Friday, May 21, 2010

2010 Bethesda Painting Awards Finalists

Deborah Addison Coburn, Rockville, MD
Sheila Blake, Takoma Park, MD
Deborah Ellis, Alexandria, VA
James Halloran, Arlington, VA
Katherine Mann, Washington, D.C.
Lindsay McCulloch, Chevy Chase, MD
Michele Montalbano, Burke, VA
Carol Phifer, Fredericksburg, VA
Nora Sturges, Baltimore, MD

The selected finalists will display their work from June 1-26 2010 in downtown Bethesda at the Fraser Gallery. The opening exhibition of the Bethesda Painting Awards winners is on Friday, June 11th from 6-9pm held in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Many of the finalists and winners will be on hand to discuss their work.

Congrats to all the finalists!

Mid City Artists Open Studios Tomorrow

Twice yearly, the artists in the neighborhood between Dupont and Logan Circles invite visitors into their studios. Next one is this weekend: May 22nd and 23rd.

Plan your visits in advance by flipping through the artists' pages online to see what you like, who is new, and who is participating. You can also download a map to plan your route in advance and guide you along.

Some of the artists participating are: Sondra N. Arkin, Chuck Baxter, Jane Cave, Groover Cleveland, Robert Dodge, Thomas Drymon, Gary Fisher, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Betsy Karasik, Hannah Naomi Kim, Joren Lindholm, Regina M. Miele, Lucinda F. Murphy, Mark Parascandola, Rebecca Perez, Dave Peterson, Brian Petro, Peter Alexander Romero, Nicolas F. Shi, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Isabelle Spicer, Bill Warrell, Mike Weber, Robert Wiener, Colin Winterbottom and others.

Real Art DC Finalist Number 1

Jessica Dawson picks Joel D'Orazio as her first finalist for the Washington Post's Real Art DC contest:

So how come D'Orazio doesn't have a gallery? When I asked him for a conceptual read on his artworks -- What's the thinking behind them? What are they about? -- I got an inkling of the problem. For D'Orazio, making chairs and making paintings (which he turns out in droves) is instinctual stuff; he considers them open-ended experiments in form and color. There's no big idea here.

Joel, you can't be serious! To be relevant, art has got to have a conceptual underpinning, some reason why it exists. In particular, abstract painting is a minefield -- it can't be attempted in the 21st century without a plan of attack that positions the work against all that came before.

As Joel toured me around his home, basement studio and garage, I saw legions of his abstract paintings on panel, each with pigment pooled on their surfaces in chance patterns. The works were lined up one against the next, almost all without gallery interest or a collector awaiting them.
Read the whole piece here.

Questions for the masses: Does art have to have a conceptual underpinning? Or is that a fabricated aftershock of postmodernism or its predecessors? Or even worse, something that art critics and curators all believe in, but many artists choose to ignore?

Or is Joel right in essentially doing art for art sake's and enjoying creating droves of experiments in color and form?

I submit that only time, the only true art critic who wins all art debates, can tell. The most recent evidence of this is the spectacular sudden success of Carmen Herrera, who sold her first painting at age 89 and is now the new darling of the painting world at age 94.

I figure Joel has about 30-35 more years to go...

New Art Order Scam

Australia Order‏
From: Chris Matt (
Sent: Thu 5/20/10 11:12 AM

I am interested in purchasing some of your artwork, I will like to know if you can ship directly to Australia, I also want you to know my mode of payment for this order is via Credit Card.

Get back to me if you can ship to that destination and also if you accept
the payment type I indicated. Kindly return this email with your Website.

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Chris Matt
1-7 CNR Ashley Park Drive & Wells Road, Chelsea Heights, VIC 3186
Tel :- +61 7 3276 1626 +61 7 3276 1626
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Beware of this "Chris Matt"

Meet the Gallery Girls

Ryma Chikhoune of BYT has been profiling the gallery girls of the DC area art galleries in a very cool series of interviews.

Start with part 1 here, part 2 is here and part 3 is here.

We all hope that a series on DC gallery boys follows.

Wanna go to an opening this Saturday?

Megan Coyle's "Piece by Piece: Figurative Collage" will be opening at the Fisher Gallery on NOVA's campus in Alexandria, Virginia. The reception is on Saturday, May 22nd from 3:00 to 5:00p.m., with an artist talk at 4:00p.m. The show opened May 14th, 2010 and runs through June 13th.

The exhibition includes several 18”x24” collage works on paper. Each piece is made entirely from recycled magazines and depicts different figures interacting with the environment around them. Coyle is also having an upcoming solo show in July at the Art League Gallery that will feature different work than the Fisher Gallery show.

Margaret W. & Joseph L. Fisher Art Gallery
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center
3001 North Beauregard Street, Alexandria VA 22311

Gallery Hours: Monday - Friday, 10am - 4pm

Art Movie Night

Tomorrow night is Art Movie Night at Artists' Circle in North Potomac, featuring Who the #$&% is Jackson Pollock .

Saturday, May 22nd 7 to 9pm (seating limited; open to public with reservations). Please email or call 301.947.7400 for inquiries or reservations.

Artists Circle Fine Art
13501 Travilah Road
North Potomac, MD 20878