Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Trawick Prize at Heineman-Myers

I had a chance a couple of nights ago to drop in to Heineman-Myers Contemporary Art in Bethesda to get a preview and an early first look at the fifteen artists who have been selected as finalists for The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.

By Bernard HildebrandtThe work of these 15 finalists will be on display from September 3 – September 27 and the prize winners will be announced and honored on Wednesday, September 3rd at a special press event held at the gallery. The Best in Show 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 11, 1978 will also be awarded $1,000.

First of all let me comment that the work looks great in its new venue and it is a vast improvement from its previous venue.

In Zoe Myer's beautiful and airy gallery, the Trawick Prize finalists get a terrific spot in the thick of Bethesda's traffic and center of fun.

The artists selected as finalists are:

Joseph Barbaccia, Potomac Falls, VA
Ryan Browning, Mount Airy, MD
Lynn Cazabon, Baltimore, MD
Warren Craghead III, Charlottesville, VA
Dawn Gavin, Baltimore, MD
Bernhard Hildebrandt, Baltimore, MD
Kristin Holder, Washington, D.C.
Kay Hwang, Baltimore, MD
Baby Martinez, Washington, D.C.
Maggie Michael, Washington, D.C.
Youngmi S. Organ, Nokesville, VA
Tony Shore, Baltimore, MD
Molly Springfield, Washington. D.C.
Dan Steinhilber, Washington, D.C.
Heide Trepanier, Richmond, VA

Dan SteinhilberAs I've noted before, several names return to the list, and for the first time we see a husband and wife on the list as DC's art couple of Maggie Michael and Dan Steinhilber both made the finalist's list and now will compete head to head.

Several names from the Bethesda Painting Awards list also make an appearance on this list, most notably Baltimore's Tony Shore, who is a past winner.

The entries were juried by Molly Donovan, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Art; Irene Hofmann, Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD and Leah Stoddard, former Director of Second Street Gallery in Charlottesville, VA.

Depending on who amongst those three is the "leader of the pack" will determine who will win the prize. Five will get you ten that the DC area artists were muscled in by Donovan, Baltimore's by Hoffman and so on. I've been on many "art-by-committee" panels and know how they work. As Jose Marti wrote: "I know the monster well, for I have lived in its entrails."

This particular jury committee did an outstanding job! The exhibition is among the best Trawick Prize finalists that I have ever seen, and it is an exciting mix of art and conceptual ideas, a little play on kitsch by a couple of intelligent artists and even a touch of what's trendy in the art world today.

The Trawick Prize is ageing like a great port wine and getting better and better each year. The entire Greater DC area owes a huge debt to the very generous Carol Trawick for sponsoring this and other art prizes.

So, if you'll indulge my guessing games, which are sure to piss off a juror or two (no intention to do so is on purpose, but when writers take guesses at what jurors think about, sometimes we step on fragile skins), let me see if I can predict the winner.

If Donovan is the leading voice in the jury panel, then I believe that Maggie Michael will be the winner. Her entry into this exhibition is by far the most complex and interesting work of hers that I have seen to date. In the gallery piece by Michael, she has combined all of her previous elements of poured paint, then peel the layers back and nail some of them, with an interesting distressing of the substrate by drilling a big hole in the center and also by adding a graffiti like spraying on the background. I could be off slightly and Donovan may lead the prize to Maggie's talented husband, Dan Steinhilber.

If Hoffman is the HMFIC in the panel, then all roads lead to Baltimore's Tony Shore, whose brooding works on black velvet play off a working man's view of art as an intelligent and creative play on elevating a kitsch substrate to a high art level.

If Stoddard has the leading voice in the panel, then the prize goes to my good friend and talented artist and blogger from C'ville Warren Craghead III.

In the unlikely event that none of the three jurors has taken the reigns of the jurying task, and they're equally strong in guiding the votes, then all bets are off and we're off to guesslands unknowns.

Fully knowing that I will never, ever be asked to be a juror for the Trawick Prize, here's what I would do if I was the prizegiver in this very good show.

Infinity by Joe BarbacciaA very good look at the shiny, elegant and very sexy forms by Joseph Barbaccia, slowly but surely becoming one of the District's iconic sculptors. What Barbaccia does to contemporary sculpture is a three dimensional version of what Shore does to painting. They are both using kitsch elements and substrates of the contemporary world to create smart and intelligent works of art. Barbaccia's spectacularly gaudy "Every Man's Dream" is a glorious achievement of color and sequins and shininess and it is certainly worth of a very close look for the top prize and perhaps setting this artist's career on an upswing.

Molly SpringfieldDC's Molly Springfield is not only one of the nicest persons that you'll ever meet, but also one of the most amazing talents in the DC area's art scene, and her work is so superbly perfect that we fixate on its tiny imperfections to reassure ourselves of its creation by hand rather than machine.

Molly has been on almost every finalist's list for almost every prize in the area for the last few years, and it's probably due to strike soon.

TrepanierAlthough I am not familiar with Heide Trepanier's work, there's something powerful and exciting about the piece illustrated here, which although tends to remind me a little of some earlier Maggie Michael, nonetheless leaps from it in the way that Trepanier has isolated the paint with lines to almost reveal to us Boschian figures and animals and aliens in her work.

Time is due for a District artist to win. In 2004 David Page of Baltimore, MD was the Best in Show winner of $10,000. The next year, Jiha Moon, then of Annandale, Virginia and now residing in Atlanta, Georgia won the top prize. In 2006 James Rieck of Baltimore, Maryland won top honors and last year Jo Smail from Baltimore, won top honors.

What's up Baltimore?

My top prize would go to Springfield; See my other prizewinners here (scroll down to the bottom).

A public reception will be held on Friday, September 12, 2008 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. This is easily the best art show in DC this month - don't miss it!


