Tuesday, August 31, 2004

I'll be all day at the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities taking part in the Advisory Panel looking at the individual artists' grants.

Come back later tonight.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Pilfered from AJ:

A British janitor accidentally threw away a "work of art" at the Tate Britain exhibition in London.

garbage as art The trashbag bag was filled with discarded paper and cardboard and it was part of a work by Gustav Metzger, said to demonstrate the "finite existence" of art.

Read the story here.

I say, let's hire this guy as a curator and have him clean a few of our museums...

DC Artist Marsha Stein Steps in with Proposal for City Museum

Recently, the Washington Post has been reporting on the woes of the new City Museum of Washington DC. Area artist Marsha Stein responds with the following letter to the Washington Post's Chief Art Critic, Blake Gopnik:
"Hi Blake,

How are you? It appears as if we're finding ourselves on the same page.

After I read the story about The City Museum reported by Jacqueline Trescott, I phoned the special events coordinator at the museum, Elizabeth Dreux. I met Elizabeth at a meeting of artists participating in the Funky Furniture exhibit. I told her about the art project that evolved from your "Getting Cute" article and she loved it. She put me in touch with a project coordinator to get it rolling.

Let me elaborate on the original description. I'm picturing around five teams of artists from different venues. They can be of various disciplines to include music, et al. It seems as if the best way to make the selections would be curators, gallery owners and renowned aesthetes. As I said before, W/PAC, Art-O-Matic, Eastern Market, the co-ops and Numark, Zenith or any galleries who wish to step up will make suggestions. The requirement is that every artist shows and sells in DC. The team members must be capable of working on a team.

I would like each artist to receive $5,000 for the time and work. I will participate as a facilitator rather than team member to keep the "heart" of the challenge. A $2,000 fund for each team will be available to purchase supplies and accessories. A documentarian will film the first meeting when the artists come to the table with their concepts.

Since the exhibit will be at City Museum, the theme will be relating to Washington, D.C. I do not think this is too constraining. This is an exercise for the artists and a real challenge in terms of blending the art or having it make a statement by parts to the whole. The next documentation can take place when the process is under way at the invitation of each team. After the agreed upon time period for completion (three months?), the exhibit is mounted. Some of the film can be shown, but the art is not identified by team. When the public votes, they are encouraged to elaborate. This is great visuals for TV as well as fodder for the newspaper critics. When the fun of counting and discussing the vote is completed, the "winner" is announced. The next activity is an auction and, of course, we will have a lovely film for art education.

Back to the place where we're on the same page....Wouldn't this be a great way to get this city and The DC City Museum on the map in terms of innovation?

Be proactive, Blake. OK, by your standards, it's not "pure" creation from the soul of a trusted artist. Maybe they won't all be geniuses, but think what will happen if there are two or more who really have chemistry.

I'd like to see those sparks! It's enticing, it's fun, it's intelligent and it's not the same old dry DC. Yes, people want something to look at. I want to push forward with the making of art. I believe that artists have the capacity to stimulate one another just as musicians do. It doesn't surprise us that an ensemble is inspired by one another. Why can't visual artists have the same opportunity to play together?

You may wonder why I'm pushing you for this. The Washington Post is our main news source. Most Washingtonians pick it up every day. Does everything have to be politics and "Who's Who?" This is for everyone who is not a political junkie, or gives a damn about a lot of people who have no connection to DC except for the White House.

Both of my parents were born and raised in DC. I recently returned after living in the Virgin Islands, Italy and California. I know how it feels to live where art is alive. It's asleep here. Let's wake it up. It takes an artist to make a dream come to life.

Your friend,

Marsha Stein"
As "fuzzy" as it is initially, I fully support Stein's idea and proposal, as I will any new idea or proposal to advance our area's visual arts. I am not sure exactly what she is asking of Blake Gopnik, other than for Gopnik to be "proactive," which I guess means that she hopes that Gopnik will write and endorse the project? Stein also has the following words aimed directly to area artists:
"Hi artists et al:

We are getting the ball rolling on the art challenge. The Post has indicated that they are considering to publish this letter. If they are kind enough to let me know what day, I will forward that info.

I have been advised by a project coordinator (fund raiser) that the next appropriate step to take is a meeting of interested parties. We need to schedule a meeting for some time in September.

For those of you for which this is "new news," feel free to answer this and ask questions. I am at Eastern Market every Sunday. For me and a few of the others, a meeting on Sunday evening near Eastern Market would work.

I am looking for artists who are interested in participating, but I don't want to put out a call as of yet. The money that I am proposing is significant enough so that most artists will want to do this. The artists who are in this mailing are in the loop on the project. Others of you are from the venues that I mentioned in the letter. I have been including the press in many of my communications because the origin of this competition came from a news article.

I need a meeting of about 10 people. Please respond to this e-mail. Thanks!

Marsha Stein"
Any DCARTNEWS readers who are interested in supporting this effort should contact Marsha Stein directly. I would also recommend that Stein should apply for a DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities City Arts Projects Grant, where the City Museum would be eligible for a $15,000 grant for this project. Having been on the Advisory Panel to DCAH's City Arts Projects for many years, I suspect it would be easily funded, as there are usually few visual arts proposals in the City Arts Projects category.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

OPTIONS 2005 Biennial

The WPA\C has announced that Philip Barlow has been named curator for the spring OPTIONS 2005 Biennial. The curator is already busy scouring the region for emerging artists.

Since 1981, the OPTIONS exhibition has featured some of the region's brightest and most talented emerging artists. OPTIONS 2005 will be the eleventh inception of this critically acclaimed biennial exhibit.

This year's curator is a local collector of contemporary art focusing on artists in the Washington, DC area. Philip serves on the Board of Directors of the District of Columbia Arts Center and is the chair of DCAC's Visual Arts Committee. He has served on the Steering Committee for the last two Art-O-Matics. He has also been featured in an article on young collectors in the Washington Post Magazine.

If you would like to send the curator a link to your website or jpeg images of your work for consideration, email him here.

Jeffry Cudlin has an excellent review in the current issue of the WCP about the Georges Rouault exhibition at the Phillips Collection.

Cudlin manages to make Rouault sound semi-interesting. I must admit that Rouault has never been a favorite of mine; in fact he's one of those boring painters whose abuse of the subject matter may have been his only redeeming virtue.

Cudlin elegantly writes:
"Brilliant color and implacable, literal ugliness here make a jarring combination, and the result is a painting that manages to be both overworked and underrealized. Yes, the title indicates that this image is meant to be iconic, but the piece sits uncomfortably between worlds, smacking of urgent sensation while clearly meant to indicate no mere physical encounter."

Friday, August 27, 2004

The Maryland Art Place (MAP) in Baltimore announces its 19th Annual Critics’ Residency Program. The deadline for the application materials (available at www.mdartplace.org) must be delivered to MAP by 5pm August 31, 2004.

Selected artists will participate in studio visits with New York art critic, Franklin Sirmans, and the selected writers during one weekend in October 2004. Also, selected writers will accompany Sirmans during these studio visits and participate in writing workshops. Throughout the program, all participants will engage in dialogues with each other and during the concluding exhibition and Forum in April, will expand that discussion with each other and the community.

Franklin Sirmans is MAP’s 19th Annual Critic in Residence. Sirmans was invited to participate as the critic and curator in this unique opportunity for artists and writers. An independent curator, freelance writer, editor and lecturer based in New York City, Sirmans is the former US editor of Flash Art and Editor-in-Chief of Art Asia Pacific magazines. He has published widely, including The New York Times, Art in America, and Artnews, and has curated exhibitions in Europe, Asia and North America. These exhibitions include: One Planet Under a Groove, (co-curator: Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Spelman College Art Gallery, Atlanta; Museum Villa Stuck, Munich); A Moment’s Notice (Houston), Americas Remixed (Milan), Mass Appeal (Ottawa, Montreal, Halifax), Rumors of War, New Wave, Paradise 8 (co-curator, Exit Art) among many others.

For more information, contact Lisa Lewenz (email her here) or call her at 410-962-8565.

