Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Artwork for Katrina Relief Fund

Following the lead of a few other DC area artists, I am putting one of my pieces of artwork for bid on Ebay, and I will donate all proceeds of this and other forthcoming auctions to one of the many relief funds for the victims of Katrina.

On auction is a signed, limited edition print titled "The Morrigan," from my Pictish Series. It has a very low starting bid!

"The Morrigan" is a limited edition, signed and numbered print on paper. Signed, titled, numbered (3 of 10) and dated 2005 in pencil recto on front and also signed, dated and titled in pencil recto on verso. Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and Provenance. Stamped with artist's stamps on verso. The signed print is 3 x 12 inches on 60 weight paper. Matted in a pH-balanced, acid free white mat to 8x20 inches.

Bid for the Morrigan here
Bid for The Morrigan here

The 2005 Trawick Prize

10 Finalists Compete for $14,000 in Prize Money!

Ten finalists will display their artwork at The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards exhibition held at Creative Partners Gallery in downtown Bethesda. The top four winners will be awarded $14,000 in prize monies making this visual art competition one of the largest in the nation. The exhibition will run from September 6 –30, 2005, with a public opening scheduled for Friday, September 9 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk.

Creative Partners Gallery is located at 4600 East-West Highway in downtown Bethesda, and gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6pm.

Nearly 400 artists from Maryland, Virginia and Washington D.C. submitted work to the third annual Trawick Prize. 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 April 8, 1975 will also be awarded a $1,000 prize sponsored by our Fraser Galleries.

The 10 artists selected as finalists are:
Christine Buckton Tillman, Baltimore, MD
Bernhard Hildebrandt, Baltimore, MD
Dean Kessmann, Washington, D.C.
Michele Kong, Baltimore, MD
Gabriel Martinez, Washington, D.C.
Maggie Michael, Washington, D.C.
Jiha Moon, Annandale, VA
Daniel Sullivan, Baltimore, MD
Sonia Denise Tassin, Baltimore, MD
Jason Zimmerman, Washington, D.C.

Entries were juried by Olga Viso, Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Andrea Pollan, an independent curator, fine arts appraiser and art consultant and Dr. Thom Collins, Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD. Catriona Fraser, my business partner and co-owner of the Fraser Gallery with locations in Bethesda and Georgetown, is the non-voting Chair of The Trawick Prize.

The Trawick Prize was established by Carol Trawick in 2003. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda. She is Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment and past Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. Ms. Trawick is the owner of an Information Technology company in Bethesda, Trawick & Associates. She is also the generous sponsor of the annual Bethesda Painting Awards.

The second annual Trawick Prize was held in September 2004. David Page from Baltimore, MD, was awarded the 2004 "Best in Show" with $10,000; Jeff Spaulding of Bethesda, MD was named second place and was given $2,000; Randi Reiss-McCormack of Lutherville, MD was bestowed third place and received $1,000, and the 2004 "Young Artist" award of $1,000 was given to Marci Branagan of Baltimore, MD.

For more information, please visit or call 301/215-6660.

Slides from Digital Files

A few years ago I posted about making slides from your digital files. It was available through

And now can make slides from your digital files for as low as $1.65.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Mary Coble's blood

When I was in art school at the University of Washington in Seattle, one of the practices that was in vogue at the cool art places outside campus were "blood etchings," where one would use a scalpel to "draw" on someone's skin (usually the back), very lightly, so that it would just barely open the skin and cause a thin line of blood to appear. Then paper would be applied to the finished "drawing," and a blood etching would be produced. With luck, a second "ghost" image was also then produced.

This Labor Day weekend, at Conner Contemporary, Mary Coble brings that practice to spectacular new heights and will stage a live performance in which hundreds of names of murdered GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered) hate-crime victims will be continuously inscribed all over her body, using a tattooing needle without ink. The action will continue for a period of over ten hours, beginning at 6pm on Friday, September 2nd. The gallery will be open until 8pm that evening. The entire event will be webcast live here.

Throughout the performance contact blood impressions will be made on paper after the tattooing of each name. An exhibition of the prints and performance documentation will then be on view from September 9 - October 22, 2005.

Great Art at Great Prices

Bid online for terrific art at great prices in a benefit auction for Whitman-Walker Clinic.

Bid here.

Monday, August 29, 2005


DC's Pretty City has a terrific profile of the Vancouver's street srt scene with interviews of artists weakhand, the dark, Office Supplies Inc. and nokin.

Read it here.

And Dana Ellyn Kaufman answers questions at Black Cat Bone.

And earlier Bailey had Matt Sesow here.


I have a brutal work week this whole week, and next week the Campello sisters are coming to visit.

Tons of new shows opening as the art season begins this Friday. Check later for more details.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Silverthorne at 2AM

Alexandra has a great idea!

And she's not even in the shower!

Read her idea here.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Tape Guy in the news

Mark Jenkins' current exhibition in our Georgetown gallery will be next week's "Best Bet" in WETA TV's Around Town program and also the "Hot Pick" of the week by the Washington Times.

MSAC Hosts Visual Artists' Registry

One of the largest registries of its kind, this free resource for regional artists seeking to promote their work and hosted by the Maryland State Arts Council, has been successfully connecting artists with curators, collectors, and buyers for more than 20 years.

With a steadily growing artist membership, MSAC and MAP are able to provide ready access to the images, resumes, and other relevant documentation of nearly 1,800 active artists in the region. The in-house Resource Center is open to the public and free of charge, Tues - Sat, 11am - 5pm. During regular hours appointments are recommended, but not necessary. For info, email them at or call 410-962-8565.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Friday, October 7, 2005

Arlington Arts Center - Drawing: Tradition and Innovation. Exhibition Dates: November 15, 2005 to January 7, 2006.

