Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Wanna go to an opening tonite?

"Dogs and Cats Living Together," a solo show by John Aaron at The Clarendon Grill consisting of large watercolor and oil paintings of uncommon household pets has an opening reception for the artist tonight from 6-9PM. The exhibition runs through July 22, 2006.

The Clarendon Grill
1101 N. Highland St.
Arlington, VA 22201

Opportunities for Photographers

Deadline: June 12, 2006

New Image Gallery at James Madison University is reviewing photography and new media with mathematical themes and inspirations for an exhibition in Fall 2006. This includes all traditional and digital photography processes, photography-related mixed media, video, installations, interactive stations, and performance- based work. Artists, mathematicians, and others may apply.

Curated by James Madison University professors Dr. Elizabeth Brown (Math), Corinne Diop (Art), Rebecca Silberman (Art, New Image Gallery Director). There is no application fee. This exhibition is co-sponsored by James Madison University 's School of Art & Art History and the Institute for Visual Studies. New Image Gallery is James Madison University's contemporary photography gallery, now in a new gallery space. For more details, please contact Corinne Diop, School of Art & Art History, MSC - - (540) 568-6485.

Send appropriate documentation on slides, CD, web site links, dvd, or video; an image list; a statement outlining the mathematical implication of your work; a resume; any other support material; complete and accurate contact information; a SASE for return of your materials to:

James Madison University
800 S. Main St
Harrisonburg, VA 22807

Deadline: August 04, 2006

The 12 12 Gallery in nearby Richmond, Virginia has a call to photographers for its "National Juried Photography Exhibition," September 22 - October 22, 2006. 2-D or 3-D work completed in past 3 years using any photographic processes by artists 18+ years of age.

$1000 in awards. Juror: Stephen Perloff. $30 for up to 5 slides or digital images. The prospectus is available online here or artists may send a SASE to:

12 12 Gallery
12 E. 12th Street
Richmond, VA 23224

Questions? Contact Martin McFadden, Director at or 804-233-9957.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

More congrats!

To DC area artists Inga Frick, Ian Jehle, J.T. Kirkland, Gabriel Martinez, W.C. Richardson, and Jason Zimmerman, all of whom have been chosen for the seminfinalist list for the The Janet & Walter Sondheim Prize, a one-time $25,000 art prize that will be awarded in conjunction with the annual Artscape juried exhibition.

Up to ten finalists from the below (very Baltimore-heavy) list (which includes quite a few Trawick Prize finalists and one winner) will be selected for the exhibition that will be on display in the Decker and Meyerhoff galleries of the Maryland Institute College of Art. From this group the winner of the prize will be selected:

Lauren Audet - Baltimore, MD
Lillian Bayley - Baltimore, MD
Michael Benevento - Baltimore, MD
Heather Boaz - Towson, MD
Nancy A. Breslin - Newark, DE
Camp Baltimore - Baltimore, MD
R.L. Croft - Manassas, VA
Jarrett Min Davis - Baltimore, MD
Laure Drogoul - Baltimore, MD
Eric Dyer - Baltimore , MD
Inga Frick - Washington, DC
Leslie Furlong - Baltimore, MD
Dawn Gavin - Baltimore, MD
Lesser Gonzalez - Baltimore, MD
Geoff Grace - Baltimore, MD
Kristofer Harzinski - Lancaster, PA
Maren Hassinger - Baltimore, MD
Bernhard Hildebrandt - Baltimore, MD
Karin Horlbeck - Baltimore, MD
Jason Hughes - Baltimore, MD
Julie Jankowski - Baltimore, MD
Ian Jehle - Washington, DC
Brian Kain - Emmitsburg, MD
J.T. Kirkland - Arlington, VA
Osamu Kobayashi - Baltimore, MD
Gabriel Martinez - Washington, DC
Lesley McTague - Cockeysville , MD
David Page - Baltimore, MD
Hugh Pocock - Baltimore, MD
Carly Ptak - Baltimore, MD
W.C. Richardson - University Park, MD
Chuck Sehman - Baltimore, MD
Julia Kim Smith - Baltimore, MD
Denise Tassin - Baltimore, MD
Rene Trevino - Baltimore, MD
P. Daniel Witmer - Baltimore, MD
Karen Yasinsky - Baltimore, MD
Jason Zimmerman - Washington, DC

The jurors are Kathy Grayson, Gallery Director of Deitch Projects in New York, Matthew Higgs, currently the director and chief curator of White Columns in New York, and artist William Pope, faculty of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine.


To Ben Tolman, who will be exhibiting this coming June at the "Flights of Imagination" exhibition in Switzerland at the Giger Museum curated by H.R. Giger himself.


The WaPo's Express has a bit on my review of Cristin Millett.
Washington Post Express

Monday, May 29, 2006

Cristin Millett at Arlington Arts Center

Considering that Jessica Dawson wrote that "I regret to report that almost all of the six solo shows filling Arlington Arts Center are underwhelming" when she visited the Arlington Arts Center recently, I wasn't really expecting an artistic epiphany during my recent visit to see Nestor Hernandez's portraits of Cuban-Americans currently on exhibition on the lower level of the center.


The visit to the Arlington Arts Center unexpectedly revealed one of the most memorable art installations that I have ever seen, and even though critics often have different opinions, I am honestly puzzled that Dawson didn't mention the amazing installation in the main floor gallery.

I am referring to Cristin Millett’s astounding solo show at the Center.

Not being familiar with Millett’s work, I asked the Center’s hardworking director Claire Huschle, to tell me a bit about both the artist and the installation. I then stepped back and listened as Claire smartly dissected and explained the installation and commented on it (and then I realized why Jessica missed it completely! -- "listening" being the operative word here).

"She grew in a medical household," explained Huschle, as we walked into the installation. This revelation (I believe) is the key to understanding (and appreciating) Millett's work; forgive my using the critic's crutch and let me describe it for you.

The installation consists of a maze like circular corridor titled "Teatro Anatomico" which uses Andre Levret’s 18th century schematic representations of the female reproductive system at the time of conception.

Millett has reproduced them into chiffon sheets that hang from aluminum tubing that form the maze and deliver a very convincing impression of both a hospital setting and a surgical theater, set-up in uterine forms that lead to a central point.

There’s a certain and strange Victorian parlor elegance to this first part of the installation, and the technical skill is admirable, both in the hand stitching of the lady-like chiffon and the construction of the aluminum tubing. Cristin Millett’s Teatro Anatomico

Millett has realistically constructed a convincing anatomical theatre with a subtle nuance of the female reproductive system (even the Victorian lighting seems like a female vagina when viewed from the outside); we are entering a medical theatre, where anatomy students, erotica voyeurs, and art observers all meld into one.

Inside the maze, a cleverly constructed medical exam table depicts the living digital image of a young woman's body, except its face which is replaced by a living digital plasm.

Titled "Abdominal Mystery: Dissection of the Observer," this is a living, breathing video, where we see the anonymous body breathing, being dissected, wrapped in plastic (I think), explored and manipulated.Cristin Millett’s Teatro Anatomico

Here the voyeur is fascinated, titillated and sometimes repulsed. The Eros of the nude body is coupled with the grossness of the exploration of its insides and the magic of its fragility. The body has become a bridge of sorts between the interior and exterior spaces of architectural entryway provided by the uterine maze: are we entering the theatre, or penetrating it?