The Mexican Cultural Institute, located in one of Washington's most beautiful buildings and boasting a really good exhibition space, will exhibit The Dream of Earth: 21st Century Tendencies in Mexican Sculpture, a collection of sculptures by six renowned Mexican contemporary clay sculptors: Gerardo Azcúnaga, Adriana Margáin, Javier Marín, Miriam Medrez, Maribel Portela and Paloma Torres.

The exhibit will be held from September 14th through November 24th. The Institute is located on 2829 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Los Angeles Center For Digital Art Call for Artists...

Deadline for entries: September 5, 2004

LACDA announces an open call for their un-juried show featuring digital art and photography: "Snap to Grid."

All entries will be printed (8.5"x11" on Epson heavyweight matte paper) and shown in their gallery arranged in a grid. Note to artists: This is an open competition, which means exactly that: ALL entries will be accepted and shown.

Entrants submit one JPEG file of original work. All styles of 2D artwork and photography where digital processes of any kind were integral to the creation of the images are acceptable. Digital video stills and screen shots of web/new media are acceptable.

Prior to and after the exhibition the images and artist information will be available to gallery visitors to view in their artist portfolios. Prints can be made available to buyers on an as needed basis. Artwork for future exhibits will be selected from the portfolios, and will also be available for review by area gallerists, curators and arts journalists.

Show Dates: September 9-October 1, 2004 and the registration fee is $30. Submission Rules: Registration and submission are done through their web site only. File uploads are the only accepted submissions and are maximum of 2MB each and not exceed 1024x768 pixels in dimensions.

For official announcement, click here and for submission follow this link.

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District invites everyone to The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards exhibition featuring the competition’s finalists.

The finalists' works will be displayed at Creative Partners Gallery, 4600 East-West Highway, Bethesda. Fifteen finalists compete for $14,000 in prize money; The Best in Show winner $10,000; 2nd place $2,000; 3rd place $1,000. A "Young Artist" whose birth date is after June 2, 1974 will also be awarded $1000 that the Fraser Gallery sponsors. Gallery Hours: Tue-Sat, 12-6pm. 301-215-6660.

Congratulations to the fifteen finalists: Marci Branagan, Baltimore, MD; Graham Caldwell, Washington, D.C.; Annet Couwenberg, Baltimore, MD; Susan Eder & Craig Dennis, Falls Church, VA; Suzanna Fields, Richmond, VA; Bernhard Hildebrandt, Baltimore, MD; Brandon Morse, Takoma Park, MD; David Page, Baltimore, MD; Randi Reiss-McCormack, Lutherville, MD; Marie Ringwald, Washington, D.C.; Jo Smail, Baltimore, MD; Jeff Spaulding, Bethesda, MD; Daniel Sullivan, Baltimore, MD; J. L. Stewart Watson, Baltimore, MD and John Watson, Washington, D.C.

Looking for studio space?

Affordable artists' studios at A. Salon, 6925 Willow St. NW, DC. Prices from 190 sq.ft. at $200 month to 970 sq.ft.at $1022 per month, utilities included. Shown Wednesdays 6-8pm. Call 202-882-0740. Website here and then click on A. Salon

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

This area arts activist and collector puts her money where her mouth is.

We need a lot more people like her to add to the Prize.

DCist reveals that grounds for a new area museum was broken last week.

It is the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame Museum.

While Jackie Robinson was the first African American player to play in the U.S. Major Leagues, and a true hero and trailblazer, I submit that this player was the first man of African ancestry to play in the US Major Leagues. He has been all but ignored by historians and his significant sacrifices and accomplishments remain in the dustbins of baseball history.

His debut, with the Washington Senators, was in 1935.

J.T. Kirkland reviews Conner Contemporary's Academy 2004.

A few days ago I visited the Art League gallery on the first floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria.

The Art League is our area's largest arts organization (and one of the largest in the world), with several thousand artist members. This year they are celebrating their 50th anniversary; Congratulations! To join the Art League, click here.

But I went to catch their annual International Landscape Show, which this year was juried by Prof. Richard Crozier, from the McIntire Dept. of Art at the University of Virginia. Crozier selected 179 works for exhibition from a set of 709 pieces submitted by artists for his review. Crozier is also the author of the book Inventing the Landscape: From Plein Air Study to Studio Painting.

The genre of landscape art, which belongs mostly within the painting genre of the visual arts, has all but disappeared from contemporary art, where I submit the word "contemporary" has been kidnapped by those who dwell in the rarified upper crust of the arts world. In fact, I cannot recall the last time that I saw a contemporary landscape painting show in any of our area museums, although they are still quite common in independent commercial fine arts galleries here and there.

Landscape photography, for some reason, has escaped the total aversion shown by curators and critics to other forms of landscape art, and in fact, many of today's famous Teutonic surnamed photographers, with their gigantic, and mostly boring photographs adorning empty museums, could be categorized as landscape photographers.

But if your personal tastes draw you towards landscape art in general (and of a more intimate size), including painting, then there's no better show around this area than the Art League's annual landscape show.

Crozier awarded the Jay & Helen Risser Award to Drema Apperson for a piece titled "Spring Creeps Up the Mountain: May, Germany Vallery, West Virginia," while the Potomac Valley Watercolorists award went to Sidney Platt for a piece titled "Shadow Play," and the Washington Society of Landscape Painters award went to Audrey Hopkins for a piece titled "October Light."

According the Crozier, the award to "Spring Creeps Up the Mountain: May, Germany Vallery, West Virginia" was chosen because "of the artist's attention to specifics without a lot of detail. It represents a real experience."

For the other two award winning paintings, Crozier said that "Shadow Play" and "October Light" both "possess a really strong sense of light and work as abstract pieces. To accomplish both is difficult to pull off."

Maybe it is my personal dislike to the Teutonic-sized photographs that we are being force fed in general by many of our museum photography curators, but one of my favorite pieces in this show was a lovely small photograph by Peggy Fleming titled "Delphini, Syros Island, Greece." I like the intimacy of being drawn in to a piece, and being required to look at it closely, rather than the twenty foot stare required by the contemporary posterization and gigantization of photography. Like Dali said: "If you can't paint well, then paint big."

Another lovely landscape was an oil by Sara Poly titled "One Moment in Time." I've been observing Poly gain mastery over the media for several years now, and she has clearly conquered the many technical nuances of oil painting and has now begun to flex her creative muscles and offers us pieces that not only employ forbidden technical virtuosity but also a keen creative mind and interesting compositional perspectives to offer more than a "recreation" of a pretty landscape.

Other pieces that I enjoyed were Trisha Adams' oil titled "Potomac Sunset," which shows many of the attributes I used for Poly's entry, Angela Muller's photo titled "Kansas Wheatfield" and Nancy Wallace's oil "Stable Destination."

The exhibition is on display until September 6, 2004.

Art jobs

The Textile Museum in DC invites applications for the position of Director. Primary responsibilities reflect the Museum's strategic priorities: programming that promotes public appreciation of the textile arts; expansion of local, national, and international audiences; and fundraising to address current and future needs.

Qualifications: knowledgeable and enthusiastic about arts, textiles and cultural history; ability to envision and articulate exciting, innovative programming; 6-8 years senior-level administrative experience, including strategic planning and fundraising, in museum or comparable organization; outstanding communications skills to interact effectively with diverse internal and external constituencies. Advanced degree preferred.

Full position announcement available at this website.

Apply to:
Director Search Committee
The Textile Museum
2320 S Street, NW
Washington, DC 20008 or searchcommittee@textilemuseum.org

Several other good job openings here.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Rob Goodspeed, at DCist is looking for DC photobloggers and or any unusual or newsworthy DC-centric photo.

By the way, DCist is already a must read for all of interested in what's going on around our capital area.

Their first photoblogger is Justin Florentine, who has a very cool photoBLOG site.

Art dealer caught selling fake Dalis.

So what else is new?

Opportunities for artists

The George and Helen Segal Foundation.

Deadline: October 1, 2004

The George and Helen Segal Foundation is accepting applications for grants ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 for painters only. Applications may be found on the Foundation's website or you may contact the Segal Foundation, 136 Davidson's Mill Rd., N Brunswick, NJ 08902.

"Women On War": The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum

Deadline: September 30, 2004

The National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum is seeking submissions for "Women On War," an exhibit of artwork that reflects the experiences of the women who have participated in America's wars and how those experiences have changed their lives.

