Thursday, August 31, 2006

Factory Work

I'm looking forward to visiting the Brandywine River Museum and seeing "Factory Work: Warhol, Wyeth and Basquiat," which opens Sept. 9, 2006.

The exhibition explores the collaboration between Warhol and the these two artists in the 70's and 80's (with Wyeth) and in the 90's with Basquiat.

WPA/C All Members Meeting

1st blog from PA...

The WPA/C is having their first All Members' meeting on September 14, 2006 at 6:30 p.m. at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in the auditorium.

Paul Greenhalgh, the new director of the Corcoran will be there to meet the WPA/C members and invites them and see the current show: "redefined: Modern and Contemporary Art form the Collection."

Details here and see ya there!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Packing Out

Today is moving day for me. By tonight I'll be living about two hours away most of the time, although spending a few days a week in the DC area.

Tate in Sculpture Magazine

The current issue of Sculpture Magazine (this Sept-Oct 2006 issue is unfortunaltely not online yet), now available in bookstores all across the country, has a really good review of DC sculptor Tim Tate's last show at Fraser Gallery by Sarah Tanguy, who now runs the Art in Embassies program.

Much like Ron English in the 90's, and with the exception of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Tate's work has been generally ignored by other DC museum curators while at the same time, Tate's groundbreaking marriage of context with glass and mixed media has been acquired by several museums outside of DC and is in the process of "breaking out" from DC.

This continues to re-affirm and add evidence to the unfortunate fact that most of our local museum curators rarely look in their own city for emerging artists and instead rely on their NYC and LA counterparts before taking a chance with a local talent.

Maybe when Sculpture Magazine hits their desks they'll think about taking a cab once in a while to their own backyard instead of taking a cab only to the airport to visit other cities' emerging artists.

This is something for Viso and Greenhalgh to think about.

Update: Read the review online here and here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The English on English

Brit newspaper The Guardian has an excellent article on former DC area artist Ron English (who now lives in NJ).

English was one of the finalists in the first Trawick Prize, and for years exhibited at MOCA in Georgetown, which is where I first came across his work in the mid 90's (and I reviewed him for some now defunct magazine). Like most DC area artists then and now, his work was generally ignored by DC area museums and curators.

English's career has taken off since he moved closer to NYC, and it is now represented in three continents and the subject of films and books.

Maybe now that New York and London have "discovered" his work, DC area museums and curators will pay attention to it.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Another newspaper discovers that artists are selling artwork online.

Jamie Gumbrecht, writing for the Lexington Herald-Dealer, not only discusses Duane Kaiser's phenomenom, but also highlights Kentucky artist Randel Plowman's version of Kaiserdom: his own "one a day" website, A Collage a Day.

Read the article here (thanks JT).

New blog

Area artist Pamela Miller has a new blog. Visit often.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Uncertainty at the Hirshhorn

A few days ago I received a news release announcing that this fall the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden will dedicate the entire second floor of the museum to an exploration of sculpture.

On view from Oct. 26 to Jan. 7, 2007, "The Uncertainty of Objects and Ideas: Recent Sculpture" features the works of nine "influential and emerging international sculptors."

This begs the question: can an artist be "emerging" and already be "influential"?

And where does that leave Kathryn Cornelius? After all, according to the WaPo's Chief Art critic, she's only "barely emerging."

The nine emerging sculptors are:

Andrea Cohen (born 1970, American, lives in Brooklyn)
Björn Dahelm (born 1974, German, lives in Berlin)
Isa Genzken's (born 1948, German, lives in Berlin)
Mark Handforth's (born 1966, British, lives in Miami)
Rachel Harrison (born 1966, American, lives in Brooklyn)
Evan Holloway's (born 1967, American, lives in Los Angeles)
Charles Long's (born 1958, American, lives in Los Angeles)
Mindy Shapero's (born 1974, American, lives in Los Angeles)
Franz West (born 1947, Austrian, lives in Vienna)

Each artist will be represented by several pieces, while three of the artists — Rachel Harrison, Evan Holloway and Charles Long — also have been invited to select and create installations of sculptural works from the Hirshhorn's collection in galleries adjacent to the exhibition.

"There is a pronounced psychological dimension to these works, which appear by turns lively and poetic, abundant and controlled, vulnerable and solid, chaotic and composed, ordinary and exceptional," says Associate Curator, the fair Anne Ellegood, organizer of the exhibition.

According to the news release, the exhibition "examines the ways in which the artists respond to the history of modern sculpture and their efforts to create forms inspired by challenging, often elusive concepts. The exhibition propels this exploration firmly into the 21st century with these artists' shared commitment to the study of sculpture as a medium and to creating freestanding, autonomous forms made from a variety of traditional and unexpected materials. Despite their physicality, these sculptures lie somewhere between an object and an idea—offering insight into how sculpture can challenge and expand our understanding of the world around us."

