Monday, November 30, 2015

ABMB Week: Day before the VIP Opening

The key art fairs from the two dozen or so which make up Art Basel week in the Greater Miami area have theor VIP opening tomorrow... so for many galleries, including us, Monday is debarkation time and hanging time.

Thus the dance of the vans and trucks begins as parking space is sought for unloading operations; we get there early and find a Doris Day spot right across from Context Art Miami.

Soon afterwards artist Jodi Walsh shows up and she also finds a good parking spot. Jodi trekked from Texas, and with her husband Ron, will help man the booth.

A few hours later and many sheckels spent in parking fees, the booth looks like this:

Around 4PM exhaustion takes over and we all head our separate ways... during the day we've run into fellow DC area gallerists Adah Rose and Gabriella Rosso.

Back in Hollywood, the piggies get some Jacuzzi love...

Sunday, November 29, 2015

ABMB Miami - VIP Opening Night Minus two

Miami's always growing skyline... tomorrow is the van dance of trying to find a parking spot close enough to unload the van... and then installation begins...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Art Basel Week: Big View at ABMB Day minus 3

View from the Hotel Room
(Designed to make the DMV jealous of November)

Airborne today

Heading to Miami for planet's biggest art dance... We will be at Context Art Miami for the third year in a row; this time at booth CTX63.

As usual, daily reports coming... The fairs open a day early, as the VIP receptions are on Tuesday... This will make for a very long week.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Campello heading to Miami

How do I love thee? 2015 Charcoal by F. Lennox Campello
"How Do I Love Thee?"
(Sonnets to the Portuguese)
20x16 inches, Charcoal and Conte on Paper
2015 by F. Lennox Campello

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Haze gray and underway...

As we head out to spend Thanksgiving with our families, a salute to all to men and women of our armed forces all over the world, especially those who are away from their families today, with a special shout out to all the American sailors and Marines out to sea... We've got your back.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

No more art for Blake Byrne!

A well known Democrat Los Angeles art collector has vowed to stop contributing to Democrats because they joined with Republicans in a bipartisan vote last week.

LA art collector Blake Byrne "sent an email to several Democrats Monday, including California Reps. Julia Brownley (West Lake Village), John Garamendi (Walnut Grove) and Scott Peters (San Diego), saying he is “greatly disappointed” they voted with Republicans and that he will no longer donate in any way to their campaigns."

The LA Times reports that Byrne also sent the letter to the Los Angeles Times,  Echo Lake Entertainment President Andy Spaulding, and others in the entertainment industry.

Cough... Cough...

Here's the thing: no one can dispute Blake's zeal and dogma... And I will defend his right to give his Samolians to whomever he wants to... But this "news release angle" (guaranteed to make the news, especially when the rare bipartisan vote takes place) to what most of the times is a private matter, really smells of a Hollywood dude looking to see his name in Google News... 

Good for you Blake! Next time, keep it to yourself. 

As a result of your Hollywoodesque action, and the way in which it came to my attention... I will no longer sell you any artwork for your collection!

Sorry dude - no more art for you!

Van loaded and headed to Miami

Load van with artwork - Check
Have Audrey Wilson pick up van - Check
Head South - Check

We'll be at CONTEXT Art Miami next week (booth CTX63) for the Art Basel week arts extravaganza as the visual arts world comes to the Greater Miami area.

We'll be showcasing the following DC area artists:
Also showing work by:

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Foundation Creates 100K Prize for Women Artists

The New Foundation, founded by Shari D. Behnke, has created a prize of $100,000 to be given every two years to "an influential, U.S.-based woman artist in honor of her exemplary artistic achievements and enduring commitment to her practice."
Read the whole article by Jen Graves here. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

DC Arts Studios Open House

DC Arts Studios (DCAS) invites the public to join them for their annual Holiday Open House on December 13, from Noon to 5pm.

