Monday, January 29, 2024

Jacob Kainen: An Artists’ Artist

New Documentary on Artists’ Artist Jacob Kainen Slated for Spring Production, Fall Release!

Award-Winning Director Mark Covino tagged to helm film spotlighting one of America’s most influential, under looked 20th century Modernists.

The Jacob Kainen Art Trust has enlisted the award-winning director Mark Covino (A Band Called Death, The Crest), and producer Jon Gann (Miss Alma Thomas: A Life in Color, Karen Carpenter: Starving for Perfection) to create a short documentary exploring the life and art of Jacob Kainen (1909-2001), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. 

“Jacob Kainen: An Artists’ Artist” follows the life of Kainen, a prolific but often overlooked artist of 20th Century America. From his immigrant upbringing to his rebellious artistic journey in NYC, his leftist ideologies and eventual impact on the D.C. art scene, Kainen’s story is one of perseverance and passion. 

Despite facing challenges like McCarthyism and career limitations, he found solace in his art, especially with the support of his second wife, Ruth. His legacy as an artist’s artist and influential mentor endures, shaping generations of artists to come. Jacob was not only a beloved painter and printmaker, but also as a curator, mentor, teacher, and a major force in developing the post-war Washington, D.C. art scene. 

His work is featured in major museum collections, including the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Narrated in Kainen’s own voice, unearthed from a treasure trove of recently discovered tapes, the film promises an intimate portrayal of the artist's tumultuous journey. His story will be further explored by curators Jonathan F. Walz (The Columbus Museum) and Seth Feman (Frist Art Museum), alongside perspectives from prominent art historians, artists, and Kainen’s own son, Dan Kainen, audiences will be immersed in the rich tapestry of Kainen’s life and artistry. 

While the initial funds have been secured, the project seeks additional support to license archival materials, ensuring the preservation of Kainen’s legacy for posterity. Every contribution paves the way for a deeper understanding of Kainen’s impact on the art world and his influence on future generations of artists. 

“Kainen’s role in shaping American modernism, particularly in Washington, D.C., is a narrative long overdue for exploration. This documentary serves as a vital conduit for a new generation of art enthusiasts and historians to rediscover his profound contributions,” remarks Jonathan F. Walz, curator at The Columbus Museum. 

More information on the project is online at

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Guerrilla Framing Techniques

This post from well over a decade ago is still a good lesson -- the prices and estimates have gone up, keep that in mind:

A strategy for saving money on framing costs...
According to some stats I read a few years ago in a framing trade magazine, the average cost of framing in the Greater DC region was $67 an hour. It’s probably more than that now.
Other than time, framing two-dimensional work is often the most expensive step in organizing an exhibition (to the artist), and it’s astounding how little most art schools prepare students (and faculty) for avoiding the trap of spending a lot of money on framing.
There are some steps that artists can take to significantly reduce the cost of framing. Here I will try to list the most common mistakes, how to avoid them, and more importantly, how to get your artwork framed for a lot less than taking it to a framing shop to get it framed.
First and foremost: Prepare! Do not leave your framing to the very last minute. Having said that, I know that most of you will leave the framing to the last minute and then panic – go to your neighborhood framing shop, and drop way too much money to get custom frames made for your artwork. If you can afford it, and the price history of you artwork can sustain it – then skip this posting. But if you want to save a lot of money on framing, then prepare!
Do not, under any circumstances let the gallery or a second party take care of your framing unless you have the full costs ahead of time and in writing. Otherwise you will get stuck at the end of your exhibition with a framing bill rather than a commission check.
First of all: If (and only if) you can, work in standard sizes. Most photographers and painters already do. But unless your compositional demands call for it (like mine do), avoid working in one of a kind sizes. American and European standard sizes are different, but US sizes cover a huge range of sizes, such as 5x7, 8x10, 11x14, 12x16, 20x24, etc. If you can work within one of those sizes – i.e. do your watercolor on a sheet in one of those sizes, or print your photo on paper that size, etc. then half the battle is won, as then you should be able to buy ready-made frames that will automatically accommodate your matted work. This is important, as a good frame from any craft store, or from any art catalog, is usually a lot less than having one built from scratch! For example, a 16x20 metal molding frame, back metal brace/clips, wire, glass, pH-balanced acid free mat, hanging wire and acid free foam core backing is anywhere from $20 - $30 in any art catalog or locally (in the Greater DC region) from Apex in Alexandria. Having the exact same frame hand-made in a frame shop is around $100.
If your work, because of composition or whatever, doesn’t fit into a standard size mat or frame, then another tactic is to go and shop for a ready-made frame that is larger than your artwork – at least three inches all around the diameter of the artwork. Then take that frame and your artwork to a frame shop and have them cut the mat for you. Now you are only paying for the labor and materials to cut a mat – not to build everything from scratch.
If you can’t find a frame in a shop that fits your unique sizes, then shop through art supply catalogs and have them make you one. The savings over storefront framers is still significant. I personally buy a lot of frames from this place. Once you sign up, you get their catalogs as well, and then I hit them when they have a sale going on! From any supplier you can order moldings in one inch increments, so if your work is 18x30 inches, then you'd order a set of 18 inch molding, a set of 30 inch molding and it will be delivered with the hardware needed to assemble it - all you'll need is a screwdriver. Then visit your local glass shop for a piece of glass.
Because most solo shows involve a larger number of works, you should start thinking way ahead of time as to the number of frames that you will need. If you can decide that you will need twenty frames for your show, and you know what size they will all be, then go shopping for ready-made frames in any of our local area arts and crafts stores, or other stores that stock frames, such as IKEA or Bed, Bath and Beyond. Once you find a frame that you like, turn it over and see who makes them. Write the manufacturer’s information down, and when you get home, call the manufacturer of the frame and place an order for the number of frames that you will need. You are now buying the frames wholesale and saving yourself the entire store mark-up!
Don’t let the process of establishing an account with the frame manufacturer scare you. They may require an Employee Identification Number (EIN) – you can give them your social security number -- and they will have a minimum purchase (usually $250) – but by the time that you purchase 20-25 frames, that will be easy to meet. All you are doing is ordering the frame directly from the manufacturer rather than buying them through a store – it’s perfectly legal and saves you a considerable amount of money.
If you work on canvas, you may not even need to frame them. Ask the gallery owner – a lot of galleries will be happy to hang canvasses that are “gallery dressed.” That means that the edge of the canvas wraps to the back and that’s where it is stapled – rather than the side. We actually prefer to show canvas paintings that way.
Do not cheapen your artwork by choosing cheap materials. At all costs avoid using acidic mats (use only pH-balanced, acid free mats) and do not use cardboard to back the work – use acid free foam core. Using cheap materials not only damages the work eventually (as the acid migrates to the artwork) but also tells a potential collector that you are not serious as an artist to properly display your work. I am shocked at the number of badly hand-cut mats in acidic mats that I see in galleries all over the country – a lot of time is just plain ignorance of the business side of the fine arts – and the importance of presentation of artwork in a professional environment – such as a reputable fine arts gallery should be.
If you are an artist that moves a lot of work a year, then you should seriously consider learning how to cut your own mats. A sheet of museum quality archival 32x40 inches mat board is around $6-8 and you can get four 16x20 inches mats from it. To have one 16x20 archival mat cut in a frame shop will be around $20. You can buy a decent mat cutter for around $150, and it comes with a video to teach you how to cut mats.
The bottom line is that minimizing framing costs not only reduces the amount of money that an artist has to invest in offering a show, but also reduces the price point of the artwork – a very important issue, especially for young, emerging artists without a sales history track.

Saturday, January 27, 2024

Lessons for Artists

An artist has a show and someone steals a piece of art. What happens next? With a signed contract, the artist would know ahead of time that either (a) the gallery has no insurance, in which case the theft is a full loss, or (b), the gallery has art insurance, in which case (a) the gallery puts a claim in with the insurance company, or (c) the artist deals directly with the insurance company. And, by the way, in the event that there’s insurance, don’t expect to get the full value of the stolen work, but in most cases (and policies) only the 50% commission that you’d have received in the event that the work had sold instead of being stolen.

Talking about commissions; how do you know, other than a handshake, what the gallery’s commission is? Let’s say that you are told that the commission is 50% (the general standard for independent commercial fine arts galleries around here). Is that 50% of the price of the piece or 50% of the final sales price? I know of at least one (now closed) major DC area art gallery that has a record of really screwing artists by giving them 50% of an agreed price for a piece; however, the gallery also often sells the piece for a lot more money to its out of town collectors and keeps the difference. Here’s how it works. The artist agrees to sell the photographs for $500 each and thus expects a commission of $250. The unethical gallerist sells some for $500, and some to its out-of-town clientele for $1000, but gives the artist the same $250 commission on those sales.