All artists living or working in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Pennsylvania, or Delaware are invited to enter. Drawings in any media on any kind of ground will be considered. No size restrictions, but work must fit through a standard double doorway. Outdoor works will also be considered.

Artists may submit slides or CD, application form, resume, and application fee. To obtain more information or to download a prospectus, visit their website at, or call them at 703/248.6800.

For more info:
Arlington Arts Center
3550 Wilson Blvd
Arlington, VA 22201

Prospectus here.

Gallery Talk Tomorrow

Don't forget that the artists in the "Text" gallery of the Seven exhibition will be having a gallery talk about their work tomorrow starting at 2PM. Refreshments, art and art talk! All free and open to the public.

Molly Springfield, JT Kirkland, Denise Wolff, Mark Cameron Boyd and Michael Janis will discuss their artwork and themes. Warehouse Gallery 1021 7th St, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

Drawing Session tomorrow

Mr. Dave Quammen of MOCA in Georgetown, will be hosting an open drawing session at Light Street Gallery, 1448 Light Street, in Baltimore, on Sunday, September 18, 2005, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. There will be a live model for this session; the fee is $10.00 per artist.

To RSVP and for more info contact Dave Quammen at 202.966.0366 - 202.361.3810 cell - or email him at


Submission guidelines for submissions to be considered for future shows at the American University Museum are posted here.

Submissions should be mailed to:

Jack Rasmussen
Director and Curator
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016-8031

Silverthorne on Fitts

Alexandra Silverthorne interviews Seven artist Michael Fitts.

Read the interview here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Jacobson on Bailey

In the WCP, Louis Jacobson delivers a superb review of J.W. Bailey's current show in Reston.

Read the review here.

Text Gallery Talk

Featured artists from the "Text Gallery" in the current WPA/C group show SEVEN host a reception on Sunday, August 28, 2.00pm.

Molly Springfield, JT Kirkland, Denise Wolff, Mark Cameron Boyd and Michael Janis discuss their artwork and themes. Warehouse Gallery 1021 7th St, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Free to public.

See ya there!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Plane Pics

Herewith some plane shots from the flight from El-lay [The City of Angels] to San Diego.

So we take off from LAX
So we take off from LAX

following the California coast
And we follow the coastline to San Diego

About to land in San Diego
And we're about to land in San Diego

Plane Engine Looks Like A Shark
And as we are about to land, I notice how much the plane's engine looks like a shark!

plane landing in San Diego

And the plane has almost landed; safe and sound!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Plastic Photos

Herewith some photos from the Mark Jenkins opening last Friday. Later tonite I'm heading to Bergamot Station for some gallery meetings.

Catriona Fraser and Plastic Man

The fair Catriona Fraser

Paula and Kristina

DCAC's Kristina Bilonick and her friend Paula

Plastic Man assaulting Campello

Plastic Man Assaulting Me


Solarize This' Alexandra Silverthorne having fun

Lots more opening photos here and J.T. Kirkland's review of the show here along with reviews of several other shows.

Mark Jenkins plastic 1995 Honda Civic

And the famous car, wearing one of those red clown noses that have been popping in sculptures and statutes all over town

In La-la Land

I'm running on two hours sleep, exhausted and thinking of a yellow moon.

More later... I promise.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Storker Photos

Alexandra Silverthorne has some photos of the Storker opening last Friday.

See them here.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Plastic Opening

Mark Jenkins being shot
In spite of the rain, last night's opening for Mark Jenkins and his plastic tape car was the largest one so far this year. I will have lots of photos up later, but meanwhile above is a shot of Mark being videotaped as part of the art documentary being filmed by Deno Seder.

The car couldn't be fitted through the gallery doors, so it was parked outside on the Square. It was then removed last night and will be parked somewhere in DC throughout the rest of the exhibition.

More photos and the car's location later.
Opening Crowd at Fraser Georgetown

Friday, August 19, 2005

Openings tonight

Don't forget that the five Canal Square Galleries have their extended hours and/or openings tonight from 6-9PM.

The five galleries are inside the Canal Square at 31st Street and M in G'town.

We will have Mark Jenkins.

Storker baby by Mark Jenkins

See ya there!

Jacobson on our Summer Show

The WCP's Louis Jacobson reviews our current Annual Summer Group Show at our Bethesda gallery.

Read the review here.

Jacobson also reviews the current Academy 2005 show at Conner.

Read that review here.

Hsu on Wolov

The Washington City Paper's Huan Hsu has a cool article on Seven artist Samantha Wolov in the current issue of the CP.

Read it here.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


In the last few days I've had a couple of emails from separate artists asking if I knew who the "backers" of a local gallery are.

What's a "backer," you may ask?

A backer is someone, usually an anonymous partner (often with more money than sense), who backs the gallery with money, so that the risky business of staying afloat as a business can be accomplished while at the same time dancing on the leading edge of visual culture.

Anecdote: I was once giving a DC area museum director a ride to his/her home, as the director had come to visit the gallery to look at our show. On the ride home, we started to discuss area galleries, and to gossip about them.

"So you guys are doing pretty well," the director notes, "with two galleries and all."

"It's a lot of work," I answered.

"So," says the director looking at me, "who's your backer?"

I looked at the director with a slight grin on my face, as I've been asked this question a million times before and I have such a good answer.

"For our first gallery in Georgetown," I began to answer, "it was Mr. Visa and Mr. Mastercard."

"For the large, new Bethesda gallery," I continued, "it was Southern Financial Bank's loan officer!" (We paid the entire loan off in our first year at Bethesda, by the way, as I hate owing money).

The director looked at me with a strange look, obviously a little disconcerted by the look of childish glee on my face.

Anyway... back to "backers."

