Monday, October 01, 2007

WPA\C Announces Separation from The Corcoran

The Washington Project for the Arts is leaving the Corcoran and returning to its independent roots.

The separation will be formal on December 31, 2007 and the WPA will relocate to new offices in the Dupont Circle area.

More later.

When the dog bites

My wife is a retired-from-competition former uberathlete. She was once ranked fifth in the world in the duathlon, was twice the Maryland triathlon champion, swam for Colgate, blah, blah, blah.

And although she no longer competes, she still runs a gazillion miles a week, swims endless laps and road-bikes all over the place.

Recently, on a Sunday where there was an awesome flea market in downtown Media, PA (hundreds and hundreds of sellers), we made plans to meet in Media. She would bike from the University where she teaches and I would, ahem, drive to Media.

Around noon or so I get a phone call from her telling me that she's leaving the school and heading to Media - that's about four or five miles. Her cell phone reception in this area, by the way Sprint, sucks.

A little while longer I begin to get worried. And then I get a broken-up, unintelligible call from her, but I can tell that something's wrong, really wrong.

Two or three broken up phone calls, all with the same sense of urgency, and then a few more, now with male voices trying to say something, really panics me, so I run to my van and race down the street where I knew she'd be biking.

I come across an ambulance, I stop and here's what happened:

She was biking down the street, not the sidewalk, but the street, and doing 25-28 MPH, which unless you're a really good road biker, is like the speed of light to chicken bikers like me.

On a lawn ahead of her, she spots a dog. A really big fucking, scary looking dog. She's a savvy road biker, with thousands of miles under her butt, and thus she mentally checks out that there's a big dog, but also that the dog's owner is holding the dog with a leash, but she keeps an eye on the situation.

As she zooms by, the dog pulls away from its owner, pulling her onto her stomach and escaping from her leash-hold, and makes an intersecting bee-line for the bike approaching down the middle of the street. And the dog lunges and bites her on her lower calf, a few inches above her knee.

This dog weighs 138 pounds (my wife weighs 115), and it's a half (what else?) Rottweiler and half Husky.

At this point, I think that 99% of the bikers on the planet would have been knocked off their bikes, with a huge dog clamped onto your leg. In fact I would have fallen off my bike had the dog just barked.

But she stays on and keeps pedaling. Can you imagine the strength and balance needed to do that?

And I suspect that one of the wheels, or perhaps the pedal, hits the dog and the beast lets go and returns to its screaming owner, probably licking its bloody chops.

By the time I got there, the ambulance was already there, and the cops had sized up the situation, and I send the ambulance away to emergency to deal with the number two pencil-sized holes that the canine monster had left on her thigh.

The very agitated dog owner: "I am so sorry, he's such a gentle dog, he's never bitten anyone before... he just reacts like that when joggers or bikers come across his territory..."

Wanna go to a DC opening this Wednesday?

The Catholic University of America’s Columbus School of Law, together with the CUA Department of Art and Campus Ministry has sponsored the juried art exhibition entitled, Images of Justice, which explores the theme of social justice through the vision of local artists in a broad spectrum of two- and three-dimensional media.

On display will be works by Mark Behme, Linda Hesh, Emily Greene Liddle, Dr. Robert E. O’Brien, Fernando C. Sandoval, and Henrik Sundqvist.

Opening Reception, 4-6 p.m. – Wednesday, October 3, 2007.

Opportunity for artists in LA

Deadline: November 30, 2007

LA's Korean Cultural Center is seeking submissions from US artists for exhibition. Open to all media. Awards of up to $2,900. No entry fee. Send SASE to:

Korean Cultural Center
15th Annual
5505 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles CA 90036

Or call 323-936-7141 or fax to 323-936-5712(FAX) or email

Opportunity for Artists in Virginia

Deadline: October 29, 2007

Charlottesville's Second Street Gallery, established in 1973, seeks entries for its 2008-2009 exhibition season. Submit 10 slides or Mac CD PowerPoint presentation (not PowerPoint show), slide list, resume, statement, SASE, and $15 fee.

Second Street Gallery
115 Second St SE,
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Arlington Openings this Friday

Friday, October 5, 2007, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the Arlington Arts Center is the opening for the seven new solos that start their fall season.

This collection of seven solo exhibitions — each distinct, and occupying its own gallery at the AAC — "encompasses everything from traditional representational painting, to wall mounted sculptural installation, to hybridized projects using video in combination with other media."