But let’s say that you have approached a gallery, and show them the works, and discuss representation, and the gallerist agrees to hang some of your work in his next group show. You are not sure if you are “represented” in the sense of the word as you understand it, but shake on it and prepare for your first appearance in a well-known gallery and invite all of your family and friends. At the packed opening, your second cousin-once-removed is admiring one of your huge watercolors, which are tacked onto the wall in a really cool post-post-post-modernist style. He leans forward to admire your brushwork and accidentally spills his white wine onto your watercolor, immediately making your representational work of art into a messy abstraction. What happens next? Does insurance cover damage? Is there insurance? Is that the guy who spilled the wine making a dash for the door?

Having learned your lesson, at your next opening you resign yourself to getting your new work framed and spend a ton of money getting them framed at the most affordable (in other words cheapest) possible way, but still spend a considerable amount of shekels -- because as everyone knows, framing is very expensive (unless you attend the Campello Boot Camp for Artists Seminar and learn how to cut framing expenses by 80%). When you deliver the works to the gallery, the gallerist goes into fits about your gold leaf rococo frames from Target and silver acidic mats and refuses to hang the work. A good contract would have specified ahead of time all issues dealing with framing and presentation standards.

Having calmed down, the gallerist then offers to re-frame all the work for you. You accept with a sigh of relief, and at the opening your 20 newly framed watercolors look great in the 8-ply pH-balanced, acid free mat board, under UV glass and Nielsen mouldings and backed by half-inch, acid free, pH-balanced foam core. You sell four pieces and are happy that things worked out in the end. A few weeks later you get a huge bill in the mail from the gallery; it is what remains of the framing bill after the gallery applied all of your commission to the total framing bill. A good contract should also specify the economic who’s and what’s of any framing done by the gallery.

Your relationship with the gallery is now seriously on the rocks, but then you are told that a review in DC Art News will come out soon. Three months after your show has closed the review finally comes out in DC Art News and it’s a good one. A young computer geek in Bala Cynwood, Pennsylvania, who is waiting to see his doctor for his annual physical reads that DC Art News review in his phone while waiting in the doc’s office, sees the nice reproduction of your work and after he goes home, looks you up on the Internet and contacts you directly and tells you that he read the review of your gallery show in DC Art News and wants to buy the painting reproduced in the review. You sell him the painting and put all your money in the bank. Sixteen minutes after the painting is delivered to Bala Cynwood, the gallery gets a call from a collector in Spokane, Washington who has also read the DC Art News review and wants to buy that painting. The gallerist calls you and tells you the good news. You are ecstatic that two people want your painting, but then you tell the gallerist that someone else in Bala Cynwood read the review and that you sold the painting to that person. The gallerist congratulates you on the sale and then asks you to make sure that you send him the gallery’s commission. You are confused because you had no idea that you owed the gallery a commission.

Your review in DC Art News has opened a few doors for your artwork and you are invited by a non-profit art venue to have a solo show at their space in a year. You are pleased and tell everyone, including the gallerist, who informs you that because his gallery represents your work, you are not allowed to exhibit anywhere else in the city, or maybe the area, or maybe the state, or maybe the US, or maybe the world.

Then your alma matter, impressed with your artistic prowess, invites you to a group show of alumni artwork in the school’s gallery. Since you attended art school in another state, you are pretty sure that it will be OK to show there, because after the last confusion, you discovered that the gallery had exclusive representation for your work only in DC, MD and VA (known to locals as the DMV -  an acronym that I invented decades ago), and your art school is in Brownsville, Texas. You tell your gallerist, and because he has never heard of Brownsville, Texas, he looks it up in the Internet and then he informs you that if you exhibit your artwork in “certain places” it will bring the reputation of the gallery down and thus the gallerist doesn’t want you to exhibit in Brownsville, Texas – or anywhere in Texas, Arkansas, and Nebraska for that matter... or any state that voted for Trump, because as everyone knows, everyone in the art world is a left winger.

You beg and plead because you really want to impress your ex-girlfriend in Texas, and the gallerist allows you to include one piece in that alumni show, but makes it clear that he needs to be consulted on any and all exhibitions of your work. And so you exhibit your best piece in Brownsville and a New York gallerist, who happens to be a Robert Ervin Howard admirer, visits Brownsville to pay homage to REH's birthplace and decides to check the local yokels show at the art school.

