Thursday, September 30, 2010

Seen on Univision

Funny TV commercial for a furniture store in the DMV: A woman is acosted by two men wearing INS uniforms ("la migra"). They corner her against the wall and demand her "papers."

She laughs at them and informs them that to buy furniture at such and such, you "don't need any papers."

Badges, we don't need no stinking badges...


Tomorrow at Hillyer

Guest curator Lou Stovall selected work for the October Members Show in Hillyer Art Space.

Exhibiting artists are: Anne Marchand, Carol Barsha, Cianne Fragione, Ellen Weiss, George Tkabladze, Helen K. Anne, Paula Stern, and Wayson Jones. The opening is tomorrow, Friday, October 1st, 2010, 6PM-9PM as part of the First Friday Openings at Dupont Circle area galleries.

Tomorrow

Andrew Wodzianki's Super! opened at the BlackRock Center for the Arts last Wednesday, September 29, and will run until Monday, October 25.

The artist reception is tomorrow Friday, October 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. If you haven't been to the gorgeous huge gallery at BlackRock, this is a perfect opportunity to check it out.

By the way, the BlackRock 2011 Call to Artists is open now to all artists residing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC over the age of 18 for original artwork only. This call will cover exhibits in the gallery from October 2011 through August 2012. An exhibit may include on applicant or a combination of applicants, based on the judgement of jurors. The jury panel is comprised of Kathleen Moran, Jack Rasmussen and yours truly. The deadline is Oct. 30.

Details here.

Wanna go to a DC opening this weekend?

Opening in Gallery I at the Foundry Gallery, 1314 18th St, NW, 202-463-0203, "LAND, AIR, AND SEA", Recent paintings by Ron Riley.

Riley "portrays images which evoke a sense of internal peace, tranquility, and serenity, and power uniting us with the majestic forces we find within ourselves and in our natural environment." The show runs Sept 29 through Oct 31, Open Wed - Fri, 1 to 7pm, Sat & Sun 12 to 6pm, Opening reception is Oct 1, 6 to 8pm. The Monthly members show is n display in Gallery II.

Opportunity for DMV Artists

Deadline: October 30, 2010

The BlackRock Center for the Arts has a huge gorgeous gallery space and their call for artists for the 2011 art season is now up.

The 2011 Call to Artists is open to all artists residing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC over the age of 18 for original artwork only. This call will cover exhibits in the gallery from October 2011 through August 2012. An exhibit may include on applicant or a combination of applicants, based on the judgement of jurors. The jury panel is comprised of Kathleen Moran, Jack Rasmussen and yours truly.

Details here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

And the DC opening to go this Friday is...

The amazing Michal Hunter has a show of new paintings opening tomorrow at Pass Gallery from 7-10PM.

Hunter is one of my favorite DMV painters, and her work and technical facility with the brush has to be seen to be believed. Go see this show.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Artists' Websites: Marina Reitner

Marina Reitner
Marina Reiter was born in Moscow, Russia and she currently resides either in Washington, DC or New York City. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees from Moscow State University, where she studied literature, fine arts, and art history. In the US, Marina studied art at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and the Torpedo Factory Art School. Check out her website here.

Defending Rockwell

Just in case that you thought that I was the only art critic on the planet defending the current Norman Rockwell exhibition at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Ryan L. Cole, who writes from Indianapolis on politics and culture for the City Journal, shares my point of view about Rockwell and his critics:

Critics would likely seize upon the sight to observe that popular approval does not equal artistic quality, especially when the art in question is insufficiently socially aware. Certainly that’s the view of Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik, who in reviewing the show derided Rockwell as the cowardly, “aw, shucks” epitome of Middle America. Rockwell “doesn’t challenge any of us, or himself, to think new thoughts or try new acts or look with fresh eyes,” wrote Gopnik. “From the docile realism of his style to the received ideas of his subjects, Rockwell reliably keeps us right in the middle of our comfort zone.”

This perception of the artist’s work as soothing sentiment for the masses is nothing new, but “Telling Stories” proves it simplistic. The show, drawn from the collections of fellow storytellers George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, confirms that Rockwell had a deep understanding of America’s character and a masterly ability to convey it to canvas. True, his vision focused on our virtues, not our sins. But only in the self-loathing landscape of contemporary intellectual thought would that be cause for criticism.
Read the review here.

Binstock at the Katzen

Currently on exhibition at American University's Katzen Museum is Alan Binstock: Way-Stations. The exhibition drives home a couple of important points: (1) The Katzen's presence continues to be a major player not only in the "local" DMV art scene, but its unique design and exhibition space delivers an opportunity for large scale artwork to be exhibited in the perfect setting for size and appreciation, and (2) The DMV is one powerful magnet area for talented artists working with glass as the main substrate.

As one walks around the minimalist and somewhat Teutonic courtyard around the Katzen, the large scale sculptures by Binstock (most of which are glass, resin and steel) resonate with the space and represent a wonderful opportunity to check out one of the DMV's most gifted sculptors.

Terra by Alan Binstock


Terra by Alan Binstock

In Terra, Binstock accomplishes the successful marriage of these materials in a piece that allows to viewer to admire the work from a distance, as a cosmic visitor might, or from underneath; as if from within the attractive model of the Earth itself.

This positioning of the perspective repeats itself in most of these large scale works: A two-pronged approach at observing and interacting with the work itself. In Tradak (which means "gazing meditation" in Sanskrit), a far view reveals an enticing and slim architecture that suspends a hanging globe of green glass. As the cosmic view is reduced to a closer inspection, the piece offers three open seats within its design, further inviting closer inspection of the globe.

The title of the exhibition (Way-stations), refers to Clifford D. Simak's classic 1960s science fiction novel about virtue and galactic travel. And perhaps the piece which best exemplifies Simak's morality tale is "Chapel."

Chapel by Alan Binstock

Chapel by Alan Binstock

There is a quiet and universal elegance to the work that manages to place it as both a stopping place on the light-years trek from Earth to perhaps asteroid B612, or the miles long medieval pilgrimages from northern European cities and villages to Santiago.

The exhibition goes through October 24.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Joe White at Jane Haslem

Joe White at Jane Haslem

Artists' Talk Today

The show is at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

And the associated artists' panel is today at noon, for one hour. The artists and curator will be discussing the show and taking questions.

I will be available at the panel and after the panel to discuss and answer any questions that you may have about anything dealing with the visual arts, career, galleries, etc.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Dream songs

I had the lyrics to this song come to me in a dream... and also the music to it, which I have now forgotten. It's sort of an homage to my father.