In the last two or three months we have been approached by two separate individuals offering to "back us" in opening a gallery in Florida. One "backer" wanted to back a Fraser Gallery in Miami, while the second one offered to back us in opening a gallery in West Palm Beach.

We turned them down, naturally, it's already too much work running two galleries, and of course, with any "backer" comes a loss of total control of the business; money talks.

Mini Dawsons

Jessica Dawson has a few mini reviews in today's WaPo.

Read them here.

Gallery Director Needed is currently seeking to fill a Gallery Director position for an important Washington, DC client of theirs.

The Gallery Director must have at least five years of experience in contemporary galleries. Excellent client relations, the willingness to develop and implement new
projects and initiatives and the ability to take the gallery "to the next level" are essential. A self-motivated approach and a BA in Art History or related strongly preferred; some experience in NYC or LA galleries and art fairs a plus. Salary $40K plus escalating commission rate.

Please send resume with detailed cover letter and names of three references to or call 212-779-7059 for more info.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wanna work on a mural?

Every Saturday from 3 to 7pm this summer, a mosaic mural is being erected at 13th and Good Hope Road, SE. The mural is made completely of mosaic materials found from around the city. These materials include bathroom tiles, flat colored glass, old china, bottlecaps, seashells, keys and much more.

The project needs volunteers who are interested in helping create the mural. No drawing or art experience necessary!

Material donations are also welcome, especially small bathroom tiles and flat colored glass (scraps are fine too)... especially the color red! All material donations will be picked up and tax receipts are available upon request.

This mural is made possible by a grant from the DC Commission of Arts and Humanities, Facilitating Leadership in Youth (FLY), and Art on the Block.

for more info:
DC Commission on Arts and Humanities
Jill Blankespoor

Studio Gallery looking for a new director

Deadline: Thursday, September 15, 2005.

Studio Gallery, the longest-established artist-owned cooperative gallery in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area, located in Dupont Circle, seeks a part-time Director to start work September 2005.

This person would be the public face of a gallery known for over 40 years for its standard of excellence as well as its mission to promote outreach and education in the visual arts.

Areas of responsibility : management and coordination of gallery operations, sales and marketing, liaison with artists, exhibitions and public relations . The candidate should have a background in and enthusiasm for the visual arts and good communication, organizing and writing skills. Computer literacy, including familiarity with website and graphic technology, is essential. Base Salary plus Commission

Please contact: Andrea Kraus, or 301.229.7878

Or submit resume, references and one-page writing sample to Andrea Kraus at the mailing address below:
Studio Gallery
Andrea Kraus
7701 Oldchester Road
Bethesda, MD 20817
t: 301.229.7878 or or


August always gets a bad rap as being a slow month for the visual arts around here. It's not true. There are a few exhibitions around our area that I need to get to in the next few days:

1. Academy 2005: The First Five Years at Conner Contemporary Art. The annual invitational survey of work by recent graduates in Washington/Baltimore area college art programs. The exhibition's curator and founder, Jamie L. Smith has selected paintings, drawings, digital photography, sculpture and performance art by the following artists: Jason Bulluck – Howard University, Andrew Haskell – Georgetown University, Stephanie Hulbert – Catholic University, Patrick Kelly – The George Washington University, Maki Maruyama – Corcoran College of Art and Design, Jenna McCracken – The George Washington University, Julia Rommel – American University, Zach Storm – Corcoran College of Art and Design, Kate Taylor – Maryland Institute College of Art, Bret Webb – Maryland Insititute College of Art, and Virginia Warwick – University of Maryland.

This year’s special anniversary celebration also features new work including video, drawing, and photography from the following past Academy shows 2001 – 2004 alumni: Lisa Bertnick - Corcoran College of Art and Design- Academy 2001; Karin Horlbeck - Maryland Institute College of Art - Academy 2002; Noah Angell - Corcoran College of Art and Design - Academy 2003; and Mary Coble -The George Washington University - Academy 2004.

2. "Burnversions" - Solo Exhibition of "Rough Edge Photography" by James W. Bailey at the Reston Community Center.

3. The Human Form at Touchstone Gallery and juried by Anne Goodyear, Ph. D., Assistant Curator at the National Portrait Gallery.

4. Beyond Synergy at the Anne C. Fisher Gallery in Georgetown.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Bailey on Mark Cameron Boyd

Bailey has an excellent interview with Seven artist Mark Cameron Boyd.

Read it here.


Michael Brand - J. Paul Getty Trust
To our area's own Michael Brand, the head of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, who has been selected to serve as the new director of the Getty Museum.

New Washingtonian editor

DCist reports that Garrett Graff, editor of Fishbowl DC, announced yesterday that he'll be scaling back his duties at the Mediabistro blog to take over as editor-at-large of the Washingtonian magazine.

Washingtonian magazine currently does an abysmal job of visual arts coverage of the Greater Washington, DC area. Essentially it consists of a couple of pages of museum show listings.

They do a brilliant job of restaurant reviews, theatre reviews, book reviews, etc. But as usual, our visual arts scene is completely ignored for the most part.

It is my hope that this talented new editor will be willing to augment the magazine's local cultural coverage to include a monthly gallery and museum review column. If anything, I think that he will bring some refreshing new tools, ideas and vigor to the magazine.

Silverthorne on our Summer Group Show

Alexandra Silverthorne checks in with a review of our current Annual Summer Group Show at Fraser Bethesda.

Read the review here.

Opportunity for (some) artists

Deadline: August 29, 2005.

Intermedia Arts is looking for five to seven female artists from Mexico, Somalia, and the former Soviet bloc to exhibit their work as part of the Immigrant Status: Faith in Women exhibition.

