New Year's Prayer
While you're hopefully enjoying welcoming 2012 at parties or with your loved ones tonight, please remember Cuban pro-democracy leader Ivonne Malleza Galano, who is currently on a hunger strike in a punishment cell of the infamous maximum security prison of Manto Negro.
Throughout 2011, Malleza, a member of the Ladies in White, has led a series of peaceful protests in Havana parks that have been met with great popular support.
That led the criminal Castro regime to brutally arrest her on November 30th (here's a video of the protest and arrest).
Also arrested (and still in prison) was her husband Ignacio Martinez Moreno and fellow activist Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosquera.
Consider dedicating your New Year's prayer and wish to Ivonne's release and to the freedom of all the Cubans who have been now brutalized for over five decades.
Saturday, December 31, 2011
New Year's Prayer
Friday, December 30, 2011
DC in American Contemporary Art Magazine
The current issue of American Contemporary Art magazine has a focus piece on DC area shows and discusses the recent FALL SOLOS 2011 at the Arlington Arts Center, Percy Martin's solo show at Parish Gallery in Georgetown, and Frederick's version of Art-O-Matic.
Read it online here; starts in page 16.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
To my good buds and DMV uberartists Tim Tate & Michael Janis - each one of them has been named as recipients of Fulbright Scholarships. This March, both of them will be heading over to the University Of Sunderland and to the Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG) in the United Kingdom. Janis is represented locally by Maurine Littleton and Tate by several galleries.
Also congrats to the very talented Jason Horowitz, who just won a Franz and Virginia Bader Fund grant of $15,000 for his impressive photographic works. He is represented locally by Curator's Office.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
List free on Ebay
Got any artwork taking up space and looking for a new owner? For the next two days you can list for free on Ebay.
Ebay is pretty much bottom feeders only when it comes to art acquisition, but hey! what have you got to lose other than your time?
Monday, December 26, 2011
5 x 5 Curators selected
First of all, congrats to my good friend and ubercurator Laura Roulet; now the release from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities:
Mayor Vincent C. Gray and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) have identified the five curators chosen to complete 25 ground-breaking public art installations, totaling $500,000 in grants, for the 5x5 Public Art Project presented with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The installations will be unveiled and showcased during the Festival's Centennial Celebration, March 20 - April 27, 2012. 5x5 is the new temporary art project that will result in 25 public art exhibitions and be installed concurrently throughout the District of Columbia to activate and enliven publicly accessible spaces and add an ephemeral layer of creativity and artistic expression to neighborhoods across the District. The Festival's Centennial Celebration commemorates the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees from Tokyo to Washington, DC and will showcase unprecedented arts and culture. The groundbreaking 5x5 Public Art Project offers a unique cultural experience for over one million people expected to take part in the nation's greatest springtime celebration.Congrats to all the curators and I'm looking forward to the results...
A five-member selection committee carefully chose five curators from more than 90 submissions. All media and art forms were considered, including, but not limited to visual art, performance, light, digital, projection, and event-based work.
"We considered submissions from curators locally, nationally and worldwide and, ultimately, these five curators demonstrated an impressive body of work," said Lionell Thomas, Executive Director for the DC Commission on The Arts and Humanities.
The five selected curators named below must select five artists each to create five bodies of public work. These five curators will lead the 5x5 implementation process and will manage and oversee each artist's concept, budget and schedules. The installations can be of any duration, but they can not exceed four months.
Amy Lipton; New York, NY: Amy Lipton is the east coast curator and co-director of ecoartspace, a bi-coastal non-profit organization that creates opportunities for addressing environmental issues through the arts since 1999. She has curated numerous exhibitions for museums, galleries, sculpture parks and environmental centers, and has written for books and publications. She organizes and participates on panel discussions and lectures frequently on art and the environment. Amy's 5x5 project is titled "BiodiverCITY." She has chosen five artists whose works address biodiversity both in scientific and cultural terms.
Justine Topfer; San Francisco, CA: Justine Topfer of Out Of The Box Projects is an international curator and writer based in San Francisco with a particular interest in public art. For six years she has been working collaboratively in Australia and internationally with a broad spectrum of contemporary artists, art organizations, institutes of higher education. Justine's project name for 5x5 is "Betwixt & Between," a reference used to denote a liminal state; one which we pass through oblivious, as we rush toward the next thing. Justine asked her group of selected international artists to create five public interventions which breathe new life into the ordinary, reinvigorating the fabric of the urban environment.
Richard Hollinshead; Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, UK: Richard Hollinshead is Director of Grit & Pearl, an artist, designer and curator, and holds a BA, MA and PhD by Practice with a specialism in contemporary projects for heritage landscapes. Richard's 5x5 project is titled "Magnificent Distance." It is based around Washington DC's best known epithets, City of Magnificent Distances, drawing inspiration from exploration of the rich territory that exists between that ideal and "reflect the character and identity of the city [Washington DC.]"
Laura Roulet; Washington, DC: As 5x5's sole local curator, Laura Roulet is an independent curator and writer, specializing in contemporary and Latin American art. She has organized exhibitions in Puerto Rico at El Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, la Galería Nacional, and in Washington, DC at the Art Museum of the Americas, the Mexican Cultural Institute, Edison Place Gallery, Hillyer Art Space, Project 4, Fusebox, and the DC Art Center. Laura's 5x5 exhibition is titled "Activate => Participate," and has chosento work almost entirely with local artists to create communal, multi-sensory experiences for diverse audiences. All fall under the conceptual umbrella of "relational aesthetics," where a temporary community is formed through the shared experience of an ephemeral art event.