Pá Guantanamo

Con cuatro pesos vamos a jugar los gallos
Y en caballo nos vamo pá Caimanera
Ya que en Los Caños siempre gana Campello
Ese gallego no pierde desde antaño

En Caimanera juegan mucho lo Americano
Y por eso espero que triunfe mi gallito sano
Y si gana facil mi gallito bueno
Ahi mismito empieza la parrandera

Pá Guantanamo salimo en caballo
Pá Guantanamo a cojer la borrachera
Pá Guantanamo a tomar un palo bueno
Pá Guantanamo a bailar un son montuno

Pá Guantanamo salgo de Caimanera
Pá Guantanamo a bailar con la jeva entera
Pá Guantanamo a buscar los tragos buenos
Pá Guantanamo en fiesta gallito bueno

Yo nunca má juego en Los Caños
Ya que alli siempre gana ese gallego
Ese Ciclón no pierde de hace muchos años
Y a mi gallo y bolsillo le ha hecho much daño

En Caimanera juegan mucho lo Americano
Y por eso espero que triunfe mi gallito sano
Y si gana facil mi gallito bueno
Ahi mismito empieza la parrandera

Pá Guantanamo salimo en caballo
Pá Guantanamo a cojer la borrachera
Pá Guantanamo a tomar un palo bueno
Pá Guantanamo a bailar un son montuno

Pá Guantanamo salgo de Caimanera
Pá Guantanamo a bailar con la jeva entera
Pá Guantanamo a buscar los tragos buenos
Pá Guantanamo en fiesta gallito bueno

Myth & Transformation Opening

Dr. Claudia Rousseau curated an amazing show. More on that later but for now, that's me sans mustache, Little Junes and the photography legend known as Lida Moser at the opening. Pic courtesy of Laura Seldman.

Lenny Campello and Lida Moser
The show is at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

There will also be an artists' panel tomorrow, Monday, Sept. 27, at noon, for one hour. I will be available at the panel and after the panel to discuss and answer any questions that you may have about anything dealing with the visual arts, career, galleries, etc.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Artists' Talk

At the awards ceremony (for the Marlboro Gallery's 2nd National Juried Sculpture Exhibition) on September 17th, juror Molly Donovan, Associate Curator at the National Gallery of Art, presented awards to Millicent Young, winner of the Kari Beims Sculpture Award for Best in Show, Emily Biondo, 2nd place winner, Karen Bondarchuk, 3rd Place winner, Christina Day, Honorable Mention and Adam Bradley (who is in my 100 Washington Artists book), Honorable Mention.

A total of $3400 in prizes was awarded including the $2000 prize that accompanies the Kari Beims Sculpture Award for Best in Show.

The artists will be discussing their work in an open panel discussion on
Thursday, September 30th, from 11am - 12pm in the Marlboro Gallery.

WALA events this coming week

The Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts has a couple of cool events lined up for this coming week: On Monday 9/27, the Writer's Evening will be hosted at the International Arts & Artists, Hillyer Art Space and Thursday 9/30, an Artful Evening will be hosted at Industry Gallery and Conner Contemporary.

Click on the links for details and tickets.

Friday, September 24, 2010

From Univision

Reporting stuff that gets reported in Spanish language newscasts that never makes it to the mainstream media: There are "elections" coming up in Venezuela in a couple of days.

During the last "elections", the opposition to Hugo Chavez skipped them, because of fraud accusations ahead of the elections. This year they are apparently going through the paces, although they are still claiming that Chavez is rigging the "elections" to favor his continued elected dictatorship.

The fucker is not even trying to hide it. According to Univision, of Venezuela's 17 million registered voters, one million of them were born on the exact same day.

Paying for art

Here’s an unhappy scenario: a young gallery, with nearly empty coffers, hasn’t collected payment on six of the seven sales the dealer closed at a June satellite art fair in Basel. The dealer—who paid all fair-related expenses months ago—needs to cover his rent and overheads. He can’t pay the artist, who needs money for his own bills plus materials for an autumn show. To make matters worse, the dealer must remain calm and detached, while trying to extract payment. “It’s this old-school gentleman thing,” the dealer told me. “You don’t want to appear desperate.”
Lindsay Pollock in the Art Newspaper; read it here.

Head North...

Andrew Wodzianki's Super! will open at the BlackRock Center for the Arts on Wednesday, September 29, and will run until Monday, October 25 with an artist reception schedule for Friday, October 1, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.

"We are thrilled to have the edgy, fun, thought-provoking and talked-about work of Andrew Wodzianski in the BlackRock Gallery,” said Gallery Coordinator Kim Olney."

In an interview with the Gazette newspapers, Wodzianski said, “I just started to play on my fantasy, which was to gender bend [the figures].” For instance, one image shows Clark Kent in a dress with heroic Lois Lane carrying him through the air and another depicts Alice in Wonderland investigating the skirt of Wonder Woman.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Losing Hope

The artist whose poster of Barack Obama became a rallying image during the hope-and-change election of 2008 says he understands why so many people have lost faith.

In an exclusive interview with National Journal on Thursday, Shepard Fairey expressed his disappointment with the president -- a malaise that seems representative of many Democrats who had great expectations for Obama.
Read it here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Cuban gay activist arrested

Last Friday, the Castro dictatorship arrested gay activist Aliomar Janjaque Chivás, president of the LGBT Reinaldo Arenas Foundation, for collecting testimonies that documented abuses against the gay community in Cuba.

The testimonies were to form part of a legal proceeding initiated at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague against the Castro regime for "crimes against humanity." They were subsequently confiscated by the Cuban authorities.

Janjaque was arrested while interviewing various men who had been interned in labor camps due to their sexual orientation.

New Drawing

I've fallen in love with the drawings, paintings and prints by 19th century German artist Ida Teichmann. Below is my homage to one of her best known works: Sleep.

Sleep, Homage to ida Teichmann


Sleep (Homage to Ida Teichmann). Charcoal and conte on paper. 4 x 26 inches


Detail

Detail

Job in the Arts

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to creating opportunities for artists and arts organizations that stimulate economic development and improve the quality of life in the DC metro area, is accepting applications for the position of Development Manager.

This full-time position works closely with the Director of External Relations to support organizational fundraising activities. This position will focus on individual donor development and special events but will encompass all aspects of fundraising.

Responsibilities:

· Work with External Relations Director to create and execute strategies for individual donor engagement including regular communication, fulfillment and outreach.

· Research, write and submit solicitation letters, proposals and reports for all sources of contributed income.

· Manage special events including Annual Gala, Source Festival Opening and 4-6 smaller events annually.

· Develop strategic relationships in the community and partnerships with other businesses/organizations.

· Work with Communications Manager on donor outreach strategy in conjunction with rebranding efforts.

Requirements:

· Dynamic fundraising skills with at least three years experience and proven track record

· Creative thinker with new ideas for donor engagement

· Superb writing, communication and analytical skills

· Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience

· Exceptional organizational and time management skills

· Expertise in MS Office, experience with QuickBooks Pro and Raiser’s Edge a plus

· Ability and willingness to work flexibly in a fast paced, fast growing non-profit environment

Salary: Commensurate with experience

How to apply: To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:

Cultural Development Corporation
Development Manager Search
916 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
e hr@culturaldc.org
f 202.315.1303

Initial review of candidates will begin immediately, but applications will be accepted until October 15, 2010.

See ya tonight!