Tour artists’ studios and take a peek behind the scenes into their creative process. You’ll be able to purchase original artwork and other handmade gifts directly from the artists. In addition, there will be refreshments, music, and holiday cheer throughout the building. The event is free, and fun for all ages!

Participating Artists include: JoAnn Block, Becky Borlan, Eric Celarier, Martha Crawley, Pam Eichner, Madeleine Finley, Bradley Gay, Justin Gellerson, Sue Grace, Paula Greenberg, Leslie Goldman, Marta Gutierrez, Chantel Hampton, Amanda Kates, Stana Benesova Kimball, Andrew Watson Kirk, Knock on Wood Tap Studio, The Lab Breakdance Studio, Betsy Kraft, Sara Levy, Megan Maher, Jim Maio, Sonnie Mason, Bill Mitchell, Nancy McNamara, Craig Moran,  Dominie Nash, Nikkia Redd, Nicole Salimbene, Ed Savoir, Maria Simonsson, Jared Soares, Hillary Steel, Anna Stockdale, Charlie Visconage, Jenny Walton, Sarah West, Jordann Wine, Saaraliisa Ylitalo and Ariel Zambelich.
12-5pm: Self guided studios tour and exhibition opening in the Willow Street Gallery (35 artist studios will be open!)

1-2pm: Cape Breton Dance Class at Knock on Wood Tap Studio (downstairs). Drop-ins Welcome! Class is $20 and taught by Agi Kovacs
Directions to DCAS:
6925 Willow St NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20012

Via Metro: Take the Red Line to Takoma. Walk on Carrol Avenue towards the CVS Pharmacy. Take a right onto Willow Street, we are about halfway down the block.
If driving, there is 2hr parking on Willow Street and surrounding streets. There is also a paid lot on Carroll Ave, behind Republic and the Ace Hardware
For further information, contact Managing Director, Becky Borlan, at

This event is free, open to the public, and handicapped accessible.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Transformer Auction Tonight

Perhaps the crown jewel of the Greater Washington DC visual arts scene, and easily one of the top museum art spaces in the nation, is the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Under the brilliant leadership of Jack Rasmussen, who will forget more about regional DC area artists than all other DC art museum curators put together will ever learn, the museum has forged a singularly unique presence in a capital city full of museums and art centers.

Rasmussen has crafted an intelligent array of national, international and regional art exhibits that manage to cover such a wide area that AU’s Museum is hard to paint into a corner. This is not easy to do, and thus why most museum curators avoid it like the plague, and instead flood the DC art scene with either “hand me downs” exhibitions curated by other museums (like the Morris Louis exhibition a few years ago, which should have been a DC-museum based initiative), or “safe” exhibitions of second tier blue chip artists.

Yesterday I headed to the Katzen to look at the exhibitions there and to meet Ms. Carolyn Alper, an AU alumna who has established the Alper Initiative for Washington Art. 

The Alper Initiative will support the creation of a space on the museum’s first floor for display of work by DC artists and for a digital archive of Washington art. The initiative will sponsor lectures, films, and other events as well. If you are a DC area artist, you have got to visit this page and become aware of the process and sign up now!

However, once I got to the museum, I got distracted.

Another precious jewel of the area’s visual arts tapestry is Transformer, a nonprofit art space located on P Street, NW, and truly a gift to the area's visual arts scene.

For the past 12 years Transformer has been conducting a fund raising art auction, and when I arrived, a small army of professional art hangers, decked out in black T-shirts and black jeans was in the process of installing the donated artwork on the hall walls of the center, as it was the day before the auction.

The temptation was too much! Here was a chance to view and write about a show without any labels, any artists’ names, any information; the reactions would be purely triggered by the artwork.

This is somewhat futile. Since I’ve been writing about area artists for over two decades now, by now I can easily recognize many of them via their artwork.

