Monday, May 14, 2007

Mid Atlantic MFA Biennial

As most of you know by now, I am a big supporter of buying student artwork, having started my own career in the arts by selling nearly every single art school assignment that I did as an art student; I sold them all between 1977-1981 at the Pike Place Market in Seattle. Thousands and thousands of them...

And now the Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts will host the MFA Biennial from May 18 through September 9, 2007. This is an exhibition of work created by current regional Masters of Fine Arts students, and includes work by the following MFA candidates:

American University
H. David Waddell

The George Washington University
Sara Hubbs
Diane F. Ramos

Maryland Institute, College of Art
Becky Alprin
Andrew Buckland
Eileen Cubbage
Jacob Fossum
Meaghan Harrison
Rachel Schmidt
Ben Steele
Dominic Terlizzi

Towson University
Dan Keplinger
Gray Lyons

Tyler School of Art, Temple University
Natasha Bowdoin
RJ Gallardo
Laura M. Haight
Chad States
Jacquelyn Strycker

The University of the Arts
Paul DeMarco
Sun Young Kang
Stephanie Stump
Tom Wagner

University of Delaware
Ronald J. Longsdorf
Kyla Zoe Luedtke
Teresa Mikulan

Virginia Commonwealth University
John Henry Blatter and Derek Coté
Anthony Cioe
Brooke Inman
Carmen McLeod
Valerie Molnar
Josh Rodenberg
James Sham
Nanda Soderberg
Erin Colleen Williams
Hyun Kyung Yoon

I'll try to swing by the exhibition and give you my impressions.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: June 8, 2007.

The Dumbarton Concert Gallery in DC has a call for artists for art exhibitions for the 2007-2008 season. The Concert Gallery is operated in conjunction with Dumbarton Concerts, a series of chamber and jazz musical performances

The artists's opening occurs in conjunction with a one-night concert performance, with an average of attendance of 350 people. The exhibit stays up for one and a half weeks, during which time the gallery is open by appointment. Artists can submit slides independently or as a group. Decisions are made by a jury. Eight shows will be installed, October 2007 through April 2008. The gallery takes 25% commission on sales. There is a $15 nonrefundable application fee.

Details here.

Supple issues II

As I discussed before, the WCP's Kriston Capps reviewed the "Supple" exhibition at Warehouse Gallery in a recent issue of the CP.

The curator, J.T. Kirkland had some issues with "three inaccuracies in the review, each of which could be damaging to my [Kirkland's] repututation as a curator."

Read Capps' review here.

Read Kirkland's Letter to the WCP Editor here and scroll down to the bottom for Capps' response.

And all of that has now led to an online argument over reporting responsibilities, potential inacuracies, a curator's reputation and a host of other issues and sometimes angry words. Read all of that here.

Don't Miss this Opening in DC

The glass that Washington Glass School co-founder Erwin Timmers uses in the process of creating artwork comes from the least recycled of materials: window glass.

The vast majority of this material comes from the building/demolition sector and is largely disposed of in landfills or used as secondary aggregate. Unlike the glass made specifically for craft and fine arts use, window, or float glass is difficult to remelt, and not much information exists on the properties and annealing temperatures.

As the Washington Glass School becomes more and more of not only a cultural leader, but also a technical innovator in the most technically-challenging of the the fine arts, Timmers has developed new fusing techniques to exploit the characteristics of the recycled tempered glass, and he often works the glass into reconfigured steel housings, including discarded traffic lights.

This work is part of the new movement now emerging that recycles discarded materials into art and some now call it "green" art, and Timmers is one of the leading and earliest practitioners of this "green art movement."

These are not artists who just re-use materials - that has been done for a long time - but artists who are concerned also with environmental and social issues in their themes, apply it through their techniques and it's not just the finished product, but also the process used to create the art. They also work with "green" architects in the process of incorporating artwork into the design of the new green buildings.

Erwin Timmers opens in DC's Studio Gallery with an artist reception on Friday May 25th, 2007 from 6 - 8pm and there's an artist talk on Sunday, June 10th at 3pm. Studio Gallery is the oldest artist owned gallery in Washington, DC.

Nayda Collazo-Llorens at Project 4

Talking about DC's Project 4, last Saturday they opened Navigable Zones by Puerto Rican artist Nayda Collazo-Llorens.

In this site-specific exhibition organized by the super-talented independent curator Laura Roulet, the entire gallery space will be hyper-linked as a multi-media installation.

According to Roulet, "evoking themes of displacement, navigation and language these installations seek to examine Collazo-Llorens's dual cultural existence as a Puerto Rican living and working in the United States. Her paintings, drawings, text and video act as interconnected systems to form a non-linear mindscape. Employing repetition, variation and mapping the work explores the mind's internal systems that perceive, order and remember external environments."

The show goes through June 16, 2007.

Artomatic's last week

As AOM winds down and closes on May 20, I've been thinking about how each AOM seems to serve not only to re-charge the artistic energy of the region, but also manages to pop out an art superstar or two from amongst the masses of artists. I will also finally answer JT Kirkland's question from three years ago.

Artomatic began in 1999 in the historic Manhattan Laundry building in Washington, DC. Around three hundred and fifty artists had cleaned, set up lights, painted and took over the 100,000 square feet space. Over 20,000 visitors attended the first Artomatic over a period of 6 weeks. The uberartist(s) emerging from this first AOM were the Dumbacher Brothers, who went on to showing at Fusebox Gallery and others around the country, as well as exhibiting at the Corcoran.

In 2000, 665 artists exhibited and 200 others performed at the old Hechinger’s building as AOM returned bigger and attracted more visitors. The name that emerged from that second Artomatic was Tim Tate, who went on to show many times at Fraser Gallery, open the Washington Glass School (now the nation's second largest warm glass school), start a whole new movement in glass, and place his work in a multitude of museums.

In 2002 more than 1000 artists and performers took part at the 3rd AOM at the Southwest Waterfront Building. M. Jordan Tierney's gorgeous installation began to propel her towards her current success, including exhibitions at the NMWA and many galleries

Even more artists participated in 2004 at the old Capitol Children’s Museum in Northeast DC. Both Kelly Towles and Kathryn Cornelius jumped out of that AOM, but the true superstar artist from that show was Frank Warren of Postsecret. By then, around 40,000 visitors were checking out AOM.

So who will be the emerging artstar from the current Artomatic?

My money is on Laurel Lukaszewski, already represented in the DC area by Project 4 Gallery.

Only time will tell, but buy her work now.

Make the time

To swing by the Distric of Columbia Arts Center in DC and see Ian and Jan: The Undiscovered Duo, A Secret History of the Washington Body School, featuring Jeffry Cudlin and Meg Mitchell.

In the video, Cudlin and Mitchell stage an art historical intervention, weaving an alternative history for Washington art. Cudlin and Mitchell mount a retrospective for their alter egos, Ian and Jan — a fictitious husband-and-wife performance art duo.

According to the exhibition’s premise, "Ian and Jan led the Washington Body School , a group that, in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, exhibited their body art alongside the work of prominent Washington abstract painters.

Ian and Jan: The Washington Body School provides humorous commentary on Washington ’s cultural legacy, on revisionist art historical agendas, and on gender bias and power politics in the arts. The show includes photographs, drawings, props, and videos of the couple in action."

Through June 3, 2007.

Ian and Jan