Because your immense watercolors are the largest works in the show, they catch his attention and he jots down your name. Weeks later his intern calls you and tells you that they want to show some of your work in their next group show. This is really hitting the big time, and you announce to your gallerist that a big shot New York gallerist is including you in his next group show. He congratulates you and reminds you that you owe him 10% of any sales made in New York, or in Brownsville, Texas, or anywhere for that matter. You rant and rave and ask why, and he tells you that the reasons for your recent success all lead back to the exposure that he has given you. You demand to know why none of this stuff was made clear from the beginning. The gallerist answers that “everyone knows this,” and that he “likes to operate on a handshake and without a contract.” You then realize that you have him by the balls, since you have no signed contract with him or his gallery, and tell him that you are leaving. He says some threatening stuff about verbal contracts, but you walk away anyway, wondering how you are going to get back the six paintings of yours that your soon-to-be-former gallerist still has in storage.

Nonetheless, New York is New York, and you go visit the big shot New York gallerist and meet with him, and over a handshake he agrees to put you in a group show and tells you that his commission is 60% - You are not sure if you are “represented” in the sense of the word as you understand it, but shake on it and prepare for your first appearance in a New York City gallery and invite all of your family and friends...

Go back to the top of this post...

Friday, January 26, 2024

Bad things that unethical artists and galleries do to each other

 A bad thing that unethical galleries do to artists:

Most galleries are labors of love run by hard-working gallerists - But like any business, unethical galleries all over the nation and in most countries will take in a piece of artwork by an artist, and when the price is discussed, the gallery says: “What’s the price?” and the artist says: “$1000″ The gallery nods OK and the artist leaves, knowing that if sold, he’ll get $500 (most galleries in the US charge 50% commission — in NYC some are as high as 70%). The gallery then sells the piece, but for $2,000, sends the artist a check for $500 and pockets the extra $1,000. That is why artists should insist on having a contract with a gallery, and the contract must specifically address that the artist will get 50% of the actual sale price.
A bad thing some artists to do galleries:
A good reputable gallery is a work of love, with gallerists usually running the business by the skin of their teeth. And when a gallery gives an artist a show, they go through all the various multiple expenses associated with doing so (rent, electricity, staff salaries, publicity, ads, post cards, opening reception catering, etc.) - usually before a single work of art is sold. So far the gallery has put forth a considerable investment in presenting the artist’s works - all because the gallerist believes in the artist’s work. An interested novice collector meets the artist at the opening and expresses interest (to the artist) in buying some of his artwork. The artist, wishing to stiff the gallery for their commission says: “See me after the show and I’ll sell it to you directly and save myself the gallery commission.”  This is not only unethical, but it’s also guaranteed to ruin the artist’s reputation in the city, as these things always come out in the wash, and soon no gallery will exhibit any work by this artist. Remember, when a gallery gives an artist a show, and nothing sells, the artist still walks away with all his/her work, and maybe even a review, plus the art has been exposed to collectors and the public. The gallery gets to pay all the bills, even though no sales were made.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Upcoming art fairs

Next March I'll be at the Affordable Art Fair in Chelsea, New York City - we'll be featuring the works of Cory Oberndorfer, Christina Helowicz, Suzanne Yurdin, Dora Patin... and yours truly!

And after that we'll be at the Affordable Art Fair Austin in Texas! First one ever there!, with works by Jon Linton, Seth Fairweather, Kathleen Hope, Jodi Walsh and me!

Flavor Interactions by Cory Oberndorfer 2023 Acrylic on Canvas 48x36
Flavor Interactions by Cory Oberndorfer
2023 Acrylic on Canvas 48x36

Drop me a note if you'd like some complimentary tickets to either of those art fairs.

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Ooooh... there may be an art fair coming to Washington, DC

Not yet... but the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities is thinking about one -- I've volunteered to assist them... so far been ghosted! This is the notice that I received today:.

As you may know, we've been hosting a series of community stakeholder meetings discussing the potential of bringing an international art fair/festival to Washington DC in 2025. We want to meet with individual artists from the community to discuss this opportunity and how it might impact their livelihood and their art.

Our next Art Week 2025 Community Stakeholder Meeting will be held at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St NW) on February 1st from 6 to 8 pm.