H&F Fine ArtsBodies of Marvel, Monsters and Women, opens on September 4 through September 28, 2008 at the H&F Fine Arts Gallery located at 3311 Rhode Island Avenue, Mount Rainier, MD. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, September 6, from 5-8pm (my birthday by the way).

Curated by Marvette Pérez and Tonya Jordan, "eight women artists explore ideas of the grotesque and otherworldly, the monstrous, the unimaginable, the uncanny, and the strange through painting, woodcut, installation, mixed media, video, photography, and illustration."

Robbi Behr, Deidra Defranceaux, Andrea Meyers, Michelle Morby, Marta Pérez García, Kharlla Piñeiro, Raquel Quijano Feliciano and Lisa-Renee Thompson present work focused on the dark side of the human psyche and the humorous side of the grotesque.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: October 18, 2008

The Silver Eye Center for Photography, the oldest non-profit organization in Western Pennsylvania dedicated solely to the understanding and appreciation of photography as an art form, invites photographers to submit entries for their juried Fellowship Competition and their New Works Galleries.

Juror for Fellowship 2008: Ariel Shanberg, Executive Director of the Center for Photography at Woodstock. One photographer will be selected to receive $5,000 and have a one-person exhibition in the Main Gallery of Silver Eye. Ten photographers will be recognized with the distinction of Honorable Mention. They will receive $100 and will be invited to exhibit one photograph each.

Exhibition: December 10,2008 - February 14, 2009. Go here to download an application or send a SASE for application to:

Silver Eye Center forPhotography
Exhibition Opportunities
1015 East Carson Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15203

Or call 412/431-1810.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Cameron Kitchin moving up

The executive director of the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia is leaving to run a larger museum in Memphis, Tenn.

Cameron Kitchin, after six years at the Oceanfront-area fine-arts center, will direct the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. His last day is Oct. 31.

"We're disappointed," said Randy Sutton, chair of the board of trustees at the Beach center. "We wish him the best. He's going to a great museum."

The Memphis Brooks Museum has a wide-ranging permanent collection of about 8,500 works, from Auguste Renoir to Frank Stella. It stages special exhibitions and has a strong educational outreach program. The museum has more than 60 full-time employees, a $5.2 million budget and 36,600 square feet of gallery space.
Details here.

Art Fair Coming to DC

Wash DC Int'l Art Fair
The Washington DC International Arts Expo is coming to the DC Convention Center next month, the hard work of artist Lisa Jones and The Collective. This will be the second year for the Expo and over 100 artists and galleries from around the country are expected.

Details here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

New Drawing

Woman Left Alone - Drawing by Campello

"Woman who Finally Figured Out a Way to be Outside the Influence of Men"
Charcoal and conte on paper, c.2008
40 x 30 inches by F. Lennox Campello

Click on it for a larger image.

End of the art dealer? Naaah!

What does it mean for the art market that a living artist bypasses dealers altogether and sells his wares directly at auction? There is some speculation that this might be a pivotal moment, like the end of the studio system in movies or the continuing decline of the record labels in the music business. Could the gallerist's traditional role as mediator between the contemporary artist and his market be passé?

Most insiders say that only at the topmost end of the market, where sales at auction are guaranteed by the artist's fame, could the middleman become an anachronism -- and that just a handful of artists, such as Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, have the kind of fame it takes. Dealers still have a crucial role to play, the argument goes, in building the reputation of artists; in finding the right -- influential -- homes for artists' works; in persuading museums of artists' worth; in taking reviewers out to lunch. Furthermore, it is noted, the art biz differs from show biz in a fundamental way: Movies and music sell to a mass audience, while art sells singly to individuals.

That is where, for now, the debate seems to have stalled, at the consensus that nothing much will change. A comforting thought, perhaps, but one that falls apart at the slightest prodding. It's certainly comforting that the most imperiled are the top-end headhunters, like Mr. Gagosian, who encouraged the cult of celebrity to supplant content and aesthetics as the foremost value in art. But beyond that, one wonders how it will affect the role of galleries when ultimate success automatically carries a built-in penalty: If they create a big enough star, the star will have no need of them. At the very least, dealers and gallerists in contemporary art will face a solid ceiling beyond which they cannot maximize profit on the investment they made nurturing artists. They simply cannot compete with the global footprint of international auction houses, which offer artists instant access to world-wide markets.

In reality, the art biz is more like the movie or music biz than one might think. Mass markets, like mass media, affect the thinking of visual artists all too palpably these days, however uniquely each of their pieces may be made and sold.
Read this excellent article by Melik Kaylan in the WSJ here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


To Ledelle Moe, who is the recipient of the Kreeger Museum Artist Award $20,000 prize, underwritten by Chevy Chase Bank.

This biennial, juried award recognizes a mid-career artist whose life and work have significantly influenced the Greater DC area arts community. A selection of Ledelle’s work will be on view at the Kreeger from October 3 – November 29, 2008.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: October 1, 2008 at 4:00pm.

The City of Philadelphia's Department of Public Property, Public Art Division, and the Department of Human Services announce a competition for the commissioning of site specific interior artwork for the new Philadelphia Youth Center.

A total budget of up to $225,000 has been allocated for this Percent for Art project. The competition is open to artists or collaborative teams who reside in the following states: PA, DE, NJ, and MD. For a prospectus visit this website.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: October 24, 2008

Coker College's Cecelia Coker Bell Gallery is reviewing entries (all media) for solo shows in the 2009-2010 exhibition season. Send ten 35mm slides or jpeg files (they prefer 1024 x 768 pixels) on CD/DVD, list for images, statement, resume, and SASE to:

Larry Merriman
Coker College Art Dept
300 East College Av
Hartsville SC 29550.