Women from all branches of the military and support organizations, such as the Red Cross and USO, who served in a theater of war are invited. "Women On War" will open on Veterans' Day November 11, 2004 at the National Vietnam Veterans Art Museum, Chicago IL.

Artwork may be in any medium, including painting, photography, fiber art, video, performance art, poetry, stories or any method to express yourself and tell your story. Please submit images of your work on CD, photo, videotape, or slides to:
Women On War Curator
1801 S. Indiana Ave.
Chicago, IL 60616

Include description, medium, size, and date work was created. On slides please put your name and a red dot on the lower left-hand corner. Please include a copy of your DD214 or other documentation that substantiates your service, along with a short biography and a photo of yourself (preferably taken in country if available).

The art committee will also review images posted on websites upon receipt of required documentation. All entries must be at the museum by September 30, 2004 and artwork selected from images must arrive by October 20, 2004. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope if you want your submissions returned. For additional information, please contact: Jerry Kykiisz NVVAM General Manager by email: jk@nvvam.org or phone: (312) 326-0270, or Mike Helbing NVVAM Curator by email: mh@nvvam.org

Sinclair Community College (SCC) in Ohio is seeking proposals for the 2006 exhibition season.

Deadline: November 1, 2004.

SCC has two separate, professionally designed galleries, including one dedicated to photography-based work. Exhibits are scheduled on a 4-6 week rotation. Send 10 slides, a slide list with sizes and media, resume, artist statement, and S.A.S.E. to the address below. SCC provides return shipping or an honorarium to defray return travel expenses. For further information, write to:

Cindy Tiedemann
Gallery Coordinator
Sinclair Community College
444 W. 3rd St.
Dayton, Ohio 45402-1460

Email: cindy.tiedemann@sinclair.edu

Monday, August 23, 2004

DCAC Gallery's Call For Artists!

Please send 8-10 slides or a CD of images, along with a resume, artist statement, and a stamped return envelope (for slide return) to:

Karey Kessler
Gallery Manager
District of Columbia Arts Center
2438 18th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009

A Visual Arts Committee made up of selected curators, the gallery manager, and the director of DCAC will work together to review the slides.

Teaching Opportunity for Artists

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) is working with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to bring after school art programs to selected MCPS elementary schools located in Silver Spring, Wheaton and Gaithersburg.

The AHCMC is seeking proposals from artists or arts organizations interested in teaching as part of this program. Individual artists must live in Montgomery County or be associated with a Montgomery County based art organization. Artists of all kinds are being sought, including actors, visual artists, dancers, musicians, and writers. Artists must be over the age of 21 to be eligible. Background checks including fingerprinting will be required.

Artists will teach twice a week for one hour immediately after school. There will be both a fall and a spring session, and artists are encouraged to apply for either or both of these sessions. The fall session will begin the week of October 11 and continue through the week of December 6, 2004 for a total of eight weeks. The spring session will run for ten weeks, beginning the week of February 28 and continuing through the week of May 9. Individual classes will be no larger than fifteen students. Classes will be held separately for children in 1st through 2nd grades and 3rd through 5th grades.

Participating artists are required to attend training sessions to be held from 10 am to 4 PM, October 2 (change of date), and from 7 to 9 PM on October 19. Artists will be paid additionally for this training at a rate of $20 per hour. The training will focus on connecting the academic curriculum with the after school arts program. Learning objectives to be addressed may include the following skills: recognizing cause and effect, making predictions, understanding numbers and computation, problem solving, conflict resolution and building self-esteem. Previous teaching experience, which may include school residencies or after school programs, is required.

STIPEND: Artists will receive a stipend for teaching. The stipend is intended to cover the cost of the artist/teacher salary, any assistance the artist may wish to hire, and all supplies and materials needed to conduct the class.

Stipend for the eight-week fall 2004 class: $1,200.

Stipend for the ten-week spring 2005 class: $1,500.

APPLICATIONS INFO: Call or email Nancy Sausser, Arts in Education Director/AHCMC at 301-565-3805, aie@creativemoco.com or Peggy Feeney, Project Specialist, 21st Century/MCPS at 301-230-0660, Margaret_Feeney@mcps.md.org.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

A couple of days ago I dropped by Adams Morgan to catch the "Wall Mountables Show" at the District of Columbia Arts Center.

Once a year, DCAC has an open call to artists. The gallery gets divided into 1460 squares, each measuring two square feet and then any artist (on a first-come-first-served basis) can buy wall space in the gallery in any of the 1460 2 feet x 2 feet exhibit squares. Each space is only $10 for DCAC non-members and $5 for DCAC members and each artist can purchase up to five spaces.

Sort of like a mini Art-O-Matic, but nobody slams it for being "open" and "democratic." And that's good, because DCAC is one of the great cultural jewels in our city.

And thus, I reveal my cards early: I like DCAC and all that it stands for, making objective criticism very difficult, but then again I don't think any critic is truly objective. Agendas may be hidden, disguised, or even sub-consciously unknown, but they are all there.

But I meander.

To quote Glenn Dixon... "Like any summertime grab bag...

Sorry, I couldn't resist.

Like any open show, where anything and everything is hung, these shows are truly a democratic grab bag. There is some really good work (as seen from the perspective of an artist (which most critics are not, although there some), and a gallery-owner (which most critics are not) and critic (which most critics are... uh...)) and some abysmal work - seen from two of the three perspectives that can't be fooled (one is easily fooled).

The worst entry in this show is a puzzling entry by an artist who also has a couple of other decent pieces hanging. It's by Kristina Bilonick (in collaboration with Rob Gardner) and it is titled "At A Glance." It's an used sheet from those "At A Glance" desk calendars, but filled in with scribbles and things. For one post-modernist second, in some rarified New York super cool gallery, by some blue chip artist (or Damien Hirst) this would have been a subject of oohs and aahs. In this exhibition and context it comes across as a waste of space.

Don't get me wrong Kristina and Rob - there are quite a few really bad pieces of art in the show - Arlene Mester's childlike drawings on lined paper come to mind (unless she's actually a teenage girl doodling in High School, in which case they're not really awful bad, just .... bad. And Dav Idanthro Nysmith's (winner of the coolest name in the show) entry of an empty frame that just shows the backing board cardboard as the "art," came in a close second.

To me these works seemed weak because they came across as lazy; the sort of work that college art students turn in at the last minute when they realize that the quarterly art project is due and they haven't actually done anything (been there - done that).

There are some really big names in this show, people like Manon Cleary, Graham Caldwell and Dan Steinhilber.

Cleary, who lives around the corner, shows one of her trademark floral paintings, surreally beautiful in an art world where that word is often diminished. But let's not forget that this is the same powerful painter who painted her own rape. I like her piece in this show (titled "Exotic Bloom # 2") because it shows the tremendous delicacy of skill that Cleary abundantly possesses and that is so rare these days. There are at least four or five other painters in this show that attempt to paint similar subject matter and fail miserably.

I also liked Steinhilber's piece, which is a large red dot made up of smaller stick-on red dots. I liked it because of the clever use of the red dot to convey a visual idea and a concept. The red dot is used by gallerists to denote a sold work of art.

piece by JT KirklandJ.T. Kirkland has several interesting pieces in the show, and I must admit, that after seeing Kirkland expose his work at his most excellent BLOG, that I was somewhat expecting to see work like this.

Instead I found several interesting exploratory works that really show Kirkland's interest in researching surface and color - a path taken (in fact a requirement I submit) by most young artists. The works on display, especially the untitled piece (people - please title your work! Learn to title from Barnett Newman) that has a blue color as the dominant color, with reddish edges and marked by a series of drilled holes; I quite liked because it was both visually appealing, technically well done and it showed an artist exploring his interest in texture.

I also liked Franklin Wassmer acrid trompe l'oeil paintings, which go past just faux paintings by introducing acrid pop art colors as background, which instead of being distracting from the false sense of reality (or as Blake Gopnik calls it "illusionism") add a sense of a painter who is armed with well-honed painting skills and is now having fun with color.

I was somewhat attracted to Erin Hunter's "Moon Over a Keen City," until I realized that Hunter is either regurgigating or channeling Erik Sandberg, but lacks Sandberg's brilliant painting skills.