Steve Rowell; Culver City, CA: Curator Steve Rowell is an artist, curator, and researcher working in and between Los Angeles and Washington, DC. His spatial practice involves the overlapping aspects and perceptions of technology, culture, and infrastructure on, beneath, and above the landscape - contextualizing the built and the natural environment, appropriating the methods and tools of the geographer and cartographer. Steve's 5x5 project is called "Suspension of Disbelief," selecting five artists who will investigate the fringes of the monumental core: airspaces, zones of exclusion, perimeters, liminal landscapes, waterways, shorelines, perceived non-places, and lesser-known or overlooked (sometimes even conspicuously absent) memorials, around the National Mall and along the federal periphery.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Since tonight is Nochebuena, and per request,I've been preparing the classic Nochebuena Cuban feast for the night.
The fare for tonight:
Cuban Roasted Pork
Mariquitas with Mojo Sauce for Dipping
Sweet Corn Tamales
Broiled Yucca with Garlic Mojo
Broiled Ňame with Olive Oil
Moros y Cristianos (Rice and Black Bean Soup)
Cuban Nochebuena Salad
And from our family to all: a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Terrific 2012 to all!
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Artists and Art Fairs (Part II)
On Tuesday I related how almost a decade ago, the founders and organizer of a European art fair called Art Basel (which of course, takes place in Basel, Switzerland), decided to try an American version of their successful European model and started an art fair in the Miami Beach Convention Center and they called it Art Basel Miami Beach or ABMB for short.
And I told you how that one mega art fair spawned a few satellite art fairs in Miami at the same time and how by now there are over two dozen art fairs going on around the Greater Miami area and art collectors, artists, gallerists, dealers, curators and all the symbiots of the art world descent on America’s coolest hot city in December and art rules the area.
I also pointed out, that if you are a visual artist in 2011 and are not aware of these events, and are not trying to get there (get your artwork there is what I mean), then something really big is missing from your artistic arsenal (unless you’re happy just painting or drawing or photographing or sculpting, etc. and could care less who sees and possibly acquires your work – if that’s the case, then skip the rest of this post and more power to you!).
But, if like some of us, the commodification of your artwork doesn’t bother you, and the fact that when you or your gallery sell one of your pieces, you feel honored and pleased that someone laid out their hard earned cash to simply add one of your creations to their home or collection, then Miami in December should be in your radar.
But how to get there? The fairs are mostly gallery-based – that means that galleries are invited or juried to exhibit; not usually individual artists --- more on that later – but there are some other ways to begin to crack the Miami art fair presence, and today I want to share some of my ideas.
Let’s start with gallery-based artists.
If you are already represented by a gallery, why not discuss Miami with them? The enormous expenses associated with the art fair scene are the main reason that most art galleries do not consider them. And this is a darn good reason, as most galleries are run by the skin of their teeth and the expense associated with doing an art fair are enormous and could wreck an entire financial plan in less than a week.
But, what does it hurt to bring it up to your gallerist? Who knows where that may lead?
I am still shocked at how many art dealers are not even aware of the potential financial and exposure rewards of doing an art fair.
Let me be clear: I don't want to hype this issue as a surefire path to moving artwork. But, this much I know… for roughly the same amount of money that a gallery spends on a full page ad in a national art magazine, you can get a small booth in some of the satellite fairs and the return on their investment has a lot more avenues than taking a chance with an ad.
Gathering information is the key thing… bring the subject up to your dealer, and if they want more info, have them email me… the best thing for art is more art.
How about if you are a cooperative gallery? Why not consider applying to one of the art fairs and spreading the cost of the booth amongst the exhibiting artists? A word of warning: the better fairs are juried and that means that someone gets always rejected. But the same key that allows cooperatives to survive for decades (spread the expenses) should and must be the key to give them a presence at the art fairs!
And many, many co-ops are routinely showing now at art fairs in Miami, NYC, LA, London, Madrid, etc. The fact that they are returning to the fairs means that they’re having a positive experience there.
The look and feel of the fairs is different as well. Many of them are booth fairs – that means that a white cube booth of plain white walls, ready to be drilled and hung with art, is the main model.
Fairs such as the original Art Basel Miami Beach, Pulse, Red Dot, Scope, Art Miami, etc. are on this model. At least one of them (Red Dot) in 2011 allowed individual artists to apply for the first time and had quite a few artists’ booth in their huge tent in Wynwood District, right next to the Scope Art Fair and across the street from Art Miami (these latter two only accept galleries).
There are also hotel fairs. These are fairs that essentially take place in a local hotel, where the room is often emptied out and turned into a temporary gallery by the out of town galleries. The best hotel art fair in the world, according to many, is the Aqua Art Fair, held at the Aqua Hotel in Miami Beach, and having just participated in it, add my name to the list of people who thinks that this is the best hotel art fair on the planet. And at Aqua I saw at least two cooperative galleries…
There are also individual artists-based fairs – after all, with 22-25 art fairs around the area, new models are apt to develop – and they have! The Pool Art Fair is one of these, focusing on unrepresented artists. They had a bit of a drama this year in Miami, as the fair was shut down by Miami police due to "lack of a permit", but this fair has been around for seven years, so I'm sure they'll be back next year with all the right paperwork.
