includes: paintings, drawings, fine art prints, photography, computer-generated prints, and mixed media; must be presented in two dimensions. Artwork should not exceed 60 inches in either direction. Fifteen (15) finalists will be awarded a total of $60,000 in awards during an awards ceremony on Capitol Hill in September 2007, and artwork will be displayed in a nation-wide touring exhibition that debuts at the Smithsonian.

For additional information and to access the application, please visit this website. Phone 800.933.8721 x3885; Email: jenniferw@vsarts.org. Alternative formats of the application are available upon request.

Some comments on outdoor fine arts festivals



Video by the Right Reverend... to my left you can see both "St. Sebastian" and "Superman Flying Naked." They're both now in a private collection in Northern Virginia.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Superman Flying Naked

Below is "Superman Flying Naked," charcoal on paper with a little conte crayon. The same collector who last weekend bought "St. Sebastian," also picked up this drawing of the man of steel in the nude. Click on it for a larger image.

Superman Flying Naked by F. Lennox Campello

Two "new" collectors

New to me anyway.

This WaPo article by Allan Lengel discusses the fact that "an 11-story, 136,000-square-foot office building under construction at 10th and K streets NW in downtown Washington will include two art galleries.

The galleries, located in hallways on the lobby and the penthouse floor, will be lined with black-and-white pictures by the late Ezra Stoller, a renowned architectural photographer known for his use of light and space."

Good for the buildings and the people who will work there. But the key intelligence item in this article is that we also learn that the building is being developed by the Tower Cos. of North Bethesda and the Lenkin Company Management of Bethesda.

"Both owners are heavy art collectors," said Marnie L. Abramson, a principal at Tower.

Did all you gallerists and art dealers hear that?

Let the Googling of the owners of these two companies begin, let the invitations to openings begin to flow, and let's see if they're really "heavy art collectors."

I hope so... DC needs them.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tuss on Weiss

Katie Tuss recently spoke with artist Ellyn Weiss at the Touchstone Gallery, where Weiss and fellow Touchstone artist Rima Schulkind are showing recent work in the main gallery space through June 3, 2007. Weiss’s Fortune Cookies series is comprised of 11 large panels and three sets of smaller panels, all brimming with striking colors and layers of additive and subtractive pigment, text, and ephemera.

Katie Tuss: You seem to be having a very busy spring with your current show at Touchstone, your involvement with Artomatic both as an artist and as a board member, and your role as an artist and curator for the current show No Representation at the Warehouse Gallery. As if this isn’t enough, what else do you have coming up?

Ellyn Weiss: It has been a very busy spring! All great, all fun experiences! Any time you can meet other people and see other people’s work, you have to do it. In June, I will also have 12 to 15 monoprints from my Time of War series in the back room at the Nevin Kelly Gallery. They are all one of a kind prints and use a reductive process. After June, my life is over!

KT: What was it like being on the curatorial side of No Representation?

EW: I had co-curated the Artomatic poster show at the Warehouse, but I was amazed by No Representation. We just got together and made lists of who we would love to have, paired it down and emailed everyone. I think everyone, except one person, was ready to participate. The show really demonstrates what’s happening in abstract art in DC, everyone really rose to the occasion. There are so many talented artists, we just need more people to buy.

KT: You have a JD from Boston University and previously practiced law. How did you come to be involved in the arts and specifically in the art scene in the DC area?

EW: I practiced law for 25 years, but I have always been involved in art. I made art on weekends, in the summer, and I took a lot of classes. I practiced law until I had enough money to quit and do this full time.

KT: How did quitting change things?

EW: Quitting and going full time was important. Art is like anything, the more you do it, the better you get. And things changed when I discovered these large 40 by 60 pieces of paper. The size allowed for my gestural movements. Then I discovered the pigment sticks—they have the consistency of butter. I don’t use brushes, haven’t used them in years. I found the pigment sticks on accident on R&F’s website.

KT: Your artist statement says that you admire art that speaks directly to the viewer without mediation or explanation. Do you think that art becomes more valid when the viewer understands the concepts behind the work, or should the visual experience speak for itself?

EW: I can not get myself interested in work that doesn’t capture me viscerally; if it doesn’t work in the first five seconds.

