Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Wodzianski at the next Affordable Art Fair

This recent work by Andrew Wodzianski will be in booth D15 next 22-25 September at the Affordable Art Fair in Chelsea, NYC!

Star Trek rocks!!!!

Diversity by Andrew Wodzianski
Celebrate Diversity by Andrew Wodzianski
Acrylic on Vintage Star Trek blueprint

Monday, August 22, 2022

Hope and Healing: 2022 Prince George's County Juried Exhibition

From PG County:

Dear Artists,

We will be displaying Hope and Healing: The 2022 Prince George's County Juried exhibition at Montpelier Arts Center this winter, from November 2, 2022 through January 6, 2023. The artwork will be selected by the juror, Leslie Pelzer, and then will be installed and displayed in the gallery space.

We would like to encourage you to apply to the call for entry for this exhibition. Artists may submit up to 3 samples of work for consideration in relation to the exhibit's title and theme. All media are welcomed, please refer to the size requirement information in the call for entry text.

The deadline to apply will be October 7, 2022 at 11:59 pm. All applications must be submitted online through Submittable. Please create a free account, if needed.

Please send any questions to Stuart Diekmeyer ( or Sara Caporaletti (

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Homage to H.P. lovecraft

This original homage to the great master of horror will be at the Affordable Art Fair New York City in booth D15 at the Chelsea Pavilion in Chelsea in NYC 22-25 September!

Homage to H.P. Lovecraft by Campello
Homage to H.P. Lovecraft

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Nun with a past

Nun with a past - drawing by Campello
Nun with a Past
Graphite and conte on reclaimed unfired Bisque


Friday, August 19, 2022

When Big Hair Roamed the Earth

 Inspired by James W. Bailey...

When Big Haired Roamed the Earth - Graphite and Conte on Bisque by Campello
When Big Haired Roamed the Earth
Graphite and Conte on broken Bisque by Campello but inspired by Bailey

The curious case of Nikole Hannah-Jones and her ignorance of Cuba's virulent racism

When I first wrote the below post a few years ago, I then printed it and mailed it to Nikole Hannah-Jones.... hopefully she's better educated now, although dogma is a pretty harsh mistress.

New York Times journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones, the leader of that paper's controversial 1619 Project recently showed a spectacular lack of background knowledge on the Cuban dictatorship's well-documented racist history and abuses of its black population by her statement that If you want to see the most equal, multiracial democ … it’s not a democracy — the most equal, multiracial country in our hemisphere, it would be Cuba,” and then proceeding to cite socialism as her reason to make the statement.

Ms. Hannah-Jones' rosy-eyed view of the Marxist dictatorship's oppression of its citizens, especially its Black citizens not only reveals loads about her own political leanings, but also serves as a brilliant example of suspicious lack of research skills about a subject as widely discussed as Cuba's oppressive and racist government.

Had Ms. Hannah-Jones - who visited Cuba in 2008 - bothered to look past her clear admiration for the Marxist government, and bothered to take a quick tour of the facts, she would have discovered that much has been written and documented about racism in Cuba, and it was even one of the earliest subjects addressed by the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson upon his arrival to the DMV a few decades ago from his various Latin American postings.

In his article a couple of decades ago, Cuba Begins to Answer Its Race Question, Robinson, also clearly and openly a very extreme left-wing oriented writer, tried hard to find excuses for the dictatorship, but nonetheless admits that:
Academics say that black Cubans are failing to earn university degrees in proportion to their numbers--a situation to which Castro has alluded publicly. The upper echelons of the government remain disproportionately white, despite the emergence of several rising black stars. And while perceptions are difficult to quantify, much less prove true or false, many black Cubans are convinced that they are much less likely than whites to land good jobs--and much more likely to be hassled by police on the street, like Cano's husband, in a Cuban version of "racial profiling."
But how about some Cubans inside Cuba discussing the subject?
In primary [Cuban] education, skin color is not mentioned," ... If we are still living in a society where white people have the power, and we don't mention color in education, we are in practice educating [Cuban] children to be white.

