Thursday, April 17, 2008

Trib does Tim Tate

I am not familiar with the Chicago Tribune's art critic Alan Artner, but apparently much like his counterparts in DC and Philly, he rarely does galleries. But last week he did in writing about Narratives at Marx-Saunders Gallery

The easy seductiveness of glass as an artistic medium has in 20 years given rise to a virtual industry in sculpture in which prettiness is all. But what is there beyond technique? One answer comes in the four-artist exhibition at the Marx-Saunders Gallery: Narratives.

Each of the artists — Carmen Lozar, Catharine Newell, Minako Shirakura, Tim Tate — is to some degree a storyteller. So glass is less important in and of itself than in how it conveys the artists' tales, either alone or in combination with other materials. This shifts the works' emphasis from physical appeal to presumably something more inward.

The pieces incorporating video by Shirakura and Tate accomplish this best, still without convincing us that glass was essential to the enterprise. Could their glass components have expressed as much if they had been executed in another medium? Yes. And in Newell's pieces the new material could have been as simple as paper, as chief interest is in her representational drawing. Even so, only Lozar's cartoonlike tableaux disappoint with an equal coyness in execution and idea. If not there yet, Shirakura and Tate are clearly onto something to deepen the discourse. Here narrative is interesting enough to be periodically revisited.
Read the entire column of reviews here.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Artists' Talk: DC

Join co-curators Andrea Pollan and Jayme McLellan for a conversation with the artists featured in Civilian Art Projectss current exhibition, craigslist, on display through April 26. Artists John Dumbacher, Jason Horowitz and Jason Zimmerman will discuss and share their ideas and artistic process with the audience. This April 18, 2008, 7PM at Civilian Art Projects.

RSVP to or 202-347-0022. Refreshments provided.

Artists' Websites: Katie Miller

Painting by Katie Miller

Child Standing on a Dresser. Oil on canvas, 46x70" c.2007 by Katie Miller

I recently juried an art exhibition for VSA Arts in Washington, DC - the show will be at the Kennedy Center... more later on that - and during the jurying process came across the fantastic paintings of Katie Miller. I had never heard of her, but Katie Miller is a young artist in the Greater Washington, DC area and she received her B.F.A from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2007.

Visit her website here.

Opportunity for illustrators

The Chester River Press is looking for an experienced artist to illustrate a fine letterpress limited edition publication of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey. Illustrations, fullpage in theme of black figure Greek vase paintings, should be accurate quality reproductions of the various Homeric forms. Approx. 50 full page illustrations are anticipated. Qualifications: quality artist,strong working knowledge of Iliad, Odyssey, Greek Homeric period painting and drawing. Familiarity with Greek language a definite plus. Project dates: June to Sept. 2008. Not an 'in-residence'position. All welcome. If poss. include resume, work sample, and comp. requirements.


Gerard Cataldo
Chester River Pres
Chestertown Old Book Co.
113 South Cross St.
Chestertown MD 21620

Mangravite on Prestegord

Gregory Prestegord at F.A.N. Gallery in Philly is reviewed by Andrew Mangravite:

Gregory Prestegord’s city scenes get right down to business. He doesn’t do the sort of work that you have to stare at and stare at, trying to decipher its message.
Read the whole review here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Gopnik on Dumbachers

The WashPost's Chief Art Critic Blake Gopnik pops in with a terrific profile of the Dumbacher brothers, whose work first made a debut in 1999 at Artomatic and by 2001 had evolved dramatically was a hit at the Corcoran...

Looking at the brothers, their oneness comes as no surprise. They're only fraternal twins, but you'd swear they were identical. They have precisely the same athletic, 6-foot-something build. They also have the same shoulder-length brown hair. And the same attractive face, just a bit too quirky to be model-handsome.

There are differences. John's a touch slighter, sunnier, more sociable; Joe's a bit more solid and remote. Joe's sunglasses, always dangling from his neck, hang over clothes that are California casual. John's ever-present sunglasses tend to pair with sporty-chic outfits.
Read this really good profile by Gopnik here.

Museums and buying art

...should museum staff be free to advise board members (or other collectors) on what they should be acquiring themselves, and should those board members who are also active collectors be free to acquire works informed, in effect, by the insider knowledge that they are making the same bets or judgments as the museum on whose board they serve?
Read the article by Adrian Ellis for the Art Newspaper here.

Radcliffe Institute Fellowships

Deadline: October 1, 2008

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University awards approximately 50 fully funded fellowships each year. Radcliffe Institute fellowships are designed to support scholars, scientists, artists and writers of exceptional promise and demonstrated accomplishment, who wish to pursue work in academic and professional fields and in the creative arts.

Applicants must have received their doctorate or appropriate terminal degree by December 2006 in the area of the proposed project. Radcliffe welcomes proposals from small groups of scholars who have research interests orprojects in common.

Please check this website for more information. The stipend amount is $70,000. Fellows receive office space and access to libraries and other resources of Harvard University. During the fellowship year, which extends from early September 2008 through June 30, 2009, residence in the Boston area is required as is participation in the Institute community.

Fellows are expected to present their work-in-progress and to attend other fellows¹ events. Applications must be postmarked by October 1, 2008. For more information, visit their Web site at

Trash People

Earth Day is a week away... and I've been hearing good things about a new art installation that opened last week at the National Geographic Museum: "Trash People by HA Schult."

Starting in 1996, the German artist HA Schult created 1000 life-size figures made entirely of trash with the goal of spreading the word about human consumption and waste. His army of figures have stood at the Pyramids at Giza, in the Red Square in Moscow and on the Great Wall of China.

Though they didn't have room for all 1000, the NGM is displaying 50 of them in their courtyard, and they've stirred quite a reaction from their visitors, several of which have emailed me. With Earth Day a week away, it may be a great time to visit this show.

Supplementing the 50 “trash people” will be a selection of still photographs from the new National Geographic Channel film “Human Footprint," which I have seen and it is terrific.

Go see this show.

Hyattsville Arts Festival

Where: Hyattsville, MD - on Longfellow Street and Route 1 (or take the metro to Hyattsville)

When: Saturday, April 19th from 12-5pm

For more info visit this website.

Colloquium on African American Art

The Howard University Department of Art is going to host the 19th Annual James A. Porter Colloquium on African American Art to be held on April 17 – 19, 2008 on the campus of Howard University.

The James A. Porter Colloquium is the leading forum for scholars, artists, curators, and others in the field of African American Art and Visual Culture. The theme of this year’s Colloquium is “From FESTAC to DOCUMENTA: Crossing Boundaries, Constructing Identities, Expanding Discourse in African American Art and Art of the African Diaspora.”

It honors the pioneering achievements of Richard Long, Professor Emeritus, Emory University and Leslie King-Hammond, Graduate Dean, Maryland Institute College of Art. For registration & more information, visit

NYC Art Program Slide Registry

The New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art Program Slide Registry is accepting slides from professional artists who wish to be considered for Percent for Art Commissions. No residency requirements.

For more information, contact:

Percent for Art
Department of Cultural Affairs
31 Chambers St., 2nd Fl.
New York, NY 10007

Phone: (212) 513-9300 or check website here.

