Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Three concurrent exhibitions in the Mansion at Strathmore

Artists featured in three concurrent exhibitions in the Mansion at Strathmore take their mediums in decidedly offbeat, unconventional, and surprising directions. On view from Saturday, June 16 through Sunday, July 29, 2018, visitors are first met with the 40th Anniversary Exhibition of the Washington Calligraphers Guild on the first floor of the Mansion, for which members were encouraged to mine ideas expressed through surrealism and the work of surrealist poets as inspiration. This is a complement to Visions on the second floor, in which four artists blend realistic components with fantastical elements and imagery, creating distinct and dream-like environments.

In the Invitational Gallery’s Buried Wild: Adam Griffiths, the Takoma Park illustrator and cartoonist creates an archeological capsule show that offers a glimpse into his artistic process and aims to question social conventions—with drawings and digitally altered illustrations alongside personal objects from his studio.

A free Opening Reception will be held Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.strathmore.org.

The 40th Anniversary Exhibition of the Washington Calligraphers Guild demonstrates that the most elegant and harmonious calligraphy can be a highly-disciplined act or gestural, capturing the impulses and emotions of a moment in time. Founded in 1976, the Washington Calligraphers Guild is an organization of more than 500 lettering artists from around the world. The juried 40th Anniversary Exhibition features works by 25 artists, combining compelling design with textual meaning to interpret the spirit of texts, poems, and quotes. 

Artists Kim Abraham, Kathryn Freeman, Jordan Franklin, and Elaine Thompson transport viewers into four separate worlds through whimsical, nonsensical, and trippy imagery in Visions. Their paintings, drawings, and digital prints are both playful and contemplative, rendered in oil, watercolor, graphite, charcoal, and digital tools.  In Visions, strange happenings contrast with familiar interiors, blurs of light suggest otherworldly horizons, a menagerie of beasts at play skew proportion, and celestial abstractions resemble microbes, creating a blend of earthly and cosmic realms.

In the Invitational Gallery— Buried Wild: Adam Griffiths

With an eye on the unbalanced and unjust characteristics of the world around him, illustrator and cartoonist Adam Griffiths uses the surreal and ridiculous to provoke societal examination. Skating the edges of contemporary art, illustration, outsider art, and underground comics, Griffiths imbues his work with various symbolisms and mutabilities of historical imperialism and class systems. Griffiths drafts caricatures, exaggerated gestures, luxurious interiors, and man-made objects in razor-thin pencil lines. By digitally coloring his illustrations in vivid hues and placing them against computer generated backgrounds, Griffiths places the familiar in strange settings.

Shelved among the work is personal ephemera from his studio, both made and found. Together, they frame Griffiths as an investigator, and his findings as archeological evidence of a flipside to the everyday world.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Artina 2018: INTROSPECTIVE, Exhibition at the Sandy Spring Museum

Washington Sculptors Group and Sandy Spring Museum Announces
Artina 2018: INTROSPECTIVE
June 20 – October 6, 2018

Opening Reception:
Thursday, June 21, 6-9pm

Participating Artists: Lynda Andrews-Barry, Adam Bradley, Elsabe Dixon, Bobby Donovan, Mary Annella Mimi Frank, Billy Friebele, Chas. Foster, Howard Goldfarb, Sanzi Kermes, Elizabeth Miller McCue, Sharon Pierce McCullough, Donna McCullough, Mike Shaffer, Diane Szczepaniak, Ira Tattelman, David Therriault, Michael Thron, Jenny Wu

Ira Tattelman's Screen
Exhibition Juror: Cecilia Wichmann,
Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at The Baltimore Museum of Art.

In the Sculpture Garden

Artist Reception and Public Opening: Thursday, June 21 from 6-9 pm

Talk and Tour with Cecilia Wichmann: Sunday, July 8 at 3:30 pm

Performance by Sinclair Dance, TogethR A Part: Sunday, July 29 at 7 pm

Now in its third year, the Washington Sculptors Group’s Annual Artina exhibition at Sandy Spring Museum will provide a sylvan venue for sculptors to display their work. Artists were invited to propose works that respond to the museum’s rustic grounds, exploring the landscape as a vehicle for human introspection. How does the outside world shape one’s inner life, and how do our imaginations, both collective and private, filter our perceptions of the environments we encounter? Artists were encouraged to engage the topography of the site, to incorporate time as an element of their work, and to elicit direct participation by visitors. The result is a sculpture garden created on the museum’s seven-acre, woodsy grounds.

