Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Wanna go to a Bethesda gallery opening this Friday?

Bethesda Painting Awards! Opening Reception, June 9, 2023 --  6-8pm

Nine artists from Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. have been selected to exhibit and compete in the Bethesda Painting Awards, a fine art competition founded by the amazing Carol Trawick, who is truly, and has been for years one of the great jewels of the DMV art scene!

The Best in Show winner will be awarded $10,000.

Paintings will be exhibited at Gallery B from June 8 – July 2.  Gallery B is on the space of the former Fraser Gallery at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E.

Gallery hours: Thursday-Sunday from 12 – 5pm

Please attend the opening on Friday, June 9, 6-8pm - Details here.

The finalists are here... now for my awards!

This year it is going to be hard - there are some superbly talented artists in this group of finalists - my kudos to the jurors (Lillian Hoover, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, and John Lee).

Stephanie Cobb of Washington, D.C., Grace Doyle of Baltimore, MD, Jeffrey Deane Hall of Richmond, VA, Rachel Rush, also of Baltimore, MD and Nicole Santiago, of far away Williamsburg, VA are all immensely skilled artists!

This is a hard one - even for The Lenster! I am attracted to the natural skills of Grace Doyle - she has a mastery with the brush that is enviable for someone so young. And probably because she is so young, some crusty jurors may have snotty issues with some of her early subject matter (not me)... but she is growing in leaps and bounds!

Grace Doyle - Within 2023 oil on linen 28" x 20"
Grace Doyle - Within 2023 oil on linen 28" x 20"

Jeffrey Deane Hall's trompe-l'œil  paintings are breath-taking! - again such mastery for someone sooooo young is indescribably delicious! 

Nicole Santiago - Second Time Around, 75 x 60, oil on canvas
Nicole Santiago - Second Time Around, 75 x 60, oil on canvas

And Nicole Santiago (who has been a previous finalist) is really good at packing a decent psych angle to her work, while Rachel Rush can rock a lush landscape.

Who? Either Doyle or Santiago will win.

Best in Show winner: Nicole Santiago

Tuesday, May 30, 2023

National Small Works at WPG


National Small Works
including work from 36 artists,
representing the DC and 17 states

Opening: Saturday, July 8, 2:00-5:00 pm
It is with great pleasure that Washington Printmakers Gallery announces the 23rd year of the National Small Works Show: the first since 2019, due to Covid cancellations. This year’s exhibit honors Peggy Doole (1934-2021), long-time resident of the DC area who shared her love of art by giving lectures, sponsoring exhibits, and leading tours at the Hirshhorn, the National Gallery of Art, and other museums throughout Europe and the U.S. Her post-graduate museum work led her to a focus on, and a special passion for, printmaking.
The exhibition includes 36 pieces – fine art prints, photographs, and artist books chosen by  juror LuLen Walker, Art Curator for Georgetown University.

The Washington Printmakers Gallery is a members-owned cooperative dedicated to fine-art printmaking, photographs, and artists books. The Washington Print Foundation, sponsor of this exhibition, supports this mission through education, exhibitions, and community outreach programs.

Washington Printmakers Gallery ● 1675 Wisconsin Ave. NW ● (202) 669-1497 ●

Monday, May 29, 2023

Memorial Day 2023

Have a grand Memorial Day! Our grateful thanks to all those who have served and their families, and our gratitude to all the soldiers, airmen/women, marines, and sailors currently serving all over the world and at sea.

We've got your back!

Jasper Johns Flag in MOMA

Friday, May 26, 2023

Congressional Art Competition: Maryland's 8th District

Many years ago, I had the honor of being asked to help select the winner of the annual Congressional Art Competition for then Congressman Chris Van Hollen, and thus this competition holds a special place near my art heart.

Jamie Raskin represents Maryland's 8th District, and as part of this year's competition, his office graciously sent me the following info:

The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself by Olivia Ensign of Albert Einstein High School
The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself 
by Olivia Ensign of Albert Einstein High School

This year’s winner is Olivia Ensign from Albert Einstein High School in Kensington. Olivia’s submission, “The Memory Quilt: Pieces of Myself,” will hang in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year alongside winning art pieces from congressional districts across the nation.

