Saturday, January 31, 2004
The National Endowment for the Arts announces funds for the promotion of various art projects, regardless of the size or type of applicant organization. Proposed programs should be of national, regional or field-wide significance; tour in several states; or provide an unusual or especially valuable contribution because of geographic location, including local projects that have significant effects within communities or that are likely to serve as models for a field.
Eligible applicants include State and local government entities, nonprofit organizations, community action agencies, and private institutions of higher education. The deadline to submit applications is March 15, 2004. Awards range from $5,000 to $150,000. For further information go to this website to determine your appropriate staff contact. Also see: www.fedgrants.gov.
Friday, January 30, 2004
The next MUSE is this Sunday, February 1, 7:30pm when the guests are Robert Lehrman, gallery owner George Hemphill, and Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik. They will be joining MUSE this month to discuss collecting art, museum trusteeship and stewardship. For more info email Faith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thursday, January 29, 2004
Deadline: February 13, 2004. Administered by the Library of Congress, the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon promotes the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world. The Swann Foundation Fund awards one fellowship annually with a stipend of $15,000 to assist ongoing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. For more complete information, visit their website.
Artist Community: Montana Artists Refuge.
Deadline: May 15, 04. The Montana Artists Refuge is an artist-led residency community, which provides a variety of affordable short and long-term living and studio spaces for visiting artists in the uniquely scenic, historic mining town of Basin, MT. The Refuge was established for artists to be able escape from the day-to-day struggle of living in order to have the gift of time, freedom and solitude to create and rejuvenate. The Refuge exists to create a quality environment for artists to work, as well as the opportunity for artistic collaboration in a creative community. The Refuge supports a variety of contemporary arts disciplines such as visual, music, performance and literary arts. Additionally, the Refuge maintains programs that are designed to enhance the residential programs and create a thriving and vital community for the arts both within the residencies and the greater community. As of December 2003, the Refuge has hosted more than 100 artists from 24 states and seven nations including Poland, China and South Africa. The Refuge has also hosted Native American artists from such nations as the Cheyenne, the Blackfeet and Crow. Qualifications: The Montana Artists Refuge is a 501(c)(3) corporation and has been in existence since 1993. The Montana Artists Refuge has created a vital artist community in a rural setting which includes art exhibitions, live performances and workshops and foster community awareness and participation in the arts. How to Apply: visit website and download application here.
Byrdcliffe Arts Colony - New York
One-month residencies for artists. Beautiful, historic setting, secluded yet close to town of Woodstock, NY. Private room and studio space in rustic turn-of-century inn. Access to galleries, performances, hiking. $600 per four-week session. June-Sept. Deadline: April 1. Summer cottages also available May-Oct.; March 1 deadline. Send SASE to The Woodstock Guild, Artist in Residence Program, 34 Tinker Street, Woodstock, NY 12498.
Jentel Artist Residency Program - Wyoming
Jentel Artist Residency Program offers one-month residencies in rural ranch setting that include accommodation, studio, and $400 stipend to visual artists and writers. For application download it here or send request with self-addressed label and $.60 postage to: Jentel Artist Residency Program, 130 Lower Piney Creek Road, Banner, WY 82832. Deadline: January 15, 2004 for May 15-December 13, 2004 residencies. Deadline: September 15, 2004 for January 15-May 13, 2005 residencies.
Deadline: March 4, 04. The Small Projects Program (SPP) offers grants up to $1,000 to District of Columbia individual artists and arts organizations. The program seeks to make grant funds more accessible for small-scale arts projects. Projects may include but are not limited to: Art presentations; Assistance in fundraising, marketing, and management; Documentation of artistic activities through photography, brochures, portfolios, and demo tapes; Conferences, workshops, or seminars that will enhance artistic and professional development.
Upcoming deadlines for Small Projects Program applications is Thursday, March 4, 2004, 6:00 pm. Workshops to help artists fill out applications will be held on Thursday, February 26, 2004, 12:00 - 1:00 pm The SPP workshop will be held at the Commission's office at 410 8th St., NW, Fifth Floor, Washington, DC 20004. Download the FY2003 Small Projects Program Guidelines and Application here. For more information on the Small Projects Program or to receive an application in the mail, please call Lionell Thomas at (202) 724-5613 / (202) 727-3148 TDD.
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
"I read your #9 on your list of things to do to make the DC area a center for the arts. You are absolutely right that there is little coverage of the arts (visual arts) in the DC area. But I don't think we are ready to move on the media ideas yet...here are a few things to think about (you'll need to have these answers ready to talk with the money-people and the news people anyway--let's work it out ahead of time):
1) List and describe the ten most interesting DC-area art news items that didn't get covered by the Washington Post, radio stations, etc. What are we missing by not having this coverage? The list that is produced needs to be good--it needs to make people sit back and think, "Damn, I didn't know *that* was going on!" If we don't have that we won't get covered. We won't *deserve* to get covered.
Don't get sidetracked with the idea that art shows deserved to be reviewed, say, like movies. Movies are in a different world, news-wise. They've got a huge audience, genuine stars, and big money. Count the dollar value of the tickets sold in one night, on one screen at your local movie theater. Multiply by the number of screens within a 20-minute radius. Compare to total yearly gross sales of contemporary art in the DC area. Forget about being reviewed like the movies.
Be jealous of the theater. They get reviewed and we don't. Why? Maybe demographics? People who can afford theater ticket prices are very desirable to advertisers. If you were in charge of the Washington Post and faced those same business pressures what would you choose to do with your limited space? Hold this thought (see below).
2) Sponsors. Money is not cheap. What are we offering? A chance to support the DC art scene. Whoopie. That translates as giving hard earned money to a charity that is by and large peopled by and which on the whole supports people who do not like the same sorts of large corporations which are giving the money. And for this unrewarded generosity the corporation is asked to expose itself to the chance that the programming it supports will endorse or display highly controversial (sexual and political) topics that the corporation is frankly not interested in supporting. It has its own stake-holders, ya know. Have we thought out the moral decision we will need to make when we come with our hand out? Yes, go for the money, but what will we say to all of the arts people who will soon cry "censorship"? Liberals eat their own. Remember that.
Even with reassurances that care will be taken and respect for the sponsor will be demonstrated, we still haven't given them a compelling reason why they should care. Come to think of it, why should they care?
3) So what to do? Build from the ground up. We need data. We need data to convince all those media people that we aren't talking about charity for the arts (yawn) but about doing something to please their existing audience and doing something to attract the people that will make up those desirable demographics.
How big is the audience for the visual arts in the DC area? How does it breakdown by region, by gender, by race, by income level? How many people in the Washington Post's audience, for example, read the existing articles on the DC arts scene? Those demographics. I haven't a clue. Do you?
Start with the Post itself. Do they ask questions in their demographic surveys that are relevant to the arts? We either need to analyze that data, get them to include arts questions in future surveys, or do our own data collection.
4) So there is something we can do right there. Call all the local galleries. Get them signed on to our bran-spanking new "I love the Arts (in DC)" drive. Everybody at every opening gets a postcard with demographic fill-in-the-blanks. We hand them out in Dupont Circle, Bethesda, etc. Pre-paid postcards, of course. Nothing is free. We gather data. At the same time we build support through the data collection effort itself. In fact, the data collection effort is real news and the results of the data collection are news, too. No need to beg for reviews. We've got news. Heck, we might even develop a list of people who want to be on the new DC-wide arts mailing list (the one that we just now decided to put together) and--heaven forbid, a list of possible financial supporters (not to buy art, but to fund our future arts-building activities).
That's enough for now!