There is very limited space for this meeting. Please RSVP to secure a spot. There will be a few spots left for walk-ups but we cannot exceed our event capacity. If you have attended a stakeholder meeting in the past please let someone else get a chance to RSVP.

Join us from 6 to 8 pm on Tuesday, February 1 at the Thurgood Marshall Center.

I first proposed a slightly different version of the following art fair model to all the organizations mentioned in this article about a decade ago, when there was (even then) a sense of art fatigue brewing in the art world. Result: zip, nada, nothing! No one even answered my letters (remember letters?).

In a post Covidian world, I suspect that a lot of people will still be a little leery of large group gatherings, and art fairs based on pre-Covidian standards may be a bit antiquated in the Brave Chickenized New World.

Herewith a revised Campello Art Fair Model.

The important thing to remember, as I mull, chew, and refine a "new" art post-Covidian fair model to replace the existing pre-Covidian art fair model, which in its American incarnations seemed to work well only in Miami and New York, but not so well in the West coast (and as we DMV-based folks have seen with (e)merge and artDC, not at all in the capital region), is the marriage of a legitimate art entity (a museum) with an art-for-sale process as a means to raise funds.

The seeds for this model already exist in the DC region with the Smithsonian Craft Show, now in its third decade.

Considered by many to be the finest craft fair in the world -- and from the many artists that I have spoken to over the years -- one of the best places to sell fine crafts as well, this prestigious and highly competitive juried exhibition and sale of contemporary American craft usually takes place each April for four days. It takes place at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC and it includes one-of-a-kind and limited-edition craft objects in 12 different media: basketry, ceramics, decorative fiber, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, wearable art and wood.

There were 120 exhibitors in their last show, including emerging artists and master craftsmen, over 30 of whom were first-time participants. Twelve of those selected were also first-time applicants to the show. All were chosen by a panel of expert jurors from a highly competitive field of close to 1,400 applicants.

So, we have a model for crafts in DC which has been working for over 30 years.

See where I'm going?

Can we envision the Smithsonian American Art Fair?

Or... The Smithsonian American International Art Fair?

The SAIAF would dramatically expand the business model of the Smithsonian Craft Fair to a National Mall-wide - outdoors - or even a citywide art fair anchored and guided by the Smithsonian Institution, and possibly either:

(a) spread throughout the various accommodating outdoor spaces at the various SI locales around the National Mall or even…

(b) in temporary art spaces, booth, or containers on the open spaces of the National Mall itself!

The latter is not as big of a deal as it sounds.

The National Mall already hosts a spectacular variety of outdoor events on the Mall spaces where complex display spaces are temporarily built, secured and just as quickly dismantled, grass re-seeded, and by Monday the Mall is back to normal.


For art, all we need is protection from the weather and security. Perhaps even a combination of "free" (to the public) set of exhibitors (maybe out on the Mall) coupled with a paid admission set of exhibitors inside SI spaces -- or just make them all free to the public?

Details... details...

This new fair model would be open to both commercial art galleries and art dealers, as well as to art schools, and (and here's the key "and") to individual artists and cooperative artist-owned galleries.

Size matters… just ask Salvador Dali, who once said: “If you can’t paint well, then paint big!”

Would 1200 galleries, dealers, schools and artists in a mega, new-model art fair raise some interests from art collectors to come to DC for a long weekend in May?

It would if it attracted 100,000 visitors to the fair instead of 10,000 (like the looooong gone art fair artDC once attracted).

Are you aware that in May the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival in nearby Bethesda attracts 30-40,000 people to the streets of Bethesda for this artist-only street fine arts fair? or that also in May the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival attracts the same number of people to the streets of the Reston Town Center to buy art from individual artists?

Both Bethesda and Reston have two of the highest median household incomes in the US. And I am told that the Greater Washington, DC region has the second highest concentration of multi-millionaires in the world.

The money is here - the key is to get the disposable income crowd in touch with the art.

Both Bethesda and Reston manage to accomplish this one weekend each year. Do not, under any circumstances assume that these are "street fairs" where teddy bears, country crafts, and dried flowers are sold. These are both highly competitive fine arts outdoor fairs where artists from all over the nation come to and compete for spots because artwork sells well.

I have seen $80,000 worth of sculptures sell to one collector in Bethesda and a painter with a price point of $17,000 sell out in Reston.

