Monday, February 28, 2005


This is what happens when an artist-wannabe copies someone else's artwork, and then (years later) because of something else they do, they become infamous, and their copyright violation comes to light.

Like Richard Burton said... (sightly modified): "An [ass]hole, is an [ass]hole, is an [ass]hole."

Tks JWB.


I was supposed to fly back to San Diego today, but after wasting half a day sitting in Dulles, the whole trip has been cancelled and I've made my way back home in a messy snow day here in the DC area.

looking out my front window

View from my Second Floor Window

Bad news is that my most precious asset is time, and I've wasted a lot of it today; the good news is that now I can make the First Friday Gallery Crawl around Dupont Circle! And this is good, because I am really looking forward to seeing Molly Springfield's show at JET Artworks, which really needs to get off their ass and get their website going.

view from my bedroom window

View from my Bedroom Window

Lida Moser is Coming

Opening on March 18, 2005 and through April 13, 2005, our Fraser Gallery in Georgetown will be hosting the first ever Washington, DC solo exhibition of legendary American photographer Lida Moser, who now lives in retirement in nearby Rockville, Maryland.

This 85-year-old photographer is not only one of the most respected American photographers of the 20th century, but also a pioneer in the field of photojournalism. Her photography is currently in the middle of a revival and rediscovery, and has sold as high as $4,000 in recent Christie's auctions and continues to be collected by both museums and private collectors worldwide. In a career spanning nearly 60 years, Moser has produced a body of works consisting of thousands of photographs and photographic assemblages that defy categorization and genre or label assignment.

Additionally, Canadian television is currently in the process of filming a documentary about her life; the second in the last few years, and Moser’s work is now in the collection of many museums worldwide.

A well-known figure in the New York art scene of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s,a portrait of Lida Moser by American painter Alice Neel hangs in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City. Neel painted a total of four Moser portraits over her lifetime, and I believe that one of them will be included in the National Museum of Women in the Arts' "Alice Neel's Women" coming to Washington, DC this October.

Man Sitting Across Berenice Abbott's Studio in 1948 by Lida Moser

Lida Moser's photographic career started as a student and studio assistant in 1947 in Berenice Abbott's studio in New York City, where she became an active member of the New York Photo League. She then worked for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Look and many other magazines throughout the next few decades, and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe.

In 1950 Vogue, and (and subsequently Look magazine) assigned Lida Moser to carry out an illustrated report on Canada, from one ocean to another. When she arrived at the Windsor station in Montreal, in June of that same year, she met by chance, Paul Gouin, then a Cultural Advisor to Duplessis government. This chance meeting led Moser to change her all-Canada assignment for one centered around Quebec.
Quebec Children, Gaspe Pen, Valley of The Matapedia, Quebec, Canada by Lida Moser
Armed with her camera and guided by the research done by the Abbot Felix-Antoine Savard, the folklorist Luc Lacourcière and accompanied by Paul Gouin, Lida Moser then discovers and photographs a traditional Quebec, which was still little touched by modern civilization and the coming urbanization of the region. Decades later, a major exhibition of those photographs at the McCord Museum of Canadian History became the museum’s most popular exhibit ever.

Construction of Exxon Building, 6th Avenue and 50th Street, New York City by Lida Moser c.1971She has also authored and been part of many books and publications on and about photography. She also wrote a series of "Camera View" articles on photography for The New York Times between 1974-81. Her work has been exhibited in many museums worldwide and is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, the National Archives, Ottawa, the National Galleries of Scotland, National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, the Library of Congress, Les Archives Nationales du Quebec, Corcoran Gallery, Phillips Collection and many others. Moser was an active member of the Photo League and the New York School.

The Photo League was the seminal birth of American documentary photography. It was a group that was at times at school, an association and even a social club. Disbanded in 1951, the League promoted photojournalism with an aesthetic consciousness that reaches street photography to this day.

This will be her first solo exhibition in Washington, DC and it will run from March 18 through April 13, 2005.

An opening reception for Ms. Moser will be held on Friday, March 18, 2005 from 6-9PM as part of the third Friday openings in Georgetown. The reception is free and open to the public.


Yesterday we finished our Success as an Artist seminar to about 50 or so artists and arts professionals. Herewith some feedback:
"Thank you so much for an incredible amount of valuable information. Having worked commercially for 25 years, I thought I might hear repetitive things. The fact is, I'm somewhat overwhelmed by the amount I have yet to learn based on your seminar. Thanks for the jump-start in this new segment of the art industry. Look forward to visiting the gallery again." -- Sally Wern Comport

"This seminar was better than a four year college education. I learned more about what I need to do to have a career as an artist here." -- John Bata

"Tremendous amount of information shared that was constructive, practical and well focused. This was the best investment I could make in understanding the wide range of business issues that artists face and gave me lots of ideas regarding successful strategies." -- Judy Bayer

"This seminar more than met my needs. This was like four years of college packed into 7 hours." -- Jonathan

"It was excellent - Very informative, hands-on, action oriented guidance to promote myself as an artist. Fun, fast moving, and spell-binding for me - I wrote 24 pages of notes!" -- Sue Holland

"So much specific, reality-based info, communicated succintly and understandibly. Amazing!" -- Leslie Albin

"Wonderful, exciting, and thoroughly penetrating info!" -- Rochleigh X. Wholfe

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Artwork by Committee

The National Endowment for the Arts and the State Department have agreed to reinstate an advisory committee to recommend artists to represent the United States at international exhibitions like the various Biennials.

"We are going back to the traditional way the N.E.A. helped manage exhibitions," said Dana Gioia, the endowment's chairman. "It's important that this process be open, transparent and well understood."

And may I add: "And that it doesn't have a New York only filter."

Read the story here, and thanks AJ.

Elsie Hull at Sprectrum

By Rosetta DeBerardinis
The Elsie Hull exhibition at Spectrum Gallery is a subtle display of black and white photographic oval jewels. The show, "Portals" is an array of prints mounted on white canvases of various sizes creating a two or three dimensional installation.

This show is a fine exhibit at a cooperative gallery with a most innovative installation. And the back walls, with works of its gallery member artists, offers some interesting works as well.

But, if you care about quality photography at prices that are indeed affordable, this show is worth a visit. It has captivating black and white images of cats, cows, etc. And the staff is friendly and helpful.

Elise Hull, "Portals." Open from February 25 until March 13th at Spectrum Gallery, 1132 29th Street, N.W.; 202-333-0954.

Modigliani: Beyond the Myth

By Rosetta DeBerardinis
Modigliani: Beyond the Myth opening Saturday, February 26th at the Phillips Collection is worth the price of admission. The show originated at the Jewish Museum in New York; however, the Phillips added twenty-five works to its show. It features about 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures by the artist.

The third floor of the new renovated annex has been transformed from a sterile museum atmosphere into a lovely warm gallery with soft colored walls, arches and columns. The five galleries have interesting lighting and the installation is excellent.

Now, I am not a fan of Modigliani, but I could not resist embracing his work during this exhibition. It includes much more than his women with the skinny necks. In the first gallery there are beautiful sculptures lined up on a platform and lots of crayon and pencil sketches. In galleries three and four are his controversial nudes and the last gallery has a powerful presentation of his famous signature paintings of women with the skinny necks.

The Phillips Collection, 1600 21St., N.W. $14 for general admission, $12 for seniors and students, no charge for persons under eighteen. Show runs through May 29th. (202)387-2151.
And at the WaPo' new Entertainment BLOG, Maura McCarthy has a second mini review of the Modigliani show, which includes a link to great images of the show.