The second place winners include: Alanna Sidlowski, Betsi Ralda-Romera, Dami Kim, Dhruv Narang, Elizabeth Daly, Ella Spirtas, Etian Huang, Joseph Bloomfield, Lily Pacuit, Lucinda Sun, Mikae Fasihi, Nari Kim, Natalie McMurry, Olivia Dietrich, Rebecca Rothstein, Ryan Crothers and Yael Chinn.

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Now in its 42nd year, more than 650,000 high school students have participated since the competition’s inception in 1982.

And I approve! WOW! This artist is not only superbly talented, but already shows the skills of a much mature painter: The composition is brilliant and that elusive quality of self-portraiture - the ability to catch a psychological in-print - is there!

In an interview with WTOP, Raskin said, “the winner’s piece, I could only describe it as spellbinding!”

Congratulations to Ensign, and to the Congressman and his staff and whoever assisted him in the selection process - well done!

All the entries are online here. I also quite liked Streets of Singapore by Mikael Fasihi of Landon School and Birdie by Nadula Ediriweera of Walt Whitman High School.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Wanna go to an artist's talk this Friday?

Mei Mei Chang talks about her artistic vision of “NOISESCAPE  II” at the Willow Street Gallery.

There's also a workshop Saturday June 3rd 1 - 3 pm
Enrollment is limited to 10 people. Contact for information about workshop pricing.
6925 Willow Street, NW, 1st floorWashington, DC 20012

They'll stone you

They'll stone ya when you're at the breakfast table.

They'll stone ya when you are young and able.

They'll stone ya when you're tryin' to make a buck.

They'll stone ya and then they'll say, "good luck."

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

‘Airbnb bandit’ mysteriously steals painting – and replaces it with new one

Does this sound familiar... cough... cough... ???

From the WaPo: Airbnb host said guest stole artwork, hung new painting. The internet rushed to help.

Amy Corbett was in a Zoom meeting when she spotted something strange in her own background. The black-and-white painting of a map that normally hung above her couch was no longer there. Instead, it had been replaced with a painting of an airplane propeller she had never seen before.

From Daily Dot: ‘I have never seen this picture before in my life’: Airbnb host says artwork was swapped by a guest.

It seems the person who stayed in the apartment most recently replaced the map of the world with a larger piece of artwork. It appears to be a vintage airplane propeller with warmer coloring, including orange, red, and brown tones—a definite style departure from the black and white art it replaced.

From Insider: An Airbnb host said a guest inexplicably swapped out a wall picture for a completely different painting. TikTok is gripped, watching as the saga unfolds.

An Airbnb host said that a guest swapped a picture in her apartment out for a completely different one, and is taking TikTok on a journey to find out why.

From The Guardian: ‘Airbnb bandit’ mysteriously steals painting – and replaces it with new one

When an Airbnb host in Virginia realized that a painting in one of her properties had been stolen and replaced, the internet came together to investigate the unlikely mystery.

Want some clues?

Check out this post from 2006, or a more recent one from 2010, Then in 2011 I taught all how to do it by doing an installation at the Arlington Arts Center - see it here.

Cough... cough...

Monday, May 22, 2023

CEWE Photo Award

The CEWE Photo Award unites photo enthusiasts – and celebrates the beauty of our world. 

The world's largest photo competition is starting its fifth round with the motto “Our world is beautiful”; photos can be submitted in ten exciting categories: Architecture & Technology | Landscapes | Animals | Nature | Cooking & Food | Travel & Culture | Hobby & Leisure | People | Aerial Photos | Sports 

No Entry Fee. Deadline May 31, 2023.


Saturday, May 20, 2023

A walk through the Affordable Art Fair

 Check out the cool video walk through at the link:

Friday, May 19, 2023

This Weekend: Tephra ICA Arts Festival Takes Over Reston Town Center

Tephra ICA Arts Festival Takes Over Reston Town Center This Weekend | May 20–21, 2023

Now in its 32nd year, the Tephra ICA Arts Festival (formerly titled the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival) will take place this weekend at Reston Town Center. Over 200 contemporary artists and artisans will travel from across the country to present original handmade artwork to share with Festival audiences.

See the 2023 artists here.

My picks:

Painting: There is not a single bad painter in this festival -- to get in, you have to be good! And that has been a Reston high standard for decades! From among this group I like Kathryn Maher in booth 310, Arte Original in 900 block, Karina Llergo in booth 944-945, Greg Stones in booth 425 (he notes: My basic process is this: Paint a landscape. Then add weird stuff), and Jill Banks.

