Sunday, April 29, 2007

Local coverage of artDC

Yesterday I popped into the press office over at artDC and checked out the wall of press coverage about the fair so far.

It's clear that the fair's PR staff has done a super job getting the word out, and the press has generally responded quite well, especially the art bloggers.

The three major local newspapers have also done quite well, with the Washington Post -- no surprise here -- essentially ignoring the fair in the Style section (Style's editor Deborah Heard just doesn't get that she continues the decline started by her predecessor Eugene Robinson), while covering it nicely in the Weekend section and via online bits here and there.

The Washington Times delivered a spectacular, multi-page, multi color orgy of images in covering the fair (on Saturday), which I also can't find on their sucky website, because although I can find the story, the link is bogus (Update: Here's the valid link).

In the City Paper, my good friend Kriston Capps wrote a piece which curiously questioned the fair's business practices in dealing with non-profits, rather than discussing the art itself (impossible to do ahead of time) or the effect of the fair on the region. In the end (I think) it actually came out in favor of the fair organizers' interest in ensuring that the area's non-profits had a presence (there are 22 of them at artDC) at the fair, which as the article points out, is something most other art fair organizers don't care about.

Gopnik on artDC

I saw Blake Gopnik and his lovely and talented wife (painter Lucy Hogg) at artDC last Friday. Today the Post's Chief Art Critic writes a small blurb about the fair, but it's what he writes about the capital area galleries in today's Sunday Arts (I was unable to find the piece online Update: Here's thelink) that caught my eye:

"It's hard, trying to run a commercial gallery in Washington. Try to get the attention of art lovers and you're competing with the city's great museums, which are better places to see art than any gallery could ever be. Try to get the money of art collectors and you're competing with New York, where there's more art to see. In an attempt to remedy the situation, many local galleries, as well as some from farther off, are participating in this weekend's ArtDC..."
Gopnik goes on discussing the fair, but in this paragraph Blake has shown his first crack in the armor that has essentially protected most of him from being interested in the region's art galleries and artists, and also shows a clear understanding of the difficulty of running the business of an art gallery in the region.

I hereby take back 50% of all the negative things I've written and said about this man's writtings.

Maybe 25%... OK, OK... 50%