Website:; e-mail: Phone:(612) 871-4444

Publishing company looking to purchase or commission artwork

Deadline: August 31, 2005

American Technical Publishers, a publishing company, is looking to purchase or commission artwork that explores the theme of learning, teaching, apprenticeship, sharing knowledge, technical skills, or vocational/technical trades.

Artwork and subject matter must be suitable for a corporate and diverse environment. Electronic submissions preferred, either by web address or a PC-formatted CD, but slides will be accepted as well. Send work with pricelist and/or proposal and pricing for commisioned art with SASE or contact:
Jennifer M Hines
American Technical Publishers
1155 W 175th St
Homewood IL 60430

Website here.

Monday, August 15, 2005


One of the stitches that make up a city's cultural tapestry is alternative art venues, and smart artists realize this to showcase their work, as the worst place for an artist's work is put away somewhere other than being showcased. There are lots of such alternative art venues all around our area.

An exhibition of sculptural fused glass artwork by Cindy Ann Coldiron will be presented through October 11, 2005 at Cox Communications, 3080 Centerville Road (first floor) in Herndon, Virginia.

This exhibit showcases the movement and rhythm in the unique pattern and designs in kiln fired glass. In this exhibit, one can observe everything from glass "boats" to vivid seaflowers. The focal point of the exhibit is the group of twelve spring inspired glass tiles and glass bars on aluminum.

This exhibit is sponsored by the Arts Council of Fairfax County. Appointments to see the exhibit must be made in advance through Alice Webb, Corporate Art Program Manager at 703-642-0862 (ext 8) or via email at

Bailey, Bailey, Bailey...

Bailey at his best.

Read it here.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Metcalfe on Tolman

One of the most unique pieces in Seven is a spectacular drawing by Ben Tolman titled "Garden of Earthly Delights."
Garden of Earthly Delights by Ben Tolman
This is one artist with a singularly interesting Crumbesque vision. The current issue of the City Paper has a terrific piece on Tolman by John Metcalfe.

Read it here.

I bought three Tolmans at DCAC's current Wall Mountables show.

Seven side effects

One of the goals that I had hoped to accomplish for Seven (besides making it a success as a fundraiser and expose WPA/C members' work), was to also drag some of my fellow gallerists through the exhibition in the hope that they could find some artists of interest to them.

Thus far, I am told of at least five artists from Seven who have been signed up or offered contracts or exhibitions by area galleries.

Cool uh?

Mark Jenkins Opens This Friday

Storker baby by Mark Jenkins

Friday, August 12, 2005

TAA Reviews

J.T. has some good reviews of a few area shows.

Read them here.

Torres Interview

Bailey has a terrific interview with Seven artist Alessandra Torres.

Read it here.

Seven on Film

Yesterday an international crew filmed the Seven exhibition at the Warehouse.

They seemed to prefer (and focused upon) Alessandra Torres' installation and photographs, Kathryn Cornelius' video, Tim Tate's glass sculptures, Margaret Boozer's floor "crack" installation and Joe Barbaccia's sculptures.

In the next few days they will be also filming Mark Jenkins' street sculptures around DC, which they also liked a lot.

It was interesting to me to get a sort of outsider "validation" about the quality of the show and the artists, from an experienced crew and director who have done a lot of traveling, filming, interviewing and art hopping around the world, and still have loads of praise for the artwork being created by our area artists.

Cool uh?

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: September 10, 2005

The 2005 International Figure Exhibition. Red Dot Fine Art will hold its 2nd Annual International Figure Exhibition November 14th - December 3rd at Red Dot Fine Art located on historic Canyon Road in Santa Fe, NM.

The exhibition call is open to all individuals working in two dimensional and three dimensional work in a realistic figurative style in any media. There is a non refundable $30.00 entry fee for up to three works and additional $5.00 fee for each additional work. Exhibition Dates: November 14th - December 3rd, 2005. Fee: $30 for 1-3 images (slides or JPEG) $5 for each additional image submitted. Prospectus here or send a SASE to:
Red Dot Fine Art
ATTN: Figure Exhibition
616 1/2 B Canyon Road
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Deadline: November 14, 2005

National Juried Art Exhibition. Slide deadline November 14, 2005. $8500 in cash awards divided in three separate categories for 2 and 3-dimensional Fine Art and Photography completed within the past 2 years. For prospectus send SASE to:
Baker Arts Center
624 N Pershing
Liberal KS 67901.

For more information call: 620/624-2810. E-mail:

National Association of Women Artists

The National Association of Women Artists is a non-profit organization founded in 1889. They are seeking membership applicants from professional women artists in all media. Members are provided with juried and curated exhibit opportunities in NYC and across the US.

Applications are due Sept. 15 and March 15. Download application at: or send SASE to:
80 5th Av #1405
New York NY 10011

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Moser in Canada

Congratulations to our own Lida Moser, who is currently having two separate solo shows in Canada.

The first is at the La Société historique de Québec, where dozens of Moser's photographs from the 1950's (of the province) are on exhibition.

More details (in English) here.

Lida Moser's works are in the collection of nearly 40 museums worldwide.

Locally she's in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the National Portrait Gallery.

You can read the WaPo review of her last solo with us here.

Bethesda Art Walk

Tomorrow (Friday) is the Bethesda Art Walk.

The Bethesda Art Walk features 13 galleries and studios that open their doors from 6-9pm on the second Friday of every month. Dowtown Bethesda galleries showcase artwork created locally, nationally and internationally including painting, photography, sculpture and mixed media.

You can enjoy several galleries by walking throughout downtown Bethesda’s fun-filled streets. The free Bethesda 8 Trolley stops within a few blocks of each Bethesda Art Walk gallery, and runs continuously throughout the duration of the Art Walk.

