Friday, March 31, 2006

Bad at Sports

Bad at Sports is a podcast about surviving as an artist. It's a professionally produced art show that has quickly gained popularity among artists, hipsters and the top curators of the arts.

Bad at Sports shows a ground-level view of the visual arts from the perspective of practicing mid-career artists. It's anti-intellectual, but streetwise, and it combines to create a show that is very lively and funny.

The conversations and interviews often begin with the meaning behind the art, or the logistics of the project, but the discussion will eventually veer in the direction of the person's career path, their opinions of art scene, and their own personal goals, aspirations and frustrations.

They've had correspondents from London, New York, L.A. and San Francisco, and would now love to hear some art voices from DC.

They ask that interested people check out an episode first, because there's a very specific tone to the show, and if you don't get a sense of what the show is like, someone could easily make an audio file that's not a match for them.

Check them out here.

Wanna go to an opening tonite?

"From Sea to Shining Sea" at DCAC - Opening Reception is tonight,Friday, March 31 from 7-9 pm.

Curated by Ori Z. Soltes and assisted by Cara Ober. Featured artwork includes that of DC artists Craig Cahoon and Steve Cushner.

CP Blog

Hey! The Washington City Paper has a new online blog!

It's titled City Desk and can be read here.

Hopefully some of their art writers will emulate what some of their theatre critics have already done with area plays and start pushing some visual art shows... go Jeffry, go Lou!

Jacobson on Photography

Louis Jacobson reviews our current photography show in the City Paper. Read the review here.


Can a sculpture the size of a kitchen matchbox have monumental impact? Kristen Hileman, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, who a couple of years ago juried one of our best art competitions in years, has chosen 47 tiny sculptures from a field of 90 entries submitted by artists from Baltimore and Washington, Philadelphia and New England for a coming exhibition at Flashpoint.

This unusual collaboration of four regional sculpture groups (Washington Sculptors Group, Baltimore’s Sculptor’s Inc., in collaboration with the Philadelphia Sculptors Group and New England Sculptors Association.) is a "microcosm of the world of sculpture in 2006, exemplifying the diversity of artists, their materials and themes in the Northeastern United States."

Micro-Monumental is at Flashpoint Gallery April 6 to May 27, then travels to Xavier University Art Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio for the International Sculptors Conference: June 20 through July 22, 2006. The Artists' reception at Flashpoint is April 20, 6-8pm and the Juror’s talk is that same night at 7pm.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Tapedude in the Morning News

The Morning News interviews Tapedude Mark Jenkins. Read the interview here.

Text Mention in the WaPo

The WaPo has a little blurb on the Text show that opens this Saturday at GRACE. Read it here.

DC Shorts Film Festival

The DC Shorts Film Festival showcases short films from around the world, followed by moderated discussions with filmmakers.

The annual festival seeks films 20 minutes or less, with a special cash awards for first-time, women and local (Washington DC area) filmmakers. They also screen specially selected films at the Canadian Embassy as part of a community arts event.

Filmmakers attending DC Shorts enjoy relaxed parties, city tours, free housing, meals and transportation. Most importantly, they get the opportunity to meet and learn from other filmmakers—an experience that comes from a showcase dedicated to short films and the people who make them.

Festival Name: DC Shorts Film Festival
Festival Address: 916 G Street NW, Studio 203, Washington, DC 20001
Phone: (202) 393-4266
Upcoming Festival Dates: Sept. 14-21, 2006
Upcoming Call for Entry Deadlines: June 30, 2006
Festival Contact (not for publication): Jon Gann, 202-393-4266, or email him at

After Effects

Just a reminder that the first night of the three part WPA/C Media Series, entitled "After Effects," curated by the fair Kathryn Cornelius will take place tonight, March 30th, from 7-9pm in the Corcoran's auditorium.

Details here.

Text at GRACE

Yesterday some of the artists participating in the second iteration of TEXT, which opens on Saturday from 6-8PM in the beautiful new spaces of the Greater Reston Arts Center, installed their work.

The exhibition brings back all but one of the original Text artists from Seven.

Denise Wolff at Text

The fair Denise Wolff installing her photos for Text

The artists in this iteration of Text are Molly Springfield, Mark Cameron Boyd, Michael Janis, Victor Ekpuk, Denise Wolff and Tim Tate.

Originally, J.T. Kirkland was part of the first group of Text artists, and part of the original proposal to GRACE; however, JT got selected for a well-deserved solo show that immediately follows Text at GRACE and we all thought that it would be better for Kirkland to go solo and thus I replaced him with Tate. Kirkland's opening at GRACE is Saturday, May 13 from 6-8pm.

Michael Janis at Text
Michael Janis installing at Text

For this version of Text, all artists have created mostly new work, and the very busy Molly Springfield, who has been having a spectacular 2006 so far, has a digital slide show of her "Notes" for this version of Text.

The exhibition opens this coming Saturday, April 1st with an opening catered reception from 6-8PM. Then we will have an artists' talk the next Saturday, April 8 starting at 7PM. Direction to GRACE are here.

See ya there!

Lassman's Cockroach Girl

Alexandra Silverthorne over at Solarize This has an interesting posting on the terrific photograph by Scott Lassman titled "Girl with Cockroaches" that is currently part of our Bethesda International Photography Exhibition.

The photo has attracted a lot of attention, and as Alexandra points out, there are various merit and creep factor reasons for some of the attention. I have also overheard some discussion by gallery visitors, and even answered a few questions about the photo.

Here's some background:

Little Girl with Roaches by Lassman- The little girl in the photo is Scott's niece. At the opening, Mrs. Lassman told me the story of the cockroaches and the little girl.

- The cockroaches are real and are not superimposed on top of the little girl's body.

- Not only are those huge suckers real, but they are Madagascar hissing cockroaches, so they make noises as well!

- The roaches are the pets of the little girl.

- One of them was recently lost in a hotel room in New England. I don't know about you, but I'm skipping visiting New England for a while.

Aother darker (and ignorant) set of comments overheard (just the usual handful of two or three idiots), have been a few folks who have been offended by the nudity of the little girl in the photo. I have zero patience for people who see something bad or sinister or morally wrong with nudity, and have very vocally challenged the "commenters" about the fact that perhaps there is something wrong with "them" in seeing something bad about a happy little girl resting on the grass, with a huge smile as her repulsive pets tickle her tummy, simply because the photo implies that she's in the buff.

It's an excellent photo and a great deal as well by the way... it measures 17x11 inches and it is matted in a white pH-balanced acid free mat and framed under glass in a black metal moulding frame to 32.5 x 20.5 inches and sells for $600. Call the gallery at 301/718-9651 if you are interested.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Rousseau on Photography

Dr. Claudia Rousseau, the art critic for the Gazette newspapers reviews our current Bethesda International Photography Competition show in today's paper. Read the review here.

Rousseau notes that:

The fourth annual Bethesda International Photography Competition coincided with the publication of a national art magazine cover that features the headline "Photography: What’s Hot" — both a question and a statement.

