Sunday, May 31, 2015

Meco's Star Wars Galactic Funk

The shoulder is returning slowly; first day back in studio in 2014!  

Finished a piece that I had started prior to the accident and now framing it and hoping that it can head out to the Texas Contemporary Art Fair.

Listening to Meco's Star Wars Galactic Funk on the turntable...

Images of new work tomorrow...

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship program

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship program is a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia.  VMFA is committed to supporting professional artists and art students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline and, as such has awarded more than $5 million to Virginia’s artists since the program’s creation. This year marks the 75th anniversary of VMFA’s Fellowship Program.  A dedicated microsite and documentary to the 75-year history of the program is at
The VMFA Fellowship program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Offered through VMFA Statewide, Fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment, and supplemented by annual gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic, Jr. Scholarship Fund.  The Fellowship program has a long and established history of supporting Virginia’s artistic talent and has helped to further the careers and studies of many distinguished individuals, including recent recipients Morgan Herrin of Richmond, Kelly Queener of Henrico, and Will May of Charlottesville.
VMFA offers $8,000 awards to professional artists, $6,000 awards to graduate students, and $4,000 awards to undergraduate students.  Applicants may apply in the disciplines of Crafts, Drawing, Film/Video, Mixed Media, New/Emerging Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Art History (graduate students only).  All applicants must be legal residents of Virginia and student applicants must be enrolled full-time in degree-seeking programs. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by distinguished jurors and awards are made based on artistic merit.  The deadline for Fellowship applications is Friday, November 6, 2015.
I encourage interested students and professional artists to apply. Full eligibility criteria, can be found at  Visit this page during the summer of 2015 for information on how to apply for a 2016-17 VMFA Fellowship.

Eve returns

A DMV collector saw this piece at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in their super-popular Alchemical Vessels Exhibition and Benefit.

But someone else bought it before her turn came to pick a piece... undeterred, she found me and asked for a commission.

And thus everyone wins: She gets an original Campello, the Joan Hisaoka Arts Gallery gets another sale to raise funds for their very worthy cause, and I gain another collector.

Eve Running Away from Eden  Charcoal on Broken Clay  2015 by F. Lennox Campello
Eve Running Away from Eden
Charcoal on Broken Clay
2015 by F. Lennox Campello

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The curious case of Senator Udall, President Obama, gay marriage, Cuba and the Pope

President Obama really wants a "deal" with the Castro brothers... it is beginning to seem as "no matter what." In supporting his zeal, he often invokes the Pope's newly-flowering relationship with the brutal Castro brothers.

What it is not often discussed is that the "real" behind-the scenes force in "brokering" our President's's one-sided deal, which pretty much just benefits Cuban dictator Raul Castro, was Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State and thus the number two man at the Vatican.

The same Cardinal Parolin who yesterday, in response to Ireland's historic national support for marriage equality, referred to the referendum as "a defeat for humanity."

As CHC puts it:
The Vatican welcomes and joyfully embraces brutal dictators, who have murdered, tortured and imprisoned countless innocent people -- regardless of whether they repent for their crimes.  
But peaceful, loving couples -- who have harmed no one -- are "a defeat for humanity"?
And meanwhile... what's going on in Cuba?

As we noted recently, the Havana Biennial is being marred by arrests of Cuban artists in the capital, and mass arrests of dissidents in the provinces; yesterday alone over 200 dissidents were arrested throughout the island.
And yesterday more dissidents from Cuba's Anti-Totalitarian Front were arrested as they distributed pamphlets with the images of political prisoners.  Among those arrested were Luis Dominguez, Hugo Damian Prieto, Andres Sabelino, Lazaro Mendoza and Eugenio Hernandez. 
Also arrested today was independent journalist, Yuri Valle Roca.  And political prisoner Yuset Perez Moreira, a youth activist for The Emilia Project, is on the 27th day of a hunger strike protesting his unjust imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the Congressional delegation led by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) continued the disturbing trend -- enhanced by the Obama-Castro deal -- of ignoring Cuban democracy leaders and keeping mum on all the mass arrests - including the re-arrests of several political prisoners who had been freed as part of the original Obama-Cuba deal!