Rabbit Finds Carrot gouache on paper 6" x 4" 2018 by Greg Stone
Rabbit Finds Carrot
Gouache on paper 6" x 4" 2018 by Greg Stone

Digital & Multi-Media Art / Drawing / Mixed Media 2D: Loads of great artwork in this category as well! Blake Gore's tiny drawings in booth 928 are worth the trip, as are Kristin Moger super-detailed drawings in booth 901 and the collages of Kate Norris in booth 225. Hannah Wave Flower in booth 948 says that "my work is my offer. An ice-breaker; an invitation to an exchange of perspective and unhampered self-expression." It is that and more - go see her work!

Photography: WOW! Every photog here is a gem! Anne Knife in booth 111, James M Cole in booth 406, Scanlan Photography in booth 622-623, and Kyle Wilson in booth 203.

During the Festival, Baltimore-based interdisciplinary artist Hoesy Corona will present Hacia la Vida, a site-specific performance that explores migration and displacement caused by climate change. Performers will process through the Festival streets adorned in intricate sculptural costumes created by the artist that simultaneously make their bodies anonymous and hyper visible. Using the archetype of the traveler and the anthropomorphic representation of mother nature, this performance humanizes the figure of the immigrant and celebrates the power and beauty of nature.

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

In NYC for the VOLTA Art fair

5am departure from DC... with Steve Wanna as copilot.

10 am arrival to NYC... five hours setting up the booth... 

VOLTA Art Fair started at 5pm... we're in booth B1!

It was pretty packed and once again, since the Covidian Age ended, the wine and beer flowed!

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Back to NYC

Once again, the van is packed and ready to depart in the wee hours of the morning on Wednesday as once again we head to an art fair in New York City.

This time it is the VOLTA Art Fair New York, which is taking place May 17-21 at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea.

The gallery is hosting Steve Wanna, Tim Tate, and Marianela de la Hoz and yours truly in booth B1. VOLTA New York is a 20 minute walk from Frieze. Daily shuttle buses will run from The Shed to the Metropolitan Pavilion. 

Opening reception of the 36th Northern National Art Competition

Nicolet College in Rhinelander will host one of Wisconsin’s premier art exhibits next month.

An opening reception of the 36th Northern National Art Competition will be held in the Nicolet College Art Gallery on Thursday, June 15 at 5 p.m.

“Top contemporary artists from the across the country submitted works for this juried competition,” said Jenny Bonardelli, Nicolet College Arts and Events Manager. “Only the finest pieces were selected, resulting in an amazing collection that rises to a very high standard.” 

The event is co-sponsored by the Northern Arts Council, which awards $8,500.00 in prize money to artists judged to have created the best works. 

The reception will include a light buffet, wine, live music by Darlene Cole and commentary from this year’s judge, F. Lennox “Lenny” Campello. 

Read the article here. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Grants for Artists - The Hopper Prize

The Hopper Prize is a grant-making institution and digital archiving platform offering a series of individual artist grants on a bi-annual basis totaling $22,000.00 USD. The Hopper Prize provides unrestricted cash grants in the amount of $3,500 and $1,000 to artists around the globe.

For more information click here 

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Art for Change Prize

Applications are now open for the free-to-enter Art for Change Prize, an international art initiative from M&C Saatchi Group and Saatchi Gallery, open to artists working in the first five years of their career. 

No Entry Fee. Deadline: July 17, 2023.


Friday, May 12, 2023

The Quilts of Gee’s Bend Syndrome

Time to bring this oldie back as we continue the battle versus the woke mafia...

In a nutshell: There are some art shows, and some artwork, which no one (who cares how other “perceive” them) dares to write a negative review about because if a writer did dare to criticize it, he/she would be skewered by readers and others in the art world cabal’ PC police. It is essentially the PC’ing of the art world.

Read the whole article here.

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Bethesda Row Arts Festival -- FINAL CALL for Applications

Artist Application Closes May 31

25th Bethesda Row Arts Festival, October 14-15, 2023

The application for our 25th Fine Arts Festival is now open! The festival takes place on the streets of Bethesda Row, located in Bethesda, Maryland (Woodmont, Ave., Bethesda Ave., and Elm St.). “Art Fair Sourcebook” has recognized the Bethesda Row Arts Festival (BRAF) as one of the top 30 Fine Art Shows in the United States, attracting more than 25,000 art patrons over the two-day event.