While I applaud that the museum is (finally) looking to bring to light some emerging artists, I wish that Ms. Ellegood would have also at least looked into her own local art scene to try to pick a DC area emerging artist to include in this exhibition.

Perhaps promoting Cornelius from "barely emerging" to "emerging" in the process!

Friday, August 25, 2006


Today I closed on a new house in PA (always an event somewhat comparable to a root canal), and on the way there I took a van-load of fragile stuff to deliver to the new house, because I don't trust the movers with it.

And in the process I managed to break the glass on the framed Gene Davis charcoal drawing, and drop the framed Vija Celmins drawing, all but destroying the frame, while hoping that the drawing survived.

And I packed the Frank Frazetta oil wrong, and put a dimple on the back of the canvas (but I know how to fix that).

Everything else made it OK, althought I still have no idea (from the last move) where my Ana Mendieta drawing is.

Is that enough name dropping? Oy vey! Still have loads of art to move.

Now I just gotta sell my Potomac house... it has been reduced by $85,000! Buy it here (Mention DC Art News and get a $10,000 discount).

Walter the Ripper?

Crime writer Patricia Cornwell (who I think used to live in Richmond?) will apparently donate 82 works by the artist Walter Sickert to the Fogg Art Museum.

This art collection, worth millions of dollars, was acquired by Cornwell while she was researching and writing Portrait of a Killer.

That book (and the 60 Minutes special) concluded that Sickert was Jack the Ripper.

Cornwell used the visual clues left by Sickert in his paintings to follow a rather convincing trail that led to a very convincing reasoning that deduced that Sickert was the Ripper.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

USA Today

Maria Puente at USA Today has a story about artists who are selling their work through blogs and the Internet, and they profile Duane Kaiser.

Puente writes:
"...artist/bloggers such as Keiser are democratizing the art world, using the Internet to change the making and selling of art. Dealers and galleries, who command 50% commissions, no longer have exclusive control in defining who is emerging or successful.

Now artists can sell directly to consumers, using blogs or auction sites at prices more affordable to would-be collectors. The result: More people are making a living as artists, more people are buying art, and more art is selling at a wider spectrum of prices."
Sounds like another blow to art elitists, hey? (Did I sound Canadian?).

And here's my prediction: Sometime in the not too distant future, a major newspaper somewhere (not the WaPo or the WashTimes) will hire a freelance art critic whose job will be to write art reviews of online exhibitions and/or online artists. It may already be happening somewhere (someone let me know), but I wouldn't be surprised to see (for example) a newspaper such as the Washington City Paper start devoting a monthly column to review online art exhibitions or artists - in addition to their current coverage of museum and gallery shows (CP, call me).


Two things related to the Smithsonian.

First: At the Smithsonian Institution, they’re working to connect people interested in the art through their online newsletter, Smithsonian Focus. We probably share much of the same audience and I think that DC Art News readers might like to know about upcoming Smithsonian exhibits, events on the National Mall and beyond, exciting online exhibitions, and more. It’s a wonderful resource for anyone who is interested in the arts, science, history, and the world around them. You can check it out here.

Second: A lot of online writing has been done about the Smithsonian, its condition, status, etc. Bailey has an opinion on the subject, and as usual it is... well Bailey. Read it here.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Silverthorne on my last show at Fraser

A while back Alexandra Silverthorne did a cool photoreview of my last exhibition with the Fraser Gallery.

See it here.

And a reader also pointed out to me that the Washington Post had done a small piece on the show as well. See that here.

Another voice

Read this Matthew Langley posting.

Me too!


In the video "Me," artist Ahree Lee began taking daily digital snapshots of her own face in 2001 and did so on a daily basis all through 2004.

In 2004, Lee compiled all of her daily images into a montage set to a musical score, where each second of screen time represents about one week's worth of pictures.

See it here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

International Landscape Show at the Art League

A lot of art critics, because of their perplexing arrogance, would never open their eyes to an All-Landscape show such as the Art League’s annual International Landscape Show has been year after year for as long as I have lived in this area.

And yet the eternal optimist in me, often wonders what would happen were they to set foot in the salon-style packed house that is the Art League’s annual show; hoping that perhaps a little of their elitist armor could be breached, and they would see, what I see.

For the last 13 years or so, I have been visiting this show, and have seen it become international in focus, and have also seen it grow in both size and quality, but the one things that has never changed in my perception of it, is how artists continue to bring forth new visions of what is landscape, or re-invent the perceptions of what others have done before them.

The 2006 version of the International Landscape Show at the Art League was selected by Mark Leithauser, the Senior Curator and Chief of Design at the National Gallery of Art, who selected 178 works of art from 708 entered. The exhibition was sponsored by Donald and Nancy deLanski with the deLaski Family Award, which was given this year to Kim Steinberg. Other award winners were Thomas Dembeck, who won the Risser Award, Christine Lassey, who won the Potomac Valley Watercolorists Award and Nancy Reinke, who won the Washington Society of Landscape Painters Award.

So what did I like?