Andrea Haffner's "Twin Set 4" cleverly uses two small images of body parts to re-assemble them in a visual re-organizing that makes the final piece quite interesting in a very intimate way. It's perhaps the most elegant use of the space in the show and the best photograph.

I'm running out of steam...

Other notables are Graham Caldwell's glass sculpture from (I think) his "Entanglement" series, and Dan Randall's oil depicting his continuous obsession with airplanes and Linn Myers' entry - another one of her squiggly lines series.

In a very clear sense, what this show delivers is an excellent opportunity for area artists and collectors to both support a great asset to our city's visual arts tapestry and also for artists to exhibit their work.

The worst place for artwork (even the ones I didn't like) is in the artist's studio or home, and thus not being shown to the public. I encourage all of you out there to become DCAC members and show at next year's version of this show.

While I was at DCAC, several people came in and viewed the exhibition. It was, as it always is, a terrific lesson about the trite but true saying "art is in the eyes of the beholder," as I always discover -- as I listen to people discuss the art-- that we humans have an incredible range of what we like or don't like, and some of the artwork that I didn't like and discussed earlier, was clearly the favorite of some of the visitors.

This grab bag had loads of different presents for all of us.

Munch the ScreamPilfered from AJ:

One of the most famous paintings in the world has been stolen in broad daylight at gun point in Norway.

A second story here.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

The Latin American Cultural Space has an excellent program called "One and a Half Program for Emerging Artists," that often organizes shows at the Consulate of El Salvador.

Its next show at the Consulate will be new work by Trinindad Coopman, whose show is titled "Past and Present" and opens on August 27 with a reception from 6-8 PM. The exhibition closes on September 12. The Consulate is located at 1724 20th STreet, NW near the Dupont Circle Metro station.

GWU graduate Nina Chung Dwyer, who as a student exhibited in both Conner Contemporary's and our past area student shows, has a solo at the Artist's Gallery in Frederick, Maryland from 3-26 September with an opening reception on September 4, from 5-8 PM. By the way, on the first Saturday of the month, Frederick holds a gallery walk during which the town welcomes gallery viewers with visual art, music and food.

Zenith Gallery has a new show opening September 10 to October 17 of new work by Sica, whose work Zenith has represented for over two decades. Opening receptions to meet the artist are September 17, from 6 - 9pm (this event to include music by Patrick Collins and dance by Linden Holt) and September 18 from 1 - 4pm.

work by Ginny RuffnerPerhaps the best fine art glass focused gallery in the world, the Maurine Littleton Gallery in Georgetown will present new mixed media sculptures by Ginny Ruffner. This exhibition will feature diverse examples of Ms. Ruffner's art. The show has been timed to coincide with The Flowering Tornado: Art by Ginny Ruffner, a traveling exhibition of the artist's work, organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, opening at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia September 30, 2004 through January 16, 2005. Ruffner's exhibition dates are October 5 - 20, 2004, with an opening reception to meet the artist on October 3 from 5-7 PM.

Friday, August 20, 2004

John Rockwell writes today in the New York Times Arts section:
"A lot of art, especially of the past, has set out to be beautiful; a lot of art, especially of the present, has set out to be ugly... And yet there has been a kind of semi-guilty underground cult of beauty that has persisted through our ugly times.

...Art moves in cycles, reacting against what came just before. Maybe some of us have grown weary of being hectored by films, by flashy images and loud music and conventional stories, however well told, that dictate what we should be feeling. At least some of us, at least occasionally, downright crave an antidote in the form of pure beauty."
I think that the Arts Editor of the NYT may be a closet mossback!

Thanks AJ!

Swedish cowOur "public art" pandas are getting vandalized, one has even been stolen, but as Tracy Lee points out, in Sweden (where they have cows instead of pandas as public art), some local Stockholm artists have taken matters into their own hands and kidnapped one and are staging a protest.

There are 68 more fiber-glass cows grazing on pavements, squares and in shop-windows all around Stockholm.

The cows are part of Cowparade and the concept and cows are apparently traveling all over the world. Website here.

Thanks to the several readers who emailed me with a definition of "mossback."
1. An old shellfish or turtle with a growth of algae on its back.
2. An old, large, or sluggish fish.
3. An extremely conservative or old-fashioned person.
So, I'm definately a mossback!

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Glenn Dixon is back to his old self (I think) and is a bit more opinionated and sarcastic in these mini reviews in today's Post, although he mixes it up with a couple of plain, "descriptive" reviews as well. Dixon is at his best when he expresses an opinion and thus reveals his art personality in his writing.

J.T. Kirkland also has a few words on Dixon over at Thinking About Art.

I would like someone to email me and explain what Dixon means by a "mossback" when he writes:
"Like any summertime grab bag, Conner Contemporary's survey of work by local art grads is hit-or-miss. The scruffy portraiture of J. Jordan Bruns and the fluorescent-lit interiors of Matt Klos will gratify only mossbacks who feared the academy had stopped teaching academic painting. But video artist Annie Schap steals the show. In "Say It With Feeling," she stabs a can of Miller and effortfully sucks the beer out of the side of the can, capping her performance with a burped "I love you" that blurs the line between emotional and physical stress. "Love Hurts Hands," in which Nazareth's deathless power ballad is spelled out line by line across the artist's knuckles, biker-tattoo-style, is the best music video I've seen in five years. It analyzes the cynical, seductive language of pop in a way that only reinforces its hold on the imagination."
He's obviously disliking Bruns and Klos' works because they're well-done, representational work (and thus academic)... and that's his right as a critic and person to join the tired tradition of contemporary critics disliking representational paintings (or painting period), but he lost me with the adjective "mossback" to describe people who like a well executed painting.

Perhaps it is a quaint, local term? Or is the word's meaning the antonym of a "rolling stone gathers no moss" saying?

I think that I am a mossback, so I'd like to know what it means...

DCist is a new online resource about DC, and they have a good posting about the Blake Gopnik idea first discussed here last Sunday.

More about DCist here.

Other good comments from Erik's Rants here and also from Greg.org here.

Today is the Third Thursday of the month, and thus the downtown galleries have their extended hours.

The exhibition at Flashpoint sounds specially interesting. It's called "Sensory Overload" and it is a Multi-media Performance and Preview of the DC Sonic Circuits Festival. It is a fundraiser for Flashpoint, and it starts at 8 PM and there's a $10 donation.

The night will feature live dance performances, painting, performance art and laptop-based sound processing. Performers include Marni Leikin - Visual/performance art, Jane Pingleton Evans (Visual/performance art), Amber King (Visual art), Jane Jerardi (Choreography/dance), Scott Allison (Laptop sound and video art), Doug Wolf (Laptop sound and video art), Derek Morton (Laptop sound and video art) and Rebecca Mills (Laptop sound and video art).

And then, tomorrow is the third Friday of August and the Canal Square Galleries will have their new openings, from 6-9 PM.

See ya there!

Spent around 17 hours in line yesterday with my daughter Elise, who is visiting from Gig Harbor, Washington. She tried out for American Idol. I had intended to drop her off at the Convention Center, but as she's only 17 I had to stay with her all day.

Thus the lack of any postings yesterday.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Please, pluuuuuzheee! go and read this cartoon!

Thanks AJ!

American University is looking to hire a Curator for their new Art Gallery.

The American University, College of Arts and Sciences announces an open position for Curator of the art gallery at the new Katzen Arts Center. This position will be responsible for artistic and creative direction of the gallery including: overall planning for gallery collections, collection development, conservation, management, operations, and exhibitions and programming.

Duties include coordinating press and public relations, seeking donations for art collections, assisting in capital fundraising, working with academic units to integrate students and curricula into gallery operations, developing proposals for program enrichment, and planning for the opening of the Katzen Arts Center.

Qualifications required include graduate degree in art history or related field, PhD preferred, and curatorial/exhibition experience. Salary: Commensurate with qualifications and experience.

To apply, complete an application in person or send your resume to:

American University
Office of Human Resources
4400 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20016-8054

e-mail: careers@american.edu.
Fax: 202-885-1737.

Applicants may also download an application from this web site.

Virginia Commission for the Arts is looking for a Program Coordinator.

