Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Other Woman

Steven Earl Weber, the co-director of Kelly & Weber Fine Art in Philadelphia, will be guest curating a series of four shows in conjunction with the Coral Street Arts House.

The first of these exhibitions will be a duel site exhibit of the artist collective, The Other Woman.

The Other Woman consists of Darla Jackson, a sculptor, Laura Graham, a photographer, Laura McKinley, a painter, and Aubrie Costello, who works in various mediums. For this dual site exhibition Kelly & Weber Fine Art will be exhibiting the works of Darla Jackson and Aubrie Costello and the Coral Street Arts house will host the works of Laura McKinley and Laura Graham.

View a video interview with these artists filmed on a set built for one of Laura Graham's recent photographs and hear what they have to say for themselves and their artwork here.

Wanna go to some DC openings on Friday?

It's the third Friday of the month coming up and thus the extended nights and openings for the Canal Square Galleries at 31st Street, NW and M Street in Georgetown. While there check Rackie Diankha Diallo's work at Parish Gallery.

Danielle O'Steen on DC

Danielle O'Steen pens a really good over view of what's going on the DC area for

Read it here.

Delaware Area Artists' Sale

Creative Wilmington has 115 Regional Artists on exhibition that want collectors to purchase artwork directly from them priced at $250 or less. Exhibition is Saturday, November 17 from 10AM - 5PM at Creative Wilmington.

Artwork by Lynette Ashby, Jennifer Marano, Kinga Baransky, Karen Mason, Larissa Baransky, Helen Miller, Jo Bellamy, Joe Miller, Frank Bielsky, Kelley Morris, Teresa Bland, Nick Mowers, Charles Bowden, Monique Mueller, Kim Bowman, Gaye Murphy, Mike Bryand, Nicolle Nicolle, Robert Bullock, Elizabeth Norton, Lauren Caddell, Christine O'Connell, Stephen Cai, Gail O'Neil, Todd Carignan, Maria Ortado, Kate Cathey, Karen Pait, Macon Cathey, Peter Patterson, Deborah Cavenaugh, Lori Payne, Robyn Chapman, Brooks Pearce, Sarah Collier, Candy Pegram, Francisca Dekker, Brian Peterson, Lois DeWitt, Deborah Petoskey, Timothy Dols,Courtney Pickett, Karen Domaney, Nancy Ping-Robbins, Jamie Dorfman, Wendy Pittillo Rae, Jude Eden, Michael Polomik, Jay Edge, JG Priestly, Jennifer Elder, George Rabito, Daisy Faith, Dennis Reifsnider, Paula Fitzpatrick, Kay Robbins, Gina Gambony, Loraine Scalamoni, Kit Garfield, Lara Schuhmann, Wade Giddens, Mick Scott, Cape Fear Camera Club, Donna Simpson, Pamela Kim Hartman, Florence Simpson, Lisa Haskins, Stephanie Smith, Barton Hatcher, Lee Spivey, Steven Heiner, Dixon Stetler, Deborah Hendricks, Polly Tait, Geoffrey Henshall, Sarah Tector, Jack Hernon, Sue Thompson, William Hubbard, Nii Narku, Rebecca Huntzinger, Nia Thurber, Julia Jensen, Clay Trotter, Angela Johnson, Laura Venters, Mitzy Jonkheer, Sandra Vigneri, Jennifer Joyner, Maike Walbrecht, MZ Julee, Gail Beavers Walls, Sharon Kane, Cindy Weaver, Michelle Kaskovich, Tracy Weaver, Rachel Kastner, Travis Weller, Doug Kazantzis, Sarah Westermark, Mary Kate Kennish, Kee Wilde-Ramsing, Aiden Kenny, Rhonda Willett, Gloria Madill, Mike Williams, Beth Maisonpierre, Amy Winston, and Mossy Wynn.

Wanna go to some Baltimore openings on Saturday?

Not only famous for its diverse art, but also for its sushi and good wines at their openings, Baltimore's Light Street Gallery opens its "Small Works Exhibit" on Saturday, November 17 from 6-9PM.

Also on Saturday, from 6-9 p.m. there's an opening reception at Gallery 211 for Washington, DC landscape artist Freya Grand. A catalogue of the show will be available at Gallery 211, with an introductory essay by Jack Rasmussen, Director of the Katzen Art Museum at American University in Washington, DC. For details phone 410-244-1340 or visit

Wanna go to a Bethesda opening this Saturday?

Osuna Art Gallery in not-Brooklyn Bethesda opens The Washington Women Show with an opening reception from 5-8PM on Saturday, Nov. 17. The exhibition includes work by:

Nan Montgomery (painting)
Carol Brown Goldberg(painting)
Renee Butler(video installation)
Joan Danzinger (sculpture)
Dalya Luttwak (sculpture)
Nizette Brennan (sculpture)
Francie Hester (multi media)
Bernis von zur Muehlen (photography)
Dale Loy (painting)
Jean Meisell (painting)
Manon Cleary (painting)
Wendy Ross (sculpture)
Polly Kraft (sculpture)
Patricia Forrester (painting)
Lisa Brotman (painting)
Yuriko Yamaguchi (sculpture)
Andrea Way (painting)
Deborah Kahn (painting)
Sharon Fishel (painting)
Sherry Sanabria (painting)
Judy Jashinsky (painting)
Brece Honeycutt (painting)
Lisa Marie Thalhammer (drawing, mixed media)
Claudia Smigrod (photography)
Janet Fries (photography)
Jae Ko (sculpture)
Annette Polan (painting)
Emilie Brzezinski (sculpture)
Linn Meyers (drawing)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Ford Bell Responds

A few days ago I was puzzled by the answer given by Ford Bell, the new president of the American Association of Museums, to a question posed to him during an interview. Read all that here.

In response to my question, Mr. Bell emailed me a clarification:


Here is the context for my answer. Perhaps I wasn't clear enough.

Museum attendees, boards, staff, and volunteers do not reflect the diversity of our society. In Minneapolis, where I am from, we have the largest population of Somalis in the United States, the second largest population of Hmong, the largest population of Tibetans, and substantial populations of Hispanics and Native Americans. However, these ethnic and racial groups are substantially (almost completely) underrepresented on museum boards, and are not users of museums. I think it is incumbent on museums in this country to "demystify" museums, to make them less "white", both physically and programmatically, and to reach out to minority communities with creative, and relevant, educational, social and cultural programming. In the increasingly pluralistic society in which we are fortunate to live, museums will struggle if they are unable to reach out to different communities in meaningful ways.

In regard to the question, "Why would someone who has been elected to Congress in 2037 or 2047 have less 'experience' than someone elected in 2007 simply because they are from a different ethnic group?" I would submit that the vast majority of people now serving in Congress have experiences with museums, in fact, have visited museums since childhood. Today, school districts don't have the money for field trips, and school children don't go to museums in many states they way they did when I was a child. Will childhood trips to museums depend now on parents? And if the parents don't speak English, and/or are illegal immigrants and/or work three jobs and/or don't know what a museum is, are they likely to take their child to a museum?

AAM is committed to conveying - to funders, legislators, policymakers - the importance of museums to communities large and small, across the United States. We are committed to carrying the message that museum experiences are important for school children of all ages, and that these experiences contribute significantly to their educational progress and intellectual development. And, we hope to work with museums, our fellow museum service organizations, and museum professionals and educators to help insure that museums are welcoming and relevant to everyone in the community and that they resemble the community at every level - boards, staff and volunteers.

I hope that helps. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to clarify my answer.

Best wishes.




As the first African American museum built by a major American city, the African American Museum in Philadelphia is a pioneering institution that is dedicated to "Celebrating the Life and Contributions of a People." The museum focuses on what is unique about the African American experience, and does so by illustrating the intimate intertwining of one people's heritage, culture, and contributions throughout the fabric of the American experience.