We will have our annual Summer Group Show, which includes new work by David FeBland (his "Circle the Wagons" is pictured below), John Winslow, Tim Tate, Michael Sprouse, Maxwell MacKenzie, and others.
Circle the Wagons by David FeBland
See ya there!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Seven in Art Film

Seven will be filmed this week as part of a documentary on contemporary art being produced by Deno Seder Productions.

Their art films and videos have won top honors at the Paris Art Film Biennial at the Georges Pompidou Center, the Berlin Film Festival, the Taipei International Film Festival, the Chicago and Houston International Film Festivals, the New York Underground Film Festival and others. One of their films, "Andy Warhol," was screened at the Corcoran during their Warhol exhibition.

Arts Agenda

The DCist Arts Agenda here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: September 16, 2005.

My good friend Jonathan Binstock, who is the Curator for Contemporary Art at the Corcoran, will be the juror for Mid-Atlantic New Painting 2006.

The Mid-Atlantic New Painting 2006 exhibition is a juried competition highlighting new developments in painting throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

At least $2000 in awards will be distributed. An exhibition of the selected works will be on display in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery from January 26 to March 3, 2006. This will be the fifth contemporary art competition held by the University of Mary Washington Galleries. Entry fee is $30.

The deadline is September 16, 2005. Details and prospectus here.

Capps on Seven

Kriston Capps polices Seven.

Read his review here.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Bailey on Wolov and Brooks

Bailey interviews two of Seven's more controversial artists:

Samantha Wolov here


Scott G. Brooks here.

Wanna go to an Opening?

Tomorrow, Wed. Aug 10, from 5-8PM, Spectrum Gallery in Georgetown will be hosting an opening for Under the Influence: Photography by Tom Wolff & Friends.

Wolff taught photography at Glen Echo Park for 30 years, from 1975 until 2005, and this show showcases his work as well as some from his star students: John Borstel, Presscott Moore Lassman, Leta Osteen, and Emily Whiting.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Subject Matter

The visual arts carry a monkey on their back that none of the other genres of the fine arts have to deal with: the proprietarization of subject matter.

So, no contemporary artist would dare to, let's say, paint ballerinas (sorry but Degas closed that subject), or harlequins, etc.

And some subject matter, by the nature of the subject itself, would be labeled as saccharine by the nicest of critics. Say kittens, horses, puppies, mermaids.

Do we have a screwed up sense of what makes the visual arts tick or what?

This powerful painting, titled "Allegory of a Gay Bashing" by Scott Brooks has been receiving a lot of attention in the "nude gallery" in Seven. It is an homage by Brooks to the brutal murder of Matthew Sheppard.

And this painting swings representational painting's most formidable weapon (and the one that keeps painting as king of the hill in spite of all the critics and curators trying to kill it): The ability to convey an entire and diverse range of emotions with just one glance.

"Allegory of a Gay Bashing" delivers horror, beauty, politics, history and homage all in one swoop.

And this tremendous work will probably never be sold to anyone by Brooks, because it would take immense courage to display this work of art anywhere in this nation; not just DC, but anywhere. Someone can prove me wrong and buy it from Brooks and display it in their home, or office or even a museum somewhere - but I doubt that there's a collector or museum in the USA with the cojones to hang this work.

Brooks puppyAnd to get to the beginning point of this ramble, in spite of the horror delivered by "Allegory of a Gay Bashing", many people get stuck on one area: the cute puppy and kitty at the bottom of the castrated nude.

I've been in the room when I hear people discussing it. It seems like the cute puppy and kitty sitting on the ground, and staring at the viewer, evoke a higher sense of revulsion than the castrated man himself.

I've noted people's sense of repulsion caused by juxtaposing the two disparate sets of images. I think that they are repulsed by the cute animals being forced to share a scenario with a tortured man. Why are they there? people ask each other, a note of discomfort in their voices. Even the eloquent Amy Watson was disoriented by the presence of the animals and (in her terrific review of the show) felt that they undermined the painting.

Brooks' kittyCute kitty and cute puppy... taking the attention away from disturbing image. How dare Brooks paint cuteness, especially in this context?

I don't know why Scott did it, but I think that it is the key that makes this painting truly repulsive and immensely successful all at once. Take them out, and you have a strong, powerful painting. Put them in, and you create a million questions, enormous angst and a desire to physically remove the creatures from the canvas itself.

And maybe without even realizing it, Scott has also reclaimed an artist's right to paint or draw anything that he or she so desires, and take the unjustified saccharinity of a subject and turn saccharine into anthrax with a few deft strokes of a painter's brush and a disorienting sense of juxtapositioning of subject matter.

Update: Sam Wolov has some thoughts on this subject.

Bailey on the WPA/C

Bailey jumps in on the issue raised last week by the City Paper on the subject of the WPA/C Directory, and in the process James gives a rousing endorsement to the WPA/C's current interim Executive Director (Kim Ward), which I second vociferously.

Read Bailey's posting here.

Containers/Contained at Target Gallery
"I had no particular impression of Containers/Contained in mind when I began reviewing the submissions for this show; so many potential directions were possible. But after repeated viewings, a common, and timely, approach to the theme began to emerge: artists working in a wide range of styles and materials were using the notion of containment as a tool of cultural, social and political critique."
So begins the juror's statement at the Target Gallery's current exhibition: Containers/Contained.

Comprised of 23 works by 19 artists from around the nation, and juried by Twylene Moyer (managing editor of Sculpture magazine), the exhibition opened yesterday and runs through August 28, 2005, and this is one juror statement that hits the focus of this show dead on: the notion of containment as a tool of cultural, social and political critique.

Take the work of the Best of Show winner, a piece titled For Those Who Serve (Evidence), by J. Barry Zeiger, comprised of old thread spools set atop a gold leaf frame on the floor of the gallery. The juror explained that the "spools came from an old New England factory out of business, and delivered a sense of nostalgia, and... [she] could appreciate a sense of things past and anonymous human beings."