The exhibition, juried by Cecilia Wichmann, features 18 works by 18 artists that reveal the varied and poetic ways humans can come to make and know ourselves in relation to our ideas about nature. Visitors will find numerous ways to connect with the work on view, from adding objects to an interactive, open-air museum to feeling the breeze from an oversized rocking chair. Human beings are, after all, inextricable from the natural world—part of its larger ecology. This exhibition is an open invitation to spend time with this concept, engaging it with all our senses. This outdoor exhibition will remain on view through October 6, 2018.

Cecilia Wichmann is Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art at The Baltimore Museum of Art. Prior to joining the BMA in fall 2017, Wichmann led the University of Maryland's Stamp Gallery, an experimental exhibition space for contemporary art, and served as curator and advisor of its innovative Contemporary Art Purchasing Program.

About WSG: The Washington Sculptors Group (WSG) is a volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of sculpture and fostering exchanges among sculptors, sculpture enthusiasts and the public. Organized in 1984, membership has grown to include almost 400 area artists. The WSG presents frequent public programs and organizes professional sculpture exhibitions juried by prominent curators. Visit www.washingtonsculptors.org to join the WSG, view images of members' work, and to subscribe to the WSG newsletter.

About Sandy Spring Museum: The Sandy Spring Museum is a catalyst for community building by allowing opportunities for community-driven creative engagement in a range of cultural arts. Sandy Spring Museum provides the environment and inspiration for artists and community members to create and host events, performances, activities, and exhibits that engage, stimulate, and bring people together.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Your Father's Day art story

A collector sued her father for at least $100 million after a Basquiat that she sold in May fetched less than she had expected.
Belinda claims that her father’s attempt to halt the painting’s sale, two weeks ahead of the auction, caused the lower-than-expected result. 
Read the whole story here.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Art fair getting sued

Shane Campbell Gallery is suing Frieze over high temperatures at the fair, despite their earlier offer of a 10% refund.
Chicago’s Shane Campbell filed a lawsuit against Frieze Events on Friday, the New York Times first reported, alleging negligence on the fair’s part in not adequately preparing for record-high temperatures that the gallery says contributed to significant losses in sales by exhibitors. The lawsuit, jointly names Shane Campbell and Julie Campbell as plaintiffs who hope it will be granted class action status; they are currently requesting $15 million plus damages. 
Read the story here. 

Friday, June 15, 2018

How to spot a perfect fake

The works were full of striking, scrupulous detail. On Jerome’s arm, for example, dozens of faint horizontal cracks have appeared; every so often, a clean, vertical split intersects them. In French canvases from the 18th century, cracks in paint tend to develop like spider webs; in Flemish panels, like tree bark. In Italian paintings of the Renaissance, the patterns resemble rows of untidy brickwork. On the Saint Jerome, the cracks match perfectly. 
Fascinating article here. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Looking for a studio in Bethesda?

Bethesda's New Triangle Art Studios - Currently Accepting Applications
Deadline to Apply: July 27, 2018

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently seeking applications from artists to rent studio space at the new Triangle Art Studios, located at 7711 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD in the Cheval Bethesda Condominiums. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and be residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia to qualify for studio space.  The deadline to apply is Friday, July 27, 2018.

Triangle Art Studios has three available art studios that may be shared by two artists or rented by an individual artist. Rent is inclusive of all utilities including power, WiFi, security system with alarm, etc.  Each individual studio has its own HVAC unit, restroom, utility sink and front door which opens directly onto the paseo. 

