Wednesday, May 03, 2023

Proposal: Women Artists of the DMV

Awrighty... I've got two of the three venues lined up + a tentative book deal for my idea to curate a massive three-space "Women Artists of the DMV" exhibition... just finished submitting the below proposal to the Alper Initiative gods at the Katzen.

Fingers crossed now! And oh yeah! 

Proposal: Women Artists of the DMV

According to the research done by the Washington City Paper in 2017, the term “DMV”, which is used to refer to the District, Maryland and Virginia first appeared in a DC ART NEWS blog post that I wrote in 2003 – And yes! I therefore do claim that I invented it!

The Greater Washington, D.C., capital region (the DMV) is not only home to some of the best art museums in the world, dozens of art galleries, non-profit art spaces, alternative art venues, and art organizations, but it also supports and fertilizes of the best and most creative visual art scenes in the nation.

This scene is kindled and ignited to a large extent by female artists of all ages, races and ethnicities – an artistic female universe significantly more diverse than just about any of other major city on the planet. By the same logic and path, the artwork created by these fertile minds examine every possible corner of the visual arts genres and creative corners.

Celebrating this art scene, which spreads across the three areas that make up the DMV, I propose to curate an exhibition of 100 works by 100 women artists comprised of both leading and established female artists plus talented emerging contemporary female visual artists who represent the tens of thousands of women artists working in this culturally and ethnically diverse region in order to assemble a group show to showcase the immense power of the visual arts being created by these artists.

Let me repeat myself: Equally diverse as the artists, are the artistic styles and media you will see in this curated exhibition, the first of its kind for the capital area.

With 100 works of art potentially available for curatorial selection, this exhibition will offer a primer for both the experienced art eye and the beginning art aficionado, highlighting a selection of talented artists who usually deserve more attention on a local, regional and national scale.

100 works of art take a lot of exhibition space, and thus this curated exhibition could either be:

(a)    Fully staged at the Katzen or;

(b)    Would be concurrently spread across three separate venues in the DMV: At the Katzen in the District, one non-profit in Northern Virginia and one independent gallery in Maryland.

                                 i.            For Northern Virginia I have obtained an approval for the exhibition from The Athenaeum in Alexandria.

                               ii.            For Maryland, I have obtained an approval for the exhibition from The Artists & Makers Gallery complex in Rockville.

I have the experience to curate a large, multi-space art survey exhibition. In 2007 I curated “Seven”, a seven-gallery exhibition in the District that surveyed the thousands of artist members of the Washington Project for the Arts (WPA). Over 6500 slides (remember slides?) were reviewed and a couple of hundred artists selected for the multi-gallery show, which received multiple reviews in the press, both local and national.  In 2001 I curated “Contemporary Realism: A Survey of Washington Area Realists” for the Athenaeum in Alexandria – another show that exhibited over 60 artists and received wide reviews in the regional and national press.  Those are just two of hundreds of curated shows since 1996.

My curatorial process for this large proposal will also involve “community input”, as I intend to approach the DMV artistic community to be able to propose up to 15 of the 100 final artists. 

I also have ample experience running this “community input” process, as in 2011 I authored the book 100 Artists of Washington, DC (published by Schiffer Press), which in part included “community input” to ensure that the diversity of the 100 artists – both in style, age, genres, etc. – was truly representational of the Greater DC area.

Lastly, I have a tentative “yes” to a book proposal focused on this exhibition to be published by Schiffer Press.  If the three-space exhibition moves forward, then the book moves forward.

I understand that a significant lead time is needed by American University to schedule approved Alper shows, and stand ready, willing and able to tackle this opportunity, regardless of the time frame.

Finally, I have started the tentative process of getting artists’ commitments to the exhibition, with the goal of aligning the leading female artists of the region to help “move” this proposal and so far have obtained enthusiastic “yes” from Margaret Boozer, Lisa Montag Brotman, Shanti Chandra Sekar, Irene Clouthier, Rosemary Feit-Covey, Claudia Gibson-Hunter, Carol Brown Goldberg, Janis Goodman, Muriel Hasbun, Melissa Ichiuji, Akemi Maegawa, Joey Manlapaz, Anne Marchand, Jody Mussoff. Teresa Oaxaca, Amber Robles-Gordon, Renee Stout, Helen Zughaib and 60+ other DMV female artists.

Let’s go!