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

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.


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.