What is hot in photography these days? Art photography is more popular than ever. Collectors are willing to spend large sums, more than a million dollars in a recent auction, on individual prints. A look at the work of the competition winners now at the Fraser Gallery in Bethesda also indicates that traditional photography is still healthy — despite Kodak’s 2005 announcement that it would no longer manufacture black and white printing papers.
You can see the exhibition online here and you can read the rest of Dr. Rousseau's review here.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Airborne again...

Flying back from Ohio tonight... more later.

Jamison Opens at Irvine

Susan Jamison's long awaited solo opens at Irvine on April 6 with an opening reception from 6-8PM.

Jamison's had a tremendous 2005. For starters, I selected her for the Seven exhibition, where Martin Irvine discovered her amazing works and signed her up.

And Irvine Contemporary has done wonders for Jamison. She was taken down to Miami for scope, where I am told she sold out; she was also at Irvine's highly successful New York adventure recently.

And now Susan will make her DC solo debut in the front gallery of Irvine's space on Connecticut Avenue, while Robert Mellor takes up the rear gallery with a show of new work.

Both exhibitions will run from April 6 through May 5 with an opening reception with the artists on Fri. April 7 at 6 PM. Jamison and Mellor will also give gallery talks about their work on Sat. April 8 at 2 PM.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Flying to Ohio tonight and back tomorrow. Meeting with some museum bubbas to see if we can get an artist-to-be-named later his first museum show. More later.

Tale of two Jacks

Jack Boul Does The Art League

When I picked up the list of artists selected by juror Jack Boul for the Art League’s monthly juried exhibition, I was pleasantly surprised to read one of the shortest and most to-the-point juror statements that I’ve ever read.

Boul’s statement:

"In a recent review of the contemporary art at the 2006 Whitney Biennial, the reviewer said: ‘The state of our nation’s artists is grim.’

After selecting the show at the Art League, I disagree. Artwork is not in crisis. It is alive and well at The Art League. And I find it refreshing!"
Bravo Jack!

Boul reviewed 591 entries and selected 128 for the exhibition. His top award went to a very painterly oil by Nancy Tankersley titled Kitchen Pas de Deux. It is one of the rare times that I’ve agreed with a juror. It’s an intelligent and well-crafted painting. I also quite liked a pastel by M. McGurk titled "Corner Booth" that shows a Hopper-like, aloof blonde beauty, immersed in her own icy world of loneliness.

Sexy in a different way was M. Mitsuyasu's photograph titled "Night Blooming Cereus Portrait 16" and Jackie Saunders' always superb watercolor entry titled "Elena, Elegant." I also liked Isil Ozisik’s masterful wet-on-wet watercolors series "Rain." I know of no one in our area that can paint Washington, DC better than Ozisik.

Pippy Takes A RideBut let me tell you about the piece that took my breath away.

"Pippy Takes a Ride" is a magnificent oil portrait by Edward J. Reed, who goes by Ted, and who teaches portrait painting at the Art League in Alexandria.

In this work, Reed captures that immensely difficult wisp of essence that makes a portrait change from a painting of a person to a portrait of a person.

He has not only captured the pretty-girl quality of the model (who is one of the most popular and talented Art League models around), but also managed to catch her presence and spirit. This is just not a painting of a deeply sensual woman dressed in tough biker gear; this is a work of art that steals a little bit of the soul and presence of the model and embeds it in the oil and medium and visual weight of the work.


I was absolutely hypnotized by the work, and on a second and third view of the work, I noticed a clever hanging of the works around it. Right below the painting was a very sexy black and white photograph of a woman’s curled toes. The photograph is lined up directly below where Pippy’s legs end.

"Did you know?" I asked the gallerist at the Art League, "that those toes are the toes of the same model who posed for Pippy?"

The gallerist glowed. "Yes!" she smiled, "that’s why I put them there."

Jack Rasmussen does Target

While I was in Alexandria I dropped by the Target Gallery to see the show juried by my good friend Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the Katzen Arts Center. He juried a show titled "Stretched Tight," with a fascinating set of works and artists, and like any group show, some superb selections and a dud or two.
Portrait by Holland
The piece that took my immediate attention on the first go-round was Brent A. Holland’s "Self-Portrait," a gorgeous oil on panel work that reminded me of the hard-core grittiness of harsh realists such as Gregory Gillespie was.

I also like Pat Goslee’s continuing exploration of the vast, moist world of odd, sensual vaginalism in an encaustic work titled "In Her Synaptic Gap."

Three works by Cara Ober were awarded the Best in Show by Rasmussen, and were all three intelligent choices.

Another piece that I liked was Anna Davis’ "Back to the Cradle," another one of her bright paper-on-canvas-that-look-like-mosaics works.

The dud in the show (in my opinion) was Laura Yang’s "Untitled 533" which was a fair enough of a painting, except that I’ve seen this sort of "quickie" Marsley-like thing a million times over the last few decades, and it never worked for me the first time, and not this millionth time.

Overall it was a top notch show, a nicely-done juried job by Jack, and another good exhibition by Target, which continues to do well thanks to a well-developed juror pool that uses the best in our area to select work for the gallery each month.

Silverthorne reviews

Alexandra Silverthorne continues to take an in-depth look at our current photography exhibition.

Overall review here.

Review of Aleksei Pechnikov here.

Review of Lee Goodwin here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Art Deal of the Week

My third pick is this intelligent New York photograph by American photographer Chris Davis.
NY Niche by Chris Davis
It is titled "New York Niche" and the photograph measures 28x19 inches and then it is matted in a white pH-balanced acid free white museum mat and framed in a black metal moulding under plexiglass to a framed size of 36x24 inches. Photo is signed by the photographer. The price (including frame): $200. That's an incredible deal for this large photo.

To buy it call 301/718-9651 or email the gallery.

Artwork Needed for Charity Auction

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is soliciting for artist donations for a silent auction held at the 17th annual DC Leadership Awards at the Omni Shoreham on May 6, 2006. All proceeds from the Leadership Awards benefit the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Foundation.

In exchange for your donation, you will receive a listing in their program and public acknowledgement of your gift during the auction. Participation in the Silent Auction is an amazing opportunity to promote your art to a highly desirable target audience, as well as provide support to a wonderful cause.

For further details, including deadlines and pick-up/drop off information, please visit If you would rather have a form faxed, emailed or mailed to you, and for other inquiries, please contact David Swanson at

Opportunity for Photographers

Arts in Healing: Call for Photographers – "Celebrating a Spirit". On Wednesday, April 5, 2006. New Horizons, the arts education and cultural enrichment program at Children's National Medical Center and Sarah Mattingly, founder and director of Celebrating a Spirit, are inviting professional photographers to a new Children's National Medical Center initiative.

To learn more about this wonderful community project of love, please join them at Children's National Medical Center, 111 Michigan Avenue, NW, Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 5, 2006 at 5:30 pm in the Mini Atrium. For more detail information pleases contact Tina Lassiter, 202-884-3465.

Wanna go to a couple of artists' talk today?