I was quite taken by Edgar Boshart’s very blue photograph "Sur Surreal", which caught my eye from the moment I set foot in the gallery. As defined in our collective minds by Ansel Adams, this photo is very far from what we conceive in our collective minds as Big Sur, and yet it is such a great new vision of that amazing California area that we accept it as a new and distinct contemporary vision of Big Sur.

I also liked Christine Cardellino’s tiny diptych titled “Landscape with Red Shadows,” and Michelle Cook’s even tinier watercolor “Snowy,” which I feel, in spite of its size, is one of the best watercolors in the show, reflecting the medium’s ability to make great visual record regardless of size.

Andrea Gettings' etching “Como” was also one of my top choices, as was perennial favorite Susan Herron’s “Tilghman Island,” a powerful acrylic painting by one of the best landscape artists in the Mid Atlantic.

Turkish-born painter (and Alexandria resident) Isil Ozisik proudly flexes his artistic muscles and has masterfully reproduced his native city in a wet-on-wet watercolor titled “My City Istanbul,” which is a lesson to watercolor artists who want to know to what extent that most difficult watercolor technique can be used by a master watercolorist not only to deliver technical tricks but also to capture the soul and historical footprint of an ancient and proud city.

I have previously called Jackie Saunders one of the best figurative artists around, and that title comes after years of seeing her amazing watercolors and ink drawings of the nude mode, hundreds, if not thousands of them; I mean, this artist has the nude figure figured out from all angles, and through years of doing them, has perfected her approach and yet has kept it fresh and exciting. And what is Saunders doing in a landscape show? I love it when I am surprised by an artist whom I thought I had figured out. And Saunders surprised me with "Lido Beach, Sarasota," a watercolor of that beach.

I happened to run into Saunders at the Art League while I was there and I quizzed her on the subject matter of the watercolor, which was a really fresh and loose and fun watercolor of beach people. She informed me that for years, when she goes to the beach with her family on vacation, she paints the beaches and its browning people.

Typical uh? The artist goes to the beach and paints the beach, because the beach is there. The watercolor is one of the best in the show, by the way.

Finally, I also liked Pamela Viola’s “North Shore Inlet,” a mixed media piece full of movement and a gorgeous watercolor and gouache by J. Smith titled “Chalmette Oaks,” which was unfortunately vastly overpriced.

The show runs through September 4, 2006.

Monday, August 21, 2006


I'm not really sure what the cause is (perhaps it was the TV story last week), but suddenly today, according to Technorati, DC Art News has links to it from over 500 blogs around the world, making it the 3,370th highest ranked blog on the planet, not bad considering that Technorati is currently tracking 51.8 million blogs.

Woohoo! First time that DC Art News has broken into the 4-digit ranking neighborhood. Not sure how long this will last, as these "rankings" tends to float up and down quite prodigiously.

Still a long way from PostSecret's amazing 11,659 blogs that link to Frank Warren's wondrous blog, but if I may toot my own horn, methinks (at least for the day), way ahead of any other DC area based arts blog.

And it's all still just about the Greater DC area visual art scene.

If you don't get it, you don't get it.

All Members Show at Multiple Exposures Gallery

Last week I found my way to Multiple Exposures Gallery on the second floor of the Torpedo Factory, to see their All-Member Show, juried this month by Matt Mendelsohn.

I was immediately attracted to a photograph by Peggy Fleming titled "Pam Taylor," which shows a view of (I assume) Pam’s toes floating from the edge of her tub, securing in my mind the vision of Frida Kahlo’s “What the Water has Given Me.” As a card-carrying Kahlophile since 1977, it was a winner for me.

Danny Conant’s pigment print "Tower in the Clouds" and "Trees and Water," as well as Grace Taylor’s "Japan" and Barbara Southworth’s “Downstream” complete the usual well-balanced and superb show that is part of the exhibition tradition that has made Multiple Exposures (formerly Factory Photoworks, which I liked better as a gallery name) one of the best stops for high quality fine arts photography in the Mid Atlantic.

The show runs through August.

Arts Commission Display Racks

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has two large display racks that they "display" outside their office building on 8th Street NW. They get a great deal of foot traffic as people go to lunch and walk to work. People are always checking the rack out and grabbing any brochures or postcards about upcoming arts activities.

The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities will gladly display any brochures or promotional materials that you have for upcoming projects. If you are interested, please deliver the materials to the DC Arts Commission offices at 410 8th Street NW, 5th floor, Washington DC, 20004 to the attention of Jose Dominguez. Deadline for drop off of materials is September 8th.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Visions from Russia at Target Gallery

A few days ago I visited the Target Gallery in Old Town Alexandria to see the current "Visions from Russia" exhibition, and while there I chatted briefly with the gallery’s new director Mary Cook: welcome to the job Mary!

The exhibition itself includes work by Iskander Ulumbekov, Vladimir Zorin, Yuri Bondarenko, and Evgeni Vereschagin.