The studio sizes and prices are as follows:
Studio B, 485 square feet, $890/month
Studio C, 535 square feet, $985/month
Studio D, 465 square feet, $855/month

Details here.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Hardworking artist: Judith Peck

DMV uberartist Judith Peck has upcoming exhibits at the Haggin Museum, the Huntington Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of Art and the Alexandria City Hall will include her work.

National Midyear Show
Opening Reception July 1st
July 1st- August 26th, 2018
Butler Institute of American Art
524 Wick Avenue
Youngstown, OH 44502
Cataloged
https://butlerart.com/



Full Sun:
American Woman Artists Illuminate the Haggin Museum
Opening Reception -August 2, 5:30- 8pm
August 2 - September 16, 2018
Haggin Museum
1201 N Pershing Ave, Stockton, CA 95203
Cataloged 
http://hagginmuseum.org/


Exhibition 280
Opening Reception July 21st
July 14th -Sept. 16th 2018
Huntington Museum of Art 
2033 McCoy Rd
Huntington, WV 25701
https://www.hmoa.org/


One of her paintings is being displayed at the Alexandria City Hall for three months while it is being considered for an Alexandria Art Purchase Award.   

Alexandria City Hall 
301 King St
Alexandria, VA 22314
2nd floor

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Medalists Announced in Region's Most Competitive Watercolor Painting Exhibit

Featuring paintings by 93 artists, the “2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition” is the most competitive juried watercolor exhibit in the region. 

The annual competition, sponsored by the Baltimore Watercolor Society (BWS), is limited to original paintings created on paper using aqueous media — which includes transparent watercolor, opaque watercolor or gouache, acrylic, water-based ink, and mixed watermedia — by artists from within a 200-mile radius, which includes Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, DC. 

Larry Lombardo "Hopefully Helping Haiti", watercolor 24 x 20 inches
Larry Lombardo "Hopefully Helping Haiti", watercolor 24 x 20 inches
The juror of selection and awards this year was renowned watercolor artist Kathleen Conover, who awarded the BWS Gold Medal ($1,200 prize) to “Hopefully Helping Haiti” by Larry Lombardo of New Lebanon, NJ, the BWS Silver Medal ($900 prize) to “Just Beat It” by Denny Bond of East Petersburg, PA, and the BWS Bronze Medal ($600 prize) to “Checking Out the Show” by Lois Wolford of Towson, MD, along with 16 other designated awards which include both cash and sponsored prizes. Throughout the exhibition, visitors will have the opportunity to cast a vote for their favorite painting in order to select the winner of the “People’s Choice Award” and that artist will receive a $200 cash prize sponsored by BWS

Denny Bond - Just Beat It, watercolor, 18 x 28 inches
Denny Bond - Just Beat It, watercolor, 18 x 28 inches
BlackRock Center for the Arts is thus pleased the present “2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition” in The Kay Gallery from Saturday, June 9 through Saturday, July 14, 2018. The nonprofit arts center will present a free “Community Art Day: Watercolor” event for all ages on Saturday, June 16 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. offering drop-in activities with hands-on art making using water-based media, watercolor painting demonstrations by professional artist members of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, and gallery tours of the exhibition “2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition.” The public is also invited to a Reception and Awards Presentation on Sunday, June 24, 2018 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. to meet exhibiting artists, congratulate the medalists and award winners, and view the 93 works selected by juror Kathleen Conover. The artists whose paintings are featured in the “2018 Mid-Atlantic Regional Watercolor Exhibition” are listed below:        

