Sunday, August 31, 2014

The WaPo on Lida Moser

The Washington Post has a terrific piece on Lida Moser in today's Sunday edition. 
In her own work, Ms. Moser captured the Escher-like geometry of the Exxon building, the confident smiles of four boys in Harlem, the distance between two men seated inches apart on a city bench, the lonely anonymity of an office lobby and the peaceful solitude of a man resting next to a neat row of garbage cans.

One of her most noted works was “Judy and the Boys,” or “Mimicry.” Taken in 1961, the image reveals an encounter between a model — Ms. Moser’s intended subject — and a group of youngsters who invite themselves into the photo shoot. Surrounded by the grittiness of New York, the model strikes a sophisticated pose and raises her middle finger to the boys as they mimic her stance.

Read it here.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Upshur Street Books

Calling all Artists! Please join me in contributing to this Kickstarter Campaign to bring a new bookstore to Washington!

One of their areas of concentration will be Art Books! Consider buying a bookmark for $10, a Tote for $25 or a T-shirt designed by Nick Pimentel for $50.

Details here.

Upshur Street Books will be the first new independent bookstore to open in Washington, DC in 10 years and we need your help to open the doors. With the support of the community, we believe that this venture can be a successful one. The growing dominance of online retailing, digital books and widespread closures have all increased awareness of the challenges of opening a bookstore. Despite these challenges, the passion for printed books and the fellowship they create in our communities lives on and now independent bookstores are making a comeback. 

With both popular titles and niche selections that focus on Washington’s arts and literary communities, Upshur Street Books will also stock indie publications, unique gift items and host a variety of events, such as readings, book club meetings, exhibitions and other events that are free and open to the public. With the funds raised on this platform, we can create a vibrant space that meets the needs of our community and attract visitors from afar.
Independent bookstores sit at the center of our creative and intellectual community and encourage well-reasoned discourse and the spread of new ideas. Stocking the shelves with books that you may not be able to find on the internet or through big box retailers with the help of knowledgeable and passionate staff is something that Upshur Street Books seeks to promote.

Coming this weekend

"Man at MOMA" 1971 by Lida Moser
It took a tiny bit of arts activism, but finally both the New York Times and the Washington Post will be running obituaries of the legendary Lida Moser this weekend... 

Read a very nice piece in the Washington City Paper here.

Grace Hartigan: A Survey 1966-2007

Strathmore opens its 2014-2015 season of fine art programming with the museum-caliber exhibition Grace Hartigan: A Survey 1966-2007, a highlight of the art center’s 2014-2105 Season featuring 22 of the artist’s works on view in the Mansion at Strathmore from Saturday, September 6 through Sunday, November 9, 2014. 
Though her career started with the fabled New York School and friendships with contemporaries such as Jackson Pollock, Larry Rivers, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and poet Frank O’Hara, this exhibit focuses on her decades of independent  aesthetic development, leading to the years just prior to her passing in Baltimore in 2008. The exhibition was organized with the generous support of C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore; Maryland Art Place, Baltimore; the private collection of Suzi and David Cordish; and an anonymous collector. This is the first exhibition of its kind presented in the Mansion since 2005, when The Art of Music debuted with 45 musically-inspired works from the Baltimore Museum of Art. A free Opening Reception will be held Friday, September 19 from 7-9 p.m. For more information, call (301) 581-5100 or visit

Largely a self-taught painter, Hartigan was initially introduced to the work of Henri Matisse by a peer at the Newark College of Engineering, which sparked an enduring interest in modern art. She relocated to New York after World War II and moved into the world of Abstract Expressionism. She began to form her own artistic identity after seeing a Jackson Pollock exhibition in 1948. Pollock encouraged Hartigan to look at the work of Willem de Kooning, who would become a lifelong friend. She began to combine the large scale of Pollock’s works with de Kooning’s commitment to the Old Masters of art history, inserting recognizable imagery into her abstractions. This departure earned her a solo debut at New York’s Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1951.

Hartigan was also intensely dedicated to literature, which provided themes and a broad cultural overview—a passion tied to her association with such poets as Frank O’Hara and Barbara Guest.
Her paintings were included in the 1956 exhibition 12 Americans at the Museum of Modern Art, and in the international touring exhibition The New American Painting from 1958-1959. Hartigan was one of few women painters to garner this level of exposure and recognition.