The gorgeous drawing by Ben Tolman is one of the first things that you see when you started looking at the walls on the left, and Tolman’s magic with the black line steals this show almost right away. His obsessive attention to the minutest of details fools the eye in the sense that Tolman actually tricks your perception of what is reality by atomizing the subject into his tiny handwork to deliver exceptionally and super busy realistic drawings. 

Ben Tolman's work at the Transformer auction
Five gets you ten that his work will be one of the ones at the top of the bid scale tonight.

Any donated, fund raising art auction is a bit like a mini Artomatic: You usually see work by the area’s blue chip artists, lots of work by emerging artists who are relatively unknown, and a lot of really bad, amateurish work (in this case maybe by “well known” artists? Oh Dear! What are you doing Lenster?).

The Transformer auction was no exception.

But it is all original artwork, and the worst original work of art is always better than any reproduction. And this is auction is for a great cause.

The artists whose work I thought that I recognized (unless someone is channeling them) were Margaret Boozer (update: seems someone is indeed channeling her) as there was one of those gorgeously black and organic wall tar pieces that Boozer debuted at the old Strand on Volta Gallery in Georgetown in 2004, a super busy elegant print by Linn Myers, the usual sexy boots by Carolina Mayorga, a haunting photo by Holly Bass (one of the few good photographs in a sea of mediocre photos), a superbly elegant piece by Rania Hassan continuing her reinvention of what painting + sculpture + knitting is… Hassan has invented a whole new art genre all by herself!

Mixed media piece by Rania Hassan
I recognized Matt Sesow’s frenetic work (easily the DMV's hardest working artist), a refreshing abstract piece by Anne Marchand, Jessica van Brakle, Bridget Sue Lambert (again, standing out as one of the few strong photographic images), a superbly minimalist and elegant piece by Irene Clouthier (whose work has matured into one of the region’s coolest work), Dana Ellyn's boxing painting, and someone possibly channeling Dean Kessman (I wasn’t sure if it was DK).

Also noticeable was work by Adrienne Gaither (whom I mentored a while back), Joan Belmar's elegant abstract, and a cute piece by Akemi Maegawa’s of her very famous pet Chikkun. I suspected possible work by Dan Steinhilber: there was a couch-like sculpture on the wall, but it looked kinda like an ice cream sandwich, so maybe that was Cory Oberndorfer... there was also a flashlight with a light bulb?

There was also a possible Yuriko Yamaguchi vinyl tubey organicky sculpture on the wall. Also I possibly sighted a Robin Rose, as there was an elegant abstract piece on those honey-combed aluminum panels that Rose likes to work on.

All these works and several others for which I didn't recognize the artist (such as a striking porcelain piece with gold spiky teeth) make this auction a winner for those who will get these pieces.

Because I am a Kahlophile, I also couldn't help but notice the below Kahlophilia drawing, where the artist (have no idea who it is) has married Kahlo with Velazquez's Las Meninas (possibly the greatest painting ever produced by Western Civilization). It is an interesting work, but just as the Washington Post once described my drawings as "heavy handed," what distracts me from this otherwise unusual drawing (other than some issues with proportions) is how "light handed" it is! It is so ephemeral, that I was afraid The Infanta would disappear in front of my eyes!

Khalo, Spain's Infanta, and the Kahlodeer
When I first got there none of the videos were running, but by the time I finished walking through the exhibit for the third time, a very circa 2002 wall of TVs was playing a series of multiple videos like you used to see at the entrance of the major art fairs a few years ago.

This was a really good exercise to prove that art is in the eyes of the beholder. At the risk of possibly insulting some well-known artists, the images below are of those pieces that would even be considered at the low end of the scale, even by Artomatic free-for-all wonderful policy. Whoever was the member of the Artist Nominating Committee who recommended these guys/gals… ahhh…

I have no idea who these artists are:

This is almost straight out of Collage 101 class: busy, message-less and
so full of (possibly) inside meanings that it lost me at the tiger leaping below the stripper,

This just looks... well... unfinished - Reminds me of Rachel Dolezal's "real" work.