FEATURING PAINTINGS BY 93 SELECTED ARTISTS: Judy Antico (Falls Church, VA), Joanna Barnum (Abingdon, MD), Janet Belich (Germantown, MD), Sinikka Benson (White Hall, MD), Donna Berk Barlup (Mechanicsburg, PA), John C. Bierley (Pennsdale, PA), Matthew Bird (Sykesville, MD), Mary V. Blumberg (Solomons, MD), Denny Bond (East Petersburg, PA), Susan Bradley (Gaithersburg, MD), Barbara Brower (Annapolis, MD), Thomas Bucci (Washington, DC), Elizabeth Burin (Baltimore, MD), Sheila Cappelletti (Synnyside, NY), Connie Clutter (Washington, PA), Deb Cohan (Gaithersburg), Rachel B. Collins (Alexandria, VA), Anne Cordes (Ashburn, VA), Carolyn Councell (Pasadena, MD), Giny Crawford (Philadelphia, PA), Brenda Cretney (Brockport, NY), Sally Davies (Greenbelt, MD), Tanya M. Davis (Hugesville, MD), Kathy Daywalt (Glen Burnie, MD), Dilian Deal (Vienna, VA), David Eakin (Forest, VA), Cheryl Elmo (Morgantown, PA), Z.L. Feng (Radford, VA), Robert Ferguson (Westbury, NY, Gloria Tseng Fischer (Takoma Park, MD), Jean K. Gill (Oak Hill, VA), Sharon A. Green (Owings Mills, MD), Stephanie Gustavson (Darnestown, MD), Peggi Habets (Pittsburgh, PA), Debra Grayer Halprin (Rockville, MD), Margitta Hanff (Alexandria, VA), Peter Hanks (Annapolis, MD), Stephen T. Hanks (Silver Spring, MD), Mimi Hegler (Ashton, MD), Janice Hendra (Severna Park, MD), Susan Herron (Olney, MD), Christine A. Heyse (Silver Spring, MD), Bill Jaeger (Severna Park, MD), John James (Virginia Beach, VA), Ardythe Jolliff (Edgewater, MD), Mark Kaufman (Wilmington, DE), Brenda Will Kidera (Woodbine, MD), Michael Kotarba (Baltimore, MD), Rick Kowalewski (Silver Spring, MD), Theresa Kubert (Hopatcong, NJ), Jim Kuhlman (Fallston, MD), Angela Lacy (Potomac, MD), Valerie Larsen (Webster, NY), Marta Legeckis (Bethesda, MD), Patricia Leith-Tetrault (Baltimore, MD), Larry Lombardo (Lebanon, PA), Stacy Lund Levy (Owings Mills, MD), Charlotte Mehosky (North East, MD), Michiyo Mizuuchi (Rockville, MD), Sally Mook (Blacksburg, VA), Sharon Morell (Towson, MD), Susan Moses (North Potomac, MD), Susan Avis Murphy (Sandy Spring, MD), Nancy Mysak(Allen, MD), Karen Norman (Silver Spring, MD), Ann Pember (Keeseville, NY), Jan Perdue (Berlin, MD), Zina Poliszuk (Marriottsville, MD), Julie Read (Winchester, VA), April Rimpo (Dayton, MD), Julia Rix (Elkins Park, PA), Alayne Sahar (Ambler, PA), Linda Slattery Sherman (Montgomery Village, MD), Nancy M. Stark (Roanoke, VA), E. Jane Stoddard (East Amherst, NY), Susan M. Stuller (Midlothian, VA), Eileen Sudzina (McKeesport, PA), Jane Thomas (Alexandria, VA), Annabelle Thurlow (Bel Air, MD), Paul Tooley (Braddock Heights, MD), Jeffrey Turner (Columbia, MD), Karen Ceolla Tylec (Millersville, MD), Peter B. Ulrich (Oxon Hill, MD), Annette Uroskie (Annapolis, MD), Linda Verhagen (Keswick, VA), Pam Wenger (Dillsburg, PA), Tammy Wiedenhaefer (Alexandria, VA), Deanna Williford (Columbia, MD), Jane Wise (Denver, VA), Lois Ward Wolford (Towson, MD), Bruce Woodward (Sykesville, MD), William C. Wright (Stevenson, VA), and Sabine Yeager (Reisterstown, MD).

