Monday, April 27, 2009


On the road for a few days, but will keep up... meanwhile Craftweek in DC was a huge success last week as the collecting craft world big names descended upon the capital.

I've heard about the great talk at WPA on the distinctions of and issues raised by definitions of Craft vs Art - I am told that the moderator, my good friend Jeffrey Cudlin, a terrific artist and curator, and a superb critic who can be a bit of an egghead on art theory in my plebeian opinion, delivered quite a funny and thoughtful panel.

The tug o' war afterwards? The winner of the tug-o-war was craft.

On Thursday one of the events was the Smithsonian Journeys tour through the various artists' studio - bringing a national group of collectors to see our area artists.

Friday's demos of work by the artists in the Mt Rainier studios along the tracks went well and the gala - Venetian Carnivale - went very well - actually was quite a bit of fun I am told. Highlights included the full on, three-act, choreographed fire spinning performance (don't know the name of the local group of fire people) and having the party crashed by Mount Rainier Mayor Malinda Miles (not too often do you get your party crashed by the local Hizzoner).

My sources tell me that members of the James Renwick Alliance said that the event was the most fun they had in the 15 years that they have gone to these annual galas. They loved the interaction with the artist studios - the work, the spaces - it was all fun and fresh.

The heart and soul of a working artist, standing on the shoulders of giants can best be told by the exchange with an ubercollector and a DC area artist. The artist tells me that the collector

"had bought a piece of mine a year or so ago, and was telling me about where it was located in her home. She said that she put it next to the work of a 'famous sculptor' - but could not remember his name. Someone very famous... deceased... but could not remember his name. She was a bit flummoxed and tried to remember other things to jog her memory - he was Asian... but still could not remember. So I tossed out the most unlikely name I could think of - Noguchi?

That was it - Isamu Noguchi.

Talk about being gobsmacked. My work next to a Noguchi. I thought you being a Frida-phile would appreciate the story.
There's something simple and innocent and appreciative in that story that makes me proud to know such artists.

1 comment:

Michael Janis said...

the fire performance was by Dance Afire - part of Contradiction Dance out in Takoma Park -

The CraftWeek continued strong - good attendance at the Smithsonian Craft fair too.