Full prospectus here

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympian ending

We learned loads about the beautiful, talented people of China during these Olympics, and perhaps even more about its cheating, lying, oppressive government. The more the Chicoms tried to appear as another ordinary government, the more their decaying Communist yoke showed.

So to close out the Olympics:

"Birds Nest, in the Style of Cubism," a painting by Zhang Hongtu, is now at the Lin & Keng Gallery in Taipei, awaiting shipment back to New York.

The ashen-brown picture shows the gleaming new Olympic stadium, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, as Piranesi might have imagined it and Picasso painted it -- as a decaying ruin rendered in fragmented angled forms. On the canvas, cubist-style, are inscriptions in English letters and Chinese characters: "Tibet," "human right" and the Olympic motto, "one world, one dream."

The painting was supposed to be in Beijing during the Olympic Games, in the exhibition "Go Game, Beijing!" organized by a Berlin marketing firm and displayed at the German Embassy. But it was seized by Customs on arrival and denied entry as "unacceptable" for its color, its depiction of the stadium, and its inscriptions.
Read the WSJ story here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

NIH Darwin Day call for art entries

Deadline: September 19, 2008

February 12, 2009, marks the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin and the 150th year since his seminal work, “On the Origin of Species,” was published. To recognize Darwin’s scientific accomplishments, including his observations on plant and animal life, NIH is planning a variety of activities, such as a lecture series, film screenings, and theater performances.

From November 2008 through February 2009, the Clinical Center’s artistic gallery spaces will display photographs of the Galapagos Islands, where Darwin visited. NIH employees and patients, as well as photographers from the community, may submit their photos for consideration by September 19, 2008. Artists will be notified within two weeks if their work is selected. Contact Crystal Parmele or Lillian Fitzgerald at 301-402-0115 with questions or submissions.

Art and the Olympics

Bill Gusky writes on Art and the Olympics.

Read it here.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Art and religion

India's biggest art fair opened on Friday, but the show was mired in controversy when organisers left out the works of the country's best-known painter for fear of attacks by Hindu vigilantes opposed to him.

The works of Maqbool Fida Husain, typically a blend of cubism and classical Indian styles that fetch millions on international art markets, were conspicuous by their absence at the India Art Summit.

The artist's famous paintings of naked Hindu gods have delighted art afficionados but enraged Hindu vigilantes who have attacked his house in the past and vandalised shows displaying his works.
It is clear that Maqbool Fida Husain is not aware that the only contemporary religion that artists can safely spoof and have fun with is Christianity. Read the Reuters story by Melanie Lee here.

Wanna go to a DC opening tonite?

Ryoko Suzuki (Bind no. 2)
Photographs by Alison Brady and Ryoko Suzuki open in DC's Randall Scott Gallery today with a reception from 7-9PM.

Friday, August 22, 2008

European Heirs Demand New York Museums Return Picassos

The heirs of German-Jewish banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy are demanding that New York's most important museums hand over two Picassos. But MoMA and the Guggenheim are fighting back, claiming they are now the rightful owners.
Read the story in Der Spiegel here.

Documenting the New Northern Virginia

Lela Dehne - Canal Center, Alexandria, Virginia 2008
Lela Dehne - "Canal Center, Alexandria, Virginia 2008"

Documenting the New Northern Virginia is an photography exhibition by NOVA students. In fall 2007 the Photography Program at Northern Virginia Community College received funding from the college’s Professional Development College-Wide Initiative.

This funding provided support for a multifaceted project called Documenting the New Northern Virginia. The project included course work, guest speakers, student exhibitions, and a web site. We plan to extend the project with a book produced by students, traveling exhibitions, and a permanent archive of the work.

The student photographs you see in this gallery are the result of four documentary photography classes on the Woodbridge and Alexandria campuses during the 2007-2008 academic year. Students photographed the changing physical and cultural landscape of Northern Virginia, and considered the purpose and practice of documentary photography.

Thirty-nine students have work in this exhibition. The classes were taught by Gail Rebhan, Charles Kogod, and Page Carr.

At the Verizon Galleries, Ernst Cultural Center, Northern Virginia Community College from 21 August - 10 September 2008.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time for DC to be shamed

"Managers of a downtown office building yanked a sculpture called "Unmentionables . . . then and now" from an exhibition last week after tenants complained that the art was inappropriate.

The offending art, by Joyce Zipperer, was installed with other artwork in the lobby of the Washington Square building at 1050 Connecticut Ave. NW. "Unmentionables" consists of 10 styles of women's underwear -- from old-fashioned bloomers to a skimpy thong -- all made out of metal and strung along a clothesline."
So begins the story by Rachel Beckman in the Washington Post.

The complainers?
"Shortly after the installation went up on Aug. 3, a group of tenants complained to the building's manager, Cynthia Muller. Muller wouldn't say which tenants objected to the art, but the artist and curator say they were lawyers from two of the building's resident law firms."
As Beckman points out: "Of all the office buildings downtown, Washington Square is perhaps the oddest place for an underwear-art controversy: One of its tenants is Victoria's Secret."

Censored artwork by Joyce ZippererZipperer
Read the story here. Shame on you DC!

Job in the Arts

The Boston Center for the Arts (BCA), a nonprofit performing and visual arts center located in Boston's South End, is seeking a new Executive Director. The Search Committee intends to identify the successful candidate by fall 2008 with full-time employment beginning shortly thereafter.

Compensation will be competitive with similar positions throughout the country and will be negotiable. The range of benefits includes medical insurance, vacation pay, paid sick leave, and a 403(b)-retirement program.

The consulting firm retained to assist in the search will welcome qualified applications:

Stephen J. Albert and Thomas Hall
Albert Hall & Associates
942 Main Street #300
Hartford, CT 06103
Tel: (860) 808-3000 #321
Fax: (860) 808-3009

Artists Websites: Chawky Frenn

My good friend Lebanese-American painter Professor Chawky Frenn is a DC area painter who needs little introduction.

