Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Pilfered from Art Addict: The greatest mistakes of this well-known art collector are the works that she didn't buy!

By the way - Art Addict is a must read BLOG.

So far, it looks like the rest of America thinks that it is a good idea to keep the Whitney Biennial in New York and not infect the rest of us with it.

I disagree.

Read the original idea by Tyler Green here and the responses here.

I was on the radio again today, on Voice of America broadcasting to all of Latin America in Spanish.

I was discussing the impact of Cuban painter Jose Maria Mijares, who died in Miami a few days ago - read the Miami Herald story here.

Mijares, who won the Cuban National Painting Prize in 1950, lived for a while in New York, where the Abstract movement had a tremendous impression on his work.

When he escaped Castro's jailed island in 1968, Mijares returned to representation to express the loss of his homeland and his work became very important to the powerful Cuban footprint on American art.

He will be missed.

Some spectacular (and famous) works of art will be auctioned by Sotheby's on May 15 in New York. They are 44 paintings from the collection of Mr. & Mrs. John Hay Whitney and they have the secondary art world market watering at the mouth. See some of them here.

Some DC area artists in past Sotheby's auctions:

Gene Davis

Sam Gilliam

Catriona Fraser

Maxwell MacKenzie

You can also find a lot of more detailed auction records at

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

director Christopher Coppola Guerrilla FilmFest IV this coming Saturday...

The Guerrilla Film Fest (GFF) was established to provide an alternative venue for independent and foreign filmmakers who work outside the Hollywood & Indywood system (and who are therefore largely marginalized by the mainstream entertainment industry in the United States).

Next showings:
Carnegie Institution (1530 P Street - NW)
and Resources for the Future Bldg. (1616 P St - NW), Wash., DC
When: Saturday, April 3, 5:00pm to 10:30pm

--$10 for Shorts or Feature Program
--$15 for both Shorts AND Feature Programs
--Ticket includes RECEPTION
--Buy tickets at door to Carnegie Institution or buy online in advance here and pick it up at the door.

Check out the film schedule at the website.

The feature film, being shown at the Carnegie Institution from 8:15PM - 10:00PM is "The Creature of the Sunny Side-Up Trailer Park." . Starring our own (she lives in Potomac) Lynda Carter ("Wonder Woman"), Shirley Jones ("The Partridge Family"), Bernie Koppel ("The Love Boat"), and Frank Gorshin ("Batman")..... gotta go see The Riddler!

After the screening, Director Christopher Coppola will be available for Q&A. Coppola began his film making career at an early age by creating Super 8mm films that starred his brother, Nicolas Cage. Since then, he has completed eight feature films.

For further info, contact John Hanshaw, Director, Guerrilla Film Fest at or call him at 202/ 234 2889.

I'd show this guy in a New York second.

A trade for John Currin perhaps?

Last night I was at a cocktail party in the home of Dr. David Levy, Director of the Corcoran. The party was to host all the local alumni of the Sotheby's Institute of Art.

I also came away with the impression that the Corcoran College of Art & Design may be working together in the future with the Sotheby's Institute of Art.

My good friend and Washington Post photographer Rebecca D'Angelo is having an exhibition of her photographs at Cornerstone Architects, 23 West Broad in Richmond. Opening reception is April 2 from 7-10 PM.

Monday, March 29, 2004

DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities FY 2005 grant applications now available online.

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities announces that the FY 2005 grant applications are now available online. To obtain a copy, you may download them from their website. Hard copies of the applications will be available after April 15, 2004 and will only be mailed out upon request by calling (202) 724-5613.

Tyler Green, Washington's first art BLOGger, has an excellent idea for the Whitney Biennial. Read it here first.

His idea to send the Whitney Biennial on the road is an interesting idea that deserves a hard look by the new Whitney director Adam Weinberg.

The idea of traveling art shows is nothing new, but the idea of America's best known group show hitting the road is a novel way not only to expose what the leading lights of today's curating cadre see as the "state of the arts" in America, but also to get a reaction about what the "rest of us" outside New York City think about their choices.

Is there art (and opinions) outside of NYC, LA, SF and DC? Let's find out!

I disagree that the Biennial would become stronger by culling it to a dozen artists. True that a Biennial of 108 artists spans a wider range of art, artists and visual offerings - but that's precisely the great challenge of a good group show! It doesn't dilute it - it just offers more to see, discuss and form an opinion about.

This is even more important since today's Biennials - especially this one - are the 19th century's salons with a new name.

The name has changed, but the gist is the same... a select a chosen few – back then the academicians, and now the "hot" curators - pick who and what they feel represents the best of what is "good" in art. But the more the better, maybe not for the Biennial, but for art itself.

Today’s Biennial is supposed to take a "pulse" of the art state of the nation, our nation, and then the complaining begins. Not everyone is happy with a group show, any group show (I’ve curated many, many of them). But especially if it's one with the power and pull of what the Whitney has managed to accomplish all of these years.

And a lot of times (back in the 19th century and also now) the curators are wrong, off-base, out of tune, nearsighted and not in touch with the front battle lines of art. And sometimes they are dead on! But wouldn't it be fun, and good for American art, to find out what Seattle thinks about the show, as opposed to what San Diego thinks?

A salon, I mean Biennial, with 15 or 20 different cities in the schedule, and those cities' regional critics giving their opinions, and making people interested in art again, and maybe making true art stars of a local boy picked for the show.... but wait, Mmmm... Not too many artists outside of New York, or LA, or SF, or wherever the curator is from, are seldom included in this "pulse of American art" of a show.

Hey! That could be another benefit of a traveling Biennial!

Imagine curators, or critics, or artists, or dealers from Columbus, or Boise, or Phoenix or Detroit adding to the mix by bringing forth "their" local artists, who may have never otherwise come to the attention of a Whitney curator.

Then the Whitney Biennial may truly, one day become an American salon, I mean Biennial. And perhaps finally accomplish what it has been failing to do all these years: Survey New American art and perhaps upset a whole nation instead of a few high brow critics in a few cities – and this would all be good for art!

Sometime this week, DCARTNEWS will receive its 10,000th page view! This proves the tremendous amount of interest on the visual arts and issues revolving around the visual arts in our area.

Why the mainstream media doesn't get it has been the subject of much of my verbosity for the last few months...

Just received the Corcoran's extended show schedule. Next year includes the 2005 Biennial, which is being curated now by Dr. Jonathan Binstock. He is the Corcoran's Curator for Contemporary Art.

The Biennial used to be the only Biennial left in the country which was all about painting. This made it stand out; however, Binstock's predecessor was one of those who seemed to agree with the "painting is dead" crowd and "expanded" the Biennial to include everything else that goes for art these days. In my opinion, that vastly diluted the uniqueness of the Biennial.

Anyway, Binstock has already established a reputation as a curator who actually goes to gallery openings and visits artists' studios, etc. This is a great improvement over his predecessor.

