Friday, February 28, 2020

The Coronavirulization of America

As we prepare for the end of the world as we enter The Covidian Age, let me share what a Navy Chief told a bunch of us boot sailors as we reported to our first ship.

"Never forget," he said, "the first thing that a ship runs out of in times of war is shitpaper and then rags."

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Understanding Estate Planning for Artists

HelpDesk 2020 with Robin Moore: Understanding Estate Planning for Artists

Saturday, March 14, 2020, 1-2:30 pm

Harvard’s Center for Hellenic Studies
3100 Whitehaven St NW
Washington, DC 20008

Parking on premises and Whitehaven Street

Free and open to the public.

Seating is Limited, Register for free tickets through Eventbrite
By organizing and documenting your art and your career as an artist, you increase the depth of understanding of your work as a history of culture, aesthetics, and values. The Washington Sculptors Group will offer an hour presentation with a half hour Q & A session with Robin Moore on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies that offers emerging, mid, and late-career artists the information needed to build and preserve their artistic legacies.
The importance of archiving your work, establishing an executor, obtaining appraisals, understanding tax laws, accessibility of your digital information, understanding charitable benefits, obtaining useful software, acquiring high-quality images of your artwork, establishing records of your collectors and sold work, and more, will be shared during the workshop.

Robin Moore, MBA and advisor to artists, was raised in the New York avant-garde art world with parents who ran two small art businesses. She earned her MBA in 2003. Since 2006, Robin has managed the estate of her late husband, Kevin MacDonald, a prominent Washington, DC visual artist. In 2013, she founded a business to help creative professionals and their families live well with legacies. ​Learn more:

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fabiola Santiago explains it to Bernie Sanders

Look at the little girl in the picture.
In her serious demeanor, a front for fear — and in her story — you might find, Senator Bernie Sanders, some of the profundity lacking in your populist bid to become the Democratic nominee and 46th U.S. president.
So begin's Fabiola Santiago's powerful response to Bernie Sanders' disturbing comments on Fidel Castro, the Cuban Revolution, Cuban literacy and acceptable things that bloody tyrants do.

Read it here.

Cool show coming to Gallery B

Gallery B is pleased to announce its March exhibition, a group show by Morton Fine Art (MFA). 

The exhibit, curated by Amy Morton, will feature new works by several Morton Fine Art’s artists. The exhibit will be on display from March 4 – 28, 2020 at Gallery B, located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda, MD. Gallery hours for the show will be Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6pm.

Gallery B will also be open for a public reception on Friday, March 13 from 6-8pm. Exhibit opening receptions will also be held that evening at Studio B, 7475 Wisconsin Avenue; Triangle Art Studios, 7711 Old Georgetown Road and Waverly Street Gallery, 4600 East West Highway in downtown Bethesda.

Morton Fine Art (MFA) will showcase work by:
  • Julia Mae Bancroft
  • Natalie Cheung
  • Rosemary Feit Covey
  • Victor Ekpuk
  • Ga Gardner
  • Amber Robles-Gordon
  • Astrid Kohler
  • Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann
  • Vonn Sumner

MFA was founded in 2010 and is a fine art gallery and curatorial group that collaborates with art collectors and visual artists to inspire fresh ways of acquiring contemporary art. MFA’s mission is to provide accessibility to museum-quality contemporary art through a combination of substantive exhibitions and a welcoming platform for dialogue and exchange of original voice. MFA specializes in a stellar roster of nationally and internationally renowned artists as well as has an additional focus on African American and African art.

My good friend Amy Morton is the founder, owner and chief curator. Prior to establishing MFA, she was the director of a national fine art gallery. Amy has additional art market experience from her positions at auction houses, art associations and galleries in Los Angeles and Boston.

Monday, February 24, 2020

An open letter to Senator Bernie Sanders from an American of Cuban ancestry

Havana street, 1950s

Senator Bernie Sanders,

There's a grossly erroneous perception, driven home by Hollywood movies and the narrative of the left worldwide, that pre-Castro Cuba was ripe for the Castro brothers due to the extreme poverty in the island, corruption, backwardness, disease, illiteracy, etc.

Nothing could be further away from the truth.