Senator Udall!!!!!!!!!!!
We, Ladies in White, believe that these relations and conversations between the Cuban and U.S. governments will not be of any benefit to the Cuban people. And even less will it empower civil society, as President Barack Obama says. If no conditions are placed on the Cuban government, it will be more of the same or worse. We don't see the U.S. government, the European Union, or Pope Francis, pronouncing themselves as regards the violations of human rights on the island, which is giving the Cuban government a green light to continue violating them. 
-- Berta Soler, leader of The Ladies in White democracy movement, during the Oslo Freedom Forum, EFE, 5/26/15

Assholes of the Week: Madison School Board

Here in the DMV we are all active participants in the national debate over the Washington Redskins name and logo - in the past we've offered an alternative to the issue: Rename the team The Washington Redskin Potatoes, a suggestion which was promptly stolen by PETA and submitted as their own.

The issue of potentially racially or ethnic sensitive/offensive logos, names, etc. has many side and multiple vectors affecting it, but the slice of the issue dealing with our Native American fellow citizens is a particularly salient one, with multiple opinions (even amongst the Native American tribes themselves) and so it is understandable why the Madison, Wisconsin School Board attempted to address the issue by banning student attire with Native American mascots, logos, etc.

But my issue with that attempt is that they've gone waaaaaaay too far in their wording of the ban, far over reaching waaaaay past Native American related imagery and into areas that technically (and I know that I am a pedantic Virgo, but you'd think that these knuckleheads would read the wording of the ban a little carefully) cover a whole lot of other logos and mascots beyond the first Americans.
The amended rule states that students may not "wear clothing with words, pictures, or caricatures based on negative stereotypes of a specific gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
I could pick this apart starting with who decides what is a "negative stereotype," but I suspect that just like pornography, it is hard to define but we'd all know when we see it.

But do we as a whole "we" - hopefully all of us defenders of the first amendment - agree on what's offensive? There are certainly a lot of logos out there that to many eyes seem offensive... but...

Is the Fighting Irish logo a negative representation of people of Irish ancestry? Five gets you ten that you can find some Irish who think so. In fact, check out these responses... And Pulanski H.S. in Wisconsin: You're in trouble too in your... cough, cough... adaptation of the Notre Dame logo.

Is the vintage 1960s Pittsburgh Pirates (or the 1997) logo a negative representation of people with a handicap?

The Chicago Blackhawks logo doesn't seem to cause any issue, but now it is also banned in Madison.

Can you wear a retro Chiquita Banana logo? Only if someone in the Madison School Board decides that it is not offensive to either Carmen Miranda or bananas... cough, cough...

And if you wear anything with the Two Rivers High School athletic logo, (or Gilman H.S.) also in Wisconsin, you may get in deep kimchee, as it may be deemed offensive to handicapped people... I'm just sayin'...

And none of these cut the mustard.

I hope that it is clear that I'm having a bit of fun with a somewhat sensitive issue; however, my issue with the issue, cough, cough, is the heavy-handed way in which it has been handled by the Madison, Wisconsin School Board.

This is all really about free speech, and if the board bans images speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop? The wearing of attire with American flags is already banned in some places... Now Madison has added a huge and quite possibly unenforceable set of new imagery to the banned list.

Makes my head hurt!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Artist Protection Fund

Last Tuesday night, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Institute of International Education and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced the exciting launch of a pilot program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The  Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work.
In many parts of the world, artists suffer harassment, imprisonment, violence, and even death as a direct consequence of their unique role and power to advance free and creative expression. With participation of many arts organizations and partners from around the world, IIE has taken action to develop the Artist Protection Fund to fill a critical unmet need and provide relief and safe haven to artists on a large scale.
IIE is calling on arts organizations around the world to join in this important effort over the next three years. The launch of the Artist Protection Fund makes an excellent story opportunity for publications covering the arts industry and sends an important message to the many audiences of the arts community about how to become involved as a host or nominate a threatened artist in the world.
Please see full press release here.
My first nominee for this program is Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, and I call for the APF to award a grant to this jailed artist and to join our voice in demanding the release of Bruguera from the Castro Brothers' prison island.