Boot Camp for Artists

Tomorrow we will be doing the "Success as an Artist" seminar that was postponed from last week.


Just back from San Diego, just for the weekend and then fly back there on Monday. There has been a lot of rain in SoCal and everything around is either sliding or very green.

view from my hotel
View from my hotel room's window

Anyway, when I arrived on Tuesday night, it was still raining here, and the next morning there was still rain and some rare skies around there (clouds).

cloudy San Diegan skies
San Diego Wednesday Morning Clouds

But by noon, the ocean that Balboa discovered was once again spectacular. The below photo was taken from around the area where that Spaniard is believed to have stood when he focused the first set of Caucasian eyes to see the ocean that he then named Pacific.

the ocean that Balboa discovered
The Pacific Ocean on Wednesday afternoon

And by the time the sun was sinking down later that day, one of the great joys of living next to the ocean was about to happen: the green flash. The pic below is a few minutes before the sun sinks into the horizon and Nature takes your breath away with the color green.

The sun before the green flash
The Ocean a few minutes before the green flash

On the flight back I had a plane change in San Francisco, and I discovered this almost representational version of Airportism (which is what I dubbed a few years ago the sort of artwork that gets selected for exhibition as "public art" in American airports).

Below is a huge William Wiley piece near gate 85 at the airport. Typical airportism...

William Wiley painting in San Francisco Airport
Void by William Wiley

Friday, February 25, 2005

Airborne today

I am flying back today as I have to get back to DC to help with the Success as an Artist seminar that was postponed last Sunday because of the threat of snow. Then I have to fly back to San Diego to finish my business here.

While in San Diego I met with a couple of TV-type dudes, as I now have two television programs floating around and in the works, with pilots out, and both thanks to the interest in DC area visual arts generated by this savory BLOG; is that cool or what?

Talking about savory, last night I went to Ortega's for my poblano mole fix. And Sr. Ortega came out and although I've only been here a few times, he came and thanked me for mentioning his savory restaurant in DC Art News.

To say that I was dumbfounded is an understatement. I guess that I didn't expect this brilliant Mexican country cook to gather enough input and feedback to deduce and put together all the facts that grouped together equals me + DC Art News + Ortega's.

So I asked him, and he told me that over the last few weeks he's had DC area visitors who have told him that they went to Ortega's because of DC Art News. And since he knew my name (we usually talk quite a bit when I come to visit, and once he even showed me how he mixes his mole sauce), he put two and two together and.... there you have it!

Is that COOL or what!

Ahhhhhh! The power of the web.

Anyway... on the way back I have two books to read: The Family of Pascual Duarte by Camilo Jose Cela and then The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

The Thursday Reviews

It appears more and more that the WaPo has essentially turned its corporate back, under its new Style editor, on area galleries, and we will just have to live with a couple dozen reviews a year.

Today there are several theatre reviews, and several music reviews, and a nice profile on a New York City ballet choreographer, but other than this nice review of the "Asian Games: The Art of Contest," which will open Saturday on the Mall at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, there's zip once again on the day facetiously dedicated by the Style section to "Galleries and Arts News."

Thanks to the Web Gods that now other venues exist to write intelligent words about art and artists besides a reluctant newspaper that probably wishes that it could drop visual arts coverage all together. And stepping up to the plate is Kriston over at grammar.police with a super review of Robert Olsen's "Elements, Particular" show at G Fine Art and this BLOG cop does another superb job.

And at Thinking About Art Kirkland comes through again with an early look at the WPA/C Auction; super job JT.

Which reminds me... in the past I've offered, and now I renew my offer: Please email me your reviews and impressions of any visual art shows that you have visited and I will publish them here; nothing anon please, lest I be accused of being flavorless by easily bruised egos.

P.S. WCP what happened this week? No reviews? But I gotta give big props for the piece on Frank Warren and his Art Secrets.

Sunny and pleasant


I understand that DC is under the white stuff; I suppose that means that all that's scheduled around the city today, such as this panel has been cancelled.

Wanna see some new artwork?

"Elegant Violence" (who picked that title?) runs until the 27th, and features the work of the BFA Senior Thesis artists exhibiting at the Hemicycle at the Corcoran and thus the shape of things to come (Fabian apologies to H.G. Wells).

This is one of the best venues to see and experience what the new crop of artists are creating... As I am in sunny (yep right!) California, I would love for someone to go and see this show and then email me a review or impression for publication in DC ART NEWS.

"The principle which gives support to a work of art is not necessarily contemporary with it. It is quite capable of slipping back into the past or forward into the future. The artist inhabits a time which is by no means necessarily the history of his own time."

Henri Focillon (1881-1943), French art historian.
I bet that Focillon is not in Oxford's art history curricullum.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005


Life has a subtle way of putting one's arrogance back into place every once in a while. It's now almost 7AM Pacific Time and this "seasoned traveler" has just discovered that he forgot to pack all his undershirts and thus (at least today) will have to "freestyle" his dress shirts.

Oh well... everyone in Europe does it.

Oh God!

Raining in San Diego

Not an usual thing to happen here, but raining nonetheless when I arrived tonite. The flight here was a small miracle: a direct, non stop flight from DC to San Diego. Sweet! But when I checked in, I noticed that my seats had been changed, and instead of my usual aisle seat, I'm in the middle!

And since the plane was sold out, it was time to pour the charm to get the seating arrangement re-done. The trick? They usually leave the row with the emergency exits open to the last minute, so that the agent can eyeball the person and decide that he/she can physically take that small door off and allow the passangers to escape via that row (as if).

So I smiled, and said to the jaded airline lady: "I will gladly sit in the exit row, and can physically do the task, if needed." She eyeballed me carefully, realizing that she was dealing with a seasoned traveler. I blinded her with a smile and to make a long story short I ended in the sweet, extra space exit row.

Time permitting, I will try to keep up with the posting.

And I was able to re-discover Emily Dickinson on the flight here. I think that I last read her in college, and I had forgotten how sensually surprising she could be:
Wild nights! Wild nights!
Were I with thee,
Wild nights should be
Our luxury!

Futile the winds
To a heart in port,—
Done with the compass,
Done with the chart.

Rowing in Eden!
Ah! the sea!
Might I but moor
To-night in thee!

Synergy Deadline Extended

Evolving Perceptions has extended the deadline for their Call for Art for SYNERGY until March 15, 2005.

Per the hardworking organizers: "SYNERGY is a new movement in creative energy. The artists of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area are engaging in a project that is bringing the artistic community together in a powerfully innovative way. Evolving Perceptions (EP) is making SYNERGY their gift to the aesthetic energy of our Nation’s Capital. Through the synergy of the artists, community, supporters and media, the SYNERGY project will empower, articulate and educate the communities of the Metropolitan Washington D.C. area about the arts with a totally new paradigm. We are forming 6 teams of 3-4 artists in collaboration to create works that will be exhibited, voted on by the public and auctioned. There is a $3,000 stipend per artist. Visit EP's website for details on the call and to download an entry form.

For more questions please email Marsha Stein, SYNERGY COORDINATOR, or call at 301-564-0707.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Tuesday Arts Agenda

DCist's Tuesday Arts Agenda is packed full of great visual arts stuff going on this week in DC.

photo by Marta Maria Perez BravoThe opening and show not to miss this week is Mexican Report: Contemporary Mexican Art, opening Thursday, Feb. 24 at the Cultural Institute of Mexico and two other local venues. The opening at the Cultural Institute of Mexico starts at 6:30PM.