Opening on November 15 and through January 21, 2008, they will host Kimberly Camp's "Stories." Camp’s paintings and dolls are a reflection of family and tradition, and have been shown throughout the United States and abroad in over one hundred prominent solo and group exhibitions.

Camp, a native of Camden, New Jersey, has also pursued a dual career as a museum administrator for the Barnes Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit.


Open Studios in Arlington

On Saturday, November 17th, from 6:00-9:00 PM, the artists at the Columbia Pike Artist Studios in Arlington, VA will open their studios to the public - there will be art, food, wine, and many fine artists.

Wanna go to a Bethesda opening on Wednesday?

For a couple of years now I have been recommending to collectors that they should acquire art by Amy Lin.

On Wednesday, November 14th, Amy Lin’s "Silence" opens in Bethesda's Heineman-Myers. A reception for the artist will be held from 6 to 9pm and Amy will speak about her work at 7pm. This will be Lin's commercial gallery debut after a couple of highly successful solo art shows in non-profit art spaces around the DC area.

Besides my attention, Amy Lin has received considerable recognition for her work, including a terrific show recently at the District of Columbia Art Center curated by National Gallery of Art's curator Anne Collins Goodyear and a very positive review of her work in the WaPo for her solo at Northern Virginia Community College last year and a very cool profile by the Washington City Paper last December.

And Apple Computer company recently selected Amy’s work for their one-word campaign, which will showcase her work on college campuses across the US. Furthermore, Washingtonian Magazine recently picked Amy in their 2007 “40 under 40 to Watch.”

Silence by Amy Lin

Buy Amy Lin now.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Wanna go to an Alexandria opening tomorrow?

Travels - Paintings by Jessie Mackay will be on exhibition November 11 - December 9, 2007 at Alexandria's beautiful Athenaeum, the only Greek revival building in the city.

William Zimmer, the contributing art critic for The New York Times has written that Jessie Mackay "is recognized in the art world as an artist who can go to the most desirable tourist destinations in Europe -- to the impoverished heart of Africa -- and the ability and desire to capture the colors of both places, as well as the people, with a great deal of sympathy, is a welcome, valuable resource."

The Opening reception is Sunday, November 11, from 4 to 6PM. When you get there, walk around this beautiful building and discover one of the hidden gems in the DC area.

For Women Artists

The National Museum of Women in the Arts has Archives on women artists. Eligible to women artists who have had at least one solo show in a museum or gallery. Files may include biographical information, resume, and up to 20 images (slides, transparencies, or photos). $10 fee. Send a SASE to:

Archives on Women Artists
The Library and Research Center
Nat’l Museum of Women in the Arts
1250 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20005

Legal Seminar for Artists

November 15, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 pm

Maryland Art Place (MAP) and Maryland Lawyers for the Arts (MLA) will present on Thursday, November 15, an Artists' Practicum: a guide to the basic legal knowledge necessary for artistic survival in the marketplace.

The session will cover contractual issues in the creative industry, copyright for nonlawyers, and the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990. The panel includes MLA Board President Michael Yang, Esq., and board member Cynthia Sanders, Esq. The practicum will be held within MAP’s galleries. Admission is free and open to the public, but reservations must be made by calling 410-962-8565.

Grants for Philly Area Artists

Deadline: January 7, 2008 (Folk & Traditional Arts and Painting)

The Pew Fellowships in the Arts, a program of the Philadelphia Center for Arts and Heritage established by the Pew Charitable Trusts, awards grants to artists working in a wide variety of performing, visual, and literary disciplines. The grants provide financial support directly to the artists so that they may have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to creative pursuits exclusively.

PFA makes awards to artists working in twelve different discipline categories, which rotate on a four-year cycle. In 2008, applications are being accepted in the areas of folk & traditional arts, painting, and playwriting.

Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development, from early to mature, and to artists working in a wide range of aesthetics and traditions. Fellowship recipients are determined according to two primary criteria. First, and most important, applicants are judged on their artistic accomplishment and future promise. Second, panelists consider the impact that a fellowship will have on the applicant's career and artistic development.

Applicants must be practicing artists of demonstrated commitment and professional accomplishment, and must have resided in the five county Philadelphia area (Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery) for at least two continuous years at the time of application.

Up to twelve fellowships are awarded annually. As of the 2008 award cycle, the fellowship amount has increased to $60,000 from $50,000.

Visit the PFA website for complete program information.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Shauna Lee Lange on Andrea Reed's Sweet Struggle at The Target Gallery

Power Seeks a Vacuum

By Shauna Lee Lange

Years ago when I was working in Newport, Rhode Island, I had a mentor with whom I could safely share some of the idiosyncrasies of working with certain personalities. And I still remember what he said.

Power seeks a vacuum.

Meaning that power goes to where there is a void, to where the void can be filled by a personality larger than itself, and to where there is no competition.

And so it is with artwork that arrests us in its riveting, shocking, and disturbing elements. Powerful artwork causes one to shift entirely. And when that powerful artwork is directed at a subject that exists in everyday life, that we all walk around living with, but no one seems to really want to squarely address, well that's power seeking a vacuum.

Andrea ReedAndrea Reed's problem, if she has one, is that she does not yet fully recognize the potentiality for the vacuum sucking up the her work or its message. If I had her here with me at this moment, I'd be doing some serious career planning with her and not just career planning the art world.

She's Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson reincarnate. She's Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman and Grandma Moses and Salvador Salgado, but she doesn't know it.

I wonder what's more dangerous: having the power, hitting the mark, daring to speak the communication, or doing all of that and not having any inkling of what you've accomplished.

I imagine it's kind of like sitting at a slot machine when you're an inexperienced gambler and then you hit the jackpot and you're not really sure what actually happened or what comes next. It's amazing, you're happy, you're thinking about the money; but you have no clue what it is you've actually done or how rarely it happens.

Several times during last night's opening reception at Alexandria's Target Gallery, one could hear the words, “powerful,” “disturbing,” “brave,” and “raw.” And all those adjectives are all true.

Reed seemingly does not completely recognize the timeliness of her black/racism/social condition message in a day of Duane Chapman, Don Imus, and Michael Richards and the controversies over demeaning language, its use, its application. Nor does Reed realize the power of an introspective and respectable examination of black stereotypes, black societal problems, and the black experience. She’s timely, she’s ahead of her time, and she’s behind the times all at once, it’s incongruent and it’s fascinating.

She says it herself: "I was fearful of how people would perceive the work."

And as you age, you realize that all that time you spent worrying about what other people think was time wasted. Why should she care what other people think of her blackface images? It’s honest. It’s true. It’s presented in a nonjudgmental way, almost like a mirror. I want Reed to walk proudly. What she’s done is amazingly brave. She’s worried the black population will see her as airing dirty laundry; she’s worried whites will see her as capitalizing on negative stereotypes; she’s worried about staying true to herself; and she’s swimming in a sea of contemplation. And I want her not to give a flying frog about what anyone else thinks, because when you’re a visionary, you get to stand alone.

And it’s lonely, and it’s scary, and it’s all the more powerful because you’re the only one responding to the call, listening to the drumbeat, answering the higher cause.

And as I was walking through the Target Gallery - and there's a lot of glare from the overhead lighting there - and I was thinking about how the glare in this case actually accentuates the large scale color photographs (a series of 10 diptychs on crimson/blood red background), giving a reflective appearance. It’s sort of like passing through the Vietnam Memorial; you can see yourself looking in at the picture. How powerful is that?

Today, the morning after, I find myself still conflicted about Reed. On the one hand, I feel bad that she herself honestly says, “I’m not exactly sure where I’m going to go. I don’t think the project is over and I want to continue with it.” She needs a serious mentor. She’s talent untapped. She’s it. She’s the real thing. And I’m thinking that Reed may not know where she's going to go, but I surely I have an idea.