Hartigan’s work continued to evolve. Though she had distaste for Pop art, some stylistic elements were incorporated into her landmark works of the period, while her later work, beginning in the 1980s, was more representational. However, she continued to reference the Old Masters and to experiment with balancing figuration and abstraction.

Her marriage to Dr. Winston Price, research professor at the Johns Hopkins University, led to a move from New York to Baltimore in 1960. From 1965 until her death in 2008, she served as a teacher at and director of the Maryland Institute College of Art’s LeRoy E. Hoffberger School of Painting.
While relocating to Baltimore denied Hartigan the regular New York exhibition opportunities that she had been afforded previously, it might be argued that it benefited her artistic vision. Hartigan became a keen observer of urban culture in Baltimore—a major theme in her art. Her distance from New York also allowed her to take a circumspect view of the rapidly changing art climate.

Education Programming
Strathmore will enhance the visitor experience of Grace Hartigan: A Survey 1966-2007 with public education programs.

The panel discussion Grace Hartigan: A Unique Force on Sunday, September 21, 2014 at 11 a.m. convenes experts and acquaintances of Grace Hartigan to discuss her work and impact on the world of modern art. Panelists include Virginia K. Adams, art historian and Trustee of the Baltimore Museum of Art; Rex Stevens, Chair of the Drawing and General Fine Arts departments at the Maryland Institute College of Art, a longtime friend of Hartigan’s, as well as her studio manager for 30 years; and Terence Diggory, curator, author and former Chairman of the English department at Skidmore College.

Art & Wine Night: Grace Hartigan on Friday, October 17, 2014 from 7-9 p.m. includes a guided tour of the exhibition and hands-on art activity reflecting Hartigan’s aesthetic, with wine and snacks. Admission is $35 per person and can be purchased through Strathmore’s website.
On Saturdays, September 13 and October 25, 2014 at 10:15 a.m., Children’s Talk & Tours invite children and their families to explore the exhibition and exercise their creativity through a hands-on abstract arts activity with professional working artists. Admission is $5 per child, with no charge for parent chaperones. Reservations are required for the Children’s Talk & Tours and can be made on Strathmore’s website.
At the Art Talk & Tour on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 1 p.m., adults will learn about the artwork in the exhibition from curator Harriet Lesser. This event is free, but registration is required and can be done on Strathmore’s website.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Harry Reid and The Internet Tax Freedom Act

From Ebay...
With the end of the 113th Congress swiftly approaching, Congress has only a few short weeks left in the legislative calendar.  With the clock running out, proponents of the Marketplace Fairness Act (MFA) are actively trying to push the legislation through Congress and to the President’s desk by the end of the year. Although the Senate passed the MFA in May 2013, leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives have announced their intention to find an alternative to the Senate-passed Internet sales tax bill and have refrained from moving the Senate-passed bill. Due to the fact that there appears to be little support to move the Senate passed MFA in the House, Senate leaders announced in July that they would try and pass the MFA by attaching it to the must-pass Internet Tax Freedom Act and bypass regular legislative procedure in the House.

The Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA) is an important piece of legislation that would make permanent the law that prevents state and local governments from imposing new taxes on Internet access and prohibits any multiple or discriminatory taxes on e-commerce. The current law is set to expire on November 1st, which means if Congress fails to pass an extension, consumers and businesses across the country could see their Internet access bills go up in November. On July 15th, the House passed a permanent extension of the law by voice vote and sent the bill to the Senate for consideration.

However, instead of agreeing to take up the House-passed ITFA, Senate leadership announced plans to combine ITFA with the Senate-passed MFA.

Although it is unclear if and when the Senate may move the newly combined ITFA/MFA bill, a group of bipartisan Senators has called on Senate leadership not to attach the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act to the Internet Tax Freedom Act. Like eBay Inc., these Senators have expressed concerns with how the Marketplace Fairness Act would impact small tech-enabled small businesses that rely on Internet and mobile platforms to compete in the retail marketplace.

eBay Inc. continues to believe that small tech-enabled businesses should be protected from a new burdensome sales tax regime and opposes the Senate-passed Marketplace Fairness Act, because it lacks strong small business protections. If you share our concerns with the Marketplace Fairness Act, we would encourage you to visit our Action Center and tell your Members of Congress that you oppose Internet sales tax legislation that hurts small businesses.