He included one area artist in the last Corcoran Biennial (and the first that he curated), and we all certainly hope that he continues to expand on that. One of the biggest complaints that gallerists and area artists have, is the fact that historically a lot of our area museum curators have ignored their own back garden, something I discussed on air the last time I was a guest at the Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Kosher or Halal by Chawky Frenn Who would have thought that a painting exhibition by a DC area art professor would have out-controversied Damien Hirst when they both exhibited concurrently at Dartmouth University?

Read the story published in The Dartmouth here.

The controversy was started by this article written by a student guest columnist to The Dartmouth.

Another student then responded with this letter.

And this letter, also published in The Dartmouth, from the exhibition's curator, responding to the debate caused by the above two, can be read here.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

A few postings ago, I was sort of kidding when I talked about Thomas Kinkade having an art show outside his kitschy mall stores and in a real art gallery or museum.

I'll be goddamned if "the painter of light" proved my joke posting right... read it and weep.

Kinkade's paintings are to be on exhibition at the Grand Central Art Center, California State University at Fullerton (CSUF) and that city's main art gallery.

Grand Central - CSUF's funky facility in Santa Ana's Artists Village - has "steadily built a reputation for hosting cutting-edge exhibits of outsider, noncommercial art. And the Main Art Gallery has showcased student and faculty work for years." And Richard Chang from The Orange County Register further writes:
"Mike McGee, CSUF gallery director and professor.... explained that the Kinkade show is being curated by Jeffrey Vallance, an internationally respected curator (and "cultural provocateur," McGee said) known for placing popular phenomena in a contemporary art context....

Vallance's plan is to create a life-size Kinkade chapel and fill it with the artist's Christian art. He also aims to build a Kinkade living room, dining room, bedroom and Bridge of Faith. Kinkade knickknacks will abound.

"There's no financial motivation for us to do this," McGee said. "It's for the sake of stirring things up, creating dialogue."
The scary part is that.... it will probably work, and whoever painted all those big-eyed kid paintings for Sears when I was a kid, or the dogs playing pool, or Elvis-on-velvet, better start contacting Vallance, as I think this may be the next big trend in art.


C'mon Blake.... go to California and review this show for us... please!!!

Thanks to

Since the economy is booming, the art market is apparently very hot. The secondary art market that is!

A while back I had a rant about wealthy DC area people and their art collecting habits.... from my viewpoint (and generalizing).

Another case in point. Our recent Three Cuban Female Photographers show was a spectacular success. It received a couple of nice reviews in the press; it was one of our most visited shows ever, and it sold well.

All but one of the sales was to someone not from around here... New York, Great Britain, etc. Sales to private collectors and museums alike.

With the exception of one very sharp collector, and although the show was very heavily-attended by locals, only one photo was sold locally.

The price ranges were $600 to $1500, which for contemporary photography, by photographers in museum collections worldwide, is more than a fair price.

Blake Gopnik, writing all the way from London, delivers a superb review and an art lesson history with his review of the Donald Judd retrospective at the Tate.

Why isn't this show coming to America?

This paragraph from the review is how I've always seen Judd's work:
"Describe the [Judd] piece and it sounds terribly, even ridiculously simple. It can even sound like some conceptual-art trick meant to test precisely how little it takes to make an object count as art -- Judd's sculpture sometimes gets billed as working like Marcel Duchamp's urinal, only using objects even less inviting to the eye. But experience the work in person, and things get much more complex than that. "
An yet, by the time Gopnik finishes the review, he's actually convinced me that I've been looking at Judd's work completely wrong all these years!

Nicolas Serota discusses Judd, courtesy Tate ModernI won't blow the ending... read the review here.

And in order to see how art criticism can differ, you should also the Adrian Searle review in The Guardian.

The retrospective was curated by Tate director Nicholas Serota, a Judd fan since 1970. Read his viewpoint from a fan's point of view, here.

On the flight back from San Diego I read Mi Moto Fidel, by Brit ex-pat Christopher P. Baker and published by the National Geographic. I found it boorish, vulgar and somewhat racist.

Let's not mince words. After reading this book my immediate reaction was one of distaste. Not just because of the constant sexual encounters with very young Cuban women that make up a large part of the book, or the extraordinary stereotyping of Cubans present throoughout the entire book, or the spectacular lack of knowledge of Cuban history shown by the writer (this book is supposed to be, I think, a travel guide of sorts).

It was mainly because I kept thinking that a lot of the dialogue between the author and the locals, seemed... well... made up and just not believable.

Baker starts as a Castro apologist with an interesting twist to his apologies. He recognizes somewhat the brutal yoke that the Cuban Revolution has become upon its people - but hey! it's OK, because Cubans are a fun, sexual, libertine people!

Towards the end of the book he has somewhat of an epiphany where he realizes that Castro has been "using" the embargo, helping to maintain it and making sure it sticks and stays on - as an excuse to always have an ever present excuse for the miseries of Cuban life and thus further abuse the Cuban people he has imperiously brutalized for over 40 years.

And when the 40something Baker tells a 14-year-old-Cuban girl that he finds sexually attractive: "I'll be back in two years" .... well, I think he means it. Perhaps his next "travel book" should be on Thailand.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Sandra Ramos in the news...

ArtNet has a piece on the Sandra Ramos' visa denial story. Read it here. Furthermore, the visa denial story has been picking up steam and Senator Mikulski's staff has now entered the fray.

The Latest Museum Acquisition in Town...

The Collectors Committee at the National Gallery of Art is the NGA's patrons' group, which has been financing some acquisitions there since the mid 1970's. They have decided to buy a 1962 sculpture by Lee Bontecou.

The National Gallery now will own an untitled 1962 work that will be the second Bonteccou sculpture in the collection.

"We only had a small sculpture in our collection," said Earl A. Powell III, the gallery's director.

Opening this Saturday...

Fusebox will have a new show opening this coming Saturday: Pop-Agenda: Siemon Allen and Dominic McGill in the main space and the Dumbacher Brothers in the project space.

Both exhibitions open Saturday, March 27 and run through May 8, 2004. A reception for the artists will be held Saturday, March 27, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.

Don't miss it on March 29, 2004: Art Panel

Art Table Panel in Conjunction with Arts Advocacy Day on March 29 presents Taxes on the Table: A Win/Win Recipe for the Arts
Who: Bill Ivey, President of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, Panel Moderator Karen Carolan, Chief, Art Appraisal Services/Chair, Commissioner's IRS, Washington, DC. Linda Downs, Director of Davenport Museum of Art, Davenport, IA Ann Garfinkle, Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, Attorneys at Law, Washington, DC
When: Monday, March 29, 2004 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. FREE.
Where: Jury's Hotel, Doyle Room A, 1500 New Hampshire Ave NW; Washington, DC
The Issue: This lively panel discussion will make taxes palatable by focusing on the various ways that tax policy affects the arts, and why federal legislation on tax policy is important to the arts. The panel will provide a diverse menu of useful items to make tax laws work for both artists and contributors to the arts.