Monday, January 26, 2004
One more thing for blind devotees of the United Nations to try to defend: After Castro sent the 10 librarians and 65 other dissidents into his prisons, the notorious U.N. Human Rights Commission (which I think is headed by that human rights leader Lybia) refused to pass a condemnation of Castro and now has also turned down a resolution introduced by Costa Rica calling for the immediate release of the prisoners.
It is brutal repression like this that fuels the art of many Cuban artists within this poor island prison and part of the reason that Cuban art is in such high demand.
Sunday, January 25, 2004
I am going to spend very little time bitching about galleries coverage by the Washington Post. The bottom line is simple – on this side of the fence (artists, collectors, readers and gallery owners) it appears that we all think that the Washington Post delivers scant coverage of the Greater Washington area gallery art scene, especially in proportion to the other “arts” covered by the Post. Although there are far more art galleries than theaters (for example), the Post does around 400% more theatre coverage than gallery coverage. Essentially between Jessica Dawson's 45 or so yearly columns each Thursday (except when she’s away or on vacation) and Michael O’Sullivan’s occasional gallery review in his Weekend column, the Post ‘s coverage of the area’s art galleries could be doubled and it would still be less than its current coverage of theatre, performance, music, dance, opera and even fashion.
So, let’s pretend that for some reason someone would convince John Pancake, the Post’s very hardworking Arts Editor, or his boss (Style Editor Gene Robinson) that the paper’s coverage of the city’s gallery scene is not commensurate with the size of Washington’s gallery scene and the newspaper’s reputation as a leading world publication. That would be, by itself, a great leap forward in helping to fire our the embers of our “art scene.”
But don’t hold your breath.
Yet, this area is still one of the most powerful media centers in the world, and I think that ingredient number nine in our ten-step list is definitely the media. In fact I believe that if we can get just some of these ideas started (in regards to the media) that even the Post would be forced to follow and “notice” the galleries, our artists and our area scene.
But let’s forget the Washington Post for a minute. Let’s look at the other media.
A little while back, we had some exposure to the power of a few seconds of television attention to an art show. As I noted in some of my postings, Scott Hutchison’s show of large nudes in our Bethesda galleries attracted the attention of a local newscaster, who then came and did a little segment on the “controversy” created by the nudes.
It was amazing what this little air exposure did, we had a large number of visitors, who otherwise wouldn’t have even heard of the show, come by – most just to see the show – others to express their support. But the point was that just a minute or so of TV exposure brought more people to the show than a huge review in the paper - any paper!
I know that WETA’s “Around Town” usually gives Bill Dunlap 4-5 minutes to discuss a museum show and then hurry through a couple of “Best Bets” before the other panelists get back to theatre and the movies. But that’s it!
So why don’t more local TV stations devote some time to our area artists and galleries?
I know that economics are a driving issue – and that their main driver is after all – the news. But they also have a cultural mission, which in TV news land translates into reporting on and about the movies.
TV stations already spend a lot of time on movies – as I noted earlier, I have a particular bitch about the “Arch on the Arts” segment, when Arch essentially just reviews movies 99% of the time – call it “Arch on the Movies” or have Mr. Campbell start attending (and discussing) some art shows.
What we need is just for one local TV station to take the lead and provide one minute a week – one miserable minute a week – dedicated to reviewing a local art gallery or an area artist. Call it “Gallery Minute” and sixty seconds of visual sweeps of the gallery, the artwork, 25 seconds of someone talking about the art, some contact info, dates and bingo – we’ll have an exponential increase in attendance to that show, and the beginning of more awareness of our gallery scene.
And that is precisely what TV can bring to the game – visual awareness to let viewers know that there are dozens and dozens of art galleries in the Washington, DC area and thousands of artists!
And I suspect that if one leading TV station were to do this once a week, that soon others would follow, and pretty soon we may even have two or three TV stations showing some interest and more importantly: kindling interest!
And one can apply the same logic to our local radio stations.
WTOP, which has the highest ratings in the DC area (I listen to them as well), has Joe Barber as Entertainment Editor. Joe is also an “Around Town” panelist and more than superbly qualified to do visual arts reviews if allowed. But all that Joe does is clubs and theatre.
I don’t know, but I suspect that whoever or whatever company pays for Joe’s airtime minutes, wants him to focus on just those two areas. If this is wrong, and if it is WTP’s management that restricts Joe to movies and clubs and performance, then it really doesn’t make sense.
Here’s how we fix this.
WTOP (or any other radio station) will give airtime to any discussion or critic if someone is willing to sponsor it. In other words, if tomorrow Giant Foods, or Lockheed Martin, or AOL or some other local company went to WTOP and said: “We’d like to sponsor a three minute daily segment on area galleries,” it would be in the station’s schedule as soon as the contract ink dried on the ad agreement.
WTOP (or any other commercial station) would not do this out of the goodness of their heart – and they are (after all) a commercial station. But it can happen if someone is willing to sponsor it. I know because I’ve asked them, and they’ve told me so!
What I don’t understand, and doesn’t make sense, is the fact that the radio stations that already have local cultural shows, such as NPR’s “Metro Connection,” rarely – if ever – cover area galleries or area artists. “Metro Connection,” like WETA's “Around Town,” and WTOP’s Joe Barber all report on the same thing: movies, theatre, and performance – the same thing that the Post reports on so well.
WETA's 90.9 FM new "arts" program - titled "The Program" has also been somewhat a disappointment in its avoidance of doing more with our galleries and visual artists. An exception was today, when they looked at Flashpoint. I do realize that they have done segments with Ferd Protzman (former art critic from the Post), and visited a museum or two, and a few pieces on some local artists, but we need more!
Why not more more galleries? In fact, according to its own description, this weekly hour-long program "explores trends, events and issues in the Washington-area arts scene. It includes both the mainstream and the fringe, with an eye to considering the broader implications of an exhibit or arts activity."
Regular contributors are NPR film and theater critics Pat Dowell and Bob Mondello (who is also a panelist on WETA TV 26's Around Town). There are no regular art critics.
Suggestion: A review a show!
So how do we get some of this, or one of these to happen?
We need the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend network to kick-start this idea into motion.
Someone will read this that knows someone who is a friend or a friend who knows the CEO of Lockheed Martin (or any other well-to-do local company reaping in the benefits of our once again great economy). Someone to bring up this issue eloquently to a person who, with a telephone call, can make things happen, and sponsor a minute a day on WTOP, or a minute a week on a TV station, or discuss person to person with Mr. Graham from the Post, some simple steps to highlight our great cultural gallery scene. In fact, someone set me up and I’ll do the “bringing up.”
Five minutes with any of them - that’s all I need.
Once a media source takes the lead, others will follow. Once we have some TV airtime, some radio airtime, and more people being informed that an art scene exists and thrives in DC, another ember in our kindling will catch on fire.
Saturday, January 24, 2004
Friday, January 23, 2004
Studios that produce works in volume are not eligible. T-Shirts and commercial clothing are not eligible. Ceramic works must be handmade by the artist. All booth space is 10' x 10' and all artists must provide their own tent. No staking allowed and artists must bring their own weights. Members of the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District Advisory Committee will select the artists. The Market will be held in the Bethesda Plaza located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. For a submission form, please e-mail Staphanie or send a Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to: Bethesda Artist Market, c/o Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc., 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.
Visit www.bethesda.org. Questions, call 301.215.6660 ext. 20. Stephanie Coppula.