34zero9 Micro-Gallery Grand Opening

The tiny art gallery is a big deal.
In response to the closing of Artisphere, artist and creative activist Barbara Januszkiewicz set out to uncover new opportunities for gallery space in Arlington. The small store-front common space that she shares with studio mates John M.Adams, Matthew Grimes and Paula Bryan  is now the newest gallery in the metro area.
With a bit of ingenuity they have been able to turn the pocket-sized space into a micro gallery.  
At roughly 60 square feet, this re-imagined space would be easy to miss if not for the exuberant art visible from the window. It has all the required components of a gallery: white walls, high ceilings, an expansive window -- along with a cleverly hidden water cooler  and carefully disguised electrical boxes.
What type of impact can a micro-sized gallery deliver?
"Any visibility and awareness for the visual arts can fuel innovative ways to think creatively and abstractly," says Januszkiewicz. She stresses that this is not an impermanent "Pop Up" gallery, but instead, part of a new initiative to show that art galleries are important enough to sustain permanent locations.  "In our increasingly complex world, having a space where we can have one-to-one conversations and provide creative opportunities to show and explain work is priceless," she adds. "We welcome an opportunity to foster engagement with our art."
Anyone who walks by Kansas Street to the Virginia Square Metro or to North Side Social can now view fine art from this diverse group.
The 34zero9 Micro-Gallery will be an on-going project between all the artists who have studios in the building. The 34zero9 Art Studios are between Clarendon & Virginia Square, located in a pedestrian breezeway behind a modern Arlington high-rise, a contemporary steel and glass high-rise condominium on Wilson Boulevard, ARC 3409.
Micro-Gallery opening, and open artist studios, is Saturday, May 30 from 4-7 pm. 3409 Wilson Blvd. Arlington VA 22201.
John M Adams
Paula Bryan
Barb Januszkiewicz
Special Guest Jennifer Lillis, founder of the Dotted Line Project, with her Pop-Up Art Hugs photo booth. The Dotted Line Project has been  actively connecting to the community and creatives in the metro area with art appreciation art hugs photo booths.  Ms Lillis will set up the art hugs booth outside the Micro Gallery during  this  event.
For additional information, contact Barbara Januszkiewicz at (703) 798-3645 Email

General Grievous

At the risk of being sued by the Mouse...
General Grievous  Graphite on Gessoed Masonite  Anderson Campello  10x10 inches, circa 2015
General Grievous
Graphite on Gessoed Masonite
Anderson Campello
10x10 inches, circa 2015

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this art scammer!

From: Sonia Justice <>
Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Subject: Order Inquiry

Hi there,

Placing an order from your online gallery shouldn't be a problem, but
I still need to confirm if International order is accepted from your
Kindly get back to me with your available piece of work or website
that displays your current work only if my request is accepted.

All the best.


The curious case of Tania Bruguera, the UN and the Cuban dictatorship

As you know, DC Art News has been following the saga of well-known artist Tania Bruguera and the bloody Cuban dictatorship.

Bruguera, a New York-based Cuban artist, and easily one of the best-known artists on the planet, was temporarily arrested on December 30, 2014 for organizing a free speech performance entitled #YoTambienExijo -- pursuant to the Obama-Castro deal. She had her passport confiscated and has not been allowed to leave the island.

The Washington Post wrote about this in an editorial:
...Tania Bruguera planned a simple event for Tuesday: She would set up a microphone in Havana’s Revolution Square and invite anyone who wished to step up and talk about the country’s future. Dozens of dissidents planned to participate under the slogan “I also demand” — which might be taken as an allusion to their exclusion from the secret normalization negotiations conducted by the Obama administration and the regime of Fidel and Raúl Castro. 
That the deal announced Dec. 17 by President Obama did not include any protections for Cuba’s pro-democracy activists quickly became obvious. Security forces detained Ms. Bruguera as well as several dozen other activists. The free-speech performance never took place. “I spoke to Tania Bruguera and let her know part of her performance was done,” tweeted Yoani Sánchez, an independent journalist whose husband, Reinaldo Escobar, was one of those detained. “Censorship was revealed.” 
The incident should have been an embarrassment to Mr. Obama, who said that he decided to restore normal relations with Cuba in order to “do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values.” But the administration shrugged off the crackdown. On Wednesday, the State Department issued a statement saying it was “deeply concerned,” the same words it uses to describe human rights violations in China, Vietnam and other countries where the United States has no leverage and plans no action. Talks on the opening of embassies will go forward.

Tania Bruguera, photo by Yali Romagonza.
Courtesy of Studio Bruguera
As most of you know, the Havana Biennial is currently underway, and collectors, arts aficionados, curators, many DC-area artists, and the art cabal has descended en masse upon The Castro Brothers' Workers Paradise.

