Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Artist Panel: Home-Land: Exploring the American Myth

Artist Panel: Home-Land: Exploring the American Myth

Sunday July 17, 1-2PM at American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

Artist Panel: Home-Land: Exploring the American Myth
July 17, 1-2 p.m. ET
Register on Eventbrite to attend in-person or virtually

Artists showing: Sobia Ahmad, F. Lennox Campello, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Ric Garcia, Claudia "Aziza" Gibson-Hunter, Julia Kwon, Khánh H. Lê, and Helen Zughaib

This event will be held in-person at the museum. 

Monday, June 27, 2022

RIP Sam Gilliam

 Just heard the sad news that the great artist Sam Gilliam has died.

Last week I wrote about Sam's first ever major museum show in DC area. My feelings here.

Sunday, June 26, 2022

I will judge this year’s "Paint the Town" Labor Day Show

It will be soon announced that yours truly will be the judge for this year’s "Paint the Town" Labor Day Show sponsored by the Montgomery Art Association

The Paint the Town Labor Day Show is one of the region’s largest and longest-running art shows composed of all local artists. The show will be open to the public Saturday-Monday, September 3-5, and I will do both the closed-door judging and then and on Saturday, September 3, I will also judge the plein air competition and then present the awards. 

"Paint the Town" Labor Day Show sponsored by the Montgomery Art Association

About the Plein Air Competition: As you walk around Kensington on the Saturday of the show weekend, you'll see dozens of artists painting and drawing all over town. Those are participants of the annual Plein Air Competition. From 7 am-3 pm, adults and children complete paintings with a Kensington theme and submit them for prizes awarded by me. The competition is open to all adults and children. Free for children under 18 and current MAA members; adults pay $10 per person. Registration opens July 15.

Details here.

Schedule 

FRIDAY, JULY 15: Call for entries opens (members only)

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3: Exhibit floor open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Plein air art competition, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. -- Awards ceremony, 6-8 p.m.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4: Exhibit floor open, 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. 

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 5: Exhibit floor open, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Pick up purchased artwork, 5:00-8:00 p.m.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 6: Pick up purchased artwork, 9-11 a.m. 

Thursday, June 23, 2022

Three DMV artists representing US at Venice Biennale

There are three area artists who are currently representing the US at the Venice Biennale -Glasstress.  That's their collaboration in the background of the photo from the Italian press below:

Venice Biennale - Glasstress

The Italian press calls Chris Shea, Michael Janis and Tim Tate "international stars" - The Washington Post and other local media call them... oh wait! There's not  a single mention of this in our local press!

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Michael Janis is on this Satuday!

Art Clinic Online will be having one of the DMV's true art superstars this coming Saturday!

The guest artist is the incredible Michael Janis, uberglass artist and Co-Director of the Washington Glass School.  

Michael Janis was born in Chicago, IL and currently lives in Washington, DC. Trained as an architect, his glass figures showcase his very disciplined approach to the medium. He became Co-Director of the Washington Glass School & Studio in 2005, where he teaches and oversees the studio’s many site specific and public art commissions. His portraiture works often look, at first glance, to be made with graphite or pastels, but actually are made using crushed glass. He painstakingly manipulates the individual grains of the glass powder with X-acto blades and brushes on flat glass and fired (fused) in electric kilns.

Awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2012, Janis went to England’s University of Sunderland and taught at the UK’s National Glass Centre where he became an Artist-in-Residence at the Institute for International Research in Glass. The DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities awarded him the 31st Annual Mayor’s Arts Award for “Excellence in the Arts”. This year, Janis’ glass sculpture, made in collaboration with artist Tim Tate, is featured in the 2022 Venice Biennale of Art exhibition, “Glassstress”. Janis’ artwork is in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Tacoma Museum of Glass, Florida’s Imagine Museum and the Fort Wayne Museum of Fine Art.

 Zoom Meeting Link

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86416329284?pwd=R20zZUVIUkxmdERGQzBqN3M5SVJwZz09

Meeting ID: 864 1632 9284

Passcode: 191463

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Juried Art Shows: Hints from an Insider

The answer used to come in the mail - now it usually comes out via email. An accepted notice brings joy, while a rejected note needs little explanation. It is the agony and the satisfaction of the juried art show.

Entering juried art shows is perhaps the most common way for emerging artists to build a resume, to expose one's works to a wider audience and above all, to compete with our peers. It is the raison d'etre for Art Calendar and other magazines and web sites.