Over the last few years I have been lucky to have been exposed to the work of many gifted Russian and former Soviet Empire artists through Georgetown’s Alla Rogers Gallery, which focuses a lot of their exhibitions upon artists from that part of the world, and it never ceases to amaze me how these diverse lands offer so many gifted artists and refreshing visions.

There's no doubt that the rigid approach to teaching employed by former Communist countries, when applied to art produces technically-gifted artists who truly know how to execute and push their medium to whatever limits technical skill can offer. This is a skill often lacking from most American art schools, not all, but most. And so, most of these artists are superbly technically gifted - there's no question about that.

Having said that, "Visions from Russia" was slightly disappointing to me, as most of the work was so firmly anchored on a traditional view of the subject matter, that it colored the entire exhibition under a sort of a dated sense of painting (which most of the pieces are, except for a few nice bronzes).

And yet there were some standouts in the show.
Mickey Mouse
Two pieces from Iskander Ulumbekov are as far away from traditional Russian painting as they can be, and suddenly offer a bridge to a somewhat surreality of contemporary ironic-ism that makes them stand out in my opinion.

Let me tell you why.

In both “Morning in the Forest” and “Evening in the Forest,” Ulumbekov has produced two very traditional and somewhat 18th century-looking landscape paintings, even to the dark tonality and hue to the paint. Except that he has introduced two most unusual characters into the middle of these paintings: in one there’s an almost Romantic Mickey Mouse (I almost want to call him Sir Michael Rodent, as he seems almost like an English gentleman strolling through his private forest in a Landseer painting) and in the other a cute (and huge) Teddy bear.

It is such a contradiction of visual references, that makes these two pieces stand out from the rest of the works, much like a Ron English painting of the same subject would do in the middle of a Vermeer retrospective.

The exhibition runs through August 27, 2006.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Fine Art Adoptions

NYC Artist Adam Simon has come up with a brilliant idea in the Fine Art Adoption Network (FAAN). This idea, and this effort, is precisely what we need more of!

Per the site's main page:
FAAN is an online network, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors. All of the artworks on view are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. Our goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience.
So far, Transformer is the only DC area arts venue "collaborator" that I recognize (and the site is a little fuzzy as to exactly how a collaborator participates, or is made a collaborator, etc.), but I see great things in the future for this effort and idea, and even some potential collaborators in our area!

The artists in the project are so far mostly New York artists, with one notable local exception.


Today's WP has a really good piece by Jessica Dawson on the Ledelle Moe's heads installed at the 14th and Church streets NW empty storefront. Dawson writes:
This street-level exhibition is the blessing of a sluggish economy. Metropolis Development Corp., owner of the storefront and the condo building encasing it, awaits a retail tenant for the space. Until then, Moe's installation, certainly one of her most effective to date, serves the Metropolis brand.

A signal of aspiration and good taste, art provides Metropolis -- the firm behind a handful of brand-new, loft-style condominium buildings around the intersection of 14th and P streets NW -- with a strategic dose of cachet. John Grimberg, a consultant to Metropolis and the man who suggested installing art in the storefront, says the impromptu exhibition helps Metropolis remain on the neighborhood radar. Grimberg says the company's aim was "to use the space to create a presence" for the firm's brand. As Grimberg phrased it, showing art is "in keeping with the Metropolis aesthetic."
More than just a review, this piece is more like a really good art column on this installation, the artist and the landlord.

Read the column here.

P.S. to Dawson: What "sluggish economy?" Read the financial section once in a while.

Elsewhere in Style, Lavanya Ramanathan, who likes to use the imperial "we" in writing (and I sorta, kinda like that)... ah, writes:
The sentiment behind all the exhibitions of recent grads' work this summer is not lost on us: Forward-looking, progressive galleries that recognize fresh viewpoints and encourage local artists make up the bedrock of the arts.

But we have to admit, we've been nearly glassy-eyed trying to make sense of the wide range of voices -- and talent -- represented.

From some shows, including Irvine Contemporary's "Introductions 2" (bachelor's and master's grads), we've been able to embrace only a piece or two. Is it that the rest weren't any good? Not at all. It's just that few were able to rise above the yard-sale curation.
Lavanya Ramanathan!

Yard-sale curation! Harsh words to use in describing a show by one of our top area galleries.

At first I was a little shocked at the description (and I haven't seen this show yet, but I will next week), and then I realized that we should applaud Lavanya Ramanathan for using tough, passionate opinion in writing about art instead of the usual wishy-washy art writing that we've all become used to. I do however, also hope that Lavanya Ramanathan will use equally strong positive adjectives and passion when the artwork or show in question deserves it from Lavanya Ramanathan's perspective and opinion.

Lavanya Ramanathan also reviews "15 Minutes" at Project 4 in the column. For a different perspective on "Introductions 2," read Jeffry Cudlin's review in the CP here.

And it is a good thing to see a different WaPo writer writing about our galleries once in a while.

