Monday, March 23, 2009

VFMA acquires new Cecilia Beaux

Alexander Harrison by Cecilia BeauxThe Virginia Museum of Fine Arts board of trustees have approved the acquisition of an 1888 oil on canvas portrait by American artist Cecilia Beaux, who was hailed at the turn of the 20th century as the “best woman painter in history.”

She is certainly one of my favorite painters, period.

The painting by Beaux (1855-1942) is a portrait of her fellow Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts alumni Alexander Harrison and measures 26 by 19-3/4 inches. An important transitional work, the portrait dates from Beaux’s formative period of study in Concarneau, an artist’s colony in Brittany, where she first began to lighten her palette and to paint outdoors.

According to Dr. Sylvia Yount, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and an expert on Beaux’s work, the Philadelphia native was an internationally acclaimed figure painter and portraitist “who also happened to be the most successful woman artist working in turn-of-the-century America.”

Curators and dealers

As used as we all are to hear the whine from the negative perspective of the art dealer and museum curator symbiotic relationship, it is very refreshing to hear an excellent opinion married to a couple of good examples, but discussing when curators rely on art dealers and then give them zip credit.

Read Regina Hackett here.

Mel Chin lecture at Arlington Arts Center

On Tuesday, March 24 at 7pm the place to be in the Greater DC area is the Arlington Arts Center, which is "honored to welcome internationally-recognized artist Mel Chin to the Arlington Arts Center on Tuesday, March 24. Mr. Chin, whose work is socially and ecologically conscious, will be presenting a free lecture about his current public art project, Operation Paydirt."

The lecture will begin at 7pm.

To ensure adequate seating, please let them know if you will attend by calling 703.248.6800 or emailing

Is it me?, or has the Arlington Arts Center made giant strides forward since Claire Huschle took over as Executive Director and Jeffry Cudlin as Curator? You bet they have.

Wanna have a boatload of fun in DC tonight?

Join Mayor Fenty as award recipients are selected from among the finalists and announced live from the stage at the Mayor’s Arts Awards Ceremony tonight Monday, March 23, 2009 at 6:00 PM at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in the Concert Hall.

Admission is free and having been to many of them, it is a boatload of fun, with great live music and entertainment and loads of good food and drinks.

This is a huge event, and every year that I've been to them, I always look around and say to myself, as I see hundreds and hundreds of people in the audience having fun: "where are the usual suspects from the DC visual art world?"

Go for me this year and have fun!

Rousseau on Fiber

My good friend Dr. Claudia Rousseau reviews "BookEnds: The Book as Art" at Pyramid Atlantic in Silver Spring and "A Tribute to Fiber Art" in the Art Gallery at the BlackRock Center in Germantown. Read her Gazette review here.


The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD) hosts the world's largest exposition of vintage and contemporary photography and is celebrating 29 years as the world's premiere exposition devoted to fine art photography. It all takes place in NYC March 26 – 29, 2009 at the Park Avenue Armory.

During the month of March artline® is featuring these dealers and selections from their inventories on the artline homepage. Preview hundreds of photographs - all clicking from this link... click on any highlighted name and scroll left to right.

Nudashank Grand Opening in Baltimore

Nudashank is the new independent, artist-run gallery space in Baltimore, Maryland.

Their first exhibition, Wise Guise, is a colossal group show featuring 23 young and emerging artists. Representing a diverse selection of work, ranging from the figurative to the abstract, Wise Guise presents a cross-section of visual themes from contemporary counter-culture. The works in the show include paintings, works on paper, screenprints and zines.

Exhibiting artists are: 6 Baltimore-based artists: Xavier Schipani, Mark Brown, D’Metrius Rice, Walter Carpenter, Noel Freibert, and Molly Colleen O’Connell. Three European artists: Arnaud Loumeau, Thomas Bernard and Miruki Tusko.

And 14 artists from throughout the US: Jason Redwood, Bonner Sale, Jon Clary, Reuben Breslar, Drew Beckmeyer, Edie Fake, Jordan Bernier, Caitlin Cunningham, Emily Nachison, Edward Max Fendley, Matt Lock, Chris Warthen, Andrew St. Lawrence and Kevin Hayden.

The opening is March 27th, with a reception from 7 pm – 9pm and an after-party in the adjacent Whole Gallery. Wise Guise will be on view through April 25th. The 1000 square foot gallery is located at 405 West Franklin Street, on the third floor of the H&H building in downtown Baltimore, which already houses the Whole Gallery, Gallery Four, and Floristree.

Call to Artists: In the Spirit of Frida Kahlo

Deadline: June 6, 2009

Frida Kahlo remains one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, but her spectacular life experiences, her writing and her views on life and art have also influenced many artists throughout the years.

From July 1 - August 29, 2009 The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center in Washington, DC will be hosting Finding Beauty In A Broken World: In the Spirit of Frida Kahlo.

Photo of Gallery by Michael K. WilkinsonThis exhibition hopes to showcase the work in all mediums of artists influenced not only by Kahlo’s art, but also by her biography, her thoughts, and her writing or any other aspect in the life and presence of this remarkable artist who can be interpreted through artwork.

This will be the third Kahlo show that I have juried in the last decade and we are seeking works of art that evoke the prolific range of expression, style and media like that which Frida Kahlo used as an outlet for her life’s experiences.

Get a copy of the prospectus by calling (202) 483-8600 or email or download it here.

Opportunity for Artists

As many of you know, my good friend Jesse Cohen and has started a new gallery in Hyattsville, MD. The space is about 500 square feet, and has movable walls.

They are going to do their first 12x12 show in May to coincide with the Hyattsville Arts Festival.

Artists can buy a spot for $12, and they hang your art. The way that it works is that a limited number of artists can now pre-register first come first serve; register now or at the day of the hanging, but first come, first served.

Either way, you can register now, or they'll see you at the door for the remaining spaces. It's their goal to hang at least 120 works of art.

The limitations: each work has to be 12"x12" and weight under 10 pounds, and they have a wire on the back suitable to be hung on a hook. Make your work professionally presentable.

To pre-register, check it out here.

All details are listed at the link above. Dates, location, and more. For now, they are going to limit pre-registration to 50 slots and I am told that registrations are coming in already.

Race in America at Widener University

Race MachineModern science tells us that the DNA of any two humans is 99.97 percent identical. And starting today the Division of Student Affairs at Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania explores race in American society through a very interesting interactive exhibit.

The exhibit features informational tools to learn more about biological race and human variation, online activities, documentaries that confront race perceptions and racism, and the very cool Human Race Machine.

The Human Race Machine is an interactive tool that permits users to explore their own racial identity through images of themselves as other races. As one user expressed, "It's weird to see myself as Asian or Black. How would I think of myself differently and how would others see me?"

I'd like to think of the machine as a sort of machinated Linda Hesh.

The exhibit will be open for exploration and inquiry during the hours of 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday-Friday, March 23-27 and housed in the Lower Level Lounge of University Center.