If you haven't been to this beautiful building and gallery space, be prepared for one of DC's best-kept secrets: It is both a marvel of architecture and visual arts all rolled into one, and under Alejandro Negrin's leadership has really taken off as one of the key art venues in our city that truly adds a powerful international footprint to our art scene!

While there, visit Marta Maria Perez Bravo's huge digital photographs One Soul I and One Soul II.

Marta Maria is Cuban, but currently resides in Mexico, and we represent her work locally.

Exhibition details here. As I am heading to San Diego, I will miss the opening (bummer).

Airborne today

Last night's opening of Drawing II was very pleasant!

Today I am airborne and heading to the Left Coast again and returning on Friday. I am on a poetry reading mood, so on the way there I'm going to re-read The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson and also mix it up with some Yeats.

Talking about Yeats, herewith my favorite Yeats' poem of all time:
"Her Triumph"

I did the dragon's will until you came
Because I had fancied love a casual
Improvisation, or a settled game
That followed if I let the kerchief fall:
Those deeds were best that gave the minute wings
And heavenly music if they gave it wit;
And then you stood among the dragon-rings.
I mocked, being crazy, but you mastered it
And broke the chain and set my ankles free,
Saint George or else a pagan Perseus;
And now we stare astonished at the sea,
And a miraculous strange bird shrieks at us.

Mary Lang

J.T. Kirkland at Thinking About Art has an interesting review of Mary Lang's debut show in our Georgetown gallery.

More images by Lang here.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Tour de Clay

Geographically centered around the Greater Baltimore area, but featuring 878 artists, with 160 exhibits in 122 venues around the world, Tour de Clay is probably the largest visual arts multi-everything event ever held in the country, and it focuses and celebrates all forms of art in clay through a collaboration of artists from 47 states and Norway, Switzerland, Korea, Africa, Japan, Taiwan and Scotland, as well as participation by area galleries with exhibitions at more than 100 venues throughout the region, including DCAC and these other locations locally: Target Gallery, Ellipse Art Center, Scope Gallery and The 340 Space.

See all area locations here.

The exhibitions opened a couple of days ago and run through April 3, 2005.

Opening Today

Prof. Sarah Stecher of Montgomery College has curated Drawing National II at Montgomery College and selected 41 artists, and the opening reception for the show is today, Monday, February 21, 6-8PM. Directions to the campus are here.

In addition to yours truly, the following artists will be exhibiting in this show: Kelly Adams, Lila Oliver Asher, Alastair Bolton, Scott Brooks, Warren Craghead III, Elli Crocker, Pamela DeLaura, Haig Demarjian, Jan Dove, Laura Evans, Sondra B. Gair, Javier Gil, Mikhail Gubin, Sharon Harper, Jeffrey Haupt, Candace Keegan, Richard Keen, Ronald Keeney, Kathleen King, J.T. Kirkland, Mary Kate Maher, Allison Miner, Sarah Oldenburg, Mary Ott, Sky Pape, Susan Due Pearcy, Mark Pomilio, Selena Reames, Mari Richards, Jacqueline Saunders, Terri Schmidt, John P. Semple, Marc Snyder, Caroline Thorington, Adrienne Trager, Michael Voors, Yida Wang, Maya Weber, and Alice Whealin.

Lions and Tigers and Bears

Oh God!

From the Himalayan Times (thanks AJ):
Eight elephants in northern Thailand have painted their way into the Guinness Book of World Records after an art lover living in the United States shelled out a jumbo 1.5 million baht ($39,000) for their canvas creation — the highest price ever paid for elephant art.
Art lover?

Where did I leave that sharp knife?

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Another Noguchi Review

And now it is two differing from the one.

Read Michael O'Sullivan's excellent take on Isamu Noguchi at the Hirshhorn, published yesterday in the WaPo.

O'Sullivan correctly points out Noguchi's innovative track record and writes:
"Solar's inclusion is notable for two reasons. Yes, it's a fine piece, characterized by the kind of dynamic stillness found in Noguchi's best, most Zen-flavored work, but it also serves Fletcher's thesis that Noguchi was probably more innovative than people generally give him credit for. Is there the influence of Constantin Brancusi (for whom Noguchi briefly worked as a studio assistant while in Paris) in some of Noguchi's earliest pieces? Certainly, and the biomorphic iconography of the surrealists makes more than one appearance in Noguchi's later art as well.

But art isn't a horse race, or at least it shouldn't be. What Noguchi did well he did very well. Whether works represent his fascination with the pure refinement of form, as in the gestural simplicity of 1970's "The Bow," or express the gut-punch racial politics of 1934's "Death (Lynched Figure)," or whether they lie somewhere in between, as in the phallic squishes and fleshy plops of his work of the 1940s, Noguchi's most powerful sculptures beg for extended viewing.
Yep! Art isn't a horse race, and it doesn't have to be "new" to be good.

Case slammed shut!

Seminar Postponed

Because of the threat of snow tomorrow, the Success as an Artist seminar scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed until next Sunday, February 27, 2005, starting promptly at noon.

Carib Nation

Next Monday, Feb. 28 at 6PM, do not miss the Carib Nation program on WHUT Howard University Television. It will feature a profile of DC area photographer Nestor Hernandez.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Tic Toc

Mary Lang's Wall

Home from the Georgetown opening of Mary Lang.

Opening was a little slow, mostly due to the cold and the hint of the S-word in the air (snow), but there was some good company, JT from Thinking About Art was making the gallery rounds, there was a nice artist's talk by Lang, and photography was purchased!

At closing time I quite forgot all about my usual Friday need to rush home and watch Battlestar Galactica (yes, yes geeky, I know...) and I damned near forgot about Galactica (it starts in five minutes)... but I made it... sigh.

Next Tuesday I head out to California again, and thus I wanted to let all of you know before that of the fact that Prof. Sarah Stecher has curated Drawing National II at Montgomery College and selected 41 artists, and the opening reception for the show is Monday, February 21, 6-8PM.

See ya there Monday!

Third Friday Openings

photo by Mary LangToday is the third Friday of the month and thus the Canal Square Galleries (31st Street NW and M Street in Georgetown) will have their monthly openings.

We will have the photography of New England photographer Mary Lang in her Washington, DC solo debut.

Our gallery neighbors in Canal Square in Georgetown (MOCA, Anne C. Fisher, Parish and Alla Rogers) all will have new shows or extended hours.

Come join us for a glass of Washington's best Sangria to welcome Lang to Washington.

See ya there!

Thursday, February 17, 2005


Tonight my interview with Valerie Fletcher, Curator of the Isamu Noguchi Exhibition at the Hirshhorn aired on three different local TV stations, maybe some of you saw it.

I missed it because on Thursdays I have martial arts classes from 8-9:30PM and the show runs on MHz TV at 8:30 in my area.

The Thursday Reviews

In the WaPo, Jessica Dawson has her set of third Thursday mini reviews here. This will be all that we get in the Style section for two weeks.... Sigh.

In the WCP... Jeffry where are you?

A new critic (new to me) named Hetty Lipscomb, writes about "Rembrandt’s Late Religious Portraits" at the National Gallery of Art.

In the Georgetowner, John Blee reviews Nathan Richardson, Joan Cox, and Marcia Dullum at Results Gallery (at Results Gym, 315 G Street SE, 202/669.4226) while Gary Tischler does Andre Kertesz at the National Gallery of Art.