ABOUT THE BALTIMORE WATERCOLOR SOCIETY:  Founded in 1885 by a group of five women artists in Baltimore, MD, the Baltimore Watercolor Society is the third oldest organization in the country devoted to the use of watercolor as a painting medium. Since its founding, numerous artists of national reputation have been associated with the Society as members, exhibitors and jurors. The purpose of the Society is to encourage cultural interest in the development of professional quality, original works of art, executed in aqueous media. The Society offers its Signature Artist Members and Associate Members opportunities to exhibit in local and regional shows, frequent newsletters, workshops, lectures, demonstrations, and trips to major exhibitions. The Baltimore Watercolor Society is a 501(c3) non-profit charitable organization, incorporated in the State of Maryland. To learn more, visit: www.baltimorewatercolorsociety.org

Admission to the galleries at BlackRock Center for the Arts is always free. The Kay Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays when classes are in session or summer concerts are being held. Please call 301-528-2260 in advance to confirm open hours for specific dates.

Monday, June 11, 2018

A first (for me anyway)

I started selling my artwork professionally while I was a student at the University of Washington School of Art. As I've related a million times, I used to sell all of my student art assignments at the Pike Place Market (as soon as they were graded!). Those years at Seattle's iconic market laid the foundations for part of my art life.

That started in 1977.

In 1981 the University of Washington acquired one of my "Seattle watercolors" for its collection - it used to hang in Clark Hall - no idea where it is now.

Between 1987-1992, the US Navy acquired several of my drawings.

And now in 2018, Montgomery County has acquired the below work... the story of who that lady is, coming soon.


Girl walking in downtown Rockville - 2018 F. Lennox Campello
Girl walking in downtown Rockville
2018 F. Lennox Campello
Charcoal and conte on 300 weight paper, 36x36 inches

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Downtown BID Call Box Project Request for Proposals

Entry Deadline: 7/8/18

The Downtown BID is seeking multi medium visual artists that can include but are not limited to Fine Artists, Street Artists, Graffiti Artists, Metal Workers, and Graphic Artists to design, submit and fabricate original designs to be installed on individual call boxes located in the Downtown area of the District of Columbia. Selected artists not currently residing in the District of Columbia will be required to have a District artist as a project assistant on the instillation.

There are 27 call boxes located downtown. The BID is seeking designs for 9 call boxes in 8 locations.

Details here.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

New Triangle Art Studios Currently Accepting Applications

Bethesda's New Triangle Art Studios
Currently Accepting Applications
Deadline to Apply: July 27, 2018
The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently seeking applications from artists to rent studio space at the new Triangle Art Studios, located at 7711 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD in the Cheval Bethesda Condominiums. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and be residents of Washington, D.C., Maryland or Virginia to qualify for studio space.  The deadline to apply is Friday, July 27, 2018.
 
Triangle Art Studios has three available art studios that may be shared by two artists or rented by an individual artist. Rent is inclusive of all utilities including power, WiFi, security system with alarm, etc.  Each individual studio has its own HVAC unit, restroom, utility sink and front door which opens directly onto the paseo. 

The studio sizes and prices are as follows:
Studio B, 485 square feet, $890/month
Studio C, 535 square feet, $985/month
Studio D, 465 square feet, $855/month

Friday, June 08, 2018

Carolyn Case of Cockeysville, MD, the 2018 Bethesda Painting Awards Best in Show Winner!

Pictured from Left to Right: Laura Roulet, 2018 Painting Awards Judge; Carolyn Case, 2018 Bethesda Painting Awards Winner; Bill Schmidt, 2018 Painting Awards Judge; Carol Trawick, Founder of the Painting Awards; Catriona Fraser, Painting Awards Chair
Pictured from Left to Right: Laura Roulet, 2018 Painting Awards Judge; Carolyn Case, 2018 Bethesda Painting Awards Winner; Bill Schmidt, 2018 Painting Awards Judge; Carol Trawick, Founder of the Painting Awards; Catriona Fraser, Painting Awards Chair

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Call for Pre-Qualified Artist List

Entry Deadline: 6/15/18

The City of El Paso’s Museums and Cultural Affairs Department (MCAD) Public Art Program seeks to establish a new pre-qualified list of emerging and established artist and artist teams working in a variety of visual media and artistic approaches for its 2018–2020 Pre-Qualified Artist List. 