The Festival attracts 25,000 high income attendees come from the Washington, DC Metro Area, and the surrounding suburbs of Bethesda, Chevy Chase and Upper Northwest. The three mile radius around the Festival has an average household income of $196,910, making it one of the nation's most affluent and educated art marketplaces.

The event is promoted through a targeted and integrated marketing plan, which includes a comprehensive social media and internet campaign, magazine and newspaper advertising, postcards and posters, and radio promotion. Our public relation firm works with the local chamber of commerce and urban district to engage the community, and reach out to new audiences.

Apply here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

This weekend in Bethesda!

On May 13 & 14, 2023, the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival takes over Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray Avenues, welcoming over 100 of the nation's best artists, live entertainment, and Bethesda restaurants. 

Take a glance at the artists attending this year's festival by clicking here

Admission to the festival is FREE and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine. 

Sign up to volunteer here.

My recommendations:

Painting: Not a bad painter in the whole lot! Check out Cassie Taggart in booth 91, Thomas Williams in booth 67.

Printmaking: A DMV art fair without Joseph Craig English is incomplete - go see his great prints in booth 73.

Mixed Media: Do not miss Kate Norris' mixed media collages.

Sculpture: Get one of Tanya Tyree's amazing works!

Tuesday, May 09, 2023

Spring Classes at the Washington Glass School

Offering a unique educational program for over 20 years, the Washington Glass School and Studio offers something for everyone with classes for both beginning and seasoned artists. Check out their website for more info!

Keep scrolling to find out about their upcoming events, classes, and shows!

Upcoming Classes at The Washington Glass School:

Open Studio

Mark Your Calendars! Saturday, May 13th, from Noon-5 pm, is the Annual Spring Open Studios! Perfect time to see cool arts and crafts AND get something incredible for Mother's Day! In fact, bring Mom with you!

*NEW DATE*4403- Glass Fusing 201

Instructor: Christina Helowicz

Level: Intermediate


Times:12-3 pm

Tuition: $200

Are you ready to take your fusing skills to the next level? This class covers circle cutting, fun ways to use stringers and frit, and what it means to cut with intention. Some glass fusing experience is required for this one, so get ready to step up your fusing game. Never fused before? Starting at 11 am, we'll have a $50 crash course before class to catch you up to speed.

We're Hiring! WGS seeks new Studio Coordinator, click the link below to learn more.

join our team

NEW CLASS! Fun Friday! Fun Friday is a monthly(ish) afternoon class with fun focused projects that are great for adults and older kids alike. 


Instructor: Erwin Timmers

Level: Beginner


Times:3-5 pm

Tuition: $75

Craft your own sun-catching masterpiece! You can use one of our patterns or make one that is all your own. Adults and children over 10(with adult) are welcome—no glass experience is needed.


Painting on Glass with Patricia

Instructor: Patricia De Poel Wilberg

Level: Beginner


Times:3-5 pm

Tuition: $75

Spend an afternoon with Patricia and learn the basics of painting on glass. This class is open to all ages and abilities; no glass experience is needed for a great time. Students will use fire on enamels to paint a design onto their dishes.

Bid here!

An Auction to Support Glass Art in Ukraine: "Unbreakable Ukraine". May 12th, 2023

Rago Auctions is presenting a selection of contemporary glasswork from notable artists across the globe all sold to benefit the hot shop at the Glass Museum in Lviv shared by the Lviv National Academy of Arts. Thirteen artists - including our Michael Janis and Tim Tate - have generously contributed works to the auction with a goal of bringing awareness and funds to the Lviv hot shop and community artists as they continue to create in a time of war. All proceeds, including the 26% buyer's premium, will benefit the hot shop at the Glass Museum in Lviv. Have a look at the works going for a song!

GAS Conference

This June - Detroit, MI is the center of the Glass Universe - The Glass Art Society (GAS) holds their 4 day international conference, the Art Alliance For Contemporary Glass (AACG) holds its annual meeting in Detroit and the largest glass gallery in the USA - Habatat Fine Art hosts its 51st Annual International Invitational from June 4-10th, 2023.

The global glass community gets together to celebrate community, collaboration and crossover in the Motor City.  This event will feature over 400 artworks by glass artists from around the world. Make sure to see the new works by WGS Co-Director Michael Janis at the show!