Minotaur by F. Lennox Campello
Tonight is the opening for my first substantial exhibition in the DC area in four years. The show is at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

The opening is tonight, Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. I hear there will be a TV crew at the opening, so it sounds like a fun night. There will also be an artists' panel on Monday, Sept. 27, at noon, for one hour. I will be available at the panel and after the panel to discuss and answer any questions that you may have about anything dealing with the visual arts, career, galleries, etc.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Top 6 mustaches in local arts

Can I just say Yay!

Leny Campello MustacheMy mustache has just made the it to the "Top 6 mustaches in local arts"!

Check it out here.

My dear mustache is a "come and go" mustache these days... I keep growing it and then taking it off, then I grow it again, then I take it off...

I've had a mustache since I was like 16 or 17... and I hate shaving; especially my upper lip. Every time that I shave it this happens: I am well asleep and then I turn over and my naked lip hits the cold pillow and it wakes me up.

Arrrrgh!

Between somewhere in 1972-3 and 2009, the only time that I didn't have a mustache was when I was in Navy bootcamp.

And between 1974 and 1983 I had a full beard, which returned sporadically (such as when I served temporary exchange duties in the British Royal Navy in 1987-1989).

Then full again a beard from 1997-1999 when I sort of went Bohemian for a while again.


Lenny Campello in 1997
The Lenster in 1997

And then around 2004/5 the now classic waxed mustache made its initial appearance. And off and on from there on...

And it has had its payoff for me: I once got a free burrito at Chipotle because the lady making the yummy food really liked my bigote (Spanish for mustache) and gave me a free burro.

Congrats to fellow artists Adrian Parsons and Andrew Wodzianski, who also made the list... and BTW... please note how the "Arts" mustaches kick ass versus the politicians' mustaches.

Coolio Julio Jenny Rogers!

P.S. Emmett Burns (Clarence Thomas doppleganger at the bottom here), you need a new picture dude; a little smile would get a few thousand more votes next time!

There are those who build and those who destroy

(Via) Unfortunately, those that destroy remain in power in Cuba. Meanwhile, Cuban-Americans have just lost one of the greatest from those who build.

Last week, Ysrael A. Seinuk passed away in New York.

Seinuk, a worldwide authority on the design and construction of high-rise concrete and steel buildings, was a native of Cuba and a graduate of the University of Havana before going into exile in 1960.

Amongst his most notable New York projects are the Trump World Tower, Bear Stearns World Headquarters, Time Warner Centre at Columbus Circle, Trump's Riverside South apartments, the New York Mercantile Exchange, Four Time Square, 515 Park Avenue, the "Lipstick" Building, Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, the Arthur Ashe Tennis Stadium in Flushing Meadows, 7 World Trade Center, The Galleria and the landmark 450 Lexington Avenue.

And those were just his New York projects. From Mexico City to Dubai, his work remains a testament to his unique talent. Yet, Cuba always remained prominently in his heart.

During a 2005 interview with the BBC, Seinuk was asked:

If you had the opportunity to return to Cuba tomorrow and were free to build something, what type of building would you erect and where?

His answer:

"Well, the key word in your question is freedom. Assuming things would take a normal path, towards democracy, I would go to Cuba even if it were to only build a small hut."
May he rest in peace.

The place to be tomorrow is...

First Campello gallery exhibition in DC area in 4 years!

Tomorrow is the opening for my first substantial exhibition in the DC area in four years. The show will be at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

There will be all new drawings in my constant exploration of using the human figure to deliver social, historical, satirical, mythological and political messages. The show also includes work by the immensely talented Johanna Mueller, who was one of my top picks from the last Artomatic and whom I predict will steal the show, as well as Leah Frankel and Leslie Shellow, both of whom are new artists to me.

The show is curated by Dr. Claudia Rousseau and is:

An exhibit of works on paper depicting mythical themes, or themes connoting transformations—mythical, magical or organic.

The exhibit will include prints, drawings and installation works employing paper with wax and other media.
The opening is tomorrow, Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. I hear there will be a TV crew at the opening, so it sounds like a fun night. There will also be an artists' panel on Monday, Sept. 27, at noon, for one hour. I will be available at the panel and after the panel to discuss and answer any questions that you may have about anything dealing with the visual arts, career, galleries, etc.

The Hirshhorn Bubble

The National Mall in Washington has seen all sorts of enterprises over the years, but who would build a translucent, inflatable bubble there, protruding from the doughnut-shaped Hirshhorn Museum and looking, from renderings, like a giant jellybean colored robin's egg blue? And why?

That would be Richard Koshalek, the Hirshhorn's voluble director, who when announcing the 145-foot-tall bubble last December uncharacteristically said little about its purpose other than that it would host four week-long international events, every spring and fall, about contemporary art and culture.
Judith H. Dobrzynski writes in the WSJ about Richard Koshalek's visions for the Hirshhorn. Read it here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Critical Exposure

Critical Exposure is a DC-based non profit organization which teaches DC public school students the power of photography and their own voices to advocate for school reform and social change.

Their upcoming auction, which is their largest fundraiser of the year, is coming next month. They will be auctioning off works by Mario Tama, Damon Winter, Jahi Chikwendiu and Ed Kashi, (as well as many others!)

The event is October 21st at the DLA Piper Building Atrium (500 Eighth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20004). You can buy tickets here or for more details contact:

Emma Scott
Critical Exposure
1816 12th St. NW
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 745-3745 ext. 20
www.criticalexposure.org
emmascott@criticalexposure.org

Artists' Websites: Johanna Mueller

Johanna MuellerI first came across the work of Johanna Mueller at the last Artomatic and was immediately seduced by it.

As her website declares, the prints of Johanna Mueller are imbued with personal mythology as she draws from her own narrative, cultural and historical references, pattern and design, and ancient myth and legend. The animals in her work are elevated from beast to mythic status as they take on human emotions and become metaphoric portraits of the artist and others.

You can see some of Mueller's work at the Myth & Transformations exhibition which opens this Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. The show is at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus right off Georgia Avenue with plenty of free parking.

Joanna's work is also currently on view at the Arlington Arts Center in the FALL SOLOS 2010 exhibit. Exhibition dates: September 10 – November 7, 2010.

I hope Gaithersburg Germantown is ready for this...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Just noticed

Yesterday I was strolling Little Junes through the quad at American University and we stopped to look at the "Seurat" elephant sculpture by Sam Gilliam which is one of the "Party Animals" public art projects that the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities did a few years ago. As you may recall, artists painted a couple of hundred donkeys and elephant statues which are now all over the city.

The Gilliam elephant is right in front of the School of History building at AU and the poor beast is falling apart. I don't know if this is happening to any of the other "party animals" sculptures (or the similar panda project), but the elephant is riddled with surface cracks, as it appears that the elements have won the battle with the finishing element of the fabrication and the sculpture is cracking all over the place.

A Connie Slack panda across the quad seems to be in good shape, although if I remember right, the "party animals" preceded the pandas. But now I wonder if any other of these outdoor pieces are showing the effects of the DMV's severe weather extremes.