As a young emerging artist, I have entered countless of these shows over the early years of my career. As a regularly published writer in the Washington, D.C. area, I often review the shows once they are hung. Later in my career, as a seasoned juror for many of these competitions around the capital region, I have had plenty of first hand exposure to the inner guts of this art phenomenon. As the poet Marti wrote "I have been inside the monster, and I know its innards well."

Provided that they are fair and staged by a reputable art space, there are no tricks that will guarantee acceptance into the juried competition. However, there are steps which artists can take to increase their chances for being accepted. The following checklist will help you increase those chances and assumes that you, the artist, is looking for a competition outside of your city, but can also work in your own backyard. An earlier version of this post was published as an article in Art Calendar magazine several decades ago.

The Gallery - The reputation and location of the gallery or art space holding the juried art show is perhaps the most important item in the list of various things to investigate before one decides to enter a show. The internet is a great resource: does the gallery have a webpage? If so, visit it and get a general flavor for what kind of shows they have been hanging lately. A reputable gallery sometimes gets reviewed in the local press. Since newspapers have online versions, do a search, write or email the newspaper's art critic with a simple question about the gallery. Even if not reviewed, reputable galleries are often listed in the Weekend or Leisure section of most major metropolitan newspapers. Find some artists' websites in the same city and ask them about the gallery. As a last resort, the artist can always call the gallery and ask them questions. Furthermore, the actual exhibition space itself is important. How many pieces does the gallery intend to select? (As a question to the gallery (provided that the competition has been held in previous years) is: "How many pieces were accepted last year? Followed quickly by: "How many pieces were entered?"). Good shows attract larger numbers of entries, so be wary of a low number of submissions, but if 3,000 entries are expected and ten will be hung, well - you get my drift. Finally, find out what does the galleries do to advertise the show. For example, is there an opening for the artists and the show? A good entry form should answer these questions, if not, call the gallery and ask them. Needless to say, avoid vanity galleries at all costs and be suspicious of art galleries which seem to be always staging a juried competition. 

The Juror - The entry form should list some of the qualifications of the juror. Researching his or her background is perhaps the single most influential action in increasing one's chances of being accepted. As jurors, we all bring our prejudices to the process, even if we deny it in public. If the juror is an artist, chances art that he or she will tend to favor the type of art that he produces. This sounds very subjective, but generally, even while we speak of the brotherhood of the arts, we essentially tend to be very clannish about what we like as art. An artist/juror who paints solidly abstract works is more likely to identify with abstraction than with photorealism - don't let anyone fool you into believing anything else. Some art galleries seem to have an unhealthy love affair with academic jurors, and these are perhaps the hardest to "judge." If the jurors are art professors, chances are that they will also be artists, so look at their art for hints. If curators, museum directors, art critics or any other form of arts intelligentsia, look at their products for a hint. An art critic who raves about the work of Cy Twombly is probably not going to pick Norman Rockwell for an exhibition. Conversely, a museum curator whose last three exhibitions have dealt with rediscovering Victorian art is not likely to select a Rothko-look-alike for a juried show.

The Awards - A competition without awards is not necessarily bad; however, the opportunity to win some money at an art event (and thus a return in your entry fee investment) is a powerful enticement to enter a show. Be careful of purchase awards, which means that the gallery will deliver cash awards, but they will keep your piece. This is also OK, as long as you are aware of it. 

Entry Fees - A $20 - $45 dollar fee for three entries is generally the average normal range for most competitions. Other than funds to ship and insure the return of an accepted entry, any additional handling fees, hanging fees, etc. is (in my opinion) a scam and artists should stay away from competitions which require further cash resources past the entry fees and return cost of accepted pieces.  

Size - Here's a dirty secret from juried competitions: At practically every competition which I have juried, the gallery owner or museum director has always said: "I won't tell you what to pick, but please try to select as many artists as possible." This often means that great art that will consume significant wall acreage may not be selected in favor of several smaller pieces. Most competitions limit the size of the entries, yet I am astounded at the number of entries which routinely exceed the specified size and are rejected for that reason (although they keep your entry fee). Submit manageable pieces which can be easily shipped, hung and (if not sold) returned. 

Time - Here's another secret: Most competitions start preparing entries for jurying as it arrives. That means that the juror usually views the very first entries first. Although most jurors view (or should view) the entries more than once, it is probably safer to be somewhere in the middle of the viewing process, after the jurors have stretched their mental engines, than at the very beginning. Time the arrival of your entries to land at the gallery about a week before the deadline. If the entries are arranged alphabetically, then ignore this section.