PS #2 - The other current show of students and recent grads, Academy 2006 at Conner Contemporary, also gets pommeled by Kriston Capps in the CP. Read that review here.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dutch Treat

The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands is planning an exhibition of photographs and paintings of New Orleans to commemorate the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The exhibition will open next week in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.

The exhibition, titled "Seeing is believing, Seeing is Healing," includes works from artists Marsha Ercegovic, Elizabeth Kleinveld and David Rae Morris, who documented the suffering and determination of the hurricane survivors. The exhibition runs from Aug. 21 through Sept. 1.

The Netherlands sent a frigate to help in hurricane relief efforts last year and arranged for Dutch specialists to visit the city to give advice on rebuilding the levees. With much of the Netherlands below sea level, the Dutch have a long history of holding back the sea and fighting floods.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Florida Gallery Seeking Exhibition Proposals

The Downstairs Gallery in Melbourne, Florida is seeking proposals from all 2-D and 3-D artists, for exhibitions for Oct 2006, and for Jan, Mar, and May 2007. No entry fee.

Contact Renee Decator at

New Gallery Looking for Director

Long View Gallery has just opened a new space at 1302 Ninth Street NW, Washington DC 20001,(202) 232-4788 and they are looking for both a gallery director and a gallery assistant.

This is the second location for the gallery, as they have another gallery in Sperryville, Virginia. Compensation is base salary plus commission. Please send resume and salary history to or via fax at 202-318-1173.

Welcome to DC!

Cloaca Poop

When a DC Art News reader sent me a link that then led to this site, at first I though that it was a joke.

It isn't.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has created a machine that reproduces the series of organic events that takes place in the human digestive system when a person eats, starting from swallowing the food via the mouth to discarding the fecal matter through your rear orifice.
Cloaca Machine
Delvoye calls his machine the Cloaca.

He feeds the Cloaca ordinary food and eventually shit comes out from the other end. This Cloaca shit is then wrapped in plastic and sold to "art collectors."

And according to the Cloaca website, the shit is sold out! And the "remaining 100 feces have been held back for future capitalisation [sic]."

See the machine(s) here. Note that a couple of the shitmakingmachine logos are certainly within striking range of a lawsuit from Coke or Mr. Clean.

Update: Last year Charles Downey in Ionarts had this terrific piece on Delvoye and the machine and other projects, including the translation of an informative interview with the artist.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Mural Artist Wanted

The DC Primary Care Association is looking for a mural artist to fill large wall space in their office. They are looking for an artist that has a real feel for the overall energy of DC.

They are imagining a cityscape mural at a bird’s eye view that would highlight the health centers in DC. Please e-mail Lauren at if you are interested. Commission fee is negotiable.

Call for Artists

Deadline: October 15, 2006

The Howard County Arts Council has an open call for artists for proposals for their 2008-2009 gallery season at the Howard County Arts Council gallery.

You can download the prospectus here or call them at 410-313-ARTS.

Best Bets

The Washington Post has announced the winners of their 2006 "Best Bets" and they can be seen online here.

As it has been the case for the past four years, there was not a gallery category to vote for, although some of the other categories were quite diverse, shall we say.

If you don't get it, you don't get it.

Cleaning House

Or I should really say: "Cleaning the studio," as DC area artist Chris Goodwin has decided to start from scratch and is offering on Ebay "a buttload of paintings" for one price in order to clear his studio of work and previous influences.

See then here.

Tube Link

While I was gone in Norfolk, the NBC4 story on DC Art News and me was shown on Channel 4 News.

You can see the video online here. Welcome to all the new visitors!

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: September 30, 2006

Richmond's Gallery of Art & Design has a call for photographers for Colors of Life, a photography competition open to national and international photographers.

Prospectus and details here or call the gallery at 804/355-0102.

Monday, August 14, 2006

In Norfolk

I'm in Virginia Beach; heading back home tomorrow.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

9/11 Artwork

Thinking About Art and others have been discussing the interesting issue of "art that responds to Sept. 11."

I raise my hand and say that the work of New Yorker David FeBland responded directly to 9/11 because David's work essentially is all about New York as widely discussed in his many reviews both here and abroad.

David FeBland's Studio View on Sept 11
David is a non-stop painter, and his work on 9/11 was about NYC as it is every other day.

Because his daily vocation is to paint New York, and New Yorkers and events that he observes in NYC, on 9/11 he he climbed to the roof of his studio building and painted the NYC landscape that he saw from his rooftop, and later that day, as he and thousands escaped the island via the ferry, he quickly sketched his fellow New Yorkers and later he painted the people on the ferry. And a year later he came back to the ferry and painted Afterlife.

On the days immediately after 9/11 he painted the people working in and around Ground Zero, such as the workers who were volunteering as food service workers to the construction guys clearing the area, and the construction volunteers who came from all over the country to help.

So in essence a New Yorker, painting New York, as he does every day, recorded 9/11 as any other event that he would do, about NYC on that day.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Now!

