Saturday, May 21, 2011


After receiving the below press release from Georgetown's MOCA DC gallery, I asked its director, Dave Quammen, for permission to post it in this blog. Although it is raw and to the bone, and courageously reveals intimate personal issues, it also goes to show the amazing extent that some gallery owners go to in an effort to keep their art spaces open and running:

June Exhibit - Why Not?
The gallery has been in the same financial straits for a long time, but I could pick up the slack before. I can't do that anymore without major changes to the way that MOCA DC operates.

So, beginning with the June exhibit, I will accept one piece of art free from anyone, member or not. Art must be 36 x 40 max and meet the theme of the exhibit. Additional pieces may be entered for a nominal fee.

As of the June exhibit, I have kept the gallery open for 6 1/2 years, at a personal cost during that time well in excess of $25,000 - out of my pocket, not to mention the at least 70 hours per week, at no income from the gallery.

Well, folks - beginning right now, I ain't gonna do it anymore. Income this month and last has fallen a lot, mostly rental of the gallery, etc. If no one comes up with the $2,625 for rent by June 1, I ain't gonna pay it at all and let the chips fall where they may.

Same goes for the Figure Models Guild - which will be 10 years old this July. At the beginning, I made copies of the Model Registry, bought envelopes and paid the postage out of my own pocket. I also made copies of the guide I put together for models, held events and etc - all for nothing. No cost to models, no cost to all those who got a free ride - all the colleges, universities, schools, teachers, et al --- all for nothing.

I don't know how many know that in 2008 I was diagnosed with prostate and colon cancer - beat em both. In 2009, I had to have heart surgery on 2 different occasions. This year, or late last year, I was diagnosed with lung problems - emphysema and COPD, or pulmonary fibrosis. They put me on an inhaler for a while, but last month they changed it to a stronger one and added a 2nd. Problem is, this is one thing I can't beat, and it's a crap shoot as to how much time I have left - will be 72 in October, so I can't complain about longevity - I've done more in my life than most people do, so I don't have any regrets.

But I do have some other things I want to do, but I can't with this albatross around my neck. So if you want this to continue, figure out what these things are worth and come up with the cash, or I'm in the wind.

Well, Joe - this one's for you. Thanks for the push!
MOCA DC is one of the Canal Square Galleries at 1054 31st Street & M Street, NW in Georgetown.

Kriston Capps reports on this issue here.

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