Monday, May 31, 2004
Sunday, May 30, 2004
Regardless of whatever opinion one may have about this project (which by the way nearly every American city now has a version (New York has apples, Los Angeles has angels, Norfolk has mermaids, Baltimore has fish - or it is crabs?) being "art" (in the hi-fallutin' sense of the word - after all I thought that these days everything is art) -- but after all these years I am still amazed by how true the trite saying "art is in the eyes of the beholder" truly is.
Of interest to me, Blake makes the statement:
"The finished sculptures are coloring-book art, too, only blown up in 3-D.This is interesting food for thought.
It would take a really skilled contemporary artist to turn a coloring book into something worth an art lover's time. There probably aren't more than a half-dozen artists in this city who could do it. But even those six don't seem to have made it onto the project's 150 artist list. On the long roster of panda decorators, there wasn't anyone whom the city's art aficionados would be likely to count as a top local talent."
It's a message to the 150 people on the list: not only does the Chief Art Critic of the Washington Post think your are not a top local talent, but neither do "the city's art aficionados," by his account.
Blake also writes: "There were barely a handful of artists whose names I even recognized at all from any of my visits to studios or galleries or art schools in the region."
I certainly consider myself an "art aficionado," but I have neither been asked nor have I seen the list until now. And after having gone through it, I agree with Blake, as I do not recognize most names, although I did find a few artists that I did recognize, plus a DC gallery owner, plus a well-known national muralist, plus someone with the unfortunate same name as a world famous model (I bet she gets great tables at restaurants).
There were also a large number of schools participating in teams, which I think is a positive effect of this project, and pushes it more toward the "public art" effort that Gopnik objects to.
On the positive side, some his words are good news, because until that statement I was not aware that Mr. Gopnik regularly visited studios or galleries, or art schools around here on a regular basis. I stand corrected and I applaud Gopnik for doing that.
This eloquent man also writes: "For a city its size, it [Washington, DC] also has a surprisingly large and vibrant community of contemporary artists, dealers, collectors and curators who keep things humming on the local scene, and have been steadily pushing its standards up."
It would also be good if he'd help with getting that "large and vibrant community" not be such a surprise by starting to write also about "local" artists and "local" galleries more often so that we'd all realize that he's "in tune" with our "local" art scene.
The proof is in the pudding, I mean writing.
Saturday, May 29, 2004
Friday, May 28, 2004
Carol Strickland, writing in the Christian Science Monitor makes the case that "painting is back."
"In the past two decades, cutting-edge galleries and museums have focused on everything but painting. The halls were chockablock with installations, photo-based work, conceptual art, new media, and digital and video art.Read the whole article here, then print it and mail it to every museum curator, museum director and art critic that you know.
But a fundamental shift has taken place. For a survey exhibition of contemporary work at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Charlotta Kotik and her co-curator looked at thousands of works by emerging artists...
"The taste of the art world is changing," Ms. Kotik says. "Suddenly painting is allowed to exist again."
The rest of us already knew that no matter what gets written, and no matter what gets exhibited in museums, what truly makes an impact here in the trenches is and has been, and will continue to be painting.
(Thanks to ArtsJournal for the lead.)
A new for-profit company has formed in New York that will create a first-of-its-kind pension fund for artists. The fund, called the Artist Pension Trust, is designed to offer some retirement security for up-and-coming visual artists who are now in their 20s and 30s.
Instead of contributing money to the fund, the selected artists will contribute their own artwork to a trust. The artwork will be held for a number of years, then sold, with the proceeds going into the trust, from which artists will then draw their pensions.
But at issue is how does one guess who (in the 20s) will be a sellable artist in their 60s. Nonetheless, it is a novel and interesting idea.
There will be regional trusts in New York and Los Angeles. Each trust will have 250 artists. The artists will be chosen by a "prominent" group of artists, art professors and gallery owners in each region. Eventually, this outfit plans to have trusts in London, Berlin, Tokyo, Shanghai or Beijing, and possibly Miami.
Read the whole story here.
It may be fun to come up with a list of, say 25 DC area artists in their 20s and 30s, that we'd nominate for this Artist Pension Trust.... that is, if our area is considered for a trust fund.
Thursday, May 27, 2004
Pretty fast move up the chain for Hill, who joined the Board in 1998 and served as Vice Chair two years later. Congratulations!
Andrea Rowe Kraus has paintings and prints at Studio Gallery at Dupont Circle until June 13.
Paintings and sculpture by Korean artist Nong are on exhibit at Dega Gallery in McLean until July 3.
Richard Whiteley has new landscape paintings at Gallery West in Alexandria.
Mobiles by David Yano and abstract paintings by Marsha Hall share the gallery at Creative Partners in Bethesda.
Addison/Ripley in Georgetown has new work by Dan Treado until June 19.
Wayne Trapp has an Introspective on exhibition at Zenith Gallery downtown until June 6.
As most of you probably know by now, the cream of the Saatchi YBA art collection, not including Chris Ofili's infamous dungwork The Holy Virgin Mary, which survives in the Saatchi Gallery, was destroyed a few days ago in a fire in London.
You can see most of the destroyed collection here.