A little Googlin’ of Miami art fairs (or just art fairs in general) will reveal just how many fairs there are and where.
The key thought to leave you with: think art fairs and think Miami, New York, LA, Chicago... and think of a way to get there.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Opportunity for Figurative Artists
Deadline: February 6, 2012
First juried show at established Washington DC gallery located in Georgetown. Theme: You, Me and Everybody Else. Artists are encouraged to consider broad contemporary interpretation of the figure.
Fee: $15 FOR 3 IMAGES. For details and entry form go to UP FRONT page on this website. Juror and curator is artist and writer Lilianne Milgrom. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a subject line You, Me and Everybody Else
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Artists and art fairs
If you are a visual artist or art dealer/gallerist in today’s ever changing visual art world, and you’re not aware or know about the Miami art fairs that take place each year-end and are clustered around Miami and Miami Beach, then you have a problem that needs urgent attention.
Almost a decade ago, the founders and organizers of a European art fair called Art Basel (which of course, takes place in Basel, Switzerland), decided to try an American version of their successful European model and started an art fair in the Miami Beach Convention Center and they called it Art Basel Miami Beach or ABMB for short.
This was nothing new in the American art fair scene, as even in Miami art fairs such as Art Miami had been going on for years. But whatever right timing and combination of European flavoring added to Miami's Cubanized international art scene did was spectacular and ABMB took off like Meat Loaf's second album's title.
In the halcyon days of the healthy economy of those days, the art fair proved to be a spectacular success, with millions of dollars of artwork by the blue chip names of the art world exchanging hands at ABMB as collectors from all over the world congregated in Miami’s balmy December to be seen at the sharp point of the spear of the contemporary art world.
ABMB’s success soon spawned other art fairs, which are called “satellite fairs”, since they all revolve around ABMB’s dates and presence on America’s coolest and most international beach city. The evolution of these satellite fairs was fed by the fact that ABMB focused almost exclusively on European galleries and a handful of the top tier American New York galleries.
In those days, even if you were the best gallery in Chicago, or LA or Miami itself, you had zero chance to be invited to ABMB.
And thus satellite art fairs with names like Scope, Red Dot, Bridge, Pulse, NADA and others began to appear around Miami at the same time as ABMB. Soon, someone came up with the novel idea that these art fairs could also take place in hotel rooms, and the “hotel fair” was born. Many of these also began to appear, none better than the Aqua Art Fair, now called “the best hotel art fair in the world.” Having just done Aqua, I can testify brother, that the Aqua organizers have it down, and in my limited opinion, this is indeed the best hotel art fair in the world.
Back to my story... by 2010, even with the economy in the doldrums that refuse to go away, there were 25 art fairs going on around Miami starting roughly around November 28 through the first Sunday of December.
Yes dear readers, 25 art fairs at once! Some developed a tight focus, such as for Asian art or photography, others tried to establish an artist-oriented focus, but in general, all recognized that something special happens each December in Miami.
By now the figures are mind blowing: I am told by Miami journalists from Rumor Control that during that week of the ABMB art fairs, roughly 20% of all the art work sold in the world exchanges hands in Miami.
Furthermore, as the magnitude of the event grew, so did the attendance by both the “need to be seen” crowd and by even more worldwide collectors and, just as importantly, the press.
Thus now the news media not only discusses what’s new or who’s hot in the art world, but also they let us know who Sly Stallone or other Hollywood stars of all magnitude are acquiring. It has become cool for Hollywood stars and wannabes to collect art, which in most Einsteinian dimensions is a good thing.
The concentrated press reporting has also made celebrities out of mega collectors, such as the Miami based Rubell or DeLaCruz families.
Most of the art fairs are gallery-focused; that means that it is art galleries, as opposed to individual artists, who exhibit artwork. The prices for the booths are spectacularly expensive, and generally, a small 200 sq. ft. booth can start at $10,000 or more, and a large booth can run as high as $100,000. And this is before a gallery adds other associated costs such as shipping costs of the artwork, transportation to/from Miami, customs, food, car rental, hotel and salaries.
For most galleries around the world it is a daunting economic investment, which can turn into a financial disaster if sales fail to materialize.
Around the DMV, only a handful of local area galleries took the risk over the last few years. Spaces such as Conner Contemporary, Civilian Art Projects, Hamiltonian Gallery, Fraser Gallery, Irvine Contemporary, and a precious few others, took the venture out to Miami. One local dealer, Art Whino, began its own model and sets up its own ABMB space in Miami during that week.
“I meet more art collectors that week in Miami than the entire year in DC,” related one local art dealer.
“Over the years,” added another, “about 80% of my sales take place at, or because of art fairs in Miami, New York, LA, etc.”
The opportunity to actually sell art is a powerful magnet to tempt art dealers to take the economic plunge. “My openings in Norfolk are always packed, and the shows get good press coverage here,” notes Norfolk’s Mayer Fine Art’s director Sheila Giolitti, who has been also going to Miami for the last few years (disclosure: she represents my work), “And yet, the Norfolk area has a very limited market for contemporary art. If it wasn’t for the art fairs, keeping a gallery in this area would not be a viable option.”