Slides? It is 2008 NYC... how about a digital image registry?

Open House at the Torpedo Factory

On Friday the 25th of April is the annual Spring Open House at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia and there's also a book signing in Margaret Huddy's studio of a new art book about her of Sycamore Series.

The book includes 29 full color images of the paintings she's done of the same tree in the past 22 years. It incudes some words from me about this amazing series.

The open house party is on Friday, April 25 from 6-9PM.

Common Waters at Mayer Fine Art

Below is a quick video showing the exhibition "Common Waters: An Ocean Apart" at Norfolk's new Mayer Fine Art.

Works by Sandra Ramos, Aimee Garcia Marrero, Cirenaica Moreira and Marta Maria Perez Bravo.

Monday, April 14, 2008

To Biennial or Not to Biennial

Kyle MacMillan over at the Denver Post asks and raises some really good points over the need for the new Denver Biennial. Kyle writes:

At least 50 major biennials take place internationally, and more are being added to the list all the time, making it easy to wonder: How many biennials are too many? And with each new one, isn't the drawing power of such events becoming increasingly diluted?
Read the whole article here.

Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art hosts the Corcoran Biennial, which they've hosted for many years. The biennial used to be strictly focused on painting, and as such it had a good niche in the overflowing scene of world biennials - it was just a biennial to sample the state of contemporary painting.

Unfortunately, in my opinion (which is generally not shared by many museum curators or probably other art writers), under the guidance of former Corcoran curator Terry Sultan, the Corcoran Biennial was "modernized" to become just like every other biennial and overly expanded to include everything that passes as fine art these days.

The result? Now the Corcoran Biennial is just another one of the 50+ biennials around the world, desperately lacking focus and usually bringing to DC a lot of art and artists recycled from other biennials plus a severe sprinkling of "newish" work.

In my opinion it would have been better to resist the temptation to expand to become a Jack of all art trades and keep it focused on the state of contemporary painting in all its vampirical refusals to die.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Time for Norfolk to be embarrassed

Norfolk newspaper The Virginian-Pilot sponsors an annual Student Gallery competition hosted at the Chrysler Museum of Art.

The top awards were announced a couple of weeks ago at the Chrysler Museum of Art, where works by the contest’s 62 finalists are on display. Erin Ayres “Unveiled Tokens of Lonely and Deserted Past,” was among two works that earned her the $1,000 first-place award.

Now the controversy part... Teresa Annas, art critic for the same newspaper courageously writes that:

This year’s top winners resulted from a third round of judging. The first two jurors selected nude artworks for first place. Those judges were Aaron De Groft, director of the Muscarelle Museum of Art, College of William and Mary, and Scott Howe, director of education and public programs at the Chrysler Museum.

The Virginian-Pilot, the contest’s main sponsor, declined to honor those choices.

“One was a nude self-portrait of a 17-year-old girl, and we didn’t feel that was appropriate,” said Pam Smith-Rodden, director of marketing, the department that runs Student Gallery. The other piece was a sculpture.

“We’re thinking about the audience, and all the kids and the younger siblings who will see these pieces,” Smith-Rodden said.

Those artworks are still on display at the Chrysler. “We honestly don’t believe those two pieces are appropriate to be held up as the winners of a high school art show, because they do depict the nude,” she said.

Student Gallery has no policy against nude imagery, Smith-Rodden said. “It hasn’t been an issue in the past, but we’re going to revisit it for future shows.”
Three days after the story came out, Norfolk began to respond and Annas reported that "Local art lovers rushed to donate money this week to a high school artist who was chosen as a winner in The Virginian-Pilot Student Gallery but was not given the award because the newspaper’s publisher deemed her work inappropriate. By late Friday, $700 had been collected. The goal was to raise $1,000. "

A day later Annas reported that:
Nancy "Beth" Reid, the teen artist whose nude self-portrait was denied top prize in an art contest, will be given $1,000 in a private ceremony today at Churchland High School in Portsmouth.

Beth, 17, was the first top winner chosen for The Virginian-Pilot Student Gallery, which is open to any high school junior or senior in the region. Her work was rejected for first place by the newspaper's publisher, Bruce Bradley. He deemed the work "inappropriate" for the show because it is a nude image of a minor.

A similar private award will go to Jasmine Childs of Chesapeake. She was the top choice of a second judge, but her sculpture of a nude torso also was rejected by Bradley.
And thus a sour story turns out a little better at the end thanks to the intervention of art lovers who saved the day at the last minute and thanks to the brave reporting by a writer employed by the same newspaper that caused Norfolk to be embarrassed in the eyes of the art world.

Bravo to the people of Norfolk!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Now I know...

This quote clearly reveals that Kingsley Amis' force is the HMFDIC (Head Motherfucker Darth In Charge) of the cabal of most suppliers of art writing:

"If you can't annoy somebody, there's little point in writing."

- Kingsley Amis

VB 2009

The Venice Biennale has named Daniel Birnbaum, the rector of the Staedelschule International Art Academy in Frankfurt, to curate its 2009 show.

"Birnbaum, born in Stockholm in 1963, was responsible for the Moscow biennial as well as exhibitions at the Pompidou Center in Paris and at London's Serpentine Gallery. He is a contributing editor to Artforum magazine in New York and writes critical essays for catalogs." Read the Bloomberg report here.

Common Waters: An Ocean Apart

Common Waters: An Ocean Apart opens tonight with an grand opening reception from 6-9PM at Mayer Fine Art in Norfolk, Virginia. This is a brand new gallery in a beautiful setting in Norfolk's Waterside building.

I curated this show, which features work by four leading Cuban artists: Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Sandra Ramos, Aimee Garcia Marrero and Cirenaica Moreira.

The show was hung last night and it looks beautiful, but it almost didn't happen at the last minute, as tragedy was barely avoided when the gallery owner was rushed to emergency because she badly cut her face with a piece of broken glass. The glass edge was jammed against her face and cut her all the way through to her mouth.

She's a trooper though! After a few hours in emergency, and a ton of stitches later, she came back to the gallery and finished hanging the show.

If you're in Norfolk tonight, come and say hi!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Opportunity for artists

Deadline: May 5, 2008

Wanna sell your landscape? 4Culture is seeking to acquire wall-mounted landscape works that use color(paintings, prints, photographs, drawings, etc.) for the Harborview Medical Center Collection, part of the King County Public Art Collection in Seattle.

The subject matter for this call must be the essence of landscape, whether represented realistically or abstractly. These works will be on display throughout the public spaces of the new Norm Maleng Building, a multi-story facility that houses operating rooms, acute care, rehabilitation, and clinic facilities, along with their associated waiting areas. An overall budget of $80,000 has been designated to purchase artwork. National artists who would like their work considered for purchase must submit images of existing available artwork for the panel's review. The maximum value of individual works should be $3500. A maximum height or width of 36" and a maximum depth of 3" for the artwork is specified. All artworks will be purchased unframed.