Topics will include: charitable giving; appreciated property; estate planning; inside the IRS; future legislation on the artist fair market value deduction bill and the IRA rollover.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

For Photographers

Deadline: June 16, 2004.
The Camera Club of New York announces its 2004 National Photography Competition. The competition is open to all US residents 18 years or older except members of the Camera Club of New York or their families, and employees. Freestanding pieces will not be accepted. Phtographer Ralph Gibson is the Juror. An entry will consist of 6 slides with a fee of $30.00. Chosen artists will receive a one-person exhibition in the Alfred Lowenherz Gallery and a cash award of $250.00. Other finalists will participate in a group show. Send self addressed stamped envelope for prospectus to:
2004 National Photography Competition
Camera Club of New York
853 Broadway
New York, NY 10003

Or visit their website to download an entry form and view the complete rules and information about The Camera Club of New York.

Grants for Artists

Open Deadline
The George Sugarman Foundation makes grants available for artists in need of financial assistance. Award amounts are open, but the artist must provide a budget for the amount requested. For information, contact the George Sugarman Foundation, 448 Ignacio Blvd., Novato, CA 94949; phone: 415/713-8167; email:


Deadline May 4, 2004
Kala Artist Fellowship Award, Kala Art Institute in California. Eight Fellowship awards will be given to artists working in the realms of printmaking, book arts and digital media. Award includes studio residency for up to six months in Kala's expansive print studio and Electronic Media Center, a $2000. stipend and an exhibition at the Kala gallery. Award does not include housing. Application Date: May 4, 2004. See their website or contact Lauren Davies, Program Manager at


Loide Marwanga of Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville is the winner of the 23rd Annual Congressional Art Competition. Her entry, a colored pencil sketch entitled I Am Africa, will be on display in the United States Capitol, beginning in June, for one year.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Nothing to do with art or DC, but for some reason, some of you emailed me and wanted to know what I read on the flight to San Diego. It was Semper Fidel by Michael J. Mazarr, a somewhat academic book about US and Cuban relations from 1776-1988. Amazing how many times Cuba "almost" became a US state - in fact it seems that the main reason that it didn't was because Northerners did not want to add another slave-owning state to the Union and defeated the South's efforts through the years to annex or buy Cuba from Spain. Later many Cubans, including a woman disguised as a man in a weird Fidelio-like story, served in the Confederate Army.

By the way, we are still writing and calling and emailing everyone that we can think of to help reverse the visa denial to Cuban artist Sandra Ramos.

In the last few years (since completely by accident I walked into his first-ever exhibition in Edinburgh, Scotland) I've been following the debate in Britain about the art of Scottish miner turned artist Jack Vettriano. In fact I've even penned a few articles on the subject myself.

Now The Guardian delivers a great must read as the story asks: Why Pop Art but not Popular Art?

Is this a good question to ask our own elitist museums? Witness the debates caused by the hugely successful tour of Norman Rockwell's works - even though it eventually led to Rockwell being "discovered" as an "artist" - rather than an "illustrator" - in our label-crazy art world.

But even yours truly is not sure that I am ready for Thomas Kinkade anywhere else but our local neighborhood mall.

Update: Another Jack Vettriano story here.

Greetings from foggy San Diego... some opportunities below:
For Photographers...
Deadline: March 31, 2004

Photography Exhibit, "Multiple Exposures", June 4-27, 2004. All photographic medium. Entry deadline April 1, 2004. Juror: Tom Strider, Collections Manager, Jersey City Museum. 5 slides $35. Awards-exhibit opportunities. For a prospectus send a #10 SASE to: Makeready's Gallery, 214 ArtSpace, 214 Glenridge Av, Montclair NJ 07042 or visit their website here.

For Video Artists...
Deadline: May 15, 2004

New Screen Broadcasting is a newly formed television station that was created to offer a unique opportunity for artists to showcase their film and video projects in an unprecedented way. They are currently accepting film and video submissions for our initial programming that will be broadcast on WRCF-TV Channel 29, Orlando. They are looking for works that explore a wide range of topics, from a wide range of applicants. In keeping with the goal of providing a venue that is open and accessible, all forms of video and film will be considered. Accepted works may also have a 30 to 60 second clip included in the SOLO Arts online video library. For more information contact New Screen Broadcasting here

For Sculptors...
Deadline: March 31, 2004

The Sculpture Salmagundi VIII: Indoor/Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition. $7,800 in prizes and honorariums. Outdoor Juror: John M Weidman, internationally renowned sculptor and Director of the Andres Institute of Art. Visit Weidman's website for more information about the juror. Indoor works selected by Arts Center staff and will be by invitation only. Postmark deadline for slide entry is April 19, 2004. Outdoor Exhibition Dates: July 10, 2004 - June 10, 2005. Indoor Exhibition Dates: July 10, 2004 - August 29, 2004. Download a prospectus here (click Artists Opportunities). Or e-mail your street address to: Rockky Wigent. Rocky Mounts Arts Center is located in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and you can also call 252/972-1163.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

I'm heading off to San Diego again for the rest of this week... seems like I've practically been living down there!

One of the best art reviews that I have ever read in the Washington Post is in today's Sunday Arts.

It is by Pulitzer prize winning writer Henry Allen and he does a masterful job of reviewing Jim Dine at the NGA.

Here's the sheer elegance in words of the first paragraph:
"The drawing of a line is one of the thrilling gestures in art, like a Charlie Parker solo in jazz or a Nureyev leap in ballet, full of surprise and inevitability at the same time, a miracle that had to happen. (Watching it done is like watching magic -- think about documentary footage of Picasso or R. Crumb, and their confidence as they pull rabbits out of a hat that's nothing more than a piece of paper.) "
By the way, I submit that if Jim Dine had to hide his technical virtuosity in the 60's --- that hasn't changed! Technical virtuosity, with a handful of very rare exceptions, is generally still something that has to be "hidden."

Theory - rather than technique or skill - is what schools want to teach (mostly because a lot of academics couldn't draw a line to save their lives).

And thus if we look at some of our own area schools, such as GMU, we find a school that once had an art department that included both theory pushers and also professors able to actually teach a student how to stretch watercolor paper and how to mix two colors to get a third one.

But now, as seen from afar, it appears that since Margarida Kendall retired from GMU, the theory pushers have slowly but surely re-directed that art school focus to the theory agenda of art professors who can neither paint nor draw.

GMU is lucky to have two of the best painters in the nation in its staff. They are Chawky Frenn (represented by us) and Erik Sandberg (represented by Conner Contemporary).

While Frenn (the last DC area artist in years to have been reviewed by the New York Times - at least in my memory) does teach some painting classes, one would assume that a painter of Sandberg's reputation and technical virtuosity would also be teaching painting.

But he is not, and I would bet money that Sandberg would just love to teach painting.