Mmm... this is a very elegant and intelligent show, and in fact I think that this may be the best show of the year so far at Target, and a perfect good bye gift to area art lovers by the gallery's departing director, the fair Claire Huschle. However, considering the outstanding range of truly outstanding sculptures chosen by Moyer, the Best in Show choice left me a little baffled.

You see... it's a large, ah... gold leaf picture frame on the floor, with ... ah... some antique thread spools set atop it.

A bit baffling choice, especially when there are some truly outstanding sculptures in this show (and a couple of photographs too!).

My choice?

As I looked around the room, I realized that three of the 19 artists in the room are either represented by our gallery, or have exhibited there recently (Tim Tate, Mark Jenkins and Alison Sigethy). So let's leave them out of the running (although I must mention that Tim Tate's clever "One Day I Met the Devil at the Crossroads" glass reliquiary won one of the four prizes, as did Alison Sigethy's "Homeland Security").

Steve Dolbin ConduitAnd my eyes fell upon J. Barry Zeiger's neighbor on the floor of the gallery: Steve Dolbin's "Conduit," a large sculpture made of hollow concrete and stained with acrylic.

Steve Dolbin ConduitThe concrete sculpture offers a hidden paradox; sort of a magician's box (the kind where the woman is sawn in half), but in this case Dolbin has the cast feet at one end, and a tangle of hands, fingers and otther objects poking out of the larger, other end. I found it not only visually interesting and technically superb, but also well within the notion of containment expressed by the juror. It would probably have been in the running for my choice as Best in Show.

In addition to Zeigler, Sigethy and Tate, other artists awarded mentions by the juror were Laiung-Chung Yen, for a small cigarrete case piece titled Cages, which has a clever sense of carrying your vices around your fingers at all times.

My kudos to Moyer for selecting a superb show. The exhibition is open to the public until August 28, 2005.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Wanna go to an opening today?

Then head on to Alexandria to the Torpedo Factory.

And go to the Art League's opening for their International Landscape Show. That opening is today, Sunday from 2-4PM. Juror Timothy App will also announce the award winners for that show.

Then walk across the hall of the Torpedo Factory to the Target Gallery.

"Human Containers" at the Target Gallery will be having an opening reception and talk by the juror Twylene Moyer (managing editor of Sculpture magazine) today from 4-6 PM. Tim Tate, Alison Sigethy and Mark Jenkins are among the local artists who will have works on display there. All together there are 20 artists from the US and Canada in the exhibition.

Both galleries are on the ground floor of the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria.

See ya there!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Gagnon Responds to Kuspit

Lou Gagnon responds to Donald Kuspit's words on digitalism.
Response to Mr. Kuspit

By Lou Gagnon

This is little more than the coupling of both tired arguments - "Abstraction vs. representation" and "painting is dead" – with a technology twist.

Having used both "analog" and "digital" tools in my career as both an architect and an artist, I can say that they are not equivalents in the creative process. The fatal flaw of this elaboration is assigning the "code" or concept as the primary creative act.

Every creative human that I know starts with an analog process - a sketch, note or diagram. Digital tools are mainly production tools used in the refinement and analysis of the original concept (to produce not create the "code"). Powerful as they may seem, the cumbersome complexities of navigating a digital tool system (CPU, software, visual interface, input device and power supply) cannot currently compete with the fluidity and focus attainable with the analog system - (pen and paper). All digital characters are modeled and animated using haptic and visual input from analog (real & professionally trained) humans.

I resist digital art as "art" for the following reasons: Digital Art has no haptic record of human activity imbedded in the final object. No under painting, no sketch lines, no corrections; just slick and polished representation (yes it is still just representation), whether it is rich in information or not.

More simply: it does not smell. Are we to lobotomize our senses to accept Mr. Kuspit’s premise and thereby prefer lots of limited information to less information that actually "touches" us? We can relate to haptic records because we share a tactile world, because we make mistakes and we incorporate or work around them. We need that tactile feedback. I can take all the digital images that I can store of my children and all of them combined will pale in comparison to the fleeting power of holding their hand, smelling their hair and thumbing through their drawings.

Many modern and contemporary buildings, while brilliant records of design and building technology, fail miserably to address the human, both in scale and in relation to a community. That is why there is a sculpture, fountain or garden in front of most modern buildings.

The most powerful tool is the one that gets used. The most powerful form of communication is the one that actually communicates.

Perhaps we are doomed to Mr. Kuspit’s supposition. When a child spends more time with printers than paint, or when the image assembled by pre-designed digital parts gives a sense of finish that a clumsy, unskilled drawing may lack. In a world of unlimited "undos" and no messy cleanups, how can the stench and mess of paint and the frustration of ability not being able to match vision compete?

Children and adults spend more time watching TV than contemplating still images so that when they walk into a gallery what are they going to gravitate to? A still image can only lead you so far, there is some interaction required, it is open-ended. Linear media is a much more conclusive seduction. If you want to be lead, then watch TV.

Personally, the transcendence is less finite with a still image. While my belief may be suspended during a video, its conclusion is limited and therefore disposable. Once I get it, I am done with it. It is, however, comforting to know that the pieces, when placed in the right order, do add up to the picture in the box. I know first-hand that there is very little that is comforting about inventing the problem and then the solution. Then we are puzzled why novelty is more seductive than the sublime.

All this leaves me wondering why one of the first and longest lasting recorded images is the outline of the human hand in the caves of France. Clearly sitting around the fire and telling stories was not enough. I suppose that in the world of the human genome, binary logic and MP3’s, it is tempting to codify art as well.