Do not let the snobby attitude of the high art world affect your preconception of what these two street art fairs are like; go visit one this coming (and hopefully post Covidian) and open your eyes. In 2021 the fairs slipped from May to later months… but I am sure that they’ll be back to May in 2022.

And because of them, and because of the success of Art Basel Miami Beach, we know that given a certain critical mass, people will come out to an art fair. The primary key for art dealers to have interest in an art fair is sales (and also exposure to new collectors, museum curators, etc.), but mainly sales.

If you are a British gallery, by the time you get yourself and your artwork to Miami Beach, you're in the hole a whole bunch of Euros and British pounds; if you don't sell anything (like it happened to a British gallery in artDC and an Israeli gallery at another fair), chances are that you won't return to that fair.

But increase the public attendance numbers exponentially, and Economics 101 tells you that sales will also increase exponentially. And unlike the hotel-deprived artDC location at the Convention Center, I am told by DC's tourist gurus that the National Mall is already a magnet location where visitors, regardless of where they are staying around the Greater DC region, flock to during their visits to the capital.

Since two major Greater DC area street art fairs already exist in May in the Greater DC area, we can even consider aligning the weekends so that both Reston, Bethesda, and the Smithsonian American International Art Fair all take place on the same weekend!

Offer free bus service between Reston and Bethesda and the National Mall for collectors to hop around during the fair weekend, and a public buzz alignment will begin to happen. The Smithsonian American International Art Fair starts on a Thursday through Sunday and both Reston and Bethesda continue to run on Saturday and Sunday. And the Smithsonian American International Art Fair is focused as a major fundraiser for the cash-hungry SI.

A formula of booth prices + perhaps a 5% commission on all sales (both tax deductible for American galleries) would take care of temporary Mall booth construction, re-seeding of grass, and booth construction inside SI venues and still yield a nice chunk of cash for the SI.

If there's commercial success and high public attendance, soon we'd see some satellite hotel fairs popping up all over DC and its easy-to-get-to suburbs; the Phillips will jump on the bandwagon right away.

ABMB had 26 fairs all over Greater Miami last December. Another DC-unique element to the above model, and an important element that only a Washington art fair weekend can add: include the Embassies!

In addition to all the above events taking place, the fair could also align with shows at 15-20 embassy galleries around DC. The embassies would showcase one (or a group) of their national artists, and then the fair would really have an international flavor, and the beginning seeds of an American Venice in the DMV.

DC is a small city; it's fairly easy to set up transportation between the embassies and the Mall. In fact, some embassies could probably set that up themselves.

I think that this "new" super model could (and eventually when someone delivers and implements it -- it will) challenge Miami Beach -- and yes, I am aware that DC in May is not Miami in December -- but I also think that the District's own museums and public attractions trump Miami's anytime, so the DMV has something different to offer the potential collector who may be considering attending a new art fair in a city (like DC) that also offers him/her some other cultural and visual attractions besides good weather, and nice beaches… and Calle Ocho.

DC art commissioners... Smithsonianos... DC city fathers and mothers.... call me!

Friday, January 19, 2024

ART AS ACTION at Joan Hisaoka Gallery opens next week


THURSDAY, 25 JANUARY 20246 – 8 PMJOAN HISAOKA GALLERY @ SMITH CENTER FOR HEALING AND THE ARTS1632 U Street NW, Washington, DCWine and cheese reception
Free ticketed eventReserve your place by 22 January 2024
ArtWorks for Freedom presents a National Human Trafficking Prevention Month program featuring paintings by Helen Zughaib, live dance performance by Jenny Footle, and conversation spotlighting the travel and tourism sector as a key collaborator in global efforts to eliminate human trafficking, guided by industry leader Helen Marano.Additional remarks by:
  • Julie Abraham, Director, Office of International Transportation and Trade, U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Brian Beall, Director, National Travel and Tourism Office, U.S. Department of Commerce

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this mutant trying to rip off artists!

From: William Cook -

Good day,

I am interested in your works and can I make a direct purchase from you?.

I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately.

Would you please get back to me some photos, sizes and price, or link to the artwork you have available for sale.

Waiting to read from you soon.

Kind regards,

Cook William

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Volta Art Fair NYC has moved!


Change is coming for the 2024 edition of VOLTA New York. The new dates are

Preview: Wednesday, September 4

Public Days: Thursday, September 5 to Sunday, September 8

Moving to the Fall art fair season and the new venue of Chelsea Industrial (535-551 W 28th St, New York, NY 10001) places VOLTA in the heart of the city’s dynamic Chelsea district. 