Deadline: September 14, 2004.

Description: Grants Administration. Work with arts organizations, local governments, and artists in preparing applications for funding. Coordinate application review process by helping to recruit advisory panelists, preparing applications and supporting information for review by the panelists, and responding to applicants on funding decisions. Monitor reporting by grantees. Revise application and report forms for use by grantees as needed. Code grantee activity in agency database.

Public Information: Provide information to artists, arts organizations, and the general public on programs and services of the Commission through meetings, the telephone, and public appearances. Write and distribute press releases on Commission activities. Maintain lists of artists and arts organizations. Represent the Commission at conferences and meetings.

Agency Planning: Track and report to the Executive Director on trends in the arts around the state on an on-going basis. Assist in long and short range planning for the agency. Assist in evaluating agency services.

Special Projects: Conduct annual orientation for performers in Tour Directory. Assist Executive Director on special projects.

Qualifications: Knowledge of the arts. Strong written and oral communications skills. Understanding of effective management practices in the arts. Administrative skills. Talent for diplomacy, tact, and good judgement. Two or more years of work experience in the arts. Undergraduate degree or equivalent training in the arts or arts administration; graduate degree preferred. Ability and willingness to travel.

Salary: $30,000 - $40,000. To apply send resume and cover letter to:

Peggy Baggett
Executive Director
Virginia Commission for the Arts
223 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219

Or email peggy.baggett@arts.virginia.gov.

Opportunities for Artists

The Gunk Foundation is interested in supporting projects that make it out of the museum, gallery, and alternative spaces and into the spaces of daily life.

"We want work that is shown in the spaces of public transportation, city streets, or work places and is seen by people 'outside' of the art and academic worlds. We are also interested in work that catches one by surprise -- the audience may not plan to be an audience (like planning to go see a performance) but is one inadvertently (the performance happens on the street on their way to work) and non-traditional, thought-provoking public work that is site specific: i.e. the context in which it is seen is essential to its meaning. It is our belief that work that is site specific and that cuts into the space of everyday life will have the most profound effect on politicizing the public realm."

Grants are provided for "works" of art (not, for example, art festivals, group exhibitions or general operating support for public art organizations). Two cycles yearly; postmark deadlines April 30 and October 31. Visit their site for criteria and to read about funded work: www.gunk.org.

Kokoro Studio Retreat Center - Vermont.

Applications accepted on an ongoing basis. Located in the foothills of the Green Mountains, offers artists a retreat space with an open studio environment. Open to visual artists, writers, theater artists, and all other disciplines. To request a brochure contact: Kokoro Studio Retreat Center, RR1, Box 192, Castleton, VT 05735. For more information, call (802) 273-2278; Fax: (802) 273-3402; or email: kokoro@sover.net.

World Studio Foundation - New York

WSF provides scholarships to minority and economically disadvantaged students who are studying the design and/or arts disciplines in American colleges and universities. Among the Foundation's primary aims are to increase diversity in the creative professions, and to foster social responsibility in the artists and designers of tomorrow. To this end, scholarship recipients are selected not only for their ability and their need, but also for their demonstrated commitment to giving back to the larger community. For more info call, (212)366-1317, ext. 18. Fax:(212) 807-0024. Website: www.worldstudio.org.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Tyler Green, over at Modern Art Notes, doesn't think that the Blake Gopnik WCP idea will fly.

Elyse Harrison, owner and director of Neptune Gallery in Bethesda has an exhibition of her mixed media sculptures at Neptune from August 12-21.

Usable Quotes for Artists (and their succubi: art critics)

"Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing."
Salvador Dali

"The future will soon be a thing of the past."
George Carlin

"God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant, the ant. He has no real style. He just goes on trying other things."
Pablo Ruiz Picasso

"Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick. They can only bring you the scores."
Tom Wolfe

"I am not a Communist..."
Fidel Castro

Sunday, August 15, 2004

I'll be the first one to admit that Blake Gopnik has shattered my almost 100% cemented opinion of him in relation to the area art scene with this excellent idea published in today's Sunday WP.

He calls for the creation of the Washington Collectors' Project. And he writes:
"Here's how it would work: A consortium of the city's best collectors of contemporary art would come together to make their art available for exhibition. They would find a modest, white-cube space and invite independent curators to fill it with selections from their holdings."
My kudos to Blake for a great idea! And I agree that such a project "might even set an example that could get other well-heeled Washingtonians purchasing contemporary art."

Of course, we'd all get into an immediate and fun argument as to what "contemporary" means. To Blake it's obviously at least Arbus, Judd and Hirst - names that a lot of young curators and collectors may already find old and quaintly traditional -- that's what happens when one endorses the "new" rather than what's good. To some, Arbus, Judd and Hirst may already belong in the company of the Matisses and Oldenburgs.

It's a great idea, although Blake shows his inexperience in the business aspect of running an art space if he considers that the "cost would be minimal." A key to it would be a free space (rent is the killer for most art galleries and institutions), but heating and cooling costs, added to the astronomical cost of insuring artwork, plus the cost of printing materials, plus the cost of publicity, not to mention salaries of all involved all adds up to a substantial amount of funds just to get the place kick started - even if a dozen wealthy collectors threw in their financial backing at once.

If as Gopnik suggests, the area's embassies are involved, then perhaps an international arrangement also involving finances could be included!

Let's say that the concept of operations, as suggested by Gopnik, could be to include the embassies to help bring international curators to the WCP - why not then perhaps expand the concept to have one quarter of the exhibition program be dedicated to international exhibits and tie that to financial assistance from the culture ministers at Embassy Row? This will demand careful scrutiny, as it could be borderline "vanity" curating, but I am sure the kinks could be worked out.

A few years ago a small European nation forked over four million dollars to a local area museum to showcase one of their artists. That was almost downright "vanity museum show" but it implies that there exist financial resources that (if ethically approached) could be used to help finance a WCP.

Another way for the WCP to possibly raise funds would be for the project to develop a really good website presence that also offered contemporary artwork in an online auction venue, where collectors and other donors (artists) could put their work for a hands-free auction to a worldwide audience and give the WCP a normal auction house cut (15%) or as an outright donation. Both approaches have merit: A normal auction house cut would ensure a constant flow of works to be auctioned off, while outright donations means a full tax write-off for collectors (not artists). The auction process could involve contemporary original work by both established contemporary artists with a secondary art market record as well as emerging living artists with little exposure (and thus more affordable prices).

With the right legitimacy, an online fine art auction presence will work. While Sotheby's had its online auction presence, we, as Associate Dealers for Sothebys.com, were selling on the average around $20,000 worth of art each month by mostly area artists to collectors all over the world, seeking good, edgy, contemporary work by young, emerging artists. It can be done! Read this.

I am dumbfounded that museums or other legitimate art institutions have not tapped into this void left when Sotheby's folded its online operations (due to astounding lack of knowledge of online business practices on their part - in my opinion) that were allegedly selling one million dollars a day!

Kudos to Blake for a great idea - now it's time for the volunteers and wealthy area collectors to step forward.

I'll be glad to help - count me in!

A while back I made some comments on the subject of galleryphobia. Other similar experiences by other gallerists soon followed.

Today, as I sit in the gallery, and observe that Bethesda Plaza is once again packed with people awaiting to be called to the Original Pancake House, and yet only a few brave souls dare to enter the gallery, while dozens float back and forth attempting to view the entire exhibition through the glass walls, I am reminded of another gallery phenomenom: Bin Magnetism, also sometimes called Print Rack Magnetism.

Print Rack I've not only observed Bin Magnetism evidenced at our two galleries, but also at every single gallery that I've visited that has a floor bin (or print rack) loaded with shrink wrapped matted two dimensional work.

You know the kind; nearly every gallery has one (they usually look like this)- loaded with art work that can be purchased and (usually) taken away immediately - as opposed to the month-long permanence of the scheduled exhibitions on the walls.

Anyway, what I have observed is that there exists a phase two to galleryphobia.

Once the galleryphobia-afflicted person has received enough counseling and encouragement, and then (after a deep breath), dares to actually enter the art gallery, he or she is often immediately and irresistibly attracted by some invisible and powerful force directly to the art bin, much like a stranded swimmer making his way to a floating log in the middle of the ocean.