The destruction of any artwork, no matter one's opinion of the "art" itself, is always to be lamented. However, in the case of the YBA's art lost in this fire, I wonder if it will have an "Elvis" effect on that work, and leave a sort of legendary (if ethereal) footprint on the pages of art history.
I submit that it will, and in fact it may be a brilliant (if unintended) act of marketing!
Since some of the British art world's leading prognosticators think that figurative art may be the "next big thing in art," I wouldn't be surprised to see this master marketeer make an 180 and start a "new" collection of figurative art.
I can hear the howling already...
In the Post today, Jessica Dawson reviews Leo Villareal at Conner Contemporary and Joe White at Edison Place Gallery.
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
But best is this one from photographer James W. Bailey from the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, Virginia:
I wanted to recognize your scientific identification of galleryphobia. I believe that I have identified a sub-species at the Greater Reston Arts Center.Funny!!!
It just so happens that the most popular cigarette break spot at Reston Town Center is right in front of our largest window. There’s a concrete planter that sits facing our window and the smokers congregate for their isolationist rituals 6 to 8 times a day.
During the course of their smokes breaks, especially when their thin conversations have worn thinner, many of them will walk right up to the glass, plaster their faces against the glass, raise their hands above their heads to block the light so they can see better and stare through the glass while puffing away on their cancer sticks.
But they never come in! There’s this one girl whom I’ve been watching for 2 ½ years through the damn glass! She’s never stepped foot in the gallery.
Yet, everyday she’ll stare inside. I’ve tried opening the door, stepping outside and asking people to come in and take a look and even offered wine to them.
They are terrified of actually walking into the gallery. If you have no objection, I’m naming this sub-species, galleryphobia smokerterrifiedicus.
By the way, a $38,000 life size statute was brazenly stolen this last weekend from an artist's booth, in front of thousands of art lovers at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival.
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Deadline: May 27, 2004.
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) City Arts Projects offers funds to encourage the growth of quality arts activities throughout the city, support local artists, and make arts experiences accessible to DC residents.
Projects must provide exposure to the arts and arts experiences to the broader community or to persons traditionally underserved or separated from the cultural mainstream due to geographic location, economic constraints, or disability.
Eligible projects include, but are not limited to: festivals, concerts, visual arts exhibitions, literary readings, and salary support to enhance cultural diversity among the staffs of arts organizations in DC.
Eligible applicants include arts and community organizations that have their principal place of business in DC and have both Federal (IRS) and DC tax exemptions for at least one year prior to the deadline date.
The deadline for applications is May 27, 2004. Grants between $1,000-$15,000 are available. Funds must be matched dollar for dollar. For further information, contact DCCAH at (202) 724-5613; or go to this website.
Monday, May 24, 2004
I don't know of any DC area art dealer selling fake Picassos, but there are many, many "galleries" that do have a Picasso scam going on - not just in our area, but since many of these "galleries" are actually chain or franchise stores passing as art galleries, the scam goes on all over the country.
You know the type of "gallery" that I am talking about: They sell a lot of "pretty" decorative art, loads of gyclees on canvas by mass production, decorative artists with European-sounding names and "art" by famous people who are not artists or art by Hollywood actors. You can find these "galleries" in expensive rent areas (where a reputable gallery couldn't afford a space) such as M Street in Georgetown, most of La Jolla in California, in malls, and around Bethesda.
The scam is probably not illegal, but it is certainly unethical.
Here's how it works:
Many of Picasso's etching plates are apparently owned by some of his children, and they continue to use the plates to print their father's work ad nauseum. Then, the Picasso offspring sign the work with their last name, which conveniently is also "Picasso."
The sales pitch for the print then describes it as "this is a Picasso etching made from the original plate and it is signed."
They never (unless one asks) tell you that the Picasso signature that you see on the piece is NOT Pablo Picasso's signature but a Picasso son or daughter's signature (which of course now looks a lot like their father's)
So hapless buyers think that they are buying a print signed by the world's greatest artist, when in fact they are acquiring a print from his plate, but signed by one of his children.
Not illegal perhaps - but unethical.
Sunday, May 23, 2004
I am here on Sunday (rather than at home mowing my lawn amid the cicada invasion), because I am waiting for a Canadian film maker who is coming to do some filming as he's working on a documentary for Canadian television on the life of legendary photographer Lida Moser, who lives in retirement in Rockville and whose work we represent.
We are in the exhausting process of cataloguing all of Lida's remaining vintage photographs, some of which date back to the 1930s.
Saturday, May 22, 2004
The Sandra Ramos debut show in Georgetown is now officially our best opening sales show.
We're also working on three different museum sales.
Last night it was also good to see Dr. Jonathan Binstock, the Curator of Contemporary Art for the Corcoran, visiting the various new shows in the four Canal Square galleries. A couple of weeks ago I also ran into Binstock at the Margaret Boozer opening at Strand on Volta gallery. It is refreshing to see a local museum curator taking an interest in our area artists and galleries!
Friday, May 21, 2004
In Bethesda, Tim Tate is selling like wildfire, and most of his new glass sculptures are already gone. There will be a Washington City Paper review of the show next Thursday.