The metaphorical relationship can be overwhelmingly sexual, or perhaps an intelligent attempt to place the female body as a comment on its visual power in a Sexual Personae Camille Paglia sort of way?

And therein lies the unexpected success of this piece, which belongs in a museum where it can be admired, explored and discussed: It brings the viewer into a silent interaction with a work of art that employs the most powerful of human icons: our body.

Millett is a young artist on the faculty at Penn State, and if this installation is a sign of things to come, then keep an eye on this promising artist.

And were our museum curators like their counterparts in New York or LA or Seattle or SF, this piece would find a champion (and a home) in one of our area's great museums.

This is my call for Anne Ellegood or Kerry Brougher from the Hirshhorn or Jonathan Binstock from the Corcoran to pay a visit to Arlington and see the newborn that this young brilliant artist has delivered for us.

The exhibition goes through June 10, 2006.

Update: The Washington Post's Express has a little blurb on this review in the Tuesday, May 30, 2006 issue.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Last week, a reader asked the Weekend staff to consider this really good suggestion/question:
McLean, Va.: How can the Weekend section give out a little more info on gallery shows, etc.? It seems like a lot of space is used to list page after page of museum shows (a lot of which are static and never change) on every issue ...

How about a once a month museum listing like you do now, and the other three weeks only list those museum shows that are new or opening (like you do with galleries).

That would free up additional space to discuss (maybe mini reviews) more art gallery shows ...

Bottom line is that the static museum listing, issue after issue ... seems a little "dusty" and that whole part of Weekend may need to re "re-freshed" -- We're starving for more art reviews out here ...

Aficionado de Arte
I thought that this was a good suggestion and I wish that I had thought of the idea, which is a good workable suggestion to "free up" static space in the section for more art coverage.

But then witness how the suggestion itself is ignored in the response:
Curt Fields: More art reviews would be nice. We also hear from people who want more on Classical music, theater events, etc. And we'd love to write more on all those topics. Unfortunately the amount of space we have is not unlimited. It's a tricky juggling act.
With all due respect, did Mr. Fields read the question/suggestion?

We know that the "amount of space" is not unlimited! But the suggestion offered a way to "free up" space. And yet he ignored that part and gave the canned "we have limited space and everyone wants us to cover their pet interests" answer.

So: How's the suggestion itself (as far as an idea to "free up" more space?

By the way there's a LOT more print space devoted each Weekend to music and theatre than to the visual arts: a LOT more!

Girlz Cook-Out

Candy Keegan and the other artists from the group known as the Girlz Club are having a Happy Hour and cookout this coming Friday, June 2 at Wolfarth Galleries from 4-8PM. They are currently all exhibiting at Wolfarth in a group show called Mixology which runs through the 6th.

Wohlfarth Galleries is located at 3418 9th Street, NE in Washington, DC, 1/2 block from Brookland/CUA red line metro and across 9th Street from Colonel Brook's Tavern. Details and info at 202-526-8022.

Bring something!


Today I am in the process of jurying artwork submitted via CD ROMS for the art competition.

Here's a bit of mathematics for 98% of the artists who sent in a CD ROM and a business-sized stamped and self-addressed envelope for the return of the CD ROM: A CD ROM does NOT fit in a business sized envelope!

Kahlo sets record

The sale of Frida Kahlo´s self-portrait, “Roots” sold for $5.6 million dollars at an auction held by Sotheby´s. This sets a record for the most expensive Latin American painting sold at an auction.

Read the details here.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Arts and the Race for DC Mayor

This posting about DC mayoral candidate Michael A. Brown and this posting about Alma Thomas at the Hirshhorn triggered a DC Arts News reader to send me the following:
Anthony A. Lewis is the current president of Verizon Washington, D.C.

He succeeded Marie C. Johns, who is now running for mayor of DC (AND doing "meet and greets" at local white-owned art galleries).

Here are a few organizations that Tony Lewis is part of:

- he is a member of the DC Chamber of Commerce's Governing Board,

- he is a member of the board of directors of the Greater Washington Board of Trade,

- he is a member of the Washington Performing Arts Society,

- he is a member of the Federal City Council,

- and he is a member of the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington

Now here is a black man who maybe ought to be tapped to be on the Hirshhorn's Board of Trustees or be groomed to become a purchasing friend who might buy a Lois Mailou Jones and give it to the Hirshhorn.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden generally accepts gifts of art only if it intends to accession them into its collections. The museum must, of necessity, be very selective to ensure that objects acquired are appropriate to the collections and can be properly cared for and displayed.

So maybe Tony Lewis will drop into the local DC white-owned gallery and maybe someone will convince him to buy up a Renee Stout and give it to the Hirshhorn.
Interesting points... if my memory serves me right, recently the Hirshhorn received a gift of a Renee Stout from Ubercollector Fred Ognibene; but the Hirshhorn could certainly use another one!

P.S. Tony Lewis: I know of a local, African-American owned, highly reputable art gallery which has a really nice (and early) Lois Mailou Jones original for sale. Talk to me!

Friday, May 26, 2006


Here are the transcripts from this morning's Weekend staff online session.

These online talks are rapidly becoming a forum for people to discuss on ways to expand the Weekend section's arts coverage and has also become a somewhat creative way for some of the Weekend staffers to keep sidestepping the issue.

Consider this really good suggestion/question:
McLean, Va.: How can the Weekend section give out a little more info on gallery shows, etc.? It seems like a lot of space is used to list page after page of museum shows (a lot of which are static and never change) on every issue ...

How about a once a month museum listing like you do now, and the other three weeks only list those museum shows that are new or opening (like you do with galleries).

That would free up additional space to discuss (maybe mini reviews) more art gallery shows ...

Bottom line is that the static museum listing, issue after issue ... seems a little "dusty" and that whole part of Weekend may need to re "re-freshed" -- We're starving for more art reviews out here ...

Aficionado de Arte
Good suggestion uh? I wish I had thought of the idea, which is a good workable suggestion to free up space in the section for more art coverage. But then witness how the suggestion itself is ignored in the response:
Curt Fields: More art reviews would be nice. We also hear from people who want more on Classical music, theater events, etc. And we'd love to write more on all those topics. Unfortunately the amount of space we have is not unlimited. It's a tricky juggling act.
Did Fields read the question/suggestion?

We know that the "amount of space" is not unlimited! But the suggestion offered a way to "free up" space. And yet he ignored that part and gave the canned "we have limited space and everyone wants us to cover their pet interests" answer.

WaPo Changes

This coming September, the WaPo is going to combine the Home, Health and Food sections into something called new The Daily Source.

It will have a staff of 30.

This is possibly an area where "new" or additional arts coverage could happen, since currently the Home section does occasionally run notices of art openings and certain art related gimmicks that feature decorating or interior design.

WaPo's Weekend Staff Online

The WaPo's Weekend staffers are online at 11AM today answering questions about Weekend and its coverage.

You can email your question to them here.

Update: Here are the transcripts from this morning's session. These online talks are rapidly becoming a forum for people to discuss on ways to expand the Weekend section's arts coverage.