And because (with some rare exceptions) the theory pushers are teaching painting, and with Frenn's exception, dominate the curriculum, GMU art students are the losers. Visit their MFA exhibits and the proof is in the work.

Nobody asked me.... but my opinion nonetheless.

A new quarterly visual arts magazine will soon come out in our region. Expect the first issue of "In the Arts" to cover the visual arts of the Mid Atlantic region. It is edited by Bruce McNeill and designed by Ed Towles Graphic Design in Baltimore.

The magazine will be distributed free to galleries and other art venues. As soon as the first issue comes out, I'll let everyone know.

Saturday, March 20, 2004

I almost forgot!

Freelancer Mark Jenkins, who writes (mostly about movies) for the Washington City Paper, is filling in and is suddenly writing art reviews for the Washington Post Weekend section while Michael O'Sullivan writes about movies for Weekend.

O'Sullivan is probably one of only two DC art critics who truly knows the DC art scene and who our artists and gallery dealers know (personally) and trust and who has the pulse of our art scene.

Are we all on the same page now?

Anyway.... Jenkins, who is a pretty good theater reviewer and a really good writer, delivers a third (or maybe fourth) Post-published review; this time in the "print-space-poor---that's-why-we-don't-do-more-galleries" Weekend section of the Post for the Quilt Show at the Corcoran.

C'mon guys (C'mon Joyce Jones - editor of Weekend) ... isn't three reviews of one show by one newspaper (that claims that lack of print space is the reason that they do not do more reviews) enough?

OK, OK, I reviewed it too because it is a damned good show and it is a show that teaches us lessons about art, political correctness, and how hypocritical art critics can be.... read my review here, which by the way, has been picked up by five Spanish language newspapers in the US and Latin America.

Gunk Foundation Grants
Deadline: April 30, 2004

Grants are provided for "works" of art (not, for example, art festivals, group exhibitions or general operating support for public art organizations).

Anyone can apply­­: individuals, groups, or organizations, and there is no need for a fiscal sponsor. International projects and artists are encouraged.

How to Apply: Grant proposals must include:
Application form, Resume(s) of the project participant(s)

Example of previous work done (preferably one slide sheet, 1-2 videos. No original work please!)

One or two page summary of the proposed project (This should be separate from the application form, and should be an elaboration upon the questions asked in the form, or should include any other relevant material not covered by the form.)

Budget and time line (predicted costs, source of other funds if needed, and when the project will be presented.

Call or write for Application:

The Gunk Foundation
P.O. Box 333
Gardiner, NY 12525
(845) 255-8252

Friday, March 19, 2004

Celebrity sighting at the Georgetown Canal Square Galleries 3rd Friday openings tonite: None other than Fran Drescher, TV's "Nanny," was hanging around the galleries talking to the artists and admiring the art.

She's tiny!

Tonite's must read artlink (somewhat art I guess) comes via photographer and video artist Darin Boville.

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Tomorrow is the 3rd Friday of the month, which means that the four Canal Square Galleries in Georgetown (MOCA, Fraser, Alla Rogers and Parish) will be having their openings and/or extended hours.

The openings are catered by the Sea Catch Restaurant and we'll be also serving our world famous Sangria.

All free and open to the public. From 6-9 PM. The Canal Square is at 1054 31st Street, NW, Corner of M in Georgetown. See ya there!

BLOGger Tyler Green writes about DC artist Ian Whitmore on Its near the lower part of the page.

Whitmore is one of my favorite painters too. He came to my attention a while back when I reviewed him for DC One Magazine. It was the Strictly Painting show at McLean Center for the Arts.

He is now represented by Fusebox Gallery.

Jessica Dawson visits six spaces in today's Galleries column in the Post.

I like this mini-review approach that the Post has implemented in the last couple of years or so. In fact, a few years ago - before Dawson replaced Protzman as the Post's galleries' critic - I had suggested this mini-format directly to John Pancake (the Post's Arts editor) as a way to "spread the wealth" of the Post's very small print space dedicated to gallery reviews.

This is hard work on Dawson, who has to visit a lot of galleries, all over the city, just to produce one column. Too bad that the Post's online art pages, which used to run its own set of gallery reviews independent of the print section when John Poole used to be its Arts Editor, no longer does so.

This is puzzling to me, as at one point, when Poole was the Online Arts Editor, he had several additional writers (including Dawson) "augment" the print version of galleries and museum reviews with several freelance writers.

When Poole moved up the food chain and was promoted, his job was left vacant for a while, and when the Arts Editor job was finally filled a year later or so, whatever funds were available to pay the freelancers had probably been snatched by another department or cut, and thus the current Online Arts editor (Maura McCarthy) no longer has the luxury of augmenting the Post's meager gallery criticism with additional online writers.

Deadline: 31st March, 2004

The Lexmark European Art Prize is open to all artists of all painting genres. Launched in 2002, the Lexmark received over 2,000 entries from 33 countries in its first year. Designed to support the renaissance in painting, the Lexmarkis judged by an eight person panel of judges from across Europe chaired by Professor Brendan Neiland, Keeper of the Royal Academy.

The competition extends Lexmark's significant investment in the arts which
includes the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the French Réunion des Musées
Nationaux and Lexmark's Art Education Program which introduced fine art to over 600 schools in the US

Entries are accepted until March 31st 2004. Visit the website here.

Deadline: Friday, 2 April 2004.

The aims of this competition are to find the best wildlife pictures taken by photographers worldwide, and to inspire photographers to produce visionary and expressive interpretations of nature. The judges will be looking first and foremost for aesthetic appeal and originality, and will also be placing an emphasis on photographs taken in wild and free conditions. With digital images now being accepted, the competition judges will also be looking for images that are a true representation of life on Earth. For the first time, the competition will be accepting digital images submitted on CD.

The competition is open to anyone, amateur or professional, of any age and of
any nationality. Full details and entry forms are available here

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

For Photographers Looking for Gallery Representation
Multiple Exposures Gallery is looking for a new photographer to join its unique cooperative. The gallery, located at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia, and represents fourteen award-winning photographers from the Washington area. For more information call 703-683-2205. Applications with portfolios are due April 25th, 2004.

The next Secondsight meeting will be held on Friday, March 26 at 6.30pm. The guest speaker will be Ferdinand Protzman, former art critic for the Washington Post and author of Landscape; Photographs of Time and Place, a beautiful new book that investigates the ongoing evolution of landscape photography.

If you would like to reserve your signed, first edition copy, please call 301 718-9651. The book costs $50. Secondsight is an organization dedicated to the advancement of women photographers through support, communication and sharing of ideas and opportunities. For more information, visit

Looks like both the Washington Post and Art & Antiques Magazine are picking up the Sandra Ramos visa denial story and will be publishing articles on the subject soon.

Art & Antiques had previously done a story on Cuban art, American art collectors and mentioned Sandra Ramos' works specifically.