First of all, the WPA\C Presents: Wallsnatchers panel discussion, today Sunday, March 26, 2006 @ 4pm (free) at the exhibition space at 3307 M Street, NW, WDC 20007
Talking points:
* Moving Street Art into the Gallery
* Street Art and Commercial Success
* Street Art and the community
* The Internet

Then there's an artists' talk hosted by Billy Colbert, tonight March 26, starting at 7:30pm at DCAC. Admission is free.

This panel discussion is a continuation of the DCAC's Sunday Artist Talk series -- an opportunity for DC artists to come together and talk about creativity in DC and in the greater art community.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Text Opens at GRACE April 1st

If you visited the Seven exhibition that I curated last year at the Warehouse Galleries, then you saw that one of the seven spaces had an exhibition where the artists all focused around the subject of text in art.

That concept has been picked up by a couple of other art venues, and next April 1st, a second iteration of Text, curated again by yours truly opens at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, Virginia.

The artists in Text are Mark Cameron Boyd, Victor Ekpuk, Michal Hunter, Michael Janis, Molly Springfield, Tim Tate and Denise Wolff.

What: TEXT at Greater Reston Arts Center.

When: Opening reception on Saturday, April 1, 6-8 pm and Artists' Dialogue on Saturday, April 8, 7 pm.

Where: The brand-spanking new GRACE located at 12001 Market St., Suite 103, Reston, VA. Call 703-471-9242 for more info.

See ya there!

The Power of the Web

Floracion Hispana by Angela Lubinecky DC Art News reader Angela Lubinecky read this posting a while back. The posting made her aware of the "Arte de America Hispana" contest launched by HYP Network, the leading independent publisher of Spanish language yellow page directories in the U.S.

She then submitted a piece entitled "Floracion Hispana" and it won first place!

The unveiling of the winning work will be held on April 6th, 2006 at an awards ceremony in Washington D.C's Gala Hispanic Theatre - Tivoli. Mayor Anthony A. Wiilliams has been invited to make the opening remarks.

Angela Lubinecky's art will grace the 2006/07 cover of the VEGA Directorio en Espanol for Virgina, Maryland and Washington D.C.


Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: July 1, 2006

Arlington Arts Center – Call for Solo Exhibitions for 2007. Artists working in the six Mid-Atlantic states (VA, DC, MD, WV, DE, PA) may apply for solo exhibitions between January-December 2007 in one of the Arlington Arts Center galleries. All media will be considered. The grounds surrounding the building can accommodate outdoor sculpture.

More information and the application form may be downloaded from their website at under Exhibitions/Artist Opportunities.

Friday, March 24, 2006

New website look

ArtDC has a new website and a new look!

Check it out here.


When Michelle sent me this link, all her email said was Ohmygawd... I concur.

What is it?

Dedication Honors Nude Britney Spears Giving Birth
A nude Britney Spears on a bearskin rug while giving birth to her firstborn marks a 'first' for Pro-Life. Pop-star Britney Spears is the "ideal" model for Pro-Life and the subject of a dedication at Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn's Williamsburg gallery district, in what is proclaimed the first Pro-Life monument to birth
Read the rest here.

Cudlin on Dada

If there was ever a perfect alignment of critic and show to review, I think that it is my good friend's Jeffry Cudlin's interest in theory and his superb CP review of Dada at the NGA.

The key to his review and to the show itself:

"More important, the number of seemingly Duchampian objects produced by the artist’s contemporaries begins to dull any sense of Duchamp as a solitary genius who single-handedly changed the course of modern art."
Nail has been hit dead-on the head, sir...

Parsons on Bollocks

God knows what sort of Google traffic that headline will get me, but DCist's Adrian Parsons has a really cool look at itsy bitsy bollocks at Transformer.

Read it here.

Goss and Capps on Morse

Kriston reviews Brandon Morse at Conner Contemporary for the CP here while Heather also reviews Morse for DCist here.

Job in the Arts

The Arlington Arts Center is looking for a part time administrative coordinator. Candidate must pay attention to detail, have a good phone demeanor, and experience dealing with the public (and sometimes, with kids!).

He/she should be able to work on multiple tasks simultaneously, and be able to manage a very quick-paced work environment. Some light physical labor is occasionally involved, and nights and weekends are sometimes required. Along with knowledge of all Microsoft Office applications (especially Excel and Access), flexibility, enthusiasm, and a sense of humor are essential. Experience with Photoshop and knowledge of Spanish would be an added plus. (Perfect for an artist who wants to work in the studio and have a job in the arts at the same time.) 20 hours a week, $10/hour.

Please send resume and cover letter via email to, or via fax at 703.248.6849. No phone calls, please.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

The Power of the Web

We're about to close a major acquisition by a major New York City museum (I just used "major" twice in one sentence) and it has all (well 98%) happened through the Internets.

Other that a phone call or two, most of the questions, answers, images, etc. and transactions have been accomplished through the power of the web.

And a second (fingers crossed) possible major (and multiple) acquisition by a major (geez... "major" again!) Brooklyn museum (did I just give it up?) has so far been coordinated, crafted and negotiated 98% through the Internets and 2% through snail mail.

More on that later.


Those of you who read the Artblogsphere regularly, know that we all read Bailey, because Bailey is simply Bailey, and one of the rules of blogging is that you never piss off Bailey.

Witness Bailey and the art of coercion here, as Mrs. Clinton gets Bailey's attention.

Bailey, Bailey, Bailey...

Goss Goes Gallery Hopping

Try to say that fast three times in a row. In any event, the fair Heather Goss goes gallery hopping (sort of) here.

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow?

"Strong Work Hot Topics" is a show now on exhibit through April 5, 2006 at the Marlboro Gallery of Prince George's Community College.

The exhibition features the work of Marilyn Banner (Bethesda, MD), Tom Block (Silver Spring, MD), Donte’ Hayes (Atlanta, GA), Dylan Scholinski (Wash. DC), and Clarissa Sligh (NYC).

According to the news release, "this exhibit brings together five artists whose work addresses, in powerful and direct ways, peoples’ struggles for survival in the face of violations of human rights and dignity. Evoking issues of anti-Semitism, racism, political imprisonment, and gender identity intolerance, the work asks us to re-consider our own beliefs and assumptions about 'those others,' and to take responsibility for ending scapegoating of all kinds."

The opening is Friday, March 24 from 6-8 pm, with music by Washington Musica Viva.

Another March 30th art event...

Looks like the DC Art Gods have aligned to focus a ton of good stuff to happen on March 30, 2006. In addition to all the great stuff happening on that day that I've already discussed here previously (I'll re-cap later), there's also a good opening at the University of Maryland for those of you who are on the Maryland side and don't feel like trekking to the District.

The University of Maryland's Union Gallery presents "Midpoint: 2nd Year MFA Candidates at the University of Maryland" on display March 30 - April 20, 2006.

The exhibition displays the work of four artists: Peter Gordon, Ben Lock, Brian Sykes, and Adam White. They are all halfway through the University's three-year Masters of Fine Arts program. An opening reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, March 30th, 6-8 PM.