For a complete prospectus, visit this website. For more information: email Greg Bell at

Save the Date: Gallery Grand Opening in DC

On Friday, May 9th from 5:30-8PM, the Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Farm Center will have its grand opening at 1632 U Street NW in DC. More on the gallery's mission later...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Out of Order Picks

By the time I showed up to the Maryland Art Place to drop my piece for "Out of Order" I was number 299, so by 6:22PM there were already almost three hundred pieces on the walls, and as I mentioned yesterday I jotted down a few exceptional pieces.

So from the first 300 artists in this massive open show, my top pick went to number 136 by Gilden Bransky! A close second, or perhaps sharing top spot is Anthony Terranova's amazing steel jacket (#76).

I also quite liked a cool little nude by #199, Jan Friedlander, and also Palma Allen (#100) multiple nude.

Really good work by number 155, Lauren Simonutti.

A really brilliant work by Hadieh Shafie (#42) which reminded me of the Arabic poems that cover most of the walls of the Alhambra pops in as a good challenger for Best in Show.

Balage's (#92) gorgeous painting of Joan of Arc (I think) is one of the best paintings in MAP, as is Patrick Kluga's painting of tomatoes (sorry but I cannot decipher the number from my notes).

Another really well done oil is Zachary Thornton's oil portrait (#111), although Thornton got a little lazy with the hands.

And Rosetta DeBernardinis (#198) is her usual fresh and powerful work, which is the polar opposite of another favorite, David Wilson's airbrush (I think) at #160.

And how could I not pick Alexa Brooks' evocative piece of the subject of Cuba? It is number 294!

The Silent Auction and Gala is at 8PM, this coming Friday, April 11, 2008. Go buy some artwork!

Beyond the Easel

Beyond the Easel: Preparing to Market and Sell Your Art
Date: Saturday, May 3, 2008
Time: 10am-6pm
Location: Warehouse Arts Complex in Washington, DC

Instructor: Rosetta DeBerardinis, School 33 Resident Studio Artist, Liquitex Artist of the Month: 2007, contributor to Daily Campello Art News, former Art Tour Guide, and abstract painter whose work has been exhibited and sold at commercial galleries and art venues in the Washington metro area, Baltimore and Richmond, VA.

This course is designed for professional artists who approach art as a business.
Defining goals, identifying the market, the studio, developing a body of work, marketing tools, promotion, the Internet, galleries and other venues are some of the topics to be discussed. It will provide the basic organizational and marketing skills required to exhibit and sell artwork.

Limit: 45 Students
Students are required to bring notebook and a writing instrument.
Cost: $50

Questions may be directed to:

Wanna go to an opening in Bethesda?

Joan Danziger opens at Bethesda's Osuna Gallery on Saturday, April 12, 2008, from 5-8 pm with an exhibition of recent sculptures.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Jury Duty

Tomorrow I will be on art jury duty for VSA arts, looking at entries inspired by the performing arts for “Derivative Composition,” an international juried art exhibition that will be on display at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., from May 29 - July 20, 2008.

Two-and three-dimensional art, digital art, installations, video and film, and other media that draw inspiration from music, theater, or dance are to be judged.

More on all of that later...

Deadhead Wading

Earlier tonight, after spending hours on a clogged up I-95 drive from Philly, I arrived in Baltimore, parked for 61 minutes (cost me $13 bucks), then I waded my way through a couple of hundred deadheads hanging around the plaza where the beautiful spaces of the Maryland Art Place is located in Baltimore to drop my piece for "Out of Order," where MAP opens its doors to any artist who wishes to exhibit their work in their gallery. Work must be original and ready to hang. They will accept one piece per artist, with wall dimensions not to exceed 5’x5’. They will be open all night accepting work.

Details here.

I was number 299, so by 6:22PM there were already almost three hundred pieces on the walls, and I jotted down a few exceptional pieces, which I had intended to mention, but which I left in my van, which then some valet in the DC hotel where I am tonight already parked somewhere and thus you will all have to wait until tomorrow to find out who the real good finds in this auction are, and there are some terrific pieces of art being offered.

The Silent Auction and Gala is at 8PM, this coming Friday, April 11, 2008.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Out of Order

MAP’s infamous free-hung benefit exhibition is back! For twenty-four hours, the Maryland Art Place in Baltimore will open its doors to any artist who wishes to exhibit their work in their gallery. Work must be original and ready to hang. They will accept one piece per artist, with wall dimensions not to exceed 5’x5’.

Details here.

It keeps on rolling

The year 2008 Tim Tatetahon just keeps rolling... fresh from the Washington Glass School opening at Charlottesville's Migrations Gallery, Tate now opens a solo show and makes his Santa Fe debut with an exhibition at Jane Sauer Gallery titled "The Vague Haze of the Unconscious" and opening on on April 11 and running through May 6, 2008.

Washington Glass School opening in Charlottesville

Opening at Migrations Gallery

Next: Philadelphia.

SF Art Institute halts exhibition

Citing threats of violence by animal rights activists, the San Francisco Art Institute said Saturday that it is canceling a controversial exhibition that included video clips of animals being bludgeoned to death, as well as a public forum it had scheduled to address the controversy.
Read the story here.

A Miami mural of Barack Obama generates some buzz

In a weird way - since we all are supposed to want to be governed and taken care of by big government and its inherent burocracy - this makes sense.

Read the Miami Herald story here.

It's all about the galleries

The current issue of Washingtonian magazine publishes something that it should have done ages ago: a superb article on the Greater DC area galleries by the CP's cappo-di-tutti-criticos Cristiano Cappo.

Read the article by Capps here.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wanna go to an opening in New Jersey?

Greg Minah, who a few years ago made it to quite a few of the Art-O-Matic Top Ten lists that I ran, is having a solo show at Fusion Gallery in Collingswood, NJ about 10 minutes outside Philly.

The show is open now, and the artist reception is being held on April 12th (Second Saturday) from 6 - 10pm and the show runs through May 4, 2008.


This just won a Pulitzer Prize and it is a good read - read it here.

Amy Lin at the Art League

Amy Lin's solo show "Interaction" opens this Thursday, April 10 from 6:30-8pm at the Art League Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia.

"Interaction" involves a blending of arts and sciences, but surprisingly, the blend isn't related to Amy's degree in chemical engineering - it relates to her childhood experiences with her Mom, who was a professor at the university doing research in human genetics. Each of the drawings in the show is inspired by a memory from her childhood in the biology labs. Amy is now represented by Heineman Myers Contemporary Art in Bethesda, MD, but some of us recall that she originally got her start at the Art League Gallery.

In the December 2005 Art League Gallery show, Lin was given an award by Anne Collins Goodyear, from the National Portrait Gallery, and it was there that I first saw her work and mentioned it in a review that I wrote for the Crier Media newspapers.

Since then her career and presence have taken out at an astounding pace, with enviable critical coverage in the press and a very hot sales trail.

Lin's drawings at the Art League appear courtesy of Heineman Myers, as "Interaction" was scheduled two years ago before she had signed with Heineman Myers.

Sacrifice by Amy Lin
"Sacrifice" 45x55 inches, colored pencil c.2008 by Amy Lin

Read DCist's Amy Cavanaugh's interview Lin here.