Zappa Sculpture in Baltimore

Mike Licht has some really good background info on the new Zappa sculpture for Baltimore.

Omnipresence

To coincide with the 2010 Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Artists of DC (BADC) were invited to present works at the Mandarin Oriental Public Art Gallery from September 17- Mid October, 2010. This project was sponsored in part by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

Included in this exhibit, "Omnipresence", are a wide array of approaches and disciplines. Established artists such as E. J. Montgomery, Martha Jackson-Jarvis and Michael Platt are presented along side emerging artists, Daniel Booking, whose iconic photo of the black male nude, and Shaunte Gates' quasi graphic painting are both noteworthy.

In this small survey show of black DC artists, there are investigations that range from the conceptual to the painterly and each discipline or point of departure is handled proficiently. The digital divide between the graphic arts and the brush is being bridged. Worth a look-see to find out how the continuum of "AfriCobra" principles translate in the 21st Century, check this show out, which marks the vision of a young and upcoming curator in Zoma Wallace.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Vanity Galleries

A vanity gallery is an art gallery that "rents" its space to artists in order for the artist to have a show. Thus, the main driver in having a show at a vanity gallery is not necessarily the quality of the artwork, but the artist's ability to pay the gallery to host his/her artwork.
I wrote this article on vanity galleries over six years ago and it is still getting new comments and an interesting argument between gallery dealers and artists. Read it and comment here.

Dr. Claudia Rousseau on Myth and Transformations

Myth & Transformations opens Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. The show is at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Here is the essay about the show by its curator, Dr. Claudia Rousseau:

Myth and Transformations

As I was thinking about organizing this exhibition, I was inspired by the work of the four artists who so graciously accepted the invitation to show their work together here. These are Leah Frankel, Johanna Mueller, Leslie Shellow and F. Lennox Campello. All of them have been working and exhibiting in the Washington DC region for some time, and all of them, in one way or another, have shown interest in the themes of mythology and transformation.

Mythology has always captivated me. Since childhood I have loved the ancient stories that so often involve transformations to explain the origins of things, from animals to trees and stars. The ancient Roman writer Ovid’s wonderful book, the Metamorphoses, is all about change, and many of those tales, one might imagine, were, by Ovid’s time, already understood in metaphorical terms. My extensive researches into mythology—first for my master’s thesis into the Celtic legends that served as bridges to the Christian faith in Ireland, and later, for my doctoral dissertation, into astrological lore and tales of the origin of constellations—have filled me with a great love for this most human of practices. Mythology is universal, and many, probably the majority of myths, involve the theme of transformation.

Artistic expression of the concept of transformation, and allusion to mythological themes or archetypes is not limited to existing myths. Indeed, it is not limited to figural styles. The idea of transformation, especially as in so many myths, from some dark place into the light, from animal to human or human to some other form, from one plane of existence into another, can be expressed by abstract means. And, since the archetypes of myth are universal, they can be manipulated into new stories and meanings.

The work of Johanna Mueller fully illustrates this last point. Her work employs a mythical framework, most often without alluding to specific mythic sources. Hers is a personal world of fable, where the lioness is enlightened and the deer are connected by heartstrings. Many animal characters re-appear in her work, sometimes morphing into others. Mueller herself has said, “I want to create something of a ritual space, to create the feeling of the symbolic spirits of my creations moving from one form to another. I think that having these repeating forms take on different shapes and sizes helps to convey that idea.” Thus, the concept of transformation is also a part of her iconography. Mueller’s incredibly detailed plastic plate engravings provoke and resonate in the mind of her viewers, touching on their own mythologies.

F. Lennox Campello’s drawings are more grounded in familiar stories from ancient Greek, Roman and Celtic mythology, and from martyrology and hagiography. Campello’s Minotaur rises up with all the frightening strength that such a hybrid monster can project, dark and menacing. His Witch Dub shrieks in the black water that is the origin of the city of Dublin. The story of St. Sebastian, a favorite subject of artists since the Renaissance mainly because it was an opportunity to represent a male nude in Christian art, has had a new life in contemporary expression as the target of misunderstanding and persecution of all kinds.

On a more organic and less specific level, Leslie Shellow’s installation connotes the mythology of the Great Mother, the goddess who gives forth the life of the earth—plants, flowers, animals, people. Her paper forms and delicate drawings seem to literally be growing in the gallery, taking over the spaces. In this, Shellow’s work expresses both the benevolence of the Goddess, and her dark side as well. While Nature is life-giving, it is also chaotic and unpredictable, irrational and capable of great destruction. Shellow’s sensitivity to the transformational character of growth is evident, and accounts for the surprising power of her work. Simple paper rings are transformed into evidence of being.

Finally, the hand-made paper works of Leah Frankel express the notions of myth and transformation in more abstract ways. Frankel’s Grade is a work that connotes transformation from darkness into light, a theme that is at the core of many myths. Being abstract, the work provides a mythical framework that can carry stories projected on it by the viewer. The myth of Orpheus comes to mind, but so many stories about moving through the darkness to the light, to new life—or, even more fundamentally, the hidden mystery of birth—a theme that goes back as far as human pre-history. The Paperstack also shows movement from bottom to top, gently transforming the piled papers into a moving form. Frankel’s work is open to viewer interaction, providing a space for thought and physical response that is deeply personal.

Claudia Rousseau, Ph.D.
School of Art + Design at Montgomery College
September, 2010

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Jerry Saltz on Bravo's Work of Art

But Work of Art reminded me that there are many ways to become an artist and many communities to be an artist in. The show also changed the way I think about my job. Over the ten weeks it aired, hundreds of strangers stopped me on the street to talk about it. In the middle of nowhere, I’d be having passionate discussions about art with laypeople. It happened in the hundreds, then thousands of comments that appeared below the recaps I wrote for nymag.com. Many of these came from people who said they’d never written about art before. Most were as articulate as any critic.
Read Saltz's thoughts on the show here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

MPAartfest Artists announced

MPAartfest juror, Trudi Van Dyke, has selected forty-four artists to participate in the fourth annual MPAartfest on Sunday, October 3, 10:30 am - 4:30 pm in McLean Central Park.

Ms. Van Dyke, an independent curator and fine arts consultant said "As always, the MPA is a magnet for all good things art and the applications submitted to MPArtfest were no exception. It was both an outstanding opportunity and awesome responsibility to select from a broad pool of artists. I am looking forward to joining the community in attending this great festival." Of the selected artists, twelve are from the McLean/Great Falls area and sixteen are new to MPAartfest.

MPAartfest transforms McLean Central Park into a lively art gallery featuring the sale of the fine arts and crafts of 44 artists. MPAartfest includes fun activities for both children and adults, as well as live music and refreshments. There is no charge to attend MPAartfest, although a donation of $5 is greatly appreciated which helps support McLean Project for the Arts and this special community event.