Having proved several times to be one of the the most controversial figurative artists in the United States, Frenn was born in Zahle, Lebanon and migrated to the United States in the 1980s. He is a currently a professor on the Art faculty at George Mason University in Virginia.

Art critic Donald Kuspit, one of the most visible art voices of the 21st century, has written that Frenn "constructs a spiritual space in which the contemporary public can feel emotionally at home, however troubling the emotions his imagery evoke in them."

The New York Times wrote that "Chawky Frenn is a painter who has nailed down the figurative mode, and this accomplishment gives him the license to convey anything he wants, including the grand theme: the elusive meaning of human existence."

The Washington Post wrote: "From a classical nude contemplating a human skull to his latest series of still lifes of slaughtered animal carcasses, Frenn is an artist's artist (as opposed to a critic's artist)."
Nothing Personal by Chawky Frenn
Frenn's works are used to controversy. In 2001, his Boston gallery decided to cancel a Frenn solo show at the last minute as a result of the Sept. 11 attacks.

In 2004, his exhibition at Dartmouth caused an uproar on campus. Frenn, who was exhibiting at the same time at Damien Hirst, managed to outshock Hirst.

Visit his website here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

2008 Lucelia Artist Award Nominees

The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced a few days ago the nominees for the museum's 2008 Lucelia Artist Award.

The 15 nominees are Doug Aitken, Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Slater Bradley, Matthew Buckingham, Mark Dion, Keith Edmier, Spencer Finch, Harrell Fletcher, Mark Grotjahn, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Rachel Harrison, Zoe Leonard, Suzanne McClelland, Wangechi Mutu and Dana Schutz.

Nominated artists work in a diverse range of media including film, installation, mixed media, painting, photography, sculpture and video.

The one artist in this list that continues to be a question mark for me is Dana Schutz.

OAS Show


Artsy Raincoats

Campello & Anderson
Ahhh... the glamorous life of an art dealer...

Earlier this year we peddling art at a New York art fair, and when the fair ended one day, at the end of the day all the gallerists marched out as the building closed.

Except that it was raining out like a Florida rain; buckets and buckets of water. The sidewalks were like rivers, with at least a couple of inches of running, dirty New York City sidewalk water covering shoes and sandals.

You don't want your feet soaked in NYC sidewalk dirty water.

So everyone had to wait until the monsoon ended, and slowed down to a trickle. Since we didn't have umbrellas or raincoats, a little tape and bubbling wrap and voila!

Art on Trial

Souheil Chemaly turns us all onto Art on Trial.

Developed in part to increase public awareness of such restrictions, Art on Trial is a virtual exhibit of artworks that were once at the center of actual courtroom battles.

Check it out here.

The collector's mind

Edward Sozanski, the Philly Inky's art critic has an interesting article titled Art: What motivates big collectors to do what they do?

The Cone sisters of Baltimore, Claribel and Etta, might have seemed eccentric to some of their contemporaries, not only because they continued to dress like staid and proper Victorians well into the 20th century but also because they collected avant-garde art.
Anyone who has seen the Matisse-rich Cone collection at the Baltimore Museum of Art will realize that the sisters - who otherwise lived the most conventional of spinster lives - were more aesthetically adventurous than 99 percent of Americans who witnessed the birth of the modern world.

Like Albert C. Barnes, a contemporary of younger sister Etta, they enthusiastically patronized the two most prominent European modernists, Picasso and Matisse, along with other progressive artists such as Cezanne and Gauguin.

Mainly, though, they concentrated on Matisse. Of the approximately 3,000 objects in the Cone collection in Baltimore, about 500 are by him, the largest group of Matisse works anywhere.

Even since I first visited the collection years ago, I've wondered how and why two Victorian spinsters from a wealthy but nonartistic mercantile family made such an astonishing conceptual leap. The question of what ignites such a passion for collecting art never fails to fascinate.
Read the article here.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

China detains American artist

An American artist who planned to use laser beams to flash "free Tibet" on buildings in downtown Beijing was detained Tuesday, according to a colleague and a pro-Tibet group.

James Powderly, co-founder of Graffiti Research Lab in New York, was detained before dawn as he prepared to use a handheld green laser to project messages on prominent structures in Beijing, according to Students for a Free Tibet.

Powderly's colleague, Nathan Dorjee, said in New York that he received a text message from the artist which said he had been detained around 3 a.m. by police.

Officials at Beijing's Municipal Publicity Security Bureau did not answer phone calls Tuesday night. His whereabouts remained unknown, the group said.
Read the AP story here.

New Drawing

World History: A drawing by F. Lennox Campello

"World History." Charcoal on paper, c. 2008. 20 x 16 inches
By F. Lennox Campello

Has been decided already

Didn't we already have this "controversy" a few decades ago with Sally Mann's photos of her children? And didn't we all decide back then that it was art and not pornography?

So why is it an issue with photographer Betsy Schneider?

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: September 1, 2008

1708 Gallery is seeking exhibition proposals from artists and curators for its 2010 exhibition season. 1708 Gallery is a non-profit space for new art committed to expanding the understanding, development and appreciation of contemporary art. The Gallery provides public exposure and opportunity to emerging and established artists internationally. By showing art that questions, challenges, and redefines the social and aesthetic boundaries of the visual arts, 1708 Gallery offers an opportunity for the public to investigate, discover and be inspired by the most recent developments of contemporary art. Artists and curators may submit proposals for single or group shows of all media. For an exhibition proposal form, please visit their website at (under exhibitions and proposals).

Next deadline is September 1, 2008. For more information, please contact: Tatjana Beylotte at or 804/643-1708.

Two ops for photographers

Deadline: postmarked by August 29.