Buy Amy Lin now.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

It's not a good time to be an art critic

It's not a good time to be an art critic. Much of what's written is pale. It is weak and descriptive to no purpose. Or at the other extreme it is pure jargon, laughable if read aloud to the uninitiated. Junk. In fact, if art critics actually believed that anything we said or wrote mattered, we would probably be shooting ourselves in droves.
Read Morgan Meis' really good article here... and if you don't even want to waste a few seconds to click onto the link... read some more:
Even a knowledge of art history antique and contemporary won't help you much. These days art isn't an insiders game so much as a contest in private languages. The artists are often working in their own heads and they don't feel much compulsion to translate.

This puts the critic and the curator in a hilarious position. Stripped of most of our authority, we fall back on tortured syntax and dubious vocabulary in order merely to say, in essence, that it is tough to talk about art these days. Here's a typical sentence from the Biennial catalog: "Charles Long's interest in opposing formal and metaphysical forces informs a complex sculptural lexicon marked by radical stylistic shifts that are difficult to categorize."

The simple translation of this sentence: "Help, I don't really know what Charles Long is doing or why."
Read it here.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Adopt a work of art

The Fine Art Adoption Network (FAAN) is an online network of artists, which uses a gift economy to connect artists and potential collectors.

All of the artworks on view on the site are available for adoption. This means acquiring an artwork without purchasing it, through an arrangement between the artist and collector. Their goal is to help increase and diversify the population of art owners and to offer artists new means for engaging their audience.

Visit them here.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Heartworks Online: Let the Bidding Begin

Nearly 100 contemporary artists from throughout the United States, and London and Paris, are now contributing work and performances for “HeartWorks, a unique, week-long Philadelphia event featuring music, video art, performance art and an exhibition of approximately 100 works of art, including painting, sculpture, glass, photography, jewelry, hats and more.

HeartWorks opens on Friday, April 18, 2008 at Johnny Brenda’s, 1201 Frankford Avenue and continues Saturday, April 19 through Saturday, April 26, 2008 in the Ice Box Project Space at the Crane Building, 1400 N. American Street. Tickets ranging from $10 - $125 are available at 215.546.7824; online at; or at the Wilma Theatre Box Office, 265 South Broad Street. HeartWorks’ closing event on April 26 is a benefit and art auction for the Mazzoni Center, a Philadelphia health agency serving the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community, specializing in HIV treatment and care.

Curator Christopher Veit (who is from my new hometown of Media, PA) credits the Mazzoni Center with saving his life and is taking the words of his mentor Pierson – “you only get back what you put out in life” – to heart in creating “HeartWorks.”

Veit, whom I met a few weeks ago and is an amazing Rennaissance man, has decided to give the place and people who helped him get well a benefit of works and performances donated by his friends. All proceeds will support the Center. Lifestyle Magazine is a major sponsor for “HeartWorks.”

Some of the artists contributing to “HeartWorks” include painters Elyce Abrams, Dave Bond, Anthony Campuzano, Jeff Elrod, Daniel Gonzalez, Robert Gutierrez, Ian Hokin, Pearl C Hsiung, Jackadandy, Michael Lazarus, Isaac Lin, Jay Schuette, Jeni Spota, Thaddeus Strode, Hiroshi Sunairi and Henry Taylor; sculptors Paul Lee and Jason Meadows; photographers Karl Hahn and Mary Pinto; mixed-media artists Shari Elf, Mark X Farina, Adam Helms, Thom Merrick, Sandeep Mukherjee, Michele O' Marah, Randy Polumbo and John Williams; fashion designers Paul Bernstock, Michael Costiff, Bettina Hubby and Thelma Speirs; jewelry designers Annie Costello Brown and Mikal Winn; video artists and filmmakers Zaina Alwan, who also creates murals, Tom Borgese, Paul Slocum, Jack Sloss and Kim Stringfellow; performance artists David M. Jones, Ann Magnuson, Kelly Marie Martin and Khembra Pfhaler; musician Chad Brown; and Ellie Greenwood, Gia Grosso, Tim Jackson, Daniel McDonald, Ji Shin and Lisa Sitko and yours truly! See all the artists here.

Mazzoni Center focuses on the healthcare needs of Philadelphia’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and specializes in the treatment and care of HIV / AIDS. For more information regarding Mazzoni Center, go to

You can view the art auction and bid on the artwork here and you can bid on my donation, a charcoal drawing titled "Superman Flying Naked" here. It is a charcoal drawing, 9x13 inches matted and framed to 16x20 inches.

Artists' Talks: Cara Ober

Randall Scott Gallery in DC has special Saturday afternoon discussion featuring Kriston Capps, Brandon Fortune and Cara Ober discussing Cara Ober's new work, and whatever else pops into their heads.

Saturday, April 5th, 5pm to 6:30PM.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Philly opening tomorrow

Florence Putterman “Noir et Blanc” and Elizabeth Bisbing “People / Places / Paper” open tomorrow in Philadelphia's Projects Gallery.

This is the second solo exhibition of Florence Putterman at Projects. Known for her textural paintings and bold, earthy colors, Noir et Blanc features works in only black and white, focusing the exhibition on Putterman’s keen image-making. In Projects Room they also will present Elizabeth Bisbing in her first Philadelphia solo exhibition entitled "People / Places / Paper."

Both open First Friday, April 4th with an artist reception from 5-8 p.m. and continues through March 26, 2008.

Virginians at ComicCon

Greater DC area artists Carolyn Belefski and Joe Carabeo will appear in Artist Alley at New York ComicCon on April 18-20, 2008. Artist Alley is a special exhibitor space forprofessional artists to display and sell their work.

NYCC will take place April 18-20 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City and will host more than 400 exhibitors, hundreds of artists and over 150 special events.

Opening in Richmond tomorrow

Claire Watkins (kinetic sculpture, drawings), Joe Deroche (mixed media paintings and Rosana Barragan (performance) open tomorrow at Transmission in Richmond, VA. Performaces by Rosana Barragan will occur on the opening night at 8 and 9pm and the show runs April 4-26, 2008. The opening reception is from 7-10PM. Transmission is at 321 Brook Rd. (between Broad and Marshall St.) in Richmond, VA.

Watkins is one of the most talented artists that I have seen in quite a while. She has written about her work:

'The digestive system turns food into eyelashes. I am in awe of the minutiae and delicate actions that make up everyday life.

The machines I build reflect this awe and wonder. My work is intimate, curious and mesmerizing in its gestures. The translation of energy is both a functional and conceptual part of my work...With movement, I make machines that become creatures. I am fascinated by systems found within the body and the parallel structures located outside of it; the human brain and circuit boards, nerve systems and trees. How is the brain a computer and how is it an electrical storm?

The affects of electricity are curious. Neurons fire in your head with the memories of your life. Your toast gets burned. Electricity has a visual presence in my work, traveling through motors, lights, wires microcontrollers and drawings that are circuit boards. I want to expose the invisibility of electricity, a physical reminder of its presence.'