Read: "Because of Miami and other art fairs, I wouldn't be able to have a gallery in Norfolk." Norfolk should be grateful to Miami...
Individual artists have also begun to use the Miami opportunity to showcase their own approaches. None of these have been as cool or successful as Calder Brannock’s Camper Contemporary.
Camper Contemporary is a mobile gallery created and curated by Calder Brannock. According to the artist, “It is a fully functional art gallery set up inside an altered 1967 Yellowstone camper. Camper Contemporary gallery poses a solution for many problems a gallery faces in the modern art market. It allows the gallerist to showcase work in a clean controlled gallery environment without being tethered to rents or a geographic location. The mobile gallery model allows the gallerist to maintain a physical space where work can be displayed with all the benefits and gravitas of a traditional gallery while easily reaching collectors at art fairs and other large art markets.”
So how does an artist get to Miami if he/she is not represented by a gallery, or their gallery doesn’t do art fairs or chooses not to bring your work to the party?
Some ideas next later...
Monday, December 19, 2011
Opportunity for Collage Artists
Deadline: December 31, 11.
2012 marks the centennial of the inception of collage in the field of painting. Strange Glue - Collage is 100 is a three-part exhibition series that will open in September of 2012 and run through June of 2013. Collage is ubiquitous in contemporary culture and it is arguably the most democratic of artistic processes. The exhibition series aims to explore the current status of collage methodology within contemporary art practices as much as it endeavors to examine the conceptual and political manifestations of this evolving artistic strategy. To apply, please visit the Thompson Gallery website for a prospectus and/or follow this link.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Opportunity for Artists of the Nude
Deadline: January 27, 2012
CIAO Gallery of Jackson, Wyoming is pleased to offer the opportunity to participate in their 5th annual "Naturally Nude", an exhibition of exceptional nudes. This show is open to all artists in any medium, traditional renderings as well as unique interpretations. Work must be original and ready to be displayed, clearly labeled with the artists name and contact information. No substitutions of accepted work. Art work must be for sale. This exhibition opening takes place on Valentine's Day evening and has become one of our most popular events for the gallery. $45 entry fee. Visit website for prospectus, or send a SASE to:
PO Box 1274
Jackson WY 83001
Questions? Contact Michele Walters at email@example.com or call (307) 733-7833.
Saturday, December 17, 2011
Yesterday I was packing some Xmas presents and when I was taping up the shipping box, somehow my right hand slipped while I was cutting the tape and as a result I embedded the entire blade of the Exacto knife into the meaty portion of my left palm.
Sis in law drove me to emergency, where after a few lost hours I exited with a wounded hand hopefully on the way to recovery and one really gross image (taken while I was bored waiting for the doc in one of the emergency room cubicles) of what a very deep entry wound looks like.
Friday, December 16, 2011
Thursday, December 15, 2011
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Statement by the President on the Legacy of Laura Pollán
Today, as the National Endowment for Democracy awards the Democracy Service Medal posthumously to Laura Pollán, the founder of Las Damas de Blanco, we honor and celebrate her life by recognizing her significant contributions to the struggle to defend human rights in Cuba.The Castro brothers' criminal dictatorship will come to an end one day soon, and justice will touch the Castros and their fellow criminals who have brutalized the Cuban people for so many years.
Laura Pollán and the quiet dignity of the Ladies in White have courageously voiced the core desire of the Cuban people and of people everywhere to live in liberty. Taking to the streets in peaceful protest to draw attention to the plight of those unjustly held in Cuba’s prisons, Laura Pollán and the Ladies in White have stood bravely against Cuban authorities who unleash mobs, and resort to house arrest, and temporary detention in a failed attempt to silence them. Through Laura Pollán’s and the Damas’ brave actions, the world bore witness to the repressive actions of Cuban authorities, eventually leading to the release of political prisoners wrongly jailed in the Spring of 2003.
Though Laura is not with us today, her bravery in the face of repression and her selfless commitment to democracy and human rights in Cuba, offer a living legacy that inspires us to keep moving forward. To Las Damas de Blanco who will watch or listen to today’s ceremony, you have our utmost respect for your efforts to stand up for the rights of the Cuban people even in the face of this weekend’s crackdown directed at you and we honor each of you as well.
The United States is steadfast in supporting the simple desire of the Cuban people to freely determine their future and to enjoy the rights and freedoms that define the Americas, and that should be universal to all human beings. I remain committed to supporting civil society in Cuba, including by protecting the ability of Cuban Americans to support their families in Cuba through unrestricted family visits and remittances.
It is a lesson in human will to see these brutal dictators throw the entire power of their 53-year-old repressive state machine at a bunch of valiant old women and have the Ladies in White show the Cuban police state what human will power and love for freedom is all about.
Laura Pollán, you will not be forgotten.
You won't believe this...
Hardworking Norfolk art dealer Sheila Giolitti is the owner of Norfolk-based gallery Mayer Fine Art.
MFA is not only Norfolk's best art gallery (in my biased opinion since they represent me), but also the only Norfolk-based gallery and one of 2-3 Virginia art galleries that does art fairs around the US and overseas.