Washington School of Photography is seeking submissions for a juried show in their gallery to take place October 10, 2008. This is a national photography exhibit, which will coincide with their annual silent auction and is a venue on the Bethesda, MD ArtWalk. Fee to enter: $25/4, $5/addtl, slides or CD. More information and forms at or SASE to: WSP, 4850 Rugby Avenue, Bethesda, MD, 20814.

Deadline: postmarked by September 29.

Washington School of Photography is seeking submissions for a juried show in their gallery to take place November 14, 2008. This is a regional photography exhibit open to camera club members residing in Maryland, DC, and Virginia, which will coincide with FotoWeek DC and is a venue on the Bethesda, MD ArtWalk. Fee to enter: $25/4, $5/addtl, slides or CD. More information and forms at or SASE to: WSP, 4850 Rugby Avenue, Bethesda, MD, 20814.

Monday, August 18, 2008

 Marlboro Gallery National Juried Sculpture Exhibition

The Marlboro Gallery National Juried Sculpture Exhibition at Prince George's Community College features 21 artists from around the country (including one of DC's top creative sculptors: Adam Bradley).

My good friend Kristen Hileman, Associate Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden juried the show and will present awards during the reception on my birthday, September 6th, 4 – 7pm. The exhibition and cash prizes totaling $3500, including the $2000 Kari Beims Sculpture Award for Best in Show, was made possible through a generous donation from an anonymous patron of the arts.

I hear that Kristen put together a really interesting show and sounds like a really exciting even because the venue has been able to give sculptors place where they can show some substantially large work, and give away some significant monetary prizes.

Only Women Bleed

One of the judges of Australia's top religious art competition has resigned in vehement objection to a work that has been included in the finalists' short list.

Australian art critic and historian Christopher Allen resigned from the panel of judges after Adam Cullen's triptych Corpus Christi made the short list for the $20,000 Blake Prize for Religious Art.

Corpus Christi depicts Jesus on the cross with the inscription, "Only women bleed," a line from a song by rocker Alice Cooper.

Allen told ABC Radio that he did not like the painting, which he said "has a kind of deliberate ugliness that has been exploited as a gimmick."

Adam Cullen's triptych Corpus Christi
Read the CBC News story here.

Man's got his woman to take his seed
He's got the power - oh
She's got the need
She spends her life through pleasing up her man
She feeds him dinner or anything she can

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don't come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Man makes your hair gray
He's your life's mistake
All you're really lookin' for is an even break

He lies right at you
You know you hate this game
He slaps you once in a while and you live and love in pain

She cries alone at night too often
He smokes and drinks and don't come home at all
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Black eyes all of the time
Don't spend a dime
Clean up this grime
And you there down on your knees begging me please come
Watch me bleed

Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed
Only women bleed

Art fairing

Art fairs have already proliferated to such an extent worldwide in recent years that they have begun to kill one another off.
Read the SF Chronicle story here.

Add a little more booze...

A new trend in the art business is flourishing at a moment when the economy is tight and sales are slow at galleries around town. What's the idea? Add a bar.
Read the Seattle Times story here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Calling all Fridas!

Audition for Frida Kahlo look alikes at SFMOMA..

photo from calling all Fridas casting call at SFMOMA
Details here... and there’s a third audition coming up this Saturday, August 16th!

My thoughts on...

Cooperative Galleries.

Vanity Galleries.

Commercial Galleries.

Made in China

DC painters Matt Seesow and Dana Ellyn spent most of July traveling throughout a huge chunk of China and they painted every chance they had, using supplies they bought there, with the results going on display this Saturday night at Longview Gallery in DC.

The free opening reception kicks off at 6 PM and is scheduled to go until 9PM.

Matt says that they "hit much of the 'must see' attractions while in China, so our work reflects a lot of that experience: Shanghai acrobats, pandas, Mao, Tiananmen Square, chickens, kitties, and all kinds of Communists. We missed the Olympics, bummer... no badminton or skeet shooting paintings... sorry."

Longview Gallery is at 1302 9th street, NW ... near the Convention Center/Gallery Place metro stops. The show runs through September 20th.

SAAM Acquires new Christo

The Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC has acquired "Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76, A Documentation Exhibition," the definitive record of the major early work by Christo and Jeanne-Claude.

The Christo and Jeanne-Claude's epic project consisted of the installation of the "Running Fence" (1972-1976), a white fabric and steel-pole fence, 24 1/2 miles long and 18 feet high, across the properties of 59 ranchers in Sonoma and Marin Counties north of San Francisco. The "Running Fence" existed for only two weeks; it survives today as a memory and through the artwork and documentation by the artists.

This is the first major Christo and Jeanne-Claude complete project archive to be acquired by a museum. It includes more than 350 individual items. With this acquisition, the museum has obtained nearly 50 original preparatory works by Christo, including 11 large-scale drawings — each eight-feet wide — and 35 additional drawings and collages he made in preparation for the final installation. The archive also includes a 68-foot long scale model, more than 240 documentary photographs by Wolfgang Volz in color and black-and-white, a film by filmmakers David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin and Albert Maysles, documents, 324 color slides and one nylon fabric panel and steel pole.

The artists will be at the museum to discuss the project on my birthday, Saturday, Sept. 6, following a screening of the award winning film "Running Fence" (1978), directed by the Maysles who have documented six of Christo and Jeanne-Claude's major projects.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Dark Clouds

In the last 2-3 weeks I've received at least half a dozen calls and emails from Miami art fairs whose deadline for application has passed, inviting us to apply to their fairs. That can only mean one thing: gallery applications are down.

Another possible sign of a slow down in the art fair market?

I'll skip Miami this year and look forward to a better 2009.

New Drawing

Rear Nude by F. Lennox Campello

"Rear Nude"
Matted and Framed to 12.5 x 12.5 inches. Charcoal on Paper, C. 2008 by F. Lennox Campello

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wanna go to an Alexandria, VA opening?