Cuban history as we teach it is a disgrace, because it is predominantly white history, and explaining the role of black people and mulattoes in building this society and its culture is not given its due importance.

Esteban Morales
University of Havana
Centre for the Study of the Hemisphere and the United States
A lot of hopes have been pinned by many people (who know little about Cuba and the repressive nature of its government) on President Obama's monumental decision to re-establish diplomatic relations with the unfortunate Caribbean island prison of Cuba; but first another Cuban quote: carry on "hiding" the issue [of racism in Cuba] would lead black people to think that "they belong to another country, and that there are two Cuba’s as there were in the 19th century, a black Cuba and a white one."

Roberto Zurbano
Casa de las Américas publishing house
And thus, it is curious to me that in his attempt to re-establish diplomatic ties, our socially conscious President (and his cadre of advisors) back then also - like Ms. Hannah-Jones - appeared to know little or nothing about the way that Afro-Cuban citizens are treated in their own country.

In reference to the President's visit to Cuba, 
Odette Casamayor-Cisneros, an associate professor of Latin American and Caribbean literatures and cultures at the University of Connecticut and a scholar at Harvard University, and writing in Ms. Hannah-Jones own newspaper, noted in the New York Times that  
“The images of the meetings, the agreements, they’re all shameful for many black Cubans — I’m including myself in this — because it’s difficult to feel represented.
Was the projected flow of American tourists expected to help Black Cubans in a pre-COVID Cuba? Roberto Zurbano, a Cuban expert in Afro-Cuban identity, race and literature based out of Havana wrote in his 2013 New York Times article that:
Most remittances from abroad — mainly the Miami area, the nerve center of the mostly white exile community — go to white Cubans. They tend to live in more upscale houses, which can easily be converted into restaurants or bed-and-breakfasts — the most common kind of private business in Cuba. Black Cubans have less property and money, and also have to contend with pervasive racism. Not long ago it was common for hotel managers, for example, to hire only white staff members, so as not to offend the supposed sensibilities of their European clientele.
Zurbano was subsequently punished by his Marxist government for daring to express that opinion on the pages of Ms. Hannah-Jones employing newspaper. Because that's how Communists roll!

That "not long ago" is still the case, as anyone who has been to Cuba recently can testify to and which Ms. Hannah-Jones could clearly see during her 2008 visit to the island - it is very rare to see a black face in any of Havana's "tourist only" hotels and nearby beaches. Discussing those lucrative jobs, Yusimí Rodríguez López, an Afro-Cuban independent journalist, said in a 2016 New York Times article that there were job listings in Revolico — sometimes called Cuba’s underground Craigslist — “where they say they only want whites.”

In the same NYT article we read:
“They talk a lot here about discrimination against blacks in the United States. What about here?” said Manuel Valier Figueroa, 50, an actor, who was in the park on Monday. “If there’s a dance competition, they’re going to choose the woman who is fair-skinned with light, good hair. If there’s a tourism job, the same.”

He added: “Why are there no blacks managing hotels? You don’t see any blacks working as chefs in hotels, but you see them as janitors and porters. They get the inferior jobs.”
One would hope that Ms. Hannah-Jones' exploration of Cuba, a nation with one of the world's worst human rights records, where Amnesty International has been denied access to (except to that bit of Cuba where the Guantanamo Naval Base is located); a nation where gay people were once given lobotomies to "cure" them; and where HIV+ Cubans were detained and segregated in guarded colonies away from the general public, could at least have educated her on the disturbing status of blacks in their own island nation.

Fact: Twice as many African slaves were brought to Cuba than to the United States... twice!

And what really bugs me, in my own pedantic hell, is how often historically and socially clueless American academics, journalists, activists, etc. make spectacularly ignorant statements - as Ms. Hannah-Jones did - about the government of one of the world's most racist dictatorships (a government which talks a talk of equality while walking a walk of institutionalized racism against its own Black population) without even mentioning the issue of racism... or is Ms. Hannah-Jones' case praising the socialist dictatorship!