Deadline February 13 - The Swann Foundation will Award a Fellowship for Caricature and Cartoon Research – DC. Administered by the Library of Congress, the Swann Foundation for Caricature and Cartoon promotes the study, interpretation, preservation and appreciation of original works of humorous and satiric art by graphic artists from around the world. The Swann Foundation Fund awards one fellowship annually with a stipend of $15,000 to assist ongoing scholarly research and writing projects in the field of caricature and cartoon. For more complete information, visit their website.
Thursday, January 22, 2004
- All residents have consistent opportunities to participate in and appreciate the arts.
-To increase awareness and visibility of art and activism in the District of Columbia.
-To bring people together through community arts.
-To preserve & celebrate our cultural diversity.
This coming Saturday January 31, 2004 they will be hosting the "Panorama Art-In" which consists of affordable workshops in visual, performing and teambuilding arts.
Location: Jelleff Boys and Girls Club, 3265 S St., NW, DC
Donation: $25-55, sliding scale and no one turned away due to lack of funds. Light lunch included.
1. Visual Art Workshops include Ceramics, Collage Painting and Woodworking.
2. Performing Art Workshops in Drumming, Traditional West African Dancing, Spoken Word and Acting/Improv.
3. Teambuilding Workshops in Mural/Banner Painting
To Register email email@example.com or call (202) 431-4840.
Deadline: February 2, 3004.
NATIONAL CERAMIC COMPETITION - February 2, 2004. Exhibition runs April 15-June 20, 2004. Over $5,000 in cash awards. Open to artists living in the US, Canada and Mexico. Original clay work "from functional to sculptural." Completed in the last 2 years. Entry fee. 20% commission. SASE to:
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts
One Love St
San Angelo TX 76903
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
Secondsight will be having their bi-monthly meeting tomorrow!
Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities. Secondsight is committed to supporting photographers at every stage of their careers, from students to professionals. Each bi-monthly meeting includes an introductory session, a guest speaker, portfolio sharing and discussion groups. Each photographer will have the opportunity to present their work within a small group of other photographers, ask for constructive criticism, gain knowledge or simply share their artistic vision and techniques.
For info, directions and details call Catriona Fraser tomorrow from 12-6 PM at 301/718-9651.
Some mini reviews...
This year the Art League celebrates its 50th birthday. The Art League is one of the cultural jewels in the brilliant cultural tapestry of our area and I know that their impact and presence will be around for many more years to come. Happy 50th!
Their most recent show was juried by Walter Kravitz, and for the first time in my many visits and reviews of The Art League’s many wonderful group shows, which consistently are solid, good shows, I was disappointed.
Kravitz selected a mediocre show – not just because some of the artwork is mediocre – after all, those pieces were mediocre to me – just me, but also the show suffered from the clear fact that he obviously tried to have an all-inclusive show, with a little of everything, and instead ended with a mish-mash of too many disparate pieces and genres that looked like a student show rather than a professional, powerful and tight group show – as I have grown accustomed to see at The Art League.
By the way, I’d love to jury a show there and put my money (I mean selections) where my mouth (I mean words) is/are.
Anyway, from Kravitz’s jumbled show, I particularly liked some old proven names. In the show, the superb watercolors by Chris Krupinsky stood out as usual, as did the giant drag queen painting by Ardath Hill (which I’d seen before at Hill’s Studio Gallery solo), Glenn Friedel’s spectacular photograph titled “High Contrast Nude II,” and Sara Poly’s “Clouds Ascending.”
At the League’s solo show gallery, Caroline Emmet Heald gives us a painting landscape tour in a show titled “Wetlands” which as the title describes, are landscapes depicting various wetlands. Heald is a talented painter who skillfully avoids the trap of trying to create the illusion of perfect realism and instead uses the ability of color to deliver representational ideas to bring forth her landscapes. Yes, they are paintings of wetlands, but a closer inspection reveals the tenacity of a good painter who is also interested in exploring vigorous brushwork and the interactions of colors.
Upstairs, I visited the group show at Multiple Exposures Gallery (formerly Factory Photoworks) curated by Annie Gawlak of G Fine Art. I also found this show, titled “Multiples,” a little thin, and this was also surprising, as this cooperative is without a doubt one of the powerhouses of local photographic talent. Gawlak selected 17 pieces, most of which didn’t really appeal to me, with the exception of a beautiful selenium-toned photo by James Steele titled “Ecola Forest.” If I may fall on that old art criticism crutch of comparison, it reminded me of one of those Wayne Bullock photos sans the nude. It is a gorgeous, sensual and mystical photo of a moist, wet forest that showcases Steele's superb photographic eye.
I'll be jurying Multiple Exposures Gallery's next show in February, so let's see how I do when placed in the juror's place - although I juried a show for this gallery a few years ago as well and I am quite familiar with most of the phoptographers in the gallery.
Tuesday, January 20, 2004
Monday, January 19, 2004
Deadline: February 1, 2004.
The Rijksakademie in Holland offers sixty artists (resident artists) from around the world the possibility to work for a period of time (maximum of two years) on research, projects and production. Every artist has their own studio, a stipend and the opportunity for dialogue with visiting artists, art critics, curators and other advisors. In addition to extensive technical workshops and advice, the facilities include a library, artists’ documentation and art collection. The Rijksakademie offers a unique blend of the features of artists’ residencies, research centers and postgraduate programs at the highest international level. The Rijksakademie also organizes the Prix de Rome, the oldest and most prestigious "state prize" of the Netherlands.
Applications for the residency 2005 can be obtained through their website or contact them at:
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten
NL 1018 GW
Opportunities for Miniature Artists
Deadline: February 2, 2004.
The 7th Annual International Biennale of Miniature Art in Quebec, Canada has a call for miniature artists to be invited to participate. Jury will select artists. Every artist may present a maximum of two works. Entry fees: $20 for the first work $10 for an additional work. The fees are payable in Canadian funds with international drafts or money orders. Visit their website for details.
Deadline: February 28, 2004.
The Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center in New Jersey hosts the Sumei National and International Juried Print Exhibition 2004 . This biennial exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Cuban artist Belkis Ayon, who committed suicide a few years ago. Juror is David Kiehl, Curator of Prints at The Whitney Museum of American Art. Open to all artists, original works created within the last three years, any print media. Giclee prints accepted in separate category. For prospectus you can download the form from their website or send SASE to:
Sumei Juried Print
19 Liberty Street
Newark, NJ 07102
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center's Clocktower/P.S.1 Projects provides free, non-residential space for the creation and/or exhibition of specific projects. Studios are located on the 13th floor of the Clocktower Gallery in Lower Manhattan and at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in Long Island City. Artists are invited to submit proposals for projects which can be created within three months or less. P.S.1's curatorial team will select projects based on quality of work, the probability of its execution, its relevance to other P.S.1 programming, and other curatorial considerations. Applications will be accepted throughout the year.
Download the application and read further info here.
Submit completed application to:
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center
Attn: Clocktower/P.S.1 Projects
22-25 Jackson Avenue at 46th Ave.
Long Island City, New York, NY 11101-5324
Deadline: March 9, 2004. Greenhouse Gallery in San Antonio, Texas has a juried competition that is a project of the International Museum of Contemporary Masters of Fine Art and is dedicated to seeking and promoting artistic excellence. Slide entries will be juried by the owners of Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art. $20,000 in cash award prizes. March 9, 2004 - Last day for acceptance of entry forms and all required materials. Entries must arrive at Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art, 2218 Breezewood, San Antonio, TX 78209. Contact the gallery at (800) 453-8991 for a prospectus.
The Washington Sculptors Group was recently awarded an Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts during the 19th Annual Mayor's Arts Awards.