Closing on Sunday

Eric Finzi's terrific solo "My Double Life: musings on Sarah Bernhardt" at Heineman Myers Gallery in Bethesda closes on Sunday; don't miss this show!

Philadelphia Airport

It continues to perplex me how bad Philadelphia Airport is and how spoiled I was when living in the Dc area to have choices of airports and such a well-oiled machine in BWI or Dulles, or even Reagan National.

Of the dozens of flights that I have taken out of this airport in the last couple of years, one has left on time, and I have heard the most amazing excuses for delays, including one where someone forgot to charge a plane's batteries overnight.

This major airport also lacks a cell phone wait area, and as a result, cars double park on the offramp from I-95 - a rather dangerous and illegal issue.

And there seems to be a lack of electrical outlets, a serious issue in this age of laptops.

This airport sucks.

Denver to Launch Biennial of the Americas

In the historic tradition of Venice and Sao Paolo, the world's newest international contemporary art biennial is coming to Denver, Colorado.

Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper announced the city has received a $2 million grant from the Colorado-based Boettcher Foundation to help launch the Mile High City's inaugural Biennial of the Americas. Scheduled for the summer of 2010, the two-month-long curated event will be a celebration of contemporary art and ideas from throughout the Americas. The Biennial will feature two major cultural exhibitions, one focusing on the contemporary arts of the Americas and a secondary program, an "ideas pavilion," that will explore themes ranging from science to urban planning. Each program will be led by a respected curator.
Read all about it here.

Trouble in Reston

Bailey reports that there's art trouble in Reston, Virginia as Linda Hesh's "Stop The Conflict" posters that are part of the "Conflict" exhibition at the Greater Reston Arts Center and which were placed around Reston Town Center yesterday by GRACE staff have been ripped down and torn up.

Details and images here.

Update: GRACE sent out this note to the "Conflict" artists:

Dear Artists,

We would like you to have the correct information about an incident related to the exhibition.

As many of you know, Linda Hesh’s posters saying STOP THE CONFLICT have been torn down from the construction fence across from GRACE. Our director, John Alciati and I have met the individual and talked with him about why he has done this. (He torn them down twice) He claims to be working for the company that owns the fence and says that he was directed to do this. The fence is owned by the development company, Kettler, who has given us permission to use it to promote our exhibitions. In the fall we used the fence without incident for over 2 months with posters about FLOW: The Landscape of Migration.

We do not know this person’s motivation and we do not know who he really works for but we will try to gather more information. He does not work for the property management company and he does not work for Reston Town Center. Please do not say that he is a town employee. We are not sure who his employer is.

In the interest of dialogue we prefer to not make assumptions about this individual. On one positive note, during the second encounter he did tell John that he knew our intentions were good. Let’s not make assumptions about his intentions until we have further conversations with him.

We look forward to a wonderful opening tomorrow night. The show is fine testimony to your integrity as artists and your courage to speak the truth.

Best wishes,

Joanne Bauer
Exhibitions Director
Greater Reston Arts Center

Airborne again


Heading to Boston to do a studio visit here. More later...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Plein Air Easton

Just four years ago Plein Air Easton got started as artists worldwide have begun to return to painting in the Plein Air style, and once again, as they did in 19th century Europe, are leaving their studios to paint and draw outside... on roadsides, on the beach, on top of mountains, in their gardens and yards, and even in city streets to capture landscapes, still lifes, figures and architecture in their natural elements.

I think that the resurgence of this movement, much like it happened in Europe in the 19th century, may be a reaction to the overwhelming presence of technology in our daily lives.

plein air easton

The festival goes from Monday, July 21 - Sunday, July 27, 7:00am-5pm... but there are tons of associated events in the gorgeous and tiny Maryland seaside village. All the details are here.

Artists' Talks: Bethesda, MD

On Saturday, April 5th, Marie Ringwald's really cool Neptune exhibit (I saw it recently through the gallery windows) ends with an artist’s talk at 5 PM.

There are some nice installation shots here.

Fair Report: Arteaméricas 2008

I hear that Arteaméricas 2008, the sixth edition of this international art fair focusing on Latin American Art broke all kinds of sales records.

Miami's Cernuda Arte, which focuses on vintage and some contemporary Cuban art had total sales that surpassed 800,000 dollars, including a landscape painting by Tomás Sánchez, a Wifredo Lam oil on canvas, and works by René Portocarrero, Mariano Rodríguez, among other Cuban masters and contemporary artists.

Tomah High School District... tsk, tsk

Time for this Wisconsin High School to be embarrassed nationally:

A Tomah High School student has filed a federal lawsuit alleging his art teacher censored his drawing because it featured a cross and a biblical reference.

The lawsuit alleges other students were allowed to draw "demonic" images and asks a judge to declare a class policy prohibiting religion in art unconstitutional.

"We hear so much today about tolerance," said David Cortman, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal advocacy group representing the student. "But where is the tolerance for religious beliefs? The whole purpose of art is to reflect your own personal experience. To tell a student his religious beliefs can legally be censored sends the wrong message."
Read the AP story here and read the complaint here.

Here is the offending drawing:
Offending artwork
If there's actually a class policy "prohibiting religion in art" that worries me a lot; does that policy extend to the teaching of art and art history? If so that would leave out most of the ground floors of most of the planet's art history and several floors and the basement of art itself.

What a stupid, narrow-minded, ignorant, barbaric policy! What sort of troglodytes are these policymakers? (My apologies to Cavemen/women everywhere).

It gets worse... apparently the below two drawings got a passing grade.
Demonic drawing in frame

Demonic darwing 2

I think that all three of these works - as art - are pretty bad and pretty much what one would expect out of your typical High School student.

I also think that perhaps the art school teacher - or whoever made the decision to censor and fail the first drawing - must have skipped his or her Sunday School classes, or his religion classes in college, for aren't devils and demons also religious art?

They are aren't they?

Satan in his many names and incarnations and depictions (of which the above two are truly bad, especially the one in which he sorta looks like Gene Simmons from KISS) are also part of multiple religions, including playing a major, Oscar-winning role in Judeo-Christian religion.

So why were the depictions of Lucifer OK under the school's idiotic prohibition of religion in art, but not the one incorporating both Christian imagery and text into the artwork?

The case can be made that all three pieces could come from Biblical references - in fact, they almost look like they could have come from the same artist, don't they?

I am sure that they don't, but you get my point.

It leads one to wondering to what would have happened if the student had used his average art skills to depict something from the old Norse pantheon, or from Buddhism, or Native American beliefs, or God forbid (pun intended) from Islam?

Nothing probably, as I suspect that since the average member of the Tomah High School Art Censorship Board seems to have skipped "World Religions 101" in their educational background, a crude drawing of Loki would have received a pass in this class rather than a fail for depicting religion in art.

What else or specifically is prohibited in art classes at this High School? According to the lawsuit: "violence, blood, sexual connotations or religious belief." Also "drugs, gangs or religious symbols." Also according to the lawsuit (see page 13), there is apparently a host of other religious artwork by students floating around this High School's halls and walls.

This makes my head hurt...

