Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Ask the Ombudsman

Deborah Howell, the Washington Post's Ombudsman will be answering questions about the WaPo tomorrow, Wednesday, May 9, 2007 starting at 11:00 AM. You can ask her questions here, either live or ahead of time.

This is a good opportunity for anyone so inclined to contact Ms. Howell and express the dismay that we all feel about the Washington Post's Style section spectacular apathy towards the DC area visual arts scene outside of our great DC area museums. Please be courteous.

Fact: When Eugene Robinson took over as editor of Style, he inherited a section that had a weekly column dedicated to art galleries (the "Galleries" column) and a second weekly column (the Arts Beat column) which was focused mostly on the visual arts and on arts news. Under Mr. Robinson, the Arts Beat column was reduced to twice a month, and refocused on all the arts (most of which already get decent coverage in Style).

Fact: Eugene Robinson also began the process to let Blake Gopnik get away with only reviewing (with one or two very rare exceptions) museums, thus having the nation's only art critic too good to review his city's artists and art galleries.

Fact: On July 6, 2006, Steve Reiss (the Style section's Asst. Editor) stated online: "As for Blake Gopnik, he is a prolific writer and I find it hard to argue that we should be giving up reviews of major museum shows so he can write more about galleries that have a much smaller audience."

Fact: When Robinson left, under Deborah Heard, the coverage got even worse, with "Galleries" being reduced to twice a month. That adds up to around 25 columns a year to review the thousand or so gallery shows that the DC area gallery art scene has to offer.

Fact: On March 15, 2005, Deborah Heard was online and someone asked her:

Washington, D.C.: When are gallery reviews going to start running every week again? Are you currently seeking a new freelance galleries critic?

Deborah E. Heard: Reassessing our coverage of art galleries is on my list of things to do. I've already heard from quite a few folks about this so I know it's a pressing issue for some. But give me some time; I've only been in the job for a few months.
Memo to Ms. Heard: It has been two years. When are you going to reassess the Style section's gallery coverage so that it is at least on a par with the Style section's coverage of theatre, music, dance, opera, etc.?

Want some free artwork?

(Via AJ)

"An original work by artists and national treasures Gilbert and George would normally set you back many thousands of pounds. But from 11.30pm tonight a piece is being made available to anyone who wants it - for free.

The work, called Planed, can be downloaded from the Guardian and BBC websites from 11.30pm, for 48 hours only. It will be the first time that artists of this stature have made work available in this way."
Planed will be available to download at this BBC website and also at this Guardian website starting at 11:30PM British time, which I think is 6:30PM EST.

Reminds me a little of what David Hockney did a long time ago when he included a free litho titled "A Bounce for Bradford" as the centerfold in a British newspaper. That freebie now sells for around $400.

What G&G are doing, of course, is the next techno-dash-logical step.

It also leads me think: how far away are we from the point where some enterprising museum and a techie curator get together to put together an exhibition where visitors can view an original work of art by blue chip artists who don't need the bucks anymore, and the visitors can also then receive a free CD of the work (or purchase it for a nominal amount), which then they can take home or to Kinko's and print it on good paper and frame it and have a museum quality reproduction on good paper hanging at home.

An earlier version of this last idea is when a while back the Hirshhorn had a stack of a Felix Gonzalez-Torres piece printed on heavy stock paper which visitors could then take home for free. You don't want to know in how many DC area homes I have seen this Felix Gonzalez-Torres work nicely framed.

Mark your calendar

On May 12, go see "Underwater", an experimental art show at 1520 14th St NW, in Washington DC. It's being offered by Project Seduce & Destroy, a collective of creative artists featured in the show.

The event promises "experience the intimate otherworld of organic electronica sound and visual art at live."

Click here to RSVP.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: June 15, 2007.

The Philadelphia Watercolor Society announces a call to artists for "Works on Paper", held October 11 - December 7, 2007 at the Phillips Museum (Franklin & Marshall College) in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Exhibition limited to all watermedia, pastel, drawings. Original work executed independently within the past three years. Computer art or collage not accepted. Over $6000.00 in awards. Juror of Selection: George James AWS. Juror of Awards: Douglas Wiltraut, AWS. Members $10 for 2 slides, non members $40 (ouch!). Download Prospectus here.

Questions? Please contact Diane Hark at dianeharkart@aol.com or call 610-642-4243.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: May 30, 2007.

The Capitol Arts Network presents "Patriotism", an all media (2-d or 3-d) national juried exhibition, July 13 to August 5, at the National Gallery of Photography in Bethesda, Maryland. CD or slides, 4/$25. Artists are encouraged to take a broad view of the topic, and present both literal and more abstract work. More info here or send a SASE to:

Capitol Arts Network
PO Box 7541
Gaithersburg, MD 20898

Opportunity for artists

Deadline: May 21, 2007.

The Montpelier Arts Center has a biennial competition open to all Maryland artists. This year's juror is Dr. Gary Vikan, Director of the Walters Art Museum and fellow arts blogger.

Vikan will select 8-10 two-month long exhibitions to be held in the Library Gallery. This is a wonderful exhibition opportunity for both emerging and established artists. An honorarium of $300 will be presented for each exhibition to the artist or artists exhibiting (i.e., groups share the $300 honorarium). The Montpelier Arts Center staff handles all promotion and installation of work, as well as an opening reception.

The prospectus is available online for downloading here or call the Montpelier Arts Center at (301) 953-1993 to receive a copy in the mail.