Tania Bruguera was arrested again a couple of days ago as she approached the Museum of Fine Arts to attend an exhibit for the Havana Art Biennial. No one seems to know what the charges (if any) are... but then again, this is Cuba.

Via Facebook, her sister (who lives in Spain I believe), reported that Bruguera began reading 100-hours of Hannah Arendt’s seminal book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, on May 22 - apparently that's part of her "crime."

But there's more.

In Havana, four dozen members of The Ladies in White were arrested as they attended Sunday Mass. Also arrested were many of their male supporters, including democracy leaders Antonio Rodiles, Angel Moya and independent journalist Juan Gonzalez Febles. The Cuban dictators are particularly terrified of this group of women, whose "protests" generally consist of: (dress in a white dress on Sundays, (b) attend Sunday Mass, (c) march in unison while holding flowers to the cemetery and (d) get abused, beaten and arrested on the way there; repeat next Sunday.

Band leader Gorki Aguila was grabbed by undercover police outside the museum for the simple reason that he was displaying a photo of graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado and the word “freedom.” That's a no, no in the Workers' Paradise.

Graffitist Danilo Maldonado was arrested in December for "tagging" several pigs with the names "Castro" and "Raul." The names refer to the Castro brothers(Raul and Fidel Castro), suffocaters of the poor island prison. Where Maldonado was able to find pigs in food-poor Cuba will always be a mystery. I suspected the pigs were also snatched and ended up being served later that night in the homes of the undercover police bosses.

In Santiago de Cuba, capital of the Oriente province (the original province), over 80 activists of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) were beaten and arrested, including some who had been released under the Obama-Castro December 17th deal, namely Diango and Bianko Vargas Martin, and Ernesto Tamayo Guerra.

Dozens of others were arrested in the interior provinces, including Raul Borges, father of political prisoner Ernesto Borges, and youth activists from the Cuban Reflection Movement.

Meanwhile, the US State Department and the Obama administration march forward...
“I don’t want to sound too Pollyannaish . . . but I do think we’re closer than we have been,” the official said. “I think my [Cuban] counterparts are coming up here with a desire to get this done.” The negotiating session will be held at the State Department. 
“I wouldn’t be even remotely optimistic if I did not feel that we were making progress,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under rules imposed by the State Department.
Unfortunately I am resigned to see our administration march forward, no matter what the Cuban dictatorship does to its abused citizens - after all the bottom line here is business.

But where is the United Nations on these issues? Where are the Cuban people's Latin American brothers and sisters? Where is Cuba's madre patria, Spain? Where's is the European Union?

Makes my head hurt.

Stay strong Tania; stay strong Ladies in White... each little "crack" in the dictators' bloody boots helps.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Campello reviewed

"Elise Campello is Sally Bowles, the free-spirited, devil-may-care character who demands herself to be oblivious to all things negative surrounding her lest she must be taken seriously.  Campello is glibly charming in the role and shows sequestered understanding of the underlying meaning to the part.  Campello sings the title song, “Cabaret,” acting the words instead of just setting them to music – giving them true meaning."
Review here:

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Campello Sangria for 100

Box of cheap white or red wine
2 liter bottle of cherry 7 up
1/4 to 1/2 bottle of cheap vodka
1 can of Goya mango juice
1/2 carton orange juice (pulp free)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice

  • Cut one red and one green apple in cubes
  • Wash, then slice one orange and one lemon and one lime... Leave rind
  • Mix all liquids and add cut fruit
  • Taste and adjust "sweetness" to taste by adding lime juice if more tartness is desired... You can also add Triple Sec if more orangeness is desired.
Serves over 100; It tastes better if you prepare it a few hours ahead of time and let fruit sit in it.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Call for Artists: Shinola

Deadline for Submissions is June 7, 2015
WPA is pleased to partner with Shinola to provide a new opportunity for Washington DC Metro area artists. Headquartered in Detroit, MI, Shinola prides itself on enhancing the local economy and helping to rebuild American jobs. Given Shinola's company practices of sourcing local talent they have partnered with WPA to bring a rotating series of 4 exhibitions of local artists' work to their new store gallery at 14th and R Streets NW in Logan Circle.
Artists with pre-existing work that has a minimalist approach that shares Shinola's aesthetic and vision for a community that thrives though excellence of craft and pride of work are invited to apply. 
Submissions may be for existing work or proposals for new projects to take place before the exhibition. Details here.
Selected artists will have their work on display for approximately 3 months on a gallery wall within the store and will receive a $1,000 stipend and $100 Shinola gift card. 
Submissions will only be accepted online via their online submission form. Deadline for submissions is June 7, 2015.
Questions can be directed to Samantha May, Program Director at

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Exhibition Opportunity

Mattawoman Creek Art Center  - 21st Annual All-Media Juried Exhibition

June 5 – July 5, 2015

Smallwood State Park – Marbury, MD.  $1,000 in prize money.  Open to all artists 18 years or older.  Artwork may not exceed 6’x6’ or weigh more than 100 lbs. 