KT: Are you conscious of this when creating your own work?

EW: Yes. I’m conscious of the visceral as I work. Sometimes a work can get to a place that is seductive, yet unfinished, and I just keep going. It’s hard, but I know it can get better.

KT: Why is layering important? What do you learn about the paintings as you add and subtract?

EW: The paintings always start with words, words that have meaning. The letters inform the first shapes. The Fortune Cookie series is the first time I have used readable text.

KT: The Fortune Cookie series is bold and colorful, with wide marks and layers of mixed media, including hundreds of fortunes you have collected over the years printed on pattern paper and collaged into your paintings. In June, the Nevin Kelly Gallery will show some of your Time of War monoprints. These works seem very different. Are the two series or styles of work connected or influenced by the other?

EW: They are very different. The Time of War series comes from feeling frustrated with the war, with innocent people dying, people that we don’t even count. Michael Mazur, one of the founding spirits of the Fine Arts Work Center was teaching a print making workshop that I participated in and he said to do whatever moves you, and I started with wanting to use this reductive process, got into it, and he didn’t say anything to me for the week long duration of the workshop. At the end of the week, Mazur said that he wanted to talk to me. He told me that it was an impressive body of work and that he hadn’t said anything to me because he could tell I was so focused. The goal of the Time of War series was to convey strong emotion as simply as possible. They are dark, there isn’t a lot of happiness in that work. I don’t know if I will do it again.

All done

Done with two days of sunny and windy weather at the 16th Annual Greater Reston Arts Center Fine Arts Festival, where I had a great fair and sold over twenty drawings and an equal amount of prints. More later...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Heading to DC this weekend

I'll be in the DC area this whole weekend, as I will be hawking drawings at the 16th Annual Greater Reston Arts Center Fine Arts Festival on the streets of the Reston Town Center, May 19 and 20, 2007.

Around 60,000 people are expected to come to the fine arts festival, which features around 160 artists' booths from all over the country as well as several Chinese artists.

I'll be in booth 508.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

The 0 Project

Rosemary Feit Covey is one of those wizard artists that when you see their work, you are left speechless by both the imagery and also by the technical skill. She is by far, my favorite printmaker in the DC region.

And as if this master printmaker wasn't accomplished or acclaimed enough, she has now undertaking the "The 0 Project."

Check it out here.

Selected from among hundreds of applicants in the mid-Atlantic region, the 0 project will premier as a printed piece wrapping the Arlington Arts Center in the fall of 2007. Printed on Tyvek on an HP 500 printer, upon installation it will be fifteen feet high, wrapping 300 feet around the outside of the art center.

The 0 Project is without a doubt the most ambitious outdoor project that the AAC has taken on. And they're asking for arts supporters to join them on Friday, May 18 from 6 to 8 pm to learn more about the 0 Project and ways in which you might be involved. They're looking for help with promotion, participation, some grass roots fundraising, and various other tasks. RSVP to 703.248.6800

Photography Superstars

The remainder of the tragic Joshua P. Smith collection is being auctioned off here starting on the 19th.

Every big name in photography is included in the auction, now working its way through the auction world food chain. If memory serves me right, a while back either Sotheby's or Christie's or maybe Phillip's disposed of a large number of them, but there are still 347 lots from some of the world's best-known photographers and collected by an amazing collector.

Two DC area masters are in this auction: the legendary Lida Moser and uberphotographer Chan Chao; Smith had a great eye for photographic talent.

I don't know how many of Chan's brilliant photos Smith had in his collection, but I do know that a few years ago he bought 120 of Lida Moser's best vintage photographs. Most of those were recently acquired via auction by a German gallery.

There are some deals to be had in this auction. Don't say that I didn't warn you!

And for you vastly overpriced emerging painters out there, get a hint from this really nice Gene Davis painting in a separate auction estimated to go between $4 - $5K which is less than some Washington Color School look-alikes get these days.

The Collector

The WaPo's Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts (the Reliable Source columnists) describe the hijinks involved in ransoming off a Tim Tate sculpture and their fleeting meeting of a new DC arts activist of sorts calling himself "The Collector."