This morning Giolitti woke up to the news that her gallery website had been hacked into by an extremist Muslim group who filled her website with anti Jewish, hate-filled slogans, causing her account to be suspended.
Who knows why the website was targeted, unless some idiot thought that the "Mayer" in Mayer Fine Art means that it is a Jewish-owned gallery, which it isn't.
I don't know if there's a relationship, but I am also aware of the fact that several artists' email accounts around the Tidewater area have been recently hacked into and hate-filled emails sent out, and this morning my own personal account had been shut down (for unknown reasons so far) and I had to go through a laborious process to restore it and hope that it was all a precautionary step from MS.
One word to those whose heart and actions are filled with hate: you reap what you sow.
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Hizzoner's Weird Xmas Pic
"Mayor Jorge Santini of San Juan landed himself a spot in the famed Awkward Family Photo blog with his 2011 Christmas picture which depicts his family huddling around a taxidermied killing scene. As a leopard sinks its teeth into a poor creature’s throat, a little girl strikes a very sassy pose."Read the whole thing online here.
Hockney Atop The Brits
A recent poll conducted by 'The Other Art Fair' asked thousands of artists of all ages who they thought was the most influential artist in the UK. The winner was David Hockney, leading many to ask: "really?" Hockney, known for his modern-pop appropriations of the traditional landscape, won a surprising victory over such giants as J.M.W. Turner, Francis Bacon and Thomas Gainsborough. Banksy made the shortlist, but influential Young British Artists (YBAs) Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin didn't even even make the top 10.Read it online here.
Monday, December 12, 2011
Another loss to the DMV visual arts community
Studio Coordinator, Glass Artist, Friend
I am sorry to report that the Washington Glass School's much loved glass studio coordinator passed away yesterday morning. Only 28 years old, Nicole succumbed to a very aggressive ovarian cancer. Our Nicole was a trooper to the end, and we understand that she seemed comfortable as she passed.
Nicole shown here plugged through the messy part of studio work.
Nicole was an instructor of classes at the Washington Glass School. Nicole is hown here with artists Cheryl Derricotte and Dave Cook.
A mural based on Nicole's tattoo was painted at the Fridge Gallery in Washington, DC. in 2010.
Services will be held Saturday at 11 am at the Oakton Unitarian Universalist.
To the left is the most reproduced photograph in human history. It's an image taken by Cuban photographer Korda (1928-2001) of Argentine mass-murdering guerrilla icon Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch, known to most of the world as Che and to many Cubans as "El Chacal de La Cabana."
Che's photo has been reproduced in billions of T-Shirts, posters, postcards, cigar labels, vodka labels, etc. as the West's all-powerful ad machinery, driven mostly by an mystic love of all things Che by Italians and the French, has iconized this image beyond's Korda's wildest expectations (and until the very end of his life, he didn't get a penny for it, as in Castro's workers' paradise, the state, not Korda, had ownership of the image).
Would you be surprised to learn that the very first vintage photo of Che; the very first one; Korda's own personal print; the mother of all subsequent images of Che, has found a home in the DMV?
It does, living alongside 17 other vintage Korda photographs acquired directly from Korda's daughter soon after the legendary Cuban photographer died.
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Artists 62 and older...
The Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging
(NYC & DC Metro Area ) --- ART CART: SAVING THE LEGACY (www.creativeaging.org/artcart) will select professional visual artists from the NYC and Washington DC Metro areas for a 9-month project (September 2012-May 2013) run by the Research Center for Arts and Culture at the National Center for Creative Aging to help organize and document the artists' work.
Artists receive honoraria for public forums. To receive more information please send your contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it at 202-895-9489. Info materials will be sent in January for a February deadline.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Graduate Arts Award
Deadline: 9 February 2012
The Graduate Arts Award - The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Arts Award recognizes and rewards America's promising up-and-coming artists from lower-income backgrounds with the nation's leading graduate scholarships in the visual arts, performing arts, and creative writing.
The Graduate Arts Award enables students or recent alumni with exceptional artistic or creative promise and significant financial need to pursue up to three years of study at an accredited graduate institution in the US or abroad. Awards can be as much as $50,000 annually. In 2012, the Foundation will select up to 15 recipients for this award.
The award provides funding for tuition, room and board, required fees, and books. Scholarship amounts vary based on several factors, including cost at the institution each recipient attends and other grants and scholarships the student receives.
Students interested in the program must be nominated by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Faculty Representative at their school, and may not apply directly to the Foundation. Each college or university may nominate two students to be considered for this award.
A review panel of distinguished artists, arts faculty, and university administrators select Scholars using criteria including artistic or creative merit, academic achievement, financial need, will to succeed, and a breadth of interest and activities.
The online application is available now and the deadline for submission is February 9, 2012. For more information please visit the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation website.
Friday, December 09, 2011
Another Experiment: Frida After Frida
As I've discussed and reflected on this site many times, over the last year or so I have been experimenting with the marriage of technology and drawing. In the first trials, I have begun to embed a video player into drawings and use that technology to expand my interest in narrative art.
In preparation for the recent Aqua Art Fair in Miami during Art Basel Week, I also began to experiment with tiny LCD screens and software that would allow a Powerpoint-like presentation.