I am glad to be free of the little dark room filled with power cords, flickering LCD’s and whirring little fans in plastic boxes. I am free to walk in the sunshine and smell the flowers however haptic, analog and direct that may be. Free to continue leaving my fingerprints in the colored dirt and burnt sticks I push across pulverized plant fibers. Then again what do I know? my path to understanding this issue is limited to what I have learned making stuff not history.

Tape all over town

If you're been out and about DC the last few days, and have seen a 1995 Honda Civic made entirely of tape, then you've gotten a preview of Mark Jenkins' exhibition at our Georgetown gallery opening on Friday, August 19, from 6-9PM.

Mark Jenkins street sculpturesAs some of you know, Jenkins' Storker project has been leaving tape babies all over the DC area, and some of his other tape sculptures have been left in Rio de Janeiro, Baltimore and New York City.

For this coming show, provided that he can fit it through our front door, Jenkins will have the lifesize 1995 tape Honda Civic in the gallery, and will also exhibit photographs about some of his other tape projects.

Additionally, Mark will have a series of tape people installations outside the gallery in the Canal Square.

Mark Jenkins street sculptureJenkins is doing some of the most innovative marriage of sculpture with street art and a singularly brilliant conceptual employment of photography, digital manipulation, audience participation (Jenkins usually leaves his sculptures around the city, and they are usually "adopted" by strangers, who take Jenkins' sculptures home. Sometimes, Jenkins photographs people's interactions with the work.

The opening reception is Friday, August 19, 2005 from 6-9PM at Fraser Gallery Georgetown. The four other Canal Square galleries (MOCA, Parish, Anne C. Fisher and Alla Rogers) will also be open that night.

Come meet Jenkins and his entourage of tape people.

P.S. And for the 2-3 people who usually email me when I post anything about Jenkins: No, this Mark Jenkins is NOT the same Mark Jenkins who writes for the City Paper.

Finalists Selected for Trawick Prize

Ten artists (from nearly 400 submissions) have been unanimously selected as finalists for The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, a juried art competition produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, funded by the generous Carol Trawick and chaired by the fair Catriona Fraser.

The top prize winners will be announced and honored on Sept 7 at 7PM at a special press event held at Creative Partners Gallery.

A total of $14,000 will be awarded, including $10,000 to the Best in Show winner. The jury members for the competition are Dr. Thom Collins, Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore, MD; Andrea Pollan, an independent curator, fine arts appraiser and art consultant and Olga Viso, the new Director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

The finalists are:

Christine Buckton Tillman (Baltimore)
Bernhard Hildebradt (Baltimore)
Dean Kessmann (Washington, DC)
Michele Kong (Baltimore)
Gabriel Martinez (Washington, DC)
Maggie Michael (Washington, DC)
Jiha Moon (Annandale, VA)
Daniel Sullivan (Baltimore)
Sonia Denise Tassin (Baltimore)
Jason Zimmerman (Washington, DC)

Of these artists, I am only familiar with the work of Kessmann, Maggie Michael and Jiha Moon. For more information call 301-215-6660 (ext 20 or 16).

Studio Space Available

Private studio space in Old Town Kensington's Antique Row features private entrance, great light, and a large window. Hot & cold running water, air conditioned, private parking lot lit until midnight. $255 per month. Call Morris Parker at 301-949-5333.

Arts Dean Job

Instructional and College Dean for the Arts.

Montgomery College, a multi-campus community college located in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC, is seeking an Instructional and College Dean for the Arts.

Starting salary $71,365-$121,576 per year.

Education & Training: Position requires a Master's degree in one of the arts disciplines, arts management, or in a closely related area; a Doctorate in one of these areas is preferred.

To submit an online application please visit this website.

Doggie Days

The Mid City Artists will be having a Summer Group Show through August 20 at Raven Arts, 1833 14th Street NW, 2nd Floor. And today and tomorrow, they will be participating in the neighborhood's Dog Days of Summer activities (August 6 and 7).

The Mid City Artists will also host an Artists' Reception, Thursday August 11th, 6-8pm.

Dog Days of Summer will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7th. Merchants all up and down 14th Street, P Street and U Street and up to W Street will participate this year. This is the 6th annual sidewalk sale event and in past years, thousands of shoppers, diners and people just out for a fun afternoon have shown up for this event.


Donald Kuspit goes yard.

Read it here.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Alice Neel

I'm looking forward to "Alice Neel’s Women", which will be opening at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on October 28.

Alice Neel in front of her apt. in NYC, 1968 by Lida MoserNot just because I am a huge Neel fan, but also because the exhibition features a portrait by Neel of our own Lida Moser.

Neel did four portraits of Lida Moser in her lifetime. I am not sure which one(s) is included in this exhibition. I've been writing and calling the NMWA for the last two years (to find out), and so far they've ignored me.

Lida Moser was one of Alice Neel's closest friends, and I love to hear her stories about how in the 40s, 50s and 60s Neel's work was ignored by the critics and art world because she refused to change her work to "fit" the prevailing abstract styles in vogue during those years.

Lida Moser also recalls how, when Neel began to get recognition in the 1970s, especially after her retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1974, male artists in the NY art scene openly resented her success because she was a woman.

Moser also experienced this same form of resentment (from male photographers) when she was given photographic assignments by Vogue, Look, Life and other such magazines that she worked for.

Today's female artists stand on the shoulders of both these wonderful women.

See work by Lida Moser here and by Alice Neel here.

The Power of the Web

Thanks to the several lawyers who contacted me offering to help the local artist being ripped off by a NYC gallery.

I'll keep track of the issue and report as warranted.