Sunday, January 18, 2004
By the way, I have a bitch with the way the Post does the byline on some of their employees. They list Gopnik as Washington Post Staff Writer, which is the same way they list everyone else, including the guy who writes the obituaries (which by the way is what Gopnik's predecessor did before being promoted to being an art critic). Blake Gopnik deserves the recognition of his pulpit, and should be listed as Chief Art Critic or Senior Art Critic or whatever his true title is.
Every other major newspaper that I can think of identifies the real title of their writers (when they have one). This seems like simple lazyness on the part of the Post, unless it has something to do with some ridiculous union issue.
If anyone from the Post reads this BLOG, I would appreciate an explanation to clarify the point. Email me.
The Hirshhorn Museum has appointed Glory Jones as Director of External Affairs. She will lead the museum's fundraising and communications program. Jones' past experience includes being an independent media-relations and events consultant to the US Pavillion at the 2001 Venice Biennale.
On February 14, the Corcoran opens "The Quilts of Gee's Bend." This show is about the quilt-making tradition of a geographically isolated African-American community in southern Alabama.
Featuring 70 quilts dating from the 1930s to 2000, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend includes quilts made from everyday fabrics: corduroy, denim, cotton sheets and well-worn clothing.
The New York Times' Senior Art Critic, Michael "Dia" Kimmelman has called the quilts "some of the most miraculous works of modern art that America has produced," so I am really looking forward to the press preview and will let you know on February 10 what I think. With Kimmelman's endorsement, and because of the political incorrectness of dissing a show like this one, I suspect that Washington area critics will walk with tender feet on this exhibition and it will be well received and positively reviewed. In fact, lack of a major review or endorsement could be viewed as "disliking the show," so you better get your pens ready and take good notes at the press review boys and girls!
Organized by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The Quilts of Gee’s Bend is on view at the Corcoran from February 14 through May 17, 2004. After I attend the press review and once I've seen and digested them, I will let you know what I think.
Ross Palmer Beecher is a Seattle-based artist that for 30 years has been taking the American tradition of quilt-making and taking it to a really modern setting. If Beecher lived in New York, I suspect that she would be an art superstar by now. Ever since I met her when I was a student at the University of Washington School of Art (she wasn't a student there, but we used to sell our artwork at the Pike Place Market), she's been refining her vision of contemporary quiltmaking and uses metals, found objects, cloth, beads, glass, costume jewelry, bottle caps, stamps, etc. in her quilts. Even back in the late 70's I knew that Ross was re-inventing quiltmaking as a contemporary art form, and I think that she would be an excellent choice for the next Corcoran Biennial.
Numark Gallery in its really nice new location has a two-person show curently on exhibit until Feb. 21. On show is Adam Ross: In Between Places and Carter Potter: We Cure Everything.
For lovers of contemporary landscape painting, The Alla Rogers Gallery in Georgetown has two exceptional Ukranian artists currently on exhibit until Feb. 18: Alexander Stephanovich Shurinov and Yelena Molchanova. Alla Rogers focuses her exhibitions on mostly former Soviet and Eastern European artists. The superb school training characteristic of artists from that part of the world is very evident in these two artists powerful brushwork and clear understanding of the power and nuances of color. It's an excellent landscape painting exhibition that is also very nicely priced (no painting is more than $2,000).
Elizabeth Roberts Gallery in Dupont Circle has an opening reception on Friday, Feb. 6 from 6-8 PM for artists Brenda Moore and Sylvie van Helden. The two-person show runs until February 28, 2004. Moore is a 2001 American University MFA graduate who currently teaches at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, while van Helden is a 2002 MICA MFA graduate who now teaches at Loyola University in Baltimore.
The Phillips Collection opens on Feb. 14, 2004 an exhibition titled: "Discovering Milton Avery: Two Devoted Collectors, Louis Kaufman and Duncan Phillips" . The show focuses on two of Milton Avery's most important patrons and their personal approaches to collecting. I will be attending the press preview on Feb. 9 and will let you know my thoughts on this exhibition by a truly independent artist who refused to be categorized and whose influences on giants such as Mark Rothko had often been ignored."some of the most miraculous works of modern art that America has produced,"
Saturday, January 17, 2004
Video artist and photographer Darin Boville smartly picked up on a very interesting issue that I think AHCMC should really consider.
This is ludicrous. Just over $50K spread scattershot over nearly forty recipients? This isn't support for the arts. This is more like the micro-loan programs that international agencies run in third world countries.
In grants of $600, of $1,000, of $2,000 you have to take very seriously the notion of subtracting out the time it took to fill out the forms, making the calls, having the meetings to decide to pursue the grant and so on from the value of the grant. From a policy point of view you also have to account for those cost of all those who applied but did not win. You have the take into account what it costs to administer the grant program.
Surely the real cost of giving away this money is larger than the value of the money that is given away.
So here is an idea for your list of things to do to make the DC-area a center for art:
Take the $50,000 for the next six months and don't give it to artists. This is like giving starving people just enough food to stay alive but not enough to do anything but wait for the next hand-out cycle. Instead, use it to hire a professional fund-raiser/PR person for the area art scene. That will pay for itself and then some. Stop the arts community from letting itself bleed to death.
Friday, January 16, 2004
The four galleries (MOCA, Parish, Alla Rogers and Fraser) are in the Canal Square in Georgetown located at 1054 31st Street off M Street, NW.
See ya there!
Thursday, January 15, 2004
From my tunnel vision perspective, this phenomenom only seems to apply to the visual arts: The money is here, the galleries are here, the artists are here, and yet the collectors are not here - at least not in the same scale as in Miami, LA or SF. No one can challenge NYC, but one would think that Washington could certainly develop a collector base on the par with those other cities.
Why is that? I have several theories, which I will be mulling and blogging over the next few days. I also have the actual data (from our perspective) of where our sales go to, and interestingly enough, over half of our gallery sales go to collectors outside of Washington!
When we were working with Sotheby's to sell Washington artists' artwork, of nearly 1,000 lots that we sold in the last few years, all but two were bought by collectors from all over the US, Europe and Asia - only two to Washington area collectors out of nearly 1,000 sales! Worldwide collectors were buying Washington artists' art and Washingtonians were ignoring them.
Two out of 1,000.
Where do Washington area collectors go to buy art?
There are some local collectors and they do exist. We started our first gallery without a single name on our invitation list and had not stolen the collectors database from another gallery, so over the years we had to develop our "own."
And we have certainly developed several good collectors over the last few years - not just in Washington, but also other cities and countries, and in DC there are a handful of legendary art collectors (none of which are "rich" by the way), that we (and nearly every gallery in DC sells to) whose vast art collections are so large that nearly every Washington artist of note is hanging (wall-to-wall) in their homes. In one case, the collector has so many works that even his entire ceiling is covered with paintings!
But DC area art collectors do not exist in the numbers that a demographic like Washington's can and should deliver. We should have a collectors base of thousands, not dozens.
Part of the answer will be coming up soon here, but a hint is in the fact that while this goes on in DC, Miami struggles with dilemmas like this one. I wish we had their "problems."
Wednesday, January 14, 2004
For a truly descriptive and eloquent piece on the art of creating a portrait painting (in this case the portrait of London's National Portrait Gallery's director Charles Saumarez Smith by artist Tom Phillips and filmed by Bruno Wollheim), read this cool piece in The Guardian.
"Nobody ever likes the work in the Turner Prize. Conceptual installation art is worthless and people don't want it. Galleries are desperately trying to find young artists who can draw..."Above quote by well-known British artist Sir Kyffin Williams, who also accuses modern artists of being more interested in fame than art and describes teaching in art schools as "disgraceful."
Read The BBC story here.