This is phase two of galleryphobia, hereafter referred to as Bin Magnetism.

And if the gallery happens to have more than one floor bin, then the person usually contracts a more severe and acute case of Bin Magnetism and then makes his way from art bin to art bin, as if swimming from one safe spot to another. Sometimes they work their way around the gallery that way, breathlessly going through the shrinkwrapped artwork, eyes locked onto those pieces, avoiding any eye contact with anyone else, and unfortunately often not even looking up at the exhibition actually hung on the walls before they make their way out of the gallery.

The Bin Magnetized victim can often be rescued and cured by approaching them, smiling at them and starting a light conversation. Once they get over their startled look at discovering that the gallerist is (sometimes) a human being capable of speech, the disease if usually cured on the spot.

In rare ocassions, the Bin Magnetized victim will be allergic to this proven cure and react by either fainting or running away at an Olympic clip.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

Better Home & Gardens tells us how to hang pictures in our homes.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Target Gallery, the national exhibition space of the Torpedo Factory Art Center, will host Transformed by Fire: Glass Today from September 1 through October 3, 2004. The exhibition includes pieces by 31 artists from across the United States, with 19 from the Washington, DC area. Sally Hansen, owner of The Glass Gallery in Bethesda, MD, selected all of the works on view. A reception and gallery talk will be held on Thursday, September 9, from 6-8 PM.

Congratualtions to area photographer Prescott "Scott" Lassman, whose photograph White Horse has won Third Prize at TPS 13: The National Competition, a national juried photography competition sponsored by the Texas Photographic Society and juried by Sue Brisk, editorial director at Magnum.

It's always fun to see what the art teachers are doing with their personal work. The Corcoran Faculty Biennial Exhibition opens at the Hemicycle Gallery on August 18, 2004 and runs to September 13, 2004. Opening reception on September 2,2004 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

Talking about openings, tonight is the Bethesda Art Walk from 6 - 9 PM.

Iona Rozeal BrownSarah Godfrey has a very informative and well-written profile of Iona Rozeal Brown in the current issue of the City Paper.

Brown's newest work (based on Japanese erotic prints) will be on exhibition locally at G Fine Art this coming October. She also has shows coming in New York and Los Angeles and is clearly an artist developing a major (and well-deserved) reputation. She's also a "former local artist," who graduated in 1991 from Maryland before heading out West.

Brown's success, in no small part, has been through the niche use of her imagery depicting the Japanese ganguro subculture, where Japanese youths associate with African-American culture though the use of clothing, signs, and makeup or visit tanning salons to keep their skin artificially dark.

It has been her main thoroughfare to artistic success, and over the future years, could also become her Achilles' heel if she allows her unique artistic theme to dominate her arts vision and thus expose her work to becoming Mondrianized.

And last week in the WCP, someone named Gadi Dechter had an extraordinarily informative profile of Andrew Krieger, whose work is currently on exhibition at the Corcoran.

As Dechter points out, Krieger has been relatively anonymous and quite unknown for the last 25 years, and it is only through curator Eric Denker's intimate and personal knowledge of Krieger's work (the two have known each other ince the mid-1980s, when they were working at the National Gallery of Art bookstore), that this exceptional artist's works have come to a brighter light and more focused scrutiny. Read Jessica Dawson's earlier review in the Post here.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Pilfered from AJ:

A Seattle newspaper's freelance critic writes a negative review and is then threatened with a lawsuit. When she asked the newspaper to guarantee that it would represent her should the lawsuit be made, they declined - and she quit!

Read the story here.

J.T. Kirkland, over at "Thinking About Art," has a very valid point about Glenn Dixon's first ever "Galleries" column review of Alison Clay at Numark Gallery.

J.T. writes:
"Is it too much to ask for an opinion? Sure, he's working with tight space constraints, but couldn't he say "I liked it" or "it works"? In all honesty, didn't he just re-word the press release? Wouldn't it be cheaper for the Washington Post to just print the press release of the show?"
And he's right! After reading his posting, I went back and re-read Dixon's review and Kirkland nailed him with one of (our shared) pet peeves: the "review" that describes a show rather than offering a critical opinion.

Somewhat surprising coming from Dixon, who is (in my experience) one of the most opinionated and one-sided critical writers in our area. Perhaps it is the seminal signs of the "Washingtonpostizing" of his work as opposed to the more aggressive style of writing usually employed by WCP writers.

Kirkland's own and earlier review of the same show can be read here.

Dr. Jonathan Binstock tells me that the artists for the 48th Corcoran Biennial have been selected by him and Associate Curator for Contemporary Art Stacey Schmidt.

The list will be announced soon.

But I already know that the list includes area artist and Corcoran alumni James Huckenpahler.

Huckenpahler is represented locally by Fusebox Gallery and was the Second Prize winner for last year's Trawick Prize. He is a former faculty member of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and a former member of the Washington Project for the Arts\Corcoran Advisory Board.

Huckenpahler, trained as a painter, now works primarily on a laptop. Congratulations to Huckenpahler and well deserved!

Former Washington City Paper Arts Editor (and then their former art critic), Glenn Dixon made his Washington Post Galleries column critic debut today.

Dixon reviews the National Academy of Sciences and Numark Gallery in his first column.

Elsewhere in the Post, in Arts Beat, Jonathan Padget profiles photographer Joan Marcus.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Want to have your artwork (or nearly any image for that matter) on a U.S. Postal stamp?

Photo Stamps allows anyone (within certain constraints) to make up and put nearly any image into an official United States stamp! I can already imagine the explosion of artwork that we will begin to see soon adorning and paying for snail mail letters as this service develops and catches on.

This will be hell for stamp collectors to keep up with!

And thanks to AJ for this related Wired article on the subject.

I can already visualize some exhibition somewhere in the future of artist-designed stamps.

Thanks to painter Pat Goslee, who emailed me this jewel of a link: Overheard at Art Shows.

A few years ago, I was at an opening for Catriona Fraser's photographs, which are B&W Infrared landscapes of Scotland, when I overheard a young man tell his date: "WOW! I didn't know everything in Scotland was black and white!"

John Blee, who is a very talented area painter, and gallerist-in-charge at Spectrum Gallery in Georgetown, as well as the galleries art critic for The Georgetowner has an exhibition of recent paintings opening this coming Friday the 13th at One World, located at 14th and S Street, NW in DC. Opening reception from 7-8:30 PM.

Art.com allows artists to post up to 16 images of their work and sell them at no cost or commission. Go here for more details.

They also have a Call for Artists for a Special "The Impact of War" Online Exhibition. It is being curated by D. Dominick Lombardi, who is an Art Critic for The New York Times. There is no cost to artists and the work can be for sale. Details here.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

If you haven't seen the new Olympic mascots for the Athens Games, be ready for two of the dumbest mascot designs in the already stupifying world history of mascot imagery.

Nearly 200 design entries were submitted when Athens Olympic Games' organizers put out the artists' call for prospective mascots. The winning creatures were created by a team of six. And this is what happens when you design by committee.

See them here.

Those crazy Brits...

This "guerrilla artist" covertly cemented a 20 foot-tall statute into a London square. The monument, called "Trust No-one", was said to have cost £22,000 to construct, was made of solid bronze and weighed three-and-a-half tons! The local city council wasn't too amused and had it removed a couple of days later.

Read the story here.

Thinking About Art has a really good posting about DCAC's Wall Mountables Show, which is on exhibit until August 22. I'm going to be reviewing this show as well (hopefully soon).

J.T. also has a very well-written review of Canadian artist Allyson Clay at Numark Gallery.

No matter what you hear and read elsewhere, August is not a dead month for all area galleries. This week is the second week of the month, and thus on Thursday you can do Art Night in Alexandria, with eight participating galleries and on Friday you can do the Bethesda Art Walk (which has a free mini bus to take "walkers" around) and about 15 participating galleries and art venues.

Call for Printmakers

Deadline: March 31, 2005.

