Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Lost Art

While I was a student at the University of Washington School of Art (1977-1981), one of my school projects involved taking a mannequin deep into the woods around the Seattle area, and then fixing the mannequin onto a tree.

Once the figure was attached to a tree, I would either cover it in glue, or spray it with photo fix glue, and then cover it in tree mulch, bark, and dirt. Then I would completely glue pieces of bark to the figure, and thus make it "blend" onto the tree that it was affixed to. Eventually, the figure would be (at least visually) part of the tree, as if the figure was growing from the tree itself.

Most of these projects were done in Mt. St. Helen's as I had a school friend whose family lived at the bottom of the mountain, and it was thus convenient as he was my guide around the mountain's ape caves and trails). I suspect that all of them were destroyed by the volcanic eruption of St. Helen's on my wedding day in 1980.

I took many slides of the finished installations, but because after art school I moved to Europe, and then returned in 1985 to go to postgraduate school, while I was at postgraduate school in California, I put about 30 boxes of books and photos and slides and clothes, etc. in storage with my then sister-in-law in Washington state.

Then, while she was on vacation, a pipe in her house broke and flooded her basement for several days. Not only did I lose many, many slides of artwork, but also lot of art, all of my disco clothes (probably a good thing), plus a couple hundred books, including my copy of a hardbound first edition, first printing of Tarzan of the Apes (now worth around $35,000 big ones)... and no, insurance did not pay for it; none of it.

Mujertree with broken arms

"Mujertree with Broken Arms" (from Daphne series) circa 1980. Pen and Ink. 10 x 8 inches.
Collection of the Artist

I do, however, still have some of the preparatory sketches (above) that I did over the years, and the memories of my student artwork that has been twice wiped out by the forces of nature, as if upset that I was re-arranging and humanizing nature.

Daphne by F. Lennox Campello
"Daphne" circa 1995, Charcoal on Paper, 30 x 20 inches.
Private Collection in Richmond, VA

These nature installations were part of what I called the "Daphne series," and which continues to this day, mostly now in drawings and etchings (above and below), although I am preparing to re-start the mannequin part all over again, in a sense kindled by the tree massacre that took place just down the street from my house, and all the woods around here.

Daphne by F. Lennox Campello

"Daphne" circa 1994, Charcoal on Paper, 40 x 30 inches.
Private Collection in Charlottesville, VA

Maryland State Arts Council opening

Join the Maryland State Arts Council at the James Backas Gallery in Annapolis on September 28, 5-8pm (Gallery Talk: 6:30 PM)for the Opening Reception of "Celebrating 40 Years - Showcasing 40 Artists," curated by Oletha DeVane.

The exhibiting artists are: Maria Anasazi, Kristine Yuki Aono, Maria Barbosa, Denee Barr, Sylvia Benitez, Ellen Burchenal, Paul Daniel, Linda DePalma, Helen Elliott, Anna Fine Foer, Espi Frazier, Helen Frederick, Mia Halton, Leslie King-Hammond, Maren Hassinger, David Hess, Tonya Ingersol, Chevelle Makeba Moore Jones, Gard Jones, Gary Kachadourian, Maria Karametou, Robert Llewellyn, Janet Maher, Jose Mapily, Allegra Marquart, Diana Marta, Cara Ober, Stephen Pearson, Gina Pierleoni, Leslie Snyder Portney, Camille Gustus Quijano, William Rhodes, W.C. Richardson, Joyce S. Scott, Christine Shanks, Piper Shepard, Laurie Snyder, Edgar H. Sorells-Adewale- Renee van der Steldt, and Michael Weiss.

The exhibition is through December 19, 2007.

New Alexandria gallery

At 22,000 square feet Art Whino, the largest privately owned, independent commercial fine arts gallery in the greater DC region opens October 19, 2007, in Old Town, Virginia.

Located at 717 N. Saint Asaph Street in Alexandria, Art Whino will open its doors for the first time with two exhibits: a solo show by artist Derrick Wolbaum and the opening of the Art Whino Permanent Gallery featuring the work of the gallery's collaboration with artists from around the world who are what the gallery describes as "innovators worldwide of the current new art movement otherwise labeled Pop-Surrealism, Lowbrow and Urban Contemporary."

The grand opening event, running from 6-11pm, will include music by DJ Stylo.

Among the artists represented are (some DC area artists are highlighted): Amose, Angie Mason, Anna Thackray, Brad Strain, Brian Tait, Bruce Anderson, Celia Calle, Chris Bishop, Derrick Wolbaum, Dzaet, Erik Abel, Esho, Garry Booth, Hong Kong, J. Coleman, JimBot, JoKa, Justin Lovato, Keith Rosson, Kelly Towles, Ken Garduno, Lelo, Luz Del Mar Rosado, Margaret Dowell, Mary Spring, Marko Davidovic, Mephisto Jones, Morten Andersen, Olivier Defaye, Kelly Vivanco, Peter Harper, Pixielife, Rick Reese, Robert Pokorny, Scotch, Scott G. Brooks, Scott Musgrove, Stephane Tartelin, Steven Thomas, The Love Movement, Sebastian Andia, and Tamira Imondi.

New Baltimore Gallery

Just opened last month and focusing on artists from Latin America and Spain is Obras Art Gallery at 1706 East Pratt Street in Baltimore.


"in America, there are no cats..."
- Papa Mousekewitz, c. 1986

"in Iran, there are no homosexuals..."
- Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, September 24, 2007