I’m reminded of the time I saw Yoko Ono’s work in San Francisco. This is an artist! This is art!

And so it is with Reed. She has difficulty articulating what she’s trying to say, but the thing of it is - she doesn’t need to. It’s clear. It’s blackface. It’s the mask worn. It’s the clownish behavior. It’s the mask of who we are as a people and what we do. And who is behind the mask. We’re ignorant, you know, white and black, all of us – and what do we think about it? Killing each other, gang violence, fatherless homes, selling out in exchange for the big house, broken self esteem, trying to achieve unreachable ideals established by someone other than ourselves, searching through meaning in acquisition of money, and things, and respect, and acceptance. Oh Lord.

On the other hand, I’m so excited about Reed. She admits, “I’m young, I’m still growing, I’m still trying to find my voice.” One of the things about youth, and I would tell Reed this too, is that you don’t know what you had at the time you had it until much later in life. Any of us who goes back to look at a photograph of an earlier self may catch themselves saying, “Damn. I looked good.” But we didn’t really know it at the time, did we?

Reed doesn’t know what she has. She hit the jackpot, the end of the rainbow, the statement and work that takes some artists and photographers a lifetime to achieve. And she has it. She has it now. She could stop. Right here and never do another thing. She could go on tour. She could give lectures.

Commercially, she needs marketing; she needs exposure; she needs mainstream.

Personally, she needs serious representation. She needs mentors.

Reed can be the next voice of the people. Reed’s a revolutionary; she’s a seer; she understands; she gets it; she communicates it; she dares.

I go back through the gallery and I imagine the next life of these works. I’m thinking about redesigning the entire Barbie Doll Headquarters Enterprise. I’m imagining walking into a reception area with Reed’s “Barbie Girl” hanging behind a coiffed and reserved corporate greeter in front of a massively cold marble wall. “Barbie Girl” is an image that shows a young black woman, in hideous blackface makeup, squeezing the waist of a blonde, white Barbie Doll. A figure the woman will never have. A culture the woman will never relate to. And in the interim, the woman is holding her own mid-section. The smallest part of her is ever so enormous compared to the smallest part of the doll. This is what I mean by power.

Reed’s tapped into every woman’s pain. Every woman’s inability to reach Barbie Doll perfection. And it’s not enough that she points to this feminist, beauty, perfection complex, she then adds the experience of being black and being a black woman in this culture on top of it. It’s quiet, yet it yells. It’s subdued, yet it feels like being submerged.

Fear is a powerful thing. And I suspect Reed is fearful on some subconscious level of what she’s actually achieved. She has the vision of what she wants to say, yet she steps back from really standing firm in her own conviction. And this comes with age, too. She spoke last evening about how the experience of showing at the Target Gallery and the attending the exhibition was a bit overwhelming for her. She stumbles a bit as she speaks. She’s embarrassed when slide photos come up too dark on the viewing screen.

None of it matters.

You, Ms. Reed, overwhelm us! You’ve taken survey. You’ve taken a look around at the black experience. You’ve said this is what’s ugly to me and not only is it ugly to me; it should be ugly to all of us. And you’re right. Completely right.
Photo by Andrea Reed
Reed speaks about using the light in the photographs in an ominous way. And she shares the story behind “Crack Head” and her attempts in San Francisco to acquire a crack pipe for the photograph. She explains she went to several places and honestly communicated what she was trying to do and her vision for the photographs and still was met with resistance, mistrust, or disbelief. She states her own personal experience was altered from this difficult project. One attendee pointed out that the hand of the young man who is holding the crack pipe is dirty and grainy. Reed states this is a result of having each of her models apply their own blackface makeup and the residue resulting from that. And she says interestingly that once the models finished with their masks, there was a distinct transformation and a very different energy in the studio, one she tried to capture on film.

I wonder whether Reed considered not using blackface, and truly I was encouraged by the amount of research and background Reed conducted in approaching the project. The images of the elements of our culture would have been just as powerful without blackface as they are with. The blackface is an added and very strong message about the ridiculousness of such a life – who are we entertaining? Where is the enjoyment? Why is no one laughing?

Reed says she felt she needed to make a statement about how blackface started in the white community and then was an “art form” adopted by black artists. She says she struggles to portray these issues and all of sudden, the lecture space becomes electrified and a little nervous when one attendee asks whether it would have been a different viewing experience if Ms. Reed were white.

What? You have to be black to portray black issues?

You can’t understand what it is for the rich when you’re poor? You can’t understand or portray nature as an artist if you live in the city? My head started spinning; Reed handles the question with grace.

She’s young. She’s introspective. She’s from small town Peoria, Illinois, and she attended Howard University, and now lives in California. Her show features a piece entitled “The Bluest Eye.” It is inspired by Toni Morrison’s novel of the same name. And as I write this, my breathing becomes a little tight, for some reason, I still want to cry. The photograph shows a young woman removing the blue contact from one of her eyes and balancing it so gingerly on the tip of her extended finger. She has a skin condition, and she’s not Halle Berry. This is realism at its best. This is current, contemporary culture. Striving to be something we’re not out of rejection of what we are.

This is all of us, balancing some aspect of ourselves, whether its work, family, health, finances, ever so lightly on the tip of a finger, able to be blown away with the slightest wind.

Photo by Andrea Reed
So fragile and so fruitless this constant struggling to be something else.

Of the ten works, any one of Reed’s diptychs could stand alone. Fully alone in a one-woman show. And she’s clever, that Reed. You’re so fascinated by the semi-automatic pointed to a young man’s head that you hardly even see the weapon has the same embedded line as the young man’s wife-beater t-shirt.

Power. Care. Honesty. Shock.

Reed’s saying, I see it and this is what I do about it. I make it art so others can see it too. I ask the question. And if that’s not a leader, I don’t know what one is.

She speaks about the work from a technical perspective. The feel, the focus, the framing. She shares how she worked with people she knew to create authentic characters, used Polaroids for tests, and opted for the split frame. You see, when power finds the vacuum, power wants to fill it. So Reed split the frames into large format diptychs because she wanted to show racism’s fragmentation. The separation from the whole. And the black frame is impenetrable, a border that cannot be broken.

These are the reasons Reed won her spot on the highly competitive Open Exhibition Competition. I wanted to embrace the gallery management, and believe me; I rarely feel the urge to do that!

The Target Gallery's mission is to challenge perspective, and gallery operatives stated last night’s turnout was one of the best yet. Reed’s work was selected by a blind outside juror panel. The show runs to December 2, 2007.

Philly 1st Fridays Walkabout

Last Friday I went wandering through some of the galleries participating in Philadelphia's 1st Fridays gallery openings. The streets were packed with art loving people who obviously missed the Dawson memo that gallery crawls are dead.

My choices from the evening were actually located in the "back room" of the Rodger La Pelle Galleries. The gallery's main show was Matt Bollinger's "Auto Video," which was an interesting show on its own, but one of the wonders of being "new" to a city is discovering new artists, and in the back room of the gallery I discovered a series of breathtaking small paintings by Rachel Bess, who has a Gregory Gillespie thing going in her beautifully bizarre paintings.

I also liked Lauren Lyons photographs at Silicon Gallery, Christian Mendoza's maddeningly complex drawings at the huge Lineage Gallery and definately the three person show at Pentimenti but especially the film noir work of Matt Haffner.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Bethesda Art Walk tomorrow

Tomorrow is the second Friday of the month and thus its time for the Bethesda Art Walk with 13 participating venues.
In Vitro Complex No.V by Anna Druzcz at Fraser Gallery
My picks are once again focused on the really interesting group show at the Neptune Gallery - look for Jody Mussoff to stand out, and then what looks to be one of the best landscape photography shows of the year at Fraser Gallery. The photo to the left, "In Vitro Complex No.V" by Anna Druzcz, is simply amazing.