In Georgetown, the U.S. debut of Cuban artist Sandra Ramos, which opens tonight, has already sold most major pieces just from the website. There will be soon a Washington City Paper review of that show as well.
Visit their website for details.
The show is comprised of new paintings by Rosana Azar, Felisa Federman, Hedva Ferenci and Claudia Ravel. For more information, call Michal at 301/816 9004.
I'm familiar with Argentine artist Felisa Federman's work, and not only has she has been progressing over the years and developing as an artist, but Federman is also very active in ensuring that her work is seen! She has exhibited around the region quite widely and is always working on ways to get her work out - this is what artists should all do!
Thursday, May 20, 2004
And the Gallery at Flashpoint should be on your destination tonite, as they have a great art deal going on with "Anonymous" presented by the Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran.
"Anonymous" centers around 100 artists who created works of art to be sold for $500 each. Buyers will not know the identity of the creator until the work has been purchased. Proceeds benefit the WPA\C Programming Fund.
The following artists/curators organized the show: Colby Caldwell, Y. David Chung, James Huckenpahler, Judy Jashinsky, Isabel Manalo, Maggie Michael, Tim Tate, Bert Ulrich, Matt Sesow, and Andres Tremols.
35 works have been sold so far, so lots of great, affordable artwork is still available, including pieces by such well-known and highly respected artists as Foon Sham, Erwin Timmers, Linda Hesh, Judy Jashinsky, Richard Dana, Margaret Boozer, Inga Frick, Pat Goslee, Clark, and the Dumbacher Brothers, and many, many other gifted DC area artists.
See you there!
Our area's version of the Turner Prize is the Trawick Prize.
The Deadline for slide submission is tomorrow! Friday, May 21, 2004. The 2nd annual juried art competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to four selected artists. Up to fifteen artists will be invited to display their work from September 7, 2004 - October 2, 2004 in downtown Bethesda at Creative Partners Gallery.
The 2004 competition will be juried by Jeffrey W. Allison, The Paul Mellon Collection Educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts; Peter Dubeau, Associate Dean of Continuing Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Kristen Hileman, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
The first place winner will be awarded $10,000; second place will be honored with $2,000 and third place will be awarded $1,000. A "young" artist whose birth date is after May 21, 1974 will also be awarded $1,000 (donated by Fraser Gallery).
Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. Original painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, fiber art, digital, mixed media and video (VHS tapes only) are accepted. For more information, please contact Stephanie Coppula at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301.215.6660 ext. 20. Website: www.bethesda.org.
Need to make slides from your digital files? Visit Slides.com
We will host the American gallery solo debut of Cuban artist Sandra Ramos, considered by many to be among the leading contemporary Cuban artists in the world.
Unfortunately, in an event that made international news, Ramos was denied a visitor's visa to attend the opening, and despite generous assistance from Senator Paul Sarbanes, she was unable to get one on time and will not be able to attend her first gallery solo show in the US.
In this exhibition, titled "Sea of Sorrows" by Ramos, we will have on display several of her calcography prints from the series that first attracted world attention to her work - they deal with many taboo subjects of daily social life in Cuba: exile, migration, racism and economic issues. Also on exhibit will be four new oil paintings created specifically for this show as well as a brand new series of manipulated digital prints - the first ever by Ramos. About these she has written:
"Sea of Sorrows continues a very marked line in my work, related to migrations. This series emphasizes the thesis of the shipwreck as one of the most recurrent events in the life in the contemporary society, in any place of the world where the space among the dreams, aspirations and men's utopias become more and more distant illusions. Physical shipwreck, sentimental shipwreck. Economic shipwreck, political shipwreck.See you there.
Here I use again the pioneer girl character, (a sort of self-portrait: symbol of the innocence and the idealism,) locating her in marine and urban landscapes and in situations of a poetic subjectivity, where to escape seems to be her only objective.
In my work the sea has been a recurrent symbol because I try to respond the question of what we are, to define the Cuban being and capture the essence of our cultural and social history. In this search the sea becomes the natural element that by drawing the shape of the island, defines the personality of the creatures that inhabit it. The sea and the island form an inseparable unit that defines the history of the Cubans."
The new gallery is called Osuna Art and is located at 7200 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda, 301/654-4500.
She expresses her disappointment with the new, huge (but temporary) Red Brook Gallery in Georgetown's Cady's Alley and she's right on.
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
The simplest explanation ever given describes it as the idea that it is possible to get completely random results from normal things. But more importantly, Chaos Theory is also the reverse: It finds the order in what appears to be completely random data.
Or in the case of Margaret Boozer’s great new show at Strand on Volta Gallery in Washington, DC: Random art that is also beautifully ordained.
Actually, the real title of the show is Land/Marks and it is one of those shows that we will recall in years to come, as the show that positioned this gifted artist at a critical new juncture of her career.
Boozer already has an exceptional reputation in our Washington area as one of our leading ceramic artists. I am not a big fan of segregating artists under a label (Latino art is my biggest pet peeve), and just because Margaret has historically worked in ceramics, her vision and skill certainly demands that she be simply addressed as an artist. But I don’t run the art world, as fond of labels as it is.