The Corcoran's Roof

Oooh... Sommer Mathis over at DCist hits on a good one as she highlights Ed Lazere's (the executive director of the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute) most interesting piece in the current Hill Rag reviewing the Mayor's current budget proposal for arts funding in 2007.

Arts Funding in the Proposed 2007 Budget
Corcoran Roof - $8 million
Arena Stage Expansion - $10 million
Community Arts Programs - $8.1 million
Arts Education - $1.7 million
Howard Theater - $2.5 million
Barracks Row Theater - $2.5 million
Public Art Projects - $2.5 million

Lazere notes that
"Last year, the city pledged $20 million to support a major expansion at Arena Stage. This year's budget would raise the contribution from DC taxpayers even further, to $25 million, with $10 million coming in 2007. Overall, the budget would devote more to the Corcoran and Arena Stage in 2007 than to all other arts programs combined."
Read Lazere's entire piece here. It's interesting to me that the theatres are getting six times more funding than public art projects ($15 million compared to $2.5 million).

Diamonds are a Hirst's best friend

A few years ago we were approached by a (very wealthy) artist in her twenties who wanted to exhibit her (very bad) paintings in our galleries. Part of her gimmick was the fact that each work had around $50,000 in precious stones embedded in the thickly applied paint that she used.

We turned her down.

Leave it to Damien Hirst to outdo her; his latest project is a skull cast in platinum and covered in diamonds. This will be the most expensive piece of artwork ever created, and will bring Hirst closer to the Jeff Koons Art League.

The skull will cost around $15-18 million smackers.
"I just want to celebrate life by saying to hell with death. What better way of saying that than by taking the ultimate symbol of death and covering it in the ultimate symbol of luxury, desire and decadence?

The only part of the original skull that will remain will be the teeth. You need that grotesque element for it to work as a piece of art. God is in the details and all that.

I've always adhered to the principle that the simplest ideas are the best, and this will be the ultimate two fingers up to death. I want people to see it and be astounded. I want them to gasp."
I'm already gaggingsping.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Alma Thomas

The Hirshhorn has some of the Alma Thomas paintings in its collection currently on exhibition.

Thomas, who lived most of her life (and taught art to children for many years) in DC, didn't even have her first solo show until she was 68 years old, and still managed to fit in retrospectives at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and what was then called the National Museum of American Art, and then became the first African American woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

She died in 1978, and many of the Thomas' paintings in the Hirshhorn collection were gifted to the museum after her death.

I find it a little curious that the Hirshhorn has eight Thomas in its collection, but only one Lois Mailou Jones, who was one of Thomas' professors at Howard (Thomas was Howard's first Art Department graduate in 1924).

Jones died in 1998. Time for some more gifts to the Hirsh...


Next week, on Wed. June 7, 2006, at 12 noon, Michelle Greet, Assistant Professor of Art History, George Mason University will deliver a slide lecture titled "From Matta to Gego: Modes of Abstraction in Latin America" at the Art Museum of the Americas, a truly gorgeous, and often ignored, art space in our region.

Free and open to the public!

Bailey in the WaPo

Bailey is in today's WaPo.

See it here.

We have them too

An alert DC Art News reader points out that in the WaPo's District Extra, there is an article about how Michael A. Brown is getting political endorsements for his DC mayoral campaign in places outside the DC area.

So what's this story got to to do with the visual arts?

Apparently Brown was in Atlanta to raise funds for his campaign, which he last reported in March as having less than $12,000 in cash. Andrew Young endorsed him in front of a crowd of about 150 who paid $100 to attend a reception at an African American-owned art gallery.

Now this is something that has never happened in DC... or has it?

And what is it with WaPo's writers and their "generalizing" of art galleries or museums (describing them as "an art gallery" or in Big Al Carter's article, as "an art museum"), rather than telling their readers the name of that art gallery in Atlanta? Had it been a defense contractor, or any other business, we'd know immediately who it was.

And Mr. Brown, if you need to pick up some endorsements in our area, and need an excellent African-American owned art gallery to host the event, we have them too! I'll even tell you the name of some of them.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


As you can probably tell from the dearth of postings, I have been super busy and away from DC this week.

And tonite just back from Heineman-Myers where Argentine painter Martha Zuik had a nice artist's talk amidst some really good Argentine wine tasting... more on Zuik later.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Carter's Show

Another DC Art News reader points out that this link has all the info about the Big Al Carter museum show that the WaPo article failed to reveal.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Online grilling

Last Sunday's Washington Post Magazine did something quite out of the ordinary: it actually had a profile of a DC area artist: Allen D. Carter.

And one of DC Art News readers wrote to me that
"it's INFURIATING thru the whole article they keep referring to some museum in North Carolina where Carter's work will be featured in group show... after searching on the curator's name you can dig up The Louise Wells Cameron Art Museum. Would it kill them to mention the name of the museum? would this kind of writing be tolerated for a political story or a sports story? That town hall meeting that happened somewhere in North Carolina? That game that was played somewhere in the south? I dont think so..."
Good points!

And then today, the author of the piece, Mary Battiata, was online discussing the article (I was away all day and missed it!) and answering questions and yikes... was she grilled!

Everything is online here.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Reston Report

Back from jurying the 15th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston, which expects to gather anywhere from 60,000 to 80,000 art lovers this weekend to check out 150 artists and artisans from around the nation.

The jurying was brutal work, as there were many talented artists, and it also seems like sales were going gangbusters (Marvin Blackmore sold a $25,000 piece while we were jurying around!).

Also ran into Bailey, who was a volunteer at the show and was delivering lunches and water and sodas to the artists.

And Kirkland also benefited from the first day of the show, as one of his pieces sold at the GRACE gallery. His solo looks really good and clean (more on that later).

Anyway, we awarded the best in show to Chris Plummer, a really young printmaker from Kentucky with some deeply interesting woodcuts.

I also liked the work of Michigan artist Helen Gotlib, but couldn't swing a prize for her (she won a prize last year).

Also of interest were the amazing retablos of Nicario Jimenez, last seen locally at an exhibition last year in the Corcoran.

Other prizewinners included woodturner Kim Blatt, sculptor Valerie Bunnell, watercolorist Randy Eckart, an amazing young minimalist jeweler by the name of Geoffry Giles, who won the First Prize in the Crafts category, and the always intelligent photographs of Vincent Serbin.

And I also fell in love with the furniture of Damian Velazquez: this guy is amazing and affordable!

Update: Bailey's report here.

Saturday Assignments

If you're in an artsy mood and want to hang around Bethesda, you can start your day by attending the artists' talk at Fraser Gallery at 2PM and then walking over to the opening of the new exhibition at Heineman Myers Contemporary Art.

First: Many of the artists from the current Compelled by Content II exhibition will deliver an artists' talk, sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance at the Fraser Gallery on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 2PM.

The talk is free and open to the public and will also offer an opportunity to learn more about the Renwick Alliance. There will be plenty of sangria at hand.

Then Heineman-Myers Contemporary Art opens its second show ever with an exhibition of new works by acclaimed Argentine painter Martha Zuik. The opening for Zuik is from 6-9PM.

Restonin' Today

I'll be in Reston all day, one of three jurors selecting the prizewinners for the 15th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia. About 150 artists from all over the country, a few thousand dollars in prizes, tons of bucks in sales, and between 60,000 - 80,000 people attend, look at and buy art at the festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday. Details here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Missed it!