MPAartfest artists for 2010:

Banks, Jill -- oil painting
Barbieri, Ann -- abstract painting and drawing
Brown, Tavia -- jewelry
Bucci, Thomas -- printmaking monoprints
Burke, Cynthia --painting
Burris, Eric -- mokume gane jewelry
Campello, F. Lennox -- drawing
Cassidy, Katie --oil and acrylic painting
Ciminio, Lisa --jewelry
Deans, Karen -- oil on panel
Emrich, Hanna -- mixed media and collage
Farrow-Savos, Elissa -- sculpture
Fields, Laurie -- mixed media paintings
Ganley, Betty -- traditional watercolor
Green, Michele -- landscape painting
Grisdela, Cindy -- quilting
Hachey, Hilary -- jewelry
Hatfield, Jennifer Bernhard -- whimsical ceramics
Hubacher, Karen -- mixed media paintings and collographs
Jensen, Jill -- handpainted and handprinted wallhangings, scarves, journals
Jolles, Ronni -- layered paper and pastel
Katz, Lori -- clay
Knott, Greg -- photography
Lansaw, Julie Lea -- landscape paintings
Lester, Cherie -- painting/collage
Mahan, Val -- nature photography
McGihon, Marty -- mixed media
Michelle, Jenae -- fiber -- one of a kind handbags
Nimic, Gisele -- ceramics/collage
Paredes, AnaMarie -- metal sculpture
Peery, Laura -- ceramics
Reiber Harris, Kristin -- drawings/monoprints
Rosenstein, Lisa -- mixed media paintings -- white on white
Rosenstein, Loren -- silk scarves
Rubel, Erika -- mixed media
Saenger, Peter -- ceramic
Singh, J.J. -- jewelry
Slack, Connie -- abstract paintings
Staiger, Marsha -- abstract collage
Trump, Novie -- sculpture
Tsai, Irene -- chinese watercolors on rice paper
Vardell, Mollie -- oil paintings
Williams, Ann Marie -- abstract paintings
Woody, Curtis -- mixed media paintings

For more information about McLean Project for the Arts and MPAartfest, please visit www.mpaart.org or call 703-790-1953.

Airborne

Flying on Facebook - a cartoon by F. Lennox Campello c.2009
Heading back home today... busy week next week with an opening and then an arts panel... more later.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

E. Carmen Ramos is new SAAM Curator for Latino Art

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has appointed E. Carmen Ramos as its curator for Latino art. Ramos will be responsible for acquiring artworks for the museum’s permanent collection and producing a major exhibition and catalog based on the museum’s Latino holdings for fall 2013. She begins work on Oct. 12.

“I am thrilled that E. Carmen Ramos is bringing her expertise and insights here to help us feature Latino artists who transform personal experiences and cultural heritage into vivid artworks,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “These stories are culturally specific, but also American and universal.”
I'm a little confused by Ms. Broun's comment. It seems to set a niche for what Latino artwork will be collected, specifically those "who transform personal experiences and cultural heritage into vivid artworks."

As I've discussed many times in this blog and many other places before, I am not a big fan of segregating artists by race, or as in this case, by ethnicity.

And if I understand the current meaning of "Latino" these days, it attempts to define people of ancestry links to one of the Latin American nations south of the border and in the Caribbean, while excluding all the nations of British, Dutch or French colonial ancestry (even though the French are technically "Latins"). I'm still a little confused if a "Latino" is an American with Latin American ancestry, or if it also includes people from those Latin American nations. In other words, are Uruguayans "Latinos" or Uruguayans, or both? Certainly Spaniards, Portuguese and Italians (who make up most of Argentina) are not Latinos, since they're Europeans, right?

This is a silly label which falls apart very quickly when truly examined, and actually reveals the huge cultural ignorance that we have about what constitutes and makes up ethnicity and race as opposed to nationality. So if you're born in a Latin American nation, then you're a Latino under this uniquely American ethnic label.

Never mind if your parents were born in Japan and immigrated to some South American nation (there are more Japanese immigrants in South America than in the US), or born in Wales and immigrated to Argentina (there are more people of Welsh ancestry in Argentina than in Wales). Or my personal favorite, the millions of Native American tribes, who find themselves labeled as "Latinos" in the US instead of Maya, or Inca, or whatever Native American nation they belong to.

But that's another issue.

Back to collecting "Latino artists who transform personal experiences and cultural heritage into vivid artworks."

I'm pretty sure that Ms. Broun didn't really mean it the way that this came out, but to me it shows an immensely limited view or expectation of the artwork produced by we have labeled in this nation as "Latino" artists. As a stroll through any major Latin American museum reveals to the most casual observer (just like any museum in Europe or the US) Latin American artists explore all sorts of things for the inspiration for their work, and not all deliver "vivid artworks" and not all use their "personal experiences and cultural heritage" as a driver for their artwork, at least all the time.

Not all Latino artists are Frida Kahloesque in their artwork, and certainly not all Latino artwork is "culturally specific." I'm having a hard time finding a personal experience, or cultural heritage, or even any vividity in the work of (for example) Guillermo Kuitca (soon coming to the Hirshhorn - October 21, 2010 to January 16, 2011).

I know I am being pedantic, but statements like this do reach a niche in my consciousness that tend to bug me more than they should. It is driven by a firm belief that museums should collect artwork based on the merit of the artist and the art, and not on the artist's ethnic, sex or racial background. And I really think that the statement from Ms. Broun have the unintended consequence of revealing a rather galvanized and incorrect view of what drives artists.

I'm not sure if I have made my point clear, as it is a confusing issue. Perhaps the best way to showcase this issue is to pretend that SAAM was hiring a new curator for Nordic art. This would immediately cause some confusion in defining Nordic (as there is confusion in defining Latino). Are Germans Nordic or Teutons? How about Finns? certainly not Laplanders, but they are also Finnish. And Ms. Broun's statement would read:
“I am thrilled that E. Karmen Ramosdottir is bringing her expertise and insights here to help us feature Nordic artists who transform personal experiences and cultural heritage into brooding artworks,” said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “These stories are culturally specific, but also American and universal.”
In any event, F. Lennox Campello welcomes E. Carmen Ramos to the DMV.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Set aside September 23rd!

First Campello gallery exhibition in DC area in 4 years!

Opening on Sept 20 and through Oct. 15 I will be having my first substantial exhibition in the DC area in four years. The show will be at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

There will be all new drawings in my constant exploration of using the human figure to deliver social, historical, satirical, mythological and political messages. The show also includes work by the immensely talented Johanna Mueller, who was one of my top picks from the last Artomatic and whom I predict will steal the show, as well as Leah Frankel and Leslie Shellow, both of whom are new artists to me.

The show is curated by Dr. Claudia Rousseau and is:

An exhibit of works on paper depicting mythical themes, or themes connoting transformations—mythical, magical or organic.

The exhibit will include prints, drawings and installation works employing paper with wax and other media.
The opening is Thursday, September 23, 5:00 – 7:30 pm. I expect to see all of you there to make me look good...

Happy Independence Day to El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Guatemala

These nations and others in the new world declared independence from the mighty and most ancient Kingdom of Spain on this day in 1821.