Also on that day:

Details here for a tour of the new Grant Wood show given by Jane Milosch, the new curator-in-charge.

Details here for After Effects of the Experimental Media Series - Curated by Kathryn Cornelius at the Corcoran.

Details here for Hirshhorn After Hours.

Tapedude on TV

I am told that this morning Channel 7 News had a clip on Mark Jenkins and his outdoor tape sculptures. See them here.

The gallerist as juror

One curious (and welcomed) fact that I've noted about our current exhibition is the relationship to the overall success of a juried exhibition to the background of the juror.

Let me explain.

Since we opened the Fraser Gallery in 1996, as part of our gallery's program, we've had dozens of invited guest curators and jurors over the years tasked with curating and jurying one or two shows a year for us. The idea was and is, to bring some fresh eyes, thoughts and ideas, besides that of the gallery-owners.

These jurors have included multiple curators from the Hirshhorn, from the Corcoran, and other museums, as well as established artists and photographers, and art critics.

They have without a doubt delivered strong, sometimes surprising, shows, and nearly always accomplished the task of offering our public something new and different from what the focus of our gallery has been.

And yet, when one brings the seasoned eye of an experienced gallerist to the juror's task, as it was the case in this exhibition and the many others that my partner has curated for other organizations and art venues, something slightly different happens.

The exhibition has all the strong, aesthetic points that most well-curated shows exhibit in general, but in addition to that, it also sells well!

Fact: the current show has been well received by the critics, but it has also already sold more photographs than all of the previous three photography competitions combined!

This, of course, is a gallerist's dream: to have a show that is well received by the critics and the public, and that also actually sells some work.

Silverthorne on Photography

Alexandra Silverthorne visits our current exhibition.

Read her review here.

Hsu on Springfield

The CP's Huan Hsu has a really good profile of DC area artist Molly Springfield. Read that here.

You can also see some of Springfield's works as part of the "Text" exhibition opening at the Greater Reston Arts Center on April 1, 2006.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Another thing to do on the 30th

This day is really getting packed for art lovers!

On Thursday, March 30th at 3pm, join the Washington Glass School staff at the Smithsonian's Renwick Gallery for a personal tour of the new Grant Wood show given by Jane Milosch, the new curator-in-charge.

This tour is sponsored by the Renwick Alliance and is a good chance for some of you emerging glass artists out there to meet the new curator and find out more about the Renwick Alliance at the same time. This is totally free of cost and is open to the public.

Meet them inside the main doors at 2:45PM.

Water everywhere... NOT!

Kirkland has a spirited discussion going over British artist Mark McGowan's plans to leave six water faucets running for a year at secret London locations as a protest against the private control of water in the UK.

Bailey corresponded with McGowan and has an interesting viewpoint on the subject.

Kirkland here.
Bailey here.

Edwards on Boing Boing

Thomas Edwards's accusing sculpture "Blame," last exhibited at our Interface: Art & Technology exhibition (and now part of the Krensky Collection) was featured in Boing Boing.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kinkaid's Performance Piece

The Painter of Light has apparently decided to branch out to performance art, and according to ArtNet Magazine recently took a leak on a statue of Winnie the Pooh outside of the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, saying "This one’s for you, Walt."

By the way, there's apparently more and more evidence piling up (ranging from urban legend to books on the subject) to support the decades-long rumor that both Walt and his brother Roy were born in Spain and were adopted as babies by their American dad.

Soldier’s imagery

A while back I was honored to be asked to jury the All-Army Photography Contest, and with two other jurors we looked at over 1,000 photos sent in from all over the world.

This article discusses the winners from the competition.

Also on the 30th

I am told that an equally terrific date idea for March 30th (besides the Hirshhorn After Hours) is the WPA\C's After Effects at the Corcoran.

After Effects
Night #1 of the Experimental Media Series - Curated by Kathryn Cornelius

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2006
Time (all 3 nights): 7:00 - 9:00 pm
Location (all 3 nights): Corcoran Gallery of Art Armand Hammer Auditorium
(New York Avenue entrance.)

Night #2 – April 26th – Curated by Djakarta
Night #3 – May 24th – Juried submissions from open call by Kathryn Cornelius & Djakarta

Details here.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Vettriano gives critics the finger

The world's best-selling popular artist, Jack Vettriano, flips the bird to art critics and museums in an interview in The Scottsman (thanks AJ):

"I just consider myself a trader," Vettriano said. "I take my goods to the marketplace and try to get the best price I can."

The greater glory of art doesn't come into it, he confirms. "That's not why I paint," he said. "It's wall decoration for me, I don't regard it as this big meaningful thing. My subjects are men and women getting off, that's all. Mind you, some people don't think sex is serious, but I happen to think it's terribly serious."
Read the interview here.

Hirshhorn After Hours

This coming March 30, 2006 starting at 5:30 pm you can enjoy an evening of art and cocktails celebrating Hiroshi Sugimoto and his work. Join the artist for an exclusive film screening and discussion; experience the work of internationally renowned sound artists Richard Chartier (who is somewhat of a local as he's from Baltimore) and Taylor Deupree, and explore the photography of Sugimoto with co-curator of the exhibition Kerry Brougher, whom we're all hoping will one day look through the work of some Washington artists and DC area art galleries.

This event is free and open to the public and has a cash bar.

Schedule: 5:30 to 8:30 pm: Galleries open and then from 6 and 7 pm: Specification Fifteen: a live world premiere of a new musical work created especially for the Hiroshi Sugimoto exhibition, at the Lerner Room.

6:30 pm: Curator's tour with Kerry Brougher.

8 pm: Hiroshi Sugimoto will perform as benshi, narrating the beginning and epilogue of Kenji Mizoguchi's silent masterwork of early Japanese cinema, The Water Magician, 1933, at the Ring Auditorium. Please be advised that seating in the Ring Auditorium is limited, and the museum anticipates a high turn-out for this event.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis from the far end of the information desk in the Museum lobby beginning at 7:15pm. Guests may enter the auditorium beginning at 7:45pm. Entry to the auditorium will not be permitted after 8pm. Please plan your visit accordingly.

Is this a great date night for artsy types or what?

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: March 30, 2006

Keeping the Flame Burning to be staged at the JoAnn Rose Gallery, Reston Community Center at Lake Anne, 1609-A Washington Plaza, Reston, VA 20190. The exhibition runs from April 3 - 30, 2006.

Awards – Generously funded by Pat Macintyre: $300 1st Place, $200 2nd Place, $100 3rd Place and Honorable Mention awards to be chosen by the juror: Nancy Sausser, Exhibitions Director, McLean Project for the Arts.

An additional $500 will be awarded at the discretion of Pat Macintyre and announced at the Awards Reception. Entry fee is $15.

Mail entry form with check payable to LRA to:

League of Reston Artists
PO Box 2513
Reston, VA 20195

Entries must be received by March 30.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Art Deal of the Week

My second pick is this gorgeous seascape photograph by Colombian photographer Adriana Echavarria.