The Images - I know you have all heard this time and time again, but the quality of your images is second only to the quality of the work itself! I was astounded a while back to jury a competition for a local gallery in DC, and discover an entry which had two of three images completely out of focus, and several whose works had been shot though framed glass and the reflections from the flash made the work impossible to see. These artists had not even looked at their entries before submitting them. The best thing to do is to actually project the digital images and see what they look like on the wall - you'd be surprised at what can be seen.

With the exception of competitions where the show is picked from the original work, the gallery or art space hosting the competition usually arranges for the image viewing with the juror(s). In competitions where there is more than one juror, interesting debates about the merit of art takes place, and more often than not, compromises. However, in the final decision, it is the work itself that delivers the final verdict.

Where to find competitions - Artwork Archive (a great resource) has the following recommendations:

Artwork Archive | Call for Entry

Free to peruse, we feature everything from dream residencies and life-changing grants, to fun festivals, art business workshops, and competitions for some extra cash. We make it easy to search, too! Filter by opportunity type, location, event dates, eligibility, and more to find exactly what your art practice needs to flourish.

CaFÉ

While you may know this site for its wide array of calls for shows, exhibitions, and residencies, this site also boasts a collection of grants and awards. Search through the listings at no cost which covers all the need-to-know details for applying, including entry deadline, fees, location eligibility, and more.

The Art Guide

Not sure if you want to apply through a third party, Art Guide is the free artist opportunity site for you. This call for entries website allows you to apply directly to the organization offering the grant. The list is updated daily so there'll always be a great new opportunity to pursue.

ArtOpportunities.org

Formerly Artist Opportunity Monthly, all you need to do is sign up with your email and they send you thoroughly screened opportunities every month, including grants. AOM prides itself on ensuring each opportunity is worthwhile. A more comprehensive monthly list is offered at $5 a year.

ArtDeadline.com

Another site you may have heard of is ArtDeadline.com. According to their website, it is “the largest and most respected source for artists seeking income and exhibition opportunities.” The site may cost you a subscription fee of $20 a year to view the majority of its opportunities, but you can still browse many grants listed for free on their homepage and the @ArtDeadline Twitter account.

Curator Space

CuratorSpace is a project management toolkit for curators, organizers, galleries, and artists. It is designed to take the hassle out of managing exhibitions, competitions, fairs, and a whole lot more. Plus, they are a great site for finding art opportunities worldwide!

Re-title.com

Re-title is a service for professional contemporary artists searching for opportunities, such as competitions, exhibitions, residencies, etc. A site for international contemporary art, this is another great site to find opportunities around the world! There’s even a map you can click on to search opportunities regionally and world clocks at the top of their site so you can submit applications on time!

Resartis.org

Res Artist is a Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies from around the globe. The network comprises more than 700 vetted members in over 85 countries. They aim to support and connect residencies, engage and advocate the importance of residencies in today’s society by providing artists with resources and upcoming residency information. 

Art Rabbit 

Art Rabbit compiles a selection of international open calls and opportunities for contemporary art-related competitions, prizes, exhibitions, awards, proposals, and grants for artists, writers, and curators. They publish a selection of open calls from a pool of submissions and editorial research. Only open calls believed to offer meaningful benefits to applicants at different stages of their careers are published.

Creative Capital 

Creative Capital is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to fund artists in the creation of groundbreaking new work in the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film, technology, and multidisciplinary practices, including socially-engaged work in all forms. Our pioneering model of grantmaking also provides thousands of artists with scaffolding and infrastructure support via professional development programs, networking opportunities, and educational resources.

Art Show 

Artshow.com attracts thousands of artists and art enthusiasts each day. They advertise worldwide juried shows, exhibitions, and competitions across any and all mediums. Artshow.com has been recognized in "Must-See Web Sites for Artists" by The Artist's Magazine and has received favorable mention in several other art publications, including American Artist, Southwest Art, Watercolor Magic, and The Pastel Journal, as well as The Wall Street Journal.

With a bit of preparation, and a small amount of research, you as the artist may find that "accepted" box marked more often in the future. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

When the National Gallery of Art screwed up

25 years ago the National Gallery of Art passed on a Picasso to get a Cy Twombly - price tag on either was one million bucks.