The Lorton Arts Foundation has issued an open call for a judged exhibition of fine art titled "A New Palette For The Workhouse," in celebration of the transformation of the Occoquan Workhouse at the old Lorton Prison into a terrific regional cultural arts center.

This is a judged show, not a juried show, so all work will be hung. I repeat: ALL WORK will be hung.

The following prize money will be awarded: Best in Show, $500, two Equal Merits of $200 each, and a People's Choice of $100, plus non-monetary Honorable Mentions.

The exhibition will run from Sept. 8 to Nov. 3, 2006 at the University of Phoenix in Reston, Virginia. All artwork must be delivered on Sept. 8, 2006.

All show details and entry forms can be downloaded from the Lorton Arts Foundation website. If you have any questions please call Marti Kirkpatrick at (301) 349-0806.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

On the tube - part II

Busy all day today.

And because of the events that almost happened today, the DC Arts News and my profile that was scheduled to air today was rightly so delayed and now will be on at NBC on Friday, August 11, 2006. I am told that it will air at 4PM and that it can also be seen online at

And let us all give thanks to those both here and abroad whose hard work once again defeated the barbarism of those with mass murder as their objective.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

On the tube

DC Arts News and its author will be profiled at NBC tomorrow. I am told that it will air at 4PM and that it can also be seen online at

July painters

Since 2003 DC area artist Dana Ellyn has been doing a project called "31 Days in July," where she creates one new painting every day in July in response to the daily news - capturing each day of the month in a total of 31 unique paintings.

And also since 2003 DC area artist Matt Sesow has been doing a project also called "31 Days in July," where he creates his own one new painting every day in July in response to the daily news - capturing each day of the month in a total of his own 31 unique paintings.

See Dana's work here and Matt's work here.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Opportunity for Still Life Artists

Deadline: Nov. 1, 2006

The Richeson School of Art & Gallery (a division of major art manufacturer Jack Richeson & Co.) announces its first semi-annual visual arts competition/exhibit!

Over $10,000 worth of prizes. Subject matter for this competition is limited to Still Life (future competitions will focus on other genres). All 2-D original art (except photography) is eligible. Full details and entry form are online at

Contact information:

Richeson School of Art & Gallery
557 Marcella St.
P.O. Box160
Kimberly, WI 54136-0160
Phone: 920-738-0744 or 800-233-2404

Day Painters

First there was Duane Kaiser with his one-a-day paintings, and we all know what a spectacular success he has enjoyed since.

And now DC area artist Josh Smithson has taken the daily brush to a painting-a-day task and begun a daily painting regime. See his work here.

A Great Gray Lady Sunk

Unless you consider the drama of the event as some sort of mega performance, this has little to do with the visual arts as we understand it (I think), but here it is nonetheless, as it packs some pretty powerful visuals for me:

I got this from an old Navy friend:
"Ex-USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3) was sunk by USS Mobile Bay as part of a Navy exercise. They fired the first Harpoon at her yesterday and today EOD (Navy Seals) set off bombs. It only took an hour after that, but previously she had been taking hits all day yesterday from the other ships.... she just wouldn't sink.

USS Belleau Wood
She wasn't designed to sink.

USS Belleau Wood begins to list
She was designed to fight, to stay afloat, and carry her crew through the perils of enemy hostilities. How confusing the last moments must have been for this great lady to have the guns of those she once held so dear be the ones which fired the fatal blows that would carry her to the depths of darkness.
USS Belleau Wood begins to sink
May she rest in peace, and may all those who served upon her feel her presence with each misty spray of ocean breeze. Farewell USS BELLEAU WOOD (LHA-3)."
USS Belleau Wood sinks

Monday, August 07, 2006


Channel 9's A-List is a local contest where the public votes and determine the Washington D.C. area's best local businesses. More than 900 businesses within the DC area have been nominated so far.

So far only four art galleries and one wall decor venue have been nominated. See them here.

Anyone can nominate a gallery here. Unless you are part of the state of Louisiana or city of Chicago multiple-voting dispensations, please only vote once.

I'll let you know which gallery gathers the most votes once the public decides (provided that some secret Channel 9 vote doesn't change the tally).

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Statuary Controversy

I couple of days ago I was listening to WTOP News, which like all other radio and TV stations in our area (with the posssible exception of WAMU) rarely if ever, reports on anything dealing with the visual arts, although they do an excellent job delivering free publicity and reports for movies, concerts and theatre. Like nearly all of our main media outlets, WTOP probably believes that their listening public does not care about our area gallery shows as much as they do about who is playing next at Blues Alley.

Anyway, they had a story on a controversy surrounding the Statuary Hall sculpture selection process to add two new sculptures of prominent Washingtonians that could be displayed in the United States Capitol's Statuary Hall, where every state in the Union is represented by two statues of prominent people from the state's past. The District of Columbia is not represented by anyone, and so the DC public was apparently invited to vote as to which prominent Washingtonians should be added to the collection.