In Dreams by Adriana Echavarria
It is titled "In Dreams" and the photograph measures 17x23.5 inches and then it is matted in a white pH-balanced acid free 8-ply white museum mat and framed in a black metal moulding under plexiglass to a framed size of 27.5 x 32 inches. Photo is signed by the photographer. The price (including frame): $400.

To buy it call 301/718-9651 or email the gallery.

DC Blogsphering

Bailey has a new project going. He has created a Lenten Season inspired memorial photography art project and is posting one photograph per day during Lent of a flood-damaged home in New Orleans on a blog titled Perelli Drive - An East New Orleans Lenten Season Memorial Art Project. This memorial art project blog can read be read here.

Adrian Parsons is exploring the severe disconnect between local art museum curators and regional art galleries and artists' studios. If you are an artist who has been visited by any of our museum curators, Adrian wants to hear from you.

Alexandra Silverthorne has a really cool photograph accepted into the 14th Annual Phillips' Mill Photographic Exhibition. See it here.

Tracy Lee is pissed off that the man who sang about his Chocolate Salty Balls, and pokes fun at all religions, suddenly got offended when South Park poked fun at his religion. Read that here

Amy Watson hasn't posted in over two weeks (again!) and we're all wondering if she's still alive.

Huckenpahler has a really nice posting about the Anne Rowland exhibition at Hemphill. Read that here.

Teague Clare is still probably recuperating from his mugging in New Orleans and hasn't posted in over a month. I hope that Teague is OK and recuperates quickly!

Kirkland shows the power of the web and how it got one of his drawings in a Brooklyn group show. Read that here.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

V for VeryBadetta

For some reason I'm in some studio's press invite list and I get free press passes to movies all the time, although most of the times I don't have the time to actually get down to the theatre.

But I had some time recently and went to see V for Vendetta as I am sort of a "comic books in the movies" kind of fan.

Guy Fawkes MaskV for Vendetta was mostly a sleeper for me, as it borrows heavily from too many sources as diverse as Orwell, Batman and even Scary Movie.

For starters, at 132 minutes, the movie is too long.

For midlins, the whole masked hero versus the big bad neo-Nazi government goons is such a tired theme.

For endings, the whole Guy Fawkes tie-in was interesting, but the unfortunate resemblance of Guy Fawkes' masks to Jack Nicholson's Joker in Tim Burton's 1989 Batman sort of screwed it up for me (and it also sort of brought back into my mind the silly mask from Scary Movie).Nicholson as the Joker

In this film, they even use the "Why won't you die?" exasperated question that the Joker yells at Batman in the 1989 Batman movie in a very similar context, when the government's police has fired like a million shots at the hero and he's still kicking their ass using nothing but knives and karate kicks.
So essentially in a virusy, terroristic future world (25 years or so into the future) where America is in a Civil War (Red vs Blue I guess), England has been taken over by a neo-Nazi Tory dictatorship with a Chancellor who now rules through fear, a police state and large screen TVs; beer and booze seem to be plentiful, although apparently real butter is very hard to get.

That was hard to swallow for me. I lived in the UK for three years, and the Brits use a ton of butter on everything - imagine a sandwich with a quarter inch of butter on each piece of white bread, and a few slices of cucumbers in between, and you've got one of the prime British dishes on the planet.

A butterless England is impossible to imagine, no matter how sciencefictionish my mind gets.

In any event, our hero (known as V) rescues Queen Amidala from government goons who are about to molest her. V is (I think) some sort of genetic superman created in a government lab, and he is seeking revenge against his creators and also to bring down the English dictatorship by arousing the anger and fire of the English people.


Anyway, after he rescues her, he blows up a major London landmark to Russian music, takes over a TV station and runs his DVD infommercial on the air (I guess they still have DVDs 25 years into the future) telling Londoners that he'll blow up the Parliament building in a year, rescues Amidala from the goons a second time, then tortures her to teach her some sort of lesson about losing fear, and in the process incites an almost bloodless rebellion by thousands of Londoners dressed in the Guy Fawkes outfit that he has FEDEX'd to all of them a few days ahead of the one-year deadline for the rebellion.

The best visual part in the movie is when Padmé is in V's secret hideout, which is full of art treasures which he has "rescued" from the government's banned artwork list. I picked up a Turner landscape, a Vermeer painting, some Greek antiquities and generally pictorial, ah... traditional masters' work. Seems like V passed on attempting to rescue any of the YBA's work, as I didn't see any Emins or Hirsts in his hoard (unless the bed where Natalie Portman sleeps in while she's at V's pad was Emin's "art" bed).

Wait for the video.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Parsons on Wolov

DCist Adrian Parsons makes a studio visit to Nekkid with a Camera's Samantha Wolov.

Read the studio visit here.

See Samantha Wolov's erotica here.

The secret

It's clear from the tons of emails that I've received since the last posting that:

(a) Many of you have no patience
(b) Some of you already know the secret

And some of you, in writing "is the secret the fact that blah, blah, blah..." have also revealed some interesting stuff!


As all of us know, museum curators and good galleries are flooded (and I mean literally overwhelmed) by submissions from artists. I know that by the time that you add up email submissions, snail mail submissions through slides, CD ROMs and photos, and visits, we get probably anywhere between 1,000 to 1,500 artists a year approaching the gallery seeking some sort of exhibition opportunity.

So as you may imagine, museum curators probably get their fair share of submissions from artists seeking to catch that curator's eye.

And it is not that much of a stretch to imagine that because of time and interest, most curators quickly glance at the submission (if even that) and immediately put it in the return file (in the event that the artist enclosed a SASE) or the round file if no SASE was included.

It's hard to blame them - if they looked with depth and interest at every submission sent in, they'd never get anything done!

And I suspect that by the nature of the curatorial world today, rare is the museum curator interested in "discovering" an unknown or emerging artist. Although I suspect that if the curator is working on some thematic group shows, there's a chance that some work may catch the curator's eye.

A good example of that was the fact that the two curators from this year's much maligned Whitney Biennial were technically open to receiving unsolicited proposals from artists. And I am curious to learn (and I have asked the Whitney):

(a) How many unsolicited proposals did they receive?
(b) Did they actually go through all the unsolicited proposals received?
(c) How many of the finalists (if any) were selected from this set of unsolicited proposals?

But back to "our" secret.

To review the issue: Museum curators get a lot of stuff from artists in the mail (snail and email) and they probably seldom look at it in depth, if ever.

And yet our own Hishhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, has an incredibly artist friendly policy (either voluntarily self-imposed or because they are a federally funded museum) that requires that submissions from artists are all reviewed at joint curatorial meetings that are regularly scheduled throughout the year!

So when you send the Hishhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden your slide packet, or CD ROM, and resume, at some point it (one or two images I suppose) is presented and reviewed by the museum's curators!

And as we all know, just in having the work seen by a curator, a huge task has been accomplished!

Even being seen and rejected is better than not being seen at all! Especially by a group of curators.

Witness what happened to John Lehr.

John Lehr is a Baltimore-based photographer (represented locally by the new Heineman Myers Contemporary Art gallery soon opening in Bethesda).