The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA) will host an innovative new exhibit, TXT MSG, in the Athenaeum Gallery August 16 through September 21, 2008.

Featuring Four Letter Words by John James Anderson and Song for Europe by Mark Cameron Boyd, TXT MSG is an artistic exploration touching on letters as design icons, the meaning of words and how their impact resonates beyond their mere definition, and interactive experiences that reflect a world view of language and art.

Exhibition Dates: August 16 – September 21, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 16, 5:00 – 7:00 (no charge)
Song for Europe Gallery Talk, Sunday, September 7, 5:00 (no charge)

At Projects

Gregory Farrar Scott, Mask #10, mixed media
Philly's Projects Gallery opens its 2008-09 season with Fresh! 2008. Inspired by Philadelphia’s rich and multi-faceted artistic talent, this invitational exhibition highlights this city’s emerging artists.

Selected by gallery Director Helen Meyrick because of her immediate visceral response to their work, these artists diversely employ sculpture, photography, painting and drawing.

Work by Catherine Badger, Rosanne D'Andrea, Talia Greene, Brooke Holloway, Carl Marin, Itsuki Ogihara, Marilyn Rodriguez-Behrle, Lynn Rosenthal, Mia Rosenthal, Krista Rothwell, Gregory Farrar Scott, Heather Sundquist, and others.

Both Cat Badger and Krista Rockwell were two of the students that I had earlier selected for my Early Look student shows in Washington, DC and Norfolk, VA.

Fresh! runs from Friday August 29 through September 27, 2008 with a First Friday artist reception September 5th, from 6-9 p.m.

At Hemphill

DC's Hemphill Fine Arts has a group show currently up showcasing recent additions to the gallery's inventory. Work by James Brooks, Jason Gubbiotti, Alfred Jensen, Robert Rauschenberg, Ed Ruscha, Al Souza, Antoni Tàpies and Alma Thomas.

Through August 29.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: September 26, 2008

The Center for Civil and Human Rights announces a call to artists for "Learn Promote Defend", held December 10, 2008 at Mason Murer Fine Art in Atlanta, Georgia. Awards: Public art exhibition and potential to become part of CCHR's permanent collection. Open to all professional artists 18 years of age or older (as of January 1, 2008) from all geographic locations where this Competition is not prohibited or restricted by law.

Interested artists should interpret one or more articles of the UDHR (the preamble and thirty articles may be read here) and provide a Resume and Artist's statement.

Entries will be accepted in all two-dimensional visual arts media, including, but not restricted to: painting, drawing, watercolor, weaving, photography, prints, video, film and digital animation. The work entered may be traditional, representational or more experimental, but it must be based on one or more of the articles of the UDHR.

Jurors: Sylvie Fortin; Christopher Hauck; Jodi Hauptman; Louise Shaw. No entry fee. Download prospectus (PDF format) here or send a SASE to:

Center for Civil and Human Rights
50 Hurt Plaza
Suite 110
Atlanta, GA 30303.

Questions? Please contact Tiffany Powell at or call 404.658.1877.

Racist Ad

Already with one of the most disturbing histories as a nation, Spain's basketball team adds to it with this sad ad in a Spanish magazine, which depicts the Spanish Olympic basktetball team pulling back their eyes to mimic the Asian epicanthic fold.

Spanish Basketball Team
Several of those players also play in the NBA. Sigh...

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: August 29, 2008

Accepting works for consideration on upcoming Eastern Seal stamps. Works should be a vertical drawing or painting of a lily, in watercolor, oil, pastels, colored pencil, or computer generated image. Size limitations: no smaller than 8-1/2” x 11” and no larger than 18” x 24”. White or off-white stock is preferred. Three entry categories available: Student; Adult (up to age 60); and Senior (over age 60). No entry fee. For more information, contact:

Easter Seals
Attn: Lisa Skaggs
230 West Monroe St.
Ste. 1800
Chicago, IL 60606

Phone: (312) 726-6200; or check website here.

Not Cute Enough

Imaginechina, AFP

"Lin Miaoke, left, is shown during the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on Friday. An official ordered her to lip-synch 'Ode to the Motherland' because seven-year-old singer Yang Peiyi, right, wasn't deemed cute enough."

Read the AP story here.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Artists' Websites: Cristina Montejo

art by Cristina Montejo

I first saw Cristina Montejo's work at the last Artomatic in Washington, DC and was quite impressed by her work. She recently showed at the Corcoran's White Walls Gallery. See her work here.

Keep your eye on this artist.

Van Gogh's hidden portrait

A Vincent van Gogh portrait of a peasant woman that was painted over by the artist has been revealed in extraordinary detail through use of an x-ray technique that has never before been applied to a painting.

Van Gogh Portrait

Research had previously disclosed the vague outline of a head behind the painting, entitled Patch of Grass, but the face of the woman emerged from the centre of the work only after the picture was subjected to x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy.
Read the story here.

Opportunity for Maryland Artists

Deadline: September 2, 2008 at 5 PM.

The Howard County Center for the Arts, a 27,000 square foot community facility located in Ellicott City, Maryland, is seeking proposals from artists for Art MD 2008, a biennial multi-media juried exhibit. The juror for Art MD 2008 is Leslie King Hammond, Graduate Dean, Emeritus, Director Center for Race and Culture at Maryland Institute College of Art. A minimum of $1,000 will be awarded by the juror.

The exhibit will be on view from October 31 – December 12, 2008 with a reception and remarks by Dr. King-Hammond on December 5, from 6-8pm.

Entry is open to all artists, 18 years or older, residing in Maryland or within a 100-mile radius of Ellicott City, MD. Artists may submit slides or digital images of up to three works completed in the last two years and not exhibited previously in the HCCA galleries. All work must fit through a standard doorway measuring 54” x 80” and fit appropriately in the HCCA galleries. The Center’s two galleries total over 2000 square feet, with 9 ½ foot high walls, professional track lighting and hardwood floors. There is a $20 ART MD entry fee. The fee is waived for current Howard County Arts Council members.