To the following photographers, who have been selected by juror Connie Imboden to exhibit in the Annual Bethesda International Photography Competition:

Tim Castine
Don Bensman
John Borstel
Gabriela Bulisova
Mei Mei Chang
Kathy Cudlin
John Davis
Sharon Lee Hart
Herbert Hoover
Stephen Komp
Lynda Lester-Slack
Rita Maas
Jocelyn Matthews
Bruce McKaig
Benjamin Montague
Meredith Montague
Leah Oates
Steve Ozone
Alexi Pechnikov
Carol Samour
Tal Schneider
Gregory Scott
Bert Shankman
Judy Silverstein
Elena Volkov
Cara Lee Wade
April Wilkins

Thursday, Thursday...

I'm on the road most of the day on Thursday, but there are lots of good things happening around DC for visual arts lovers. Check out some openings and venues at DCist.

Olive Ayhens' opening at the Watkins Gallery at AU seems specially interesting. Ayhens is a visiting Professor in the University's Department of Art for the 2004-05 academic year. Her most recent one-person shows were at Gary Tatintsian Gallery in NYC in 2004 and 2002.

And because her opening is from 5-7PM, if you are a really skilled gallery opening hog, then you can probably hit her opening and then head out to 7th Street for the 3rd Thursday Openings, which go from 6-8PM.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Interesting Panel Next Week

Meeting Places: Cross-Disciplinary Thinking in Contemporary Artmaking Practices

Date: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2005

Time: 5 - 6:30PM

Location: Prince George's room, Stamp Student Union

Featuring: Billy Colbert, artist and co-owner of Cubicle 10, a contemporary art gallery in Baltimore (sorry, I initially couldn't find a gallery web site - but a placeholder is here); Patrick Craig, painter, professor and graduate director of the UM Department of Art; Tyler Green, art critic for Bloomberg News and blogger at Modern Art Notes; Greg Metcalf, artist and UM adjunct professor for the Departments of English and Art History and Archaeology (could't find a website either).

3rd Thursdays

painting by Olive AyhensTomorrow is the third Thursday of the month and all the galleries and art venues around the 7th street corridor will be having their openings and extended hours.

See the participating galleries and art venues here.

And also tomorrow, at Watkins Gallery at AU, from 5-7PM there will be a reception for artist Olive Ayhens.

For directions to the Watkins Gallery, click here.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

My kingdom for a sharp knife

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge dog playing poker painting

Read this

Somebody please slit my throat now...
Update: AAAAARGH!!!.... click here.

Opportunities for Artists

Deadline: April 1, 2005

FOCUS: PHOTOGRAPHY TECHNIQUES & TRENDS Juror: Sarah Kennel, Assistant Curator, Department of Photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. This exhibition is open to artists working in all photographic processes. Artists are encouraged to expand parameters and traditional definitions. Award amounts up to $500. Exhibition dates: June 9 to July 17, 2005. Submission fee: $25 for images of 3 works. Deadline: Friday, April 1, 2005. For prospectus, e-mail: or send SASE to:
Target Gallery
105 North Union St
Alexandria VA 22314

Monday, February 14, 2005

Boot Camp for Artists

Next Sunday we will host another version of our highly successful "Success as an Artist" Seminar." The next seminar will be hosted at Fraser Gallery Bethesda on Sunday, February 20, 2004 from 12-7 PM.

The seven hour seminar, which has been taken by over 2,000 artists and arts professionals from all over the Mid Atlantic is designed to deliver information, data and proven tactics to allow artists to develop and sustain a career in the fine arts. The seminar costs $80 and is limited to around 50 people. For more details please visit this website. For this seminar, sometimes called "Boot Camp for Artists" by the attendees, people as far as Arizona, New York and South Carolina are attending.

In its seven hour format, the seminar covers a wide range of structured issues including:

1. Materials
Buying materials – strategies for lowering your costs, where and how to get it, etc.

2. Presentation – How to properly present your artwork including Conservation issues, Archival Matting and Framing, Longevity of materials, a discussion on Limited editions, signing and numbering, Prints vs. Reproduction, discussion on Iris Prints (Pros and Cons).

3. Creating a resume - Strategy for building your art resume, including how to write one, what should be in it, presentation, etc.

4. Juried Shows – An Insider's view and strategy to get in the competitions.

5. How to take slides and photographs of your artwork

6. Selling your art – A variety of avenues to actually selling your artwork, including fine arts festivals, corporate acquisitions, galleries, public arts, etc.

7. Creating a Body of Works

8. How to write a news release

9. Publicity – How to get in newspapers, magazines, etc. Plus handouts on email and addresses of newspaper critics, writers, etc.

10. Galleries – Discussion on area galleries including Vanity Galleries, Co-Operatives, Commercial Galleries, Non-profit Art spaces, etc.

11. How to approach a gallery – Realities of the business, Contracts, Gallery/Artist Relationship, Agents.

12. Outdoor Art Festivals – Discussion and advice on how to sell outwork at fine arts festivals, which to do, which to avoid, etc.

13. Resources - Display systems and tents, best juried shows and ones to avoid.

14. Accepting Credit cards – How to set up your art business.

15. Grants – Discussion on how to get grants in DC, Regional and National, including handouts on who and where and when.

16. Alternative Marketing - Cable TV, Local media

17. Internet – How to build your website at no cost, how to establish a wide and diverse Internet presence.

The seminar has been a spectacular success, and the feedback from artists can be read online at here and we continue to receive tremendous positive feedback on the practical success that this seminar has meant for those who have taken it.

Fraser Gallery Bethesda is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E, Bethesda, MD 20814, one block north of the Bethesda Metro Stop. You can contact the gallery at 301/718-9651 or via email at

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Aware at Last?

I may be just imagining this, but it seems to me that all of a sudden, galleries are selling work all over the place. Have DC area residents finally realized that there's great art for sale in our area galleries?

Last Friday, I saw a lot of red dots in the two galleries I visited, and Kriston reports good sales for Ian Whitmore, and Scott Treleven also did superbly at Conner Contemporary.

In 2004, two of of Georgetown shows were a sell-out/near sell-out. Both were by Cuban artists (Sandra Ramos and Aimee Garcia Marrero). And two of our Bethesda shows were also sold out/near sell out: Tim Tate and David FeBland.
Return of Turu by Adam Bradley
So far 2005 has started out like gangbusters, and the Tim Tate avalanche shows no sign of slowing down, and even the current Contemporary Drawing show sold very well on opening night. By the way, the image to the left shows Adam Bradley's spectacular three dimensional drawing assemblage titled "Return of Turu." Behind it you can see Richard Dana's large wall installation charcoal "Option Trader."

If this observation holds, then all I can say is about time!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Gopnik Doesn't Like Noguchi

Tomorrow's WaPo Sunday Arts has a review by Blake Gopnik of the new Isamu Noguchi exhibition at the Hirshhorn.

Gopnik makes some strong but perhaps unfair points about Noguchi, and tips his card early when he writes:
Noguchi was not one of the great innovators of the 20th century. Most of his work built on ideas that others had before him. But he had a wonderful hand and eye. "Deft" is the word that springs to mind in looking at Noguchi's art, rather than "inspired."
And this thread of Noguchi being a follower, rather than an innovator (if it's not new, then it can't be good), is the backbone of tomorrow's review.

I disagree. Gopnik's art history knowledge has been challenged in the past, and I respectfully submit a new challenge.

Before I submit my evidence, let me reaffirm that I completely disagree with the premise that art has to be new to be good. That is just silly and pompous, and even old fashioned. And Gopnik sort of punches a hole in his own argument when in discussing a series of illuminated works that Noguchi made between 1943 and 1944 (and for the first time since they were made brought together in one place in this exhibit) he admits that
The biomorphic shapes on view in "Lunar Fist" come out of earlier works by Jean Arp; the aggressive id the sculpture seems to flaunt had been a staple of surrealism for years already. But the simple gesture of making the whole work light up gives it an energy that wasn't in its static sources.