Also in C'ville

Rob Tarbell's "No Mirrors: new smoke work" opens in Charlottesville's Les Yeux du Monde Gallery this coming Friday April 4th, 5:30 - 7:30 pm.

Questioning Jasper Johns

Read Robert Zaller's essay on Jasper Johns' place in American art history here.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

WGS opens in Charlottesville

Washington Glass School

Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis and Tim Tate, the driving forces behind the Washington Glass School make their debut in Charlottesville this coming Friday, April 4, 2008 at C'ville's leading gallery, Migrations. The opening reception is from 5:30pm - 8pm.

"Synchrony" Opens at Delaplaine Center‏

"Synchrony," a sculptural installation by Workingman Collective, will be on exhibition from April 5-27 at The Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in downtown Frederick, MD.

This motion-driven installation will be created by regionally-known artists, Tom Ashcraft, Janis Goodman, and Peter Winant, who make up the Collective. Goodman and Winant appear on the WETA program "Around Town."

Monday, March 31, 2008

Cuban Art: Four Key Women Artists

Cuban Art show curated by Campello
This is the poster for the grand opening of a new fine arts gallery in Norfolk, Virginia, Mayer Fine Art, which opens on April 12, 2008 with an exhibition curated by yours truly.

For Mayer Fine Art I selected the work of four of the leading contemporary Cuban artists in the world: Sandra Ramos, Aimee Garcia Marrero, Cirenaica Moreira (all of whom live and work in Havana) and Marta Maria Perez Bravo, who currently resides in Mexico, where she teaches.

Maleficio by Marta Maria Perez Bravo

"Maleficio" by Marta Maria Perez Bravo

Much like Migrations did for Charlottesville, I think that Mayer Fine Art will go a long way to put the Tidewater area on the fine arts map from an independent commercial fine arts gallery perspective.

Freedom is a huge word by Cirenaica Moreira
"La Libertad es una palabra enorme" [Freedom is a huge word] by Cirenaica Moreira

More on the exhibition and the trails and tribulations and expenses of getting contemporary Cuban artwork -- especially the kind not vetted nor approved by the Cuban dictatorship -- on American soil later...

F. Lennox Campello Daphne charcoal

"Daphne," charcoal on paper, c.2008 by F. Lennox Campello, 7x10 inches

Read the myth of Daphne here.


If the Armory Show was supposed to be a test of how the art market was faring amid tumultuous finan­cial markets, initial results revealed that the fair more than passed—and exceeded the expectations of many of the more jittery dealers.

Now that many have made sales, dealers readily admit that they arrived on Pier 94 with butterflies in their stomachs. “If I had applied two weeks ago instead of a year ago, I wouldn’t have come,” said Andreas Brändström of Brändström & Stene (118) in Stockholm. “The collapse of Bear Stearns is a huge issue in Europe,” he said. But by the second day, he said: “My sales are even better than last year’s.”
Read the whole article from the Art Newspaper here.

Conflict Opens at GRACE

Conlfict postcard

Six artists using conflict as a catalyst open at the Greater Reston Arts Center in Reston, VA this Friday: James W. Bailey, Aylene Fallah, Judith Forst, Linda Hesh, Carolina Mayorga and Matt Ravenstahl.

Opening Reception: Friday April 4, 6 -8 pmand Artists' Perspective Thursday April, 10 7pm. Exhibition: April 4 - May 3, 2008.

Artists' Interviews: Cara Ober

DCist's Amy Cavanaugh has an excellent interview with Baltimore artist Cara Ober. Read the interview here.

Curiously though, and unusual for DCist, comments are not enabled for this interview?

Update: DCist tells me that "Comments are never enabled on our interviews, out of respect for the person who granted us their time." Makes sense to me!

Henderson & Taylor Open in Alexandria

Multiple Exposures opening

Sofia Silva opens in Baltimore

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Kirkland on Kehinde Wiley

JT on Kehinde Wiley at the SAAM/Portrait Gallery's Hip Hop show. Read it here.

Arts on a Budget

The Washington Post's Dan Zak pops in with a really interesting article on collecting artwork on a budget; read it here.

My best deal ever? I bought about four small original Ben Tolman paintings a few years ago at DCAC's annual "Wall Mountables" show for about $20 a piece.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Money makes the art world go 'round?

"You can whack them with a shovel. You can shoot them, poison, stab or throttle them. You can threaten their families and you can hound them in the press; you can put them down any way you like, but some artists refuse to stay down. What does this tell us? That artists are the undead? Or, worse, that criticism is in crisis?

At almost every international art fair over the past few years, there has been a panel discussion about the crisis in art criticism. I have found myself talking about the topic in London, Madrid, Berlin and Miami. Wherever critics are paid to gather (you wouldn't catch us in the same room otherwise), they go on about the crisis. These debates have become an occupational hazard - but they also pay well. If I had known there was money in it, I would have invented a crisis myself."
Has big money replaced the art critic as the true authority in the art world?

Read this very interesting article by The Guardian's Adrian Searle here... and then read this clever piece by blogger Alex Needham here.

Artomatic Registration Now Open

Registration for AOM visual and performing artists is now open. Click here to register and reserve your space.

Wanna hang around with some sculptors in DC?

The Washington Sculptors Group invites you to join them to meet and chat with fellow sculptors and sculpture lovers on the last Monday of every month at 6:00 PM (March 31, April 28th, May 26th, June 30th etc.).

Meetings take place at Gordon Biersch Restaurant in DC.

Artists Interviews: Doris Colbert Kennedy

Friday, March 28, 2008


Next week I am going to Boston for a studio visit and also to visit an arts-related business looking for some "new" online presence(s) advice and work.

Any Bostonians out there with a "must see" exhibition - drop me a line...

Artists' Websites: Rosemary Feit Covey

Rosemary Feit Covey
Dark Summer, c.1990, 15 x 13 by Rosemary Feit Covey

If there's a better wood engraver on the planet, I do not know who he/she is... as far as I am concerned, no one is better than this modern master, who continues to surprise me, gross me out, enlighten me, and always impress me with both her enviable technical skills and her super-sharp ability to cut deeply into my psyche.

Visit her website here and check out her new work here.

Words that count, or counting... period?

Earlier this week, GrammarPolice scribe and Washington City Paper gallery critic and good friend Kriston Capps and Washington City Paper museum art critic (and Arlington Arts Center curator) and also good friend Jeffry Cudlin -- joined in a little by the dynamic Philippa Hughes) -- hashed out the significance of Capp's words and counting skills in Capps' CP piece on "Collectors Select" at the Arlington Arts Center.

