Friday, November 19, 2010

Ten years of Jessica Dawson

The WaPo's Galleries' critic, Jessica Dawson, has an almost nostalgic article in the Post today as it is her 10th anniversary writing for the paper.

Jessica and I have had a very interesting professional relationship over the years. I first met her when she was a young writer for the City Paper and used to swing by the original Fraser Gallery in Canal Square in Georgetown. Back then there were seven galleries in the square, and the 3rd Friday openings were packed with people. Most of those galleries closed over the years, Fraser relocated to Bethesda, Parish expanded into the Fraser space, MOCA went through the loss of Clark & Hogan and it is still there, as is Alla Rogers and her almost new neighbor Cross MacKenzie.

At one point we were even writing for the same editor, as for a shining short period of time the WaPo had several writers, including Jessica and yours truly, writing online gallery reviews for the brand spanking new site. Imagine that! Online art reviews to expand the WaPo's print section's art reviews. Ahhhh... the good ole days.

When she first started writing for the print version of the paper, as she notes, her "prose smacked harsh" and many of us gallerists were left with our mouth open in some of her reviews. One former Dupont Circle area gallerist kicked her out of her gallery and prohibited her from ever returning - they've since made up.

As she notes in today's article, over the years she "wised up and recognized that there are kinder ways of saying "shape up" than likening art to "a dental hygienist scaling your tartar with a metal pick." Ouch! I don't remember that one.

Also over the years I have been an avid follower of her writing, and protested when it was reduced in appearances (she used to write every Thursday). I recall an angry email received from Eugene Robinson, who then used to anchor the Style Section. I had complained to him that Dawson's column had been missing for two weeks. He responded with a terse: "She's gotta go on vacation sometime!" I wrote back in an even terser note saying: "It would be nice if you told us that she'll be back in two weeks, as you do for all other columns!"

Through this blog I've trashed, praised, criticized, admired, hated, defended, attacked and also liked Jessica's writing at different times and on an individual review basis. I've been left astounded, educated, surprised and pleased by what she has written over the years, but I've always read it. "Jessica goes yard!" announced one of my banners; "Jessica off the mark... again" reads another

Ten years is like a 100 years in gallery-years, and the legacy of Washington art galleries to Washington art and artists has been documented in print by Dawson at the Post, and I for one, still look forward to her columns and how they make me react.

Jessica, I look forward to 10 more years of me delivering one-voiced arguing, or yelling at your writing, or admiring your points, or agreeing with your views, or disagreeing with your conclusions, etc., but always reading your words.

Un abrazo sincero.

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: December 17, 2010

Call for entries for the Fifth Annual Photography Exhibition at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop. Entries must be received by December 17, 2010. The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop is seeking submissions of any and all photographic processes, black and white or color, traditional or alternative, material or digital, time-based, performance based, any work exploring the act of photography. The exhibition will open on January 8, 2011 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. and will run through February 4, 2011. Cash awards will be announced at the opening.

The juror for the exhibition is Bruce McKaig, local artist and art educator. Bruce McKaig chairs the Photography Department at CHAW and teaches at Georgetown University and the Smithsonian Associates. He has exhibited nationally and internationally for over thirty years and every once in a while reviews a DMV show in this blog. For more information about his work, please visit his website here.

HOW: Submit the following:
➢ Three to five jpegs on a CD
➢ Image inventory list specifying title, size, medium, date and price (or insurance value)
➢ Contact info including a mailing address, phone number and email
➢ An entry fee of $25.00 for up to five images, payable to CHAW

WHERE: Please hand deliver or mail these materials to:

545 7th Street SE
Washington DC 20003

Jury Duty

BlackrockAt the BlackRock Center for the Arts to select the exhibits for the gallery for September 2011 through August 2012.

More later...