Lessedra World Art Print Annual. An international print annual with the premise that no art form has broader implications in contemporary society than that of the print. The aim is to gather and exhibit contemporary art print works from all over the world and to contribute to the contacts and the exchange between artists, art lovers and collectors and to stimulate the research into paper, inks, and other materials used in printmaking. Exhibition with all the works will be organized in The National Palace of Culture in Sofia, Bulgaria in June 2005. Details and entry forms here.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Sometime today DCARTNEWS will pass 25,000 page views. Thank you to all of you who visit... it reflects the interest in what's going on the visual arts in our region.

Opportunities for artists

Deadline: September 1, 2004

The 30th Bradley International Print and Drawing Exhibition - formerly the Bradley National will be excepting applications until September 1, 2004. Exhibition dates will be March 8 - April 7, 2005. There is a catalog published of the exhibition. The juror, Judy Collischan, Ph.D, is currently an independent art consultant, was the Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs at the Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY-Purchase; Director of the Hillwood Art Museum and Public Art Program at Long Island University, C.W. Post campus and Administrative Director for The Printmaking Workshop, NY, NY. The entry fee is $25.00 for three entries and $5.00 for each additional entry. Please send a self addressed stamped envelope to:
Bradley International
Bradley University Department of Art
1501 West Bradley Av
Peoria IL 61625

Or to print the prospectus go: here.

Deadline: September 1, 2004

Call for Public Art. Seeking professional artists to construct public art for up to 18 sites. Traditional sculptures preferred. Submit 6+ images of proposed work, 10 slides or prints of outdoor sculpture work, description, statement, materials list, resume, letter/interest, budget, references and timeline to:
Karen Hokansson
Newport News Public Art Foundation
Box 120648
Newport News VA 23612

Email: nnpaf@cox.net

Deadline: September 3, 2004

The Barrett Art Center's 20th Annual National Contemporary Art Competition. Juror: Tina Kukielski, Contemporary Art Curatorial Dept, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Cash awards/exhibition opportunities. Painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, photography and mixed media. Send SASE for prospectus to:
The Barrett Art Center
55 Noxon St
Poughkeepsie NY 12601 or call 845-471-2550

Deadline: October 29, 2004

Digital Concentrate Art and Technology Exhibition. Deadline for entries is Friday, October 29, 2004. Dates of exhibition are March 7 through April 24, 2005. Open to artists over the age of 18. The exhibition conceives of a broad intersection of art and technology. Entries may include but are not limited to: web-based art, works for monitor display, digital video, digital prints, sensor-based and/or interactive work, and robotics. Work will be selected by a curatorial team comprised of a contemporary art historian and a digital artist from the Division of Art & Design at Purdue University, and the director of Galleries. Selections will be made from review of 35 mm slides, jpeg files, CD-ROM/DVD, VHS format video and URLs. Please observe resolution restrictions for jpeg images sent via e-mail (maximum dimension of eight inches in image size-maximum resolution of 300 dpi). Include an artist statement and description of necessary hardware and software for display. Submissions will be accepted by ground mail or e-mail. A non-refundable entry fee of $20 will entitle the artist to submit up to three (3) original works for consideration. Entries must be made on the official entry form or PDF file from the Purdue Galleries website: here.

For more information, contact:
Craig Martin-Director
Purdue University Galleries
Physics Building Room 205
525 Northwestern Av
West Lafayette IN 47907-2036

Or call 765-494-3061 OR email cdmartin@sla.purdue.edu.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Blake Gopnik makes a couple of good points about two new local museums while Gopnik's colleage Jessica Dawson reviews Andrew Krieger's 30-year retrospective at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and makes some really good observations.

Both are in today's Washington Post's Sunday Arts section - first time that I recall the Gopnik-Dawson combo.

Since Jessica is now sharing the "Galleries" column with Glenn Dixon, it would be nice to see an occasional review from her or anyone else continue to appear in Sunday Arts to augment Gopnik's museum-only look at our region.

I've been working on a list of the 10 most influential people in the Washington, DC area as far as the visual art scene in our region is concerned. I was hoping to have it ready today - but it is not. I will try to have it posted here in the next few days.

Today I'll be co-hosting the Success as an Artist Seminar in Bethesda.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Today is the last day to sign up for the Success as an Artist seminar that I am teaching tomorrow. There are 3-4 spaces left. Call 301/718-9651 before 6 PM to register.

I've been retained by Art.com to curate a worldwide call for artists in an homage to Frida Kahlo.

More details as the call for artists is finalized. There will be no entry fees and there will be a substantial prize. In 1997, together with the Mexican Cultural Institute, I curated this Homage to Kahlo. It was a tremendous success, with several reviews across the nation and a really plain website that has attracted over 10 million visitors since then!

Friday, August 06, 2004

An alert DCARTNEWS reader catches Artspeak at its most absolutely mind blowing sillyness:
A fountain made of blobby cast metal by Lynda Benglis has a nice grotesquely organic presence; and a field of wiggly green lines on a hot pink ground by Sue Williams is sexy and optically captivating. But these are absorbed into a generally leveling, pluralistic hodgepodge.
The above is from a NY Times review.

Thanks Jim!

Artist Slides

Last Friday I went through a few hundred slides from all over the world for Gallery International's first ever All-Media Competition and Show, which will run from September 2nd through the 24th, 2004, with an opening reception on Thursday, September 2nd, from 6-8pm.

A few years ago I wrote an article for Art Calendar Magazine in which I discussed a variety of tips and advice to artists who enter juried competitions. I will see if I can find that writing and post it here, as it is as topical as ever.

The vast majority of the work that I reviewed was excellent (and as usual), as a juror, one is often forced by space and other constraints to reject work which is good and interesting. But I think that it will be a good show. The Best of Show winner will be selected from the actual work and he/she will get a solo show at the gallery next year.

However, I am always surprised by a couple of recurring things that I see time after time in all the juried competitions (including ours) that I see every year and have seen in the last 25 years.

The first is the fact that nearly 75% of all entries arrive on the last two days of the competition - OK, OK so we all know that artists leave everything to the last minute. But, what gets me is that a lot of these entries come via FEDEX or UPS, which means that the artist is paying $25 or $30 bucks just to have the slides delivered on time. This is a waste of money; with a little planning, the slides can be sent via regular mail for under a buck or via USPS Priority for $3.95.

The second is the poor quality of slides being submitted. I would say that at least 10% of all entries consist of really dark (I've actually have seen completely black or unexposed) slides, which make seeing (and jurying) the artwork nearly impossible. Or slides that are out of focus, or artwork shot under glass with a flash, where all you see is the bright flash reflected on the glass. You get my point: bad slides!

As an artist, if we go through the trouble of entering a competition, the few seconds that it takes to actually project the slide (if you have a slide projector that is...) or at least look at it with one of those hand-held slide viewers, should be a part of the procedures we must all do before submitting that slide for jurying.

By the way, for all you digital people out there.... you can get slides made from your digital files at Slides.com.

A good source for juried competitions is Art Deadlines, or Kara Art in Europe, or nothing still beats a subscription to Art Calendar Magazine.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Henri Cartier-Bresson died Tuesday in France and the Post's Pulitzer-prizewinning art critic Henry Allen has a brilliant piece on Cartier-Bresson in today's Post.

Adams Morgan Day Festival

There are still a few booth spaces left for the annual Belmont Street art show, a key part of the annual Adams Morgan Day Festival. This year's show is one day only, Sunday, September 12th, from 10 am to 6 pm. It always draws a great crowd and features a fun group of local artists. For more information and an application, please contact Michele Banks at (202) 625-6249 or email her at miche@null.net.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Success as an Artist Seminar offered on August 8, 2004.

Almost as soon as we opened our first gallery in Georgetown in 1996, artists began pouring in seeking representation. This continues to this day, and between visits, emails, packages in the mail, etc. we generally receive around 600-800 inquiries a year.

Because we obviously cannot represent or sell the work of such a huge number of artists, a lot of good, talented artists are turned away, after we have recommended follow on steps on what to do. However, in our first few months, Catriona soon discovered that she was spending most of her of time with emerging artists discussing many of the same things over and over, which generally consisted of giving out career advice about such things as gallery representation, contracts, grants, competitions, resumes, etc.

This was not only time consuming with scheduled appointments, but many unscheduled visits caused her to spend several hours a day just meeting with artists and essentially passing out the same information, over and over.