Weekend section writers had their Friday online chat this morning, but I missed it as I hadn't seen them on the schedule.

Lots of beach questions, but someone asked:
Washington, D.C.: While I understand that there is concern for cultivating the "new" reader (i.e., the under-35 demographic) it seems the Weekend section believes that the cult of celebrity is what is of chief concern.

Why else has the erudite O'Sullivan been assigned to waste his talents interviewing Hollywood celebrities when the Metro area under-35 crowd really HUNGERS to read more in-depth analysis of why the young artist Laurel Nakadate creates artwork that is "almost sickening in its soul-deadness" yet this very "soul-deadness" has "undeniable power" WHY IS THAT this reader wants to know?

This 32-year-old reader finds the celebrity interview sickening in its soul-deadness. It is noteworthy, that today's thought provoking piece on artwork featured in a local commercial gallery occurs when O'Sullivan has not split his focus with Hollywood.

I want more of The Weekend section HERE, not in Hollywood.

Michael O'Sullivan: I think there's a question buried in there somewhere, and I'll try to address it, along with another point only implicitly raised by my erudite questioner. Laurel Nakadate's work is powerful for exactly the paradox you've put your finger on -- not despite, but because of its sickening soul-deadness. There's a kind of power in art that makes us angry, or scared, or even nauseated. Not everyone may like that feeling. I kind of welcome it. I think this would have been clearer if I had written more extensively about Nakadate's work, instead of including her with four other artists showing in three different galleries housed under the same roof. I wanted to get them all in though, even if only briefly, since they're all worthwhile shows in my opinion. Other questioners (and perhaps even this one) in previous chats have wanted more coverage of local art. That's what I'm trying to do, with occasional "round-ups" of multiple shows like this, which are, of necessity, less in-depth than if I had devoted all my attention to a single artist.
The questioner is referring to O'Sullivan's review of Nakadate in today's Weekend. Read that here.

Submit your questions (for next week) to the Weekend staffers here.

Here Comes the Judge

I'll be jurying a couple of art related events this weekend:

First of all, I'm one of three jurors selecting the prizewinners for the 15th Annual Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in Reston, Virginia. About 150 artists from all over the country, a few thousand dollars in prizes, tons of bucks in sales, and between 60,000 - 80,000 people attend, look at and buy art at the festival, which runs Saturday and Sunday. Details here.

Today is the deadline for the 10th Annual Greater Washington, DC International Fine Arts Competition, which I juried back in 1997 and which I will jury again this year. Drop off entries by the gallery today!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Recent AU Acquisitions

Recent acquisitions of AU's Watkins Gallery and the Katzen Collection are on view at the Katzen Arts Center now and will be through June 18, 2006.

This exhibition of acquisitions, the first since the museum opened in July 2005, features work by several Washington-based artists — there's a stone sculpture by Jim Sanborn, Noche Christ’s folk-like painting of a fantasy harem, a color abstraction by Howard Mehring, as well as contemporary art from by New York color field painter Jules Olitski and California funk artist Roy De Forest.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Artists' Talk This Saturday

Many of the artists from the current Compelled by Content II exhibition will deliver an artists' talk, sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance at the Fraser Gallery on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 2PM.

The talk is free and open to the public and will also offer an opportunity to learn more about the Renwick Alliance.

Artists on Artist

Hirshhorn Talks

Open Studios This Weekend

The Mid City Artists are having their joint open studios this weekend May 20-21, 2006.

Details and map here.

Transformer Changes

As reported by Adrian Parsons a few days ago, Transformer’s Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Victoria Reis as Executive Director of Transformer as of May 16, 2006.

Jayme McLellan, who co-founded Transformer together with Reis in 2002, resigned from her position as co-director of Transformer to become the Interim Executive Director of Women & Philanthropy - a national leadership organization of grant-makers.

Good luck to both!

Schafer on Bisese

Karen Schafer discusses Ed Bisese at Neptune Gallery.

Read it here.

Louie The Fish

I've received at least a dozen emails from readers telling me that they've also received emails from Louie The Fish.

And this one:
Hi Lenny,

I was just now going to post to you about the scam.

I, too received email from the same person (who calls himself Mclaren Welis from the UK) beginning in April (and I have art on the MD State Arts Council website).

I don't know if I'm the person that is refered to in your posting today. I think not since I didn't recognize the postmark, only that the stamps were from Benin (a country next to Nigeria).

I was skeptical as well from the first contact in April, but via email, he said the same thing, interested in purchasing several of my artworks. I'm so glad you've posted the warning.

The person who manages the MD State Art Council's website is aware of this, and posted a warning to artists who are on the registry. (Well, that was before I got the check yesterday -- also for an additional $3000, which I suspected was phony).

I talked to the manager at the bank, and he called the bank that the check was written on, and of course, its no good. The manager said they would have deposited it in my account, not knowing it was phony, made the funds available to me. And, a week later, when they would have learned that it was a bad check, would have debited my account.

I'm sure the person "Mclaren" would have contacted me and asked me to send him the extra $3000, or an amount just under, saying something like, he could make it profitable to me... or for my troubles, keep an extra $500 or whatever.

The bank manager said this past month another customer came in w/a similar check. That person was contacted by email from someone supposedly interested in renting an apartment, and received a check for thousand/s more than the agreed amount.

The police advise me to not respond to any email from this Mclaren Welis and not to return the check. I just got another email from Mclaren today asking for a response.

Thank you again for posting to your blog about this creep.
Be careful!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Art Fraud Alert

Received the following from a DC ART NEWS reader:
A DC area artist and I were both contacted by a Mclaren Welis with a yahoo account -- supposedly from 36 Greenfield Wrexham UK LL11 2NR (Wales) to buy our artwork -- that he discovered on the Maryland State Arts Council website.

I thought it was legitimate because I googled the address and found an artist who lives nextdoor at 34 Greenfield, a glass artist by the name of Chris Bird-Jones who is affiliated with the Arts Council of Wales... so my brain made the connection that Chris Bird-Jones had introduced Mclaren Welis to arts council databases and Mclaren was out to buy directly from artists.

The other DC artist received a check today that is for exactly $3000 more than the cost of her artwork and the shipping fees. The check came in an envelope with a very weak cancellation mark from Dubai (United Arab Emirates).

These scams have come to be associated in the public mind with Nigeria due to the massive proliferation of such confidence tricks from that country since the mid-eighties, although they are often also carried out in other African nations, including Togo, Cte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Benin, Liberia, Sierra Leone and South Africa, and increasingly from European cities with large West African populations, notably London, Amsterdam and Madrid, and lately also Dubai (United Arab Emirates) and Canada.

So I finally emailed Chris Bird-Jones who informed me that there is no 36 Greenfield.

Chris Bird-Jones, whose work is displayed on the Arts Council of Wales website was recently a victim of a similar scam where a person with the name Lineaux Swave wanted to buy Bird-Jones' artwork... a fradulent check (aka Akwukwo, chekere, pepper in Nigeria) was sent to Bird-Jones and the matter is now in the hands of the police and the bank.