On November 6, 2012 the City of El Paso approved a Street Infrastructure and Quality of Life bond to include 2% for arts. The approved bond projects are a Children’s Museum, Hispanic Cultural Center, Multi-Purpose Sports and Entertainment Facility, Zoo expansion, new parks and recreation centers, Library expansions open space trail systems and streetscape projects.

Details here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Call for Art Teachers, Schools, Non-Profits to Register in New Directory

 ArtCantina.com invites all teaching artists, workshop organizers, art schools, art centers and non-profit art groups to register in their free online directory for the visual arts.  Art Cantina is a new site that connects students of all ages with art teachers and schools, classes and workshops.

“We believe hands-on creativity is important at any age. Our goal at ArtCantina.com is to make it easier to find art lessons by providing a much-needed, worldwide marketing platform for professionals,”  says co-founder LaVonne Ewing.

Art Cantina disciplines include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, collage and mosaics, ceramics and pottery, fiber arts and textiles, glass arts, jewelry and metalsmithing, paper arts, and photography.

Lori McNee, artist, author, and art business advisor, says, “What a great resource for both teachers and students to be able to connect for classes and workshops all in one place. Such a wonderful service. I’m excited to be a part of Art Cantina!”

It takes just a few minutes to create a free or premium profile in the online ArtEdu Directory. Listing categories include individuals and organizations who teach art (art teachers, mentors, art therapists, workshop organizers, art schools, art centers, non-profits), places that host art instruction (art galleries, art studios, community venues and more) as well as makers and distributors of art tools and supplies, how-to magazines and books.

Also available: Learn-The-Arts Calendar of Events is the place to promote upcoming art workshops, tours, on-going classes and all art-education events with specific dates.

ArtCantina.com is the brainchild of two entrepreneurs who met while volunteering at a fundraising art auction in Colorado. They share a passion for the visual arts and a conviction that art lessons should be much easier to find.

Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Honoring the Life and Legacy of the late Norman Parish (1937-2013)

From Millenium Arts Salon:
  1. The records of Parish Gallery are now part of the National Archives of American Art and can be accessed online here: https://www.aaa.si.edu/collections/parish-gallery-records-17390?utm_source=dailycampelloartnews .  The Archive includes information about the Gallery’s exhibitions between 1991 when the gallery was established by Norm (as he is affectionately called) until 2013 after his untimely transition. From online you can review background and historical information and browse the list of exhibitions -  beginning with the Gallery’s Grand Opening exhibition to its last exhibition, “Norman Parish – The Artist.”  The Archive includes biographical information about Norm, administrative records, and other details.  There is the option to select and view detail records on site, as well as request printed copies of selected files. 

  1. The Art Institute of Chicago just acquired one of Norm’s paintings! The painting now hangs at the Institute and we understand will be in close proximity to the exhibition, “Charles White:  A Retrospective,” which opens at the Institute on June 8th.  Norm named the work, “Black Pride Whitewashed” (see image attached), which symbolizes the “Wall of Respect,” a 1967 mural on the South Side of Chicago created by artists associated with the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC) to celebrate Black Heroes and promote civil rights of African Americans in Chicago.  Norm was one of the artists who created the mural.  The title “Whitewashed” refers to an incident where Norm’s portion of the mural was whitewashed by another artist who wanted to be included.  The building was demolished a few years later after a fire.  You may have heard Norm speak about “the Wall” during his reflections about black art and its inspiration for positive action and change.  It is very fitting that over 50 years after the Wall, Norm’s work would hang in the prominent Art Institute of Chicago, where he graduated with a degree in art, and in the city he called home for over 30 years.

Gwen and Norman Parish III (Norm’s son) have worked tirelessly since the gallery’s closing to enable the Smithsonian and The Art Institute of Chicago to acquire these important documents and art work – Gwen worked with the Smithsonian Archives and Norman Parish III with the Institute.  These two phenomenal accomplishments seal Norman Parish’s legacy – he is one of the greatest artist, social activist, and human beings of our time!
I was Norm's neighbor in Canal Square for over a decade and can testify not only about the greatness of this human being, but also about what a supportive, really nice guy he was. 