Here we see a shot of my studio with the first stage of a drawing of Frida Kahlo. I envisioned a Kahlo portrait that (like the Kahlo portrait with a small portrait of Diego Rivera on her forehead) that would amplify her obsession (and mine) with her own image.
And thus, here is the drawing - prior to the addition of the electronic component.
And here is the 1.5 inch LCD screen and the motherboard with rechargeable lithium battery.
Here is the drawing with the window cut into her forehead.
And here's a detail showing the embedded electronic component playing a continuous loop of all of Kahlo's self portraits.
This piece is now in the De La Torre Collection in Miami Beach. The Aqua Art Fair was a spectacular success for these new pieces.
About a decade ago I did a huge drawing entitled "Last Supper for Dictators." The piece was exhibited at one of my solos at the old Fraser Gallery in Georgetown, and subsequently sold to a New York collector via Sotheby's auction. It depicted a last supper scene with the principals being Latin American dictators. Che Guevara was The Christ, Fidel Castro was Judas Iscariot, Evita Peron was The Magdalene, etc.
I am going to revisit that theme again, and this time the video or Powerpoint component will amplify the presence of the dictators.
The WPA 2012 Auction Jurors are...
Seth Adelsberger - Artist & Co-Founder, Nudashank (Baltimore, MD)
Molly Donovan - Associate Curator, National Gallery of Art
Sarah Newman - Curator, Corcoran Gallery of Art
Dennis O’Neil - Chair, Fine Arts Dept at Corcoran College of Art+Design, Director at Hand Print Workshop International
Stephen Phillips - Fine Arts Program Director, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
Katy Murnane Reis - Curatorial Assistant, Wexner Art Center
Judy Sherman - Independent Curator, J Fine Art
Paul Thulin - Interim Chair, Dept. of Photography and Film at VCU
Thursday, December 08, 2011
Wednesday, December 07, 2011
WGS Open House
The Washington Glass School will have its 10th annual Winter Sculpture Show and Holiday Open House, featuring works by artists and instructors of the Washington Glass School.
Some of the region’s leading mixed media sculptors and artists work from the studios on the edge of DC, and artwork both large and small will be on sale.
This event is more than an art open house – its an experience! I get a lot of Xmas presents there each year.
The adjacent artist studios - FluxStudios and Ellyn Weiss Studio will also be open on the day.
Washington Glass School Winter Sculpture Show
1pm – 5 pm
Saturday, Dec 10, 2011
Free and open to the public
Washington Glass School
3700 Otis Street
Mount Rainier, MD 20712
This story has been a perfect guiding example for me most of my life: seeing the silver lining in every possible aspect of life:
Sunday, December 7th, 1941--Admiral Chester Nimitz was attending a concert in Washington D.C. He was paged and told there was a phone call for him.
When he answered the phone, it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He told Admiral Nimitz that he (Nimitz) would now be the Commander of the Pacific Fleet.
Admiral Nimitz flew to Hawaii to assume command of the Pacific Fleet. He landed at Pearl Harbor on Christmas Eve, 1941. There was such a spirit of despair, dejection and defeat—you would have thought the Japanese had already won the war.
On Christmas Day, 1941, Adm. Nimitz was given a boat tour of the destruction wrought on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese. Big sunken battleships and navy vessels cluttered the waters every where you looked. As the tour boat returned to dock, the young helmsman of the boat asked, "Well Admiral, what do you think after seeing all this destruction?"
Admiral Nimitz's reply shocked everyone within the sound of his voice.
Admiral Nimitz said, "The Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could ever make, or God was taking care of America. Which do you think it was?"
Shocked and surprised, the young helmsman asked, "What do mean by saying the Japanese made the three biggest mistakes an attack force ever made?"
Nimitz explained: Mistake number one: the Japanese attacked on Sunday morning. Nine out of every ten crewmen of those ships were ashore on leave. If those same ships had been lured to sea and been sunk--we would have lost 38,000 men instead of 3,800.
Mistake number two: when the Japanese saw all those battleships lined in a row, they got so carried away sinking those battleships, they never once bombed our dry docks opposite those ships. If they had destroyed our dry docks, we would have had to tow everyone of those ships to America to be repaired. As it is now, the ships are in shallow water and can be raised. One tug can pull them over to the dry docks, and we can have them repaired and at sea by the time we could have towed them to America. And I already have crews ashore anxious to man those ships.
Mistake number three: Every drop of fuel in the Pacific theater of war is on top of the ground in storage tanks five miles away over that hill. One attack plane could have strafed those tanks and destroyed our fuel supply.
That's why I say the Japanese made three of the biggest mistakes an attack force could make, or God was taking care of America.
-- "Reflections on Pearl Harbor" by Admiral Chester Nimitz
Today at 3PM you can come to say a final Adios to Manon Cleary, a spectacular and talented artist, and wonderful mentor to many DMV artists. At Joseph A Gawler's Funeral Home, 5130 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016.
Tuesday, December 06, 2011
Monday, December 05, 2011
Campello for Christmas
My daughter Elise has been busy recording a Christmas Album by Sony Masterworks and Steinway Artist Andrew T. Miller.
Elise, along with a few other very talented artists, are featured on this album and you should get one today and play it often during Xmas.
Go to www.andrewtmiller.org for more info!