For more information on the Internet sales tax issue and eBay Inc.’s position, please visit their issues page.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

6th Annual Expressions Portrait Competition

Deadline: Tuesday September 9, 2014 at 2 PM
Finalists from the competition will be featured in the 6th annual Expressions Portrait Exhibit at ArtSpace Herndon Tuesday, October 7 through Sunday November 2, 2014.  This year's judge is Jordan Xu and the jurors are Judith Peck and Michela Mansuino.
Jordan Xu will announce the winners at during the awards reception on Saturday, October 11, 2014. 

First Place - $500
Second Place $200
Third Place $100
Four Honorable Mentions

Artists 18 years or older residing in Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and Delaware can enter original 2-D or 3-D portraiture. (No photography, electronic or computer generated/ assisted art, or reproductions).
There is a nominal $25 entry fee (non-refundable) for up to 2 entries.

Click on the links below for full details and to enter.
Get more information
Register Now

Thumbnails Are Not An Infringement

Monday, August 25, 2014

Judy Collins 1962

Judy Collins. c. 1962 by Lida Moser
Judy Collins. c. 1962 by Lida Moser

Sunday, August 24, 2014

This is why...

If posting has been a little slow lately, it is because my youngest daughter Elise was getting married over the weekend and we've been hanging out in gorgeous Gig Harbor, Washington!

And here's the bride and now Mrs. Elise Torralbo Campello

Saturday, August 23, 2014

rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock

Training the boy to do his Vulcan salute so that he can play rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Looking at Maurice Sievans paintings

"Looking at Maurice Sievans paintings from L to R Anna Moser, Lee Sievan, Berenice Abbott."
This is a vintage 1952 Lida Moser photograph. Moser hand-printed all her own photographs and rarely printed more than 5-6 images of any photo.

The photo was hand-printed by Moser on 8 x10 inch paper and it is signed, dated and annotated by Moser in pencil recto on verso. On the verso Moser has written in pencil: "Looking at Maurice Sievans paintings from L to R Anna Moser, Lee Sievan, Berenice Abbott."

Thursday, August 21, 2014

(e)merge art fair announces exhibition roster

The (e)merge art fair returns for a fourth year with the 2014 edition featuring an international roster of 85 exhibitors presenting works by 150 artists from 30 countries. Exhibitors will show new works in painting, sculpture, video, performance, installation, and other media. For four days, the public is welcome to view a carefully curated selection of emerging art at the Capitol Skyline Hotel, exhibited on three levels inside the hotel and throughout the hotel's grounds and public spaces.

GALLERY PLATFORM > galleries and art spaces:

ARGENTINA: Acuarell Contemporary Art, Buenos Aires / C-Arte, Buenos Aires / Centro de Edición, Buenos Aires / Deseado Arroyo, Buenos Aires | BELGIUM: NOMAD, Brussels / GKV/Magenta Projects, Ostend | BOLIVIA: Salar Galería de Arte, La Paz | FRANCE: galerie bruno massa, Paris | GERMANY: polarraum, Hamburg | JAMAICA: ARC & NLS, Kingston | THE NETHERLANDS: Amstel Gallery, Amsterdam | SAUDI ARABIA: Naila Art Gallery, Riyadh | U.S.A.: Adamson Gallery, Washington, DC / Alida Anderson Art Projects, Potomac, MD / All We Art, Washington, DC / Atanda Gallery, Washington, DC / Aureus Contemporary, Providence, RI / Blind Whino, Washington, DC / Bodega de la Haba Presents, New York, NY / Causey Contemporary, New York, NY / CONNERSMITH., Washington, DC / DCCAH, Washington, DC / Flashpoint Gallery, Washington, DC / Hamiltonian, Washington, DC / I.B.Clark Gallery, New Hope, PA / KiloWatt Gallery, Newark, NJ / Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL / Pleasant Plains Workshop, Washington, DC / Present Company, Brooklyn, NY / Tiger Strikes Asteroid, Philadelphia, PA / Touchstone Gallery, Washington, DC / Transformer, Washington, DC / Victori Contemporary, New York, NY / Washington Project for the Arts, Washington, DC

ARTIST PLATFORM > independent artists:

Adam Hager, Washington, DC | Amy Finkelstein, Takoma Park, MD | Ana Schmidt, Getxo, Spain | Andrey Ustinov, Cologne, Germany | Anne Bouie, Washington, DC | Annie Albagli, Richmond, VA | Apollonia Vanova, Toronto, Canada | Becky Borlan, Takoma Park, MD | Ben Schonberger, Alexandria, VA | Ben Tolman, Washington, DC | Christopher Capriotti, Philadelphia, PA | Cici Wu, Beijing, China / Baltimore, MD | Dan Hildt, Alexandria, VA | Edel Gregan, Waterford, Ireland / McLean, VA | Eduardo Terranova, Cali, Colombia / New York, NY | Elizabeth Brown, Manassas, VA | Evan Hume, Washington, DC | Fawna Xiao, Washington, DC | Fiorella Gonzales Vigil, Lima, Peru / New York, NY | Galen Odell-Smedley, Mt. Rainier, MD | Heloisa Escudero, São Paulo, Brazil / Arlington, VA | Holly Bass, Washington, DC | Jake Singer, Johannesburg, South Africa | James Bernard Cole, Washington, DC | Jarri Hasnain, Leesburg, VA | Jeffrey Hensley, Ellicott City, MD | Joana Fischer, Ahlen, Germany / Miami, FL | John Franzen, Aachen, Germany / Maastricht, Netherlands | Joshua Bennett, Richmond, VA | Justin Wood, Miami, FL | Karine Falleni, Tucson, AZ | Madeleine Cutrona, Baltimore, MD | Magali Hébert-Huot, Jim Leach + Zack Ingram, Quebec City, Canada / Baltimore, MD | Mercedes Teixido, Claremont, CA | Nara Park, Seoul, South Korea / Washington, DC | Nicole Salimbene, Takoma Park, MD | Rachel Schmidt + André Singleton, Arlington, VA / Brooklyn, NY | Rebecca Ruige Xu, Beijing, China / Syracuse, NY | Sebastian Martorana, Baltimore, MD | Sha Sha Feng + Tami Gold, Brooklyn, NY | Sheldon Scott, Washington, DC | Stephen Hendee, Baltimore, MD | Sui Park, Seoul, South Korea / Brooklyn, NY | Tatiana Gulenkina, Washington, DC | Terence Hannum, Parkville, MD | Travis Beauchene, Fargo, ND | Trisha Kanellopoulos, Munich, Germany


> Thursday, October 2
5pm – 7pm / (e)merge VIP & Press Preview. By invitation only.
9pm - 11pm / Concert by the Pool with Furniteur, Pleasure Curses, and Chris Burns (dj set)
> Friday, October 3: 12pm – 7pm
Students with valid ID free: 12pm – 3pm
> Saturday, October 4: 12pm – 7pm
> Sunday, October 5: 12pm – 5pm

Trawick Prize

A friendly reminder that the annual Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards exhibit opens in two weeks on Wednesday, September 3 at Gallery B in Bethesda. The exhibit will showcase the work of this year’s nine finalists who were selected from more than 400 applicants. The award winners will be announced on September 4.

The public opening reception will be held Friday, September 12 from 6-9pm in conjunction with the Bethesda Art Walk. Gallery hours for the duration of the exhibit are Wednesday through Saturday, 12 – 6pm.

Larry Cook, Landover Hills, MD
Lisa Dillin, Baltimore, MD
Neil Feather, Baltimore, MD
Zoe Friedman, Baltimore, MD
Nicole Lenzi, Baltimore, MD
Kim Llerena, Washington, D.C.
Jonathan Monaghan, Washington, D.C.
Martine Workman, Washington, D.C.
Naoko Wowsugi, Washington, D.C.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Here come the Pandas!


Deadline for Submission EXTENDED: September 2, 2014

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) is pleased to join with the DC Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OAPIA) to invite local artists or artistic teams to provide two- dimensional design proposals for a pre-fabricated panda sculpture.

Individual Artists and Artistic Teams are requested to respond to this Call to Artists with professional and emerging qualifications. Artists or teams are asked to submit up to three (3) designs in the form of two-dimensional drawings, renderings or paintings. Digital media designs illustrating the design on the panda and mixed media proposals will also be accepted.
Artists must be able to replicate the design in a three-dimensional format -hence the panda sculpture as pictured (below).

The Panda Project is part of a special artistic exchange for the District of Columbia's Sister Cities Program within the DC Office of the Secretary. In late September 2014, a Chinese Delegation from Beijing will visit the District for a series of events and programs. The panda statue will be used to highlight the city as a symbol of cultural and economic exchange between the District of Columbia and the Chinese Embassy.

This opportunity is open to artists based in the Washington, DC metropolitan area (including surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia) with special preference given to artists living in Washington, DC.