...But put a light bulb in a blob of cast cement and colored plastic hanging on the wall, as Noguchi did in "Lunar Fist," and you get somewhere distinctly new. Make a work of art recall the lamps that light the modern world, and it gets a novel kind of leverage.
Noguchi's Lunar LandscapeBut let's give more credit where credit is due, and if we are to judge Noguchi solely on "What did you do that's new Isamu?" - then I submit two facts as evidence that both a young Noguchi and an elder Noguchi accomplished this overrated achievement.

Fact one: In my TV interview (which will air next Thursday) with Dr. Valerie Fletcher, the Hirshhorn's Curator of Sculpture and the curator of the Noguchi exhibition, she made a point of discussing that as early as 1929, a 25-year old Isamu Noguchi was creating sculptures made of neon (none of them are in the show). This fact was new to me, and perhaps Gopnik is not aware of it, but it is evidence of a young artist with something new to offer.

So we'll forgive that Gopnik may not be aware of this fact.


Fact two: There's a burnished stainless steel freestanding sculpture in the exhibition (It is titled "Solar" and I'll see if I can get an image of it), that most people would not associate with a "Noguchi style" but more akin to the sculptures of Noguchi's well-known friend David Smith.

Becca by David SmithIt looks so much like a David Smith, that it could be a brother to all these Smith sculptures, which at the time were something "new" as a result of both composition and material and the treatment of the material. The first of these Smith pieces is from the early 60s; the Noguchi piece is from 1958.

Unless someone that I am not aware of was making large, geometrical, highly burnished steel sculptures en masse prior to 1958 (in which case Smith unfairly got the "credit of the new"), it appears that Noguchi again brings something new to this hackneyed dialogue about the importance of the "new."

Case closed.

Washington Post Photographers Sweep Awards

Congratulations to Washington Post photographers Andrea Bruce Woodall, Jahi Chikwendiu, Michael Robinson-Chavez, and Carol Guzy. They had images that won all four top spots in the overall portfolio category of the 2004 White House News Photographers' Association awards -- as well as photographer of the year for first-place winner Andrea Bruce Woodall.

See the photos here. See all other award winners and their photos here.

The award for the political photo of the year went to Liz O. Baylen of the Washington Times for a picture of John Kerry awaiting the start of President Bush's inauguration.


Paul Richard, who used to be the Chief Art Critic for the WaPo (he retired a few years ago and was replaced by Blake Gopnik), still does the random freelance piece for the Post once in a while.

And a couple of days ago he wrote a really beautiful piece about the new Andy Goldsworthy sculpture "Roof" being built at the National Gallery of Art.
"Roof" is the largest work of art commissioned by the gallery in a quarter-century. Its designer is an art star who, unusual for art stars, is as much admired by the broad art public as he is by the pros. The English wallers he has hired to build his dry stone sculpture are more than mere assistants. "Roof" pays homage to their muscles, their steadfastness, their history. To watch them is to know that they are core to what it is."
I lived in Scotland between 1989-1992, and my home was a large farmhouse near the village of Brechin in Angus. The farmhouse had been built in 1681. It was called Little Keithock Farmhouse, and the dovecot next to it was even older by a couple of centuries, meriting an entry in the Scottish Ordnance Map as an "antiquity," not an easy thing in Europe's most ancient nation.

Little Keithock Farmhouse
Anyway, the farmhouse (to the left is a drawing I did of it in 1990 or 1991) had a beautiful garden, which was surrounded by a tall stone wall.

One day, one of the trucks that used the dirt road that ran in front of the house, and led to the nearby potato and turnip fields, lost control, and slammed into the wall, destroying a couple of feet of wall.

A couple of days later, another truck dumped a small pile of new rocks, and soon afterwards an elderly gent showed up, and using nothing but a small hammer, began to rebuild the wall. He re-used the old rocks that had been disturbed by the accident, as well as some of the new ones.

Slowly but surely, over a few days, the wall was rebuilt before my eyes. When it was done, other than the fact that the moss on the stones had been re-arranged, it was impossible to tell that an accident had happened. A year later, the moss was back everywhere and no visual evidence that a chunk of the wall was "new" existed.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Openings Tonight
drawing by Javier Gil

We have an opening tonight at Fraser Gallery Bethesda. It is part of the Bethesda Art Walk, now featuring free guided tours.

Our show is an exhibition of drawings by Adam Bradley (picture coming later of a spectacular assemblage that pushes drawing definitions), Richard Dana, Malik Lloyd, Michael Costello, Katie Kaufman, Kris Kuksi, Javier Gil and Andrew Devlin.

Openings are from 6-9PM. See ya there!

The Reviews

Jeffry Cudlin reviews Ian Whitmore at Fusebox and makes some interesting points in a very good review. Over at grammar.police Kriston offers a second intelligent review of Whitmore. I always find it interesting to see two different people converge one one artist, often just to see how art criticism is clearly such a human (subjective) product.

Whitmore is a very good painter, and I first came across his work in 2003, when he was one of the artists in "Strictly Painting IV." I wrote a review of that show for the now defunct glossy DC One magazine. Here's an early look at Whitmore from that review, published in June 2003:
"According to some tired minds, with little left to say but to repeat slogans, painting is dead. Luckily for the rest of us, most artists missed that fax.

And a very good painting show at the McLean Project for the Arts focuses that very nice non-profit space on painting. The show is called "Strictly Painting IV" and has been an ongoing tradition at MPA and one of the few remaining all-painting shows in the region, especially now that the Corcoran’s Biennial (which used to be a painting show) is all over the place.

This biennial juried exhibition attempts to survey painting in the mid-Atlantic region, and the works selected seeks to present a broad view of area painters and explore the styles of the region's painters. In the past, sometimes this goal has failed miserably. The exhibition was juried this year by Sarah Finlay, director of Washington’s Fusebox Gallery and by Deborah McLeod, MPA’s new Director of Exhibitions. It is immediately clear that the two jurors have done an excellent job, and I think have tried to offer a diverse, "well-balanced" show – rather than focusing on a tight, unsolvent visual agenda, as Terrie Sultan (the juror for the previous version of this event) did a couple of years ago.

This year, the combination of a savvy commercial gallery owner with an experienced eye on Washington artists (prior to opening Fusebox, Finlay worked at the now defunct Baumgartner Gallery) and a new Director of Exhibitions (McLeod just came from the Peninsula Fine Arts Center near Norfolk), proves to be a good one.

The show includes some well-known area names and some new ones. Among some of the area’s better known artists selected for this show are Pat Goslee, David Jung, Jose Ruiz and Jonathan Bucci, as well as emerging young talent like Heide Trepanier, Tammy Maloney, Maggie Michael and Paloma Crousillat, all of who stand out at this show.

This is a very important show, and even so more now that the Corcoran’s Biennial has abandoned its focus on painting – not only as a refresher of what is going on in the studios of some of our area’s painters, but also as a re-affirmation that painting is alive and kicking and still king of the hill in a confused art world often thrown off tilt by a never-ending thirst by some art critics and curators for what’s "new" rather than what’s good. This is also a very unique opportunity to see fresh new works by several area artists who have rarely shown work outside of their Universities and studios, and a perfect opportunity to acquire work by young, new talent.