We fall mugu (To be fooled, to become victim of advance fee fraud); Supposedly a check is in the mail to me

This must be going all round the Maryland State Arts Council website; it's called an Advance Fee Fraud or a 419 scheme.
And just today I received an email from someone named Luis that says:
From: Luis Mackarel
Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 5:53 PM
Subject: Paintings

I came across your paintings from maryland state council website and i will appreciate it if you can let me know if the works displayed on the website is still
available and prices of eachwork.
I intend to answer Louie The Fish and at least make him waste the envelope and some stamps as he sends me my Akwukwo check.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Nestor Hernández (1960-2006)

I am shocked to learn today that my good friend Nestor Hernández passed away after a short bout with cancer.

portrait of Nestor HernandezHernández was a DC-based photographer of Afro-Cuban descent (Afro-Cuban father and African-American mother).

Raised in DC, he didn't speak Spanish, but that didn't stop him from understanding it from his heart, and from visiting his father's enslaved homeland and re-discovering his Cuban roots via his photography, which he exhibited in many art venues, both in the DC area, nationally, and in Cuba, throughout the years.

Nestor was introduced to photography in High School through the Urban Journalism Workshop of the D.C. Public Schools, and then he was on the staff of the Capital Children’s Museum as photographer-in-residence for many years.

Hernandez then became the chief photographer for the D.C. Public School system, even as he continued to visit Cuba, and then to start photography projects dealing with children in Ghana, and most recently Mali.

We exhibited Hernandez photographs as part of our gallery's grounbreaking De Aqui y de Alla (From Here and From There) survey of contemporary Cuban art from Cuba and from the Cuban diasphora and in several group shows after that.

His photographs have been included in many shows Washington, D.C. and various American cities, as well as in Havana, Cuba and Accra, Ghana, and his photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Casa de Africa museum and Galería de Arte René Portocarrero in Cuba, Asafo Gallery in Ghana, the Cuban Art Space in New York and the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum in Washington, D.C.

He was a member and past president of FotoCraft Camera Club, and was the 2001 recipient of the "Photographer of the Year" award, given by the Exposure Group, African American Photographers Association. In 2002 he received the "Outstanding Emerging Artist" award, and in 2003 an Artist Fellowship Grant, both from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

With Port of Harlem, he developed the "Our Children, Our World" photography exhibit featuring the works of children from Ghana, Cuba, Washington, D.C., and Gary, Indiana. After a successful run in Washington, D.C., the exhibit opens in Gary later this summer, as an official event celebrating Gary's 100th anniversary.

And this Wednesday Tuesday, Nestor's photographs will be included in the Arlington Art Center's Love, Loss and Longing: The Impact of U.S. Travel Policy on Cuban-American Families, which opens May 16 and runs through June 3, 2006. The exhibit features photos by Nestor Hernández, Jr. and Juan-Sí González and text by Drs. Jeanne Lemkau and David Strug. The opening reception is May 16, 6:30- 9pm. This exhibit will then tour nationally through the end of 2007.

As with most artists, Hernández died with little money. Burial contributions are being accepted by his father:

Nestor L. Hernández
4007 53rd Street
Bladensburg, MD 20710

We will all miss you hermano!

Weekend Report

Two things to report on: Bethesda Fine Arts Festival and Kirkland's solo opening at GRACE.

It ended with a huge downpour, but for the most part the weather stayed good and around (my guess) 30-40,000 people attended the 3rd annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival on the streets of Bethesda last weekend. I did quite well, selling about a dozen drawings and maybe 20 prints or so. The mixed media artist from Georgia who was across from me sold over $15,000 on Sunday in a twenty minute span, and the photographer next to me was in a constant sell-mode on both days (and this was his first show). On my other side, Norfolk artist Sheila Giolitti also did gangbusters, including one major sale to Carol Trawick. See the prizewinners here in a few days as soon as the website is updated.

JT Kirkland's solo show at GRACE went well, with a couple of sales including JT's largest sale so far and a new high for the Kirklands. Congrats to JT!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Online Discussions on Criticism

Arts Journal is hosting an online debate about the changing nature of culture and cultural journalism. They've invited 15 critics, bloggers and editors to take part.

You can read it here.

Friday, May 12, 2006

What to do tomorrow

First of all, drop by the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival and check out the artwork of 130 contemporary artists from around the nation.

Then later that evening trek out to Reston and visit JT Kirkland's solo exhibition "Framed," at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) in Reston, VA. There will be a reception for the Kirkmeister on Saturday, May 13, 2006 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. And just in time (like the NSA story in USA Today), DCist has a great studio visit by Adrian Parsons to JT's place. Read it here.

If you don't get it...

From the transcripts of the Weekend staff online session this AM (italics are mine):
Potomac, Md.: Can we get more art reviews?

"On Exhibit" usually has one large or two joined reviews, but there are usually multiple movie and multiple theatre reviews ...

So can we have more art reviews in Weekend?

Style section now only does about 24 "Galleries" column a year ... so we're really starving for something to read about our local galleries!

Please ...

Joyce Jones: Michael O'Sullivan (who will most likely join me on this answer) does an exceptional job of covering a very large art scene. Since he began covering art for the section, Weekend has done more features on galleries than ever before. But speaking as the person who has to try to come up with a representative mix of all the entertainment options out there, I have to say that we try to divvy our space based on the popularity (and thus reader interest) in different topics. I listen to reader feedback, like what you're giving me now. And I also look at research into how people in this area spend their leisure time. Movies are a big draw and our coverage reflects that. We try to give both theater/dance and art exhibits a relatively equal shake though we structure the coverage differently. The mini art reviews idea is a good one, but our space constraints make it difficult to add a lengthy feature like that. Though week to week our section varies a little in size, over the course of a year it averages to a set amount of non-ad space each week. That's all we have to work with; we can't just go as big as we want. If that were the case, we would be twice as big each week.

Michael O'Sullivan: I know it can be frustrating. I have a list on my computer of somewhere between 100 and 200 art spaces (commercial galleries, nonprofits, alternative exhibition spaces, universities, embassies). That's not even counting the museums. And don't get me started on Baltimore, which has a very lively art scene, and whose boundaries with the DC art community are very porous. We try to distribute our coverage fairly, but given a limited amount of space--and the fact that I am, despite rumors, merely human--it's going to be impossible to make everyone happy.
So Ms. Jones (the very nice Weekend section editor) clearly states that she tries to divvy our space based on the popularity (and thus reader interest) in different topics.

Translation: We believe that our readers are more interested in movies, theatre, dance, and music than in art.

She also stated that: We try to give both theater/dance and art exhibits a relatively equal shake.

Are we reading the same Weekend section?

Homework assignment for one of the DC ART NEWS readers: Go to your local library, select the last 10 Weekend sections and count the number of:

(a) Theatre reviews and mini-reviews

(b) Dance reviews and mini-reviews

(c) Visual Arts reviews

While it is true that gallery reviews have significantly improved since O'Sullivan took over the "On Exhibit" column, I think that Ms. Jones may be surprised as to how much more of (a) and (b) Weekend does than of (c).

Let the data speak! Email me your homework assignment and I will post them here.

WaPo's Weekend Staff Online

The WaPo's Weekend staffers are online at 11AM today answering questions about Weekend and its coverage.

You can email your question to them here.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Target grants

Deadline: May 31, 2006

Target Stores provide local grants ranging in value between $1,000 and $3,000. To apply, complete the application form available on their website and deliver it to the Target store in your community.