Senator Sanders'... your well documented admiration for the Cuban Revolution, cemented this last weekend by your comments during the 60 Minutes interview, is the most recent incarnation of the American left's fascination and support for the bloody regime which has brutalized Cuba for decades.

Senator Sanders: To whoever fed you the line about literacy in Cuba before Castro: In 1956, the United Nations literacy report noted Cuba had the second highest level of literacy in Latin America and higher than several countries in Europe.  Fidel Castro did not lift Cuba from the darkness of not knowing how to read and write.

Cuba was the most likely, and also ironically and tragically, the least likely of all Latin American nations to fall under the clutches of Communism. In 1953 Fidel Castro wrote (In History Will Absolve Me):
"Once upon a time there was a Republic. It had its constitution, its laws, its civil rights, its President, a Congress, and law courts. Everyone could assemble, associate, speak and write with complete freedom. Public opinion was respected and heeded and all problems of common interest were freely discussed. There were political parties, radio and television debates and forums and public meetings. The whole nation pulsated with enthusiasm."
Then he, and his brother, erased that Republic, brutalized it, and replaced it with a Communist dictatorship.

Cuba was not a backwards island nation in 1959....
  • In 1829, Cuba was the first nation of Latin America, and also before several European nations, to use steam ships.
  • In 1837, Cuba became the third nation in the world, after England and the US, to build a railroad. It also had the causal effect of creating a significant Chinese immigration to the island.
  • The first doctor to use anesthesia in medical operations in Latin America (and also before Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and many other European nations) was a Cuban. It was ether and the year was 1847.
  • In 1860, in the city of Cardenas, two clinics started the world’s first health insurance projects. Known then as Mutual Benefit Organizations, these MBO's were the precursors of what are known today in the US as Health Maintenance Organizations or HMO's. Membership in one of Cardenas's MBO's gave its members access to all of the then available medical treatments that the clinics offered. As the medical systems and clinics developed, most Cuban hospitals and clinics provided free healthcare to the poor.
  • The first Latin American to play professional baseball in the US (and the “father of Cuban baseball) was the Cuban, Esteban Bellan in 1871.
  • The very first demonstration on planet Earth of an industry powered entirely by electricity was in done in Havana in 1877.
  • In 1881, a Cuban epidemiologist, Dr. Carlos Finlay, was the first to discover the transmitting agent of yellow fever, the mosquito Aedes Aegypti, which now also happens to carry zika. Dr. Finlay studied medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in the US.
  • The first system of electric lighting in all of Latin America, and also before a dozen European countries was installed in Cuba in 1889.
  • The first streetcar in Latin America (and before six European nations) began operation in Havana in 1900.
  • In 1900, before at any other country of Latin America, the first automobile arrived in Cuba. By 1959, there were more Cadillacs in Havana than in New York City.
  • The first Latin American woman to drive a car was the Cuban writer Renee Mendez Cape in 1900.
  • The first Latin American Olympic champion was a Cuban. The gold medal was won by the fencer Ramon Fonst Segundo, in 1900 (he also won a silver in that Olympiad). In 1904 Fonts won three gold medals in fencing!
  • The first Ibero-American nation to abolish bullfights was Cuba in 1901.
  • In 1902, when Cuba finally broke away from Spain, the island had been the source of between 50%-75% of the entire Spanish Gross National Product.
  • The first city on the planet to have a direct dialing telephone system was Havana in 1906. The second city in the world to have a direct dial telephone system was Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the Oriente province. All through the first half of the century, Cuba had more telephones per capita than any Latin American country except Argentina and Uruguay.
  • In 1907, the first x-ray medical department in Latin America (and before nearly every European nation) was established in Havana.
  • On the 17th of May, 1913 the first international aerial flight in Latin America was achieved by the Cuban pilots, Agustin Parla and Domingo Rosillo del Toro. The flight was between Cuba and Bone Key, Florida and lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Cuba, in 1918, was the first country of Latin America to grant divorces to married couples.
  • The first Latin American (and the first person born outside of Europe) to win the world championship of chess was the Cuban master, Jose Raul Capablanca. He’s considered one of the greatest players of all time and was world champion form 1921-1927. He only lost 35 matches in his lifetime.
  • In 1922 Cuba was the second nation in the world to have a commercial radio station, and the first nation in the world to broadcast a music concert. By 1928 Cuba had 61 radio transmitters, 43 of them in Havana, giving the nation the fourth place of the world, only surpassed by the US, Canada and the Soviet Union.
  • In 1935 the concept of the radio novel and radio series was created by the Cuban Felix B. Caignet. That was the seminal birth of the telenovela as well!
  • In 1935, the first black man to play professional baseball in the then segregated Major Leagues (and 12 years before Jackie Robinson) was the Cuban player Roberto Estalella. Cuban professional baseball had never been segregated.
  • In 1937 Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before most European countries) to establish a legal work day of 8 hours. It also established a minimum wage!
  • In 1940 Cuba became the first country of Latin America (and also before many European nations) to elect politicians by universal suffrage and absolute majority.
  • Also in 1940, when 70% of the Cuban population was white, Cuban voters elected a black Cuban as President (Fulgencio Batista). Batista was the first (and so far only) black  President elected in Latin America.
  • In 1940, Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before several European nations) to recognize and authorize the right to vote for women, the equality of rights between sexes and races, and the right of women to work.
  • In 1942, the Cuban musical director Ernesto Lecuona became the first Latin American musical director to receive a nomination for an Oscar.
  • The second country in the world with a commercial television station was Cuba in 1950. Throughout the decade, Cubans had more TV sets per capita than any other Latin American country, and more than Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal.
  • Also in 1950, Damaso Perez Prado’s mambo piece Patricia was the number one record for 15 consecutive weeks in the Hit Parade list.
  • In 1951, Desi Arnaz became the leading producer in American television. He also pioneered the concept of a third camera in television programming.
  • In 1951, the Hotel Riviera became the first hotel in the world with central air conditioning
  • A year later, in 1952, the first all-concrete apartment buildings in the world were built in Havana.
  • In 1953, about 57% of the Cuban population was urban and more than 50% of the population lived in cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants, 33% lived in four cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 1953, one-sixth of the population lived in Havana, making it the third-largest capital in the world in relation to the total number of the nation's inhabitants (after London and Vienna).
  • In 1954 Cubans had the third highest meat consumption per capita in Latin America (after Argentina and Uruguay) and higher than most European countries.
  • In 1955, Cuba had the second lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, 33.4 per thousand born and the third lowest in the world. It ranked ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Japan, Austria, Italy, and Spain.
  • In 1955, life expectancy in the US was 66.7 years. Life expectancy in Cuba was among the highest in the world at 63 years of age; compared to 52 in other Latin American countries, 43 in Asia, and 37 in Africa.