The selected artist will receive a $4,000.00 honorarium, which will include design fee and all costs associated with design execution, materials and travel. The applicant should also have an appropriate studio space that can accommodate the sculpture during the painting process. Transportation of the panda sculpture to and from the studio space and associated costs will be covered by DCCAH.


July 11, 2014
Release of Invitational Request for Proposals
September 2, 2014, 5:00 PM EST
EXTENDED Deadline for receipt of application materials
Week of September 2, 2014
Review proposals and select finalist
September 2014
Project execution and completion
TBD September/October
Sculpture dedication

Selection Criteria: DCCAH will convene a Selection Committee representing diverse interests and expertise to review proposals and qualifications of the applicants that respond to this call. The committee will use the following criteria in selecting a finalist for the project, which candidates should address in their letter of interest:
  • Artistic excellence and innovation as evidenced by past work.
  • Creativity in enriching the public realm, streetscape or other public environments and the ability to animate public space.
  • Manner in which the artist interprets cultural, social and aesthetic intersections between the District of Columbia and the Republic of China.
  • Ability to connect with and engage the local community as well as the visiting public.
  • Ability to work within a condensed and aggressive timeline (2-3 weeks for project completion).
About the Panda Statue:The pre-fabricated panda sculpture is fabricated from polyurethane and foam insulation with a steel armature inside the body of the statue for stability.

The statue is primed with stratum white powder and weighs 150 lbs. It will be mounted on a 500 lb. cement base. Specific recommendations for painting and/or adhering materials on the panda will be provided in detail to the selected artist or artist team.


Statue - 54" (H) x 42" (W) Base - 46" (W)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Figure Now

"Figure Now"
An Exhibition of Contemporary Figurative Sculpture, Paintings and Drawings
Marlboro Gallery
Prince George's Community College
301 Largo Road, Largo Maryland 20774

August 25 - October 2
Reception: September 18, 6 pm - 8pm
At some point, the serious study of the human figure becomes an important part of every art student's college studio art experience. How do contemporary professional visual artists interpret the figure?
"Figure Now" features a diverse range of sculptures, paintings, and drawings by figurative artists at different career points. The exhibition seeks to provide the visitor with opportunities to consider contrasting and common threads among their artwork. Some of the artists featured are Genna Watson, Adam Bradley, Jody Mussoff, Susan Yanero, and Erik Thor Sandberg.
“Figure Now” opens to the public at the Marlboro Gallery on the campus of Prince George's Community College August 25th and runs through October 2nd.  A reception for the artists will be held on Thursday, September 18th, 6pm - 8pm.

Monday, August 18, 2014

A Field Guide to the Psychology and Practicalities of Becoming a Successful Artist

“Art is a form of consciousness,” Susan Sontag wrote in her diary. But for many working artists, who straddle the balance between creativity and commerce, art swells into a form of uncomfortable self-consciousness — something compounded by a culture that continually pits the two as a tradeoff. Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod captured this perfectly in proclaiming that “art suffers the moment other people start paying for it.” Such sentiments, argues artist Lisa Congdon in Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist (public library), are among the most toxic myths we subscribe to as a culture and reflect a mentality immeasurably limiting for creative people.
 Details here.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Montreal Gazette on Lida Moser

Read an excellent piece in the Montreal Gazette on Lida Moser's passing here.

Photographer Lida Moser with ethnographer Luc Lacourcière and Quebec politician Paul Gouin, in front of Hotel Le Pic de l’ Aurore, Percé.

Photograph by: Lida Moser, 1950

Friday, August 15, 2014

The WCP on Lida Moser

has authored a very cool article in the WCP about Lida Moser.

Perhaps her most famous photograph, "Judy and the Boys," a fashion shoot that took a turn for the hilarious when the model flipped a bunch of rowdy interlopers the bird, is one of the Library of Congress' most-requested photos for reproduction. Campello says Moser had a razor-sharp memory when it came to her past work. "You could point to one of her old photographs and she’d know the name of every one of the kids," he tells Arts Desk.
 Read the article here.

Artists' Opportunities

Maryland Art Place (MAP) is happy to announce three separate opportunities for artists working in the DC, Maryland and Virginia region. Each project presents an opportunity to receive either a cash reward or stipend. MAP is excited to make these opportunities available through valued partnerships with CyberPoint International, Harbor East Management Group, Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) and Art Lives Here.