Ms. Hannah-Jones should learn about the Cuban version of the 1619 Project, which in Cuba's case would have been called the 1511 Project, as that was when Spanish Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar set out from Hispaniola to establish the first Spanish settlement in Cuba, and brought the first African slaves to the island.

Since then and to its present day, Cuba has a long and agonizing history of racial issues, starting with its long bloody history of slavery, which didn't end on the island until 1886, and continuing through its freedom from Spain, birth of the Republic, and the triumph of the Castro Revolution in 1959. It continues to this day.

Cuba even had its own race war.

Antonio Maceo

General Antonio Maceo, known as "the Bronze Titan." He was the true warrior leader of the Cuban Wars of Liberation. His father was white of French ancestry; his mother was black, of Dominican ancestry. After the first Cuban Liberation War ended in a truce with Spain, some say that Maceo was so disillusioned with the realities of life in Cuba as a black man, that he left Cuba and lived in Panama, until he was called back to lead the Cuban rebels in a new rebellion in 1895. He returned to Cuba and was killed in battle against the Spanish Army in 1896.

In 1912, Black Cubans in Oriente province had enough of the new Cuban government's racist practices and the degrading treatment of Cuban black veterans, who had been the bulk of the Cuban rebels in the wars of independence against Spain. The Cuban government moved on a path of genocide and eventually the United States had to send in troops to end the war between the white Cuban government and the black rebels in Oriente.

As I recall from the CIA Factbook of 1959, on that year the island was about 70% white, about 20% black and mixed, and the rest Chinese, Jewish and other. The Cuban Diaspora which started a few months after the Castro takeover and continues to this day, with the exception of the Mariel boat lift of the 1980s, saw a mass exodus of mostly white Cubans, and as a result the island's racial balance shifted dramatically and although 65% of Cubans self-identify as white in recent censuses, many experts estimate that today the island is actually about 60% black or biracial.

But Cuba's black population has not seen a proportionate share of the power and a quick review of the governing Politburo/Parliament reveals few black faces in the crowd. 

In fact, "the Cuban cultural journal Temas published studies by the governmental Anthropology Centre in 2006 that showed that on average, the black population has worse housing, receives less money in remittances from abroad and has less access to jobs in emerging economic sectors like tourism, in which blacks represent barely five percent of managers and professionals, than the white population."
"I think silence is worse. The longer nothing is said, the more the racism fermenting underground is rotting the entire nation..."

Gerardo Alfonso
While the Cuban constitution of the 1940s (since then abolished by the Communist government) outlawed segregation and racism on paper, and the current Cuban Constitution guarantees black Cubans the right to stay in any hotel and be served at any public establishment, as it has been documented by many foreign journalists, black Cubans will tell you in private that those rights exist only on paper. They would have told Ms. Hannah-Jones during her visit to Cuba in 2008 - but she probably didn't notice that nearly everywhere that she visited, the presence of the Cuban government was not far, and people fear that presence.

The harsh Cuban reality today, Black Cubans will tell you, is that "black Cubans won't be served" and that Cubans, regardless of race are in general barred from places frequented by tourists.
Unfortunately, these things [disparities in the treatment of blacks and whites] are very common in Cuba.

Ricardo Alarcón Quesada
President of the National Assembly of People's Power
Cuban Parliament
Do these Cuban voices from within Cuba itself sound like the subjects of a government whose murdering tyrants' atrocities should be dealt with in silence? -- especially in view of our nation's own racial history and what Ms. Hannah-Jones so expeditiously attempted to document in her controversial 1619 Project? 
We have practically apartheid in this country sometimes... racism is deeply rooted in Cuba's history and will not disappear overnight.

Rogelio Polanco Fuentes
Cuban Communist Party-owned Juventud Rebelde newspaper.
What would she say if she had discovered the "permanent and shameful police harassment of young Cubans of African descent in our streets..." as noted by Leonardo Calvo Cardenas, the Cuban National Vice-Coordinador of the Citizens' Committee for Racial Integration (Comité Ciudadanos por la Integración Racial (CIR))?