My favorite work was a dizzying painting by Ian Whitmore titled "Glinting," which displays virtuous brushwork and a clear understanding of composition and color. In this work, a series of figures, almost lost in a tornado of movement and color, rise from the lower left of the canvas to the upper right, and fools the eye (by the application and use of color) into seeing color and form, rather than figures, or dancers, or whatever they are. We forget that it is a representational work (and among the minority in the show), and see a painting of forms and color, almost as close to an action painting as realism can approach."
Elsewhere in the City Paper, Louis Jacobson reviews Janos Enyedi at Kathleen Ewing. I wrote a mini-review of that same show for the current issue of the Crier newspapers, and offered the following:
"Sometimes artwork is like magic.

The Kathleen Ewing Gallery, widely respected as one of the top photography galleries in the world, departs from that tradition and showcases the magical illusions that are the sculptures of Janos Enyedi.

Visitors should be warned: Prepare to be fooled when you enter the gallery and see this show. Titled "The American Industrial Landscape – Reconstructed: Power, Steel, Concrete," the exhibition consists of photographs and three-dimensional assemblages by Enyedi; and it is the assemblages that steal the show.

They will deceive you; let me say it again: be prepared to be fooled. At first sight they appear to be metal and steel, and extraordinarily heavy; but they are all actually paper. It is not just the illusionism that makes this show the best in town this month; it is that plus Enyedi’s unerring eye at capturing what at first sight appears to be boring, industrial eyesores and delivering breathtaking migrations to the realm of fine art.

Janos Enyedi is a master. Not only do I feel that his work is a brilliant reaffirmation of the power of creativity, skill and technical ability, but the man is a magician in making us hold our collective breath in seeing (for the first time in many cases) beauty where there should be none, majesty where commonness was the goal and the transformation of the ordinary into the sublime.

The gallery is located at 1609 Connecticut Avenue, NW and this show hangs until February 26. Concurrent with this gallery exhibit, Enyedi’s work is also on view in the Headquarters Gallery at the American Institute of Architects through April 8."
I visited Enyedi's studio in Virginia a few years ago, and came out of that experience totally seduced by the kind of work that when described in words sound like something on sale at Pier One, but when actually viewed, just leaves a profound visual impression; thus my reference to magic, for lack of better adjectives. For a third perspective on Enyedi, read John Blee's review in The Georgetowner. In the same paper, Gary Tischler reviews Berthe Morisot at the NMWA.

In the WaPo's Weekend section, Michael O'Sullivan reviews the Andre Kertesz retro at the National Gallery. For a second take on this show, read Thinking About Art's review of the same show. Kirkland also reviews Photo 2005 at the Ellipse Arts Center.

At the Gazette, Mary Ellen Mitchell discusses the The Meredith Springer Award Winners exhibit at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick, MD.

I almost forgot: The WaPo still has not hired a second freelancer to augment Jessica Dawson's "Galleries" column, and our area's galleries are still being largely ignored by the new Style editor - and yet, last Sunday we were treated to something the WaPo doesn't do for DC area art galleries: A mixed walkthrough of New York theatre and visual art. Read it here.

Last Friday

Chris Addison and John Borden Evans, photo by Holly FossI went to a couple of openings in Georgetown. First I dropped by Addison Ripley, now and for many years one of the best galleries in our area, and where a large crowd was leaving a lot of red dots behind as they were picking up the paintings of John Borden Evans. That's Evans with gallery co-owner Chris Addison (photo by Holly Foss) on the right.

Evans' paintings depict farm animals (chickens, cows, sheep, hens) as well as ordinary landscapes. The artist likes to float between scratchy, airy paintings (mostly the landscapes) and thicker, impasto works, such as in some of the paintings of cows.

In some of these thicker paintings he has crossed a debatable line. Let me explain.

In a few of the cow paintings, Evans has built up enough paint so that the two dimensional painting crosses into a third dimension (in these cases usually the head of a cow), so that the head of the animal sticks out, making the painting become a sculptural bas relief piece.

Were Evans an abstract painter, building thick, three dimensional goops of paint on canvas (as we all did in art school to create a response to an assignment that we left to the last minute), it is considered texture, or adds dimensionality to the dialogue.

But in the already fragile art world where representational painting has to defend itself everyday, and when an artist chooses a representational subject of such plebian character as a cow, and then goops on the paint to have the cow's head stick out of the canvas, warning bells begin to ring.

And I know that this is perhaps unfair to Evans, clearly a talented and skilled painter, but the cow's heads sticking out of the two dimensional plane, is just too overpowering for me, and makes me forget the rest of the show; not a good thing.

Almost across the street from Addison Ripley, the inaugural exhibition of art at the furniture concept store called "Space" was going on, and I went in.

Space was packed!Tami and Francesca

The owners, Tami Iams and Francesca Oriolo (pictured on the left), were by the door greeting everyone as they walked in, and I noticed that some of the cream of the DC gallery-art-opening world, and strangely enough, none of the grubs (for some strange reason they didn't know about this opening) were there.

And case after case of good Champagne flowed through the night, as more and more people came in, making the viewing of the artwork quite difficult.champagne flows at Space

Oh yeah... the artwork.

The exhibition, curated by Rody Douzoglou is titled Chill, and features works by Amalia Caputo, Marc Roman and one of the most talented young DC area painters that I know: Rachel Waldron.

Of the three, Waldron steals this show.

And Waldron has reinvented herself, at least for this show.

Rachel Waldron has exhibited widely around the DC area, including at our galleries, in group shows. After she graduated from GWU, she sort of disappeared, and re-emerged recently at the Arts Club of Washington and even more recently at the re-opening of the Arlington Arts Center.

And both the work at the Arlington Arts Center and the work at Space offer us a new Waldron.

The earlier Waldron was full of color and energy and a Boschian appeal to her work.

The new Waldron retains the energy, and the power and the sense of oddity owed to Hieronymus Bosch. But she has pushed it a step forward by employing a new approach that dismisses color and marries painting and drawing.Rachel Waldron's painting

The best piece in the show is a perfect example. It is a Gulliverian work titled "All the Little Things" and it is charcoal, ink, acrylic and spray paint on paper (pictured to the right). The work is bursting with energy and movement, and that odd sense of subterranean sexuality that populates the Boschian Universe.

Waldron, clearly a gifted and technically skilled artist, marries her formidable technical skills with a tentative step into the demanding arena of the experimental artist. Her drawings/paintings are now populated by a mass produced process of spray painted, repetitive cut outs that hark of some of Sam Gilliam's most recent work. A Waldronesque bridge across the gulf of repetitive abstraction towards the shore of contemporary realism.

And it works!Waldron Spray Work

And later, Waldron (perhaps pushed by a looming deadline) relaxes and just gives us an even more basic wedding of spray painted cut-outs atop abstracted backgrounds, cleverly switching them around to create unique works from the masters.

And in the process she helps Space, at least for this exhibition, leave a strong footprint on our art scene, and re-introduces Rachel Waldron to our universe of talented artists.

Welcome back.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

So Many Things...

There are so many interesting things going on around our art scene these days... and I am so busy!

Here are some postings coming soon:

Button Review of the opening at the new art venue Space in Georgetown.

ButtonReview of Isamu Noguchi at the Hirshhorn.

ButtonA public art proposal.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

A Story That Must Be Told

As mentioned here, the McLean Center for the Arts sponsors a very good painting competition every couple of years called "Strictly Painting." It is now in its fifth iteration.

A few years ago, around 1999 or 2000, the juror for that year's version of "Strictly Painting" was Terrie Sultan, who back then was the Curator for Contemporary Art at the Corcoran. I thought that this choice was a little odd, as Ms. Sultan, in my opinion, was not "painting-friendly." In fact, with all due respect, I blame her for diminishing the Corcoran Biennials, which used to be known as the Corcoran Biennial of Painting.

