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