Luckily, in this show Boozer smashes the notion (no pun intended) of her being a “ceramic artist.” This work is simply too complex, (and simple) to rationalize, or define – much like chaos theory.
What Boozer has done, is not only to recognize that all around her are potential sources for material to create art, from the rich, red clay that she dug from her backyard, to the shiny, black tar that she removed from the guts of a tar mixing truck, but also to introduce a sophisticated mixture of manipulation and randomness to the final product.
When we walk into the one room gallery in Georgetown, the viewer is immediately struck by the minimalist elegance of the work, hung as it is in a clean, open style that allows the half a dozen pieces ample breathing room.
In several large pieces, Boozer has splashed slip into a frame, transforming the liquid clay, for a moment, into a sort of prehistoric paint, much like our ancestors in Alta Mira did. She then has encouraged the clay’s natural tendency to crack and bend and create lines. This is where randomness, aided by her creative hand, comes to play. In others, she mixes porcelain slip, or stoneware, tar and steel.
In the end, and when hung vertically, we are offered a surprisingly elegant and visually challenging work of two dimensional art that breaks the barrier into three dimensions. The eye is sometimes fooled, especially when one looks at the pieces closely, into seeing an earthy painting – much what an abstract expressionist would deliver. Step back a foot or two, and you are looking at an aerial photograph of a rich desert, full or dried rivers, gorges and hills. In “The Present is the Key to the Past,” she has even spray painted a straight bluish line, almost resembling a road. The duality of the effect is brilliant – and because the manipulation of the media is driven by the randomness of the result – unexpectedly recognizable as a variety of subject matter that crosses genres between representation and abstraction, and painting and sculpture.
In a second series of works (Intrusion series), Boozer removed chunks of dried tar that accumulates over the years in the guts of those stinky tar trucks that are always fixing up street cracks. The resulting forms are surprisingly sensual and organic.
Here again, the effect of randomness is complimented by the artist’s sharp detection of the visual magnetism of these unexpected forms. Created by the ordained rotation of the tar truck’s mixing mechanism over a period of years, and dried by the off and on process of the mixer’s heating system, these forms are surprisingly interesting to the eye.
When hung on the wall, the shiny black forms sometimes resemble a horizontal beehive, but like no bee on Earth would build. Other pieces have a strange sexual association to them, as if we’ve been offered a voyeuristic view of a new sexual organ no one knew existed.
Lastly, she has pushed the envelope even further in one major piece titled “Angle of Incidence.”
This work, is a living, wet, moist slab of porcelain slip that is still drying, unfinished… one would be tempted to say. As it dries, it will eventually “finish” – but not before the element of randomness is introduced and becomes part of it.
And in this piece, it is not just the random effect of how the material will crack and split as it dries. In its finished stage a few weeks from now, the work will also include the addition of fingerprints. “Ooops I didn’t know it was wet,” said the slim, blue-haired woman who touched it at the opening reception – her finger mark is now part of the artwork, as is the beer that her friend spilled on the slab, creating a yellowish film on the center of the work.
And thus randomness and the disquieting order of beer being spilled at an art opening, somehow align to help finish this piece.
In these visceral maps, organic sexual forms, and evolving works, Boozer has created something that is refreshingly new while being pleasant to the senses of visual enjoyment and mental intelligence. In this show, this artist has smashed her “label.”
Margaret Boozer “Land/Marks” is at Strand on Volta Gallery, 1531 33rd Street, NW in Georgetown, Washington, DC until June 5, 2004. The gallery can be reached at 202.333.4663.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Deadline July 15, 2004.
Rockville Arts Place 2005 Call for Entries. Rockville Arts Place is accepting exhibition proposals for its 2005 schedule.
Thematic and media-based exhibitions will cover all media. Special category for ceramic artist entries for a clay exhibition, February 20 - March 26. Group and individual entries accepted. Work must have been completed in the last three years. The entry fee is $25. Rockville Arts Place is a membership organization that serves artists with exhibition opportunities, professional development programs, and master workshops. Visit www.rockvilleartsplace.org to download a 2005 Call for Entries or contact Shelly Brunner at email@example.com or call her at (301) 309-6900.
Deadline August 2, 5pm 2004
BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown announces 2005 Call to Artist. Executive director Nancy E. Petrisko recently announced an invitation for artists to submit slides and proposals for artwork to be displayed in BRCA's exhibition gallery in 2005.
The call is open to individual artists or artist groups with original work only and covers exhibits in the gallery from January through December 2005.
A jury of local art experts will select works for approximately 10 exhibits of five weeks each. Most exhibits feature solo artists, but some may include more than one artist, based on the judgment of the jurors.
The application deadline is August 2, 2004 at 5pm. An application fee of $25 is required. To receive an application, call 301.528.2260 or write firstname.lastname@example.org. Artists will be notified and exhibits scheduled in September 2004.
BlackRock's gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10am through 5pm and Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Admission to the gallery is free.
For information about the 2004 gallery exhibits, call BlackRock Center for the Arts at 301.528.2260 or visit BlackRock Center for the Arts' website.
BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, Maryland, near the intersection of Middlebrook Rd. and Route 118 (Germantown Rd.).
Deadline June 12, 2004
The newly renovated Arlington Arts Center will reopen this summer. They have issued a call for entries for 10 artists for solo exhibitions in the spring or fall of 2005. Artists living or working in Virginia, DC, Maryland, West VA, Delaware, and Pennsylvania are eligible to apply.
Proposals should be made for the exhibition of recent work completed within the last three years which has not previously been exhibited in the Washington area. Entry fee $25 for non-members.
For more info, go to: this website and click on "Solo Exhibitions, 2005, Call for Entries."
Deadline June 15, 2004
Call for Entries for Fall Exhibition, Montpelier Cultural Arts Center – Maryland.
DIALOGUE.art.technology.imagery. Montpelier Cultural Arts Center is located on the beautiful grounds Montpelier Mansion in Laurel.
Submissions are encouraged from artists working in a variety of disciplines: photography, painting, graphic design, printmaking, video, and new media for DIALOGUE.art.technology.imagery on view September 8-Oct. 28 at Montpelier and held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic regional conference of the Society for Photographic Education.
Deadline for submissions is June 15, 2004. Call (301) 953-1993 for exhibition prospectus or download PDF versions at this website.
Monday, May 17, 2004
This fine arts festival is well on its way to become one of the top ten outdoor art festivals in the country. Area artists should really consider doing it next year. Contact Bethesda Up! for details for next year's festival.
Teaching Position at AU
Applications will be reviewed June 1 - Studio Teaching position, American University – DC. American University. Assistant Professor, temporary one-year position. Beginning Fall 2004.
Qualifications: MFA in Painting. Exhibition record and teaching experience. Proven ability to work in an effective manner with both undergraduate and graduate students.
Responsibilities: Teaching: Teach undergraduate courses in painting, drawing and general education studio courses. Teach in graduate thesis seminars, drawing and graduate critiques; student advising. Scholarship/Creative Work: Active exhibition record. University Service: Serving on Department, College and University committees.
Salary competitive dependent on experience and qualifications. Applications will be reviewed beginning June 1, 2004 and continue until the position is filled. Include letter of application, curriculum vitae, 20 slides of own work and 20 slides of students' work, three letters of recommendation and SASE.
Studio Search Committee Department of Art
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington DC 20016-8004.
Questions? Call or email Glenna K. Haynie at email@example.com, (202) 885-1671
Deadline May 24, 2004.
The Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture Inc (GEPPAC) invites artists to submit Course Proposals for their Fall and Winter 2004-05 sessions.
Course proposals are sought for all age groups in the areas including fiber arts, decorative arts, metals, jewelry, enameling, art history, and other arts, crafts and media. Course proposals for ages 13 and older should not include the subject areas of pottery, drawing, painting, and photography. Deadline for Fall/Winter ’04-‘05 Course Proposals is Monday, May 24, 2004. You will be contacted no later than June 2 with your proposal status.
Applicants should have relevant teaching and/or professional experience. When submitting your course proposal, include resume with three professional references, teaching experience, and education history.
GEPPAC is a non-profit organization, newly established to manage the operations, facilities and programs in Glen Echo Park. Its mission is to manage educational, artistic, historical, cultural, environmental and recreational programs at the Park in a manner that is attractive and accessible to a diverse population of users, financially self-sustaining, and sensitive to the needs of the neighboring community. Glen Echo Park is host to a variety of arts, cultural and environmental education programs, some operated by resident groups and others managed directly by GEPPAC.
For more information about course proposal requirements visit this website and click on Teaching Opportunities. Or contact Adrienne Lewis, the Education Program Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
It was great! Lots of people, and I sold quite a bit of work... in fact I came home ready to frame new pieces for tomorrow, but got engaged on the phone in a great conversation with a kindred ancient soul and now it's too late for framing, so instead I'm posting some recent thoughts and news.... see below.
Come see 120 plus artists tomorrow at the Festival. I'll be there.
Read Blake Gopnik's piece in the Post. Gopnik does not like painting, and subscribes to the somewhat dated and debunked theory that "painting is dead."
Since painting refuses to die, and collectors refuse to let it die, and dealers refuse to let it die, and curators refuse to let it die, the pushers of this antiquated theory that once made news in the 60s, try to rationalize it, as Gopnik brilliantly does in this piece.
However, once you realize that this is on the "agenda" of a particular art scribe, it sounds as empty now as it did in ther 1960s.
Notice how he labels Robert Hughes, one of the planet's most respected and influential art critics, and probably the best-known contemporary art critic in the world, as "Conservative" simply because Hughes would bury the "painting is dead" slogan in the same grave as "happenings" from the 60s and 70s.
It is a shame that such a gifted and influential writer as the Washington Post's chief art critic is, will go all the way to London to visit that distant city's art galleries, but cannot be bothered to visit or write about his own city's art galleries on a regular basis.
In my opinion, after sliding by far too long with inconsistent policies and practices, I’m happy to report that a friend of mine tells me that such a panel was instituted a few weeks ago!