One of my favorite painters, Eric Fischl (who one day we hope to bring to a show here in DC) will be in town Thursday, March 11 at 7pm at the Hirshhorn's Ring Auditorium.
Fischl, whose painting The Funeral: A Band of Men (Two Women) Abandonment! was acquired by The Hirshhorn in 1990 and is one of my favorite pieces in the Hirshhorn permanent collection (it is currently on view by the way), will discuss his work and the current direction of figurative art, which according to a couple of our local art critics is dead and "has been done."
Tuesday, January 13, 2004
The Cultural Centre is located at 1825 Phelps Place, NW, Washington, DC, Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm. Call for directions: 202-265-3840. The show comes down on January 30, 2004.
Eve Hennessa opens this Friday, January 16 at Parish Gallery in Georgetown's Canal Square. All four Canal Square galleries (MOCA, Fraser, Parish and Alla Rogers) will have their January openings and have opening receptions from 6-9 PM.
My Pictish Nation drawings are on exhibit at Fraser. I usually do the January or December show because everything is dead, especially if the "S" word (snow) is mentioned. The show received a nice review by John Blee in The Georgetowner and a very nice review by Joanna Shaw-Eagle in The Washington Times. To learn more about Pictish culture, click here.
Pandamania 2004, DC Panda Sculpture Design
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is looking for Artists to submit designs for 150 Panda sculptures that are 5½ feet tall. Like the elephants and pandas that enlivened the city's streets nearly two years ago,these whimsical characters will be placed on the streets of Washington during the spring, summer, and fall of 2004. The deadline for artwork is January 30, 2004. Artist Stipend per Panda is: $1,500.00 To participate in Pandamania's Call to Artists obtain an application here or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 202.724.5613.
Artists must mail or deliver all original art submissions no later than Friday, January 30, 2004 to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, Fifth Floor 410 8th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004.
Spring 2004: Entries for Bethesda Arts Festival
The Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District is accepting applications for the 2004 Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, an outdoor Fine Art and Fine Craft festival that will take place in the Woodmont Triangle area of Bethesda, Maryland. The festival will take place, rain or shine, on Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16. 150 booth spaces are available, $275 for a 10' x 10' booth, $25 application fee. All original fine art and fine crafts are eligible, no mass produced or commercially manufactured products are allowed. $2,500 in prize money. Deadline for applications is March 1, 2004. To download an application form, visit here or send a SASE to Bethesda Urban Partnership, Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, 7700 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814.
For more information contact the festival Director, Catriona Fraser, at (301) 718-9651.
The next MUSE is Sunday, February 1, 7:30pm when the guests are Robert Lehrman, gallery owner George Hemphill, and Washington Post art critic Blake Gopnik. They will be joining MUSE this month to discuss collecting art, museum trusteeship and stewardship. For more info email Faith at email@example.com.
Monday, January 12, 2004
Deadline Feb 14, 2004. Massachusetts Gallery seeks new members. 108 Gallery in Somerville is seeking submissions for inclusion in its new artists' co-op. The co-op will include 12 artists who are actively producing mature work. Submissions will be juried by a panel of artists and curators. Contact: Kate Ledogar, 108 Gallery, 108 Beacon St, Somerville MA 02143 or call 617- 441-3833 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: March 31, 2004. The 7th L'Oreal Art and Science of Color Prize. The theme is "the meeting of science and art in color." The Gold Prize is presented to one person and carries with it an award of Euro 30,000. The Silver Prize is presented to one person and carries with it an award of Euro 20,000. The Bronze Prize is presented to one person and carries with it an award of Euro 10,000. Winners will be invited to the awarding ceremony to be held in autumn of 2004 in Tokyo. Send materials designated in their website to the Foundation in Japan via post mail or delivery services. No commission. For additional information contact: www.art-and-science.com or email email@example.com.
Next month we have our own Cuban exhibition at the Georgetown gallery, by three spectacular Cuban photographers: Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Cirenaica Moreira and Elsa Mora. The show opens (and there will be a reception for the artists) on Friday, February 8 from 6-9 pm.
Although the works of these photographers have been the subject of numerous museum exhibitions worldwide -- including shows at the Los Angeles County Art Museum, Museum of Modern Art in Mexico City, Bronx Museum in New York, Museo del Barrio in New York, St. Louis Art Museum, Fridericianum Museum in Germany, Telhai Museum in Israel, Museum of the Americas in Denver, the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art, Pori Art Museum in Finland, Cuevas Museum in Mexico City, Alejandro Otero Museum in Venezuela, Fries Museum in Holland, Photography Museum in Colombia, Camilo Gil Museum in Mexico, Daros Museum in Switzerland, Museum of Contemporary Hispanic Art in New York, Mucsamock Museum in Budapest, Lima Art Museum in Peru and the Monterrey Metropolitan Museum in Mexico -- this exhibition, (with the exception of Elsa Mora) will be their first ever exhibition in Washington, DC.
Marta Maria Perez Bravo was born in Havana, Cuba in 1959 and studied at the San Alejandro Academy of Fine Arts from which she graduated in 1979. She then studied and received her postgraduate education at the Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) also in Havana, from which she graduated in 1984. Her work has been exhibited worldwide, including in several international biennials and she has had more than one hundred solo and group shows in museums and galleries around the world. She is considered by many to be the leading Cuban photographer of her generation. Her photographs, which nearly always employ her body as the model, focus on the secret rituals, dualities, images and stories of the secret “Santeria” religion of Cuba’s former slaves. She currently lives in Monterrey, Mexico, where she is on a teaching exchange program.
Cirenaica Moreira was born in Havana in 1969 and graduated from ISA in 1992. Formally trained as an actress, Moreira’s work begins with a complex and intelligent tableau that she builds around the center character of her own image. Coupled with Cuban proverbs and sayings, they deliver sharp, intelligent criticism that touches many taboo subjects of Cuban society, such as sex, racism, emigration and freedom as they freeze a moment where the actress becomes the subject of the photograph. She currently lives in Havana, Cuba.
Elsa Mora was born in Holguin, Cuba in 1972, where she attended the Vocational School of Art and graduated in 1986. She then attended the Professional School of Visual Arts in Camagüey, Cuba, from where she graduated in 1990. Mora has exhibited her work worldwide and has been a visiting artist and visiting faculty to many American Universities and Schools, including The Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Institute of Boston. Her work often uses her own image to deliver cutting commentary on issues such as loss of freedoms and racism. For this exhibition Mora will show her most recent work, which was part of the collateral exhibition at the recent VIII Havana Biennial. She currently lives in Los Angeles, California.
I am really excited about hosting this exhibition and hope that you can all come and see it.
Sunday, January 11, 2004
The oldest figurative art in the world has been unearthed in Germany. It consists of three small ivory carvings, possibly more than 30,000 years old, already showing a high level of artistic skill.
Saturday, January 10, 2004
Visit Tyler's Modern Art Notes at www.artsjournal.com/man.
Deadline: January 31, 2004. Juried Mail Art Show. The theme is \"WALLS\". Taking original submissions through February 15th, 2004 by US mail and International mail only. All work submitted will become part of the permanent collection of Sleeth Gallery and will not be returned, but all artists submitting will be reciprocated with new mail art if a return address is included with your submission. No size restrictions. No entry fee. Any artist, any age, anywhere with a postal system is eligible. International
submissions highly encouraged. Deadline for entry is February 15,
2004. Opening February 24th, 2004 at 4:30 PM. For more information
check out their website. Send work to:
West Virginia Wesleyan College
59 College Ave
Buckhannon WV 26201
Deadline March 18, 2004 – Artists must be residents of the State of Maryland. All entered designs must be the artist’s original work. May submit up to three entries, accompanied by $15 for one entry/ $20 for two/ $30 for 3. Species depicted on stamps may not be American Widgeon, Black Scoter, or Lesser Scaup. All media, black/white or color, are accepted. Designs must have a horizontal orientation and be 7” in height by 10” in width; each entry must arrive matted; mats should be white. Judging will take place on Saturday, March 27, 12 noon at Patuxent National Wildlife Visitor Center. For more information, call 1-877-620 8DNR ext. 8022. Or send an e-mail to: L. Wiley or visit website here.