My take on it was published in the Potomac News newspaper - it has aged rather well... here it is below:

"Cy Twombly Over Picasso?"

by

F. Lennox Campello

Published in the Potomac News and Dimensions Magazine

Twombly over Picasso? The National Gallery of Art's latest acquisition of an exceedingly boring painting by Virginia painter Cy Twombly succinctly brings to light a perfect example of the sort of poor decisions made in the seclusion of museum walls which exemplify why the general public is often at odds with our arts intelligentsia.

Cy Twombly's "Untitled (Bolsena)" was acquired on Friday the 13th of October by the National Gallery of Art at a cost of about one million dollars. The gallery's Collector's Committee also considered a Picasso, a Giacometti and a Baselitz before choosing the Twombly painting, which was aptly described by Washington Post art critic Paul Richards as "evoking the butt-end days of New York action painting. Or a wall besides a public pay phone."

Although it is clear that the Twombly piece will now join the National Gallery's ever growing "Gee, Mom, I can do that!" collection of art, what isn't clear is the rationale for picking Twombly over Picasso or Giacometti. It has been said that Twombly's main claim to fame is his early associations with Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg; if this is his main springboard into the walls of the National gallery, then it is clear to me that a pathetic mistake has been made by the gallery's Collector's Committee. As a matter of fact one would be hard pressed to pick a Johns or a Rauschenberg over a Picasso!

A new Picasso acquisition would have brought the National Gallery some more public interest, and a price tag of a million dollars seems almost a bargain for perhaps the greatest painter of all time. Whatever his detractors, Picasso is a recognized entity which would attract people who both like and dislike his work. I suspect Twombly's "champions" are not enough to prevent this latest acquisition from being ridiculed by the public and dismissed by the critics. It is also clear that the piece was vastly overpriced, as a similar Twombly sold less than two weeks ago in New York for $167,000. It would be interesting to see in which basement of the National Gallery this scrawling will gather dust in a few years. When it is put into storage, I hope it is well marked as a piece of art, or it may accidentally resurface on a wall next to a pay phone at the Smithsonian Metro Station.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

 The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant is one of the most prestigious grants available to emerging figurative artists, as well as one of the most substantial. It is one of the longest-standing foundations, with an illustrious history of recipients spanning more than half a century. It is also unique in its scope, in that it is available to students and artists around the world.

DEADLINE: Ongoing

WHO: Young artists pursuing their studies or in the early or developmental stage of their career. 

AMOUNT: First grants are in the amount of CAD $15,000 each, and subsequent grants are in the amount of CAD $18,000 each (maximum three grants).

FEE: FRE

FINE PRINT: The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art. Grants are intended to assist applicants in the study or practice of their art, and the costs associated therewith, such as tuition, studio rental, model fees, travel, and living expenses. Eligible courses of study or training include undergraduate, graduate, or post-graduate studies and diploma programs from accredited institutions, recognized residencies, apprenticeships/internships, and studio training. Grants are not intended as work or project grants for more experienced or mature artists.

 Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to apply. Learn more here.

Monday, June 13, 2022

Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

 Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

Created in 1993 to further FCA's mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who:

  •  Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding
  •  Incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates

Emergency Grants is the only active, multi-disciplinary program that offers immediate assistance of this kind to artists living and working anywhere in the United States, for projects occurring in the U.S. and abroad. Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Grants range in amount from $500 to $3,000, and the average grant is now $1,700.

DEADLINE:  Ongoing Deadline 

WHO: Residing in U.S. or U.S. territories. Visual and performing artists.

AMOUNT: Up to $3,000

FEE: FREE

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Yuck! Not even close

Tried this because of the name - do not recommend it to anyone and Trader Joe's needs a lesson on Cuban sandwichdom...

Trader Joe's Cuban wrap


Saturday, June 11, 2022

Photos from the AU opening of Home-Land

 

Home-Land - Exploring the American Myth F. Lennox Campello
Home-Land - Exploring the American Myth - this is the main wall with my work

Home-Land - Exploring the American Myth - Maegawa, Campello and D'Orazio
With DMV area artists Akemi Maegawa and Joel D'Orazio

Jack Rasmussen and Chawky Frenn at AU opening
American University Museum director Jack Rasmussen and DMV artist and professor Chawky Frenn

Chawky Frenn and Birdie Pieczenik at AU opening
Professor Chawky Frenn and DMV ubercollector Birdie Pieczenik

Chawky Frenn and Helen Zughaib at AU opening
DMV artists Chawky Frenn and Helen Zughaib at AU opening

Wanna go to six openings in one tonight?

Six New Exhibitions on View Open Tonight at the Katzen!