Opportunity for DMV Artists

Deadline: October 30, 2010

The BlackRock Center for the Arts has a huge gorgeous gallery space and their call for artists for the 2011 art season is now up.

The 2011 Call to Artists is open to all artists residing in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, DC over the age of 18 for original artwork only. This call will cover exhibits in the gallery from October 2011 through August 2012. An exhibit may include on applicant or a combination of applicants, based on the judgement of jurors. The jury panel is comprised of Kathleen Moran, Jack Rasmussen and yours truly.

Details here.

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

Counterpoint, an exhibition of 35 paintings by Lynn Rybicki and 15 paintings by Matthew Langley, is currently on display at the U.S. District Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, from August 6 through October 29.

A reception to meet the artists will take place on September 16, from 5-6:30 p.m., at the courthouse, 6500 Cherrywood Lane, Greenbelt, MD.

Rybicki, a Baltimore artist, paints lyrical abstractions based on the landscape, while Langley, now based in New York, and formerly in Washington, DC, organizes shapes and colors around the structure of the grid.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: October 17, 2010

The Greater Reston Arts Center is requesting proposals for solo and/or group exhibitions for periods of approximately 4-6 weeks during the 2012 season.

GRACE's gallery is one of the most beautiful and flexible contemporary art spaces in the metropolitan area. With moveable walls and an open, hexagonal floor plan, the space is reconfigured for each show.

New this year - proposals will be accepted from artists living or working in a wider geographic area: Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia.

Deadline October 17, 2010

All proposals for exhibitions at the Greater Reston Arts Center must be submitted online through this this website.

What's up with Scope?

The artsphere seems to be ripe with all kinds of issues dealing what has been described as a "free fall" by the once mighty Scope Art Fair.

Art Fag City earlier reported on the complains (and astounding responses to them) by exhibitors at Scope Basel, and Scope also canceled its recent Scope Hamptons fair.

Last year I also heard a lot of grumbling from some of the exhibitors at Scope Miami, and at least one gallery told me that they wouldn't come back as they've found that some of the "lesser known" satellite fairs were doing equally well (or bad) for them for less money and hassle.

Clearly the economy, plus the end of the good times when all you had to do was show up at an art fair and watch the art fly off the walls, perhaps coupled with Scope still obsessed in showing some of the truly infantile work that was cool a few years ago but these days doesn't cut the mustard for sales, may all add up to why this once mighty fair may be suffering.

It takes a lot to build a good reputation for an art fair, but only a couple of reports like this one or this one, for blood to hit the water and the sharks begin to circle.

Paradoxically, there will still be more than 20 art fairs in Miami this coming December, and some fairs (such as Art Miami, the dean of all Miami fairs) seem to be doing well and have become increasingly difficult (for galleries) to get in.

This year four Miami art fairs will share the same block area in Wynwood: Scope, Art Miami, Red Dot and Art Asia. Their huge tents will be side by side, and if their directors truly wanted to make sure that visitors to the fair get their bang for the buck, they'd honor an entry pass to any fair at all fairs. Desperate times call for desperate measures, and until the economy bounces back and people start buying art again, the huge fees and costs associated with doing an art fair justify trying everything and anything to increase foot traffic in the hope that sales will accompany some of the feet.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Airborne

Flying cartoon by Campello
Heading to the Left Coast... more later.

Cover

Just received the draft cover for my 100 Washington Artists book. The publisher declined my suggestion of one art image on the cover and instead is opting for a collage of thumbnails of artists' portraits of their choosing.

Just to save me some headaches in future policing of the book, I asked them to replace two portraits that they had chosen with portraits of other artists, also of their choosing. Every cause has an effect.

Wanna go to a Chevy Chase opening this week?

Celebrating the coming of fall, Zenith Gallery will present "Autumn Equinox" at Chevy Chase Pavilion, featuring artists that are both new to Zenith, and those popular among the gallery’s clients and patrons. The show of sculpture, painting and three-dimensional media works will open with a Meet the Artists Reception on Wednesday, September 15, 6 – 8 PM, and remain on display through November 28.

The show includes work by Rosetta DeBerardinis, Joan Konkel, Barbara Liotta, Carol Newmyer, Anita Philyaw, Ellen Sinel, Paula Stern, Joyce Wellman and Paul Martin Wolff.

Wanna go to an opening this week?

At Gateway this week

The Gateway Gallery and Gift Shop, is hosting its first event, the Fruit of the Vine exhibit from September 8 through October 3. The exhibit features work inspired by wine, grapes and vineyards, in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, photography, pottery, wood turning, pewter, fiberarts and jewelry.

The public is invited to a “Meet the Artists” reception at the gallery Friday September 17 from 6 pm to 9 pm, to chat with the artists about their work and enjoy refreshments. The Gateway Gallery is a new artists’ cooperative showcasing the work of thirty local artists. The gallery is located in Round Hill, Virginia in a bright and inviting space in the renovated Hill High Orchard Building, just west of Round Hill on Route 7 and next door to the Round Hill Arts Center, the Bogati Bodega Winery and the Hill High Country Store and Pie Shop. The Gateway Gallery is open Wednesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays from 11am to 6 pm. More information is available at www.thegatewaygallery.com.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Wanna go to an opening this week?

The Brentwood Arts Exchange at the Gateway Arts Center has Intersecciones Culturales: Voces de America Latina y el Caribe / Cultural Crossroads: Voices from Latin America and the Caribbean, an exhibition featuring artwork by Felix Angel, Joan Belmar, Amber Robles-Gordon, and Rafael Corzo. Curated by Carmen Toruella-Quander, and assisted by Ricardo Penuela-Pava.

Dates: September 15 - October 15, 2010.
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 18. 5:00 - 8:00pm

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Shame on TSU

Two murals painted by a Texas Southern University student 40 years ago were ordered destroyed by school President John Rudley, who disagreed with the university museum director's opinion that the artworks' historical significance made them worth saving.

Workers used white paint last week to cover the murals painted by Harvey Johnson, who retired from TSU in 2007 after 34 years as a professor.
Read the story from the Chron.com here. "... the school had lost two significant pieces of artwork, said Alvia J. Wardlaw, art history professor and university museum director."

Lest We Forget


Studio View, 9/11 by David FeBland
"Studio View, 9/11"
Oil on Canvas c. 9/11/2001 by David FeBland

Friday, September 10, 2010

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

Conner Contemporary Art has three concurrent solo exhibitions featuring a sculptural installation and opening night performance by John Kirchner, a new cycle of oil paintings by John Stark and recent video by Susan MacWilliam. The opening reception + performance is Saturday, September 11th from 6-8pm.

Tomorrow: Do The Art Bus

In celebration of the opening of the 2010 fall art season, three of the DMV's gallery art destinations will be connected by the ART BUS for a ton of gallery openings on Saturday, September 11, 2010.

Free Shuttle service will be provided between Logan Circle, U Street, & the H Street/Atlas District, sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities.