And an art teaching job in Louisiana...
Deadline February 12 - Assistant Professor of Art- Art history/ Visual resource curator – LA. Generalist; teach 3 art history survey courses each term. Oversee Visual Resource Ctr & interns; committee work; preferred candidate to have familiarity with digital technologies, database management, image scanning, and web course design. Candidate should have experience and interest in grant writing, development of distance learning & travel course. Duties include teaching 3 lecture courses per term in art history/art appreciation. M.A., Art History, Ph.D. preferred. Salary: $30,000 - $40,000. Employment Type: Full. How to Apply: Applications should include letter of application with teaching philosophy, curriculum vitae, name, address, phone and e-mail of three current references the search committee may contact, SASE. Send to: Lewis Temple, Chair, Search Committee-Art History, Dept. of Visual Arts, Box 92295 MSU, Lake Charles, LA 70609. fax: 337-475-5927. email here and website here.
Friday, January 09, 2004
For example, there are commercial fine arts galleries, which are privetely owned and for profit businesses. In our area, examples of that type of galleries include Fusebox, Numark, Conner, Parish, ours and many others. In order to pay the rent, utilities, advertising, staff, etc., these galleries must sell work as that's generally the only source of income for any business. Anything that you make after paying the artists and all the bills is a profit. Once you pay taxes on that profit, it's all yours to keep.
There are also cooperative galleries, which are also for profit businesses, but usually owned by a group of artists who share the expenses (and sometimes duties) of running the gallery. Some of those in our area are Spectrum, Gallery West, Creative Partners, Touchstone and others. They also have to sell artwork in order to pay bills. Artists usually pay a monthly fee or a small commission on sales and keep the bulk of their sales.
Then there are public art galleries, which are usually supported by a combination of public taxes and public and private grants. These are non-profit and usually directed by a board, which works with a paid director to make all the gallery decisions by committee. Some of those around our area include Mc Lean Center for the Arts, Ellipse, Rockville Arts Place, Target, and others. Additionally, public art galleries may also sell work and charge exhibiting artists a commission on sales. Some of these are good art jobs, for example, the paid director of the Ellipse Gallery has a salary of around $65,000.
There are also private non-profit art galleries, which also receive generous tax exemptions, and are eligible for public and private grants. These are also usually run by a director who must by law work together with a board and together, with the approval of the board, decide on shows, and major decisions concerning the gallery, etc. Samples of private non profit art galleries in our area include Transformer, DCAC, Flashpoint and a couple more. These private non-profits can also raise funds, in addition to grants, dues, etc. from the sales of artwork. Some of these are also very good paying jobs for its directors - usually for large, national non-profits - I know of at least two private non-profit art spaces in our area that pay its director above $80,000 a year.
Both of these last two type of institutions are known as 503 (c)'s under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code and are required by law to have a governing board - which is required by law to meet at least once a year -- and also to have all their paperwork always available to the public on request, as they receive tax exemption status from the IRS and most states require them to have three directors. This is to prevent any one individual's abuse of the tax exemption status. No profit is to be made and public records of all meetings and decisions are to be kept by law.
The current issue of the Washington City Paper has the second of Bob Lalasz's "Show & Tell" columns, all about the insider news scoops in the DC art scene. The WCP doesn't have an online version, so go and get a copy and read it.
And Lalasz has a muckraking bombshell of a piece with a spectacular admission amongst the three pieces in this article. A piece that confirms a rumor that has been going on around DC art circles for a couple of years and which is certain to get people to nod their heads and say "I knew it!"
Go read it.
Area artist J. W. Carter recently won the Lorenzo Il Magnifico Prize in competition at the International Biennale of Contemporary Art of Florence.
The Florence Biennale in Italy, is one of the world's most comprehensive exhibitions of contemporary art, representing 891 artists from 72 countries. The international jury that awarded the Prize was made up of ten authoritative critics of modern and contemporary art and curators of leading contemporary art museums from the US, Spain, UK, Austria, Italy, and Mexico.
Carter has previously won several important international competitions, including the UNESCO award to create the American Peace Monument in Ravenna, Italy. In Florence, Carter presented three artworks of polychrome cast stone relief and glass mosaic: The Observer, Green Life Disc, and Pegasus.
Dr. John Spike, Director of the Biennale, said of Mr. Carter: “He could have been a physicist or astronomer. But he wishes to use the metaphor of art to deal with the issues of biosphere degradation and the future of life. His exhibit is like a scientific demonstration.”
Thursday, January 08, 2004
For the last year, Trevor Young sent more than 500 embellished envelopes with images of urban landscapes, portraits, cartoons, all autobiographical over the course of a year to Annie Adjchavanich.
They will be on exhibition January 8 - 31, 2004 at Flashpoint in a show titled "Trevor Young has gone postal" which is Flashpoint's second gallery show. Trevor also scanned them before sending them and thus discovered that a couple of dozen envelopes are missing and were never received by Annie (and may be framed and adorning some postal employees homes?). Those images will be printed out and put in a "missing in action" section. The opening reception for the artist is tonite, Thursday, January 8, from 6 - 8pm.
This is a "curated" auction and the artwork then is contributed by area artists (although this year there are some very nice pieces from some very well known non Washington artists as well, such as Spencer Tunick and former porn star turned into a damned good artist Annie Sprinkle) who have been pre-selected by the curators, which this year are: Chan Chao, 2002 Whitney Biennial artist and Adjunct Professor of Photography at the Corcoran College of Art & Design (who also donated a piece); Andy Grundberg, Administrative Chair of Photography at the Corcoran College of Art & Design; Paul Roth, Associate Curator of Photography and Media Arts at the Corcoran Gallery of Art; Virginia Shore, Chief Curator of the Art in Embassies Program at the US Department of State; and Grady T. Turner, independent curator and critic.
A bit Corcoran-heavy in the curating department, but all for an excellent cause, as the WPA/C and its tireless leader, Annie Adjchavanich, is one of the cultural jewels of this area.
Some of the better known artists in this year's list are: Richard Misrach, Spencer Tunick, and William Christenberry. Some of the locals invited to donate a piece include: Graham Caldwell, Andres Tremols, Trawick Prize finalist James Huckenpahler, Judy Jashinsky, and Colby Caldwell.
My favorite piece in the auction is this very funny and sexy photo by Lucien Perkins.
And some local shows that you may not hear about and which may be interesting not only for the art, but also because they are in venues usually out of the mainstream:
At Goodwin House West's Gallery West in Falls Church, which is managed by Allison Miner, herself a pretty good artist, Ira Tattleman has a solo show titled "Ruminations: Photography Rethought, Regrouped, and Imagined" and runs from January 15- March 1, 2004, with an Opening Reception: Thursday, January 15 from 7 - 9pm.
And Miriam Martinez Zapata has a solo titled Zapata's Portraits at Kramer's & Afterwords Café in the heart of the Dupont Circle area. Opening on Tuesday, February 17th, 2004 From 6:30-8:30pm. Light refreshments will be served and drinks will be at happy hour rates. The show will be up from February 9th-March 7th, 2004. Half of all personal profits will go to Mercy Corps which is providing immediate relief efforts to help the 100,000 people left homeless by the earthquake that hit southeastern Iran on December 26.