A couple of Trawick Prizes ago, John applied to the prize and his work was reviewed by the three curators and rejected.

But he caught the eye of Jonathan Binstock, one of the curators for that year's Trawick Prize, who is also the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Corcoran Gallery and subsequently one of the two curators for the 48th Corcoran Biennial.

And guess what?

Binstock not only picked the work of Lehr for the Biennial, but if my memory serves me right, there were at least three regional artists in the Biennial whose work had also been exposed to the Trawick Prize curators earlier on; none of them won the prize that year, but nonetheless made it to the Biennial!

Even in rejection there's sometimes accomplishment.

It is better to submit and be rejected than not to submit at all.

Enough with the trite sayings; at the very least all of you should enter the Trawick Prize.

And handle the Hishhorn secret carefully, you don't want to waste this golden opportunity if your work is not ready.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Last night's panel

I must admit that I was a little surprised to find around 100 people show up for last night's panel at the Arlington Arts Center, including a few well-known DC area artists... but it was a good topic, and the panel was loaded with good talent.

After a brief introduction by Washington's own glass lordmeister (Tim Tate) and by the fair Claire Huschle, who runs the Center, we all got into the issue at hand very quickly, and soon it was clear that we had an audience that had come ready with a lot of good questions.

And I'm going to reveal the gem that came out of the panel...

A few years ago I was interviewing a curator from the Hirshhorn Museum for some art magazine; that particular curator revealed to me a fact that dropped my jaw with excitement, and she must have noticed, because it was clear that she had just revealed a HUGE secret that few know about.

She must have seen the excitement in my eyes, and also my tonsils, and she gasped, and begged me not to mention the secret that she had just revealed.

And I pondered and struggled -- we were in a Cuban restaurant that (thank God) no longer exists, as it was run by pseudo-Cubans and the food was not only bland and so so, but also culturally incorrect (they actually served the Moros y Cristianos already mixed!) -- and I poked my sweet fried plantains around, and she continued to plead, and I finally said "Fine!!!! I won't mention this in the article!"

"And you can't write about it anywhere else," she demanded.

"OK, OK," I agreed, already thinking that she had not specified "talking about it" (and over the years I've told this fact to the thousands of people who have taken the Success as an Artist Seminar).

And last night, one of the panel members revealed the secret.

I was astonished!

"Did you all heard that?" I almost shouted to the audience. "Write that down! That alone is worth the forty bucks that youse paid to come here!"

A murmur swept through the room as pens and pencils emerged. "What was that?" shouted several voices from the back, "we couldn't hear!"

And she repeated the secret! In a loud voice too! She did look at me a little funny and added that "maybe she shouldn't be revealing that..."

Too late!

Crap! I smell my chicken dinner (boneless chicken breasts, mojito sauce, plantains, olives, yucca, nyame root, sweet potatoes, olives and olive brine, adobo seasoning, onions, carrots, tons of garlic cloves, peas, mushrooms, and salt) in the oven burning!

Gotta run... but I promise to tell you the secret (since now it has been discussed publicly) in the next posting.

Hannah House Auction

Chris Goodwin is auctioning off a painting to benefit Hannah House.

Hannah House of DC is dedicated to serving homeless women and families.

Bid for the painting here. 30% of the final price will go to Hannah House of DC.

More on panel later

Last night's panel went great, with around 100 people packing the Arlington Arts Center.

More later.

Russian art in Reston

Evan Frank tells us about Russian artists at Galerie Europa in the Reston Town Center.

Read the article here.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

13,000 a day

My opinions on the power of the new DCist art writers has been getting a lot of attention (and a lot of emails).

And I am told that DCist gets about 13,000 unique visitors a day and the numbers grow weekly.

Case closed.

Tonight: "How to Get Noticed" Panel at the Arlington Arts Center

I'll be leaving soon forthe Arlington Arts Center to take part in the workshop titled "How to Get Your Work Noticed by the press, galleries, and museums." The workshop runs from 7-9:30 pm on Wednesday, March 15, and will be held at the Tiffany Gallery in the Center and is hosted both by the Arlington Arts Center and the Washington Glass School.

The panelists are:
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post Art Critic
Lee Lawrence - Contributing Editor for American Style Magazine
Claire Huschle - Executive Director- Arlington Arts Center
Phylis Rosenzweig - Former Curator, Hirshhorn Museum
and Me!

The panel will take questions from the audience, as well as answer the following questions from the moderator (which I think are quite good):

1) In what context(s) do you come across a new artist’s work? (Press release? Gallery visit? Art or craft fair? Referral?) Do you have one way that you prefer?

2) What is the most effective "marketing" tool that an artist can have today, besides high-quality slides and/or images? Website? Blog? Resume? Etc.

3) Is there more than one person at your publication/business/project that covers similar material? How important is it to get the right information to the right person from the start?

4) How aggressive is too aggressive for an artist to be in trying to get a review/ exhibition?

5) The biggest faux pas an artist can make in approaching a reviewer/gallerist/curator is ___?

6) The most important thing an artist should, but probably doesn’t, know about the press, galleries, or museum exhibitions is ___?

7) Do you recognize any trends in your field that artists should pay attention to?

Cost: $40 in advance - $45 at the door. To register, call the Arlington Arts Center at 703-248-6800. They will take credit cards over the phone.

Arlington Arts Center
Tiffany Theater
3550 Wilson Boulevard
Right across from the Virginia Square subway
Arlington, Virginia

See ya there!

William Safire And Art That's Good for You

That's the title of today's essay in the WaPo by Philip Kennicott.

I've read it twice, and I still haven't got the foggiest idea what Kennicott is truly trying to say or convey in this essay.

New Gallery in Town

Soon we can all go to the grand opening of Heineman Myers Contemporary Art, a brand new art gallery opening next month in Bethesda.

Zoe Myers has been working really hard to find a good, large space to realize her goal of becoming one of the power art galleries in our area.

Their first show is "Re-Formation" by Baltimore-based photographer Connie Imboden, without a doubt one of the most influential photographers in our area.

Opening reception: Saturday April 8, 2006, 5-8pm. The gallery is located at 4728 Hampden Lane, Bethesda, Maryland 20814.

For more info contact the fair Zoe Myers at 202/415-6547.

See ya there!

Tape Dude's Pandymania

I think that even Blake Gopnik may have liked this panda as tape dude Mark Jenkins goes triple X with an escort Panda (I think) as part of the Itsy Bitsy Bollocks opening event at Transformer.

Itsy Bitsy Bollocks, with artists Mr. Eggs, Mark Jenkins, Travis Millard, and Kelly Towles has an opening reception this Saturday, March 18, 2006, 7-9 pm and runs through April 22, 2006. There's an Artists’ Talk on Sunday, March 19, 2006, at 3PM.

Materia Populi

I know this intelligent art collector in our area who has an amazing art collection, a large number of which is comprised of exceptional work by work by art students, some of which are now well-known artists.

And he is not a super rich guy, but a regular blue collar guy who just loves art. And (with a mistake here and there) he has developed a really good eye for spotting early talent.