• 1515 14th Street NW bus stop servicing:
Adamson Gallery, 6:30 - 8:30, 1515 14th Street NW
Curators Office, 6 - 8, 1515 14th Street NW
HEMPHILL, 6:30 – 8:30, 1515 14th Street NW
Gallery Plan b, 6 - 8, 1530 14th Street, NW
Irvine Contemporary 6 - 8, 1412 14th Street NW

• 1353 U Street NW bus stop servicing:
Morton Fine Arts, 6:30 – 8:30, 1781 Florida Ave, NW (between 18th and U St.)
Project 4 Gallery, 6:30 – 8:30, 1353 U Street NW

• 1358 Florida Avenue NE, bus stop servicing:
City Gallery, 6-9, 804 H St NE, 2nd Fl
Conner Contemporary, 6-8, 1358 Florida Avenue NE
Industry Gallery, 6-8, 1358 Florida Avenue NE, 2nd Fl
G Fine Art, 6:30-8:30, 1350 Florida Avenue NE

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Jobs in the Arts

Associate Producer—Literary Management

Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to making space for art, is accepting applications for the position of Source Festival Associate Producer—Literary Management. This part-time contract position collaborates with the Source Festival team to present a three- week Festival of new work. This position reports to the Director of Performing Arts.

Responsibilities

* Recruit and coordinate readers for Source Festival 10-Minute Plays & Full-Length Plays;
* Coordinate 10-minute play selection process including responding to all inquiries, collecting & tracking submissions;
* Manage relationships with playwrights, facilitate communication between playwrights & directors;
* Manage playwright hospitality for Full-Length Play Workshop Weekend and visiting playwrights during the Festival;

· Collaborate with Festival Producer & Production Manager to produce10-Minute Plays

* Support Creative Communities Fund selection committee by reading applications and weighing in prior to committee meeting;

* Recruit Front of House staff;
* Coordinate Front of House during Source Festival (June 11-July 3, 2011);
* Assist in execution of major Pre-Festival Events, Full-Length Play workshop weekend, First-Reads, Artistic Blind Date Check-ins, 10-Min Play Designer Runs, etc.; and
* Support general festival administration as needed.

Requirements

* Bachelor’s degree;
* Minimum of one year producing experience in commercial or non-profit performing arts organizations;
* Experience with contracts, casting, dramaturgy & working with artists;
* Superb writing, customer service and organizational skills, plus excellent computer skills;
* Flexible work schedule including some weekday, evenings and weekends; and
* Comfort in a cooperative environment that supports a broad range of artistic, cultural and social points of view.

Compensation: Fixed Fee Contract

Closing Date: September 28, 2010

How to apply:

To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:

Cultural Development Corporation
Attn: Associate Producer Search
916 G Street NW | Washington, DC 20001
hr@culturaldc.org
F 202.315.1303


Associate Producer—Casting

Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC), a non-profit organization dedicated to making space for art, is accepting applications for the position of Source Festival Associate Producer—Casting. This part-time contract position collaborates with the Source Festival production team to present a three-week Festival of new work. This position reports to the Director of Performing Arts.

Responsibilities

* Manage casting for 18 10-Minute plays & three full-length plays including Full-Length Play Workshop Weekend;

· Attend LOWT Auditions & Non-Equity Auditions;

· Support Creative Communities Fund selection committee by reading applications and weighing in prior to committee meeting;

· Collaborate with Festival Producer & Production Manager to produce Artistic Blind Dates

* Assist in execution of Major Pre-Festival Events, Full-Length Play Workshop Weekend, First-Reads, ABD Check-ins, 10-Min Play Designer Runs, etc;

* Assist with recruiting Front of House staff; and

· Support general festival administration as needed.

Requirements

* Bachelor’s degree;
* Minimum of one year producing experience in commercial or non-profit performing arts organizations;
* Experience with contracts, casting, dramaturgy & working with artists;
* Superb writing, customer service and organizational skills, plus excellent computer skills;
* Flexible work schedule, including some weekdays, evening and weekend hours; and
* Comfort in a cooperative environment that supports a broad range of artistic, cultural and social points of view.

Compensation: Fixed Fee Contract

Closing Date: September 28, 2010

How to apply:

To apply, submit a resume with cover letter to:

Cultural Development Corporation
Attn: Associate Producer Search
916 G Street NW | Washington, DC 20001
hr@culturaldc.org
F 202.315.1303

Jury Duty

Yesterday I had the privilege and honor to jury the monthly show at the Art League in Alexandria. There were more than 700 entries!

This is always a tough job, as the Art League has so many talented members. It is always also a discovery for me, and what I did discover in this task was the amazing work of the Best of Show winner, Wendy Donahoe.

To say that the work is breath-taking in not only its technical facility, but also its ability to grasp a psychological moment from the subject, would be an understatement. More on all of this later when I have images and websites from the award winners.

The opening is tonight from 6:30 to 8:30pm with awards around 7:30pm. You can see the award winners and others here.

Wanna go to another Bethesda opening tomorrow?

One of the DMV's best-known photographers, Max MacKenzie, opens tomorrow in Bethesda's Fraser Gallery. The opening is from 6-9PM.

Wanna go to a Bethesda opening tomorrow?

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: November 12, 2010

Gallery West in Old Town Alexandria has a call for artists for their 14th Annual National Juried Show (Exhibit Dates: February 9–March 6, 2011).

The all media show will be juried by yours truly and awards to total $1,000. Click here to download the prospectus.

Star Wars Remix

Check more of them out here

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Happy Independence Day to Brazil

The giant South American nation declared independence from the Kingdom of Portugal on this date in 1822.

The 2010 Trawick Prize Exhibition

Milana BraslavskyI dropped by this weekend to see the current Trawick Prize show, now on exhibition at the former Heineman Myers gallery space in Bethesda. Since I was familiar with the artwork of several of the finalists, I was particularly interested in seeing the work of the new names in the finalists' list (new to me anyway).

Russian-born artist Milana Braslavsky won the "Young Artists Award" and her very interesting photographs follow Sigmund Freud's notion of the uncanny (unheimlich), or "the feeling one suffers when the familiar suddenly becomes foreign or the attractive becomes repulsive." Freud further adds by discussing "the idea of being robbed of one's eyes." This is a concept that repeats itself obsessively through Braslavsky's strangely elegant photos, specifically in the images where the subject covers her eyes with her own hair and other materials almost as if binding her face. This is a young artist to keep an eye on, and for beginner collectors, her work is a great starting place, and at $400 - $450 for a large framed photograph, are also quite a steal.

But perhaps the most interesting new discovery for me was Anne Chan's work which explores the slick metallic world that seems to surround us everywhere in this ever growing age of technology.

They are almost the photographic equivalent of David Smith's shiny metal sculptures from the 60's, but translated into a contemporary dialogue where technology manages to make its presence known in her almost abstract works.

Magnolia Laurie's four small oils on panel reminded me a little of Jessica Van Brakle's paintings, or perhaps what would happen if some of Brandon Morse's videos were collapsed into two-D paintings.