Sunday openings

"Human Containers" at Target Gallery in Alexandria is having an opening reception and talk by the juror Twylene Moyer (managing editor of Sculpture magazine) this Sunday from 4-6 PM. Tim Tate, Alison Sigethy and Mark Jenkins are among the local artists who will have works on display there. All together there are 20 artists from the US and Canada in the exhibition.

Before you get there, you can also walk across the hall and visit the Art League's opening for their International Landscape Show. That opening is Sunday from 2-4PM.

Both galleries are on the ground floor of the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria.

Friday openings

Loads of gallery openings tonight, mostly around the Galleries of Dupont Circle where neighbors Conner Contemporary, Irvine Contemporary and Washington Printmakers all have excellent group shows.

In Georgetown, our neighbor Anne C. Fisher also has an opening for an excellent show: Beyond Synergy.

All these openings run from 6-8PM.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

New Gallery in Town

The fair Zoe Myers has been hunting for a gallery space around DC and surrounding areas for a long time, and now she has finally settled into what I am told is a great new space in Bethesda.

The Heineman Myers Contemporary Art gallery in Bethesda is now under construction (website too) and when finished will be the largest gallery in the Greater Washington area and will also add a powerful new presence to Bethesda's ever growing gallery scene.

Heineman Myers Contemporary Art will be located at 4728 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, MD 20814.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Secrets on TV

Tonight's Fox Five News at 10 will carry a segment about Frank Warren's Post A Secret Project.

And this and all the recent success of his project couldn't happen to a nicer and harder working artist.


Watson on Seven

Amy Watson of The Artery, reviews Seven at Thinking About Art.

Read the review here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Lawyer Needed

A very good artist is in the process of being ripped off out of over $50,000 worth of artwork. This artist desperately needs a lawyer to assist the artist with legal help to get the artwork back. It appears to be a very simple case where legal correspondence from a lawyer threatening legal action if the work is not returned will probably do the trick.

The artist is willing to trade art for legal assistance, as the artist is unable to afford paying one (mostly because most of the artist's money was spent preparing the art now being held by the gallery).

For anyone interested: Please email me and I'll expand further privately.

P.S. And yes, I know all about WALA. This artist still needs a lawyer.

One of my favorite poems
La Rosa Blanca

I grow a white rose
In July as in January
For the sincere friend
Who offers a hand frankly.

And for the cruel person who tears out
the heart with which I live,
I grow neither nettles nor thorns:
I grow a white rose.
By Jose Marti

Beyond Synergy

Beyond Synergy opens with a Reception on Friday, 5 August, 6-8pm at the Anne C. Fisher Gallery, in Canal Square in Georgetown.

The exhibition features nine area artists working in a variety of media selected from submissions to the public arts competition Synergy. The exhibition continues through 8 September.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: September 2, 2005.

Abington Art Center Gallery and Sculpture Park 2005 Slide Review Program.

A full prospectus is available on the gallery page at and needs to accompany all submissions.

Abington Art Center invites professional artists to submit proposals for consideration to participate in their Gallery, Sculpture Park and community venues. Each season the exhibition program consists of several exhibitions in their galleries featuring national and regional artists, and the installation of large scale sculptures in their outdoor sculpture park.

For both indoor and outdoor exhibitions, the Center provides artists with professionally produced documentation, invitations, catalogues and promotional materials. Related educational programs such as lectures, public forums and workshops are designed to stimulate and involve audiences in the experience. The focus, criteria and eligibility for each venue is different, so please read the prospectus carefully before completing the application. Artists from the mid-Atlantic and New England are most likely to be selected, others may be considered. For more information, visit:

Send 6-10 slides, a slide list with name, title, medium, date and dimensions. Current short resume. A one page artist's statement. For return of submission materials, enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope. Application/Entry Fee: $10.

Abington Art Center
ATTN: Curatorial Review
515 Meetinghouse Road
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Bader Fund

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund invites visual artists (excluding filmmakers, video artists, and performance artists) to apply for grants. Artists must be 40 years of age or older, live within 150 miles of Washington, D.C., and demonstrate that they have the potential to benefit as artists from a grant.

Last year three grants were awarded, one for $20,000 and two for $15,000.

Applications must be postmarked no later than September 30, 2005. To obtain a current application form, please visit the Fund's website:, or write to the Fund at:

The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund
5505 Connecticut Avenue, NW #268
Washington, D.C. 20015

Send email inquiries to

Monday, August 01, 2005

New DC art Blog

Samantha Wolov, whose work is one of the more noticeable photographic entries in Seven (she takes photos of her friends having sex), has a new Blog: Nekkid with a Camera.

I love that title!

Visit Sam often. Her Blog is here and her website is here.

Openings This Week

The Art League’s American Landscape show is now global!

Last year in honor of the Art League’s 50th Anniversary, the annual American Landscape Show expanded to include both American and international landscapes. As their artists and visitors travel internationally, the show was a resounding success and will, from now on, be known as the International Landscape Show.

This All-Media Membership Show will be juried by Timothy App, an award-winning and well-respected abstract painter. The show opens August 3rd and runs through Sept. 5th. The opening reception and awards ceremony is this coming Sunday from 2-4PM.

Washington Printmakers Gallery presents the National Small Works 2005 exhibition featuring works from 23 artists nationwide.

The show runs from August 2 - 28, 2005, with an opening reception and awards presentation this coming Friday, August 5 from 5 to 8 pm. A gallery talk with the artists is next week, Thursday, August 11 from 12 to 1 pm. The juror for the show was Krystyna Wasserman, Curator of Book Arts at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Conner Contemporary has Academy 2005 opening on August 5 from 6-8PM and running through August 27.

The exhibition, this year being curated by Jamie L. Smith, takes the pulse of new work being created by recent graduates and students from our area's art schools. It is one of my favorite shows of the year and it is now in its fifth year.

Go see some art this week!

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