A note from this new art entity stated:

"Only through the loss of art does society value its art," it began. "This is not the end but the beginning. Whenever art is undervalued the collector will appear to remind this city that one of its most valuable assets is the creative community that is so deeply ingrained in its fabric."
Read the story in today's WaPo here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

New Drawing

Below is "St. Sebastian," which is one of my recurring subjects. It is 8 x 21 inches, charcoal and conte on 300 weight paper. Click on it for a larger image.

Saint Sebastian


"St Sebastian" by F. Lennox Campello


I am also working on a piece tentatively titled "Superman Flying Naked," but you'll have to wait to see the man of steel in the nude.

This Friday

One of my favorite (and damned few that I like in this genre) performance artists is Mary Coble, and she opens her new show "Aversion" this coming Friday, May 18. 2007 at Conner Contemporary in DC.

The exhibition goes through June 30, 2007 and the opening night reception is Friday, May 18th from 6:30 to 8:30pm with a performance at 7:30PM.

Mary Coble
Also on Thursday, May 24th at 7pm, join Mary Coble in conversation with Andy Grundberg, Chair of Photography + Photojournalism at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Opportunity for Artists

The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in MD has a call for artists for their annual regional show.

Artists living within a 75 mile radius of Frederick, MD are eligible to bring three pieces of art to the center on Sunday May 20, or Monday, May 21 for jurying by Tom Ashcraft, Associate Chair, Associate Professor, Sculpture Coordinator, Department of Art and Visual Technology, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA. Some 400 pieces of work are expected to be submitted by artists from a 75-mile radius, and the juror will select about 100 for exhibition.

Entry forms and details here.

Cameron on Artists as Curators

Prof. Mark Cameron Boyd is seeking to focus his class on artist-curator shows (such as Supple and Ian and Jan) and their relationship to the discourse of art.

Details here.

Open Studios

Yesterday I mentioned briefly the Gateways Arts District in MD. They're having an open studio tour this coming Saturday. Details here.

The Jackson Art Center in Georgetown (DC) is having its annual Spring Open Studios on Sunday, May 20th, from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Jackson is located in the old Jackson School, just across the road from Montrose Park, on R NW between 30th and 31st Streets. Over 45 artists work in all media: painting (oil, acrylic and watercolor), photography, sculpture, pottery, drawing, paper arts and printmaking.

Also in DC, the Mid City Artists are having their Open Studios on Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 2007 from 12 noon - 5 pm.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Fallon and Rosof

A shout out to Philadelphia's uberbloggers Roberta Fallon and Libby Rosof, who will be curating an exhibition of Philly-based artists for the DC region's H&F Fine Arts.

Art-O-Matic Flashback

This video by Tatyana Pokrovskaya brings back the art and artists of the first Art-O-Matic Artomatic, from 1999.


Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: June 15, 2007

Bethesda Transportation Solutions and Capitol Arts Network presents a photography exhibition at the Washington Gallery of Photography in Bethesda, Maryland, September 14 to October 8, 2007. No entry fee, winner awarded a $500 commission for images to be used by the city in transportation-themed displays.

Images must reflect the theme of traditional transportation to alternative commuting ideas - walking, metrobus, carpooling, subway, work from home, and cars. Jurors: Catriona Fraser of The Fraser Gallery and Missy Loewe of The Washington School of Photography.

Visit this website for more info and entry form.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Monday, June 18, 2007

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, in collaboration with the Washington Nationals, the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission, and Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum, P.C., seeks an artist or artist team to design and create a suspended public art installation along the main concourse of the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium. The goal of this public art project is to provide an exciting arts enhancement to the interior of the ballpark while celebrating the spirit of our national pastime. The work will be visible along the main concourse, across the field from Baseball Plaza, and from street level on the south side of the ballpark.

The total budget for the project is $200,000.

Download the Call for Artists at this website or for more information, contact Emily Blumenfeld or Meridith McKinley at art@viapartnership.com or call (314) 664-5902.

Go Nats!

Art Critiques of a Five-Year-Old


Congratulations

To the amazing Molly Springfield, one of the most talented and nicest persons that I know.