The $10,000 prizewinner was Sara Pomerance, whose Seinfeldian videos become the first of its genre to win the DMV's most prestigious art prize. It is a well-deserved award. I first saw Pomerance's video work when I was a juror for the Art DC fair (remember that?) a few years ago. Back then they stuck in my head, especially "Too Close."

Dan Steinhilber has now won the second prize at the Trawick's twice, and so I've got my money on Dan for next year. The minimalist beauty of his untitled piece of two plastic sheeting sheets stuck to the wall being held by static electricity is a prize to the eyes of followers of what a talented mind can do with nearly anything and everything.

The show is at the former Heineman Myers Gallery space at 4728 Hampden Lane in Bethesda. A public reception will be held on Friday, September 10, 2010 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. The Gallery hours are Wednesday - Saturday from 12-6pm.

The Trawick Prize was established by local Bethesda business owner Carol Trawick. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda. She is the Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District and past Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership. Additionally, the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation was established in 2007 after the Trawicks sold their successful information technology company. The prize was awarded well over $200,000 to DMV artists since it was established at the beginning of the decade.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Happy camper

It's my birthday today and I must admit that I think that this is the happiest that I've ever been in all my of life.

Good thoughts and wishes for all. I wish you all a happy day.

Machete

Machete, reviewed by F. Lennox CampelloThe movie Machete, currently playing all over the place and directed by Ethan Maniquis and Robert Rodriguez is by far one of the most awful films that I have seen in years. Its only redeeming quality is that it allows the use of the word "Mexploitation," which is a very cool new word which showcases the ever amazing muscularity of the Englisg language.

Even though it is full of very talented and/or big name actors (De Niro, Jessica Alba, Michelle Rodriguez, Steven Segal, Lindsay Lohan, etc.), it is not much more than a Mexicanized storyline (written by the director's cousin) along the lines of the gory, pre-Machete films (Planet Terror and Death Proof) by Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino.

No vale la pena. Please don't make a hit out of this movie or we will be seeing an unending series of sequels.

Read Tricia Olszewski's review in the CP here and Michael O'Sullivan's review in the WaPo here.

Portraits of the Fallen

An artist named Kaziah Hancock paints portraits of fallen soldiers free of charge for their families as part of Project Compassion. Video by KARE 11/ Minneapolis/ St. Paul.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Thor Halvorssen on Cuba's Ladies in White

Thor Halvorssen is President of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum. He has a terrific article in the Huffington Post about Cuba's courageous Las Damas de Blanco and the repressive machinations of the Castro brothers.

"The freedom granted to those who should have never had it robbed from them is a welcome step. But the heart of the problem remains: the Castro brothers' tyranny is no different and international actors mustn't be fooled into believing that Raúl is any less of a despot than Fidel. He has inherited his brother's house of tyranny, and has changed nothing but the window dressing. And the curtains aren't white. They're red."
Read it here.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Some good shows at the Katzen

I'm going to be visiting the Katzen later today to see RE-VISION: American University Alumni, which was one of the exhibitions opening the 2010-2011 fall season of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center last Tuesday, August 31.

The exhibition, which closes with the end of AU’s family and alumni weekend on Sunday, October 24, showcases alumni across several generations—from those who graduated this year to those who studied under Luciano Penay (also opening an exhibition at the museum), Robert Gates, Helene Herzbrun, Ben L. Summerford, Robert D’Arista, and others in the AU Art Department’s first wave of faculty.

The exhibition includes more than 97 works of by 60 artists, each of whom is an AU alum. Jack Rasmussen, curator and director of the Museum, was one of the individuals tasked with jurying the show. To be considered, the work had to have been created no earlier than the year 2000.

"We were impressed by the 120 alums who submitted work," said Rasmussen, himself an AU alumnus. "Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough space to include them all, but the enthusiastic response by our alumni tells me this is a project to be revisited in the not-too-distant future."

In addition to RE-VISION: American University Alumni, three other exhibitions opened at the American University Museum on August 31: Luciano Penay: Time, News, Paintings, and Natural Forms, BG Muhn: Love Affair of the Empress and Alan Binstock: Way-Stations. Binstock is a former NASA architect who has been showing around the East Coast for the last two decades.

Norse Soul: the legacy of Edvard Munch, social democracy, old myths, anarchy, and death longings, which opened earlier this summer, is also be on display.

New drawing

Eve Running Away from Eden, by F. Lennox Campello


Eve Running Away from Eden. 10 x 25 inches. Charcoal on paper, c. 2010 by F. Lennox Campello

This is "Eve Running Away from Eden." This is a new piece just finished, which will either be exhibited at the "Myth & Transformations" show at the School of Art & Design at Montgomery College's King Street Gallery, located in the beautiful Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center at 930 King Street in the Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus (Opening on Thu., Sept. 23, 2010) or at the McLean Project for the Arts Aartfest, which is a one-day juried fine art and craft show and sale featuring the work of 40 local and regional visual artists. McLean Central Park will reverberate with the sights and sounds of art and music on Sunday, October 3rd at the 4th annual MPAartfest. Last year’s event drew 6,000 art and music devotees. Details here.
Detail of Eve Running Away from Eden, by F. Lennox Campello

Eve Running Away from Eden (Detail). 10 x 25 inches. Charcoal on paper, c. 2010 by F. Lennox Campello

Friday, September 03, 2010

Gopnik on the Trawick Prize

The Washington Post
's chief art critic reviews the Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, a.k.a. the Trawick Prize.

Sara Pomerance of Washington won the $10,000 "Best in Show" award. Read Gopnik's excellent take on the prizewinners here.

FYI to Blake: "Best in Show" is the usual award given in most of these type of competitions where the actual winner is selected from a "showing" of their actual work.

The show is at the former Heineman Myers Gallery space at 4728 Hampden Lane in Bethesda. A public reception will be held on Friday, September 10, 2010 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. The Gallery hours are Wednesday - Saturday from 12-6pm.

No Artist Left Behind

The WPA's No Artist Left Behind (NALB) Workshop Series (in partnership with New York Foundation for the Arts), presents: Independent Artist.

This is a one-day professional development workshop with Rory Golden, Program Officer, New York Foundation for the Arts on September 25, 10am-5pm.

Hosted by Cultural Development Corporation at the Source Theater (1835 14th St., NW Washington, DC). Register here.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Camilo Sanin at Orchard Gallery

Camilo Sanin, who is currently a graduate student at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and also the winner of prestigious 2009 Bethesda Painting Award, is currently showing in an exhibition titled Underlying Structures at Bethesda's Orchard Gallery.

The opening reception, part of the Bethesda Art Walk, is tomorrow, September 3rd from 7-9pm.

Dupont Gallery walk tomorrow


Lori Anne Boocks and Jan Willem van der Vossen open at Studio Gallery with receptions on Friday 9/3 from 6-8pm (for the Dupont Circle galleries First Friday openings) and again on Saturday 9/11 from 4-6pm.