Sunday, December 04, 2011
ABMB: The Last Day
And thus came Sunday - which is the art fair day where most ABMB Art fairs end... and there are always a bit of tremors in the minds of gallerists, as the packing out is always a complex chess game of vans, trucks, boxes and packing tape.
Over at Aqua, it was a very busy and well-attended day again, and I managed to sell a few more drawings including the remaining piece with an embedded digital component.
The fact that all the works with embedded digital elements (video or otherwise) sold, does not escape me... more on that later.
In fact, Sunday was the second best day of the fair.
Around closing time, the nightmare scenario (for closing day) began to develop: rain!
But I just took my time and took down the work, wrapped it, boxed it, filled in the holes on the wall, painted the walls, and went down to check out the loading scene on front of the Aqua Hotel.
There was a spot on the small front driveway.
I ran to the parking lot... full speed, both man and van on the return drive... overshot the hotel (yes I did) and had to back down on busy Collins Avenue, but nonetheless, after a lot of birds being flipped at me, managed to sneak the van into a Doris Day parking spot right in front of the door of the hotel.
With the rain pouring down, I grabbed a couple of guys to help (offering them some Samolians) and loaded up... then drove to Wynwood to unload into my shipper's van and by midnight it was all done.
This was my best Miami ever - More next December....
Saturday, December 03, 2011
ABMB Day Four
This morning I shifted the Campello headquarters from Hollywood Beach to Little Havana, then started the art morning by delivering four sales from yesterday to the collector's home.
By the time I got back to Aqua, it was past one PM, and the gallery minder had sold not one, but three more Erwin Timmer pieces (he's now sold five pieces at Aqua).
I then sold a couple more drawings, one of Dulce Pinzon's cool photographs and a nice sculpture by Charles Flickinger. I also have the remaining large drawing of mine with an embedded digital element on hold.
Tomorrow is the last day of the fairs and the nightmare known as pack-out begins.
The art exhibit Innergism by Luba Sterlikova runs at the Parish Gallery in Georgetown, DC, December 7,2011 - January 17, 2012 with the opening reception on December 7, 2011. 6-8 p.m.
This the first exhibit of Luba's abstract art in Washington, but her paintings have already been exhibited and well received by the public in London, Paris, Moscow and Khanty-Mansyisk.
Friday, December 02, 2011
ABMB Day Three
Today the Pulse Contemporary Art Fair (which I hear is asskicking) announced that Alyssa Dennis (Kesting/Ray, New York), Brookhart Jonquil (Dorsch Gallery, Miami), and Larissa Nowicki (Man & Eve, London, UK) had been selected as the finalists for the Miami 2012 PULSE Prize. Selected from the thirteen exhibitors in the solo-artist IMPULSE section of the fair by Director Cornell DeWitt and PULSE Committee members Stefan Roepke (Galerie Stefan Roepke, Cologne / Madrid), Mark Moore (Mark Moore Gallery, Culver City, CA) and Thomas Von Lintel, (Von Lintel Gallery, New York, NY) the three artists "embody the exciting and ambitious works for which the IMPULSE Section was founded."
DCAN sends envious congrats to Baltimore artist Alyssa Dennis! She "creates colored graphite renderings of partial architectural elevations blended with animals and assorted objects, and is a frequent collaborator with noted artist Swoon. A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, she has exhibited extensively throughout the United States and is the recipient of numerous awards, including three selections by the Maryland State Council in the Arts Fellowship."
Today Aqua was humming with a constant flow of visitors. I got there at 11AM as usual, dropped $4.50 for a double cappuccino, tried to catch up with email (over 500 behind - most of them waaay old) and stood by to hawk artwork.
I checked with some of the other DMV galleries, and Heiner Contemporary (they're at Scope) reports that they've been:
"quite pleased with our experience at SCOPE thus far. Foot traffic picked up yesterday and has been increasingly heavy throughout today, which is great to see. We've also had lots of luck with the collector's edition video and Avery's gotten a bit of press (see: here, and here. In addition to the articles above, Avery and the gallery were interviewed for a new website about performance art, which is launching early next year: performanceartist.com. Several museum people and galleries have generally expressed interest Avery’s work, which has been quite exciting as well. Lastly, at SCOPE, I’ve been struck by how strong the DC galleries are… I think they’ve really “brought it” this year and we’re s happy to be a part of the DC gallery group!"Back to Aqua, today was an excellent day as we started the day with sales of several individual drawings of mine, followed by sales of three of my new series of drawings with embedded videos (Obama Agonistes, Ave Frida and Batman & Robin) and one of Tim Tate's self contained video sculptures.
This was by far the best day so far, and tomorrow, early in the morning, before I head back to Aqua, I got to deliver and install all four pieces.
Thursday, December 01, 2011
You gotta watch this
ABMB Week Day Two
The celebs are all over town, as apparently "There's a new celebrity collecting frenzy. It's becoming a hot new symbol of status," said Alexander Gilkes, co-founder of online art marketplace Paddle8, a partner in Nada, one of the many satellite fairs that surround ABMB.
I don't know about "new" but whatever...
Anyway, read about the celebs and ABMB here.
The only sighting that was reported to me from the satellite fairs was that apparently Will Smith had dropped $63,000 on a rather patriotic piece that he acquired at Red Dot today.