Specifically, the online chatterfuss is about the parts of Capps' review that deal with Philippa Hughes and Tim Conlon; Capps wrote:

[Daniel] Lavinas shows [the work of León Ferrari] without pretension: His biggest intervention is to have the gallery painted a deep shade of cherry-lambic red to match the heliographs. Philippa Hughes went further. The least experienced collector in the group, Hughes invited some graffiti artists—Tim Conlon, Bryan Conner, RAMS, and the Soviet—to tag her room. The intervention is the work here. But Hughes is bursting through a door that's been open for nearly three decades. There's still room for innovation in graffiti, but graffiti in a room isn't innovative alone (even if it shares the room with floor-to-ceiling Tiffany windows, as it does here). Context notwithstanding, the work by Conlon (which takes up most of the room) is dull in any formal sense. As tags, they're not particularly intricate or witty; as abstraction, they don't offer much.
Regardless of how you feel about Capps' words, opinions, advice, and counting skills in the review, this discussion is interesting to me because (a) it shows the blogsphere ability to challenge a writer's words and if needed correct his errors and (b) because it puts my good friend Jeffry Cudlin on the receiving and thus defensive end of a review which may not be in synch with what he perceives to be the real story or guts of an exhibition.

It tears me a little in both directions, because I am of the opinion that any review is a good review, and considering the dearth of art criticism in the Greater Washington DC area, Cudlin does give his colleague props for making his way to Arlington (Capps doesn't have an automobile, and it's a nice walk from the Metro stop to the Arlington Arts Center).

In the past, whenever someone has reviewed either my own work or a show that I have curated, even if there have been glaring mistakes, I have nearly always resorted to biting my lip and thanking the critic for the review.

On the other hand, when in reviewing someone else's show not-my-own, and a critic makes a mistake, or just gets something about the artist or exhibition plainly wrong, as a third party I'm glad to call them out on it.

But most gallerists, and a large percentage of artists and curators, have learned the hard way to just bite their lip, sigh and maybe bring up the error or the real "mark" - if the missed mark or error is egregious enough - in private to the writer.

I'm sure that Cudlin, in his capacity as a critic has received his fair share of complaints about his own writing - I myself have both chided and praised his words in the past -- but now it is interesting to see him react when he feels the criticism has missed the mark when the words are aimed in his own direction.

Was the substance of the complaint big enough to merit the fuss? I'm not sure, but it's a brave and interesting teen-aged world out there, where both valid and sock puppet commenting all add their own weird dialogue to the discourse and leave a new digital footprint for art exhibitions, artists, critics and opinions about their opinions.

A new model for the new Internet model?

For the first five years, the Jen Bekman Gallery, near the Bowery, lost money — and Bekman didn't have much to lose. She drained her 401(k), and racked up debt on her credit cards. Sometimes she slept in her mom's living room so she could sublet her apartment. Last year, when she couldn't pay the electric bill, the gallery's lights were cut off.

But Bekman stubbornly clung her basic idea: "There are a lot of people out there who want to sell their art, and a lot of people who'd like to buy it," Her job was to introduce the emerging artists to the emerging collectors.

An Internet person, she did Internet things. She blogged ( She started an open-to-all-comers on-line competition called "Hey, Hot Shot!" ( — one that gave the winner a shot at a gallery show, in Bekman's bona-fide New York gallery. (This is not the kind of thing that regular galleries do.)

Last year, she got the idea for 20x200. IM-ing each other, a few of her Internet friends put together a clean, cool Web site for what little Bekman could afford. It went live in September — and soon after, broke even. Sometimes 20x200 editions sell out within a week, or even days.

About half the purchases, Bekman says proudly, are from repeat customers some of whom grow brave enough to spend more than $20. And the site's success has spilled over, attracting new collectors to Bekman's traditional gallery.

Bekman, who once couldn't get an Internet job, has become a star in the digital universe. At South By Southwest this month, her old Internet friends bestowed on her the coolest adjective in their lexicon: "Disruptive." Her Web site, they said, is changing the way the art world works.

And that's impressed the art world, where once she was an outsider. For Christmas, a Museum of Modern Art curator bought 20x200 Christmas presents for his staff. American Photo Magazine named her its Innovator of the Year. And this month, she's mentioned in both Wired and Redbook — surely the first time anyone has appeared simultaneously in those magazines.
Read more about Jen Bekman and her radical website 20x200 in this terrific article by Lisa Gray.

The Tribulations of a Ruined Gallerist

“Our society now values a Warhol for three times as much money as a great Rembrandt,” he thunders, referring to the latest auction reports. “That tells me that we’re fucked. It’s as if people would rather fuck than make love.”

He says the last sentence slowly, emphasizing each word.

“That’s the difference between the Warhol and the Rembrandt,” Salander continues. “Being with Rembrandt is like making love. And being with Warhol is like fucking.”
Read this really interesting feature by James Panero in New York Arts here.

Student Shows at the Corcoran

The 2008 Corcoran School BFA Senior Thesis Exhibitions consist of a series of week-long, rotating exhibitions in Gallery 31, featuring photojournalism, photography, graphic design, digital media design and fine art produced by members of the graduating class, grouped by major. Seniors in the College’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program are responsible for all aspects of their thesis exhibitions.

The exhibits are on display and changing weekly now.

The individual shows culminate in May in the 2008 All-Senior Exhibition, a dynamic exhibition installed in four museum galleries, representing all disciplines and featuring work by every student in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program.

Meet the Artist - DC

Rick Nahmias, L.A. photographer and creator of “The Migrant Project,” which was first a photo exhibit and activist project and is now a book, will be welcomed by the Mexican Cultural Institute in DC on Monday, March 31, from 6-9 pm. Come talk to Rick about the slow food movement, migrant workers, and what Americans can do to change attitudes about what we eat.

There is a book signing and reception at the Mexican Cultural Institute, 2829 16th St. NW, Washington D.C. Exhibition of photographs from The Migrant Project runs from February 21 through April 14.

Manon Cleary

There's a great interview of DC area artist Manon Cleary in The New Gay.

Read it here.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Student Show

Anne Arundel Community College will exhibit a student art show from April 4 through April 27 in the Pascal Center for Performing Arts Gallery, 101 College Parkway, Arnold, Maryland. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 .m. to 4 p.m. Fridays. Free. 410-777-222188 or

Another blow?

"Not all in the art business are convinced by the investment rationale for art from Asia, a region notorious for fakes, poor authentication and high transaction costs,” says Mei Jianping, former New York City professor and the creator of Mei/Moses index, which tracks prices of western art.
Read "The Art Fund Racket" here.

Opportunity for printmakers

Deadline: 26 May 2008.

Washington Printmakers Gallery announces the eleventh annual small works exhibition, Washington Printmakers National Small Works 2008, juried this year by Ann Shafer, Assistant Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, Baltimore Museum of Art. All artists residing in the USA and 18 years of age or older may submit original, hand-pulled, artist-made prints in any media; photographs and digital prints are ineligible.

Entry fee: $30 for up to 4 images. Preliminary selection will be made from slides or digital images (JPEG files no larger than 5 inches, 200 dpi). Entries accepted for exhibition must be archivally matted and framed under Plexiglas, wired and ready to hang. All entries must be for sale. First place award: a solo show at Washington Printmakers Gallery in August 2009; 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th prizes are merchandise awards from major art suppliers. Prospectus or further information may be downloaded from, or by contacting Washington Printmakers Gallery at 202:332.7757 (e-mail


As I walked up to the The Fifth Annual Visual Culture Symposium, “Intended to Provoke: Social Action in Visual Culture[s]” at George Mason University in Fairfax, the greeting bronze of the university's namesake had been decorated with a bozo wig and some sort of red Superman cape.