Photoworks in Glen Echo Park has an upcoming series of "Digital Dialogue Evenings." . The first is with Jim Steele at the Photoworks Studio on Thursday, April 8 at 7:30 pm for the first in this series of conversations that will explore the realm of digital in the art of photography. Below is other scheduled speakers and dates.

"Digital Dialogues: Photographers Discuss Why Digital for their Art?"

Thursday Evenings, 7:30 - 8:30 pm at Photoworks Studio
April 8, Jim Steele
April 15, Eliot Cohen
April 22, Judy Karpinski and Patty Lake
April 29, Grace Taylor
May 6, Craig Sterling
May 13, Danny Conant

Capitol Arts Network presents "The Human Figure" curated by Eric Westbrook. The show runs from April 9 - May 5, 2004 at The Washington School of Photography.

Not having seen the show yet, and at the risk of being very unfair to all the other accepted photographers, I nonetheless will tell you that this talented photographer, who seldom exhibits in the DC area (and should exhibit more) will probably steal the show.

I'll review this show later.

There's a really well-written, but no byline, review of photographer Glenn Friedel's recent work currently on exhibition at Bethesda's Gallery Neptune, run by the indefatigable Elyse Harrison.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

A million thanks to for publishing the issue of Sandra Ramos' visa denial.

We are hoping to enlist the help of Senator Barbara Mikulski to see if we can get Sandra Ramos a visa to attend her DC debut. Any help from any of you who'd like to email the Senator, would be appreciated as we take a stand against this puzzling policy of denying visas to Cuban artists - even when their work is not pro-Castro by any stretch of the imagination.

Photographers can link their photography website to About-Arts by filling out this form and adding a reciprocal link. The more links your site has, the higher your Google placement.

Through MAN a link to a very good discussion at Frolic of My Own about Eric Fischl, who recently came to DC and delivered a good lecture at the Hirshhorn.

For the last couple of months I have been curating a show at Alexandria's Target Gallery which honors the remaining artists from the original group of artists who started the Torpedo Factory, one of the great cultural jewels of our area's art scene, 30 years ago.

The show is called "Origins: 30 Years at the Torpedo Factory Arts Center" runs from April 28 through June 6, 2004. It will be hung salon-style, which I've always liked.

Maryland State Arts Council announces Grants

Deadline April 7 – Arts in Communities Grants

Deadline April 1 – Arts & Entertainment District

Deadline May 13, 2004 – For activities that will begin or take place between July 1, 2004 and June 30, 2005. Technical Assistance Program supports organizational development for County Arts Councils in Maryland and Professional Development Program encourages and supports continuing education of County Arts Council staff and board members in subject areas relevant to local Arts Council management.

For information on all grants, go to or call 410-767-6555.

Deadline July 1, 2004
Outdoor Public Art Proposal Sought in Oregon. The Art Committee of the Eugene Japanese American Memorial Project is planning to invite artists to submit proposals for a permanent outdoor public art project to publicly acknowledge and commemorate the Japanese Americans who endured evacuation and internment during World War II. The memorial project will be located outside the Hult Center for Performing Arts (6th and Willamette) in Eugene, Oregon. Please contact: for more information.

Deadline April 9, 2004
Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition Opportunity in Washington State.
The Bellevue Arts Commission, Bellevue, Washington, announces its 2004 Sculpture Exhibition. Up to 24 sculptures will be selected by the jury for outdoor exhibition in Bellevue's Downtown Park. The exhibition opens 6/26 and closes 10/10. Each accepted artist will receive an honorarium. There is no entry fee. Insurance and installation provided.

For entry information: e-mail or call John Young, Prof. of Sculpture and Public Art, Univ. of Washington (my alma matter) at 206/543.0997.

Deadline May 24, 2004
The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center (DVAEC) in Frederick, Maryland, invites all artists living within a 75-mile radius of Frederick, MD, working in any media, to submit work for their annual Regional Juried Art Exhibition taking place June 5 - July 25.

The juror is Mr. Jay Fisher, Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs, Senior Curator of Drawings, Prints and Photography, Baltimore Museum of Art.

Up to three pieces of work may be submitted to the Center for jurying Sunday, May 23 or Monday, May 24. Entry fee is $10 per piece for nonmembers or $7 per piece for DVAEC members. Awards: 1st Place: $150; 2nd Place: $100; 3rd Place: $75, Honorable Mention: $50. For more information, entry forms and directions send an e-mail to Diane Sibbison at

DC area sculptor Sarah Wegner, who made her solo gallery debut a few months ago in Georgetown, currently has a show at the Columbia Association Art Center's main gallery and gets a really good review in The Baltimore Sun.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Transformer has an opening this coming Saturday, March 20, 7-9pm.

The show is called "Daytrippers" and features work by four artists: Ryan Hill (New York, NY), Heide Trepanier (Richmond, VA), Bryan Whitson (Washington, DC), and Kate Woodliff (Richmond,VA).

The exhibition will be from March 20 – April 24, 2004.

MOCA joins the frenzy for Cuban art by staging an exhibition curated by Adolfo V. Nodal titled "Havana Science Fiction."The show opened last week and runs until April 3, 2004.

Adolfo V. Nodal is the former director of the WPA/C a few directors ago. More recently he is one of several editors of the bible of Cuban art, titled Memoria: Cuban Art in the 20th Century.

MOCA's show features work by Los Animistas, Fidel Ernesto, Omar and Oscar Estrada, Jose Emilio Fuentes, Ernesto Pina, Alain Pinot and Harold Vazquez.

I found Vazquez's work to be the most interesting - and surprisingly enough (considering how bland most videos leave me) - it is a video!

His video - like most videos - has as its starting point an interesting idea/concept, which features the filming of a pretty Cuban girl standing in front of the camera, as if it were a still image and “stopping the clock” when her pose is broken. We stand looking at the video trying to see how long can she hold a perfectly still pose - as in a photo - until she blinks or moves, and the clock starts all over again.

Compete for a solo museum show...

Deadline: April 22, 2004.

The Rawls Museum Arts is hosting its 41st Annual Juried show, which will be juried this year by slide review.

This year's Juror is Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' Coordinator of Statewide Exhibitions, Eileen B. Mott.Slide submissions are due April 22, 2004. Please download the application from the museum's homepage. The show runs May 28 until July 15. Cash Prizes and a Solo Show will be awarded.

Sunday, March 14, 2004

The NY Times has an article on Miami art collectors. In my earlier posting I discussed the lack of DC area collectors such as the NYT article discusses. In fact I mentioned these kind of art collectors and the dearth of them in our area - which nonetheless would appear to be a fertile ground (I think) for "growing" these type of art supporters (everywhere else!).

And yet we have more eligible potential collectors than Miami has? WHY don't our "people" buy art?

Cuban Artist Denied Entry Visa to Attend her Washington Debut

photo of Sandra RamosCuban artist Sandra Ramos, considered by many to be the leading Cuban visual artist of her generation, has been working feverishly for the last year to finish off a series of new works which will be showcased in her Washington, DC debut show opening at our Fraser Gallery in Georgetown this coming May 21 for a month-long exhibition.

