Monday, August 27, 2007

Heard online

"The new [Washington Post Style & Arts] section will indeed have coverage of local artists and local galleries. Check out the Studio feature. We're going to run one like that every week and we hope to get lots of submissions from local professional artists. Contact or art critic Blake Gopnik or arts editor John Pancake or arts editorial aide Rachel Beckman."

Deborah Heard
Washington Post
Asst. Managing Editor for Style
The bold accent is mine. Read the whole online exchange here. This means that Blake Gopnik's boss, under the new focus of the revamped Washington Post Arts & Style section, has directed him to begin "coverage of local artists and local galleries."

Be careful of what you wish for - but hey! coverage of the Greater DC area art galleries by the DC area's main newspaper's art critic is what Gopnik's bosses should have expected from Blake from day one.

I guess that Blake now will be hitting Mapquest to figure out where the Greater DC area's art galleries are located.

Wynn is Winning

A couple of weeks ago I pointed you towards the work of DC area painter and new blogger Wynn Creasy.

The CP's Joe Eaton has a really good article in the current issue of the CP discussing Wynn's take the bull by the horns attitude towards her artwork. She makes some good points and also makes one erroneous generalization about art galleries and dealers' commissions - but it's a common misconception by emerging artists - but hey! this lady is charging forward!

Read it here.

Job in the Arts

The WPA/C is looking for a new Membership Director; this is a full time staff position. The Membership Director is primarily responsible for maintaining the Membership and Patron and ArtFile Online databases, processing membership renewals, editing and distributing the weekly WPA\C newsletter and bi-annual Artist Directory, and maintaining the organization’s website. In addition to these regular duties, the Membership Director will assist other staff members on an as-needed basis to help complete projects and mount exhibitions.

Please send a cover letter, resume, and several writing samples to:

Human Resources
Corcoran Gallery of Art
500 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006-4804

Everything but Art

The Washington Post's new "Style & Arts" section debuted yesterday.

Here it is, and ahem... I couldn't find any art reviews in it.

Where's the art?

Deborah E. Heard, assistant managing editor for Style, will be online today, Monday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m. ET to field your questions and comments about the new Style & Arts section.

Submit your questions here.

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

Fact: When Ms. Heard predecessor, 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 new section's gallery coverage so that it is at least on a par with the new section's coverage of theatre, music, dance, opera, etc.?