She says that the new panel is being chaired by Michael Monroe, formerly of the Renwick. GRACE will be retaining Deborah MacLeod (former director of McLean Project for the Arts) to help develop and/or curate a new direction in their programming and exhibitions.
I am posting this because I hope this means that GRACE is moving in the right direction. It is a very nice space, and having curated a show there a few years ago, I really want to see them become a firm member of our arts tapestry.
GRACE also needs to do something to restore the reputation of their Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival, which has slipped in the last couple of years, and was even boycotted by many artists last year for their huge price increase for an exhibition booth. This is one of the great outdoor art festivals in the nation, but it needs to be more artist-friendly.
Friday, May 14, 2004
Artist Studio Space Available at Passageways Studios, Riverdale.
$185 per month, approximately 200sf, skylight, 24hour access, all utilities included. For more information call Debbie Hoeper at email@example.com or call 301-622-2915.
Studio Space Available. Located on Rhode Island above the Mount Rainier Post Office. Space is approximately 2300sf, excellent light with northern and southern exposure. Suitable for graphic design artists, painters, musicians. $8/sf. Call 202-746-1038 for more information.
See you there!
Tim Tate, the 2003 Washington DC Emerging Artist of the Year, is an openly gay artist who has been HIV-positive for over 20 years and who now finds himself as one of the hottest and rapidly rising artists in our region. Read the Washington Post pick here.
Seventeen galleries and shops participate in the Bethesda Art Walk.
See you there!
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Fellowships are available in five categories:
1) visual arts
2) media arts
3) solo dance performance or choreography by an individual
4) history and social sciences
5) historical, critical or theoretical approaches to the arts.
Fellowships of up to $3,000 each provide will funding to an individual to support his/her artistic or scholarly development. The artists and scholars selected must have a minimum of four years of achievement in an art or humanities discipline and must have presented or participated in at least one art or humanities activity in their discipline in Montgomery County during the three years preceding the application deadline. Applicants must have been a resident of Montgomery County for at least 12 months prior to submitting the application.
The application deadline is Tuesday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m. Funds are awarded for use between November 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005.
Prospective applicants are urged to call AHCMC at 301-215-7227 to reserve a space in the workshop, to obtain more information, or to inquire about other grants for which they may be eligible. The Fellowship application is available by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rawls Museum of Arts, which is directed by a very talented and hard working director (Leigh Anne Chambers), has a call for photographers for its annual juried competition.
Entries will be received at RMA from 10-5, Friday, September 3, and September 4 and 5 from 1-5. RMA reserves the right to deny entry of any work considered not suitable for display. Exhibition dates are September 10 – October 3, 2004. Call them at 757-653-0754 for a prospectus.
The best way to buy art supplies is from catalogs, and now Dick Blick, one of the best is having a sale.
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Deadline: Tuesday, June 08
The City of Takoma Park is soliciting proposals for sidewalk art. The selected work is to be incorporated in a larger streetscape project planned for Carroll Avenue this summer.
ELIGIBILITY: Open to all artists or artist teams
PROJECT BUDGET: $10,000 (includes but is not limited to artist fees, materials, fabrication, and installation)
DEADLINE FOR PROPOSALS: Proposals must be submitted to the City of Takoma Park's Procurement Officer, 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park MD 20912, by 5:00 pm on June 8, 2004.
GENERAL DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS: The selected artwork is to be located along one side of the Carroll Avenue sidewalk and installed at ground level. It must be essentially flush with the surface of the sidewalk to avoid the creation of a tripping hazard.
The area in which the selected artwork is to be installed is best described as a slightly undulating 6-inch ribbon or strip, 800-feet in length that is broken up by driveways and intersecting streets and private walks. The selected artwork will be located along the sidewalk, nearest the residences. The sidewalk, to be constructed of poured concrete, will be 4-inches thick.
The following general design considerations have been developed to guide the selection of the artwork.
·Artwork should be of an original, site-specific design and may include text, found objects, texture, ornamental symbols, and/or color.
·Artwork may be continuous in its appearance or located at scattered sites along the defined project area. It must not impede or hamper the smooth flow of pedestrians along the sidewalk or create a tripping hazard.
·Artwork should be complementary to the historic context and architectural character of the neighborhood and planned streetscape improvements.
·Artwork must withstand prolonged exposure to local weather conditions.
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: More detailed information and a copy of the Request for Proposal can be found on the City's web site at www.cityoftakomapark.org
For more info:
t: 301.891.7224 or SaraD@takomagov.org
Gateway Georgia Avenue Revitalization Corporation is seeking arts teachers for all ages for a first floor 350 sq.ft. classroom space with lots of natural light. Beginning in September, the space can be used for dry art classes, such as painting, drawing, quilting, crafts etc.
The classroom space will be a part of a proposed 3,100 sq.ft. arts incubator with artist studios and a gallery. The space sits under a newly-renovated apartment building in Silver Spring, on the corner of 13th and Kennett St. with public parking across the street. According to the Dept. of Housing and Community Affairs, 1,400 units of new housing will be built within a 2 block radius of the space over the next 3 years. The adjacent Shepard Park community has an average household income of $138,523 and 23% of the households have children.
If you have any questions, or are interested in learning more about teaching opportunities at the space...