Residents cast around 3,000 votes based on the following criteria: "The person must have a record of distinguished service to the city; must be a U.S. citizen; and must be deceased."

Frederick Douglass, the former slave-turned-newspaper publisher received the most votes (311) and musician Duke Ellington (238 votes) came in second. Both men were also on a list of recommendations made by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities steering committee.

This is where the controversy apparently starts.

According to WTOP News:
A selection committee created by the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities made their own recommendations, and the commission had the final say in the selection.
Minutes from a May 2006 meeting reveal the commissioners were unanimous in the first choice of Frederick Douglass, the former slave-turned-newspaper publisher.
...the minutes from the May meeting show the commissioners could not decide on the second choice, and delayed the vote for one month.

Prior to adjourning, commissioner Gail Berry West made a motion to add Pierre L'Enfant to the list of finalists.

L'Enfant came in 10th in the public voting, with 107 votes -- well behind Duke Ellington, Thurgood Marshall and Benjamin Banneker, but 16 votes ahead Mayor Washington.

When the commission reconvened in June, they made a rare move of taking the remaining votes by secret ballot.

Commission Chair Dorothy McSweeny told WTOP she couldn't recall the last time the commission voted in secret, but added she supported the move.

Mayor Tony Williams has said he was "disappointed" with the selection of L'Enfant. In a written statement, Williams' spokesperson Vince Morris tells WTOP:

The mayor has already made it clear that L'Enfant was not his top choice. While it's important for boards and commissions to operate independently, the mayor also likes to see decisions made that reflect popular opinion.

Another problem with the L'Enfant choice is his nationality. One of the requirements to be selected was U.S. citizenship. Technically, the French-born L'Enfant was not a U.S. citizen.
It will be interesting to see which two Washingtonians actually end up in the Hall, and even more interesting to see (in the event that one of them is L'Enfant), what he looks like, since as far as we know, and if I recall correctly, there's some controversy as to what he truly looked like.

Friday, August 04, 2006


Nu... so it's Friday and it's not broiling out there, and there are some truly good gallery shows that we can enjoy between 6-8PM tonight. For a good recommendation, DCist's Heather Goss has a good sampling here.

This Friday will be remembered as the one gallery Friday to explore new talent, and this is as good as it gets for beginning collectors to gather their sheckels and if they see something that they like either at Conner, Irvine and Project 4, to snap it, as they all have shows focusing on either recent art school grads, current students or MFA grads.

I've been driving up and down I-95 like a million times this last few weeks looking for a house around Swarthmore, PA, and I think that I may have finally found one or two that I sorta like, while managing to avoid the fact that most houses in that town are usually 95 years (or more) old, and I'm not a very good DIY type.

Meanwhile my Maryland house is for sale, and I've just reduced it today by $50K so that it's a great deal and will hopefully sell quickly! The realtor made me take down a lot of the artwork from the walls, as it "makes the house look bigger." She wanted it all down, but I refused, as I think that it makes the home look more appealing! Buy the house here

Go see some galleries tonight!

See ya there!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Penis artist

While I was over at Reuters checking out the Mark Jenkins story, I came across this "artist" who paints with his penis.

I suspect that dickilism (or as it is called in the UK: willyism) may be simply the latest ridiculous effort created in order to stand out in an art world often dominated by gimmick. It worked for Chris Offili, Damien Hirst and many others... so why not for Pricasso (whose real name is Tim Patch).

And in case you were wondering... yes, there's already a guy who paints with his asshole.

Update: And in case you were wondering part two... yes the a guy who paints with his asshole once exhibited in Washington, DC (many years ago) - It was painting (geez) titled "Rectal Realism" and the piece was in fact a portrait of Andy Warhol.

Ahhh... the good ole days...

Tapedude in Reuters

The news agency Reuters has a really cool video story about DC's own tapedude artist Mark Jenkins.

See it here.

Mark Jenkins continues to gather spectacular international coverage and attention to his work, granted from a street art perspective (and an unique one at that), and yet our local museum curators seem to be asleep at the wheel and driving right past him at the same time that he's the subject of major magazine coverage in Europe and now this story.

Wake up!

Art Dealers of the World: Unite!

Well... at least the ones that are DC art dealers around the 14th Street area.

The CP's Nell Boeschenstein has an excellent story on a movement by six art dealers around the 14th Street area to gather some momentum and start some sort of organization.

There is currently an Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington, but as Nell Boeschenstein points out, it might as well not exist.

I know that Bethesda art dealers (well, the ones that are real art dealers anyway) are also thinking of gathering together under their own art dealers' organization, due to the same concerns expressed by the dealers quoted in Nell Boeschenstein's story.

And the Dupont Circle area dealers are probably thinking the same thing, as the Art Dealers Association of Greater Washington has been pretty moribund for the last few years.

Opportunity for Maryland Artists

The Baltimore Museum of Art in collaboration with the Maryland State Arts Council just announced siteMaryland, a month-long juried exhibition of art by leading contemporary artists living and working in Maryland. Details here.