As Omar López Montenegro, the Black Cuban director of Human Rights for the Fundación Nacional Cubano Americana recently stated in the Panama Post:
The situation for Black Cubans worsened after Castro assumed power... even though there were always racial issues, before Castro in Cuba there had been Black governors, a President of the Senate, Martín Morua Delgado, and also many Congressmen such as the labor leader Jesús Menéndez, a member of the Socialist Party. 

When Cuba became a Communist dictatorship, and democracy was lost, the advance of Black Cubans came to a halt. 

And this is what makes it even more maddening to a pedantic Virgo like me -- when even the lackeys of the Cuban dictatorship like Alarcon Quesada and Black voices from within the brutalized island speak out, knowing that there will be consequences - as Zurbano discovered after his New York Times opinion piece - why does Ms. Hannah-Jones live in this rose-colored atmosphere where she perceives the poor jailed island as an example of equality?

Does she know that even though about 60% of Cubans are Black or brown, that 94.2% of the students at the University of Havana are white?  Is she aware - as evidenced by the hundreds of videos one can see at #SOSCuba, that the epicenters of the demonstrations in most Cuban cities during this historic uprising are in the Black neighborhoods? Does she know about Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, a young Black Cuban from La Güinera who was arrested and then murdered by the Cuban police? When notified that her son was dead, his mother committed suicide. Does she know that her own newspaper, The New York Times documented a few years ago how Black Cubans are routinely discriminated in Cuba? Is she aware that while 48% of white Cubans have an annual income of less that $3,000 USD, a whooping 95% of Black Cubans fall below that incredible line?

By the way... In 1959 Cuba had the third-highest per capita income in Latin America, exceeded only by Argentina and Venezuela (around $550 a year back then which is about $5,170 in today's dollars). In 1959 that was also higher than Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal and every single Eastern European nation in the Soviet bloc.

Nikole Hannah-Jones now has an opportunity to clear the air, clear her mind, clear her perception and gain instant respect from Cubans of all races. All she has to say is that she's learned a lot since the statements that she made in 2019 surfaced during the current Cuban uprising - which as video evidence clearly shows, appears to involve Cubans of all races - and state that she was wrong and is now aware of the sorry and sad state of the Marxist government's deeply rooted racism.

Boom! Case closed.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Paint the Town Labor Day Show 2022

 I'm sooooooooooo excited to jury this show coming up Labor Day weekend!

The three-day Paint the Town Labor Day Show & Sale. This is one of the longest-running and largest art shows in the region, with hundreds of works by 175 local artists, all members of the Montgomery Art Association. The event is free and open to the public.

All works are for sale. In addition, the Artist Marketplace will have small works, prints and notecards available for purchase. A portion of all sales proceeds goes to support MAA's arts mission.

Walk around Kensington on Saturday, and you'll see dozens of artists painting and drawing. Those are participants in our annual Plein Air Competition!

From 7 am-3 pm, adults and children complete paintings with a Kensington theme and submit them for prizes. The competition is open to all adults and children. It's free for kids under 18 and current MAA members; adults pay $10.

Full three-day schedule here.

Participating Artists

Sasa Aakil

Laura Aikman

Anne Albright

K. Lin Allen

Nataliya Andreyeva

Peijisan Art

Ken Bachman

Matthew Baker

Jennifer Barlow

Jennifer Lynn Beaudet

Marcia Bhorjee

Nancy Blacker

Walt Blackwell

Elissa Borzilleri

Regina Boston

Rick Bowers

Blandine Broomfield

Susan Fitch Brown

Virginia Browning

Holly Buehler

Sandra Cane

Sandra Cepaitis

Jing-Jy Chen

Pat Coates

Carol Cober

Shannon Cockett

Amanda Coelho

Meredith Coffey

Deborah Cohen

Deborah Cole

Lou Ann Collins

Jean Cooper

Mari Craig

Susan Crawford

Jennifer Crouch

Kellie D.