In partnership with CyberPoint International, MAP is releasing an opportunity specifically geared towards female artists of the greater Baltimore metropolitan area.  Collectively, MAP and CyberPoint wish to commission a new work of art, as well as license the image of that new work of art, offering $750 in compensation for the original work and license. The image of that artwork will be reproduced in a limited edition and presented to the guests of CyberPoint’s Women in Cyber Security reception on October 29th, 2014.  The reception is meant to facilitate connections between women working in cyber security with the work embodying the theme of “creating connections” (social networks, computer networks, support networks.)  

Window Wonderland, a Holiday Arts Exhibit at Harbor East, is in its third year and is seeking unique, holiday presentations/installations for the participating retail locations within the Harbor East corridor.  Selected artists will receive a $500 honorarium from Harbor East.  During the unveiling, a jury consisting of Cara Ober, artist and Founder/Owner of BMoreArt, Priya Bhayana, Director Bromo Arts District, and Jessica Bizik, Editor in Chief of Baltimore Style Magazine will announce the “Best in Show” window installation, and this artist or artist collective will receive a $1,000 cash prize from Harbor East!

MAP, in partnership with Neighborhood Design Center (NDC) and Art Lives Here, are seeking proposals for a fall, 2014 IMPACT project at the former Northeastern Supply building lot in Brentwood, Maryland.  Proposed projects should engage community participation either before or during the life-span of the work.  Artists should seek to create a re-envisioned public space incorporating the use of contemporary fine art and design practices. The selected artist/artist team will receive a stipend up to $6,000 for the completion of this work.

For details, deadlines and applications artists should visit MAP’s website at

Mail Art Show

Deadline: August 15, 2014 
Enter up to three postcards. Send to:
Art by the Sea Gallery
175 2nd St
Bandon OR 97411
Open theme. No online entries, mail only. 
Cards become property of the gallery. Online documentation provided during show,
September and October 2014 on website. No entry fee. 
Details here or

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Photographer at the Altar of Contemporary Photography

Below you will find a sampling of images from the new work "Photographer at the Altar of Contemporary Photography." The work randomly samples the internet for well-known photographers as well as lesser known, but interesting photographic images (interesting to me anyway) and culls them into the piece for 5-10 seconds.

"Photographer at the Altar of Contemporary Photography"
Charcoal, conte and embedded video player. 37 x 25 inches.
2014 by F. Lennox Campello

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Lida Moser passing noted in foreign press

Montreal's Le Devoir has a huge article on the passing of Lida Moser. Read it here.

Le Journal de Quebec also has an extensive tribute to Moser's photo legacy. Read that here.

And Radio Canada has a nice report on her life at

Locally, we're still waiting for the local media to write something... cough, cough...

News flash: The National Fine Arts Museum of Quebec (Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec) is preparing a retrospective of Lida's Quebec photography for next February.

MPA Looking for new Executive Director

McLean Project for the Arts 
Executive Director

Position Description:

McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) has an immediate need for an innovative, strategic leader with a demonstrated record of success in the not-for-profit world to serve as its Executive Director.  The Executive Director will lead and grow the organization at a time of tremendous excitement and momentum in the DC metropolitan area’s burgeoning art scene.

MPA is a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) visual arts center founded in 1962 with a mission to exhibit the work of emerging and established artists from the mid-Atlantic region; to promote public awareness and understanding of the concepts of contemporary art; and to offer instruction and education in the visual arts. MPA enriches a community hungry for high quality visual arts by providing museum quality exhibitions and creating a cultural destination. MPA’s beautiful 2,000 square foot Emerson Gallery provides one of the few spaces available in the DC metropolitan region for large sculpture and installations.  MPA offers a wide variety of professionally taught art classes for adults, teens and children including Family Art Workshops, artist talks and workshops, and tours to area museums and galleries. MPA’s award winning ArtReach program takes art instruction into Fairfax County Public Schools and senior centers, and brings students, seniors, and those with special needs into our galleries for exhibition tours and hands-on art activities.  MPA currently has a staff of 10 full and part-time professionals, hundreds of volunteers, an annual operating budget of approximately $800,000.  MPA also benefits from an actively engaged Board of Directors comprised of community members, business leaders and arts professionals.

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director will be responsible for the organization's achievement of its mission through innovative strategies in fundraising and programming. The Executive Director will ensure that the financial, administrative, and operational activities of MPA, including its galleries and studio, function at the highest levels and in accordance with the organization’s mission and values.

The Executive Director of MPA will be expected to maintain a strong, visible presence in the community, strengthen current funding relationships and develop new, diverse sources of funds that ensure the organization will achieve sustainable growth and financial stability. This position offers the opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader to have a true impact on the DC area’s cultural landscape while ensuring that MPA will be a national leader in its field.