  • In 1956, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce analysis, Cuba was "the most heavily capitalized country in Latin America" and its "network of railways and highways blanket the country."
  • In 1957, a United Nations report noted that Cuba had the third largest number of doctors per capita (one for each 957 inhabitants) in Latin America, and more doctors per capita than Britain, Holland and Italy.
  • The same UN report also noted that  Cuba had the number one percentage of electric access to houses in Latin America (and higher than Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and all of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union), and second in Latin America, after Uruguay, in per capita daily caloric consumption (2870 calories per person). This was also higher than all Eastern European nations and three Western European nations.
  • In 1957 Havana became the second city on the planet to have a 3D movie theater and a multiscreen theater (the Cinema Radio Center).
  • In 1957 Cuba had more television stations (23) than any other country in Latin America, way ahead of much larger countries such as Mexico (12 television stations) and Venezuela (10).
  • In 1957 Cuba was first in Latin America, and ranked eighth in the world in number of radio stations (160), ahead of countries such as Austria (83 radio stations), United Kingdom (62), and France (50).
  • In 1958 Cuba was the second country in the world to broadcast television in color. The US, of course, was the first.
  • In 1958, Cuba was the first country in Latin America, and the third country in the world with the most cars per capita (one for every 38 inhabitants).
  • Cuba was also first in Latin America and third in the world with the most electric home appliances per capita.
  • In 1958 Cuba was the first country in Latin America and third in the world (after the US and England) with the most kilometers of railway lines per square kilometer and the second in the total number of radio receivers.
  • In 1958 Cuba had 58 daily newspapers of all political hues. There were 18 daily newspapers in Havana alone. Bohemia magazine, with a circulation of 250,000, was the largest Spanish language weekly magazine in the world.
  • People wanted to immigrate to Cuba – not escape from Cuba! Despite drastic immigration curbs set in place in the 1930s, when European immigrants almost matched the number of natural born Cubans, during the entire decade of the 1950's, Cuba was second in Latin America in the number of immigrants per capita.
  • In 1958, and in spite of its small size, and small number of people (6.5 million inhabitants in 1958), Cuba ranked as the 29th largest economy in the world, ahead of several European nations.
  • In 1959, Havana ranked as the number one city in the world with movie theatres (358). New York and Paris were second and third, respectively.
  • By 1959 Cuba had a large middle class comprising about a third of the population and 23% of the working class was classified as “skilled.”
  • In 1959, Cuba's gold reserves were third in Latin America, behind only Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Cuba had the third-highest per capita income in Latin America, exceeded only by Argentina and Venezuela (around $550 a year). It was also higher than Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal and every single Eastern European nation in the Soviet bloc.