For more info:
Gateway Georgia Avenue Revitalization Corporation
t: 301.562.1400 or f: 301.562.5945 or email@example.com or www.gatewaycdc.com
Monday, May 10, 2004
I'm heading down to Virginia Beach for the rest of the week to do some lectures. Will try to post more stuff tonite.
Saturday, May 08, 2004
As those of you who have been to our Bethesda gallery know, the gallery is encased in glass. In other words, the entire inside space is exposed to the square of Bethesda Place because all the exterior walls are made of glass.
This is bad for heating and/or cooling costs ($400 a month), but good because the entire exhibition is always visible from the outside.
Therein lies the problem!
99.9% of all people will circumnavigate the outside walls, cupping their hands and peering in... sometimes they go around several times, like sharks, and often point and discuss the artwork. And yet they never come in!
Every once in a while, when our former neighbor in the square (Discovery Channel) and now our new neighbor (Comcast) holds a fire drill, the square is filled with several hundred people at once. The drills last maybe 45 minutes.
And the masses walk around the gallery, looking in through the glass, discussing the art, and out of hundreds of people, maybe two or three brave souls dare to come in, but not before asking "is it OK to come in?"
And on Sundays, our other neighbor, the Original Pancake House has a hour waiting list, which means that 40-50 people are always hanging around the square. And yet, despite the fact that they circle around and peer in, only a precious few ever come in (although our biggest sales ever have been to some of those Sunday pancake eaters!).
Often, in the spring, we have the two front doors propped open. And this also causes some interesting situations. Every once in a while, someone will stand on the outside of the opened doors, and stretch (as if as the end of a precipice) and look inside for a few minutes. It is as if one of those Star Trek force fields is between the door line and the gallery.
Even a smile and a "you can come in" often just gets a silent smile back... not even a response.
My conclusion: there's something about an art gallery that terrifies most people. I call it galleryphobia and have defined it as:
Galleryphobia (Gall-e-ree-pho-bya) – The unjustified, deeply rooted fear of actually entering an art gallery. Usually exhibited by attempting to see the entire exhibition through the glass windows from the outside, rather than stepping into the welcoming, temperature-controlled space.
Friday, May 07, 2004
More info here.
A small but anatomically correct wood carving statute of Christ on the cross is set to "cause a stir in the art world this weekend as it appears in Florence for the first time, billed as a hitherto unknown masterpiece by the city's most famous artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti."
Some of the figures are way out of any human proportion that I know of... also some of the hardware is as if the sculptor had taked toy guns and made molds from them....
In fact, the more I think about it, the more I convince myself that our Korean War sculptures are worse than the MLK memorial statutes in Shreveport!
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
Co-organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Norman Rockwell Museum and presented in conjunction with the dedication of the new National World War II Memorial, Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms: Paintings That Inspired a Nation celebrates four of the artist's most well-known paintings.
Rockwell created Freedom of Speech, Freedom from Want, Freedom of Worship and Freedom from Fear after President Franklin D. Roosevelt's speech addressing these four fundamental freedoms of all Americans in 1943 (except of course, for Americans of Japanese ancestry).
Rockwell's unexpected rise to the upper crust of the fine arts world, after being maligned for so many decades, and in spite of the dislike of his work by many elistist curators, has been a pleasant surprise of the modern art scene.
Only Nixon could go to China and only Rockwell could paint stuff like this back in the 60s.
Since its inception in 1989, DCAC has presented more than 100 visual art exhibitions and well over 500 performance events. Poets, painters, actors, storytellers, sculptors, and performance artists have been drawn to DCAC, which features an 800-square-foot gallery and a 50-seat black-box theater. This interdisciplinary arts space is a vital cultural asset in our area. Last year alone, the DCAC gallery's programming included 11 visual art exhibitions featuring six D.C. artists, as well as artists from Cuba, Miami, Philadelphia, Croatia and Taiwan.
The gala will feature food, open bar, 10 piece band, outdoor performance, and the huge studio of artist John Dreyfuss - the largest artist studio in DC and possibly one of the largest in the world. I've been to Halcyon many times, and just a visit to this gorgeous house is worth the admission price. For more details, contact DCAC at 202.462.7833.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Tim Tate, the 2003 Washington DC Artist of the Year, is an openly gay artist who has been HIV-positive for over 20 years and who now finds himself as one of the hottest and rapidly rising artists in our region.
Tate has had an extraordinary couple of years, with some spectacular accomplishments. Amongst these, in addition to being selected as the "Washington DC Emerging Artist of the Year" at the last Annual Mayor's Arts Awards, Tate also recently won the international design competition for the International AIDS Monument to be built in New Orleans, he also founded the Washington Glass School - already a prime arts force in our community. He is also the Founder of the Gay and Lesbian Artist Group in Washington, DC.
His work has recently been acquired for the permanent collection of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery and last week, together with Whitney Museum Curator Lawrence Rinder, he was a key panelist in the Hirshhorn Museum's panel on Arts and Healing.