Mokha Laget: PerceptualismCurated by Kristen HilemanCaribbean TransitionsCurated by Keith MorrisonThe Quest for Tranquil Space: Paintings and PhotogramsArtwork by Josef AchrerIn collaboration with the Embassy of the Czech RepublicThe Bridge that Carried Us OverPresented by the AU Museum Project SpaceVertiginous Matter: Jason HorowitzCurated by Jennifer SakaiPresented by the Alper Initiative for Washington ArtHome-Land: Exploring the American MythCurated by Michael Quituisaca and Alexandra Schuman
Ongoing Exhibition:Glorious GlassWorks by Annette Lerner

See ya there!!!


Friday, June 10, 2022

25 Years Ago: Digital Envelope Gets Pushed!

25 years ago, the below essay about using the computer to create art was published in Dimensions magazine.

The Digital Atelier: The Computer as Fine Art

by

F. Lennox Campello

Originally published in Dimensions magazine - 1997.

When photography first attempted to enter the world of fine art, the museums and arts intelligentsia alike rudely rejected it, but it was accepted by the public. Today, the computer is attempting to enter the sterile white walls of the Washington power galleries and museums, but unlike photography, it seems to be allied with the insiders in the world of art, who seem enamored with the digital world of art.

 "Exhibiting the Digital Atelier: Prints by Unique Editions and Participating Artists", is a powerful groundbreaking exhibition at George Washington University Dimock Gallery, curated by Mary Ann Kearns.

So far, digital (in Washington circles) usually means Iris prints, and owners of these pricey printers, such as Chris Foley and David Adamson, have made quite an impact upon the local art scene by the creation of huge, beautiful Iris prints from standard photographic images. Controversy, caused by lack of data on conservation standards and misinformation, heavily cloud the image (pun intended) of Iris prints, yet photographers like Amy Lamb and Susan Rubin have delivered, huge beautiful works which make us gasp at the beautiful, ethereal, marriage of photography and technology.

This exhibition attempts to push the digital envelope. It focuses on the marriage of software, hardware and creativity: the pencil neck geek meets the angst-ridden, socially conscious artist! The show's primary focus is a collaboration of five artists: Helen Golden, Bonny Lhotka, Judith Moncrieff, Dorothy Simpson Krause and Karin Schminke. They translate their printmaking, photographic and painting skills to the digital world to deliver "fine art in limited editions." In addition to these five artists, several other local artists were chosen from a digital workshop held during the summer at the National Museum of American Art. These artists are Cynthia Alderdice, Danny Conant, Andras Nagy, Linda Mott-Smith, Howard Bagley, Grace Taylor, Patrick Lichty and Lynn Putney.

 And it is two photographers among this last group, Danny Conant and Grace Taylor, who steal the show! Conant's mastery of photography is as well known as are her beautiful infrared nudes or fragile Polaroid transfers - she is able to transfer her immense photographic abilities, as does Taylor, to this new media in an effective, creative way. This, unfortunately, makes many of the other images in the exhibition look like fancy web pages.

 I must be honest, I had mixed feelings about the exhibition, and perhaps my opinion is clouded by my own background (I have degrees in Fine Art and also in Computer Science). Another perhaps is that I am essentially prejudiced in attempting to see creative beauty in the color of a pixel as painted by a bubble jet printer or a laser printer or an Iris printer, as compared to the beauty of a Van Gogh brushstroke, or an Escher etching or the crisp white of a cloud in an Ansel Adams print.

 It is nonetheless a seminal exhibition in its field, and I recommend it! The show hangs December 11, 1997- January 30, 1998 at the Dimock Gallery of GWU, 21st and H Streets, NW in Washington (202) 994-1525.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Bethesda Art Walk tomorrow!

 The Bethesda Art Walk returns on Friday, June 10th from 6-8pm.

Participating Galleries:

Gallery B

Studio B

Triangle Art Studios

Waverly Street Gallery

Details here. 

The mass murderer Guevara makes an appearance in DC this Saturday

The below mixed media work depicting the mass-murdering racist psychopath known as Ernesto Guevara de La Serna Lynch will be one of the works showcase starting this Saturday at the American University Art Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in Washington, DC.

This piece will be part of Home-Land - Exploring the American Myth, an exhibition curated by Michael Quituisaca and Alexandra Schuman which will have an opening (yep! A real opening) on Saturday June 11, 2022 from 6-9PM.

The image is appropriately ripped off from a Commie photographer and reinterpreted in the context of the truth about this mass murderer.  Embedded in his forehead, a small screen plays hundreds of the versions of the Korda photograph which have been used to produce millions of T-Shirts worn by clueless people all over the world.