Also check out "On Myth" - mixed-media work on canvas and paper by Rob Hauck at Waverly Street Gallery.

Next week look to the long-awaited opening of Amy Lin at Heineman Myers.

More DC area openings here.

Come again?

Minnesotan Ford W. Bell, a former Democratic candidate for the US Senate, is the new president of the American Association of Museums, replacing Edward H. Able, who retired last years after 20 years at the association. Able earned $249,794 in 2006, so it's a well-paid and important art position!

Bell was interviewed by Nicole Lewis for the Chronicle of Philanthropy. Read that interview here.

One question's answer sort of caught me a little off guard:

What are your priorities?

How can we partner with other organizations around promoting diversity in the field. I'd like to set up a fellowship program with some of the historically black colleges and universities. Also, in 30 to 40 years, when 50 percent of the country is Hispanic, the halls of Congress are not going to look the way they do today. If the people in Congress then have had no experience with museums it's going to be hard to get support. And high on my list is collaborating more closely with other groups, including the Association of Art Museum Directors. We are not competing; if we succeed in strengthening museums, there is plenty of credit to go around.
Surely I am misreading this answer and Bell is not implying that the Congress people of the future, simply because they may be 50% Hispanic/Latino/Latina will have "no experience with museums"?

What does that mean anyway? Visiting a museum? Serving on a museum board?

Why would someone who has been elected to Congress in 2037 or 2047 have less "experience" than someone elected in 2007 simply because they are from a different ethnic group?

Am I misunderstanding Bell's answer? What "museum experience" do current Congress people have anyway that would be different in 30 years because of the ethnic demographic change being predicted?

Or is he saying that currently Hispanics have no "experience" with museums and thus the American Association of Museums needs to start working with Hispanics so that in 30-40 years...?

This gives me a headache. Surely I am misreading this answer in some way. I have sent the American Association of Museums an email asking for a clarification; let's see what response I get.

Art Jobs

11 art jobs and internships in DC.

Great deals

A really good art heads-up: There are some great deals to be had in this online auction of 124 lots by New York's Daniel Cooney Fine Arts.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

The Maryland State Arts Council just celebrated its 40th anniversary with an exhibit of work by 40 Maryland artists, curated by Oletha DeVane, through December 19, 2007.

Check out the exhibition here.

The Blogger Show Opening Video

James Kalm posted the below video about The Blogger Show opening in New York a few days ago.

I have this drawing in the show at a steal for $100 which will be all donated to the galleries to help with the costs of the show. Call Agni Gallery at 917/683-0643 if you want to buy it or email them at

In addition to showing the opening, the videographer talks to a lot of blogging artists about Charlie Finch's recent anti-blogger article.


Like nearly everyone on the proper level of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, I am very interested and concerned about green issues in general.

My wife is an alumni of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC and because of that I am aware that all the construction going on there is on the leading edge of green architecture.

This is but one of many such projects going on around the nation. One of my cousins is one of 17 accredited "green" lawyers around the country, and she's now working with a task force to help counties and states "codify" the legal building codes of what makes a "green building."

I discussed with her that I thought that it would be ironic if "green buildings," once built, would then be filled with other enviromentally-colored objects, other than green, including art.

A green buildig full of possibly toxic objects? Does that muddy the "greenness" of the project?

I think so.

And thus a truly green project should whenever possible be then filled with green furniture, green appliances, etc.

Including green art.

In the Greater DC area, the only two green artists that I am familiar with are Erwin Timmers and Adam Bradley.

Both are exceptional sculptors who re-use artifacts, often discarded objects, to create works of art that are fresh and provocative. Both Timmers and Bradley have been doing this for years.

Timmers uses all kinds of objects, reuses common glass, etc. to deliver exceptionally intelligent sculptures which are so complex in character and materials that they are hard to label. See and hear Erwin discuss his work below:

Ever since he was an undergraduate student at GMU and then a graduate student at MICA, and now an Asst. Professor at a couple of DC area universities, Adam Bradley has been gathering metal and plastic car parts, rubber and other assorted junk and using them to create what can best be described as highly contemporary narrative works.

Cast Iron by Adam Bradley
"Cast Iron" by Adam Bradley. Circa 2001

I am sure that there are other green artists out there - if so, drop me an email and a website address and I'll try to highlight some of you.

Be Green.

Update: NBC4 on Erwin Timmers

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Job in the Arts

Howard County Arts Council is seeking a grants and program assistant. B.A., non-profit exp., strong computer & organization skills, able to handle multiple projects. Full-time, some evenings, salary mid-high 20s. No calls; send cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three refs by Nov. 16 to:

8510 High Ridge Road
Ellicott City, MD 21043
Fax 410.313.2790

Design the DC Arts Vanity Plate

Deadline: Friday, December 7, at 5:30 pm.

Design Fee: $5,000. The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities in collaboration with the District of Columbia, Department of Driver and Motor Vehicles is seeking an artist or artist team to design a specialty arts vanity license plate for the District of Columbia. The theme for the license plate is "Artistic License".

The design should inspire residents and visitors to support the arts and help bring attention to the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. This call is open to artists who live in District of Columbia. For more information, please visit their website. If you have further questions please email Deirdre Ehlen at or call (202) 724-5613.

Opportunity for Photographers

Deadline: 28 December 2007

The Fraser Gallery (which I used to co-own) is hosting the 7th Annual International Photography Competition.

Details and entry forms here or call the gallery at 301/718-9651.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: January 15, 2008.

The 4th Annual National Painting, Drawing and Printmaking Competition at the Palm Beach Community College, Lake Worth Campus. Visiting Juror/Awards of $2000. For a prospectus, send SASE to the below address or download here:

Palm Beach Community College
Attn: Kristin Miller
Gallery Manager
Division of Humanities, MS15
4200 Congress Avenue
Lake Worth, FL 33461

Grants for Artists

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation offers funding to emerging American artists and craftspeople through a biennial award. Selection process is made through nomination by Foundation trustees, previous recipients, artists, critics, and museum professionals in the U.S. Awards are granted in the following media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and crafts.

For more information contact:

The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation
c/o Artists Space
38 Greene St., 3rd Fl.
New York, NY 10013

Al Lerner

Abram "Al" Lerner, the first director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC has died at age 94.

Lerner was initially a painter who then became the art adviser to Latvian immigrant Joseph Hirshhorn. Hirshhorn opened the museum on the National Mall in 1974 and appointed Lerner as the museum's first director from 1974 - 1984.

Wishful Thinking...

"The fever for graffiti art continued last week at the opening of an exhibition of 130 original works by American street artist Shepard Fairey.

Within hours of the opening at the Stolen Space gallery in Brick Lane, east London, everything had been sold, with prices ranging from £1,500 to £30,000.

'Over the weekend, between 6,000 and 7,000 people came to see the show,' a spokesman for the gallery said."
I am not sure what to be more impressed about: the fact that Fairey's show sold out within hours, or that so many people came out to the exhibition. Details here.

Wanna go to a Baltimore opening on Thursday?

The The Rosenberg Gallery at Goucher College in Baltimore opens ID with the work of sculptors Anthony Cervino, Jason Ferguson, Ronald Gonzalez, Rob Neilson and Melissa Ichiuji - all challenging the conventions of representational self-portraiture.

The opening is Thursday, November 8, 2007 from 6-8 PM.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Jenny Holzer at SAAM
For SAAM by Jenny Holzer

"For SAAM" by Jenny Holzer

The Smithsonian American Art Museum debuted a major site-specific light sculpture by Sanborn's LinguaJenny Holzer last Saturday. Holzer is an internationally renowned artist best known for her work incorporating texts into light-based sculptures and projections. The sculpture, titled "For SAAM," is on public display in the museum's third floor Lincoln Gallery with other contemporary artworks from the permanent collection.