  • A minimum of five years experience as a non-profit executive with fundraising and management responsibility.
  • Demonstrated success in fundraising with foundations, corporations, government entities and individuals.
  • Knowledge of, or keen interest in, the visual arts.
  • Familiarity with the Washington D.C. metropolitan area including potential funding sources in the market.
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to leverage limited resources through effective delegation in order to manage multiple, competing priorities.
  • A creative, innovative, and strategic thinker with extraordinary interpersonal skills who enjoys building relationships across stakeholder groups.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Able to create and lead a vibrant team environment with staff, Board and other stakeholders to achieve organizational objectives. 
  • Desire to participate actively in MPA’s lively schedule of activities and events weekdays, evenings and weekends.
  • Bachelor’s Degree

This is a full time, on-site position.  Compensation in the range of $55,000 – 70,000, depending on the qualifications and experience of the candidate.


Please send letter, resume and references to:

McLean Project for the Arts is an Equal Opportunity Employer that values workplace diversity.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Where is Sprouse now? On TV that's where!

We opened the Fraser Gallery in Georgetown's Canal Square complex in 1996. At the time, there were several galleries in that square: Parrish, MOCA, Alla Rogers, Veerhoff and eklektikos... at one point more galleries came in and once upon a time there were seven in total.

eklektikos (with a small "e") was the hard working gallery run by George Thomasson and his partner Michael Sprouse.

Sprouse was and remains a brilliant artist, and while he lived in the DMV, he was often considered amongst the top young contemporary painters in the area.

eklektikos moved to the 7th Street corridor sometime in the mid 2000s - to the building there that used to house multiple galleries and art dealers, across the street from Zenith, and next to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. They were kind enough to offer me a solo show, which I accepted and which sold really well... In fact, one of my drawings from that show, which at the time probably sold for around $200, showed a while back at a Sotheby's auction and went at auction for $1,100!

Cool, uh?

Anyway, a few years later, Sprouse and Thomasson relocated to Delaware, and now live by the ocean... must be nice!

In addition to continuing to create art, Sprouse is breaking new ground...

Tomorrow on WRDE TV, the Delmarva's NBC affiliate, Sprouse makes his debut with the WRDE NBC Coast TV Arts & Entertainment Report - the initial debut takes place tomorrow evening during the 6:00 and 11:00 PM news. 

For Delmarva area residents, WRDE broadcasts in HD on channels 209 and 809 on Comcast (also in Standard Definition on Channel 9 on Comcast). For viewers with Direct TV and Dish Network, use channel 31. For over the air non-cable or dish viewing, use channel 31.1.

Go Michael! We wish you the best!

Dead tree media on McLellan firing

LAT art critic Christopher Knight weighs in the Jayme McLellan and Corcoran mess.  Read the LAT piece here.

The WCP's Christina Cauterucci also has a really good read here.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Lida Moser 1920-2014

I am sad to report that legendary American photographer Lida Moser, who for years lived in retirement in nearby Rockville, Maryland, passed away today around 2:30PM.

This grand photographer was not only one of the most respected American photographers of the 20th century - respected by fellow photographers, curators and all human beings -- but also a pioneer in the field of photojournalism. Her photography has been in the middle of a revival and rediscovery of vintage photojournalism, and has sold in the five figures at Christie's auctions and continues to be collected by both museums and private collectors worldwide. In a career spanning over 60 years, Moser has produced a body of works consisting of thousands of photographs and photographic assemblages that defy categorization and genre or label assignment.

Additionally, Canadian television a few years ago finished filming a documentary about her life; the second in the last few years, and Moser’s work has been for years in the collection of many museums worldwide. A couple of the years ago, the Smithsonian Institution purchased over 200 photos by Moser of her beloved New York.

She was once called the "grandmother of American street photography" by an art critic, which prompted a quick rebuttal by Moser, who called the writer's editor and told him that she wasn't the "fucking grandmother of anything or anyone, and would he [the writer] ever describe Ansel Adams or any other male photographer as the 'grandfather' of any style."

Tough New Yorker.

I once sold one of her rare figure studies to a big famous photography collector from the West Coast (who collects mostly nude photography). There were four or five prints of the image, taken and printed around 1961, but one had all the markings and touch-up evidence of the actual photo that had been used by the magazine, and thus I sent him that one.