My goal is to try to change the way that people who do not know about the real Che Guevara perceive him. Would you wear a T-Shirt with this man's face on it? Only if it says "MURDERER" written across it.

The quotes are all from Guevara's own words - note what he says about black people, Mexicans and gays...

Comunista comemierda.

In addition to my work, the curators also selected Sobia Ahmad, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Ric Garcia, Claudia "Aziza" Gibson-Hunter, Julia Kwon, Khánh H. Lê, and Helen Zughaib for the exhibition.

THIS IS CHE GUEVARA - an original drawing with embedded electronics by F LENNOX CAMPELLO - 2013
This is Che
Charcoal, conte and embedded electronics on paper
24 x 20 inches

This is Che (Detail)

This is Che (Detail)

This is Che (Detail)

These other works of mine are also included in the show:

F. Lennox Campello, Isla Balsera (Happy Bicentennial America - Wishing We Were There), 1976. Collage, 26 x 34 in. Gift from The Andres M. Fernandez Collection, 2018.17.1.

Desi, Lucy and Fidel 2012 by Florencio Lennox Campello
Desi, Lucy and Fidel
2012, Charcoal and conte drawing, electronic components
Courtesy of the Steven and Sasha Pieczenik Collection

Ave Marylinas 2012 by F. Lennox Campello
Ave Marylinas
2012 Charcoal and conte drawing with electronic components
Courtesy of the Krensky Collection

AVE FRIDA II by CAMPELLO Charcoal and conte drawing, electronic components and video loop
AVE FRIDA II
2011, Charcoal and conte drawing, electronic components and video loop
Courtesy of the Roberta (Birdie) Rovner Pieczenik Collection

There will be an opening - yep a real opening! The opening reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m., June. 11, 2022 at the museum.

See ya there!

Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners announced

Did I call this or what?

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announced the top Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners on Wednesday evening during the exhibition’s opening at Gallery B. Andrew Hladky of Kensington, MD was awarded “Best in Show” with $10,000; James Williams II of Baltimore, MD was named second place and was given $2,000 and Magnolia Laurie of Baltimore, MD received third place and was awarded $1,000. Additionally, Jeremy Jirsa of Baltimore, MD was recognized with the Young Artist Award and received $1,000.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

New Gallery in the DMV

From my good friend Gabriella Rosso:

RoFa Projects  is very happy to announce the opening of our new space in the Kentlands, Gaithersburg, MD on Friday, June 17, 2022, in partnership with Beta Gallery.

RoFa Projects (founded in 2014 in Potomac MD) focuses on consolidating art as a powerful tool for social action and as a generator of critical spaces. Working with  artists that have different visions of the sociopolitical processes  that  we live  throughout  the world  and  who understand the importance of global thinking.

RoFa projects has three branches: RoFa Art, RoFa Projects and  La Morada.

Beta Gallery (founded in 2014 in Bogotá, Colombia) has focused its search on contemporary artists in the Colombian and Latin American scene. In 2016, it incorporated Proyecto ZETA linking urban artists to the gallery space.

Both galleries have joined to work together, bringing Latin-American Art to this beautiful new space.

Their next show,  In the Heart of the Beholder, brings together 10 contemporary artists that take us to the immense possibilities that the portrait offers. Painting on canvas, photography, sculpture and even stencil are placed at the mercy of creation, beauty and the heart of the beholder.

Pigments used in the Renaissance, metal printing, photo performance, oil and spray portray emotions,  identity, poetic intensity and beauty from a contemporary approach.

Artists: Ana De Orbegoso (Perú); Avelino Sala (Spain); Cecilia Paredes (Perú); DJLU Juegasiempre (Colombia); ERRE (Colombia): Fabian Ugalde (México); Muriel Hasbun (El Salvador); Natalia Revilla (Perú); Salustiano (Spain) and Walterio Iraheta (El Salvador).

In the Heart of the Beholder

Where: 361 Main St, Gaithersburg, MD 20878

When:  Opening date: June 17, 2022 - 4 - 9 pm

The exhibition will be open until August 6 , 2022

Wednesday - Thursday: 12:00 pm. - 6:00 pm

Friday - Saturday: 10:00 pm. - 7:00 pm

Or by appointment

Tuesday, June 07, 2022

$6.7 Million Budget for the Arts and Humanities Approved by Montgomery County Council

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) in Maryland just announced a $6,747,706 annual budget appropriation which includes $6,339,106 for AHCMC grants and administration and an additional $408,000 for the Public Arts Trust. The $6.7M appropriation was unanimously approved by the Montgomery County Council and represents a significant increase over the FY22 budget and flat funding for public art.  