This collector has one of the largest art collections in our area - easily pushing 3,000 paintings and a few hundred sculptures. But what makes his collection interesting is the large number of work that he acquires at University student shows and MFA shows.

And one of the best MFA shows is coming up: the Maryland Institute, College of Art (MICA) presents Materia Populi, their MFA Thesis exhibition, with an opening reception, this Friday March 24, 5:30-7:30 pm, and Artists' Talks on Wednesday March 29, 2:30-4 pm. The MFA candidates are Laura Amussen, Ian MacLean Davis, Emily Denlinger, Allison Lincoln Turrell and Cory Wagner.

At the Meyerhoff & Thesis Gallery, MICA Fox Building, 1303 Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21217. Hours & directions: 410.669.9200 or visit www.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wanna Have Your Own Solo?

MOCA in Georgetown is renting their "annex" space to artists interested in having a solo there. Cost is $750 for three weeks. There are other options available.

For more info contact Dave Quammen at 202.966.0366, 202.361.3810 cell or email him at

Another Nail in the Coffin

The WaPo's Sara Kehaulani Goo writes that the WaPo plans to eliminate "80 newsroom positions over the next year by offering an early retirement plan to eligible employees and through attrition of full- and part-time workers."

She writes that:

Like many newspapers suffering from declining circulation, The Post's revenue has remained flat for several years. The number of paid subscribers has declined 4 percent a year.

The Post is trying to extend its reach by adding features to its Web site, such as blogs and podcasts, and with the launch of a Washington Post radio venture later this month.

In meetings yesterday with staff members for each section, Executive Editor Leonard Downie Jr. said The Post is doing better, financially, than many of its competitors. "But it is obvious that a significant change is taking place in our readership, with a sizable portion of it migrating to the Internet," he said.
As the WaPo has been already slashing visual arts coverage over the last few years, I think we all know where those those readers have been going. Let's hope that they don't cut the visual arts coverage anymore - if that's even possible.

Monday, March 13, 2006

PostSecret Sweeps the Bloggies

Frank Warren's amazing PostSecret project has won every single category that it was nominated for in the 2006 Bloggies!

It won:

Best American Weblog
Best Topical Weblog
Best Community Weblog
Best New Weblog

and most important: Weblog of the Year!

Frank Warren will be doing a book signing at the Fraser Gallery on Saturday April 29, 2006 from 7pm - 9pm in conjunction with the 2006 Bethesda Literary Festival.

The PostSecret Book, "PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives," is now available from Amazon.

Order the book here or bring your own and Frank will sign it.

Congratulations to Frank Warren!

Bootcamp for Artists

The next seminar will be held on Sunday, March 26, 2006 in partnership with The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and will be held at the Round House Theatre Education Center located at 925 Wayne Avenue, Silver Spring, MD from 10:30AM - 6PM. This seminar is open only to Montgomery County residents.

Please visit this website or e-mail us or call 301/718-9651 if you would like more details. Register using this form (limited to 50 attendees).

The seven hour seminar, which has been taken by over 2,000 artists and arts professionals from all over the Mid Atlantic is designed to deliver information, data and proven tactics to allow artists to develop and sustain a career in the fine arts. The seminar normally costs $80 (includes lunch), but this version is done in partnership with The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and only costs $50 for county residents.

Sometimes called "Boot Camp for Artists" by the attendees, people as far as Arizona, California, New York and South Carolina have attended, including many, many university level art professionals.

In its seven hour format, the seminar covers a wide range of structured issues including:

1. Materials - Buying materials;strategies for lowering your costs, where and how to get it, etc.

2. Presentation – How to properly present your artwork including Conservation issues, Archival Matting and Framing, Longevity of materials, a discussion on Limited editions, signing and numbering, Prints vs. Reproduction, discussion on Iris Prints (Pros and Cons).

3. Creating a resume - Strategy for building your art resume, including how to write one, what should be in it, presentation, etc.

4. Juried Shows – An Insider's view and strategy to get in the competitions.

5. How to take slides and photographs of your artwork

6. Selling your art – A variety of avenues to actually selling your artwork, including fine arts festivals, corporate acquisitions, galleries, public arts, etc.

7. Creating a Body of Works

8. How to write a news release

9. Publicity – How to get in newspapers, magazines, etc. Plus handouts on email and addresses of newspaper critics, writers, etc.

10. Galleries – Discussion on area galleries including Vanity Galleries, Co-Operatives, Commercial Galleries, Non-profit Art spaces, etc.

11. How to approach a gallery – Realities of the business, Contracts, Gallery/Artist Relationship, Agents.

12. Outdoor Art Festivals – Discussion and advice on how to sell outwork at fine arts festivals, which to do, which to avoid, etc.

13. Resources - Display systems and tents, best juried shows and ones to avoid.

14. Accepting Credit cards – How to set up your art business.

15. Grants – Discussion on how to get grants in DC, Regional and National, including handouts on who and where and when.

16. Alternative Marketing - Cable TV, Local media

17. Internet – How to build your website at no cost, how to establish a wide and diverse Internet presence.

The seminar has been a spectacular success, and the feedback from artists can be read online at here and we continue to receive tremendous positive feedback on the practical success that this seminar has meant for those who have taken it.

Hurry, as the 50 spaces usually book very quickly, and we already have several eople signed up.

Register using this form.

The Power of the Web: Art Bloggers

Update: I was a little unclear in one of my points, so I've clarified and revised it a bit.

There has been an online ruckus for a while now because some some bloggers who write about art are understandibly miffed because they are not getting press passes and press invites to some upper crust media events (mostly in NY and at some art fairs).

While this is not a problem here in DC (we all get press invites to nearly everything that goes on in the visual arts scene around here, and so do most other bloggers who write about art, as I see them all at the media events), it is an amazing lack of understanding from anyone in the arts establishment to deny, or most likely, ignore the important presence of some art writers from the Blogsphere.

Granted, at least one of the most vocal complainers is more of a petty, mean-spirited muckracker with a huge inferiority complex who delights in exposing the dirty laundry and woes and flaws and generally the negative side of the art museum scene, and is also somewhat of a regurgitating art writer superbly trained at Google University.

And I'll admit that he's is pretty good at what he has learned to do over the last couple of years in dissecting and exposing the insides of museum's less than kosher dealings and problems. And I'll even add that the cultural tapestry that makes up the visual arts arena, needs a muckracker or two.

Thus, if I was a museum PR person I would be tempted not to invite this Jack Anderson of the artblogsphere either (it would be like a Republican official asking Michael Moore to videotape their wedding, or Halliburton asking for Air America to come do an interview).

But he is still an online arts presence and merits a press pass.

And a sizeable number of the other cyberpeople out there who write about the visual arts, do exactly that: write about art shows, do regular reviews, commentary, etc. And a significant number of them, do add intelligent, and fresh critical, and constructive conversation, and regular reviews to the contemporary arts dialogue.

So it is stupifyingly backwards-thinking to ignore the fact that them/us bring to the artmosphere a refreshing new breath of words -- and here's the main reason why it is stupid to ignore art bloggers as press entity: publicity.