All entries must be hand delivered May 22 – 24. 

Juror:  Dr. Margaret Dowell, award winning artist/educator – currently adjunct professor of Art at the College of Southern Maryland.  

For more information visit:

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Call for Artists: Other Worlds, Other Stories

Deadline for Submissions is June 21, 2015
WPA is seeking submissions for its upcoming exhibition Other Worlds, Other Stories. Curated by my good bud Jeffry Cudlin,  Other Worlds, Other Stories is a group exhibition exploring notions of outer space. The exhibition will take place from January 6 - February 20, 2016 at the WPA's new home at 2112 8th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001 in The JBG Companies new Atlantic Plumbing Building.

Considering that I've always thought that JC is from another world (note his alien-like height and long extremities), I think that he's the perfect juror for this show!

WPA is seeking seeking work by contemporary artists who are thinking deeply about outer space-either what it will look like when we get there, or how it might allow us to change as a society.
The call is open to all artists regardless of media used or geographic location.
Artists do not need to be WPA members and there is no submission fee.
Submissions may be for existing work or proposals for new projects to take place before or during the exhibition.
Selected artists will receive a $250 honorarium.
Submissions will only be accepted online via their online submission form. Deadline for submissions is June 21, 2015.
Questions can be directed to Samantha May, Program Director at

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I love the meal... but where's the fagioli?

I love the meal... but where's the fagioli?

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this rip-off artist:
From: (

Hello ,

I am Mrs Maria Roy and I would like purchase some of your items , Please kindly let me know the sales person.

Please email me back at
Thank you.
Mrs Maria Roy

Le zumba el mango

Sometimes when I speak in Spanish to some of my fellow Spanish-speaking friends around the DMV, they stare at me in puzzlement, because Cubans and Americans of Cuban ancestry have a very unique and rich "Cuban Spanish" that is often gibberish to other Spanish-speakers.

How would one translate the Cuban saying: "Le zumba el mango"??? 

The closest that I can translate it is: "Hard to believe" or "Beyond belief", but with a degree of "How can that be done?" I'm not even 100% sure what "zumba" means! "throws" or "flings"? So it translates word for word to: "Throws a mango"... figure that out...

Here's an example: "Le zumba el mango that the Castro brothers are still in power!" or "Le zumba el mango that my niece came to visit Washington and didn't even call me!"


Monday, May 18, 2015

Surviving the Storm: call for entries

Deadline: 06/26/15
Montgomery College
As we approach the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Montgomery College sees a unique opportunity to educate students and the larger community about the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.  We are looking for your best artwork related to the social, political, racial, economic, and environmental impacts of Hurricane Katrina.  More specifically, we are interested in artwork that portrays the enormity of this disaster, with narratives focusing on both New Orleans and the greater, impacted Gulf coast.  In addition, we seek work that shows the evolution of this event, beginning with pre-Katrina, during and immediately following the storm, and rebuilding efforts. 

Entries will be juried by Susan Sterner, Director of Photojournalism at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design.

Title:    Surviving the Storm
Medium:   All media accepted
# entries:   Three
Deadline:   June 26, 2015
Artist Notification:  July 17, 2015
Art Delivery Date:  August 3–14
Show Date:   August 17 to October 23, 2015, with the possibility of a second show in February 2016

Fee:    Free to submit

Eligibility:   Applicants must be at least 21 years of age to submit
Submit work by sending a link to (see below for more information).