Molly is currently having a very successful show in Chicago's Thomas Robertello Gallery, and now has a good review from the Chicago Tribune's chief art critic Alan Artner.

Yay Molly!

P.S. I also have my money on Molly to win the Sondheim Prize.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mid Atlantic MFA Biennial

As most of you know by now, I am a big supporter of buying student artwork, having started my own career in the arts by selling nearly every single art school assignment that I did as an art student; I sold them all between 1977-1981 at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Thousands and thousands of them...

And now the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts will host the MFA Biennial from May 18 through September 9, 2007. This is an exhibition of work created by current regional Masters of Fine Arts students, and includes work by the following MFA candidates:


American University
H. David Waddell

The George Washington University
Sara Hubbs
Diane F. Ramos

Maryland Institute, College of Art
Becky Alprin
Andrew Buckland
Eileen Cubbage
Jacob Fossum
Meaghan Harrison
Rachel Schmidt
Ben Steele
Dominic Terlizzi

Towson University
Dan Keplinger
Gray Lyons

Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Natasha Bowdoin
RJ Gallardo
Laura M. Haight
Chad States
Jacquelyn Strycker

The University of the Arts
Paul DeMarco
Sun Young Kang
Stephanie Stump
Tom Wagner

University of Delaware
Ronald J. Longsdorf
Kyla Zoe Luedtke
Teresa Mikulan

Virginia Commonwealth University
John Henry Blatter and Derek Coté
Anthony Cioe
Brooke Inman
Carmen McLeod
Valerie Molnar
Josh Rodenberg
James Sham
Nanda Soderberg
Erin Colleen Williams
Hyun Kyung Yoon

I'll try to swing by the exhibition and give you my impressions.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: June 8, 2007.

The Dumbarton Concert Gallery in DC has a call for artists for art exhibitions for the 2007-2008 season. The Concert Gallery is operated in conjunction with Dumbarton Concerts, a series of chamber and jazz musical performances

The artists's opening occurs in conjunction with a one-night concert performance, with an average of attendance of 350 people. The exhibit stays up for one and a half weeks, during which time the gallery is open by appointment. Artists can submit slides independently or as a group. Decisions are made by a jury. Eight shows will be installed, October 2007 through April 2008. The gallery takes 25% commission on sales. There is a $15 nonrefundable application fee.

Details here.

Supple issues II

As I discussed before, the WCP's Kriston Capps reviewed the "Supple" exhibition at Warehouse Gallery in a recent issue of the CP.

The curator, J.T. Kirkland had some issues with "three inaccuracies in the review, each of which could be damaging to my [Kirkland's] repututation as a curator."

Read Capps' review here.

Read Kirkland's Letter to the WCP Editor here and scroll down to the bottom for Capps' response.

And all of that has now led to an online argument over reporting responsibilities, potential inacuracies, a curator's reputation and a host of other issues and sometimes angry words. Read all of that here.

Don't Miss this Opening in DC

The glass that Washington Glass School co-founder Erwin Timmers uses in the process of creating artwork comes from the least recycled of materials: window glass.

The vast majority of this material comes from the building/demolition sector and is largely disposed of in landfills or used as secondary aggregate. Unlike the glass made specifically for craft and fine arts use, window, or float glass is difficult to remelt, and not much information exists on the properties and annealing temperatures.

As the Washington Glass School becomes more and more of not only a cultural leader, but also a technical innovator in the most technically-challenging of the the fine arts, Timmers has developed new fusing techniques to exploit the characteristics of the recycled tempered glass, and he often works the glass into reconfigured steel housings, including discarded traffic lights.

This work is part of the new movement now emerging that recycles discarded materials into art and some now call it "green" art, and Timmers is one of the leading and earliest practitioners of this "green art movement."

These are not artists who just re-use materials - that has been done for a long time - but artists who are concerned also with environmental and social issues in their themes, apply it through their techniques and it's not just the finished product, but also the process used to create the art. They also work with "green" architects in the process of incorporating artwork into the design of the new green buildings.

Erwin Timmers opens in DC's Studio Gallery with an artist reception on Friday May 25th, 2007 from 6 - 8pm and there's an artist talk on Sunday, June 10th at 3pm. Studio Gallery is the oldest artist owned gallery in Washington, DC.