As the first New York edition to take place under the helm of Artistic Director, Lee Cavaliere, the change gives VOLTA’s valued collectors and galleries a year-round outlook and ushers in a new era for the fair.

Lee Cavaliere, Artistic Director of VOLTA

“VOLTA is entering a new chapter. That means showcasing art that speaks from the world we all inhabit. Art is a great unifier and force that brings people together. We’ll present global perspectives from artists at the cutting-edge of their practice, where tradition speaks to contemporaneity - both from our core VOLTA galleries and underrepresented voices from conflict areas, places with less access to the Western art market.

Moving to the fall season better supports our galleries through the year. VOLTA will bring new opportunities for collectors to discover rising talent and with this, a new energy to the September art fair season in New York.

— Lee Cavaliere, Artistic Director of VOLTA


Volta Art Fair NYC

Situated between Chelsea and Hudson Yards, our new venue, Chelsea Industrial, is characterized by its soaring 22,000 square feet of exhibition space and a location central to the city’s arts economy during the September fair week; an optimum position for collectors to discover new artistic talent.

Monday, January 15, 2024

Bethesda Painting Awards

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District invites local artists to submit work to the 20th annual Bethesda Painting Awards. This juried art competition awards $14,000 in prizes to four selected winners. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 27, 2024. Up to eight finalists will be chosen to display their work at Bethesda’s Gallery B in June 2024.


A panel of esteemed jurors, including Virginia Anderson, Department Head of American Painting & Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art; Scott Hutchison, Associate Professor of Practice in painting and drawing at Georgetown University; and Nicole Santiago, Professor of Art at the College of William and Mary and the 2023 Bethesda Painting Awards Best in Show Winner, will curate the competition.


The first-place winner will be awarded $10,000; second place will be honored with $2,000 and third place will be awarded $1,000.  A “young” artist whose birth date is after February 28, 1994 may also be awarded $1,000.


Artists can apply online or download an application online. For information on the Bethesda Painting Awards, visit or call 301-215-6660.


Participation is open to artists aged 18 and above, residing in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C. The competition welcomes original 2-D paintings, spanning various mediums such as oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic, and mixed media. The maximum dimension should not exceed 60 inches in width or 84 inches in height. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibition. Selected artists must deliver their artwork to the exhibit site in Bethesda, MD. Each artist must submit five images, an application and a non-refundable entry fee of $25.

The Bethesda Painting Awards was established by local business owner Carol Trawick in 2005. Ms. Trawick has served as a community activist for more than 25 years in downtown Bethesda and established The Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation in 2007. She is the former Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, past Chair of the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. and founder of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.



Best in Show winners include:

2023  Nicole Santiago, Williamsburg, VA

2022  Andrew Hladky, Kensington, MD

2021  Megan Lewis, Baltimore, MD

2020  Lawrence Cromwell, Baltimore, MD

2019  Mary Anne Arntzen, Baltimore, MD

2018 Carolyn Case, Cockeysville, MD

2017 Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann, Washington, D.C.

2016 Tanja Softic, Richmond, VA

2015 Bill Schmidt, Baltimore, MD

2014 Kyle Hackett, Baltimore, MD

2013 Barry Nemett, Stevenson, MD

2012 Ali Miller, Baltimore, MD

2011 Alison Hall, Roanoke, VA

2010 Nora Sturges, Baltimore, MD

2009 Camilo Sanin, Jessup, MD

2008 B.G. Muhn, North Potomac, MD

2007 Matthew Klos, Baltimore, MD

2006 Tony Shore, Baltimore, MD

2005 Joe Kabriel, Annapolis, MD


From award-winning theatre to independent films, downtown Bethesda’s Arts & Entertainment District is filled with inspiring artists and art venues. The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is managed by the Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc., and is the producer of The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, Bethesda Painting Awards, Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, Bethesda Film Fest and Play In A Day.


Established by Montgomery County in 1994, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc. (BUP) is a downtown management organization that markets and maintains downtown Bethesda. The BUP team works in marketing, maintenance, transportation and administration to produce cultural events and community festivals and attend to landscaping and maintenance needs. BUP also manages Bethesda Transportation Solutions (BTS), the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, and the Bethesda Circulator as well as the non-profit art spaces, Gallery B, Studio B and Triangle Art Studios. For a closer look, please visit