Since she has visited the US many times, both for previous shows in other American cities and for museum art conferences (as invited speaker), and since her work is in the permanent collection of many prestigious American museums, such as The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York and the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston, it came to her as a shock when her visa to attend her Washington, DC opening was denied.

“This is an artist with a worldwide following and reputation,” said Catriona Fraser, Director and co-owner of our two Fraser Galleries in Georgetown and Bethesda. “It came to us as an unexpected shock as well when Sandra told us that she would not be able to travel to Washington for her opening reception.”

“To make it more irritating,” continues Fraser, “this is without a doubt our most important exhibition of the year, and artists of Ramos’ caliber and reputation are not only good for our gallery but for the Washington art scene in general.”

Just last year Ramos attended art conferences hosted by the Lowe Art Museum in Florida as well as visits to New York, Boston and Provincetown in Massachusetts, all related to art exhibitions or conferences.

Her work, which often delivers visceral commentaries dealing with taboo issues in Cuban society such as racism, mass migration, freedoms and liberties and the impact of Communism on the Cuban psyche, has placed Ramos at the very leading edge of a group of young Cuban artists who use their art as a narrative medium to describe, criticize and export the world in which they live and work.

Following nearly twenty highly successful solo exhibitions in Cuba, Japan, Mexico, Germany and Holland, Ramos had her first solo American show in Miami last year to high critical acclaim. The solo at Fraser Gallery will be her second American solo show as well as her Washington, DC debut.

Recent articles discussing her work in the ARTNews Newsletter, Art & Antiques Magazine, Art Business News, The Art Newspaper, as well as reviews in many national and international art magazines all led to a spectacular year for Ramos, who saw all of her entire production of 2003 paintings sell during the last months of the year as American art collectors made their way to Havana before the tightening of US policy on travel to Cuba.

“Sandra has been saving her most recent work for this solo,” says Fraser, “and we expect to have about a dozen new works in this show – all new important works dealing with her recurring issue of Cuba as a prison whose walls are made of water.”

print by Sandra RamosOne of Ramos’ most poignant works, in the collection of MOMA in New York best exemplifies the work that has made her famous. Titled in Spanish “The Damned Circumstance of Being Surrounded by Water,” Ramos transforms her image (as a little girl) onto the shape of Cuba, her body pinned to the island by bright red Royal Palms (the national tree of Cuba) changed from its natural color to the color of the Cuban Revolution.

“We will go ahead with the show,” declares Fraser. “And I intend to write to the Department of State to protest this visa denial to an artist with a proven history of not being a flight risk.”

WORLDWIDE PINHOLE DAY on Sunday 25th April, 2004.

Visit Last year 1082 people from 43 countries submitted entries.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Photographer and DCArtnews reader Joseph Barbaccia points out an interesting article by Roberta Smith in the NY Times on the subject of the popularity of art fairs and how well they do.

Smith mentions Paris, Berlin, Basel, London and, more recently, Miami, where the Art Basel crowd has staged two highly successful fairs.

And Barbaccia reasons that maybe what DC needs to kick start the idea is an art fair of its own.

It's a good idea, and many have tried to kindle that idea, but the obstacles (all circling the subject of money) have been great. A while back all galleries in the area received correspondence from an outfit trying to organize such a fair at the MCI Center or the New Convention Center. But the cost to participate was so prohibitive, that little was gained as far as attention from art dealers.

We've been courted for a couple of years now about Art Basel Miami Beach, but the costs of participating are more designed to attract a gallery that sells work in the hundreds of thousands of dollars rather than single thousands, like most DC area galleries.

Nonetheless, fairs at all levels in the art world food chain appear to be doing well. These include spectacularly huge and successful outdoor art fairs such as the legendary Coconut Grove Arts Festival also in Miami. Now celebrating its 41st anniversary in 2004, the Festival attracts over three-quarters of a million people annually from around the world to view and buy the works of over 330 artists and craftsmen from all over the planet. This is probably - in attendance numbers anyway - the largest art festival in the world.

Locally, a version of this outdoor type of art fair will be staged this coming May in Bethesda via the first ever Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, which will be held Saturday, May 15 and Sunday, May 16, 2004 in Bethesda's Woodmont Triangle along Norfolk and Auburn Avenues. The event will feature 150 national artists, live entertainment and food from the many world-class Bethesda restaurants.

But our area lacks the "other" kind of "upper crust" art fair that Roberta Smith discusses - a fair where art galleries and dealers - rather than the artists themselves - gather in one city to bring their art and artists for a few days in one place. The cost of organizing such an event is the major hurdle - but that hurdle would be easily resolved if an organizer (and art dealers) would think that DC art buyers would make their trip and costs justified through art sales.

And my honest opinion is that in the eight years since we opened our first gallery in Georgetown, and over 100 shows later in both Georgetown and Bethesda, and talking regularly to fellow dealers in our area, it is clear that (although the DC area has one of the highest income concentrations in the world), there are precious few "art collectors" or just plain people buying art in our region to attract a major league art fair.

It's a chicken and the egg thing...

High incomes are concentrated here; expensive homes are concentrated here; disposable income is abundant here; large educated masses are concentrated here - and yet we can't get significant numbers of "those" people to buy original art in the same manner and form that people in New York and Miami and Los Angeles apparently do.

I blame the media and their lack of coverage of area arts and artists and the inherent apathy created by "those" people not realizing - or caring - about the acquisition of art -- on the par with Harleys, and SUVs and those bigger-than-SUV things that look like USMC war vehicles.

I am sure that many of our well-known millionaires - such as the guy who owns the Redskins, and the guy who owns the Capitals, and the guy who owns Lockheed Martin, and the guys who own AOL, and the thousands of other guys and gals who own all those great companies in Northern Virginia and the 270 corridor, have art in their homes.

Or do they? And where do they get it? And how come among all the press about them, there's nothing about them being "art collectors"? Read the Miami press, or the NY press, or the LA press and once in a while you'll read a story about influential collectors.

Do we have "those" people around here?

Maybe, but I doubt it. And yet I think that "they" could be cultivated, and perhaps taught that instead of flying to NY or LA or Miami to buy artwork at one of those fairs, they could instead go to an opening once in a while in Georgetown, or 7th Street or Dupont Circle.

But "they" would have to know about our art scene, and for that we'd need the media, and here again we go with the "chicken and the egg" syndrome.

Makes my head hurt.

Anyway, later this year we'll be participating in our first art fair ever in New York. I'll let you know what happened.

Today is the second Friday of the month, which means that it is time for the Bethesda Art Walk. Several Bethesda galleries and art establishments participate, light food and refreshments are provided, as well as a free shuttle bus to take visitors around the galleries.