“We are especially grateful to receive a record increase in funding for FY23 from the County Executive and Montgomery County Council,” says Dana Pauley, Board Chair for the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “Recovery remains slow for our creative economy and many other local industries; receiving this support demonstrates the county's commitment to invest in the full recovery and stability of our arts and humanities sector.”  

“The decision to include the creative sector in the county’s strong economic rebound strategies substantiates the essential role of our cultural community in Montgomery County,” states Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. “The arts and humanities buoyed our local communities in our darkest hours and continue to do so today. AHCMC is exceedingly thankful and proud to continue supporting financial recovery for the artists, scholars and arts managers that make up our incredible creative industry.”  

The Arts and Humanities Council will award $5,646,737 of the FY23 appropriation in grants that support the arts and humanities sector. Grant funding is available for general operating support, creative project support, and capacity building projects. All funding will be distributed through AHCMC’s existing grant channels, which support cultural institutions and individual artists and scholars across the entire county. The FY23 budget will go into effect on July 1.  

Monday, June 06, 2022

Home-Land Exploring the American Myth

I am honored to have been invited to participate in American University's Museum at the Katzen Arts Center's exhibition Home-Land: Exploring the American Myth, June 11–August 7, 2022 and curated by Michael Quituisaca and Alexandra Schuman.

In addition to my work, the curators selected Sobia Ahmad, Elizabeth Casqueiro, Ric Garcia, Claudia "Aziza" Gibson-Hunter, Julia Kwon, Khánh H. Lê, and Helen Zughaib for the exhibition.

... the featured eight Washington area artists simultaneously honor and confront the American dream. The idea of “home” is a promise in America that often goes unquestioned. However, these artists reveal that home is not a privilege for all - for some it is taken, for others it is to be fought for and defended, and, for many artists in the show, it is reforged in a new land. This exhibition highlights how these artists have found their place within multiple frameworks of identity, both ascribed and subscribed.

F. Lennox Campello, Isla Balsera (Happy Bicentennial America - Wishing We Were There), 1976. Collage, 26 x 34 in. Gift from The Andres M. Fernandez Collection, 2018.17.1.

There will be an opening - yep a real opening! The opening reception takes place from 6 to 9 p.m., June. 11, 2022 at the museum.

See ya there!

 

Sunday, June 05, 2022

Submission Deadline Extended for FY 22 Relief and Recovery Fund (RFF)

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) is soliciting applications from qualified artists, humanities practitioners, and arts and humanities organizations for its Fiscal Year 2022 CAH-RRF grant program.

The submission deadline has been extended to 10pm on Friday, June 17.

Details here.

Saturday, June 04, 2022

Homage to a powerful woman

 Six years ago my courageous mother died... this is my eulogy from that day:

When my father died last year, I began his eulogy by noting that another oak had fallen.

This morning, around 1:25AM, Ana Olivia Cruzata Marrero de Campello, his wife of over 60 years, and my beloved mother, passed on on the day of her 97th birthday.

If my father was an oak, then my mother was an equally strong, but also very pliable, and elegant tree.  When hurricanes attack the main lands of the world, the strong tall trees often fall, but the pliable ones, like plantain trees, always give with the wind, and survive the storms, and thrive in the drenching rains.

My mother was like a an aged plantain tree, not only immensely strong and pliable, but also giving and nurturing.

Like many Cuban women of her generation and her social-economic background, she had never worked for a living in Cuba, and yet within a few days of our arrival in New York in the 1960s, she was working long hours in a sewing factory, putting her formidable seamstress skills, honed in the social sewing and embroidery gathering of young Cuban girls, to use in the "piece work" process of the New York sewing factories.

As soon as we saved the money, one of the first things that my mother bought was an electric sewing machine - a novelty to her, as she had always used one of the those ancient Singer machines with a foot pedal.

I remember as a child in Brooklyn, that women used to bring her fabric and a page from a magazine with a woman wearing a dress. Without the benefit of a sewing pattern, my mother would whip up a copy of the dress that was more often than not probably better made than the original. As the word of her skills spread, so did her customers and soon she was making more money working at home than at the factory - but she kept both jobs.

I once noted to her that I admired the courage that it must have taken  her to leave her family and immigrate to the United States. "We didn't come here as immigrants," she corrected me. "We came as political refugees, and I initially thought that we'd be back in Cuba within a few years at the most."