As such, they were essentially the only well-known Biennial left in the nation that was strictly designed to get a look at the state of contemporary painting, which was somehow surviving its so called "death."

It was Ms. Sultan who decided to "expand" the Biennial and make it just like all other Biennials: Jack of all trades (genres) Biennials. In the process, depending on what side of this argument you're on, she (a) did a great service to the Corcoran by moving it into the center of the "genre of the moment" scene - like all other Biennials, or (b) gave away the uniqueness of the nation's top painting Biennial title.

I'm aligned with the minority who supports camp (b) but understand those who defend her decision to become just another player in camp (a). Most people think that her decision and drive were the right thing to do in order to bring the Corcoran to a world stage, and perhaps it was.

But I digress.

When she was announced as the juror, I decided to see if I could predict her painting selectivity, sensitivity, process and agenda. It was my thesis that I could predict what Ms. Sultan would pick.

So I made a bet, and decided to enter the exhibition with work created specifically to fit what I deduced would be agreeable to Ms. Sultan's tastes. I felt that I could guarantee that I would get into the show because of the transparency of the juror's personal artistic agenda. It is her right to have one; I have them, in fact, we all have them.

I was trained as a painter at the University of Washington School of Art, but around 1992 or so, I stopped painting and decided to devote myself strictly to my love for drawing. So I had not picked up a brush in several years when I decided to enter this competition, designed to survey the state of painting in our region.

It was my theory that Ms. Sultan would not be in the representational side of painting. It was also clear that she (like many curators) was seduced by technology in the form of videos, digital stuff and such trendy things.

And so I decided to see if I could marry digital stuff with painting.

And what I did was the following:

I took some of my old Navy ribbons, and scanned them in to get a digital file. I then blew them up so that the final image was quite pixilated. I then printed about five of them and took slides of the printed sheets of paper.

I then submitted these slides to the competition, but identified them as oil on canvas paintings. My plan was that if accepted, how hard could it be to whip up a couple of paintings after the fact? I titled them with such titles as Digitalism: National Defense and Digitalism: Expeditionary Medal and so on.

From what I was later told, several hundred painters submitted work. And Ms. Sultan selected about only about seven or eight painters in total. And not only was I one of them, but she picked two of my entries.

I was elated! I had hit the nail right on the head! I felt so superior in having such an insight into this intelligent woman's intellect that I (a painter no more) could create competition-specific work to get accepted into this highly regarded show.

And then I began the task of creating the two paintings, using the pixilated images as the guide.

And it turned out to be a lot harder than I thought.

For one thing, I had submitted the "paintings" in quite a large size; each painting was supposed to be six feet long.

And it didn't take me long to discover that there are a lot of color nuances and hues in an average pixilated image.

And I went through dozens and dozens of rolls of tape as I pulled off the old Washington Color School trick of taping stripes (in my case small one inch square boxes of individual colors - hundreds upon hundreds of them) in a precise sequence to prevent smudging and color peeling, etc.

I painted for at least six hours every day, switching off between paintings to allow the previous day's work to dry off enough to allow a new layer of tape to be applied. I did all the varnishing outside, which usually attracted all the small neighborhood ruffians.

It was incredibly hard work, and I was ever so sorry that I had even gotten this crazy idea. All my nights were consumed.

Expeditionary Medal, oil on canvasBut eventually they were finished and delivered to MPA and Ms. Sultan even wrote some very nice things about them in the exhibition's catalog.

Me? I was in a mix of both vindication and guilt; exhausted but fired up with the often wrong sense of righteousness of the self-righteous.

After the show, I had no idea what to do with them, and they didn't fit my "body of works," but I ended up selling both of them through Sotheby's.

And today, some art collector in South Carolina and another one in Canada, each have one very large, exhausting and handsome oil painting of pixilated naval ribbons hanging in their home, in happy ignorance of the interesting story behind them.

I mentioned the adjective handsome in describing them, because a few years ago I was telling this story to Prof. John Winslow, who asked to see the images of the real paintings. When I showed him, he said that they were actually "quite handsome paintings."

I had never had my work described as "handsome" (although the Washington Post once described it as "irritating"), so it stuck in my head.

So there you have it: The story of a former painter with a point to prove about a local curator, the subsequent hard-labor punishment of the process, and a hidden story behind two handsome paintings.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tuesday Arts Agenda

The Tuesday DCist Arts Agenda is out with a plug for yours truly (Thanks DCist!).

I'll be filming a TV review of the new Isamu Noguchi show at the Hirshhorn soon. It should air next Thursday.

The Gallery at Flashpoint Call for Proposals

Deadline: March 15, 2005.

The Cultural Development Corporation (CuDC) is requesting proposals for exhibitions in the Gallery at Flashpoint for the September 2005 to August 2006 season. This request is open to artists, independent curators, arts organizations, private galleries or anyone choosing to present contemporary work in any medium. Deadline for proposals is 6pm on March 15, 2005.

For a 2005-2006 Request for Proposal application, please visit their website or email them

And yet another new magazine

In addition to the new glossy Capitol File, soon to appear on DC newsstands, DCist reveals that yet another new magazine DC Style, will be publishing soon in our area.

Welcome to DC!

Opportunities for Artists

Raise the Roof
Deadline: March 1, 2005

Raise the Roof: Recreating Home in Prince George's County, Maryland. This is a national public art competition that seeks innovative and creative house designs. Selected designs will be developed into sculptural, 3-dimensional models for public art exhibition in 2005. Up to $10,000 in cash prizes will be awarded for outstanding houses in these specific categories: Artistic, Green, Historical, Fanciful and Peoples Choice. Raise the Roof will recognize personal interpretations of home and hopefully, provide public awareness of the vital importance of house design and its connection to our quality of life. The competition is open to all artists, architects, designers, engineers, homebuilders, students and homebodies of all ages are encouraged to enter. Each selected artist/designer will be awarded up to a $1,600 honorarium to construct a 3-dimensional scale model and be eligible for the cash prizes. For more info and prospectus, click on "House Call for Entries" at

Bethesda Painting Awards
Deadline: March 11, 2005

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the inaugural Bethesda Painting Awards. Eight finalists will be selected to display their work in an exhibition during the month of June 2005 at the Fraser Gallery in downtown Bethesda, and the top four winners will receive $14,000 in prize monies. Best in Show will be awarded $10,000; Second Place will be honored with $2,000 and Third Place will receive $1,000. Additionally, a "Young Artist" whose birthday is after March 11, 1975 will be awarded $1,000. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. All original 2-D painting including oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and mixed media will be accepted. The maximum dimension should not exceed 60 inches in width. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibition. Selected artists must deliver artwork to exhibit site in Bethesda, MD. Each artist must submit five slides, application and a non-refundable entry fee of $25. Submissions must be received by March 11, 2005. For a complete application, please send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:
Bethesda Painting Awards
c/o Bethesda Urban Partnership
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Or visit or call 301/215-6660.

Strictly Painting V
Deadline: March, 15, 2005

The McLean Center for the Arts has the call for artists for its fifth installment of its acclaimed Strictly Painting juried show (I was in number one or two a few years back). My good friend Jonathan Binstock, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Corcoran is this year's juror. Fee is $25, entry is via slides, and there are $1500 in cash prizes. Get the entry forms and details here

Now stealing art is a "conceptual art project" by itself. I'm not kidding! Read it here.

Monday, February 07, 2005


To DC area photographer Noelle Tan, whose series of black-and-white landscape photographs of desert areas in Nevada, Utah and Arizona processed using techniques that nearly obliterate the images, leaving only a hint and subtle marks of the original scenes have earned her a prestigious Creative Capital grant.