Beth Daly

Arindam Dasgupta

Sarah Clayton Davis

Nan Dawkins

Amelia De Silva

John Dillon

Paul DiVito

Grace Dobrow

Jamie Downs

Jennifer Dreyfus

Sandra Edmonson

Lynn Faiola

Rosemary Fallon

Stephanie Fernandez

Jean Finkleman

Elisabeth Fletcher Nicholson

Susan Friend

Susan Sinclair Galego

Kalpana Goel

Susanna Goldman

Ann Gordon

Madeleine Greenwald

S. J. Hadley

Jack Hammond

Christina Haslinger

Samantha Hecox

Nadia Hewchuck

Christopher Hoppe

Carrie Horton

Jeffrey Human

Beverley Hunter

Margaret Ingram

Monica Ingudam

Jonathan Jaeger

Benita Kane Jaro

Edward Johanson

Bill Johnson

Hiral Joshi

Anastasiya Kavalenka

Elielle Kayomb

Rajendra KC

Cecile Kirkpatrick

Jim Klumpner

Edward Knight

Joyce Koeneman

Alan Kolnik

Galina Kolosovskaya

Mary Kosterlitz

Joanne Lamm

Ruth Lampi

Karen Lantner

Maria Elena Lazarte

Robin Lazarus-Berlin

Margo Lehman

Elissa Leibowitz Poma

Robert LeMar

Carol Leo

Judith Levine

Lynn Lewis

Nancy Loomis

Marta Lopez Teigeiro

John MacArthur

Lalleh Mahlouji

Rahela Majidi

Barbara Mandel

Gale Marcus

Isabella Martire

Mark McAlister

Karen Merkin

Christine Merry

Debbie Miller

Audrey Moog

Ally Morgan

Laura Myers

Sara Niles

Maedeh Noroozi

Barbara Novak

Elizabeth Ochoa

Melissa Ou

Laura-Leigh Palmer

Simin Parvaz

Dora Patin

Robert Pearlman

Terry Pellmar

Sandra Pérez-Ramos

Yik Chek Phan

Ann Pielert

Deborah Pollack

Judith Prevo

Maria Quezada

Pauline Rakis

Nancy Randa

Ting Rao

Sharon Reinckens

Cindy Renteria

Amy Rice

Teresa Rizzo

Faye Ross

My-Linh Rouil

Myra Ryan

Raya Salman

Eve D. Sandmeyer

Alden Schofield

Michael Schoppman

Sandra Schraibman

Martina Sestakova

Lian Sever

Ruja Shemer

Diane Shipley

Sanford H. Shudnow

Patrick Sieg

Teresa Sites

David Sommers

Pritha Srinivasan

Carol Starr

Julie Steinberg

Emily Strulson

Jeanne Sullivan

Vicky Surles

Eleanor Tanno

Antonia Tiu

Alexandra Treadaway-Hoare

Tena Turner

Kathleen Tynan

Andrea van den Heever

Mary Vinograd

Twila Waddy

Anastasia Walsh

Christina Webber

John Weber

Jenny Wilson

Helen Wood

Ellen Yahuda

Rosemary Yue

Lis Zadravec

Paula Zeller

Vicky Zhou

Michelle Zugrav

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Summertime in the Swamp…

 An easy way to spend most of a summer rainy afternoon is a visit to the Torpedo Factory, host to many art studios and some key galleries. While you’re there, go check out the current Open Exhibit, juried by artist Jessie Boyland.

According to the Art League’s press release, Boyland “is a painter and has a BFA from VCU School of the Art, Painting and Printmaking. Jessie plans and curates all the exhibits at Art Works. She arranges for the Thriving Artist Exchange workshops engaging talented and knowledgeable speakers and demos.”

For the show awards, the juror gave the Art League Award for Best in Show to Wendy Donahoe for “Traveler”, and Honorable Mentions to Mary Elizabeth Gosselink “Twister”, Cindy Grisdela “Color Grid”, Hyesuk Kong “In City”, Craig Nedrow “At the Classic Car Show”, Susan O’Neill “Transposition”, and Beverly Ryan “Starlet.”