See more work by Miriam here.
Wednesday, January 07, 2004
First is the MPA/Corcoran Student Show at the Ramp Gallery and it features many of Barbara Januszkiewicz's students. Barbara is a one-woman tornado - she's an exceptional artist, a terrific teacher, an award winning television producer of an arts program and a key arts activist in our area.
At the Emerson Gallery they have "Plastic Memory," feauturing work by Greg Carbo, Susan Crowder, Craig Pleasants, Lynn Schmidt, Jeff Spaulding, M. Jordan Tierney and Rex Weil.
Weil is the person who often reviews DC shows for ArtNews magazine, although generally he seems to only review museums, while I've noticed that Louis Jacobson (who also reviews for the City Paper) does galleries. Weil is also an Adjunct Professor at the Corcoran School of Art where he has taught painting and theory.
At the Atrium Gallery is "Holding Places" by Marie Ringwald.
Tuesday, January 06, 2004
“Artists and cultural institutions are the heart and soul of this great city," said Mayor Anthony A. Wiliams. “I am honored that so many talented artists have made DC their home.”
Mrs. Alma Powell, Vice Chairman of the Kennedy Center Board and Dana Gioia, Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, were also in attendance last night as Washington’s finest artists and arts organizations received accolades and applause from their peers and supporters.
Glass sculptor Tim Tate, who had a spectacular year in 2003, won the Outstanding Emerging Artist award. In 2003 Tate had his first solo show (with us), had his first major museum sale, opened the Washington Glass School and won the international design competition for the AIDS Monument in New Orleans. There are articles about Tate coming in 2004 in both a US and an European glass art magazine.
A complete list of all the categories and the individual and organizational winners are listed below:
Excellence in an Artistic Discipline
Winner: Joy Zinoman
Outstanding Contribution to Arts Education
Winner: DC Youth Orchestra
Outstanding Emerging Artist
Winners: CityDance Ensemble and Tim Tate
Excellence in Service to the Arts
Winners: Whitman Walker Clinic, Art for Life Program and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Board of Directors, Art in Transit Program and The Washington Sculptors Group
Innovation in the Arts
Winner: 48 Hour Film Project Inc.
Mayor’s Special Recognition
Patton-Boggs LLP and Roland Celette, Director of La Maison Francaise
It's revealing in the sense that it shows the writer's dependency on New York to anchor most of her issues, points and references. It's surprising to have her tell us that "with male nudes in full display, pornography a common source material, and explicit imagery the norm in galleries and museums, sex in art has become fun, disturbing, raunchy, even cerebral." Two standards of nudity exist: one for men and one for women.
She quotes artist Carroll Dunham, (in whose paintings the penis has been a recent motif, as he's better known as an abstract painter) as saying: "male sexuality has been one of the least represented things in our culture except in pornography. Historically, painters were men getting women to take off their clothes to paint them. But I see a phallus as part of who I am, and I have a right to make it as an image. Why weren't they interested in their own bodies?"
Dunham may be right, but in an art world obsessed with the trend of the new and who did what first, I have a nepotic and provincial bitch with the penis painting issue, as anyone who is anybody in Washington, DC knows that our own Manon Cleary has painted the male penis for many years, and even appeared on an HBO special about sex, painting the penis in her own unique neo-classical manner. Problem is that Manon shows in Washington, DC and since ArtNews magazine all but ignores the DC area, she would have never come within the radar of Ms. Yablonsky, although Manon's penis paintings received enough press and interest that they came to the attention of HBO!
And if the "new" issue of marrying pornography to art is raising eyebrows lately in Gotham, then they certainly raised them here as well, as this 1997 review in the Washington Post notes:
Fraser Gallery is showing charcoal drawings of nudes by F. Lennox Campello. The subjects are mostly women Campello found on X-rated Web sites. He then arranged to meet and draw them. The drawings are very dark and the artist's abundant use of shadow effects can be heavy-handed and irritating. But in a few of the works he manages to find a delicate balance between the black charcoal and cream-colored paper resulting in a grainy, film-noir effect, making his subjects, traffickers in mass-consumption prurience, seem tough but vulnerable, like a flowering plant in a sexual wasteland.And more recently of course, was the whole flap caused by the Scott Hutchison nudes in Bethesda, which even merited a spot in our TV local news.
So Yablonsky is essentially right in isolating this trend, but what's "new" or "trendy" is sometimes a re-hash of what has been outside the tunnel vision of the writer. And just as I am tunnel-visioned to mostly what happens in the Washington, DC area visual arts, her vision and time is, as one would expect, focused upon NYC and art world superstars.
This could be partially solved if her magazine paid more attention to the rest of the nation's art scene(s), and became somewhat less NYC-focused, but that will never happen.
The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian is looking for artists for its DC opening in September 2004. They are looking for Native American artists to participate in the museum's six day opening ceremonies.
To commemorate the opening of this new museum, the NMAI will present "Songs, Steps and Stories" - The Festival of Native American Music, Dance and Storytelling." The opening festival is designed to strengthen and celebrate the Native cultures of North, South and Central America.
The six day festival (September 21 - 26, 2004), will feature over 200 singers, dancers and storytellers, representing 30-40 American Indian communities from throughout the Western Hemisphere. An audience of one million people is expected. There is no official application form for groups and individuals that are interested in participating in the museum's opening events.
However, the museum is asking those who are interested to send a promotional kit that should include their biography and performance history. Some reviews and written endorsements from places they have performed would be useful. In the case of performing groups, especially dance groups, a performance video is very important. For musicians a compact disc or cassette is important, but video is also a good idea. Plans for the opening focus primarily on music, dance, and storytelling, but fine artisans whose work relates to music and dance (drum makers, etc.) are of interest as well.
The museum is also interested in radio personalities and comedians who might be interested in acting as host/emcees for the performance stages. Interested artists can send their promotional kits to:
Public Programs Producer
National Museum of the American Indian
470 L'Enfant Plaza
Washington, DC 20560-0934
Deadline: January 15, 2004.
For renovated lobby of DC Courthouse - Theme: "Family" - Budget: $100,000. Eligible: Artists from Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia. To receive a detailed prospectus contact: Francoise Yohalem at 301 816-0518. Or by e-mail: Francyo@earthlink.net.
Deadline: 15 January 2004.
World Press Photo has their annual competition to select the world press photo of the year. Eligibile are press photographers and photojournalists throughout the world who can then participate in the 47th annual World Press Photo Contest.
This competition accepts press photographs taken during 2003 and intended for publication. There is no entry fee. Single pictures in all categories must have been taken in 2003. In the categories Spot News, General News, People in the News and Sports Action. All pictures in the stories must also have been shot in 2003. Picture stories/portfolios in the remaining categories must have been completed or first published in 2003.
The award carries a cash prize of EUR 10,000, and an invitation to Amsterdam to attend the awards ceremony in April 2004 (including one return flight ticket and hotel accommodation). At this ceremony the first exhibition of the season is officially opened. The winner of the World Press Photo of the Year 2003 Award is also offered an exhibition of his or her photojournalistic work, to be opened simultaneously in Amsterdam. There are also 1,500 EUR awards in each of the categories. Eligible photographers can download all the info here. See last year's winners here.
For Ibero-Latin American Press Photographers.
Deadline: 28 February 2004.
Open to the American continent's and the Iberian peninsula of Europe's press photographers of Spanish or Portuguese language publications. Sponsored by the Fundacion Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano in Colombia. One $30,000 prize and several $25,000 prizes to the winning photographers. Entry rules and forms here.