I've always liked Holzer's work, due mostly to my interest in text in art.

I am however, more a fan of Jim Sanborn and one of my favorite DC area works by Sanborn on public diplay is Lingua, which is perfectly located in the Grand Lobby of the new DC Convention Center, which by the way, was "supposed" to continue to add art to its vastness and (as far as I know) never has since its grand opening.

Shauna Lee Lange on Going West at The Renwick

By Shauna Lee Lange

We weren't the only ones who couldn't gain admission to the Corcoran's exhibits on a late Saturday afternoon, so if you're headed for the Leibovitz/Adams shows, get there early in the day!

All wasn't lost... the Renwick is a few short walking blocks away and we comfortably strolled through the Going West exhibit without any elbow bumping. The Renwick Gallery is a fine, first rate museum in its own right; it houses a diverse collection of American contemporary craft, art, and design spanning the 19th - 21st centuries.

Featured in the Going West exhibit are about 50 rare quilts from the first quarter of the 19th century to the 1930s. If you can imagine embarking on the journey out west, and having to bring along only a few cherished keepsakes, then your appreciation for the sentimentality of these items will be right on key. Or better yet, imagine the life of a woman newly established in her prairie home, and her need to create items not available at the local Target.

Necessity is the mother of invention, and the Going West quilts prove that there was a deep focus on recording family history, using available objects (see the quilt made out of neckties), the irrefutable strength of the creative spirit, and the desire to commemorate important anniversaries in the lives of community members. It's interesting to consider how these quilts might have represented efforts in journaling or even fundraising. And from a crafts perspective, well... they are just inspiring.

If you plan to visit the gorgeously detailed quilts, we'd like to suggest a method of viewing. To really appreciate the work, materials, and time invested in the craftsmanship, the trick is to stand as close to the quilt as the museum curators will allow. Isolate a six inch square, or a series of six inch squares, to really see the art embedded in the various cloths and stitches.

A quilt is a collage, a composite whole of smaller unrelated parts. And although the whole can be quite stunning, the devil is in the detail with a careful examination of the pieces. Considering assemblage, construction, color selection, and composition help to transport one back to the Wild West. Quilts from this exhibition are a fine example of a continuum along the tradition of useful textiles. They provide insight to the essential role that quilts and the making of quilts played in the lives of women on the frontier. They are a testament (in my mind) to feminism even, in their own sort-of-quasi-political-way.

The Going West exhibit runs to Jan 21, 2008. The Renwick Gallery is part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is located on 17 th Street & Pennsylvania Ave, NW. Admission is free. Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed December 25. Tours and General Info: 202-633-8550. Special event scheduling: 202-633-8534. Be sure to check the calendar, as the Renwick hosts a series of crafts demonstrations, lectures, receptions, and musical performances in its mission to collect and preserve the finest in American crafts.

Fellowship for Artists

Deadline: January 15, 2008

Hamiltonian Artists is currently seeking fellowship applications for the 2008-2009 season. Dedicated to support the professional development of emerging visual artists, Hamiltonian Artists is a new DC-area nonprofit organization offering an annual national competitive fellowship program for ten promising innovative artists. All So-Hamiltonian Fellows will be provided with: a stipend, representation by the Hamiltonian Gallery, an annual focused exhibition, seminars and mentorship programs led by arts and business leaders, and career placement assistance.

Hamiltonian Gallery will be a new, dynamic art space in the heart of the burgeoning 14th and U Street cultural district in Washington DC, home to many of the city's best contemporary art galleries. With an anticipated opening date of June 2008, the Hamiltonian Gallery will feature the So-Hamiltonian Fellows as well as other established Gallery artists.

Through innovative and groundbreaking programs, Hamiltonian Artists and Hamiltonian Gallery seek to create a new physical and institutional structure in Washington DC to support emerging artists, broaden cultural dialogue within the community and make visual art accessible to a diverse audience.

The fellowship program summary and online application are available at and iformation on the gallery is
available at

Hamiltonian Artists
P.O. Box 73975
Washington, DC 20056
t: (703) 549-9629


One of the cornerstones in the edifice of my criticism of art criticism is how much better the writing and public is served when difference voices opine on the same subject.

Case in point: the current Foon Sham’s solo joint exhibits at GRACE in Reston and Heineman-Myers in Bethesda.

- Dr. Claudia Rousseau’s excellent review appeared on Wednesday, October 31 in the The Gazette. Read it here.

- A typical piece by Jessica Dawson in The Washington Post's Galleries column on Friday, October, 26. Read it here.

- Joanna Shaw-Eagle’s feature article was published on the front page of the “Arts and Culture” section on Saturday, October 20 in the The Washington Times. Read it here.

- Eileen River’s fascinating profile on Foon Sham’s dialogue work was published on Tuesday, October 16 in the The Washington Post on the front page of the “Style” section, with great photos of the installation at GRACE. Read it here.

Why isn't anybody writing about art anymore?

Peter Plagens on "Why isn't anybody writing about art anymore?"

Today's art world is bigger and wealthier than it was half a century ago, a generation ago, or even a decade ago. In 2002, more than a quarter of the adult population in the U.S. visited an art gallery or museum, a rate of what the federal government calls "cultural participation" (movies are not included) behind only the number of people reading books and visiting historic sites, and ahead of attendance at concerts by double...

...Judging by the newspapers of many major American cities and some national magazines, the more straightforwardly journalistic popular press appears to be covering art with some thoroughness. Roberta Smith, Holland Cotter and Michael Kimmelman at the New York Times, Peter Schjeldahl at the New Yorker, Mark Stevens at New York magazine, Jerry Saltz at the Village Voice, Jed Perl at the New Republic, Arthur Danto at the Nation, Ken Johnson (now) at the Boston Globe, Edward Sozanski and Edith Newhall at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Christopher Knight and David Pagel at the Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Baker at the San Francisco Chronicle, Robert L. Pincus at the San Diego Union-Tribune and several others produce a veritable mountain of words about art every month. And most if not all of their publications also print additional art writing by freelancers and stringers [my note: notice that the Washington newspapers are conspicuously absent from this list]...

...Nationwide, though, newspaper coverage of art is down... the trend, over the last five or 10 years, is downward everywhere except perhaps at the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times...

...The Greensboro News & Record's Robinson, however, sets a standard for candor regarding the matter of art coverage:

There are a variety of reasons we don't give art more respect. We perceive that the audience for such coverage is small. It could be a self-fulfilling prophecy--we don't write about it because it's not that much in demand, but it's not in demand because we don't write about it.... Advertising has nothing to do with these decisions. I suppose that if a gallery said it would purchase a premium-priced ad along the bottom of a page focusing on the world of art, we would leap at the opportunity to expand our coverage. To my knowledge that hasn't happened, and theaters and symphonies aren't big newspaper advertisers, but we find the money to write about their productions regularly.... Contemporary art is often hard to understand. I dare say that, if asked, most of the readers I know would subscribe to the Tom Wolfe school of [opinions about] contemporary art...

While noting that almost all newspapers have made cutbacks in the coverage of "the arts" at the same time coverage of the effluvia of popular culture has "exploded," the Monitor's Thomas says that visual art might have some specific drawbacks. First, there's what he calls "the snoot factor"--the perception that modern and contemporary art is intelligible only to a rich, initiated elite. Second, he says, "there's no Picasso," no dominant figure around to pique the general public's interest. The same might be said for critics...
Read this fascinating article, first published a while back in Art in America here.

1992 Redux?

In the early nineties, more than 70 New York galleries went out of business.