Read the whole article here. 

Monday, August 15, 2022

"Paint the Town" Labor Day show in Kensington

 I 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. 

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.


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.

Dear artists: Go to an art fair!

Many times via this blog - the 11th highest ranked blog on the planet - I’ve discussed how the the founders and organizers of a European art fair called Art Basel (which of course, takes place in Basel, Switzerland), decided to try an American version of their successful European model and started an art fair in the Miami Beach Convention Center a couple of decades ago, and they called it Art Basel Miami Beach or ABMB for short.

And I’ve also told you how that one mega art fair spawned a few satellite art fairs in Miami at the same time and how by now there are over two dozen art fairs going on around the Greater Miami area each December, and art collectors, artists, gallerists, dealers, curators and all the symbionts of the art world descent on America’s coolest hot city in December and art rules the area.

I’ve also pointed out that if you are a visual artist in 2022 and are not aware of these events, and are not trying to get there (get your artwork there is what I mean), then something really big is missing from your artistic arsenal (unless you’re happy just painting or drawing or photographing or sculpting, etc. and could care less who sees and possibly acquires your work – if that’s the case, then skip the rest of this column and more power to you!).

But, if like some of us, the commodification of your artwork doesn’t bother you, and the fact that when you or your gallery sell one of your pieces, you feel honored and pleased that someone laid out their hard earned cash to simply add one of your creations to their home or collection, then Miami in December should be in your radar.

But how to get there? The fairs are mostly gallery-based – that means that galleries are invited or juried to exhibit; not usually individual artists --- more on that later – but there are some other ways to begin to crack the Miami art fair presence, and today I want to share some of my ideas.

Let’s start with gallery-based artists.

If you are already represented by a gallery, why not discuss Miami with them? The enormous expenses associated with the art fair scene are the main reason that most art galleries do not consider them. And this is a darn good reason, as most galleries are run by the skin of their teeth and the expense associated with doing an art fair are enormous and could wreck an entire financial plan in less than a week.

But, what does it hurt to bring it up to your gallerist? Who knows where that may lead?

I am still shocked at how many art dealers are not even aware of the potential financial and exposure rewards of doing an art fair.

Let me be clear: I don't want to hype this issue as a surefire path to moving artwork. But, this much I know… for roughly the same amount of money that a gallery spends on a full page ad in a national art magazine, you can get a small booth in some of the satellite fairs and the return on their investment has a lot more avenues than taking a chance with an ad.

Gathering information is the key thing… bring the subject up to your dealer, and if they want more info, have them email me… the best thing for art is more art.

How about if you are a cooperative gallery? Why not consider applying to one of the art fairs and spreading the cost of the booth amongst the exhibiting artists? A word of warning: the better fairs are juried and that means that someone gets always rejected. But the same key that allows cooperatives to survive for decades (spread the expenses) should and must be the key to give them a presence at the art fairs!

And many, many co-ops are routinely showing now at art fairs in Miami, NYC, LA, London, Madrid, etc. The fact that they are returning to the fairs means that they’re having a positive experience there.

The look and feel of the fairs is different as well. Many of them are booth fairs – that means that a white cube booth of plain white walls, ready to be drilled and hung with art, is the main model.

Fairs such as the original Art Basel Miami Beach, Volta, Scope, Art Miami, Untitled, etc. are on this model. There are also hotel fairs. These are fairs that essentially take place in a local hotel, where the room is often emptied out and turned into a temporary gallery by the out of town galleries. The best hotel art fair in the world, according to many, is the Aqua Art Fair, held at the Aqua Hotel in Miami Beach, and having participated in it many times in the past, add my name to the list of people who thinks that this is the best hotel art fair on the planet. And at Aqua I’ve seen cooperative galleries, and universities, and artists’ leagues, etc.

A little Googlin’ of Miami art fairs (or just art fairs in general) will reveal just how many fairs there are and where.

The key thought to leave you with: think art fairs and think Miami, New York, LA, Chicago... and think of a way to get there.