Contact information is available through the Target website.


Numark Gallery has a new website.

Check it out here.

Cheryl also has two new Assistant Directors: Ricardo Harris-Fuentes and Lauren Hebert.

48 Hours

Since I'm down here in Virginia Beach, I've been missing the screening of the films submitted for the 48 Hours Film project, which used Tim Tate as the element in the films.

But I've been keeping up with the exhausted filmmakers through their blog here.

The films are been screened at AFI through Friday and the schedule is here.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Peter Panse Update

Remember the case of the High School art professor suspended for the nude model issue? (Read this if you don't).

Well his disciplinary hearing has started and you can read the first newspaper report here.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

An event for artists - Learning & Product Expo: Art!

Learning & Product Expo: Art! is taking place June 2-4, 2006 at the Marriott Inn & Conference Center at UMUC. It's an opportunity for fine artists to visit an exhibit hall of art material manufacturers and choose from 200 hands on workshops, lectures and demonstrations taught in all mediums and techniques.

Attendees can buy art supplies at great prices, see free demonstrations, learn more about the newest art products, meet other artists in the community and more!

For information on prices, exhibit hours, and class descriptions, please visit

Monday, May 08, 2006


I'm heading out to Virginia Beach for a few days, but will continue to post from the Tidewater area and may even do a gallery round-up from there.

Laptop coming along; keep coming back.

Tomorrow May 19 is the deadline

To get your entry in for the 2006 Tenth Annual Greater Washington, DC International Fine Arts Competition, which I am jurying this anniversary year (I juried the first one as well). Jurors over the years have included Stacey Schmidt from the Corcoran, Kristen Hileman from the Hirshhorn, painters Joe Shannon and Chawky Frenn and others.

Details here.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival This Weekend

Downtown Bethesda celebrates a weekend of Art on May 13 & 14, 2006 as the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announces the 3rd annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, a two-day event highlighting 130 contemporary artists who will sell their original fine art and fine craft at the event.

The festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 13 from 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 14, 2006 from 10am-5pm. Last year around 30,000 people attended the festival and this year (weather permitting) an increase in attendance and sales is expected.

National artists from nearly 25 states and Canada will showcase painting, drawing, furniture, jewelry, photography, ceramics and mixed media. The event will also feature live entertainment, a children’s activity area and downtown Bethesda restaurants including Hard Times Café, Mamma Lucia, Ben & Jerry’s and more. Participating artists were selected and juried by members of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District Advisory Committee.

Admission to the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival is free. The festival will be held in downtown Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle along Norfolk and Auburn Avenues, located six blocks from the Bethesda Metro Station. Free parking is available adjacent to the event in the parking garage located on Auburn Avenue.

The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival, produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District,is directed by Catriona Fraser, a fourteen year veteran of fine arts festivals, an international awards-winning photographer and co-owner of the Fraser Gallery, located in downtown Bethesda.

Comcast, MIX 107.3 FM, Whole Foods, Stonyfield Farm, The Gazette, Bethesda Magazine and Washington Woman are serving as the 2006 event sponsors.

Exhibiting Artists:
Gaurav & Anju Agarwal, Suwanee, GA
Fred Albright, Lancaster, PA
Amos Amit, Los Angeles, CA
Lisa Aronzon, Broadway, VA
Dwight Baird, Champlain, NY
Robert Barab, Hampton, VA
Dave Bazzel, Morgantown, PA
Joel Beckwith, Jamaica, VT
George Biersdorf, Cooksville, MD
Jim E. Biond, Jacksonville, FL
Eric Black, Charlottesville, VA
Edward Bordett, Fincastle, VA
Alex Brand, Corning, NY
Stephen Brehm, Leola, PA
Robert Bridenbaugh, Fair Haven, MI
Dave Bruner, Sarasota, FL
Michael Bryant, Atlanta, GA
Helen Burkett, Sarasota, FL
Marshall Burns, Woodbury, NJ
Brian Butters, Washington, D.C.
Walter Cade III, Jamaica, NY
F. Lennox Campello, Potomac, MD
Kimmy Cantrell, College Park, GA
Lisa Cimino, Baltimore, MD
Fiona Clark & Vincent DeLisle, Jefferson, ME
Karen Clark, Baltimore, MD
Bob Coleman, Montgomery Village, MD
Will Connor, Washington, D.C.
Norry Coscia, Langhorne, PA
Beth Crowder, West Union, WV
Carolyn Currie, New Milford, CT
Rick Dean, Charleston, SC
Karen Deans, Bethesda, MD
Tracy Deming, Butler, TN
Sharon Donovan, Ann Arbor, MI
Katherine Drew Dilworth, Brookeville, MD
Marsha Drummond, Devon, PA
Tony Elliott, Cockeysville, MD
Leslie Emery, Madison, WI
Joseph Craig English, Washington Grove, MD
Dede Faller, Washington, D.C.
Penny Feder, Jamaica, NY
Lynn Ferris, Berkeley Springs, WV
Matthew Fine, Norfolk, VA
Foust, Richmond, VA
Bjorn & Tatiana Fruchtman, Centreville, VA
Lou Gagnon, Gainesville, VA
Ming Gao, Philadelphia, PA
Geri Geremia, Boynton Beach, FL
Marcia Germain, Midlothian, VA
Paul Germain, Midlothian, VA
Courtney Gillen, Washington, D.C.
Sheila Giolitti, Norfolk, VA
Debra Lynn Gold, Atlanta, GA
Irwin Goldman, N. Bergen, NJ
David Gordon, Greenfield Center, NY
Judy Goskey, Burton, OH
Eve Greiner, Blue Bell, PA
Giffen Douglas Grosvenor, Stowe, VT
Anjali Gulati, Silver Spring, MD
Hilary Hachey, Baltimore, MD
Marsha Heatwole, Lexington, VA
Victoria Horner, Charlottesville, VA
Cassandra Jackson, Brooklyn, NY
Brendan Kager, Bethesda, MD
Gopal Kapoor, Greenville, NC
Flo Kemp, Setauket, NY
David Kiley, Medina, OH
Nancy Klotzle, Croton on Hudson, NY
Michelle Krespi, Oakland, CA
Kathy Lapso, N. Royalton, OH
Michele LeVett, Durham, NC
Steven Levine, Dayton, NJ
Jim Livermore, Barrington, NH
Robin Markowitz, Rockville, MD
Lee Angelo Marraccini, Charlottesville, VA
Syl Mathis, Falls Church, VA
Kerin McBride, McLean, VA
Christopher McCall, Doylestown, PA
Marti Mocahbee, Staunton, VA
Richard Moran, West Barstable, MA
Brenda Morrison, Quincy, MA
Debra Murray, Voorhees, NJ
Mary Ann Neilson, Westport, CT
Phillip Nolley, Staunton, VA
David Oleski, West Chester, PA
Carlos Page, Hoboken, NJ
Robert Patierno, Dallastown, PA
Fae Penland Gertsch, Reston, VA
Becky Peretz, Pittsburgh, PA
Diem Pham, Forest Hills, NY
Harold Pickern, Hannibal, MO
Ernest Porcelli, Brooklyn, NY
DeAnn Prosia, Monroe, CT
Ron Prybycien, Doylestown, PA
Ken Rahaim, Fairfax Station, VA
Bruce Reinfeld, Philadelphia, PA
James Gary Richmond, Titusville, FL
Evy Rogers & Joe Jacobs, Sewickley, PA
Martin Rothenberg, Shirley, NY
Jay Royal Chadwick, Malvern, PA
Gary San Pietro, Elkins Park, PA
Grant Silverstein, Mansfield, PA
Phil Skoczen, St. Petersburg, FL
Sherry Smith, Woodbridge, VA
Michael Soloman, Maplewood, NJ
David Souza, Gilbertsville, PA
Robert Stadnycki, Harrisburg, PA
Jill Stern, Frederick, MD
Nancy Strailey, Columbia, SC
Joyce Stratton, New Bern, NC
Cheryl Summers, Poland, OH
Steven Edward Summerville, Bumpass, VA
Sherry Terao, Silver Spring, MD
Richard Toft, Accomac, VA
Karen Trimble, Baltimore, MD
Allan Tuttle, Hallowell, ME
Barbara & Rick Umbel, Pawleys Island, SC
Alan Vaughn, Atlanta, GA
Joryel Vera, Altamont, NY
Susan Wertheimer David, Columbia, MD
Meg West, Crozet, VA
Judith Wrend, Morrisville, VT
Kim Young, Richmond, VA
Bernard Zalon, New York, NY
Stacy Zink, Washington, D.C.