Monday, June 04, 2018

Remembering an elegant tree

Two years ago my courageous mother died... this is my eulogy from that day:
When my father died last year, I began his eulogy by noting that another oak had fallen.

This morning, around 1:25AM, Ana Olivia Cruzata Marrero de Campello, his wife of over 60 years, and my beloved mother, passed on on the day of her 97th birthday.

If my father was an oak, then my mother was an equally strong, but also very pliable, and elegant tree.  When hurricanes attack the mainlands of the world, the strong tall trees often fall, but the pliable ones, like plantain trees, always give with the wind, and survive the storms, and thrive in the drenching rains.

My mother was like a an aged plantain tree, not only immensely strong and pliable, but also giving and nurturing.

Like many Cuban women of her generation and her social-economic background, she had never worked for a living in Cuba, and yet within a few days of our arrival in New York in the 1960s, she was working long hours in a sewing factory, putting her formidable seamstress skills, honed in the social sewing and embroidery gathering of young Cuban girls, to use in the "piece work" process of the New York sewing factories.

As soon as we saved the money, one of the first things that my mother bought was an electric sewing machine - a novelty to her, as she had always used one of the those ancient Singer machines with a foot pedal.

I remember as a child in Brooklyn, that women used to bring her fabric and a page from a magazine with a woman wearing a dress. Without the benefit of a sewing pattern, my mother would whip up a copy of the dress that was more often than not probably better made than the original. As the word of her skills spread, so did her customers and soon she was making more money working at home than at the factory - but she kept both jobs.

I once noted to her that I admired the courage that it must have taken her to leave her family and immigrate to the United States. "We didn't come here as immigrants," she corrected me. "We came as political refugees, and I initially thought that we'd be back in Cuba within a few years at the most."

When the brutal Castro dictatorship refused to loosen its stranglehold on her birth place, she became an immigrant, and from there on an American citizen from her white-streaked hair down to her heel bone (that's a Cuban saying). Like my father, she loved her adopted country with a ferocity, that I sometimes feel that only people who have been bloodied by Communism can feel for a new, free homeland.

As as I've noted before, Cubans are archaic immigrants... we love this great nation because we recognize its singular and unique greatness; perhaps it is because our forebears had the same chance at greatness and blew it.


I remember as a teenager, once I started going out to parties and things at night on my own (around age 16 or so), that my mother would wait up for me, sitting by the third floor window of our Brooklyn apartment, where she could survey the whole neighborhood and see as far as the elevated LL subway station a few blocks away, to watch me descend the station stairs and trace my way home.

My mother was always fit and, as once described by my father, "flaca como un fusil" (as slim as a rifle). She was strong and fast. She was also quiet, but never silenced, and when needed, could and would command attention.

My mother was always well dressed and superbly coiffed. When we'd go to parties and events, women would always ask her where she'd gotten that dress! The answer was always the same: she'd made it!

At least once a week, to my father's dismay, and in spite of his demands that my mother stop it, she'd get her hair done at the nearby peluqueria (hair dresser).

My dad knew, and respected his limits with my mother. 

I remember one time that my father and I were returning from shopping at the supermarket, dragging one of those wheeled folding carts that could carry four full paper grocery bags. It had been snowing, so the Brooklyn streets were wet and muddy.

When we got to our apartment my father opened the door. He then stood there.

"Go in!" I demanded.

"We'll have to wait," he said gloomily, "Your mother mopped the floor and it's still wet." This giant, tough, street-brawling Galician then looked at me sheepishly, "I'd rather walk through a mine field than step on your mother's wet floor."

I learned a lesson there.

She used to delight in telling stories how, as a child, she would often win the horse races that kids staged around the small country towns where she was raised in Oriente province, where her father was a Mayoral.

"I almost always won," she'd say, and then would add: "Even though I was a skinny girl."

Once, in her seventies, back in the days where you could actually accompany people to the departing gates at airports, we were escorting my oldest daughter Vanessa, who had come to visit, and we were running late. As we got to the airport, we ran to the gate, and to everyone's surprise, Abuela got there first. I still remember how delighted my daughter was that her grandmother could still run like a gazelle.