Putting my art dealer hat on: PUBLICITY!

It's all in the numbers, and the new demographics that these cyber writers are now reaching.

Let's take DCist for example.

I don't know how many hits DCist gets a day, as they hide their counter, but I am certain that it is in the thousands. Certainly more than all other visual arts online blogs combined. I repeat: more than ALL of us art writers, art critics, art observers and art muckrackers combined.

This potential fact presents the interesting possibility that Heather Goss and Adrian Parsons may be now the two most widely read art online local writers/critics in the Greater DC area, and (depending how DCist ranks with all the other ists) in cyberspace!

Simple numbers: Goss and Parsons.

Not Campello nor Kirkland or Silverthorne or the rare Capps review or Jack Anderson, or anyone else on the blogroll who may write every once in a while about a DC art art show (although combined we probably all add up to 2-3 thousand hits a day).

And because not everyone who picks up a Washington Post reads Gopnik or Dawson or O'Sullivan, and not everyone who picks up the City Paper reads Cudlin or Jacobson, that immediately seems to put both Goss and Parsons as one of the top seven most-read art writers in the capital city of the United States of America, and I would venture to say that they are (by the virtue of whom they write for) the most widely read Washington-based online art writers on the planet (and they're unpaid!).

And I would submit that (because of the format and demographics of a site like DCist), a large percentage of people who visit the DCist website, read or at least glance at any and all new posts; that's the nature of Blog "reading."

And thus... is it so far of a stretch to realize that DCist's art writers are reaching more people on a daily, immediate basis, than Dawson or Gopnik, et al. do on a twice-a-month basis?

Do they carry the same "umpf"? Not yet.

But "umpf" is often only good for the artist's resume and for the critical standing of a gallery or museum show's attendance numbers, and (in DC anyway) to a lesser extent, for art sales.

And if a museum director or PR person "knew" that a DCist review would get them an extra 200 visitors, or a gallerist knew that the same review would get them an extra 25 visitors and an additional potential sale... would they invite those bloggers to a press preview and/or give them "press passes"?

In DC it's already done, so it's not an issue here.

Somehow, in the center of the art universe, in that little island near Brooklyn, it seems to be an issue.

Wake up.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Art Deal of the Week

Starting this Sunday I will commencing showcasing artwork that I think are great deals. My call and opinion(s), but will gladly take recommendations and submissions; just email me with the details.

The first pick is this intelligent photograph by Russian photographer Aleksei Pechnikov.

It is titled "The Swing" and the photograph measures 20x20 inches and then it is matted in a white pH-balanced acid free white museum mat and framed in a black metal moulding under plexiglass to a framed size of 34x26 inches. Photo is signed by the photographer on verso. The price (including frame): $300.

The Swing by Aleksei Pechnikov

To buy it call 301/718-9651 or email the gallery.

Still brewing

As the Peter Panse story continues to cause a cyber storm all over the blogartmosphere, it brings forth the quote by Lewis Black that "a child will never be as damaged by seeing a tit as they will be by adults going insane over a child having seen a tit."

Wanna go to a couple of openings today?

Then head down to Old Town Alexandria and there are a couple of openings happening today from 2-4 inside the Torpedo Factory.

One is for the monthly Art League group show on the ground level of the factory and the second one, also from 2-4PM, is for new photographs by Danny Conant (one of the most innovative photographers in our area) and Colleen Spencer at Multiple Exposures Gallery on the upper level of the factory.

Curate Your Own Museum

The WaPo's Linda Hales has an interesting article that describes the project that the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is about undertake. She writes:

The Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum is about to take its Web site where no museum has gone before.

Where that is isn't absolutely clear, but it merits getting excited about. The so-called "online national design museum" promises to open the museum and its vast collection to visitors anywhere in the world. What's more, if development can keep up with vision, the site will turn museumgoers into participants in a bold cultural experiment.
Essentially, they're putting the power of the curator out to the masses (I already hear the elitists gasp)
The Cooper-Hewitt's existing site offers a glimpse of what's on view at 91st and Fifth Avenue. Exhibitions can be sampled, but only 500 items from the 250,000-piece collection of decorative arts, industrial and graphic design and fine art are viewable.

The revamped site will allow curators to play catch-up. The museum also wants to enable Web visitors to curate shows and build virtual collections, to circulate favorite digital photos. Web visitors also might be able to fill in the blanks on works that have yet to be researched fully. Shifting the curatorial responsibility might seem risky, but in 2002, a visiting researcher helped the museum by discovering an unsigned Michelangelo in a box of drawings.

"There are experts in the field who have spent whole careers studying a single period," says Matilda McQuaid, who, as deputy curatorial director, will have a leading role in online content. "Put it out there. See what comes."

She wasn't worried about an onslaught of bad taste from amateur curators and would-be designers.

"If enough people think they're awful, they get voted out and deleted from the site," she says. "Majority rules."
Hales takes a curious dig at the Smithsonian's blog Eyelevel when she writes:
The Smithsonian's only museum blog, EyeLevel, was launched by the American Art Museum in September. It drew 50,000 visitors over the first three months. But entry after entry is followed by a tally of "0 comments." There is little of the rat-a-tat-tat of cultural engagement that interactivity promises.
Read the whole article here.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

The Art of Compromise (or Compromising Art?)

This St. Paul, Minn. school struggled with a quandary: How do they teach art to Muslim students who are not allowed to create human images?

According to this article:

That presented a challenge for Higher Ground Academy, a K-12 school just west of Central High School on Marshall Avenue that has about 450 students. About 70 percent of them are Muslim immigrants from eastern Africa.

Executive Director Bill Wilson said he had concerns for some time about how to reconcile the school's art curriculum with the views of Muslim families, but the departure of the art teacher at the end of last school year gave him a window to act.

This fall, he hired ArtStart, a St. Paul-based nonprofit organization, to offer more options for about 150 kindergartners through second-graders, including visual arts and drumming. But parents were still upset that their children were drawing figures, Wilson said, and some pulled their children out of art class altogether.

Wilson then sat down with teacher and parent liaison Abdirahman Sheikh Omar Ahmad, who also is the imam at an Islamic center in Minneapolis, to work with ArtStart in determining how to meet state standards without running afoul of Muslim doctrine.
Part of me is glad that we live in a society that can accomodate and adjust, and respect cultural beliefs that have become religious dogma (and that we can serve as an example to societies that have zero capacity to adjust), and yet, part of me is a little concerned, although I am not really sure why.

Read the whole story here.

Bethesda International

The 4th Annual Bethesda International Photo Competition opened last night and the gallery was packed! Curator Catriona Fraser selected the following photographers as the award winners:
Best in Show: Lee Goodwin
First Prize: Adriana Echavarria
Second Prize: David Myers
Third Prize: Prescott Lassman

See all exhibited photos here. Below are some pics from the opening:

packed house

Packed gallery listens as award winners are announced

award winners being announced
Another view of the award announcement

Catriona Fraser and Lida Moser
Catriona Fraser and the legendary Lida Moser

main wall of gallery
Main wall of the gallery