We will have (as usual) the Washington area's best Sangria, plus a terrific photography show curated by William F. Stapp, who served as the National Portrait Gallery's first curator of photographs (1976-1991) and is now an independent curator and consultant. Most recently he curated the traveling exhibition "Portrait of the Art World: A Century of ARTnews Photographs."

This year he curated the 2004 Bethesda International Photography Exhibition, and selected a couple of dozen photographers from over a thousand entries from all over the world.

The openings are from 6-9 PM and a a free shuttle bus is available to do the gallery hopping.

See ya there!

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Just flew back from San Diego and on the way back I read another great book, which (at least for me) was not only informative, but incredibly educational and eye opening.

It is The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky. It's absolutely a great read, especially if you are a history buff or interested in Europe's oldest people, the world's most unique language and the most stubborn nation without a country on this planet.

I learned that their ancient tongue (Euskera) is not only the oldest European language, but it is not related to any other language on Earth.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Councilmember Harold Brazil, chairperson of the Committee on Economic Development, announces a public hearing on Bill 15-636, “Arts Funding Improvement Task Force Establishment Act of 2003.”The hearing will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, 2004, in the Council Chamber of 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (John A. Wilson Building).

Bill 15-636, “Arts Funding Improvement Task Force Establishment Act of 2003," if approved, would establish a taskforce that will focus on increasing funding for the Arts and Humanities. The task force would provide recommendations to the Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Council, and the Mayor on ways to increase funding for arts and humanities programming and education in the District.

For more info call the Council of the District of Columbia at 202.724.8050

Opportunity for artists...

Deadline: Thursday, April 01

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) is seeking proposals for The Gallery at Flashpoint.

Flashpoint is DC's first arts space dedicated to nurturing and growing emerging arts organizations and the Gallery at Flashpoint provides artists and arts organizations a place to show innovative, new works. Applications for the 2004-2005 Season are now being accepted from artists, curators and arts organizations. The Request for Proposals is available at their website.

Deadline: All proposals are due to the CuDC offices (916 G Street, Washington, DC 20001) by April 1, 2004 at 5:00pm. For more info call the Gallery at Flashpoint at 202/315-1310.

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Hello from San Diego, in the middle of a very warm (almost 80s) winter!

But read this important announcement dealing with events back in DC:

Annual Arts Advocacy Day, Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Hard working art activists are presently organzing visits to all the DC Council Members to discuss the role of the arts in our community. In addition, the Budget Hearing for the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities at the Committee on Economic Development (chaired by Council Member Harold Brazil) is scheduled for Thursday, April 1, 2004. You are invited to an organizing meeting for Arts Advocacy Day and the Budget Hearing on Friday, March 19th, Noon-1:30 PM, at Flashpoint. At this meeting, members of the Steering Committee will present briefings on three topics: the arts as an economic generator, the arts and youth, and the arts as an attractor to life in our city.

They'll walk through the process of Arts Advocacy Day and the budget hearing. We strongly encourage you to come to this meeting as your participation will help create a coherent message and force for the advocates for Arts Advocacy Day and for the budget hearing. To summarize: Friday, March 19th, Noon-1:30 PM -- Briefing meeting. Wednesday, March 31st -- Meetings with Council Members (the meetings will go on throughout the day, each lasting about 15-30 minutes.) Thursday, April 1st -- Budget Hearing for DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Strachan at

Monday, March 08, 2004

Traveling all day - finally in San Diego. Over the last few years I have been here many times (and I've actually lived here in San Diego twice in my life). San Diego has maybe half a dozen decent, reputable art galleries, a decent museum and a terrific photography venue. Yet, in spite of those low numbers, these art venues seem to get more attention in national magazines such as ArtNews and Art in America than our DC area galleries.

I've always wondered why? How come half a dozen San Diego area art venues get more "back of the magazine" mini reviews than 100 good art venues in the DC area?

Part of the answer is that many of the writers who cover the DC area for those national magazines favor reviewing museum shows, at the expense of area galleries. And those same magazines usually give DC one mini-review a month period - so the galleries have little chance competing against our great museums.

But still... how come San Diego gets more numerical reviews in a calendar year than Washington when we have around ten times more art spaces than San Diego does?

P.S. - On the way here I read Waiting for Snow in Havana, by Carlos Eire, which is the National Book Award Winner. What a brilliant book! I highly recommend it.

Sunday, March 07, 2004

NASA on Friday released the first pictures ever taken of an eclipse as seen from the surface of another planet, snapped by the Opportunity rover a day earlier. Art and history married in a photograph.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

"First Annual Selected Figure Drawing Exhibition" call for entries.
Deadline: April 30, 2004
The New England Realist Art Center announces a call for entries for their "First Annual Selected Figure Drawing Exhibition". This International open exhibition will be held online. Open to all artists who work in a representational style in any graphic media (wet or dry). Up to $1,000 in awards. Juror will be renowned artist and portraitist Ted Seth Jacobs. Entry deadline is April 30, 2004. Entry fee: Up to 3 slides $25, $5 each additional. For more information contact Dennis Cheaney at or visit their website.

"Bold Expressions" call for entries.
Deadline: August 2, 2004.
Northern California Arts, Inc. invites you to enter their 49th Annual Open International Exhibition, "Bold Expressions," September 28 - October 17, 2004, at the Sacramento Fine Arts Center Galleries. Open to creators of original art. Mixed media, no photography, film or crafts. Best of Show $750, awards totaling $3500. Juror: Cynthia Hurley, well-known Northern California and international artist. Judged by slides. Fee: $30 for 1, 2 or 3 artworks, non refundable. Slide deadline is August 2, 2004. For information call Deb Johansen-Cook, Show Chair at 916-988-9417. Prospectus available from this website.

"Alcyone" call for entries.
Deadline: May 15, 2004.
Pleiades Gallery of Contemporary Art in New York announces Alcyone, a juried competition being curated by Tracey Bashkoff of the Guggenheim Museum. All Media is eligible and fees are: $40 up to 3 slides, $5 each additional slide - no commission on sales. For info call the gallery at (646) 230-0056 or visit their website.

There's a very good article in Art Business News magazine about Cuban art and once again I am being quoted discussing our strong program promoting Cuban art and artists in our area.

Among the many artists discussed, Sandra Ramos, who will be making her DC debut next May in our Georgetown gallery, is highlighted.

Ramos' art deal with migration, exile, sex, and racism - all taboo subjects in Cuban society. She's in the permanent collection of MOMA, MFA Boston and a dozen other museums worldwide - and yet has never exhibited in DC.

Friday, March 05, 2004

I received a really nice note from Harrison Arnett, of the Tinwood Alliance about my review of the "Quilts of Gee's Bend." It was nice of him, as I was a little iffy as how the review would be received.

Please read this: Michelle Marder Kamhi on Rescuing Art from "Visual Culture Studies" at Aristos. Link thanks to ArtsJournal.