When I joined the Navy at age 17, my first duty station was USS SARATOGA, which at the time was stationed in Mayport in Florida, and thus my parents decided to migrate south to Florida and moved to Miami... just to be close to me.

They spent the next 40 years in the same apartment while I was stationed all over the world.

The mostly Cuban-American families that lived over the years in that apartment loved my mother, and would always tell me stories about my mother, ever the nurturer, bringing them food when she knew that they were going over tough times, or riding the buses with them, just to show them the routes.

This week, when I arrived in Miami, already somewhat knowing that this was approaching the end, I saw her with tubes coming out of her mouth and her eyes closed. When I spoke to her she opened her eyes, and in spite of the visuals that my eyes were seeing she somehow still managed to look strong. 

I showed her photos and movies of her grand children, and talked to her for a long time.

I thanked her for having the courage to leave her motherland and afford me the opportunity to grow as an American.

When she was being extubated, a young woman came into the room with a guitar and played and sang the haunting free prose of Guajira Guantanamera (The peasant girl from Guantanamo); a most fitting song, since my mother was from Guantanamo, and she came from strong Cuban peasant stock.

"Guajira pero fina (A peasant, but a very refined woman)", noted a neighbor and loving caretaker. 

The song, which can start with just about any prose, started with the Jose Marti poem:
 Yo quiero, cuando me muera, sin patria, pero sin amo, tener en mi tumba un ramo de flores y una bandera
I want to, when I die, without my motherland, but without a master, to have on my tomb a bunch of flowers and a flag.
She died without a master, a strong and pliable woman who not only gave me the gift of life, but also the gift of freedom.

And as my mother died in her sleep in the early hours of the morning, in the capital city of the bitter Cuban Diaspora, all that I could gather to say to her was mostly the same that I said to my father when he passed last year: "Thank you for your courage... from me, and from my children... and soon from their children. You opened a whole new world for them."

I love you Mami... Un Abrazo Fuerte! Thank you for your gifts to me and my children, and happy birthday in Heaven!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Call for tiny art


HOW TO ENTER
Create teeny tiny art — all mediums are welcome.

Click the image above on this page between June 4 and June 17, 2018, upload a photo of your piece, and complete the submission form. Open to US residents, ages 18 and older. Limit one entry per artist.

JUDGING CRITERIA
Judges from Artprof.org will be looking for strong cohesion in both technical execution and presence of a core concept, and how they work together to form a visually commanding presence. They will also consider the originality of the idea, innovative engagement of the materials used, and bold artistic vision. 

Small in format art sizing guidelines: artwork should under 14" in any one direction. Sculpture should fit inside an 8"x8"x8" cube including the base. 

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Ric Garcia at Stone Tower Gallery at Glen Echo Park

The beautiful and historic Stone Tower Gallery at Glen Echo Park will host an artist reception for Ric Garcia and his most recent body of work. The event is free and kid friendly with light fare.

Sat, June 9  |  6 PM - 8 PM

Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture
7300 MacArthur Blvd, Glen Echo, Maryland 20812

His work explores how American culture past and present portrays gender when communicating stories about social structure, identity, and morality. Who has been the traditional hero or heroine of those stories? How do new and changing roles affect the narrative and impact of these stories?
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Contact
RicGarciaStudio.com
703-785-6832

Studio Store
https://squareup.com/store/ric-garcia-studio-store?utm_source=dailycampello

Location
RicGarciaStudio@passaways artist studios
6001 66th Ave #201, Riverdale, MD 20737

Friday, June 01, 2018

Are contractual agreements between artists and galleries necessary?

On Wednesday, June 13th from 11:00 AM - 11:45 PM ET, join Artsy’s General Counsel Yayoi Shionoiri for an informational session and discussion about gallery-artist agreements.

Register today to reserve your spot »

What they’ll cover:
  • Why gallery-artist agreements are important
  • What do Consignment and Loan Forms cover
  • Advice on navigating artists who self-market
  • Your questions, answered live!
If you’re not sure if you can attend the webinar live, register and you’ll receive the recording afterwards.