Juror Biography
Susan Sterner is Director of the MA in New Media Photojournalism and an associate professor of photojournalism at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. Ms. Sterner started her career as a photojournalist freelancing with national and international publications while based in New Orleans, LA. She then worked for the Associated Press as a staff photographer based in Mississippi and California. With the AP she covered domestic issues such as immigration, child labor, and families in poverty, as well as U.S. border issues and social change in Haiti. A two-year fellowship with the Institute of Current World Affairs sent Ms. Sterner to Brazil to photograph and write about women’s lives and access to resources. After returning to the United States, she worked as a White House photographer, documenting the official and the behind-the-scenes life of the presidency. Since 2006 she has coordinated the photojournalism program at the Corcoran. She is currently at work on series of short-form documentaries examining community-based health care.

Submission Requirements
Consideration is by digital files only. Artist may submit up to three works. If necessary to understand the artwork, a second view of each piece may be submitted. Label each file LastName_ArtworkTitle_#.jpg. Example: Jones_RisingStorm_2.jpg
Images: Submit jpeg files at 300 dpi, at a minimum of 2100 pixels on the longest side.
Videos: Submit mov files of no more than 5 minutes (if the exhibited video will be longer, this should be an excerpt). Videos submissions will only be accepted if the final artwork is a video.
Files should be no larger than 100MB with a minimum resolution of 640 x 480; minimum 12 fps.
Books: Submit a pdf file of the full book at up to 150 dpi. File should be no larger than 25MB.

Also include a Microsoft Word document with the following information:
Artist Name, Address, Phone, Email  Information about each piece, including:
Caption/statement (not to exceed 150 words)
Size: height x width x depth in inches
Price (if not for sale indicate with “NFS,” but include price for insurance)

Submit all files by emailing a link to a folder to Subject line must include “Weathering the Storm.”

Conditions of Entry
Artist may submit no more than three works.  
Artists are responsible for shipping and shipping insurance to and from the exhibition venue.  While artwork is housed at Montgomery College, it will be covered by our insurance.
Artwork is available for sale unless the artist indicates otherwise. Inquiries will be directed to the artist. Montgomery College does not receive a commission for artwork sold.

There is no size restriction on pieces beyond the juror’s discretion and space considerations. The gallery is 24 x 28’, with an 8 x 10’ entry.

Work MUST be available for the full run of the exhibition and arrive at Montgomery College ready to install. Work that is not exhibition-ready will not be included in the exhibition.

Contact Information
King Street Gallery Montgomery College
7600 Takoma Ave., CF111 
Takoma Park, MD 20912

About the Gallery
The Cultural Arts Gallery’s exhibitions compliment the academic programs of Montgomery College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts while bringing art to the community. As part of the Silver Spring arts community, exhibitions focus on current pieces by working artists. The gallery is on the ground floor of The Cultural Arts Center on the west side of the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus.

The center is located at 7995 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD, 20910.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mathematics and the art fair model

Much has been written about the phenomenon of art fairs as the new salons of the 21st century, as magnets where galleries congregate and collectors and curators, and celebrities, and the illuminati go to see and buy art. Furthermore, anecdotal figures from the major fairs seem to confirm that a lot of artwork is being sold by galleries at the fairs. My own experience in doing art fairs for the last ten years confirms this fact - I have my own positive empirical evidence, most recently with the great Context Art Miami fair for the past two years.

Here in the DMV, we've had our own taste of a major "Miami style art fair" with artDC in 2007 - and that fair was a major failure, as that basic fair model didn't work in the Greater Washington area, which historically has a well documented degree of apathy when it comes to actually buying art or getting the main stream press interested... or the immense reluctance that suburbanites have in driving to DC over the weekend to parking-challenged areas.

Subsequently to that epic art fair failure, the (e)merge art fair - a hotel variation of the "art fair inside a huge building/tent" model, where the fair is held in a hotel (in this case the Capitol Skyline Hotel) - has had more success

And yet... an idea that I have been mulling in my head for years now keeps bugging me.

Stick with me here.

There's another "world" out there of fine art fairs that, because of the curious high brow attitude of the "high art" cabal, never really gets any attention from the art media, etc.

These are the outdoor art fairs that some of us know well, and many more others think they know well even though they've actually never been to any of the good ones. I am talking about the outdoor art festivals that get ranked as the top ones by Sunshine Artist magazine; fairs such as the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, or the Ann Arbor Arts Festival (actually four separate art fairs that draw over half a million visitors), and of course, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival in Miami, which routinely attracts about 150,000 visitors in the Miami area.

Immediately the clueless sap esso tutto who have never been to one of these top-of-the-line outdoor art festivals will think and imagine what they visualize as an outdoor art market: dried flowers, teddy bears and watercolors of barns. 

