Saturday, February 02, 2013

Ai Weiwei: Wonderful dissident, terrible artist

My sense, at least on the weekday when I visited the show, was that visitors welcomed the opportunity to focus on the hardships of life in contemporary China as well as on Ai's extraordinary courage as a social activist. Although some museumgoers may be surprised to discover that Ai often favors a chaste minimalist style as he spotlights some of the horrors visited upon the Chinese people by the country's authoritarian regime, others will take the style in stride, regarding it as a generic documentary approach perfectly appropriate for Ai's torn-from-the-headlines subject matter.
Read Jed Perl's review in the New Republic here.

East of the River Distinguished Artist Award

ARCH Development Corporation (ADC) announces the second annual East of the River Distinguished Artist Award (EotRDAA); an award with a $5,000 prize presented by Honfleur Gallery with funding from the Gautier family. This annual award recognizes an artist living East of the Anacostia River for creative excellence as well as for having had a significant impact on the cultural landscape of Washington, DC.

The main purpose of this award is to celebrate the achievements and contributions of East of the River (EotR) artists who, individually and collectively, have enriched the arts in Washington, DC. In recognizing them, it will help document the EotR cultural history and continue the long tradition of outstanding artists. The first annual EotRDAA was awarded to artist BK ADAMS*I AM ART last summer.

To be eligible, applicants must be artists who currently live in neighborhoods East of the Anacostia River and whose careers have made a substantial impact on the arts in Washington, DC. Individuals working in all disciplines-including dance, film, literature, music, theater, photography and visual arts-will be considered.

ADC is proud to formally establish this award as an annual prize as it helps to fulfill the organization's effort toward creating a home for the creative economy, artists, arts and cultural organizations in Ward 8. The establishment of this award carries on the mission of revitalization and sustainable economic development in Historic Anacostia that ADC has pledged since 1991. A few of ADC's current projects include: Honfleur Gallery, The Gallery at Vivid Solutions, The HIVE, The HIVE 2.0, and the Storefront Improvement Program.

Artists will be assessed by an esteemed panel of judges that will be announced after the deadline of submissions. The panel will then recommend a selection of candidates to ADC's board of directors, who in turn will choose the final artist. The award ceremony will take place July 25, 2013.

Applications are due by June 7, 2013. The East of the River Distinguished Artist Award will include an awards ceremony currently planned for July 25, 2013. The artist must be present to accept this award. Interested parties can find complete information about the contest and learn how to apply online at and or in person at ADC project locations.