He called me to complain that although he loved Moser's work, that he wasn't too happy with the retouching, and could I ask Lida for one of the untouched photos.

Now, you gotta understand that these images were taken and touched-up by hand for publication in a newspaper or magazine (since they were nudies, the latter probably). They were not touched up for a gallery or an art show - they were "battlefield" prints of a working photographer.

I called Lida and explained the situation over the phone. "Sweetie," she said to me in her strong New York accent, "you call that guy right back and tell him that you talked to Lida Moser and that Lida Moser told you to tell him: Fuck You!"

I didn't do that, but just sent him an untouched vintage print.

Tough New Yorker.

Lida was a well-known figure in the New York art scene of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, and a portrait of Lida Moser by American painter Alice Neel hangs in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Neel painted a total of four Moser portraits over her lifetime, and one of them was included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts' "Alice Neel's Women" exhibition.

Charles Mingus by Lida Moser
"Charles Mingus in his Apartment in New York City", c. 1965.

Among her body of works there are also loads of photographs of well-known artists and musicians that either hung around Lida's apartment in NYC or who were part of her circle of friends.

Man Sitting Across Berenice Abbott's Studio in 1948 by Lida Moser

Lida Moser's photographic career started as a student and studio assistant in 1947 in Berenice Abbott's studio in New York City, where she became an active member of the New York Photo League. She then worked for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Look and many other magazines throughout the next few decades, and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

In 1950 Vogue, and (and subsequently Look magazine) assigned Lida Moser to carry out an illustrated report on Canada, from one ocean to another. When she arrived at the Windsor station in Montreal, in June of that same year, she met by chance, Paul Gouin, then a Cultural Advisor to Duplessis government. This chance meeting led Moser to change her all-Canada assignment for one centered around Quebec.
Quebec Children, Gaspe Pen, Valley of The Matapedia, Quebec, Canada by Lida Moser
Armed with her camera and guided by the research done by the Abbot Felix-Antoine Savard, the folklorist Luc Lacourcière and accompanied by Paul Gouin, Lida Moser then discovers and photographs a traditional Quebec, which was still little touched by modern civilization and the coming urbanization of the region.

Decades later, a major exhibition of those photographs at the McCord Museum of Canadian History became the museum’s most popular exhibit ever.

Construction of Exxon Building, 6th Avenue and 50th Street, New York City by Lida Moser c.1971She also authored and has been part of many books and publications on and about photography. She also wrote a series of "Camera View" articles on photography for The New York Times between 1974-81.

Her work has been exhibited in many museums worldwide and is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, the National Archives, Ottawa, the National Galleries of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, the Library of Congress, Les Archives Nationales du Quebec, Corcoran Gallery, Phillips Collection and many others. And that iconic photo of the window washers cleaning windows at the Exxon Building in NYC was actually made into a 3D sculpture at Leggoland (without Moser's permission) in Florida.

Moser was an active member of the Photo League and the New York School.

The Photo League was the seminal birth of American documentary photography. It was a group that was at times at school, an association and even a social club. Disbanded in 1951, the League promoted photojournalism with an aesthetic consciousness that reaches street photography to this day.

photo by Lida Moser
"New York City, Office Building Lobby" c. 1965

If you are a female photographer, I hope that you didn't miss the opportunity to visit the Arts Club a couple of years ago when they hosted a wonderful show of her works... and hopefully met one of the women who set the path for all of you.

The Arts Club show was curated by my good friend Erik Denker, the Senior Lecturer, Education Division at the National Gallery of Art, who is also an authority on all things Moser. The show was titled "The World of John Koch" and depicted Moser's portraits of the renowed New York portrait artist John Koch taken over a 20 year span from 1954-1974. These photographs were exhibited in Washington for the first time and are only one of two portfolios of the portraits ever printed by Moser (the other was given to the Koch widow once the painter died in 1974).

John Koch by Lida Moser

John Koch, Silver Gelatin print by Lida Moser, c.1970

The Fraser Gallery represented Lida's works for many years, and also gave her several solo shows. Read the WaPo review of one of her DC solo exhibitions at Fraser here also also the CP's review of another one of her shows here and lastly the CP's profile of Moser from a decade ago.

Lida Moser signing a copy of 100 Artists of Washington, DC in 2011
This hurricane of a woman lived a fruitful life and has left a magnificent artistic footprint on the history of American photography. She will be missed, and we are saddened by her departure, but happy to know that Moser's enormous legacy will live forever.