I'm also hearing that the Pulse Art Fair is absolutely amazing this year. "This is the best Pulse ever," noted a well-known Miami art collector when I asked her about it.
I got to Aqua at 11AM this morning to open up the joint, and by the time I got there, a fully stocked bar was doing brisk business on the ground floor and some big limos were dropping people off busy Collins Avenue.
People trickled by all day, and I cracked the ice mid day with a sale of one of my drawings and later on, the collector who had placed the Cirenaica Moreira piece on hold, came back and bought it.
At exactly the same time, a local glass collector acquired one of Erwin Timmer's glass pieces that he does from glass that he reclaims and recycles from buildings being torn down.
When it rains it pours.
One more sale of one of my drawings follows and then the night is over and I'm heading back to Hollywood, spending the usual 25 minutes to go from 16th Street on Collins to 20th...
Tomorrow the weekend will ramp up, traffic will get worse and more people will be there.
O Yea... I got mentioned in the Nuevo Herald yesterday - read it here.
ABMB Week: Day Two
Last night was the Aqua Art Fair opening and I'm sure several others (heh, heh), but since I'm at Aqua, at Aqua I was all day and night.
The life of a gallerist: Since Monday I have been arriving at the Aqua Hotel in the morning and leaving at night, as setting up an art fair is a lot of work. And yesterday was no exception. I was there by ten AM and pretty much finished by 5PM or so, and since the opening was at 8PM, usually one would say: "Hey Lenster, pretty good for a one-man Army setting up a gallery show."
Not so fast.
There's always a crisis, right? So this time it was the fact that the amazing Mexican photographer Dulce Pinzon's gorgeous photographs, which I am for the first time exhibiting, had been "attempted to deliver" yesterday, but according to UPS, no one was at the address... never mind that my aunt has not left the house in several years and was thus the reason why I picked her house to have Dulce ship the photos from Mexico.
But I thought, that maybe she was in the bathroom when they came... and gave UPS the benefit of the doubt.
Crisis looming; now UPS would try to deliver on the same day that the fair opens.
Dulce calls me from Mexico, alarmed that the work has not been delivered - and she's been told that a second attempt has been made and no one was at home. That I cannot believe and I call UPS and track the package; it hasn't been re-attempted yet.
I enlist the extended family and ask cousins to come over and stand watch for the UPS truck as it comes by the streets of Hialeah. My cousin Carlos lives on the same street as my aunt, and he sits outside on the porch of his beautiful house and begins to stand guard while his son Andrew patrols the streets in his skateboard.
It is now 6PM or so and suddenly the UPS truck arrives and drives by my aunt's house, and Andrew begins to chase it in his skateboard. He catches up to it at the corner of LeJeune Road and asks the driver "Que Pasa?"
A garbled explanation later, Andrew has the box of photographs in his possession and he skateboards back to his Dad's house and they all get in the car and start the short drive to Miami Beach to bring the photos to me.
Short drive, but a long time because of the fact that this is, after all, South Beach, one of the hottest places in the world, somewhat because of the really bad traffic at all hours.
At 7:45PM, Carlos drops Andrew at the Aqua Hotel and with his help, by 8PM, when the fair opens, Pinzon's groundbreaking work is finally hanging on the walls of room 218.
Is that cutting it close or what?
An hour later Carlos arrives - he has been looking for parking all along... he gets a hug and an original Campello as a "gracias" from a very grateful cousin.
Aqua begins to rock as people pour in. DMV area uberartist Akemi Maegawa drops in, and across the hotel I see Andrea Pollan and Jeff Spaulding. Then Margaret Heiner from Heiner Contemporary drops in, as does uberblogger Joanne Mattera, whose work is also here at Aqua, as well as many good collectors dribbling in from the shuttle between Pulse, ABMB and Aqua.
Live music and booze and women in seven inch heels seem to be everywhere and the first sale of the night is one of my drawings, which is (of course) at exactly the same time that someone wants to buy an Andrew Wodzianski piece which I haven't had time to look up and price, so I ring Andrew and that piece becomes the second sale of the night.
Earlier on, Cuban photographer Cirenaica Moreira's work had attracted the attention of a curator from a German museum, and Cire now has an invitation for a group show at that museum... this is why art fairs are important beyond sales. And her streak continues, as one of her pieces is then put on hold by a well-known Virginia art collector with an extensive Cuban art collection.
Finally, a Dulce Pinzon photo is put on hold by a very nice Australian lady, and by midnight, even though the place is still packed, I'm exhausted and head to my hotel in Hollywood.
The 16 miles take me almost two hours.
WTF are all these people doing on A1A at one AM in the morning on a Wednesday/Thursday?
Count Down is a temporary, contemporary artspace located in residential downtown Bethesda. Count Down is an alternative space created to provide local artists opportunities to exhibit their work in a community setting and to help fill the void left by the closure of several commercial galleries in downtown Bethesda. Countdown is a non-commercial venture and is a private home in transition hence the concept will only exist for 4-5 months. Artists receptions will coincide with the Bethesda Art Walk, the 2nd Friday of every month 6-8pm.
Their first opening is Friday December 9th, 6-8.30pm at 4526 Cheltenham Drive, Bethesda, 20814 featuring the work of Jack McTiernan and Lisa Rosenstein.