Curators Wanted

The Smithsonian American Art Museum, which I think is scheduled to re-open next year after extensive refurbishment, is looking for three new curators.

They are seeking two art curators and one photography curator. Salaries range from $41K to $50K. See the details of these three and lots of other art-related jobs here.

And as Martin points out, the Whitney Museum in New York is looking for a Biennial Coordinator.

And the Corcoran (cough, cough) is looking for an accountant.

click to visit auctionThe annual WPA/C Art Auction is online. The exhibition, which raises funds for the WPA/C, will open on February 24 through March 5 at the Corcoran. The auction actually takes place on Saturday, March 5, 2005. See the details here.

work by Aylene FallahThis is a curated auction and the artwork then is contributed by area artists (although this year there are some very nice pieces from some very well known non Washington artists as well, such as Spencer Tunick.

Two of my favorite pieces in the auction are Aylene Fallah's brave piece on her recurring work on the treatment of women in Islamic societies and Michael Fitts gorgeous trompe l'oeil icon.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

The Patrons' Show

people lining up for Patron Show
If you were crazy enough to be hanging around Old Town Alexandria about 4 AM on a cold morning last month you would have noticed people forming a long line in the brutal cold outside the Torpedo Factory. They were waiting for a chance to get original art for their collections – or perhaps some brave souls starting to collect art.

"A line for art?" you must be asking, "who is crazy enough to freeze lining up at Oh-dark-thirty just to buy artwork?"


They were lining up for one of the great art deals of the year: the Annual Patrons' Show. It's very simple: artists donate original artwork to the Art League, who inspects it, selects it and often frames it. It is quality stuff, ranging from huge abstracts to delicate pencil drawings. The Art League represents nearly 1,200 artists in the area, so there's plenty of possible sources of art donated by generous artists.

It is one of the largest art events in the country, with around 600 original works of art finding a new home in one day.

people lining up for Patron ShowUsually about 600 pieces are donated and hung salon style in the Art League’s gallery on the first floor of the Factory. Then raffle tickets go up for sale at 10 AM, and they usually disappear within an hour or two; and each ticket equals a guaranteed a work of art.

And on Sunday, February 20, people who have a ticket begin gathering into the main floor of the Factory and they bring chairs, tables, food and loads of booze,as it will be a long, loud, fun, cheery and boozy evening as the tickets are drawn at random, and as they are called, ticket-holders select a piece of art from the work on display on the walls.

The first ticket called gets the first choice and so on. You better pick one quickly, or the crowds begin to shout and whistle and demand a choice be made.

It is without a doubt, the most sought after art ticket in town, and often incredible acquisitions are made. While 500 tickets for the show sold out within a couple of hours after going on sale last month, the Art League keeps a waiting list (and continues to sell more tickets, as they become available when more artists donate work, through Feb. 20). In addition, "First Choice!" raffle tickets will be on sale in the gallery Feb. 10-20.

Call the Art League at 703/683-1780.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Weekend Round-Up

Tonight there's an opening at Space in Georgetown starting at 7PM. Details here.

Mark Jenkins plastic men installationTomorrow, Tuesday and Wednesday are the last two days to see our "Best of Artomatic" exhibition. Mark Jenkins installation of plastic men just outside the Fraser Gallery Bethesda is shown to the left.

On Wednesday, February 9, from 6-8 PM, Evolving Perceptions will launch the long-awaited "Synergy" Art Project. The event will be launched at Karma Lounge (19th and I Street, NW in DC) from 6-8 PM. The Call for Art was launched last month and artists or teams of artists are requested to submit information to the jury panel for consideration. The "Call" is available online here and can also be obtained by contacting Maryam Ovissi at 202-607-0754 or via email at

Friday, February 04, 2005


Flying back today and should be back in the Soviet Socialist Republic of Montgomery County later tonite.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Thursday Reviews

Dawson returns to two of her favorite galleries and reviews Numark Gallery and Irvine Contemporary in today's WaPo:
There's one question that leaps to mind upon seeing "The Motley Tails," Sharon Louden's quirky extravagance of an installation at Numark: Exactly how many My Little Ponies died for this?
That is funny and I for one applaud humor in "Galleries" once in a while.

In the WCP, Jeffry Cudlin reviews Billy Colbert at Pyramid Atlantic while Louis Jacobson reviews Robert Olsen and Jitka Hanzlova at G Fine Art.

And at grammar.police, Kriston reviews Kelly Towles at Adamson.

And my ArtsMedia News TV review of the Arlington Arts Center reopening aired tonight at 8:30PM on MHZ Networks.

SPACE Opening this Saturday

The concept store Space in Georgetown in one of the alternative art venues in our area, and this coming Saturday, they will host an opening by three artists curated by Rody Douzoglou. The show, titled Chill, will feature recent works by Amalia Caputo, Marc Roman and one of the most talented young DC area painters that I know: Rachel Waldron.

Space is located at 1625 Wisconsin Ave, NW in Georgetown, and the opening is Saturday, February 5, 2005 at 7 PM and runs until March 6, 2005. For more information, call 301.980.9574 or visit this website.

And don't forget the First Friday openings!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tuesday Gallery Walkthrough

Starting last week, DCist commenced a Tuesday Arts Agenda, which consists of a regular Tuesday posting of galleries and museums events. See the most recent one here.

A ship, a radio and a sigh...

Today was a brilliant day in San Diego. Bright, almost pure white sunshine like only seems to exist in Southern California and Andalusia.

I caught the spectacular sight of USS Carl Vinson (from the great vantage point of Point Loma) as that huge carrier got underway, with the Air Wing already embarked, which is unusual, since they usually fly onto the carrier after it is a few miles out to sea. Hundreds of small sail boats crowded the bay, saying farewell to the ship (and making the job of the Officer of the Deck twice as hard as he or she has to steer a floating airport gingerly and avoid the hundreds of well-wishers).

But what really struck me today, was that as I was driving around, the local NPR radio station had a gallery and museum walk-though! And this is in a town where at best there are half a dozen good art galleries and a couple of good museums!

I don't know if this is a regular feature or not here, since it is apparently "museum month" in San Diego, but I thought to myself: wouldn't it be nice if some of our local NPR outlets (there are several that cover the DC area) had regular gallery walk-thoughs on the air, just to let their listeners know that art galleries do exist in Washington?

Just to let people know that we have well over 100 fine art galleries, museums, non profits and other art venues around our area.

Wishful thinking...

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Mexican Food

The last time that I was in San Diego I found a small mom & pop place to eat Mexican food that was incredible. But I wanted to give it a second visit before I revealed my newly discovered secret, and thus tonight, after I arrived in San Diego, I had dinner there.

It is a very small space inside Midway Plaza, right on Midway and about a block from Pacers. A small kitchen where a husband and wife cook, while the daughter tends the food and the drinks, and in between customers helps her little sister with her homework.

And the food is spectacular! And obviously San Diegans are discovering this little spot, as while I was there, a constant flood of people filed through the place.

Why? For one thing, they make three or four different kinds of mole, including a poblano mole that takes 30 ingredients to make! On the menu tonight were two kinds of soup: Menudo (I pass) and a spicy Mexican Steak Soup with vegetables that was divine. The previous time that I was here, they had Albondigas Soup, which was terrific.

But the mole is what makes this place special.

I then had lamb cooked in a mole BBQ sauce, plus a real tender Carnitas pork in a green mole sauce, chicken in a blackened chocolate mole sauce, plus all the fixings for less than $10, and a pint of draft beer is a buck and a half.

The name of the place: Ortega's

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