Art Chat is a quarterly informal gathering of arts groups and arts administrators, sponsored by the Alexandria Arts Forum (an arts advocacy group) and the Alexandria Commission for the Arts. The public is invited to the March Art Chat, to be held Thursday, March 11 at 7 p.m., a joint gathering of the Arlington and Alexandria Arts Commissions and arts groups. It will be held at the Torpedo Factory Art Center at 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria.

The Artist Help Network has launched a "Bulletin Board" to announce items of interest related to artist career development - including new publications, services, and resources. Go to their homepage and click "News of Interest" located at the top left-hand corner.

I really believe that if one is to write and discuss DC area artists, galleries and our "scene," then one must get out and go to openings, see show, talk to artists, visit museums, etc. As many and as varied as possible.

One of my pet peeves is a well-known writer from a weekly alternative free newspaper who for the last several years just continues to write about the same two or three museums or the same two or three galleries... over and over and over. Get your ass out and see some other shows, visit as many galleries as you can and expose yourself to DC artists and art - then write about it.

Tonite was the first Friday of the month, which of course means that the Dupont Circle Galleries had their extended hours from 6-8 PM and thus I trekked to a few and then had dinner (I had Veal Marsala, which was magnificent) at Anna Maria's on Connecticut, one of the best Italian restaurants in DC.

From the gallery crawl, what best sticks on my mind as memorable were the truly unusal, not even sure how to describe it, work by Dean Kessman at Conner Contemporary. Elegant, thin, and super minimalist perhaps? Or maybe a 21st century rebirth of the Washington Color School on Intel Steroids?

A few doors down, in the small space now shared by Troyer and Irvine Fine Arts there were some watercolors and gouaches by Roberto Matta never before seen in the United States.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District Announces 2nd Annual Trawick Prize - $14,000 in Prize Money to be Awarded

Deadline May 21, 2004. Don't leave this to the last minute! Start getting your slides ready now!

The Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District is accepting submissions for The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards.

This is the largest cash award to area artists given by anyone in the area. The 2nd annual juried art competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to four selected artists. Deadline for slide submission is Friday, May 21, 2004 and up to fifteen artists will be invited to display their work from September 7, 2004 - October 2, 2004 in downtown Bethesda at Creative Partners Gallery.

The 2004 competition will be juried by Jeffrey W. Allison, the Paul Mellon Collection Educator at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA; Peter Dubeau, Associate Dean of Continuing Studies at the Maryland Institute College of Art and Kristen Hileman, Assistant Curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

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 May 21, 1974 will also be awarded $1,000.

Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. Original painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, fiber art, digital, mixed media and video (VHS tapes only) are accepted.

The maximum dimension should not exceed 96 inches in any direction. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last 5 years. Selected artists must deliver artwork to exhibit site in Bethesda, MD. Each artist must submit five slides, application and a non-refundable entry fee of $25.

Please visit or send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Bethesda Urban Partnership, Inc.
c/o The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814.

For more information, please contact Stephanie Coppula at or call 301.215.6660 ext. 20.

Comment: Considering some of the huge corporations that are headquarted in our area, and specifically in Bethesda (such as Lockheed), I find it amazing that it is a small woman-owned local business (Trawick and Associates) that ponies up most of the cash given out each year to help foster the visual arts environment in our area. Memo to Lockheed, and to AOL and to Giant and to the Post and others: How about adding $10,000 each to this annual prize?

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

$60,000 in prizes...

The 7th Annual L'Oreal Art & Science of Color Prize.

The Gold Prize is presented to one artist and carries with it an award of Euro 30,000. The Silver Prize is presented to one person and carries with it an award of Euro 20,000. The Bronze Prize is presented to one person and carries with it an award of Euro 10,000.

For additional information review this website.

21st Annual Art Competition sponsored by The Artist's Magazine
Deadline: May 1, 2004.

Compete and Win in five Categories!

PORTRAIT & FIGURE Portrait and figure entries can be individuals or groups, and will be judged on expressiveness, personality and draftsmanship.
STILL LIFE Entries will be judged on overall design, unique arrangement of subject matter, handling of medium, lighting and mood.
LANDSCAPE Any landscape, from city scenes to imaginary horizons, will be judged on the creative use of form, space, lighting and mood.
EXPERIMENTAL With unlimited subject matter, entries will be judged on creative use of design, texture, media, lighting or special techniques.
ANIMAL ART Any animal in any setting is fair game for this category. Entries will be judged on the innovative handling of the subject, the expression and rendering.

More than $25,000 in cash prizes. Winners will be featured in the December 2004 issue of The Artist's Magazine. Five First Place Awards: $2,500 each, five Second Place Awards: $1,250 each, five Third Place Awards: $750 each, and 15 Honorable Mentions: $100 each.

Winners will be featured in the December 2004 issue along with a list of 250 finalists. In addition, 10 finalists will be featured in the "Competition Spotlight" in The Artist's Magazine, 12 finalists will be featured as "Artist of the Month" in their web site, and all winners and finalists will receive a certificate suitable for framing.

For details and an entry form visit their website, or email them at or call Terri Boes at 513-531-2690 x1328.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

I'm down in an interesting neck of the Maryland woods... around LaPlata, Indian Head and Waldorf... nursing either a nasty cold or pneumonia.

Anyway, Muriel Hasbun, one of Washington DC's art stars, and represented by Conner opens Thursday, March 11th with a show titled "Memento" at The Corcoran Gallery of Art. "Memento" will be on view March 6-June 7, 2004 and it is a survey of recent work including work showcased by Hasbun at the 50th Venice Biennale, where she represented her native El Salvador.

Monday, March 01, 2004

William Willis, Works on Paper, opens Wednesday, March 3 (6:00 - 8:00 PM) at Hemphill Fine Arts in Georgetown. The exhibition runs until April 10, 2004.

CuDC Call for Proposals...
Deadline: All proposals are due to the CuDC offices (916 G Street, Washington, DC 20001) by April 1, 2004 at 5:00pm.

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) is seeking visual art proposals for The Gallery at Flashpoint.

Flashpoint is DC's first arts space dedicated to nurturing and growing emerging arts organizations and the Gallery at Flashpoint provides artists and arts organizations a place to show innovative, new works.

Applications for the 2004-2005 Season are now being accepted from artists, curators and arts organizations. The Request for Proposals is available at

David In case you missed it, the Post's Sunday Arts had a wonderful orgy of coverage about the restoration of Verrocchio's David.

Articles by Blake Gopnik, whose doctoral thesis was on ideas of realism in Renaissance Italy, and who as usual manages to shoot a few arrows into the genre of realism (he once described realism as a "vampire that refuses to die" at a Corcoran lecture on realism), plus articles by Nicolas Penny, who is a is curator of sculpture at the National Gallery of Art; an article by Mary D. Garrard, professor emerita at American University; and a somewhat suspicious piece (that I think Camille Paglia would have fun with) by James M. Saslow, a professor of art history and theater at Queens College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York, and the author of "Pictures and Passion: A History of Homosexuality in the Visual Arts."

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