Monday, January 05, 2004
As one looks at this desolate new photo of Mars, taken by the Spirit's Rover at the Mars landing site on Monday, I wonder what the first ever photos of the Red planet will fetch in vintage art auctions in a couple of hundred years (the vintage moonlanding photos already fetching quite a nice price).
I was also struck how the new photo of Mars looks a little like a Richard Misrach, but more brooding and less "landscapy" and "pretty."
Click on the photo above to visit the NASA website. It's a spectacular presentation of the Mars mission. Check out this breathtaking photograph of the Olympos Mons volcano - the largest in the solar system.
NASA is sort of re-inventing photography, as these images are not truly "photographs" but are created after processing thousands of laser altimeter elevation measurements taken by the Mars Global Surveyor. Then a computer back here puts it all together and creates a 3-D image - but this is definately art as the output of machines.
John Perreault has been writing about art for many years, including art criticism for the Village Voice, ArtNews, Art in America magazines, and others.
He is currently an associate editor and writes regularly for both N. Y. Arts Magazine and American Ceramics; he is also on the editorial advisory board of Sculpture magazine and is a trustee of the Tiffany Foundation. He has also been president of the American Section of the International Association of Art Critics.
Perreault has also written a book for Abrams on the watercolors of Philip Pearlstein and is now editing a three-volume anthology of his collected writings. He has also been a museum curator, an arts administrator, and professor of art history and is thus superbly qualified to offer us a great insight via his BLOG/Art Diary into the visual arts in New York and elsewhere.
Bookmark Artopia - John Perreault's Art Diary and visit often.
Sunday, January 04, 2004
If you don't know what the Patron's Show is, then let me tell you.
If you are crazy enough to be hanging around Old Town Alexandria about 4 in the morning on January 17 you will notice people forming a long line in the cold outside the Torpedo Factory. They will be waiting for a chance to get original art for their collections - or even starting a collection.
"A line for art?" you must be asking, "who is crazy enough to freeze lining up at Oh-dark-thirty just to buy artwork?"
They will be lining up for one of the great art deals of the year: the 37th Annual Patron's Show. It's very simple: artists donate original artwork to the Art League, who inspects it, selects it and often frames it.
It is generally good art to suit all tastes, ranging from huge abstracts to delicate pencil drawings. Usually about 600 pieces are donated and hung, salon style in the Art League's gallery on the first floor of the Factory.
Then raffle tickets go up for sale at 10 am on the 17th, and they usually disappear and are sold out within an hour or two, and each ticket is guaranteed a work of art.
The drawing is on Sunday, February 15, and about 1500 people crowd into the main floor of the Torpedo Factory. They bring picnic baskets, wine, beer and all kinds of foods and goodies. It's a really cool time, a unique art scene in the area - far more popular and vociferous than some of the more stuffy art raffles held at other places.
On Sunday, February 15, the tickets are drawn at random, and as they are called, ticket-holders select a piece of art from the work on display on the walls and take it with them. It is without a doubt, the most sought after art ticket in town, and often incredible acquisitions are made. If you are a budding collector, don't miss it!
Saturday, January 03, 2004
Green makes an interesting (and valid) point about the fact that video art demands, and sometimes steals time from the viewer, as opposed to the viewer deciding how long to look at a painting or print.
It's true! In fact, regardless of the fact that 99% of most of the "video art" that I've seen are essentially rather forgettable artsy home movies, even the worst of them seems to have an invisible ability to keep the viewer plugged in watching. Even in sleepers like most of Tacita Dean's videos, one keeps a vigil, perhaps hoping that something interesting will eventually happen. At the other extreme, in the classical pre-video ancestor of video art (known then as "movies") Un Chien Andalou Buñuel and Dali have disconnected scenes that make no sense and yet glue the viewer from beginning to end.
Example: a few years ago I recall seeing a video at a Corcoran exhibition; I think it was a student graduate show. In the video, two girls, wearing large goat masks were butting horns (like mountain goats do) over and over again. Even though it was a repetitive, and after a while boring motion, I recall spending more time than planned just viewing it. This experience has repeated itself many times (before and since) with video art.
Green gives us his opinions as to why. And they are good observations. I also think that the fact that we are very much a television-obsessed society, and (as Harlan Ellison noted in the 60s), the glass teat is above all adictive; we have no choice! It's on a TV screen or being projected as a movie and thus the mind goes on automatic: one must watch.
Friday, January 02, 2004
Our own 2004 schedule is already booked and solid, and of all the shows that we have scheduled for Georgetown and for Bethesda, I think that this very young Cuban photographer is going to steal the year. Her name is Cirenaica Moreira, and she has never exhibited in Washington, DC before and her work is absolutely breathtaking in my prejudiced opinion.
My number one in a still non-existent list of my top ten shows for 2004 in the Washington area? Ana Mendieta's retrospective at the Hirshhorn. Watch and see an art star become a mega superstar because of this show.
Deadline Jan 12, 2004. Graphic Design Professor. Starts August 19, 2004. Assistant professor. Teach three courses per semester in all levels of graphic design. MFA required. Proficiency in Macintosh systems and other software. For complete application information contact:
Minnesota State University
Dept of Art and Design
1104 7th Av S
Moorhead MN 56563
Or call 218-477-2151 or fax 218-477-5039 or visit their website.
Deadline Jan 15, 2004. Photography professor needed to teach 15 student contact hours per week. MFA and teaching experience required. Knowledge in traditional black and white photography, alternative developing processes, use of 4x5 camera, and computer imaging. Send letter of application, resume, 3 letters of reference, brief statement of teaching philosophy, 20 slides each of own and student work, samples of student teaching evaluations, and SASE to:
Herron School of Art
Indiana University - Purdue University
1701 N Pennsylvania St
Indianapolis IN 46202
Deadline January 15, 2004. Starts August 2004. Assistant professor, tenure track. Primary subject area should be European art, 15th-18th centuries. Also must identify a secondary teaching area. Teach art history survey and upper level undergraduate courses, direct MA theses. PhD preferred. Send letter of application, CV, samples of published materials, 1 page statement of teaching philosophy, sample syllabi, and contact info of 3 references to:
Art Historian - European Art Search
Dept of Art and Art History
California State University
Chico CA 95929
Or call 530-898-5331 or fax 530-898-4171
Thursday, January 01, 2004
At the Post's "Galleries" column, Jessica Dawson opens the year with a review of a graffiti show at MOCA DC and a review of The Out-of-Towners at Transformer Gallery. The latter features work by Laura Amussen, Lily Cox-Richard, Harrison Haynes, George Jenne, and Michele Kong.
Not sure from reading the reviews if Jessica liked or disliked either of the two shows.
This is the second or third graffiti show that MOCA DC has hosted in the last couple of years, although one of the first graffiti gallery shows held in our area (that I can remember) was "Painting with Air: Graffiti Inspired Art," at the Target Gallery in Alexandria in 1996. I recall that they got in trouble with the City of Alexandria (who funds the gallery) for staging a graffiti show just as the city was spending a lot more money than they give Target, to clean up graffiti from Alexandria's walls.
Under the able leadership of Jayme McLellan and Victoria Reis, Transformer Gallery has enjoyed spectacular success in 2003, and is a shining example of what a non profit arts space can accomplish with hard work and a vision. My kudos to Jayme and Victoria and we all wish you an even better 2004!
Also, in last Sunday's Post Blake Gopnik had his opinion of the visual arts in 2003, where "an absence, not a presence, was the most striking thing about art in 2003."
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