Friday, April 13, 2007

Wanna go to a Baltimore opening tonight?

The Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) highlights eight first-year students in MICA’s graphic design master of fine arts (M.F.A.) program in conjunction with the Graphic Design MFA Thesis Exhibition. First-Year Graphic Design MFA Exhibition provides a glimpse into the work of emerging artists and graduate students in the College’s graduate programs. The exhibition takes place in Bunting Center’s Pinkard Gallery at 1401 Mount Royal Avenue, with an opening reception on Friday, April 13, 5–7 p.m. and open studios on Friday, April 13, 7–9 p.m.

Works by 11 students form the First-Year MFA III Exhibition from Friday, April 13–Sunday, April 22, with an opening reception on Friday, April 13, 5–7 p.m. and open studios on Friday, April 13, 7–9 p.m. The students are Mount Royal School of Art students Lauren Boilini, Michael Burmeister, Andrea Chung, and Ben Steele; Rinehart School of Sculpture students Katie Cirasuolo, Jessie Lehson, and Elena Patino; Hoffberger School of Painting students Osvaldo Budet and Dominic Terlizzi; and photography and digital imaging program students Andrew Buckland and Anna DiCicco.

Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow night?

The Randall Scott Gallery in DC, in collaboration with Contemporaria Georgetown will open "The Living Room Show" with a reception tomorrow, April 14th 6-9pm. The exhibition runs through May 19th, 2007.

Art-O-Matic Opens Today
As I am pounding into your heads by now, AOM, the region's most energetic artist-driven visual arts display opens today at 3PM in Crystal City at 2121 Crystal City Drive, just a couple of blocks from the Crystal City Metro station and also boasting plenty of free parking after 4PM. Expect a huge, multi-party at many levels, set of events to start later in the evening.

As there are around 600 artists, plus bars, music stages, performance stages, etc. it helps that ArtDC has an interactive map of AOM here (thanks Jesse!).

Lately I've fallen into the habit of predicting how the regional DC art press, both online and printed, will react (or not) to particularly interesting shows.

- At the last AOM, the WaPo's chief art critic, Mr. Blake Gopnik, brutalized the show in one of the bloodiest art reviews that I have ever read. And yet Gopnik's review had the usual opposite effect, and it in turn galvanized several hundred artists and WaPo readers against Blake and it also probably delivered several thousand extra curious visitors to AOM, so in the end, the Gopnik review was a good thing for AOM. I think that this year, Gopnik will not venture into AOM at all, since he is conceptually against the concept of AOM. It is a shame that the area's largest homegrown arts event will thus be ignored by the world's second most influential newspaper's chief art critic, who tends to forget that it is also a local newspaper. In the unlikely event that his boss (my good friend John Pancake, the WaPo's Arts Editor), actually tells Blake to go and review AOM, I suspect that Gopnik will once again tear it up, as conceptually, his mind is already made up that this most democratic and liberal of art shows is flawed from the beginning by a lack of a traditional curatorial hand.

- Also at the WaPo, we can pretty much count on a review by art and movie critic Michael O'Sullivan, as O'Sullivan is perhaps the only one in that newspaper that understands that AOM is not just about the artwork that hangs and is presented on the walls, but about the spectacular footprint that it leaves upon the region's art scene and the breath-taking success that it has had over the years in bringing art to the public, and artists to the eyes of collectors and gallerists. Leave it to O'Sullivan's keen eye to spot the potential "new" art star to emerge from this year's AOM.

- The WaPo's freelancer charged with covering DC art galleries is the fair Jessica Dawson, currently a graduate art history student at GWU. If history teaches us anything, it is that Dawson has been pretty regular in covering all the previous AOM's, usually led around by the indefatigable Judy Jashinsky. And so I think that Dawson will once again write about AOM, and probably deliver her standard "what I didn't like" report, mixed in with a couple of lukewarm maybes.

- The Washington City Paper will probably give AOM decent coverage, and I'm sure that we'll see a profile of either the show itself or some of the more colorful characters that inhabit AOM. Art critic Jeffry Cudlin is also an artist, and he participated in the last AOM, but since his name is missing from this year's AOM artists' list, I suspect that Jeffry will review this year's AOM provided that he can arrange his schedule so that he can get his skinny buttocks over to Crystal City (Note to Cudlin: start planning the trip now). As usual, we can expect a brooding, intelligently written review, which (since he was an ex-participant), we hope will explore the impact of AOM on the regional art psyche and public, besides the art on the walls.

- The bloggers I suspect have already made up galvanized minds, and if we liked it before, we'll like it again, and those who hated it before, will most likely hate it again, and already do, even before they set foot in Crystal City. Curious to me is how many of them/us seem to focus on the artwork, and completely miss the true impact of AOM. Also curious to me is how writers who are generally lefty pinkos in almost all they profess, become neoconartcritics when it comes to a massive open show organized by artists, lacking a curatorial Big Brother and essentially a 21st century rebirth of the democratic artistic movement that dethroned the academic art salons of Europe back in the late 1800s.

See ya there!