Don't get me wrong, there are thousands and thousands of these type "art" fairs around as well - but those are NOT the ones that I am talking about.

I am talking about the cream of the Sunshine Artist Top 200 list. These are shows where only original art, not reproductions, are allowed, and photography has very severe rules (must be done by the photographer, limited editions only, signed, archival processes only, etc.). These shows are highly competitive to get in (they're juried), and usually offer quite a lot of money in prizes for the artists. The jurors vary from museum curators, art center managers, art critics, artists, etc.

I guess I'm saying that there's some curatorial legitimacy to them as well... for the elitista amongst you.

But the real destination to which I am driving here is attendance: thousands.

Locally in our area, there are several of these exceptional fine arts outdoor festivals: The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival attracts around 30,000 people; the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, and the Bethesda Row Arts Festival also attract those numbers of people and are all highly competitive.

Consider the median income in either Bethesda ($185K) or Reston ($105K), and what you get out of it is a lot of people with a lot of disposable income. As a whole, the DMV itself has a median household income of around $90K - that ranks highest among the U.S.'s 25 most populous metro areas.

Art price tags at these local fairs range from $100 to $20,000. So there's a somewhat comparable universe of prices to the DC area gallery market, as an example.

And I submit that a lot of the people who attend one of these outdoor fine art festivals do not have the "formation," as a Communist would say, to dare set foot in a white cube gallery... and have probably never heard of Art Base Miami Beach.

If Mohammed won't come to the mountain gallery, then bring the gallery to Mohammed (don't kill me radical "non-Islamic" Islamonazis).

So here's the issue that has been brewing in my head:

All of these huge and highly successful outdoor arts festivals (as far as I know) only allow individual artists to sell their work at the fairs. Why doesn't an enterprising fair organizer go one step further and add a whole new angle to the outdoor arts festival and set aside a whole section for independent commercial fine arts galleries? 

Or even better: create an outdoor gallery-only fair with one of those huge tents like they do in Miami? But somewhere in the DMV with plenty of parking and/or Metro Access?

Because the entry price point is a substantial fraction of what it costs to sign up for a gallery art fair such as the 26 or so fairs during Art Basel Miami Beach week, the financial mathematics of this idea make sense to both sides of the equation.

For fair organizers, they could offer the gallery a basic price tag of $2000 for the weekend, which (for an additional fee) would include a 10 feet by 20 feet double tent and display equipment. Or -- and this is a big or -- the organizer, in order to attract the art galleries, could offer them zero entry fee and instead a 10% commission on all sales. This may get a little sticky in the monitoring of sales and unreported sales by art dealers who lack ethics and scruples, so a flat fee is probably the best and easiest idea.

Another option: Align with the Smithsonian Institution and set up a giant tent on the National Mall. We all know of at least a dozen other fairs - none of them art - that do this on a regular basis on the Mall.

The Washington Art Fair on the National Mall!

For the gallery it would offer them an opportunity to expose their artwork to possibly thousands of new potential collectors, exposing most of them, for the first time, to an art gallery.

It's all in the numbers.

No art gallery that I know gets 30,000 visitors a year, much less in a weekend. Would any of them turn down an opportunity, for a reasonable amount of money (much, much less than it costs them to advertise in an art magazine that will only reach a few hundred people in their local area), to expose themselves to a few thousand potential new clients?

You do the math: 1% of 1% of 30,000 people is 3 new sales over a weekend. Not even to mention the possible future sales of new people who become exposed to the gallery at the festival, and start attending openings: new blood collectors.

I would do it.

Now let's see some enterprising art fair organizer run with this.

Comments welcomed.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Opportunities at The Athenaeum

Deadline: Rolling

The Athenaeum Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia exhibits visual arts created solely by artists living or working in the region and strives to present visitors with a wide variety of excellent art and unique experiences.  In addition to the shows curated by the Gallery Director, the Athenaeum Gallery invites artists and curators to submit show proposals.

Artists who live or work in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia may submit a proposal for a solo show.  A group of artists who live or work in the area may submit a proposal for group show.  A curator, living or working anywhere, may submit a proposal for a show featuring works by artists living or working in this area.

The Athenaeum Gallery will retain a 30% commission on works sold, and will issue a check for 70% of the sales price to the artist no longer than thirty days after the show has closed. For a curator-proposed show, the commission structure can be adjusted with the full agreement of the gallery and the curator.
Sold work remains in the gallery until the last day of the show.
Work does not have to be for sale to be included in a show.