For entry details or more information call 410-313-2787, email or visit the website

Sotheby's Profit Falls

Sotheby's, the world's largest publicly traded auction house, said second-quarter profit fell 11 percent after it shifted its London contemporary-art sales to the third quarter from the second.

... Chief Executive William Ruprecht said profit would have increased were it not for the new auction schedule. He said wealthy people with more than $100 million -- who are insulated from economic woes -- remain their best customers.
Read the story here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Art for Life

The last day to submit a donation to Art for Life is Friday, August 15th. Please participate in this year's auction, by filling out your donation information online.

This event could not be possible without the generosity of artists like you. Your donation will truly make a life-saving difference for more than 13,000 clients that the Whitman-Walker Clinic serves. HIV/AIDS is at epidemic proportions in the District of Columbia. DC has the highest HIV rate in the nation – one in 20 adults in the District is HIV positive.

This year, Whitman-Walker will present the 15th annual Art for Life art auction, benefiting prevention services to communities of color. They and I invite you to participate in this very important cause by donating a piece of artwork. In addition to having your work and bio featured in 5,000 auction catalogues, your gift of art will provide the gift of HIV prevention and education, thus preserving the gift of life. While your work will be displayed in someone’s home, your generosity will ensure that we are able to get critical education information and testing opportunities in African-American and Latino communities.

You can donate online now or by calling (202) 797-3520.

A reception and art auction to benefit Whitman-Walker Clinic'sHIV/AIDS prevention services in communities of color will be held Friday, November 14, 2008, from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Carnegie Institute of Washington (1530 P Street, NW, Washington, DC).

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Cuban thoughts...

As far as I know, American companies are forbidden from doing business in Cuba's brutal dictatorship regime... and the only two items that can be imported from the prison island are books and art.

So... tonight as I watch (on TeleMundo) the graceful and powerful Cuban female beach volleyball team of Estevez and Crespo fight the equally powerful and graceful German team of Pau and Pohl, I notice that the Communist nation's bikini bathing suits sport the Adidas logo.

Why is Adidas sponsoring a Cuban team? (Update: Because they are a German company I am told)

Cuba is an imprisoned nation whose government segregates HIV+ people, and that has "cured" gay people by lobotomizing them, and that has a government that is one of the worst offenders of human rights in the world?

Is that what Adidas wants its name associated with? A gay-bashing, lobotomizing, HIV-segregating, human rights-violating, old-style Communist dictatorship?

And how does an American company (Adidas is American-owned... right???) get to do business with the Castro brothers' bloodstained regime? (Update: Because they are a German company I am told)

Shame on you Adidas...

Opportunity for young female photographers

As part of its 80th anniversary celebration, the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) of the Organization of American States (OAS), in coordination with the Art Museum of the Americas (AMA), invites all 11 to 14 year old girls from OAS Member States to participate in the Photography Contest “When I Grow Up…”

This competition aims to capture the vision young girls have about their future: their dreams, their personal and professional ambitions, and what they imagine that their world will be like when they reach adulthood. Through their photographs, the girls will reflect the evolving changes in gender stereotypes due to women’s empowerment. Moreover, they will illustrate how the new generations assess the progress achieved by women regarding their role in society and what is still to be achieved by young women such as themselves when they grow up…
Click here for terms and more information about the contest.

Opening Ceremonies Blues

I watched the Beijing Olympics opening ceremonies last night, and while admiring the spectacular artistry and synchronization of 2008 humans on the field doing all sorts of unbelievable things, slowly this sort of mental connectivity to the Berlin Olympics from decades ago began to emerge.

When the Chinese soldiers goose-stepped to raise the Chinese flag, and the Chinese children representing the 50-odd ethnic groups in China began singing the Chinese national anthem while doing a curious arm salute to the anthem, at least for me the Olympic connection between Nazi Germany and Communist China was cemented in an odd way.

By the time that the ceremonies got to the part where China, perhaps one of the world's worst human rights offenders, and a nation who is destroying its own environment at a brisk pace, does the bit on the future of the planet, global warming, peace, etc. I was a way beyond skeptical about the heavy handed, sometimes hypocrythical messaging of the opening ceremonies.

Let's just get the competitions going, shall we?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

The Chinese Art Market

In all this foment, the contemporary art scene is somewhat at a standstill. Yes, new records are being set for contemporary Chinese works at every successive Sotheby’s and Christie’s auction. And every foreign visitor to Beijing, art aware or not, now has to walk around “798”, the chic factory café and gallery area, formerly a wonderfully anarchic artist community. And it seems that “millions” are being made by all concerned within this bustling, over-heated art market. But the art itself isn’t moving. The big five names are all producing exactly the same cartoonish works they have done for years, because that is what sells. Every new artist who arrives on the scene produces not-so-subtle variants of that same work because that is what sells. And even reproduction specialists have switched from copying Degas, Monet and Rembrandt, to producing “genuine” Wang Guangyi, Zhang Xiaogang and Yue Minjun knockoffs, because…
Read the Art Newspaper article here.

Olympic Predictions

The Olympics start tomorrow - we'll be watching avidly and predict that:

Several Chinese athletes whom no one has ever heard of, will win gold medals in some arcane sports that no one watches.

An American sprinter, favorite to win a medal, will pull a muscle in one of the qualifying rounds.

Sullen-looking Russian female gymnasts will battle it out with very young Chinese gymnasts who never smile either, but somehow manage not to look sullen.

Cuban boxers with years and years of "amateur" experience will beat up on everybody.