For more information, please visit or call 301/215-6660. See ya there!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

48 Hour Film Project

I just found out that the 48 Hour Film Project is doing their Washington, DC event this weekend.

And thus, this weekend local filmakers are undertaking the 48 Hour Film Project locally, and each competing team has exactly 48 hours to make a five minute film that incorporates the same character, prop and line of dialogue.

Why am I writing about this cool film project in a visual arts blog?

Because this year's DC elements are as follow:
Character: Tim or Tina Tate, Gay Glass Sculptor Extraordinaire
Prop: Fire Extinguisher
Line of Dialogue: "This is absolutely the last time."

There were 100 teams at the kick-off event, and their films will be screened May 9 through the 12th at AFI, and the schedule is listed here.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Wanna go to an opening today?

The Jackson Gallery (118 Bryant St, NW in DC, near Howard University) opens "Works on Paper" tonight with an opening reception from 1-5PM.

Works by E. J. Montgomery, Samella Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, Leon Hicks, Valerie Fair, Varnette Honeywood, Margo Humphrey, Clarissa Sligh, Victor Ekpuk, Betty Blayton, Shirley Woodson, Gilda Snowden, Eglon Daley, Renee Stout, Floyd Coleman and Jocelyn Rainey.

A portion of the proceeds will go to the Evangeline J. Montgomery Scholarship Fund.

For more info call my good friend Caesar Jackson at 202.285.1754

Shaw-Eagle on Compelled by Content II

Joanna Shaw-Eagle, the chief art critic of the Washington Times delivers a major review of our current Compelled by Content II exhibition. Read that review here.

Shaw-Eagle (who has been writing about art since I was a kid), provides yet more evidence of how "healthy" it is to have more that one critical voice look at an artist or a show, and offer a different perspective or opinion. I also used the recent multi-reviews of the Connie Imboden show at Heineman-Myers as such an example, and now our show adds more evidence why it is important in most cases (and whenever possible) to have more than one set of eyes and more than one pen on paper to deliver an opinion.

I'm not criticizing either of the views, as art criticism should have teeth, but pointing out how two independent writers view the same artist completely different.

In his otherwise very positive review of our show, the CP's Kriston Capps describes Carmen Lozar's work as "puerile figurines [that] look as if they could have been made by Walt Disney."

Looking at the same artist, Shaw-Eagle (who disses my news release in the second paragraph of the review) writes:
Other glass works, such as those by 31-year-old newcomer Carmen Lozar, a teacher at Illinois State University and Illinois Wesleyan University, delightfully intrigue and puzzle.

An artist with impeccable credentials -- study at Alfred University, Corning Museum of Glass and the Pilchuck Glass School -- Miss Lozar presents "Tenuous," three tiny glass sculptures named "rabbit," "lizard" and "baby with umbilical cord."

She writes that many of her charming pieces emerge from her dreams. "Sister in Butterflies," an intricate, four-piece construction of flameworked glass and mixed media, comes apart to reveal the engraved words, "I dreamt my sister has beautiful long eyebrows. I dreamt she fought off butterflies while laying beneath a dogwood tree, thinking they were threatening when really they were just searching for her smile."
Although there are still some missing images, you can see most of the exhibition online here.

An artists' talk, sponsored by the James Renwick Alliance will take place at the gallery on Saturday, May 20, 2006 at 2PM. The talk is free and open to the public and will also offer an opportunity to learn more about the Renwick Alliance.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Wanna go to an opening tonight?

Hemphill Fine Arts' opening for the new Steven Cushner show is tonight, Friday, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.


Irvine is having an informal re-opening tonight at their new gallery at the former Fusebox location at 1412 14th Street, with a continuation of Susan Jamison's and Robert Mellor's solo exhibitions, and they will be open from 11AM - 8PM today and tomorrow.

Talking about Irvine, I've heard from various sources that Heather (or maybe it was Martin?) saw the Washington Glass School's intern Evan Morgan's show at Warehouse and fell in love with Morgan's work and signed him up!

I hear from Tim Tate that Evan Morgan is immensely talented, and now that Irvine scooped him up, I am sure that we'll hear great things from this young man.

WaPo's Weekend Staff Online

The WaPo's Weekend staffers are online at 11AM today answering questions about Weekend and its coverage. You can email your question to them here.

I've sent mine in...

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'll bite

Today's CP has this curious item by Josh Eiserike:
Japanese artist Hokusai probably never imagined that his work would inspire tentacle porn. The Edo-period great master, who coined the term “manga,” created wood-block printings and drawings that are considered the forbearers of all things anime, from Sailor Moon to hentai and everything in between. In “Capricious Comics,” American cartoonist Colleen Doran will explain the connections between manga and anime, and how both relate to American comics, in conjunction with the current exhibit of Hokusai’s work. Though Doran’s résumé includes Captain America, Wonder Woman, and fantasy series A Distant Soil, she doesn’t enjoy the accolades in America that Japan showers on contemporary manga artists—in Japan, everyone reads comics, not just maturity-delayed men. In addition to a discussion of the Hokusai exhibit, Doran offers a showcase of her own work at 1 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. (202) 633-4880.
OK... I'll bite: what is "tentacle porn?"

It's Grant Time!

Applications for all Fiscal Year 2007 DC Arts Commission grant programs are now available. Please visit for more information.

If you don't apply, you definately won't get one!

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

New Arts Beat Columnist

Rachel Beckman, formerly from the Washington City Paper will be taking over the Arts Beat column at the WaPo.

Rachel follows in the footsteps of Jessica Dawson, who also used to write for the CP before she replaced Ferdinand Protzman a few years ago, when Ferd suddenly quit writing the "Galleries" column for the WaPo.

Congrats to Beckman, and we all hope that Rachel will return the Arts Beat column to what it used to be: a column that augmented the fine arts coverage of the WaPo's Style section, rather than the all-inclusive general column that it became in recent years.