Could it happen again? No, say many observers—today’s art market is too global, too rich, even too smart to suffer such a wrenching setback. All the same, one shouldn’t forget that the art market’s biggest climb ever has been based in part on a growing pile of dealer debt. Dealers have borrowed against inventory to fuel bigger shows, art-fair exhibits, and satellite galleries all over the world...

There are now 360 galleries in Chelsea, up from 124 eight years ago. Already, Craigslist has seen a slight bump in its rental listings for gallery spaces in the area. A couple of them even read “Currently an art gallery.”
Read this very interesting piece by Alexandra Peers in New York Magazine here.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Good News

Last August, The Washington City Paper added a new writer to the DC area art scene, and Maura Judkis has been a refreshing new voice to the region's critical dialogue.

Thanks to the art gods that the CP understands the critical importance of having different voices delivering art criticism to a region. It amazes me that the CP understands and can afford to do this, but the WaPo doesn't and won't - neither the "new" Style nor the "Weekend" section editors!

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

Much Ado About Oil and Water

The Smithies have to return a $5M donation because of mixing oil and water. Read it here.


Use the money to do some roof repairs instead.

Don't give it back.

Botero Opens Tuesday

"Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib" opens Tuesday at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center in DC.

Fernando Botero in front of one of the Abu Ghraib paintings

Tomorrow's WaPo will have this article on the works by Erica Jong.

This will be one of the major exhibitions of 2007 for the entire Mid Atlantic and I bet that it will set new attendance records for the Katzen.

My own thoughts on Botero and his torture paintings are here.

Friday, November 02, 2007

AAC Survey

The Arlington Arts Center has an online survey here to help them fine tune their programming.

It only takes a few minutes; take it here.

Saturday Openings in DC

Loads of good shows are opening in DC tomorrow: Kathryn Cornelius at Curator's Office, Linn Meyers at G Fine Art, and James Huckenpahler & David Byrne at Hemphill. The openings are from 6pm-8pm.

Also catch Nicholas Khan & Richard Selesnick at Irvine Contemporary (till 8PM) and Lori Nix & Dane Picard at Randall Scott (till 7:30PM).

Trinity College

I am honored to announce that some of my Pictish Nation drawings are now part of the permanent collection of The University of Dublin's Trinity College in Ireland.

Below is "Minotaur Waiting for Theseus" my most recent drawing. It's about 17" x 14." Anyone interested in acquiring it, send me an email and I'll email you back details Sold!

Minotaur Waiting for Theseus

Minotaur Waiting for Theseus
By F. Lennox Campello
circa 2007 - Charcoal and Conte on Paper

David Hickey on Selling Out

"The question of how to sell without selling out is especially relevant in the contemporary art world and there are few people better qualified to grapple with this thorny topic than Dave Hickey.

Not only is he Professor of English at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Hickey is also one of America’s best known art and cultural critics, admired for his aversion to academicism and his robust analysis of the effects on art of the rough and tumble of the free market.

Last month he delivered a keynote speech at Frieze: 'Schoolyard art: playing fair without the referee.'"
The Art Newspaper has an edited transcript here or the lecture is available as a podcast here.

Fake Banksys on Ebay

"Unauthorised prints by the anonymous graffiti artist Banksy have been sold on eBay as limited edition, signed works, by employees of the company which publishes and authenticates the artist's works on paper, Pictures on Walls (POW).

These have been stamped with a replica of the POW blindstamp and some of them carry forged signatures.

The prices for the prints have then been raised by an illegal practice known as shill bidding in which sellers or their associates make offers for goods to inflate the price artificially."
Read the story here.

First Fridays in Baltimore too!

Tonight is First Fridays in Fell's Point in Baltimore too... and Lisa Egeli, one of Maryland's master painters has a solo show opening at Diliberto Gallery; make sure to check that show!

Corcoran News

The recent opening of the Ansel Adams exhibition at the Corcoran also saw the unveiling of the Photography Exploration Gallery. The multimedia room includes a camera obscura constructed by two BFA photography students, Natalie Cheung and Chris Gibson; a pictorial timeline of the history of photography designed by Adjunct Graphic Design Professor Antonio Álcala with student involvement; and an interactive digital photo booth that allows visitors to create and display self-portraits on the gallery’s walls. Be sure to stop by and add your photo to the digital album.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Go to jail card

Brit artist Michael Dickinson, who lives in Turkey, will be on trial next week accused of insulting the Turkish Prime Minister's dignity. Dickison was arrested for displaying a poster of his work entitled Good Boy.

It shows Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a dog on a leash made from the American flag.

Good Boy by Michael Dickison
Read the whole story here.

The Blogger Show opens in NYC

The first part of the Blogger Show opens at Agni Gallery (170 East 2nd Street, New York, NY 10009 412-389-0288) in New York City with an opening reception this coming Saturday, November 3, 6-9PM.

See the work online here.

Banksy Exposed?

So claims the BBC - check out the well-known street artist here.

Looks like Mark Jenkins to me.

Sometimes a good notion show

I am one of those annoying persons who's always complaining about anything and anyone that focuses on just and only on bad news, and yet it seems that I also spend a lot of words trying to discuss bad art news myself.

Feh! My bad.

Good news: Remember the Manon Cleary show at DCAC that I mentioned a while back?

Cleary is a DC artist collected worldwide and yet strangely semi-ignored by the DC area arts press (other than a fantastic multi page article in the CP a couple of years ago that seems to be unavailable online).

And her worldwide collectors came through in the DCAC show; all 34 works in the show sold, delivering a rarity for the Greater DC region art world: a sold out show.

Blogger Interrupted

The current issue of Art in America has an interesting roundtable on art blogs by Peter Plagens - It's not available online, but Capps has a good post on it here.

Mental Masturbation

A few years ago, a friend of mine who works with new experimental supercomputers told me about an exercise that they had done with some of the neural networks supercomputers that they were training.

They asked the computer to predict what events from the 20th century would be taught in history classes 5,000 years into the future. They expected a variety of historical points such as WWI, WWII, etc.

According to my friend, only two words came out of the computer's predictive cognition as to what would be the only marker for the 20th century:

Neil Armstrong.

And so...

Jeff Koons, whose collectors include billionaire Eli Broad, and Damien Hirst, whose shark is owned by hedge-fund manager Steven Cohen, failed to draw a vote from museum curators nominating artists who'll be famous in 105 years' time for U.S. magazine ARTnews.

Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Yoko Ono were chosen as some of 2112's renowned artists. ARTnews, now 105 years old, said it surveyed experts as a guide to which contemporary artists would be "embraced" by museums at its 210th anniversary, as part of a look at the art scene of the future.
Read the Bloomberg article by Linda Sandler here.

First Fridays

If you wanna do openings and gallery crawls, first Fridays is one of your key days in Philly and DC.

There are a lot of gallery openings tonight in Philadelphia, a city known for "legendary stinginess toward the arts" according to the Daily News' Tom DiNardo.

Details on the Philly area gallery openings here.

In DC, as usual, the Dupont Circle area galleries have their gallery crawl starting at 8PM. Check out Which Came First? Drawing Conclusions: Kilnformed Glass by Kari Minnick at Hillyer Art Space.

Viral Post

While I was away the WaPo did this viral piece on my good friend, the very talented Judy Jashinsky.

Read it here.

What Matters

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Flying back home


Heading home after a couple of very fruitful days in Miami delivering artwork to a local power ubercollector couple; establishing some Miami area presence for a few DC area artists and some other work. Still unable to log in to my email account due to some "*.dll file corruption" which will have to wait until I get home for attention.

So, I am not ignoring your emails; I just can't get to them for now.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Finch peck

Artnet's art critic Charlie Finch takes a massive peck at the art blogsphere with an odd article in Artnet magazine.

More on that later, but do read the article here.

Dawson on Bethesda

Even while I was in gorgeous Niagara Falls, the anguished cries from DC's not-Brooklyn have followed me via emails from people emailing me "have you seen what Dawson wrote about Bethesda's galleries?"