Skinny African-born long distance runners will run for a variety of non-African nations - where they are now citizens - and sometimes still lose to someone still running for Kenya.

Because of the way that she looks, Americans (and only Americans) will wonder in silence how come Dara's last name is "Torres."

Some nation which has never won the FIFA World Cup will nevertheless win the Olympic gold medal for soccer.

The United States better win the gold medal in basketball or someone is getting their butt kicked.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund

Deadline: September 15, 2008

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund welcomes applications from visual artists aged 40 years or older, who live within 150 miles of Washington, D.C. and can demonstrate that they have the potential to benefit as artists from a grant.

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund does not, however, accept applications from filmmakers, video artists, and performance artists. In 2006 the Franz and Virginia Bader Fund awarded three grants totalling $50,000.

The deadline for applications is September 15, 2008. Application forms may be downloaded from the fund's web site: or may be requested by sending an email to or by sending a request to:

Bader Fund
5505 Connecticut Avenue, NW #268
Washington, D.C. 20015

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Wanna go on an art tour in DC?

On Saturday, August 9th at 11a.m., artist Craig Kraft and my good friend and art collector and founder of Pink Line, Philippa Hughes, will give a tour of the Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit – sharing their unique points-of-view with the audience.

"We are so excited about having both Craig and Philippa lead the tour," says Jill Nevius, Arts in Foggy Bottom organizer. "We think this will make for an informative and lively conversation about art."

The tour will begin at the corner of New Hampshire Avenue and I Street NW (a few blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro) and there will be a reception to follow at the Watergate Gallery. You can download the brochure here which shows the pieces in the exhibit with a map of the neighborhood.

Wanna try for a book?

Deadline: September 5, 2008.

The Center for Documentary Studies/Honickman First Book Prize in Photography is a biennial prize offering $3,000 in grant money, inclusion in an exhibition, and most importantly, the publication of a book of photography, published by Duke University Press in association with CDS Books of the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. To learn more, go to this website or send an SASE to:

CDS/THF First Book Prize in Photography
Center for Documentary Studies
1317 West Pettigrew Street
Durham, NC 27705

East of the River

Anacostia River that is, and "East of the River" is the title of the exhibition by Anacostia's 's Honfleur Gallery, as it celebrates its Second Annual East of the River Exhibition, opening 7pm on August 9th 2008. Site specific installation, photography, painting, mixed media sculpture, collage, prints, drawings, written & spoken-word and functional craft demonstrate the broad range of the works in the show. Exhibitors range from emerging to seasoned professional artists.

Artists in East of the River include: Randall C. Holloway, Stephen James Terrell, Kerry Richardson, Kamala Subramanian, Douglas Eatmon, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Matthew Mann, Dominic Bracco, Sherry Ways, Anne Bouie, Marcia Greene, Fred Joiner, Malik M. Lloyd, Bruce McNeil, Lance Wiggs, Wesley Clark, Brian Martin, Kerry Richardson, Amber Robles-Gordon, Beatrice Martin, Craig Vaughn, Howard Fleming, and Gilbert Trent. The exhibit was juried by Carl Cole (Ward 8 Commissioner, DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities), Kim Ward (Director, Washington Project for the Arts), Juanita Britton (Anacostia Art Gallery), Andrea Hope (ARCH) and Briony Evans (Honfleur Gallery).

The East of the River opening reception is on August 9th at 7pm. The exhibition is on view from August 12th to September 19th, 2008.

Art Auction Fundraising Tips

Enough said here.

Monday, August 04, 2008

How's Norfolk going to handle this?

If Norfolkians were offended by a work of art depicting female breasts, how are they going to react to the Aug. 23 "National Topless Protest Day"?

U.S.-based organization claims that women have the same constitutional right as men to go bare-chested in public. What's more, the group is encouraging women nationwide to rally bare-chested in public on Aug. 23, the date selected for the organization's "National Protest Day."

"As long as men can go topless, women should have a same and equal right," said Rael, spiritual leader of the International Raelian Movement and founder of "Otherwise, men should also be forced to wear something that hides their chests."

Raelians consider a National Protest Day necessary because women who go topless in U.S. public places are currently arrested, fined, humiliated and treated as criminals.

"Women should go topless and rally publicly in great numbers on August 23 to protest that despicable treatment and exercise their rights," said San Diego resident Nadine Gary, a Raelian guide and one of the event's principal organizers. "We encourage all women's groups and individuals to join us at these rallies. Together, with peaceful femininity but unshakable determination, we'll protest this gross inequality in the law. We'll demand that our right to go topless be recognized in accordance with the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and that all state laws be amended to reflect that right."
For more information about National Protest Day, visit

New Herndon, VA Gallery

Start making plans for your Labor Day weekend and plan to visit the new ArtSpace gallery during its grand opening event: "Paint Herndon" over labor day weekend (August 29th - Sept 1st).

Nationally recognized and regional painters are coming to town to compete for cash prizes. There will be an Artist's Award Event Monday Sept 1st at 6:00pm.

Wanna go to a DC opening this week?

"Turning the Page" has a reception this Thursday from 5-7PM. It is a virtual exhibit featuring the work of James W. Bailey, Cleve Overton, Kevin Kepple, and Michael Fitts. All of the artists were chosen from the previous WPA's Artist Directory and the ArtFile Online.

Curated by Jessica Granda and Lexi Kirsch.

Alison Sigethy

Alison Sigethy Photo by John Madere DC area artist Alison Sigethy is not only a very talented artist, but also a world-class kayaker, and currently Alison is part of a team kayaking across Arctic Canada to raise awareness and create community action in response to global warming.

You can keep track of Alison's progress in her blog here or read the official expedition blog here.

Allison was not too successful in fund-raising ahead of time, so she's deeply in debt from this trip. If you'd like to help out, any amount would be sincerely appreciated. Donate here or buy some artwork here.