Nayda Collazo-Llorens at Project 4

Talking about DC's Project 4, last Saturday they opened Navigable Zones by Puerto Rican artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens.

In this site-specific exhibition organized by the super-talented independent curator Laura Roulet, the entire gallery space will be hyper-linked as a multi-media installation.

According to Roulet, "evoking themes of displacement, navigation and language these installations seek to examine Collazo-Llorens's dual cultural existence as a Puerto Rican living and working in the United States. Her paintings, drawings, text and video act as interconnected systems to form a non-linear mindscape. Employing repetition, variation and mapping the work explores the mind's internal systems that perceive, order and remember external environments."

The show goes through June 16, 2007.

Artomatic's last week

As AOM winds down and closes on May 20, I've been thinking about how each AOM seems to serve not only to re-charge the artistic energy of the region, but also manages to pop out an art superstar or two from amongst the masses of artists. I will also finally answer JT Kirkland's question from three years ago.

Artomatic began in 1999 in the historic Manhattan Laundry building in Washington, DC. Around three hundred and fifty artists had cleaned, set up lights, painted and took over the 100,000 square feet space. Over 20,000 visitors attended the first Artomatic over a period of 6 weeks. The uberartist(s) emerging from this first AOM were the Dumbacher Brothers, who went on to showing at Fusebox Gallery and others around the country, as well as exhibiting at the Corcoran.

In 2000, 665 artists exhibited and 200 others performed at the old Hechinger’s building as AOM returned bigger and attracted more visitors. The name that emerged from that second Artomatic was Tim Tate, who went on to show many times at Fraser Gallery, open the Washington Glass School (now the nation's second largest warm glass school), start a whole new movement in glass, and place his work in a multitude of museums.

In 2002 more than 1000 artists and performers took part at the 3rd AOM at the Southwest Waterfront Building. M. Jordan Tierney's gorgeous installation began to propel her towards her current success, including exhibitions at the NMWA and many galleries

Even more artists participated in 2004 at the old Capitol Children’s Museum in Northeast DC. Both Kelly Towles and Kathryn Cornelius jumped out of that AOM, but the true superstar artist from that show was Frank Warren of Postsecret. By then, around 40,000 visitors were checking out AOM.

So who will be the emerging artstar from the current Artomatic?

My money is on Laurel Lukaszewski, already represented in the DC area by Project 4 Gallery.

Only time will tell, but buy her work now.

Make the time

To swing by the Distric of Columbia Arts Center in DC and see Ian and Jan: The Undiscovered Duo, A Secret History of the Washington Body School, featuring Jeffry Cudlin and Meg Mitchell.

In the video, Cudlin and Mitchell stage an art historical intervention, weaving an alternative history for Washington art. Cudlin and Mitchell mount a retrospective for their alter egos, Ian and Jan — a fictitious husband-and-wife performance art duo.

According to the exhibition’s premise, "Ian and Jan led the Washington Body School , a group that, in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, exhibited their body art alongside the work of prominent Washington abstract painters.

Ian and Jan: The Washington Body School provides humorous commentary on Washington ’s cultural legacy, on revisionist art historical agendas, and on gender bias and power politics in the arts. The show includes photographs, drawings, props, and videos of the couple in action."


Through June 3, 2007.

Ian and Jan

Sunday, May 13, 2007

New addition

I swung by the IV Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival yesterday for a little bit and picked up two works of art - one is a gift and one will be a new addition to the collection.

There are some suberb artists out there as well as some really high end crafts. The festival goes through 5PM today.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Consultants

Why some art collectors hire consultants... read it here.

A Lesson?

There's a lesson to be learned here.

Wanna go to an opening in DC tomorrow?

Opening this Saturday, May 12, 2007 in a couple of DC art venues: "Big in Japan," a cross-town collaborative exhibition between Transformer and Shigeko Bork Mu Project.

Opening Receptions: Transformer - Saturday, May 12, 7 to 9 pm and Shigeko Bork Mu Project - Saturday, May 12, 5 to 8 pm.