Hey, it's her opinion and her style. She has a right to express it and an editor to guide it.

In my opinion, Dawson has developed over the years into a naturally snarky writer, and never too deep in her writing to explain away her snarkyness - mostly I suspect because of lack of proper newsprint space to address such a subject as a wander through Bethesda's art scene.

Dawson's anti-comparison of Bethesda to Brooklyn is just odd. I was raised in Brooklyn, and knew it well, so it's a waste of space to open up a article by taking a dig at the Bethesda Urban Partnership's efforts to create a gallery scene in Bethesda with an anti-comparison to Brooklyn.

Why does everything and everyone in the art world have to be compared to New York's art world?

It doesn't.

She seems baffled when she states that "declaring an arts district is a rare move in a post-gallery art world." It isn't - there are several art districts in Maryland alone; in fact I think that Silver Spring is also a recent arts district. Dawson declaration that we're already living in a "post-gallery art world," meaning that as fairs and and Internet grow, galleries are in a death spiral, may be the reason for the WaPo's tiny and ever reducing art gallery coverage - now we know: the WaPo's freelance art critic tasked with reviewing local area galleries thinks that we're in a "post-gallery art world."

I'm not so sure... and by the way, Peter Schjeldahl has already predicted the end of art fairs as well; let's see who time will prove right. So soon we will be in a "post art fair world."

But if Dawson says that we're already in a post-gallery world, and Schjeldahl predicts the end of art fairs - what do we have left for an art scene? The Internet only?

Campello does not think so. In fact it should be clear to the most casual observer of any art scene that the future is probably a combination of the three ingredients. Like it is now.

But getting back to Bethesda, what Dawson does not tell you, is how successful the Bethesda Urban Partnership has been in accomplishing their goals; that would somehow destroy her thesis - but I will try to tell you.

Around 2002, when the whole move started to have the county or state declare Bethesda as an official "arts district" (a move that brings special dispensations for cultural organizations and tax breaks for developers, etc.), there were but a couple of "real" art galleries and cultural spaces in restaurant-rich Bethesda.

To clarify: there were plenty of stores that sold pretty wall decor and had the word "gallery" in their business name, but other than Creative Partners, Marin-Price, and Sally Hansen's Glass Gallery (unless my memory here in airportland fails me) there were no other "real" galleries in the area.

Osuna earlier on had a space in the area, but this seasoned DC area "other Cuban" art dealer had closed up shop around that time frame and departed the area. He has done that a couple of times during his long illustrious gallerist career.

Since those seminal efforts began, Fraser Gallery, Neptune Gallery, Heineman-Myers Contemporary, the Washington Photography School, Orchard Gallery, the Imagination Stage, St. Elmo's Gallery, Landmark Theatre, Round House Theatre, Bethesda Theatre and others that I am surely forgetting have all opened up in Bethesda; and Osuna came back. Also in those years, a couple of other galleries opened and failed and one moved to NYC.

And the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival brings around 120 artists from all over the nation, and 40,000 people to the streets of Bethesda each May. And the very generous Carol Trawick has institutionalized the Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards.

So it would appear to me that some sort of "art scene" is very successfully developing there, in spite of the article's announcement about the end of galleries.

And I leave you with this line from the freelance art critic to the world's second most influential newspaper, as she describes Bethesda's Neptune Gallery on her first and only visit there:

The gallery shows local glass artists, figurative sculpture and painting -- art that means well but rarely matters.
A lesson that Ms. Dawson should have picked up from her art history classes on the history of Ukiyo-e: Art always matters.

Airborne again


And heading to Miami this time... unable to log in to my email account due to some "*.dll file corruption" which will have to wait until I get home for attention. More from flower land later...

Friday, October 26, 2007

Celestine Accent

Niagara Falls is absolutely spectacular, and the millions of tourists who have flocked through here over the decades get their money's worth at the awesome spectacle of nature's raw power.

The tourists are a spectacle on their own! More on that later when I get home with some pictures.

On the flight here, I tried to read The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, a book which spent countless weeks on the bestseller list and has spawned a whole industry and armies of followers.

A friend gave it to me and insisted that I should read it and learn from it.

Count me in the disillusioned. The book is badly written, and in dire needs of good editing. On page 53, the main character is by himself in a garden in the Peruvian mountains. He sees a stranger approach down the path.

When he was within ten feet he saw me with a start, which made me flinch also.
"Oh, hello," he said in a rich Brooklyn accent."

Can a "rich Brooklyn accent" be detected from "Oh, hello"?

Any accent? I can only think of Russian, maybe Japanese.

And the book's good news story just escapes me, while the "Romancing the Stone" plot is just not interesting enough.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Airborne today

Gilbert Munger, Niagara Falls showing the Canadian and American Views, 1903
Gilbert Munger, Niagara Falls showing the Canadian and American Views,
1903, oil on canvas 72" x 120"
Collection of the Tweed Museum of Art.

Heading to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls! Coming back Saturday... more later.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Motion filed

If you haven't been following the whole mess with the trustees of Lynchburg’s Randolph-Macon Woman’s College, then read this first. Below is the latest news release:

In an effort to prevent the trustees of Lynchburg’s Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (R-MWC) — known as Randolph College since July — from auctioning four irreplaceable paintings to increase an already generous $153 million endowment, a motion for temporary injunction and a complaint requesting a temporary and permanent injunction has been filed before the Lynchburg Circuit Court, Preserve Educational Choice announced today.

“Judging by how hastily and secretively Randolph College officials took away the art, it is clear that the college fears a ruling from the Supreme Court against their actions and is moving to sell the pieces of art as quickly as possible,” said Anne Yastremski, Executive Director of Preserve Educational Choice, the alumnae group supporting the lawsuits.

“This motion for injunction seeks to stop the College from irreparably harming their reputation and their world-class American art collection until these lawsuits against Randolph College have been cleared by the Commonwealth of Virginia’s court system. We’ve been waiting for Attorney General Bob McDonnell to take action to stop the College, but since we know of no action thus far, the plaintiffs in this injunction suit and thousands of other alumnae, donors to the College and the Maier, and citizens of Lynchburg felt they needed to take action themselves.”

The plaintiffs that have filed the request for an injunction include all of the students, alumnae and donors of R-MWC involved in the charitable trust and breach of contract lawsuits that currently are being considered on appeal to the Supreme Court of Virginia, as well as the eleven potential "intervenors" who have asked the Lynchburg Circuit Court to stop Randolph College's attempt to sell off the art purchased with funds from the Trust of Louise Jordan Smith.

Just last month, the Supreme Court of Virginia decided to hear appeals of two lawsuits challenging the College’s fall 2006 decision to become co-educational. The first suit, which involves “donor intent,” challenges the college on charitable trust grounds, arguing that the college should have to prove it cannot continue as a woman’s college before it can use the assets accumulated under the original charitable purpose – to “educate women in the liberal arts” – for the benefit of a coed college. The second suit, filed by a group of students, alleges breach of contract, saying that they had been promised four years of single-sex education. Both suits pending before the Supreme Court of Virginia include allegations that the protection of the art collection is vital to providing the relief sought by the student and donor plaintiffs.

In the Circuit Court case filed by the College, the College asked the courts for permission to break the Trust of Louise Jordan Smith. Relatives of Louise Jordan Smith, students, alumnae, former faculty and Maier Museum directors, donors, and Lynchburg citizens filed a Motion for Leave to Intervene in the suit, alleging that the money from Smith’s trust was used to purchase a large number of the most valuable paintings in Randolph’s Maier Museum collection. The intervenors contend that the entire art collection must be protected in order to honor the intentions of Smith, both through her trust and her efforts during her lifetime. A hearing on that motion to intervene is scheduled for November 15.

