Monday, March 24, 2008

Will this ever end?

To the untutored eye, they are simply huge rectangular panels - reds, yellows, blues, greens - that have hung like oversized Post-it Notes on the walls of the cavernous federal courthouse since it opened a decade ago. Hundreds of people pass them daily; few seem to notice.

In fact, the fiberglass-and-aluminum panels are among the most valuable works of art in Boston by a living artist, commissioned at a cost of $800,000 in tax dollars, and probably worth millions today. The revelation usually leaves visitors to the John Joseph Moakley courthouse incredulous or bemused.
Read the Boston Globe story here.

Ellsworth Kelly at the Moakley courthouse,

Leads me to wonder: what's the most expensive piece of public art in New York, or Philadelphia, or Washington, DC, or Topeka, Kansas?

Most expensive doesn't mean most popular... For popular, in DC I would guess the Viet-Nam Memorial; in Philly the Rocky Statue; in NYC, maybe the Statue of Liberty?

Any ideas or suggestions?

Opportunity for Artists in McLean, VA

Deadline: April 11, 2008

The McLean Project for the Arts has announced a Call for Entries for Once Again, Again: Rhythm and Repetition. Artists notification: Late April. Exhibition Dates: June 19 - July 26, 2008. Juror: Annie Gawlak of G Fine Art.

Eligibility: All Mid-Atlantic artists (DC,VA,MD,DE,PA,NJ,WV) artists are invited to submit up to four digital images (jpegs) of 2 or 3 dimensional, installation or video works completed within the last two years and not previously exhibited at MPA.

Works that employ multiple images or repetition as concept and/or technique will be considered. Works that move beyond traditional forms and media are encouraged. Works must fit through 81" x 65" doorway. Awards: Cash prizes totaling $1500 will be awarded by the juror. Decisions are final. Entry Fee $25. Fee waived for current MPA members. Fee includes one-year artist membership to MPA. For more information and entry form, go to this website.

Opportunity for Artists in Philly

Deadline: April 27, 2008

Vox Populi, a member-run artist collective, founded in Philadelphia in 1988 to support the work of emerging artists with regular exhibitions, lectures, gallery talks and related programming, is currently accepting submissions for the gallery's annual juried exhibition.

Solid Gold will be on exhibition at Vox from June 6 through June 27 and is being juried by Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Sarah McEneaney, visual artist. Artists of all media are invited to submit 3 or 5 examples of works. All work submitted for consideration must be available for exhibition.

Fee: $20 for 3 submissions, $30 for 5 submissions.

For more detailed information, requirements and submission form, please visit here.

Wanna go to a DC opening this Friday?

New American Paintings
The artists featured in this month's Longview Gallery in DC were selected by Stephen Bennett Phillips (formerly of the Phillips Collection) for the New American Paintings publication, Volume No. 69. I've heard all kinds of great stories from artists whose selection to that publication has led to good gallery attention.

And here is a real life example!

Robert Sparrow Jones' works are loose and energetic, relying on a bright and forceful color scheme to evoke an emotional response.

Jamie Pocklington’s subjects come mostly from internet photos albums and image search engines. He is drawn and appropriates images that have universal qualities that he then collages into new scenarios, out of context of the original photos.

The opening reception is Friday, March 28, 5-8pm.


To DC area artist Tim Tate, whose Chicago debut in a cool four person show opened in the middle of a Chicago snowstorm last weekend in Chicago's ubergallery Marx Saunders.

Five years ago or so, you could have acquired a piece by Tate for around $600 bucks - at this show, his work is going for as high as mid 20s.

Details of the Chicago show here.

This week

This week Dr. C. Everett Koop, Dr. Gary Vikan, Mr. Fred Lazarus, myself and others -- will be jurying the artwork for the The Innovators Combatting Substance Abuse Program in Baltimore.

Then on Thursday I'll be at The Fifth Annual Visual Culture Symposium, “Intended to Provoke: Social Action in Visual Culture[s]” will take place at George Mason University on Thursday, March 27, 2008 as I have been invited to participate.

I will be discussing the emergence of a significant number of visual art blogs at the turn of the new century. This emergence was almost immediately ignored by both the mainstream media and the fine arts world. Just a few years later art blogs not only challenge the mainstream media in the reporting and discussion of the arts, but often lead the way in in-depth announcement, discussion, imagery and promulgation of socially challenging, subversive or political art, as well as presenting historically bound street art, such as graffiti and street installations to worldwide audience.

In this presentation I will discuss the emergence of visual art blogs and offer examples of how blogs have taken over the lead from other sources and venues, as the leading proponent, critic and publicist for art intended and created in order to provoke. The presentation includes discussion and examples of work from artists from places such as Cuba and Iran, which was only recognized and discovered by a worldwide audience through those artists’ own illegal blogs or discussion of their work in other blogs or through the process knows as the “blog roll.”

Questioning accepted literary styles, the visual art bloggers also became part of the social reaction towards established art criticism, and in a way also provided a way to criticize and dissect the critic him/herself. I draw on a variety of widely read visual art blogs to establish bloggers initial discordance and break from formal art criticism and reporting conventions and the eventual alignment of many of them with the same conventions as their influence grew. As a visual arts multi-political and international force they now wield a powerful impact on what is considered an “intentionally political work of art,” such as the Abu Ghraib paintings by Colombian artist Fernando Botero or the chalcography etchings by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos Lorenzo.

The day-long Symposium is being held at the Johnson Center Cinema at George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. The day will end with a reception in the art gallery on the first floor of the Johnson Center, Gallery 123.

Schedule - "Intended to Provoke:Social Action in Visual Culture[s]"
March 27, 2008
George Mason University

9:00 – 9:30a.m. Introduction & Video

Panel 1:
1. Robles & Stein (Community Art)
2. Wolpa (Visual Culture education)
3. Cohn (Design School)
4. Campello (Art Blogs)

11:15a.m. – 12:15p.m.
Panel 2:
1. Derr (Walking/Chance)
2. Namaste (non-violent intervention)
3. McCoy (bodies in China)

12:30 – 1:00p.m.
Dance Performance

1:00 - 2:00p.m.
Panel 3:
1. Johnson (Crises & the everyday)
2. Greet (Ecuador)
3. Campbell (culture jamming)

2:00 - 2:15p.m.
Mark Cooley and Art Exhibit Selections

2:15 – 3:15p.m.
Panel 4:
1. Clements (childbirth)
2. Slavick (R&R/altered images & things)
3. Okunseinde (Fugitives)

3:30 – 4:15p.m. Keynote/Debate

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Art Exhibit/Reception