A huge thank you to all the artists who donated work to this superb cause! Please go to the auction and buy art!

12th Annual Transformer Silent Auction and Benefit Party
Saturday, November 21, 2015
8 – 11 pm
American University’s Katzen Arts Center

 Visit to purchase your tickets today! 
Update: Just told that tickets are sold out!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Manta the Robot at AOM

Manta is a robot that has been transformed into a piece of art by Liliane Blom and can be seen on the move and/or operated remotely and communicated with during Artomatic 2015 - AOM is the planet's largest group art show and it happens in the DMV!

AOM is running through Dec 12th 2015 in New Carrolton Maryland. 

The goal of this art work is to connect art show visitors on a local, national or international level with each other through the assistance of a remote controlled robot that has been modified as a piece of art. The artwork touches on questions of community - and connections created though the bridging of distance through cyberspace. 

Liliane Blom has called her piece Manta for the robot company Mantaro in Germantown, MD ( that built the robot. The robot ,"before" being transformed, consists of a wheeled base with a pipe and a tablet at the top. It was designed as a communication device for the homebound elderly and as a mobile teleconferencing device. 

Liliane created an artwork around this skeleton. She believes Manta enables conversation and creates links between people who would otherwise not connect. The controller interacts with viewers through Manta and can travel through and experience the exhibit without ever physically being present . She believes that Manta can be an interaction facilitator, helping bridge and break down the social conventions (or geographical locations) that keep people from interacting. She believes people will react positively to this colorful, humanoid art piece that talks - operated by a real live person.... somewhere. 

On her fist foray Manta was operated from Norway as well as locally and was a big hit with visitors. 

How to Drive Manta:
To operate Manta remotely Liliane Blom needs to be contacted in advance so she can help the operator log on to the software and access Skype. 

Technical Information:
Manta is a papier mache and plaster sculpture built around a pvc pipe threaded around the conduit pipe connecting her tablet head with the base. The head communicates and sees the world through the help of Skype and the base is controlled separately through a proprietary software. The base has been altered with "training" wheels to keep her more stable. 

To see videos of Manta on her maiden voyage:

For more info contact:
Liliane Blom
TabulaRasa Art Studios Phone: (301)518-5312

Monday, November 16, 2015

Nudes and Porn

As you might have heard, a famous nude painting by Italian artist Amedeo Modigliani sold for $170 million at Christie's auction. Some people guffawed at the price tag attached to an early 20th century artwork, others just blushed at the naked female body contained within Modigliani's frame.

Take, for example, Bloomberg news. During a broadcast segment on Tuesday, Bloomberg censored the painting, blurring the areas of the painting depicting breasts and pubic hair. "Too racy!" the anchors exclaimed, a little embarrassed by the painterly brazenness of "Reclining Nude." 
The whole world seems to have discovered the goal of my 1996-1997 exhibition at the Fraser Gallery which focused on nude portrait of porn actresses and the then new phenomenon of online porn celebrities.

My question was essentially the same as Colbert's: If this woman shows a nude image of herself on the Internet, it's porn, but if I do a nude drawing of her, then it's art.

The opening was packed (many of the ladies attended the opening reception), and even the prudish Washington Post covered it (read the review here). 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015

AOM: Meet the Artists Tomorrow!

This Saturday, November 14th, is ARTISTS NIGHT at Artomatic. Meet face to face with the talented people who make Artomatic shine.
Artomatic 2015 - the planet's largest open art show is happening! It is running from October 30th - December 12th at 8100 Corporate Drive, Hyattsville MD right by the New Carrollton Metro Station. 
Anyone can participate in Artomatic - there are no criteria to register, and space is allocated on a first come, first served basis. Artomatic routinely attracts more than 70,000 visitors to see work by more than 700 artists, and more than 300 performances. Their presenting partner, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Department of Parks and Recreation, is hosting Artomatic in a 90,000 sq ft building in Prince George's County. 
For more information please visit 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Heading to Miami next month!