Tate works in glass, and nearly all of his imagery deals with HIV and healing. He is considered by many to be the finest contemporary glass artist in the region, and is a brilliant creative talent who has gone beyond mastery of the technical skills of the art of fine art glass and is now pushing the genre into new areas where content is the prime force behind the work. Tate marries his artwork with intelligent ideas and conceptual dialogues that bring forth reactions, opinions and set forward a whole new conversation and path for the genre of fine art glass.
Using events and details from his personal life as well as public issues, Tate incorporates this as a rich set of conceptual ideas so that his work is no longer about the technical frontier of the art glass genre, or the use of colors and forms – it is all that and more.
How? Tate breaks new ground by adding a new vocabulary to the genre: A vocabulary made of content that requires and understanding of what the artist wants to express. In doing so, Tate has absolutely changed and refined his art and vision, a change that was first kindled by the death of his mother, which he expressed by an obsessive desire to create small, beautiful glass hearts, which have nothing to do with religion, but childhood memories of JFK imagery in his home. In another series of works, dealing with HIV, undefined forms within tall cylindrical towers of nebulous glass come into focus as the towers are spun – defining symbols and crosses that represent cures for diseases, both physical and cultural.
Tate studied at Dale Chihuly’s Pilchuck Glass School in Washington State, Corning Glass in New York and Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina.
His first solo exhibition at Fraser Gallery Georgetown in 2003 sold out, and we currently have him scheduled to open this new show at Fraser Gallery Bethesda on May 14 through June 8, 2004. Titled "I Never Claimed to Have a Map to Get to The Heart Of This Or Any Other Matter...." at this exhibit Tate will open a new series of works in glass addressing his obsession with HIV and healing.
Ken Trapp, former Curator in Charge of the Smithsonian's American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery has written the following about Tate's new work that we will be exhibiting this next month:
"HEART-SHAPES WITH FLAMES ATOP AND WORDS ACROSS THEIR FRONT, SLICES OF GLASS LAID ONE ATOP THE OTHER TO CREATE A SOLID VESSEL IMPRISONING A FIGURE, AND STILLED BODIES EMBEDDED IN A GLASSY TOMB, ARE SOME OF THE SUBJECTS IN TIM TATE'S MOST RECENT EXHIBITION "I Never Claimed to Have a Map to Get to The Heart Of This Or Any Other Matter...."
AND YET THESE OBJECTS ARE NOT MORBID OR REPULSIVE. BY TAKING ON THE CLICHES OF OUR CULTURE TATE LAYS DOWN A CHALLENGE FOR HIMSELF, A CHALLENGE HE IS UP TO. IT IS EASY TO MISREAD HIS IMAGES: HE MUST BE A DEVOTED CATHOLIC, FOR INSTANCE.
FOR TATE, THE OBVIOUS IS NEVER SO CLEAR. HE SUBVERTS THE SACRED BY TREATING ICONS AS SECULAR IMAGES---A HEART IS NOT NECESSARILY A HEART, BUT AN IMAGE FILLED WITH CONTENT. HIS USE OF TEXT IS NEVER TRITE OR PANDORING, BUT RATHER TAKES US ON HIS PERSONAL ODISSEY OF HEALING.
IN OTHER PIECES, HIS FIGURES ARE VEILED AND COVERED, ONE WITH THEIR MATERIAL OF IMPRISONMENT, REMINDING US OF TATE'S FEELINGS OF INVISIBILITY IN SOCIETY. IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SEE SUCH FIGURES AND NOT BE REMINDED OF HOW MUCH THE DISCOVERY OF SELF IS A DAILY EXERCISE OF UNCOVERING LAYERS WE HAVE ASSUMED OR IMPOSED ON OURSELVES. THIS SHOW REPRESENTS A JOURNEY WORTH EMBARKING ON......
Monday, May 03, 2004
And now Ramos has enlisted a powerful friend in her effort to get a chance to attend her American gallery debut: Senator Paul Sarbanes from Maryland.
In a letter to the gallery, Senator Sarbanes directed the gallery to request that Ramos apply again for a visitor's visa and Sarbanes wrote: "If Ms. Ramos is willing to reapply, I will be pleased to provide a letter in support of her application by email to the Consulate on her behalf."
The US Department of State has been denying visiting visas to Cuban artists since the beginning of the year. Ramos is considered by many to be the leading Cuban artist of her generation and has previously visited the US many times. Her work, which deals with many taboo issues of Cuban society and government, is in the collection of several American museums, including MOMA in New York and MFA in Boston.
Sunday, May 02, 2004
2nd Annual Figurative Art Online Competition from www.Atelier-rc.com. The First Prize winner will be the featured artist for the Summer 2004 Edition to be launched on 28 June 2004, the 427th anniversary of the birth of Peter Paul Rubens. For details visit:this web site.
Distribution of pre-paid directories begins at their Artist Directory Launch Party from 4-8 PM at the Gallery at Flashpoint, 916 G Street, NW, Washington, DC, 20001. Please bring family and friends and stop by the launch party to pick up or purchase the new 2004/2005 Artist Directory as well as check out the WPA\C sponsored show, Anonymous.
Many DC area art galleries, including us will also be selling the directory. Any artists wishing to be included in next year's directory, should contact the WPA/C.
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