And in the case of Chawky Frenn, I predict harsh political and social commentary art, painted with an exceptionally talented hand with little irony.

From the news release:

- Gillian Brown projects video onto translucent objects, breaking evocative images apart and refracting or reflecting them onto various surfaces.

- Heidi Fowler paints images of everyday industrial objects on unconventional substrates — her recent work features networks of phone or power lines painted across collaged beds of junk mail envelopes.

- Chawky Frenn’s representational paintings are dense with art-historical allusions and violence in equal measure. His work has been formed by his experiences growing up in Lebanon, witnessing the atrocities of war firsthand.

- Laurel Lukaszewski is a sculptor who explores pattern, rhythm, and line using black stoneware and porcelain. The abstract tangles projecting off of the walls in her installation at AAC, Kaminari, playfully represent brush strokes in three-dimensional form.

- Timothy Michael Martin is an abstract painter who, in his reductive paintings, combines diagrams and schematics with oblique pulp sci-fi references. His work comments on the visual codes of modernism and on utopian and dystopian visions of the future.

- Claire Sherwood creates mixed media installations with lace, concrete, wax and coal. These materials are combined to form objects that are paradoxically both decorative and crudely industrial--or both stereotypically masculine and feminine.

- Alessandra Torres is a performance and installation artist. Her AAC project, Figure Study, draws elements from Zen painting and dance; in it, Torres presents flat, jointed, reductively rendered figures mounted on magnets that the viewer is invited to manipulate and reposition at will.

Prediction: Look for Torres, who now lives in NYC, to steal this show. All shows through November 17th, 2007.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bow Down to Washington

One of the things that people who don't like college cheerleaders in skimpy outfits like about the University of Washington cheerleaders, is that usually when they play at home they are covered in plastic raincoats (over their skimpy outfits).

For decades the Washington Huskies have been a perennial Top 20 team, several times national champions, and generally one of the top two or three universities who send the most players to the professional ranks.

But the Huskies have fallen on rebuilding times over the last few seasons.

And the rebuilding is beginning to show and although I generally do not talk about football in this blog, I wanted to be the first writer on the planet to predict that 19-year-old Washington red shirt quarterback Jake Locker (is that a great quarterback name or what?) will win the Heisman Trophy on his junior or senior year.

What an amazing future Jake Locker has...

Tonight the dogs from Seattle fought the USC Trojans, the best team in the country (and the best for years now), and were a 21 point underdog.

And on a day of upsets, where half of the Top 10 teams lost, where number seven Texas was shoved around and brutalized by Kansas State, number three Oklahoma was upset by Colorado, South Florida (???) embarrassed number five West Virginia, the Testudos of Maryland stunned number ten Rutgers, number 13 Clemson was spanked by Georgia Tech, number 21 Penn State lost to Illinois, number 22 Alabama lost to a once fading Florida State... the Huskies almost pulled out a 21-point underdog win over USC... and the dogs were one fumble away, plus a reversed interception in the end zone that turned into the Trojan winning field goal... from a stunning victory.

Go Huskies and Bow Down to Washington.


To Cara Ober and the gang at Bmore Arts, which has been named "Best Use of Bandwith" in this year's Baltimore City Paper's "Best Of Baltimore."

Well deserved!

Beyond the Margins

Hillyer Art Space at 9 Hillyer Court, NW, in DC will have Beyond the Margins: Selections from Soweto, South Africa opening next week, October 5, 2007, with a reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and runs through December 14, 2007.

Developed and curated by Martin Britz, President and Founder of the South African Fine Arts Congress, Beyond the Margins represents a body of work from both established and emerging black, South African artists working in the Soweto region outside the city of Johannesburg from 1970 to the present.

Represented in Beyond the Margins are Peter Sibeko, Muzi Donga and Winston Saoli, three of the most eminent painters of the Soweto school. Additional artists featured in the exhibition include: Ben Macala, Eli Kobeli, Speelman Mahlangu, Hargreaves Ntukwana, Godfrey Ndaba, David Mbele, Martin Tose, Leonard Matotso, Sipho Msimango, Solomon Sekhaelelo, Mvemve Jiyane, and Grand Maghandlela.

Friday, September 28, 2007


A couple of new tiny drawings of two art giants. Each charcoal is about one and a half square inches.

Man Ray

"Man Ray"
Charcoal on Paper. 1.5 by 1.5 inches. 2007
By F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Richmond, VA

Marcel Duchamp

"Marcel Duchamp"
Charcoal on Paper. 1.5 by 1.5 inches. 2007
By F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Richmond, VA

Makes sense

Mike Licht solves the Jacob Lawrence issue. He writes: "You (and Regina Hackett) can assume your readers are familiar with Jacob Lawrence. Jacqueline Trescott can't."