And then came 1959 and the Castro Brothers’ Workers’ Paradise… Since 1959, over one million Cubans have escaped from the island, and tens of thousands have died attempting the escape.

You lost Florida this weekend.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
                                                          Sir Winston Churchill

Very respectfully,

Florencio Lennox Campello
An American of Cuban Ancestry

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Read this book

To simply state that this book was the most eye opening experience ever delivered to me since I learned how to read would be a gross understatement! This book is not only a disturbing history lesson on how the perfect social storm led to the cunning manipulation of the consumers’ habits and preferences, but also a deeper scientific understanding of how they can be steered and driven in our feeding processes. 

The intelligence preparation of the grocery aisle battle space alone makes for voracious reading (pun intended), while the scientific backgrounds to taste and visual attraction to packaging are also immensely helpful to forever educate when we next visit the supermarket.

Friday, February 21, 2020

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this mutant trying to rip off artists!
Captain Charles (
Top of the Morning to you, I actually observed my wife has been viewing your website on my laptop and i guess she likes some of your art piece, I must also say you are doing a great job. I would like to know what inspired that work. I am very much interested in the purchase to surprise my wife. Regards Captain Charles { }

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Wanna a local residency?

Due: March 16, 2020

The Visual Arts Department at Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus, is pleased to announce the following opportunity:

Artist in Residence Program: A semester-long program including personal studio space, opportunity to interact and collaborate with students, and honorarium. Applicants can specify Fall or Spring semester. Access to department art facilities can be arranged. Please note: housing is not provided. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Isla Llorona for Queen's University

An alumni of Queens University of Charlotte in Charlotte, NC just donated the below 1978 painting of mine to the University!

"Isla Llorona" Oil and Acrylics on Gessoed Paper. 1978 F. Lennox Campello, 37.5 x 50 inches (framed)
"Isla Llorona"
Oil and Acrylics on Gessoed Paper. 1978 F. Lennox Campello, 37.5 x 50 inches (framed)

This 1978 painting is from my Cuba series, which I did for a class assignment while a student at the School of Art at The University of Washington and brooding, green Seattle.

This series, which I actually started in 1976, before I was even a college student, uses the brutalized island of Cuba to deliver textual and visual messages about the sad fate of the continent's longest running dictatorship.

On this piece, I painted the words "Cachita, si puedes tu con Dios hablar, preguntale por que razon, al Caribe, con mis lagrimas quiere llenar."  

This translates to: The words in Spanish translate to: “Cachita, if you can talk to God, ask Him why with my tears the Caribbean He wants to fill…”

Cachita is the familiar Cuban slang for the Virgin of The Charity of El Cobre, the Patron Saint of Cuba.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Opportunity for artists

Due: March 22, 2020

The Visual Arts Department at Montgomery College, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus -- Applications for Open Gallery Themed Exhibition Series, Transcending Borders.
For the 2020/2021 season, we invite artists to work with real or perceived restrictions, containments, rules, or labels in such a way as to push beyond their limitations. These borders could be self-imposed, cultural, societal, physical, or natural divisions. This exhibition would be an opportunity to challenge, question, conform, or break these constraints.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Frida at auction

This 1981 proof just showed up for auction at an auction house in Florida - as I recall, I did this work for portrait class at the School of Art at the University of Washington... I did it as a lithograph edition of ten, and thus with one work I also got credit for it at Printmaking class! Two birds with one stone!