"Supergirl Flying Naked"
Charcoal on Paper, 2015
10x36 inches by F. Lennox Campello

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

To all my fellow veterans...

Thank you!

U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class David Danals
To all US veterans, both those who have served and those who are serving in all corners of the planet while we're home with our families. A well-deserved thank you to all the soldiers, sailors, airmen/women, Marines and Coasties.

Below is Petty Officer Third Class Lenny Campello back in 1975 while stationed aboard USS Saratoga (CV-60) in Mayport, Florida.

Lenny Campello, USN
And then Lieutenant Commander Lenny Campello back in 1992 while assigned as the Executive Officer (XO) of NSGA Skaggs Island, California.

LCDR Lenny Campello, USN

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

An old friend makes an apperance in the UK

Below is "Marilyn Monroe Sees Her Last Visitor." This original charcoal drawing was done in 1999 and exhibited and sold on opening night at DC's Fraser Gallery during my December 1999 solo show there.

It was recently purchased at auction in London and now lives in the UK.

"Marylin Monroe Sees Her Last Visitor" 1999 Charcoal on Paper by F. Lennox Campello
"Marylin Monroe Sees Her Last Visitor"
1999 Charcoal on Paper by F. Lennox Campello

Monday, November 09, 2015

Curious Case of a Picasso and a Koch

A Picasso picture of a cabaret artist, which carries a second painting on the reverse, sold for $67.45 million in New York Thursday, scoring a windfall for American billionaire Bill Koch. 
Mr Koch, who is ranked 307 on the Forbes 400 richlist has a net worth of around $2.1 billion.  
The sale was the top lot of the season so far, proving a savvy investment for the Republican party donor who paid just $3 million for the canvas in 1984 and later discovered he got two for the price of one with a second painting on the reverse. 
Sotheby's had valued the canvas, 'La Gommeuse,' at $60 million. It was painted in Paris in 1901 when the artist was just 19 years old and grieving the suicide of a close friend.
But read about the secret in this painting that made it even more valuable! Click here. 

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Saturday, November 07, 2015

Which one is which?

My daughter and her evil twin...
Elise Lenna Campello Strasser

Friday, November 06, 2015

MoCo 43rd Annual Faculty Exhibition

Montgomery College’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts has their 43rd Annual Faculty Exhibition coming up!

The exhibit opens December 3 at the King Street Gallery, with a reception from 6–8 p.m. This exhibition features artwork by notable emerging and established DC artists and at 43, in gallery/art years, that's like 200!

The prolific faculty and staff of Montgomery College’s Visual and Performing Arts department exhibit recent work in this annual exhibition. The show includes notable DMV area artists J. J. McCracken, Jake Muirhead, Renee Lachman, Jeremy Flick, Ellington Robinson, and Jenny Walton, among others.

McCracken and Walton are two of my fave DMV artists... but will definitely check out the others...
Representing varied interests and backgrounds, the College's faculty exhibits paintings, prints, photography, sculpture, and more. The 43rd Annual Faculty Exhibition includes pieces previously exhibited nationally, and never-before-seen artwork. 

The 43rd Annual Faculty Exhibition runs December 3– February 7 at the King Street Gallery. A reception will be held Thursday, December 3 from 6–8 p.m. 

The event is located at the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center. For more information, visit

Free and open to the public.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Ready for SOFA

Alida Anderson Art Projects, LLC booth at SOFA Chicago 2015
Alida Anderson Art Projects, LLC booth at SOFA Chicago 2015

Washington, D.C., Artists on Display

Joseph White: Paintings and Watercolors 1963-2008 is a retrospective showcasing the diversity of Joseph White’s work, including large-scale representational paintings, works on paper and his current paintings based on his post-it drawings.