Exploring the duality in Japanese art today, Transformer is partnering with Shigeko Bork Mu Project to present "Big in Japan" a cross-town collaborative exhibition featuring a diverse array of contemporary Japanese artists who interpret and respond to the tradition and popular culture of Japan.

Transformer has Not Only A, But Also B - featuring work by Aki Goto, Misaki Kawai, Chikara Matsumoto, Kazuyuki Takezaki, and Soju Tao, each channeling the tensions affecting a new generation of contemporary artists in Japan. Not only A, But Also B is guest-curated by Atsuko Ninagawa.

Shigeko Bork Mu ProjectMeditation Rooms featuring Yumi Kori and Shinji Turner-Yamamoto, whose works uniquely incorporate ancient Japanese tradition and contemporary culture.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Visits

April was a record-breaking month for Mid Atlantic Art News with nearly 80,000 visits, which by many politico blogs standards is piddly numbers, but for a visual arts blog dedicated generally to a specific region is pretty good (I think), and further makes me think that we're doing something right.

Thank you and keep 'em coming!

Newhall on Sam Gilliam and "Post Painterly Abstraction"

The Inky's Edith Newhall reviews "Post Painterly Abstraction" at Locks Gallery, and also DC's Sam Gilliam at Sande Webster Gallery.

Read her review here.

Wanna go to a Baltimore opening tomorrow?

Touchet Gallery has an opening tomorrow, Friday, May 11, for their new erotic art exhibition which is titled "Uninhibited."


Painting by Ray Donley

The exhibit features the works of Austin artist Ray Donley, Larry Scott, the Baltimore City Paper’s 2005 Best Visual Artist and Philly sculptor Christopher Smith.

Opening reception: May 11, 6-9pm and then there's an after-party at Koopers Tavern in Fells Point.

Wanna go to a DC area opening tomorrow?

"Trio: three artists, one show" featuring work by Azeb Zekiros, Amy Kincaid, Kendra Denny and running May 11 — May 31, 2007 has an opening reception on Friday, May 11, 6:30 to 9:00 pm at Artful Gallery located at 1349 Maryland Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002.

Also of note, at Touchstone Gallery in the District, Ellyn Weiss and Rima Schulkind have an opening on Friday, May 11th from 6:00 to 8:30 pm.

Or you can also swing by Bethesda and do the Art Walk (or take the free mini bus ride) and see about a dozen openings and shows in one walk-through. Details here. There's also a free guided tour that starts at 6:30PM - Details here.

Mark your calendar

There's a ton of art events happening this weekend, but certainly one not to miss and taking place on the Bethesda streets is the IV Annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. Nearly 130 artists from all over the country, music and food.

This really cool (and free) outdoors fine arts event will take place on Auburn and Norfolk Avenues in the Woodmont Triange of Bethesda, MD. The event is located six blocks from the Bethesda Metro station and is near several public parking garages where visitors can park for free on Saturdays and Sundays. Last year around 40,000 of your fellow Washingtonians and suburbian kinfolk showed up and bought a ton of artwork, so make plans to visit the fair.

Artists, restaurants, directions, details and photos here. Saturday, May 12 - 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 13 - 10am-5pm.

Go and buy some art!

Wanna go to some Philly openings tomorrow?

Friday is the city's ever growing Second Fridays gallery openings and extended hours. Swing by Seeber Fine Arts for recent paintings and drawings by Rachel Bomze. Opening is from 5-9PM.

The Sun on Probst

It tells you something about DC's daily newspapers when an out-of-town newspaper has better coverage of an exceptional DC gallery show than the local daily rags.

Granted, the Sun's art critic Glenn McNatt is also a photographer and thus has a deep interest in photography shows. His review of Barbara Probst at G Fine Arts in DC is good, but it also makes us sigh because it is rare when a DC-based newspaper gives the same kind of attention to a local DC gallery that McNatt gives G Fine Art's superb exhibition.

And granted, I suspect that Baltimore galleries probably get a little ticked off when their hometown paper's chief art critic goes to another city to review a gallery show.

But the point is that a DC gallery show attracts the attention of a critic from another city's major newspaper while it is essentially ignored by DC's own comatose daily newsmedia.

Good thing we have the CP.