All works in the show will be insured by the Athenaeum Gallery for 100% of the retail price during the run of the show.

Also check out details for the Athenaeum Invitational here (with $2500 in prize money that will be awarded by Jack Rasmussen) and the just announced Wings From Chains here.

About the Athenaeum
The Athenaeum Gallery is the headquarters of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA).  Founded in 1964, the NVFAA is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all forms of art, and to establishing programs that will enrich the cultural life of Northern Virginia and the surrounding metropolitan area. The Athenaeum Gallery exhibits work created solely by artists living or working the region and strives to present visitors with a wide variety of excellent work and unique experiences.

Details here.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Release the hounds!!!

Fulano de Tal

Things Cubans (and by default Americans of Cuban ancestry) say which make people who understand Spanish look puzzled: "Fulano de Tal" which was and still is, and will always be a puzzle to me, since it means something like "John Doe"... cough, cough... except that Cubans have another guy named "Mengano"... so it is "Fulano y Mengano" --- what??? It's like two made up names that cover Tom, Dick, Harry and Jane all at once...

And I am told that there's also even two more characters: "Sutano" and "Perengano."

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ephemeral at Olly Olly

Olly Olly
June 6, 2015-July 18, 2015
Opening Reception
Saturday, June 6, 2015, 7pm-10pm
Olly Olly is pleased to present a new art exhibition, Ephemeral, inspired by the elusive here and now, and the role of delicate forms of reality at play in the understanding of emotion, life, and meaning making. On Saturday, June 6, 2015, from 7pm to 10pm, spend an evening with the artists:

Bita Ghavami

Jay Hendrick

Samantha Sethi

Lisa Marie Thalhammer

The artists of Ephemeral create situations of opportunity for the viewer to experience the fragile and temporary nature of art and life. Destruction becomes a powerful mode of creation through processes that utilize objects of the everyday. Wood, metal, ice, concrete, paper, paint, band-aids, memory, and the performance of bodies embrace and transform fleeting moments of existence in order to call into question systems, functions, and transitory relationships of space, place, and time. 
Special musical performance will be provided by local goth/jazz/punk/new wave/experimental rock twosome Space Waste.

We will be collecting healthy non-perishable food items for the Food Bridge Program at Our Daily Bread, which provides short-term emergency food assistance to Fairfax County area residents who are in crisis. We encourage you to bring a healthy non-perishable food item to donate. The Food Bridge Program is most in need of cooking oil, brown rice, dried beans, canned fruit in its own juices, and pasta sauce.
Olly Olly, located at 10417 Main Street, 2nd Floor, in Fairfax, VA, is open Mondays 10am-4pm, Tuesdays 6pm-9pm, Wednesdays 10am-4pm, Thursdays 6pm-9pm, Saturdays 11am-4pm, and by appointment. Ephemeral will be on view at Olly Olly from June 6, 2015 through July 18, 2015.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

DC FY16 Grants Deadlines

This is a friendly reminder to all DC artist who bitch about
art opportunities in DC that
FY16 Grants Deadlines begin Wednesday, May 13

Starting with the deadline for City Arts Projects, the bulk of DC's FY16 Grant applications are due between Wednesday May 13 and Friday May 22. The one grant due after that is for the Public Art Building Communities program, which is due August 21.

See below for all the deadlines, and click on the link below for its respective guidelines.

FY16 Grants Deadlines

Artist Fellowship ProgramFriday, May 15
Arts Education ProgramThursday, May 21
City Arts Projects - IndividualsWednesday, May 13 
City Arts Projects - OrganizationsWednesday, May 13
Cultural Facilities ProjectsMonday, May 18
East of the RiverMonday, May 18
Grants-in-AidFriday, May 15
Public Art Building Communities
Friday, August 21
Sister Cities International Arts Grant
Wednesday, May 20
Friday, May 22

FY16 Advisory Review Panelists

As you may also know, the DC Arts Commission (for which I have served for many years) is  currently seeking advisory review panelists for the FY16 grant season. Panelists are integral to the DCCAH's grants process because they review applications, provide comments, and score applications in order to recommend recipients of DCCAH grant awards.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Commission with any questions, by calling their main line at (202) 724-5613 or emailing them at,