“The Court’s decisions in these cases could affect whether or not the College can or needs to sell the paintings now at Christie’s,” says Yastremski. “If the College is allowed to go forward with the Christie’s auction before our cases are finalized, the art—pieces like George Wesley Bellow’s 1912 “Men of the Docks” which constitute the cornerstone of the Maier—will be lost forever.”

Yastremski, pointing to the college’s $153 million endowment (one of the largest in Virginia), believes the College’s efforts to sell these paintings are “due to greed, not need.”

While the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) has put the College on financial warning, it was not due to the size of the endowment. The specific issues that SACS cited the college for – astronomical tuition discounting (nearly twice the national average), excessive deferred maintenance, and operating deficits – are all signs of fiscal mismanagement, not a too-small endowment.

“Randolph College officials will do anything to mask the real problems: out-of-control spending and poor management, neither of which will be fixed by selling portions of the school’s treasured art collection,” said Yastremski. “This collection was not assembled as a financial investment for future ‘hard times,’ but rather from public donations and funds allocated to benefit the college’s educational mission and to create a cultural resource for the community. Two of the four paintings in question were donations from private individuals to the permanent collection, one was purchased with fees paid by students (at their request) specifically for the purpose of buying art and supporting artistic events on campus, and the most valuable one – “Men of the Docks” – was purchased by a Lynchburg-based community group with the express purpose of forming a permanent collection for the benefit of the students and the citizens of Lynchburg.”

Even if an infusion of capital was necessary, which thousands of alumnae and donors don’t believe, the national art community has strict standards against the sale of art for general fund purposes. Nearly every major Virginia and national art association has condemned the College’s plans to sell the four paintings, including the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Art Museum Curators, the College Art Association, the Association of College and University Museums and Galleries and the Virginia Association of Museums.

“It is obvious that the current Randolph officials and Trustees care nothing for ethics or their donor’s wishes. Hopefully the Attorney General and the Commonwealth’s Courts will realize this, and act accordingly,” said Yastremski. “If not, donors may need to think twice about investing their hard earned resources with the state’s many nonprofits.”

Open Portfolios in Philly

The Print Center along with Philagrafika, and the Philadelphia Center for the Book will host an Open Portfolio event with more than 40 printmakers and photographers as part of Philadelphia Open Studio Tours.

Free and open to the public - Saturday, October 27 & Sunday, October 28, 12:00 – 6:00pm at Philagrafika - 728 S. Broad Street in Philadelphia.

New Arlington gallery

Duality Contemporary Art is a new art gallery in Arlington, Virginia.

Coming November 10, 2007 they have "Natural Selection — Art Inspired By Nature," which is a group show featuring the work of several Washington D.C. area artists such as Lynden Cline, Joy Every, Sharon Fishel, Dirk Herrman, Lucy Herrman, Nancy Sausser, Jeff Smith and Paula Wachsstock

The Artists’ Reception is Saturday, November 10, 2007 from 5-7 pm.

Wanna go to a Virginia opening this Friday?

It's a new gallery to me, but it has been around for alomost 15 years, which in gallery years is a superb accomplishment by itself, and the Hermitage Design Gallery in McLean, Virginia has Estrella Dannon opening this coming Friday, October 26, 2007, with a reception from 6 PM to 9 PM.

Artists' Condos

Three condos available for purchase by artists only. The condos are located at 915 E St NW in DC's Penn Quarter, and are listed at $289,900 with the developer prepared to offer $15,000 in down payment assistance or other incentives. These 574 sq ft apartments include large open kitchens with gas cooking stainless steal appliances, maple cabinets and granite countertops. There is bamboo flooring over the whole studio space, large closet and roomy full bath.

Space also includes washer and dryer in each unit, 24/7 concierge, fitness room, and rooftop deck. Condo fee of $280/month includes gas, water, trash removal, snow removal, and building management and maintenance. Floorplans are available at – Floorplan A1.

For more information, or to schedule a visit, please contact Kathy Olmstead at 202.253.2502 or

International Caribbean Art Fair

The first annual International Caribbean Art Fair will take place at The Puck Building, 295 Lafayette Street, in New York this coming November 1 - 4, 2007.

Miami's Cernuda Arte will be in Booths 18 through 21 showcasing a selection of over 45 Cuban artworks by established and emerging artists. Participating artists include: Wifredo Lam, Víctor Manuel García, Amelia Peláez, Mario Carreño, Roberto Diago, René Portocarrero, Mariano Rodríguez, Agustín Cárdenas, Agustín Fernández, Manuel Mendive, Tomás Sánchez, Flora Fong, Clara Morera, Vicente Hernández, Ismael Gómez Peralta, Miguel Florido, Ramón Vázquez, David Rodríguez, Gabriel Sánchez, Li Domínguez Fong, Giosvany Echevarría, Juan Miguel Suárez, Reynier Ferrer, César Santos, and Irina Elén González.

Other than some of the satellite fairs for Art Basel Miami Beach, this may become the key art fair for collectors and galleries showcasing Latin American art.

Fabbri on Mancini

Il Saltimbanco by Antonio ManciniThere's a gorgeous exhibition at the PMA on Neapolitan artist Antonio Mancini (1852-1930).

This is the first exhibition in the United States devoted exclusively to an artist considered by many to be one of the most prominent Italian painters of the late nineteenth century.

And the Broad Street Review's Anne Fabbri has an equally interesting and intelligent review here.


As early readers know, this visual art blog started in October 2003 as "DC Art News." When I moved to the Philly area last year I re-named it "Mid Atlantic Art News."

A review of the site's stats reveals that I am now gathering regular readers from all over the nation and a significant number from overseas. Daily visits float between 1800 to 3000 a day - no idea why such wild stat swings.

And as I expand my own lifestyle to possibly include (in the future) some physical presence in the Southwest, I'm toying with the idea of one last name change for the blog.

The URL is - and so I'd like something to work with the "dc" part. So far I've come up with:

- Don Campello's Art News

- Da Campello Art News

- Drawing Campello Art News

- Direct Campello Art News

See my drift? Anyway, I need some ideas along this vein or some other catchy, creative name. Email me your ideas here.

Wanna go to an opening in DC Saturday?

Brooklyn photographer Lori Nix "creates meticulous dioramas handcrafted from plaster, cardboard, and styrofoam and detailed with found objects, such as, fur, plants, and cat whiskers. These scale models, which take upwards of 4 months to produce, are carefully photographed using an 8x10" large format camera. Eventually the models are broken apart and stuffed into garbage bags to be hauled away."

Her exhibition at the Randall Scott Gallery in DC opens this coming Saturday, Oct. 27 with a reception from 7-9PM. The show goes through Dec. 8, 2007.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Medal of Honor

A day of silence here in honor of Lt Michael Murphy, US Navy, who was awarded (posthumously) the Medal of Honor today for his extraordinary valor in Afghanistan.

Fair winds and following seas mate.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Blog B'day

October 16, 2003 was my first ever blog post as I began to learn the nuances of and began to gather readers for this effort.

The blog's anniversary passed and I forgot all about it until someone emailed me today to wish me a blogaversary - it's been four fruitful years and well over a million readers!

Loads more to come in the next forty years!

Two Princes

Two influential art critics review Richard Prince's retro at the Guggenheim and, as if often happens, come away with wildly different opinions.

Read the WaPo's Blake Gopnik here.

Read the New Yorker's Peter Schjeldahl here.

Guess Who?

Just back from the weekend fair and not only did I sell around 40 drawings, but also was awarded a nice four-figure Helen G. Gifford Foundation Best of Show award.

More later; I haven't checked email in three days and Hotmail seems to be having log-in issues this morning!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Heading South

Travelling today for an art fair this weekend. I'll try to post throughout, so keep coming back.