No Representation at Warehouse

Closing this Saturday, May 12 Just extended through June 9, 2007 is one of those shows that makes the Warehouse Galleries and Theatre complex such a key member of the DC art scene.

Curated by Molly Ruppert, Sondra Arkin, Ellyn Weiss and Philippa P.B. Hughes, "No Representation" is as close as any show can come to deliver a powerful mini survey of DC area artists working the abstract genre of art.

Spread through three of the Warehouse's warren of art spaces, the exhibition is a treat to the eyes in its successes and a quick glance in its failures. It is also next to the two galleries hosting the "Supple" exhibition, as by now everyone in the DC area knows that the Warehouse came to the rescue of that show when its initial venue backed out at the last minute.

The unexpected juxtapositioning of "Supple" and "No Representation" works for me. In fact, had there not been a sign declaring the name difference between the two shows, I'd challenge anyone not to flow from gallery to gallery and not think that it was not a single show.

But I digress; back to "No Representation."

I've been following the work of Rex Weil for many years, usually through his inclusion in many of the old Gallery K's shows. For the most part I've always remained distant and mostly uninterested in Weil's works.

Until this show.

His piece "Black Stars a/k/a You Are Here" (oil and enamel on wood and a steal at $2,500) finally grabbed my attention. "The dark areas take out all the romance out of this beautiful painting," said the woman who was in the gallery looking at the work, almost hypnotized by it.

Black Stars a/k/a You Are Here by Rex Weil
They do. Weil's work is a visceral work that enters that realm where the eyes can't stop examining and wandering all over it many surfaces, spills, finger tracks, accidents. And the black areas that so attracted the visitor purposefully work to herd the composition and sidetrack and bend the viewing in a way that they do erase the beauty out of the painting and in an unexpected way make it more sophisticated and bleak and ultimately one of the most successful abstract works that I have seen in a long time.

I also liked Anita Walsh's "Living Drawing 5x5" (rubber, birch and brass on plywood), and Andres Tremols' "Untitled Blue Form" (archival digital print on paper), a gorgeous work where beauty works like it is supposed to, in a blazing display of Tremols' logical progression from working in glass to taking the glass imagery to a two dimensional plane.

Andres Tremols - on wall

Finally, in the Cafe gallery, the stand-out piece by far was Janis Goodman's "Wedge, Low Tide" (graphite on paper). As most of you know, I have a particular soft spot for good drawings, and this piece exemplifies all that is good about drawing, especially when executed in the hands of a talented artist. In fact, more often than not, dig a little into the record of a bad painter, and you'll find an artist with minimal drawing skills.

Wedge, Low Tide by Janis Goodman
But Goodman flexes her artistic muscles in this drawing, showing the sensuality of the simplest of art materials - graphite and paper - to deliver a complex and elegant composition that is organic and somehow sexual, perhaps like the after results of a wet, lapping ocean.

Other stand-outs in the show were the deceptively complex text rearrangements of Mark Cameron Boyd, the mixed media pieces of Pat Goslee, and many others.

The last day to see "No Representation" is May 12 June 9, 2007.

Salary Parity for Anne d'Harnoncourt

Anne d'HarnoncourtLet me join in Lee Rosenbaum's call for salary parity for the Philadelphia Museum of Art's able Director and Chief Executive Officer Anne d'Harnoncourt.

CultureGrrl points out that on page 13 of the current issue of The Art Newspaper, you can read the results of their 2006 international survey of salaries for museum directors, and according to Rosenbaum, it appears that d'Harnoncourt's compensation is among the lowest in her peer group of US museum art directors.

Time for the PMA trustees to consider why and then fix it.

Who done did doe'd it?

The WaPo's Reliable Source columnists tell us about a $10,000 art kidnapping.

Read it here.

Tim Tate Ransom Note

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Now they've done it

Hamas Mickey MouseIn what surely must be a new level of barbarity, Hamas is now employing a Mickey Mouse rip-off to convince little children to become suicide bombers.

As artists and other folks know well, the forces of the Disneyan Empire do not take lightly to such copyright violations, and I am sure that the sickos of Hamas who thought up this disgusting idea will soon discoverer that whatever you do in life, you don't fuck with The Mouse.