Caucus Report

Authentic Art has a good report and loads of photos from the recent Women's Caucus for Art Annual Networking Day.

Read the report and see the pics here.

Bisese at Neptune

Gallery Neptune will showcase “A Perfect Garage,” new paintings by Ed Bisese from May 4 through May 27 with an artist’s reception May 12, 2006 6-9 PM.

According to the gallery: "In this new body of work, we are introduced to an assortment of men, most who moving and some that are standing in personal landscapes that serve to enhance their exaggerated traits. Through form, color, facial expression, body language and props, Ed invites us to study the dilemma of each of these characters, caught in a synthesis of psychological and societal impositions."

Art from the Gulf

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, in Silver Spring, MD, is presenting “Art from the Gulf: Reflections on Katrina,” an exhibit of over 25 artists from the Gulf Coast region whose work explores the impact of Hurricane Katrina and considers its relation to the threat of global warming.

Curated by Steve Prince, a native of New Orleans, “Art from the Gulf” is on view from May 9th until June 16, 2006. The opening reception is on Tuesday, May 9th, from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

Spaulding at G Fine Art

Trawick Prize finalist Jeff Spaulding will have his second one-person show at G Fine Art, and the show is entitled Mine and will open on Saturday May 6 and continue through June 17, 2006. There will be an opening reception for the artist Saturday May 6 from 6:30-8:30pm.

On the road today...

I'm off for the day to Widener University. More when I get back later tonight.

Here's their art gallery.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

“Paint” Alexandria

On Saturday, May 20 and Sunday, May 21, 2006 The Art League will hold its annual “Paint” Alexandria, a two-day, all-media, plein air event, followed by the “Paint” Alexandria exhibition in The Art League Gallery, from June 7 – July 3, 2006.

They encourage artists of all media to participate in the event and creatively interpret Old Town Alexandria. Art League instructors will be on hand at various locations throughout historic Old Town Alexandria to guide participants in the fine art of sketchbook, painting, and photography.

During the event, artists will set up at different locations within walking distance of the Art League Gallery on the waterfront to paint, photograph, sketch, and create. Sessions with Art League instructors will be from 10:00 am – 12:00 noon and 3:00 – 5:00 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.

The registration fee is $40, and participation is not limited to Art League members. Participants are encouraged to come with their favorite artist materials and work alongside our instructors, set up on their own, or just come to enjoy the walking tour and demonstrations.

For more information, please contact Erica Fortwengler, Assistant Gallery Director at The Art League Gallery, 703-683-1780,

Kirkland Catching Up

Fellow artblogmeister JT Kirkland has so many diverse things going on that I'm catching up with all of them at once.

The One Word Project is JT's first book and it's now out and available for purchase. Details here.

bARTer is JT's new take-off on the barter idea for art. Details here.

The upcoming solo exhibition of JT's art, titled "Framed," opens May 11, 2006 at the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) in Reston, VA and runs through June 16, 2006. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, May 13, 2006 from 6:00 – 8:00 pm. You can see a preview of the exhibition here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

American Style

Two interesting articles in the current issue of American Style magazine, both good reasons to go pick up an issue.

-- This article highlights the top 25 American cities for art (according to the magazine's national readers). New York, of course, is number one. Behind the Big Apple are Chicago, (No. 2), Washington, D.C. (No. 3), San Francisco, (No. 4), and Boston, (No. 5). I realize that this rather great ranking is (I suspect) mostly based on our plethora of great museums (from the readers' perspectives), but I hope that it also raises some tiny issues with the editors at the Washington Post and the Washington Times, and their abysmal coverage of DC area art galleries and artists. And, over a year after the new Style section editor at the WaPo stated that they'd be looking to add a second freelancer to the "Galleries" column, so that the column could return to its once-a-week schedule, we're still waiting for Ms. Heard to hire a freelancer.

-- And the second reason to read this issue is (are you ready for this?)... the magazine has a huge article focusing national attention upon our own Washington Glass School and the whole "context in glass" movement that the school is a part of nationally. The article by Lee Lawrence reveals that
"It's addictive to make the perfect vessel," Tate admits. "The trick is to overcome that." Janis calls this hard-to-resist attraction "the quest for the perfect bubble," and he, too, confesses he is not immune. But, like a growing number of artists, Tate and Janis subscribe to the motto their glass school hammers home to students: "Learn your craft, then move beyond it."
Read the whole article by Lee Lawrence here. The "Compelled by Content II" show runs through June 4, 2006. Visit the Washington Glass School here.

Pinder's Ships

A few days ago I posted a bit about the CP blog story on Jefferson Pinder and his artwork at CORE.

Jennifer Motruk Loy, who is CORE's Director of Marketing (and a strong, proven supporter of our area's arts and artists) sent me a full perspective on the issue:
In response to Rachel Beckman’s City Desk Blog, Pinder’s Ships Have Sailed (4.25), I would like to clarify and address some key points not raised in Ms. Beckman’s piece that provide a full perspective on the story.

While it is unfortunate that Mr. Pinder’s work was de-installed by his curator (not "pulled off the wall") from the CORE lobby gallery prior to May 12, his work was installed on March 12, and remained on view for a full six weeks. This point was not only unreported in the article, but six weeks is an average if not slightly longer typical exhibition time in similar alternative spaces and true 'art gallery' spaces around town.

Perhaps even more unfortunate is that Mr. Pinder's work didn't receive this type of attention during its run so that more viewers could have enjoyed it. We welcomed the opportunity to share his work with our colleagues and clients, though did not commission the work or ask him to create work specifically for our space, as the article implies. In actuality, Mr. Pinder's curator was the one that approached CORE about installing Pinder's work in our space, and the ‘hundreds’ of announcement cards that were sent out included the CORE logo, not Mr. Pinder’s gallery was also responsible for sending out announcement cards, not the gallery, as reported. We wrote the press release, we included information on Mr. Pinder’s exhibition in our electronic newsletter and linked to him on our web site. Despite these efforts, CORE was never contacted by interested visitors, writers, critic or members of the media to view the show over the course of six weeks.

Though not a professional 'art gallery', the CORE lobby exhibition space has seen at least three other exhibitions by regional artists and is also used to display the firm's own art collection, and as business warrants, displays of the firm's professional architecture and design project boards. In showcasing the work of regional artists, our goal is not to draw hundreds of visitors, nor to engage in artwork commerce, but to enhance our space and engage colleagues and clients with examples of contemporary art, which we accomplished with this most recent exhibition and will do so again in the future.

Despite these non 'art gallery' characteristics of our space, Mr. Pinder saw some advantage to having his work on view at CORE, and could have made better use of the opportunity by reaching out to the press during the actual run of the exhibition which could have resulted in far better exposure and visibility for both he and his gallery. Finally, if content of the exhibition were in ANY way related to a need to remove the work prior to the anticipated closing date, it would have involved a meeting in person with Mr. Pinder to discuss the issues and a decision would have been made as to proceed or not to proceed with the exhibition. Content was not the issue, but we hope that these discussions bring Mr. Pinder the attention he deserves in anticipation of his first solo exhibition at G Fine Art in the fall.


Jennifer Motruk Loy
Director of Marketing

ps thanks for the web site hits

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