Designed to change venues yearly, this year’s project (opening October 1) will take as its site the grounds of the museum, where artists are invited to rethink and reinvent the exterior spaces of the facility.

Adjacent to the Johns Hopkins University campus, the BMA boasts a blend of contemporary and neoclassical architecture, a renowned sculpture garden, and a dramatic stepped entrance along Art Museum Drive.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the museum and develop ideas for the site.

Submissions must include a written description of the concept and images of recent work. Awards ranging from $1,000 to $2,500 will be granted as needed for materials.

Applications must be received no later than August 18, 2006.

Please mail your submissions and a SASE to:

Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, MD 21218

Or e-mail for more details.

Another MFA Show tomorrow!

So in addition to the great opportunities tomorrow at Conner and at Irvine to see some fresh work by recent graduates and current art students, Project 4 also has 15 Minutes opening tomorrow, and the five artists featured are recent MFA recipients from schools throughout the Mid Atlantic region working in paint, charcoal and printmaking.

Opening Reception is August 4, 2006 - 6:00 - 8:30 pm and the artists are Phillip Adams, Marc Alain, Luisa Greenfield, Ivanny Pagan and Jonathan Trundle.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


To DC area artist Victor Ekpuk (now living in Holland), who will be having his first solo show in Holland at Gallery 23 in Amsterdam.

WPA/C Call for Artists

Deadline: Friday, August 11, 5pm.

The WPA/C is calling all Video, Performance, and Sound Artists for their experimental media series.

Download the call for entries here.

All nights will run from 7:00 - 9:00 pm in the Corcoran Gallery of Art's Armand Hammer Auditorium.

Artists Wanted For Barracks Row Festival

Barracks Row Main Street is looking for artists to sell their creations at Barracks Row Fest, which will be held on Saturday, September 16th from 11:00-5:00 p.m. in the 400-700 blocks of 8th Street, SE.

The street festival attracted 6,000 people last year, and they hope to attract even more this time. If you would like to participate, you can download a vendor application at or email

Barracks Row is located next to the Eastern Market Metro station.

Exhibit Opportunity for Emerging Artists

ARCH Development Corp. and the Honfleur Gallery, a new art gallery located in historic Anacostia, are looking to exhibit emerging artists in the Washington D.C., Metropolitan area.

The gallery is still under construction, but ARCH is planning the 2007 opening exhibition and putting together an artist group for the season. To learn more about the gallery visit the ARCH website for details at and click on the arts tab.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


A recent memo by Luis A. Luna, Assistant Administrator, Office of Administration and Resources Management announced a decision to install a temporary screen to cover up several historical murals on the 5th floor of the Ariel Rios building in Washington, DC. These murals were created under a 1934 U.S. Treasury art commissioning program, and have apparently been the subject of complaints over the years, and were once previously covered up during the Clinton Administration, before being apparently exhibited again during the current administration, before being hidden from view once more.

The murals which will be once again covered up, and which have titles such as "French Explorers and Indians," "Torture by Stake," "The Red Man Takes the Mochila," etc. depict a diverse set of panoramas ranging from spectacular scenes of the often violent interaction between the American West's native nations and the new settlers, to artistic recreation of historical meetings between European explorers and native Americans.

While it is perhaps understandable that the imagery on some of these murals may be objectionable to some workers or visitors -- perhaps embarrassing to some due to the nudity in some of the murals, and perhaps offensive to others due to its depiction of native Americans, and maybe even more objectionable due to the violence depicted in many of them -- in my opinion it would be even more objectionable to a majority of us to have these historical murals covered up or destroyed.

I object.

A nation that chooses to ignore or whitewash its past, is a nation without a historical memory and without a cultural footprint.

Nearly the entire world was aghast when the Taliban destroyed the gigantic Buddha sculptures that were offensive to that repressive regime, and we all condemned the demolition as a vile and barbaric act of cultural ignorance and artistic destruction. And yet here we are almost somewhat ready to do the same in principle to an integral, if not proud, part of our historical and artistic past.

Art is perhaps the only vehicle that we have left that crosses all cultural barriers and creates bridges and memories for mankind. Visual art, especially representational historical visual art, has created for our nation an important cultural footprint and a significant record of our past. As such it cannot and must not be now censored or destroyed, lest we forget it.

I have had many opportunities to sit on the advisory board of the Washington, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and in that process I have helped to fund many of the contemporary murals that now adorn our nation's capital. In that experience, I have no doubt in my mind that there is no arts commission or city in our nation that would remotely consider funding these 1930s vintage murals in 2006, much less in a public building. That is just the nature of where we were in 1930 as a people and where we are now.

But it is my hope that decades from now, if someone finds any of the murals that we have funded in the last few years for our nation's capital objectionable, that our future Americans will have more conviction and more common sense and more guts to stand fast rather than to immediately take the politically-correct and knee-jerk reaction to "cover" them up, or consider removing them.

Keep the murals as they are.

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