Then her mother came out with a brilliant idea: Why not come up with a structured, formal seminar for emerging artists to pass out this information as well as other important information. Not theory, not review of artwork, but practical advice, usable handouts and a forum to answer questions all at once.

We held our first seminar in 1999 – it was supposed to run for four hours but it ran for seven. So eventually we changed it to a full day, seven hour seminar, and have now presented it to over 1,000 artists and art administrators from nearly every Mid Atlantic state – with attendees coming from as far north as New York and as far south as South Carolina.

It has been spectacularly successful in offering practical business advice to the emerging artist on many areas not covered by any art school curriculum that we know of. The information, advice and details taught at the seminar are not based on theory, but on actual practical experience and hands-on effects. That’s why it has been so successful!

The seminar lasts for seven hours and is now offered twice a year. It costs $80 and the next one is scheduled for August 8, from noon to 7 PM at our Bethesda gallery. Interested artists can read more details or print a registration form online at www.thefrasergallery.com/seminars.html or just call Catriona at 301/718-9651.

The seminar is held at the Fraser Gallery of Bethesda, located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, in Bethesda. The gallery is one block from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line. Ample free parking is also available.

The Corcoran in the news...

The New York Times. Writer Carol Vogel interviews David C. Levy, profiling the Corcoran's planned renovation and new Gehry wing in Inside Art: Corcoran to Expand.

The Washington Post's art critic Michael O'Sullivan reviews In Search of Self: Paintings and Drawings by Anil Revri, lauding Revri's "shimmering, meditative abstractions" as "vertiginous and thrilling."

Metro Herald. In the newspaper's center spread, writer P.J. Robinson applauds the juxtaposition of three exhibitions at the Corcoran (The Eyes of History 2004, Sally Mann: What Remains and In Search of Self: Paintings and Drawings by Anil Revri) as a "powerful trio" that ultimately "gives us hope."

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

On the Line: machines, maps, and memory, curated by Karey Kessler and Pat Goslee is at Maryland Art Place from August 3 through September 11, 2004.

Each artist uses the idea of memory as a map-making machine, recording places both seen and unseen, nightmarish and utopian, hallucinatory and real. Artists included in the exhibition are Andy Holtin, Andrew Krieger, Walter Ratzat, Scott Reynolds, Dylan Scholinski, Perry Steindel, Jennifer Swan, Katy Uravitch, and Sylvie van Helden.

There's a gallery talk on Thursday, September 9, from 6-7 pm and a closing reception on Thursday, September 9, from 7-9 pm.

On the Line: machines, maps and memory first appeared at the District of Columbia Arts Center (DCAC) in Washington DC. The show ran from April 30-May 30, 2004. Curators Karey Kessler and Pat Goslee are both well-known Washington area artists who have formed a Visual Arts Committee with DCAC Board Member Philip Barlow to raise the quality of gallery installations, and expose new artists through exposure at DCAC. The Curators’ Incubator at MAP allowed for a broader exploration of the theme and a second venue in Baltimore.

National Cherry Blossom Festival Call for Artists.

Deadline: August 31, 2004.

Presented by the National Cherry Blossom Festival. Open to all artists painting in any 2D media (oil, water media, acrylic, casein, pastel, pencil, mixed media, collage, other) or working in digital arts. Each year the festival holds a poster contest to select a new image that expresses goodwill between the United States and Japan which incorporates the delicate flowering cherry blossoms. Artwork should associate the theme(s): the cherry blossoms, the beauty and the people of contemporary and historic Japan and Washington DC, and the amity and friendship between the two countries.

Max size: 8x10 inches, vertical orientation. The cherry blossom trees that surround the Washington, DC Tidal Basin were a gift from the people of Japan in 1912. The tradition of a Cherry Blossom Festival to mark the arrival of spring in Washington, DC began in 1935.

Prizes include $1,000, tickets to certain events, 2-night stay in a local D.C. hotel, and more. There is no entry fee.

A prospectus is available for viewing on their website. Address: National Cherry Blossom Festival, 2005 Art Contest, 1250 H Street, NW Suite 1000, Washington, DC 20005 USA. Phone: 202.661.7584 Email: ncbf@downtowndc.org Website: www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: August 15, 2004

Washington Gallery of Photography Second Annual National Juried Gallery Show and Exhibition. The Washington School of Photography presents its second annual National Juried Gallery Show and Exhibition, October 8 to November 8, 2004. All photographic works from residents of any state or territory are eligible. Slides are due August 15, opening is October 8. Cash and exhibit opportunities awarded. Prospectus can be downloaded here or SASE to: WGP/WSP, 4850 Rugby Avenue, Bethesda, MD 20814.

Monday, August 02, 2004

Gallery closing

I am told that the Elizabeth Roberts Gallery will be closing in the near future as Miss Roberts is getting married and moving away.

Congratulations to Elizabeth and we hope that the building (which previously housed the Anton Gallery for many years) remains in use as a gallery space.

"Great Expectations" and the need to Create Value in one's artwork.

By (and printed here with the permission of) Malik Lloyd, Publisher of the Find Art Information Bank.
Attending a recent seminar, "Starting Your Own Art Collection" at the Smithsonian's Anacostia Museum and watching the film version of Charles Dickens' classic novel "Great Expectations" served as the impetus for this editorial. They got me thinking how the latest buzzword of "creating value" actually translates to an artist.

Serious collectors are spending inconceivable amounts of money on art. In 2003, the late Jean-Michel Basquiat's painting Profit I sold for a hefty $5 million at auction, placing him in an elite cadre of contemporary artists. While it is commonplace for Impressionist paintings to command tens of millions in today's market, the irony is most people did not think that they were worth the canvas on which they were painted during their day. It begs the larger question, how is value determined? In addition, who determines it? Artists? Collectors? How do art critics and curators fit into the equation?

As artists, we must ask ourselves a series of introspective questions: How does creating value affect me? Will the value of my artwork increase over time? How can I make this a reality? Is adding value to my artwork even something worth considering or will it take care of itself? Is adding value to one's artwork and marketing one's artwork one in the same? Does having wonderful artwork ensures you of having value applied to it?

How does an everyday artist create value, which may translate to how can an artist professionally establish themselves with a view to sell their work in today's marketplace?

In true Hollywood fashion, the movie "Great Expectations" shows Ethan Hawke as, an artist named, Finn, being rescued from his life as a fisherman with the promise of an exhibit in an exclusive New York gallery. Robert DeNiro's character, Luftig, is a criminal and thus, Finn's unlikely benefactor, has arranged an exhibition; rented an apartment to serve as his studio; has provided him with a new image-improving wardrobe; and paid for the show's marketing. To top it off, Luftig then purchases all the artwork in the show. Luftig's actions have led to creating value for Finn for he has raised his artistic profile and created a demand for his work. The concluding scene reveals that Finn has built upon this early success and has become an acclaimed artist.

Since most artists are not actors in a Hollywood movie, this notion of creating value is trickier. During the seminar, the speaker emphasized that an artist creates value by developing what the seminar speaker identified as a "solid " career path. The good news is all artists can do this by doing what comes naturally, e.g. becoming formally educated; receiving awards; participating in juried and museum shows; receiving commissions and making actual sales; and ultimately, having gallery representation.

The latter is key because it aids in documenting sales and many of the aforementioned components. Of course, the more prominent or exclusive the gallery, the better. For most artists, discipline, hard work, and time, lots of time, are the ingredients of creating a solid career path and therefore, value. Unfortunately, the expenditure of time and effort does not guarantee successful results. Some artists have raised the value of the their artwork more expeditiously both through their own direct efforts and being the fortunate object of art collectors' desires.

At the seminar's end, the speaker proposed his own Hollywood scenario of how art collectors can create value for a particular artist regardless of the solidness of his/her career path. He simply stated, "If everyone present [at the seminar] purchased a particular artist's work, the value of his/her work would most likely rise."

This very scenario sheds light on the role of individuals, in particular collectors, no matter how serious, can affect an artist's commercial success. Orson Wells once said "people know the price of everything and the value of nothing." Yet, these same "people" could very well determine the value of our artwork. Far be it for me to "say," but perhaps people, price and value share a more intimate relationship than we ever imagined.

Malik M. Lloyd

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