Great point and case closed.

At the Corcoran

This month, the Corcoran opens the photography exhibition Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer’s Life, 1990–2005, as well as Wild Choir: Cinematic Portraits by Jeremy Blake, which features three digital media projects by the late artist.

More interesting to me is their "2007 Alumni Juried Exhibition, Recent Graduates: 2002–2006." That exhibit goes through September 30, 2007, so hurry and go see it. It was juried by Molly Donovan, curator of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art and it's at the Corcoran's "new" Gallery 31.

Gallery 31 is the Corcoran’s newly dedicated exhibition space for the Corcoran College of Art + Design. The space will host exhibitions by the Corcoran’s faculty, students, alumni, visiting artists, and annual senior thesis exhibitions. Located at the New York Avenue entrance of the Corcoran, Gallery 31 will be open during Gallery hours and will be free to the public.

Come again?

Recently, a respected art collector in Portland, Ore., walked into a local gallery. The owners greeted her warmly, and ushered her to the back room to show off their latest acquisitions. After politely declining several works, the collector chose a $5,500 porcelain sculpture shaped like a basket and covered in tiny, platinum elephants. "She has such a great eye for art," gushed the gallery's co-owner, MaryAnn Deffenbaugh.

The collector, Dakota King, is 9. In a collision of the art boom, the wealth boom and the Baby Einstein approach to parenting, galleries and auction houses around the country report that children who aren't old enough to drive are building collections that include works by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Camille Pissarro and Rembrandt. At Sotheby's in New York, an 11-year-old boy with blond ringlets waved a paddle last fall and successfully bid $352,000 for a Jeff Koons sculpture of a silver gnome. Some teenagers are flipping art for quick profits. A few grade-schoolers are even loaning works to major museums, including Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, a coup for a collector of any age.
[stunned silence follows]...

Read the article by Kelly Crow in the Wall Street Journal here. It is a really, really a well-researched and interesting read by the way.

Day of the Dead

Pencil this date in and come party Day of the Dead style, with art, workshops, altars, music, spoken word, dancing, marigolds and the souls of the departed when Arlington's Art Outlet presents “Ofrenda: Art for the Dead” from 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 13.

Twenty artists will show their personal altars and offerings, or ofrendas. Workshops will teach kids and adults about the Dia de los Muertos tradition. Details here.

- Day of the Dead Workshop: Sugar Skulls 3 – 5 p.m.
- Mariachi Band 5 – 6 p.m.
- Film Screening by Zulma Aguiar 6:15 - 6:30 p.m.
- Mud Pie 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
- Flo Anito 8 – 9 p.m.
- Special Guest Appearance by Sarah Lovering 10:30 pm
- Aphrodizia featuring Yoko K. 10 p.m. – Midnight

Artists in the show are: Zulma Aguiar, Michael Auger, Jennifer Beinhacker, Alison Christ, Andrea Collins, Rosemary Feit Covey, Roni Freeman, Jenny Freestone, Vickie Fruehauf, Susan Gardiner, Angela Kleis, Emily Liddle, Rob Lindsay, Bono Mitchell, Thomas Paradis, Marina Reiter, Marina Starkova, Henrik Sundqvist, and Jack Whitsitt.


Over the last couple of years I've curated a couple of exhibitions which have focused on a particular interest of mine, text in art. One of the key artists who has been a cornerstone of those exhibitions has been Nigerian-born Victor Ekpuk, formerly a DC area artist, but currently living in Europe.

And his work will be included in "Inscribing Meaning: Writing and Graphic Systems in African Art" opening Oct. 14 at the Fowler Museum at UCLA.

Bloodless waters

"Italy will drop its civil charges against former J. Paul Getty Museum antiquities curator Marion True, now on trial here for allegedly trafficking in looted art, Italian authorities announced Tuesday."
Will this news make it to the frenzied "guilty upon arrival on all counts" art blogs of the scribes who stake their electronic arts presence by being judges and jurors for unresolved museum scandals?

Let us see.

This is not to say that there was no blood in the water to start with... and some of the high-handed folks who sometimes run major museums do need accounting and someone nipping at their butt to keep them straight.
The returns effectively render moot the civil aspect of True's trial, in which Italy sought damages for the loss of its cultural property. True faces criminal charges along with American antiquities dealer Robert Hecht, 88.

