Thursday, March 17, 2011


DMV area artist Hadieh Shafie has been shortlisted for the Victoria & Albert Museum’s prestigious Jameel Prize 2011.

The exhibition of artworks will be on view at the V&A from 21 July to 25 September, 2011 and will then travel to Paris, Riyadh, Damascus, Beiteddine, Sharjah, Istanbul and Casablanca. The winner of The Jameel Prize 2011 will be announced at the V&A on 12 September 2011.

The Jameel Prize is a £25,000 international art prize for contemporary artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of craft and design.

Shafie is represented locally by and her art is currently available at MFA: Morton Fine Art in DC.


Wanna go to a DC opening tomorrow?

Here we go again

This time in Vashon Island, Washington (the other Washington):

The owner of the building that houses Two Wall Gallery abruptly removed several works in the gallery's latest show last week, prompting an outcry from the artists, the curator and other members of the Island's arts community.

Louise Rice, who owns the property along with her husband Ray Rice and daughter Wendy Rice, paid a visit to the building with her daughter last Tuesday morning and became upset after viewing "Go Figure: Body of Work," a group show by eight artists that contains numerous nude portraits.

"It was pornography, and I won’t put up with it,” Rice said later from her Burien home. “It’s our hallway, and my husband and daughter and I don’t like it.”

But Jack Strubbe, the show's curator who has mounted exhibits off and on for the past three years in the space, said he was baffled by Rice's actions, especially since the gallery has been the site of many other exhibits with political and other controversial content.

“She has never expressed anything like this in the past, and I’ve had work that I’ve considered much riskier than this,” he said.
Read the whole story here and an excellent report by a local blog with lots of images here.

I hope that I don't have to defend my position when it comes to censorship and art, especially in this great nation, which in the last 20-30 years seems to me, has regressed enormously in that area, and, as an example, public artwork that was once considered acceptable for public display (by that I mean public art such as statues, murals, etc.), specifically nudes, are seldom if ever to be seen in a contemporary public art commission, airport, etc.

The only public art nudes around this town are all the artwork done in the 1800s and as late as the WPA. I suspect that this is pretty much the same for the rest of the nation; certainly for airportism.

But privately owned spaces are a different animals, and as much as I hate what the owners of this space have done to the curator and to the community, they do own the walls and he who owns the walls makes the rules. It is somewhat alike a restaurant owner who puts up a sign that says "no shoes, no service."

OK, OK, that may be an over simplification, but you get my drift. Bottom line: shame on the owners of this building, but as much as I hate it, they do own the building, and they do offer the two walls (for free) to local artists and curators and thus they do have a right to be troglodytes.

The response should be a boycott of the two walls: no more art.