Beverly Ress: The World is a Narrow Bridge features an exhibit of representational colored pencil drawings cut into, folded, and manipulated, so that they sometimes have a sculptural quality. The exhibit pairs with another drawing exhibit, Micheline Klagsbrun: FREE FALL FLOW, featuring the artist’s most recent body of work, ranging from ink and pencil drawings on vellum of various scale to large canvases and three-dimensional wall hangings and sculptural forms.

Two Designers and Their Art: Michael Graham and Marc Pekala. The artists, trained as graphic designers, have taken their visual training in applied art and used it as the foundation of their personal artistic explorations. The exhibit consists of drawings, paintings, collage and digital prints.

The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center is open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, call 202-885-1300 or look on the Web at Follow the museum on Facebook (, on Twitter (@AUMuseum_Katzen), or on Instagram (AUMuseum_katzen).

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Studio available in Bethesda

Available Artist Studio Space in Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
  • Studio is 215 sq. feet. & can be shared by two artists
  • Rent is $405 per month, inclusive of all utilities.
  • Artists are required to be in the space during retail hours of Wed. - Sat., 12-6pm and during the monthly Bethesda Art Walk.
  • Artist has 24/7 access to Studio B and their personal studio space.
  • Artist may sell artwork and there is no commission taken on artist sales.
Members of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District and arts professionals will review the applications and select the Studio B artist. If necessary, an interview may be requested. Applicants will be notified about whether their applications have been selected. Bethesda Urban Partnership will perform credit and criminal background checks and execute leases with the tenants. Once maximum occupancy is reached, applicants will be placed on a waiting list until a studio becomes available.


Complete this application and submit the following:
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Artwork Samples
  • Proof of Income
  • Proof of Identity
  • $30 fee per applicant for credit and criminal background checks
QUESTIONS or want to make an appointment to see the space? Please email

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Personal Patterns

11.5.15   4-5 p.m.
Moderated by Claudia Rousseau, curator

featuring: Susan Goldman, Joan Belmar, Amber Robles-Gordon, Jessica Beels, Helen Frederick, and Ellyn Weiss

Cafritz Foundation Arts Center / Lecture Hall 101

Monday, November 02, 2015

Opportunities for Artists

Artists wishing to be considered for an exhibit in the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) galleries are invited to submit a general exhibit application. The HCAC Exhibits Committee meets quarterly to review applications and select artists for the exhibit space. Artists, ages 18 and older, working in all media and styles including time-based and installation artists, are encouraged to apply either individually or as a group. The Committee also welcomes proposals from curators and organizations.
Detailed entry guidelines are available on the ‘Exhibits’ page of the HCAC website, for pick-up at the Howard County Center for the Arts, or by mail by calling 410-313-2787 or emailing The next deadline for submissions is Friday, January 1, 2016.
HCAC manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 2100 square feet of exhibit space. The HCAC gallery program was established to enhance the public’s appreciation of the visual arts, provide a venue to exhibit the work of local, regional, and national artists in a professional space, and provide leadership in the arts by presenting a broad spectrum of arts in all media from both emerging and established artists.
HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows.
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10AM - 8PM, Saturday 10AM - 4PM, and Sunday 12 - 4PM.  To learn more about HCAC programs and exhibits, call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or visit  

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Heading to Chiraq

Van loaded - Check
Audrey Wilson at the wheel - Check
Enroute Chiraq for SOFA - Check

We'll be featuring work by Dulce Pinzon, Simon Monk, Audrey Wilson, Laurel Lukaszewski, Alma Selimovic, Elissa Farrow-Savos and the Lenster.

The SOFA CHICAGO 2015 Opening Night Preview takes place on Thursday, November 5 from 5-9 pm.  The by-invitation only VIP Preview is from 5-7 pm. The Public Preview begins at 7 pm and tickets are $50/person. Tickets are available online or at the door.