"The withdrawal significantly lowers True's exposure," said Luis Li, a Getty legal advisor. The Getty is paying for True's defense.

Paolo Ferri, the Italian criminal prosecutor in the case, said he hoped the agreement would accelerate the pace of the trial, which began in July 2005 and has hearings about once a month, when not delayed by strikes or holidays.

Ferri said the criminal trial, the first in which an American curator has been charged by a foreign county, was intended to be both punitive and preventive. "The preventive aspect was to say to museums: Please stop this buying in an illicit fashion, and please return the objects," Ferri said in an interview Tuesday. "This has now been achieved, and museums that are obliged to surrender objects won't be in the same trouble."

He expressed confidence in winning a guilty verdict in the conspiracy case but called its significance "virtual."

"True is an American citizen and will be able to evade my penal sanctions by going to the U.S. With Hecht, he is too old to have a real prison term," he said.

"For me, the trial has been won," he concluded.

True has maintained her innocence throughout the proceedings. Harry Stang, True's attorney, said, "Dr. True, together with her defense team, will continue to pursue all steps necessary to establish her innocence of the charges. Her defense team will address further matters when and if appropriate."
But every lawsuit has two sides, and it's easy to achieve shock presence with big bites when the museum's blood is in the water and the big sharks are biting and the small pilot fish also wants to bite.

With all this attention on the issue, perhaps a closer look at Italian museums' holdings is warranted.

As I wrote last year: "does every Roman artifact in museums around the world have to be returned to Italy? And do Italian museums have to return Roman antiquities that were made in other parts of the Roman Empire to the nations that now exist there? And Italy better start packing the 13 Egyptian obelisks that are all over Rome: Cairo is clearing out some spaces for them."

Two sides to every story.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

More balls on the court

Alexandra opines on the whole Jacob Lawrence, race and art issue.

Read it here.

Can Bailey and Capps be next?

Update: Capps here and he makes a good point.

For Emerging Artists

Deadline: October 1, 2007

The Center for Emerging Visual Artists "strives to provide the essential support services and programs emerging artists need to build sustainable careers." They're offering a career development and Exhibition Program for emerging artists

Their free two-year Career Development Program offers a select group of highly talented artists:

• Two-year fellowship period and lifelong alumni affiliation
• Exhibitions in regional, national, and international venues
• Professional development seminars
• Opportunities to meet patrons, gallerists, and curators
• Assistance with the marketing and sale of artwork
• Individual career counseling sessions
• One-on-one sessions with mentors, chosen from the Board of Artistic Advisors
• Opportunities to gain career experience while giving back to the community
• Alumni exhibition series
• Alumni goal-setting group
• Alumni Travel Grant Program
• Monthly newsletter updating fellows and alumni on regional, national and
international opportunities for artists.

Eligibility requirements include:

- Applicants cannot be in school.
- Applicants must live within 100 miles of The Center (Artists in Baltimore, Harrisburg, and the five boroughs of New York City are eligible; Washington, DC artists are not).
- Applicants cannot have a contractual agreement with a commercial gallery.
- Applicants cannot have had a solo show in a commercial gallery.

For more information and an application, log on to or call 215-546-7775 x 12 or email Amie Postic at

Art Bucks

Cultural organizations and their audiences in the Greater Philadelphia region apparently spend $1.3 billion annually.

This is according to the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s report released today: Arts, Culture, & Economic Prosperity in Greater Philadelphia.

"The report documents 40,000 jobs generated by the economic activity of the cultural sector and $158 million in taxes returned to state and local communities."

Read the report here (scroll to bottom).

This evening at Transformer

Today, Thursday, September 27, from 6:30 - 8pm, DC's Transformer has Holly Bass in "Pay Purview."

Pay Purview is an ongoing multidisciplinary work combining live performance with original recorded music and video. Pay Purview is an exploration of the role of women in commercial hip hop music and videos.
Holly Bass
In the live performance for Transformer, Holly Bass wears a "booty ball" costume piece made of playground balls to create an exaggerated, oversized, Hottentot-style derriere. Presented in Transformer's storefront window space, the audience, participating from the sidewalk outside the gallery, is asked to pay a dime for each viewing. A curtain opens for a short time and the performer dances to a selection of songs ranging from Rodgers & Hart's "Ten Cents a Dance" to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." The dance scenes range from mock burlesque to video-ho-booty-shaking to ethnographic display depending on the selected tune and the performer's impulse.
Details here.