Bid for it here.

Friday, February 14, 2020

From HumanitiesDC

Some good opportunities here:
The deadline is one month away to submit your application for the Humanities Vision and Humanitini Curator grants:

The Humanities Vision Grant provides financial and capacity building resources to community organizations interested in creating innovative interpretations of humanities scholarship for public audiences. The grants are driven by the proposed final product; each grant will produce an educational resource that will be added to a publicly accessible, online archive. Deadline: March 13, 2020.

Learn more about the Humanities Vision Grant and how to apply by registering for one of our upcoming webinars .

The updated Humanitini Curator Grant provides opportunities for graduate students and others conducting and presenting original humanities research. Each Curator will create a public humanities program based on their research or area of expertise. The public programs will follow HumanitiesDC's successful Humanitini model that brings thoughtful humanities discussions to Washington, DC's happy-hour scene. Deadline: March 13, 2020.

But there's more!
  • We are proud to announce a new grant partnership opportunity! The Youth Media Literacy Grant is for organizations to develop media literacy curricula that can be used for either an in-school or out-of-school time program for students ages 12 to 18.
  • Last year's debut DC Documentary Short Film Partnership Grant (DC DOCS)  is back. DC DOCS supports documentary film projects that record the District's history, people or places. 
  •  Soul of the City Partnership Grant encourages the development and execution of a high-quality, national model level, Humanities-driven, youth engagement program for young people, ages 14-19.
  •  DC Community Heritage Project Grant will afford communities, neighborhood organizations, churches and others the change to tell their stories through public humanities projects.

Visit our Partnership Grants web page or view/download the 2020 Grants Flyer for more information.  Thanks for helping us share these exciting opportunities!

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

CARL ALEXANDER: The Last Unknown Washington Color School Painter

The Last Unknown Washington Color School Painter
view exhibit
Show dates: February 14 - March 21, 2020

Meet the Artists Receptions:

Thursday, February 13, 5-8 pm and Saturday, February 15, 2-6 pm

  Closing Reception: Saturday, March 21, 2-6 pm

Few among us have had the pleasure of seeing the color field paintings of artist Carl Alexander, most of which were created in the 1950's. Many of these handsome abstract works were painted when Carl was a student of art at Howard University working under the tutelage of Washington Color School artist Morris Louis. Carl and I shared the rare experience of being among the few students working with Louis in 1953. Importantly, six decades later, Carl's beautifully executed paintings hold their own in the company of the highly regarded color field paintings by other Washington artists done in the 1950's and 1960's. Carl, like his friend and colleague, Kenneth Young, worked quietly as artists/designers at the Smithsonian Institution here in the nation's capitol until their retirement.                                                         - David C. Driskell

Primary Color Geo by Carl A. Alexander
Primary Color Geo by Carl A. Alexander
The 1953 meeting of artists Morris Louis (1912-1962), and Kenneth Noland (1924-2010), set off a new movement known as the Washington Color School. They expanded on Abstract Expressionism with a heavy focus on the role of color and its application. New York art critic Clement Greenberg promoted it in his landmark exhibit Post-Painterly Abstraction in 1964. The Washington Color School subsequently reached international fame, and remains the DMV's "key" artistic movement.

Carl A. Alexander (b. 1930), a native Washingtonian, attended Howard University in the mid-1950's when Morris Louis was appointed an instructor there. Alexander was exposed to the early stages of the Washington Color School. Through his connection with Louis he met and socialized with other notable Color School painters, such as Gene Davis, Howard Mehring, Thomas Downing, Alma Thomas, and James Hilleary. This influenced, Alexander's paintings, especially his treatment of color, have a certain resemblance to Louis' notable veil paintings. His friendships with Downing and Mehring are also evident by his use of the circle motif. After graduating Howard, Alexander worked at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History until he retired.