When the brutal Castro dictatorship refused to loosen its stranglehold on her birth place, she became an immigrant, and from there on an American citizen from her white-streaked hair down to her heel bone (that's a Cuban saying). Like my father, she loved her adopted country with a ferocity, that I sometimes feel that only people who have been bloodied by Communism can feel for a new, free homeland.

As as I've noted before, Cubans are archaic immigrants... we love this great nation because we recognize its singular and unique greatness; perhaps it is because our forebears had the same chance at greatness and blew it.


I remember as a teenager, once I started going out to parties and things at night on my own (around age 16 or so), that my mother would wait up for me, sitting by the third floor window of our Brooklyn apartment, where she could survey the whole neighborhood and see as far as the elevated LL subway station a few blocks away, to watch me descend the station stairs and trace my way home.

My mother was always fit and, as once described by my father, "flaca como un fusil" (as slim as a rifle). She was strong and fast. She was also quiet, but never silenced, and when needed, could and would command attention.

My mother was always well dressed and superbly coiffed. When we'd go to parties and events, women would always ask her where she'd gotten that dress! The answer was always the same: she'd made it!

At least once a week, to my father's dismay, and in spite of his demands that my mother stop it, she'd get her hair done at the nearby peluqueria (hair dresser).

My dad knew, and respected his limits with my mother. 

I remember one time that my father and I were returning from shopping at the supermarket, dragging one of those wheeled folding carts that could carry four full paper grocery bags. It had been snowing, so the Brooklyn streets were wet and muddy.

When we got to our apartment my father opened the door. He then stood there.

"Go in!" I demanded.

"We'll have to wait," he said gloomily, "Your mother mopped the floor and it's still wet." This giant, tough, street-brawling Galician then looked at me sheepishly, "I'd rather walk through a mine field than step on your mother's wet floor."

I learned a lesson there.

She used to delight in telling stories how, as a child, she would often win the horse races that kids staged around the small country towns where she was raised in Oriente province, where her father was a Mayoral.

"I almost always won," she'd say, and then would add: "Even though I was a skinny girl."

Once, in her seventies, back in the days where you could actually accompany people to the departing gates at airports, we were escorting my oldest daughter Vanessa, who had come to visit, and we were running late. As we got to the airport, we ran to the gate, and to everyone's surprise, Abuela got there first. I still remember how delighted my daughter was that her grandmother could still run like a gazelle.


When I joined the Navy at age 17, my first duty station was USS SARATOGA, which at the time was stationed in Mayport in Florida, and thus my parents decided to migrate south to Florida and moved to Miami... just to be close to me.

They spent the next 40 years in the same apartment while I was stationed all over the world.

The mostly Cuban-American families that lived over the years in that apartment loved my mother, and would always tell me stories about my mother, ever the nurturer, bringing them food when she knew that they were going over tough times, or riding the buses with them, just to show them the routes.

This week, when I arrived in Miami, already somewhat knowing that this was approaching the end, I saw her with tubes coming out of her mouth and her eyes closed. When I spoke to her she opened her eyes, and in spite of the visuals that my eyes were seeing she somehow still managed to look strong. 

I showed her photos and movies of her grand children, and talked to her for a long time.

I thanked her for having the courage to leave her motherland and afford me the opportunity to grow as an American.

When she was being extubated, a young woman came into the room with a guitar and played and sang the haunting free prose of Guajira Guantanamera (The peasant girl from Guantanamo); a most fitting song, since my mother was from Guantanamo, and she came from strong Cuban peasant stock.

"Guajira pero fina (A peasant, but a very refined woman)", noted a neighbor and my mother's loving caretaker. 

The song, which can start with just about any prose, started with the Jose Marti poem:
 Yo quiero, cuando me muerasin patria, pero sin amo, tener en mi tumba un ramo de flores y una bandera
I want to, when I die, without my motherland, but without a master, to have on my tomb a bunch of flowers and a flag.
She died without a master, a strong and pliable woman who not only gave me the gift of life, but also the gift of freedom.

And as my mother died in her sleep in the early hours of the morning, in the capital city of the bitter Cuban Diaspora, all that I could gather to say to her was mostly the same that I said to my father when he passed last year: "Thank you for your courage... from me, and from my children... and soon from their children. You opened a whole new world for them."

I love you Mami... Un Abrazo Fuerte! Thank you for your gifts to me and my children, and happy birthday in Heaven!