Mason's statue is at the street level, where creative students can get to it. In my old alma matter (University of Washington), they know better, and the other George is on a pedestal 20 feet or so above the crowd, where one needs a tall ladder to get to him.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


A new website where artists can locate display opportunities and gallery openings was launched last week, Based in the metro DC area, but listing national opportunities, this site does a few things most other websites of this type do not. You have the ability to search for opportunities by media (nice for sculptors and photographers, sometimes not allowed in juried shows), by location (if you’re partial to show your work only near your home), and other search parameters.

Also, it allows you to save the items you have found in our searches and receive emails as reminders. The site is free for artists, galleries, and everyone else. Galleries can create listings for a fee if they’d like front page placement and a few other advantages.

The owners of the site have reported that they will be adding new features weekly, including new types of opportunities such as jobs and residencies for artists, and articles on business and marketing.

Visit them here.

Spring 2008 Shows at the American University Museum at the Katzen

Jack Rassmusen has lined another excellent set of offering at AU...

Personal Landscapes: Contemporary Art from Israel (Tuesday, April 1–Sunday, May 18) This exhibition, which coincides with the 60th anniversary of the founding of the state of Israel, is a collaboration between the American University Museum, the Center for Israel Studies and the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation. The exhibit features works from fifteen emerging Israeli artists that reveal the physical, emotional and intellectual landscape of contemporary Israel.

Willem de Looper (Tuesday, April 1–Sunday, May 18): Born in 1932 in The Hague, Netherlands, Willem de Looper studied under Ben L. Summerford and Robert Gates at American University and was the long-time curator of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. This one-person show examines de Looper’s unique contributions to color field abstraction developed during the past fifty years.

American University Art Department: Student Exhibitions (Tuesday, April 1–Sunday, May 18) American University’s Department of Art showcases work by undergraduate (April 1–6), first year MFA (April 10–15) and MFA thesis students (April 19–May18). Painting, prints, sculptures, design and video installations will be included.

Photos from the Prague Quadrennial 2007 (Tuesday, April 1–Sunday, May 18): This selection of 35 photographs from the 11th International Exhibition of Scenography and Theatre Architecture—Prague Quadrennial 2007— showcases the excitement and vibrancy of the festival that celebrated its 40th anniversary with a record-breaking number of 35,000 visitors from more than 70 countries.

William Christenberry: Site/Possession: Tuesday, Feb. 5–Sunday, May 11 (**note new closing date, originally scheduled to close March 22) Organized by the University of Virginia Art Museum, this exhibition features 50 of Christenberry’s rarely-exhibited drawings and the Klan Room Tableau, which includes over 200 works. According to Christenberry this body of work describes his “visceral reaction to this wholly and abhorrently American phenomenon, which, although officially excised from the public, still exists and arouses intense feelings in all areas of the country.”

Washington International Print Fair

Saturday and Sunday April 5 and 6, 2008, Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

At the Holiday Inn - Rosslyn Westpark Hotel, 1900 North Fort Myer Drive, Arlington VA, 22209; Free Parking. Just over the Key Bridge from Georgetown. One block from the Rosslyn Metro stop.

Details here.


Halcyon Gallery, which opened its new 7,000 sq. ft gallery on Bruton Street last month, is suing one of its former artists, Sarah-Jane Szikora. As part of the dispute, it has emerged that Halcyon has taken up to 75% on Ms Szikora’s sales of original work.
Read the story here.

Most commercial galleries have a 50% commission, some cooperatives and non-profits have a 30-40% commission rate, but there are already some NYC galleries at the 75% commission level.


Work by HyunSoo Lim

Friday, March 28– Sunday, April 6
Decker and Meyerhoff galleries, Fox Building
Reception: Friday, March 28, 5–7 pm
Gallery Talks: Wednesday, April 2, 1–4 pm

MFA I Featuring: Becky Alprin (Mount Royal), Beth Blinebury (photo), Lauren Boilini (Mount Royal), Ryan Browning (Mount Royal), Andrew Buckland (photo), Katie Cirasuolo (Rinehart), Anna DiCicco (photo), Meaghan Harrison (Mount Royal), HyunSoo Lim (graphic design), April Osmanof (graphic design), Becky Slemmons (Mount Royal), Mary Tait (Mount Royal), Yue Tuo (graphic design), and scrapworm (c. wrenn) (Mount Royal).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Fair Trouble

Not only are some art fairs both in the US and abroad (Germany and UK) cancelling - like artDC did for DC area - but another sign of fair troubles is the fact that many US art fairs have and are extending their deadlines for gallery applications.

That possibly means that not enough galleries are applying. And when the fair organizers actually call you to talk you into applying, that's certainly a bleak sign of harsh times ahead.

This is where the market decides who floats and who sinks. It will be interesting to see what Armory week looks like this weekend in NYC.

Cuban Art is Caliente!

From the Wall Street Journal:

With art from Asia and Russia in demand, some in the art world are betting on Cuba to be the next hot corner of the market. Prices for Cuban art are climbing at galleries and auction houses, and major museums are adding to their Cuban collections. In May, Sotheby's broke the auction record for a Cuban work when it sold Mario Carreño's modernist painting "Danza Afro-Cubana" for $2.6 million, triple its high estimate.

Now, with a new Cuban president in power and some hope emerging for looser travel and trade restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba, American collectors and art investors are moving quickly to tap into the market. Some are getting into Cuba by setting up humanitarian missions and scouting art while they're there. Others are ordering works from Cuba based on email images and having them shipped.

The collectors are taking advantage of a little-known exception to the U.S. trade embargo with Cuba: It is legal for Americans to buy Cuban art.
I will be curating two Cuban art shows this year: one in Norfolk opening next April 12 for Mayer Fine Art and another in Maryland later this year for H&F Fine Arts.

One thing to be careful about: there will be chaos when the Cuban dictators finally step aside, and I suspect that "government sanctioned artists" will not be at the top of their game - if anything, collecting dissident Cuban art is the key.

I've been telling all of you for years now: Buy Cuban art!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Will this ever end?

To the untutored eye, they are simply huge rectangular panels - reds, yellows, blues, greens - that have hung like oversized Post-it Notes on the walls of the cavernous federal courthouse since it opened a decade ago. Hundreds of people pass them daily; few seem to notice.

In fact, the fiberglass-and-aluminum panels are among the most valuable works of art in Boston by a living artist, commissioned at a cost of $800,000 in tax dollars, and probably worth millions today. The revelation usually leaves visitors to the John Joseph Moakley courthouse incredulous or bemused.
Read the Boston Globe story here.

Ellsworth Kelly at the Moakley courthouse,

Leads me to wonder: what's the most expensive piece of public art in New York, or Philadelphia, or Washington, DC, or Topeka, Kansas?

Most expensive doesn't mean most popular... For popular, in DC I would guess the Viet-Nam Memorial; in Philly the Rocky Statue; in NYC, maybe the Statue of Liberty?

Any ideas or suggestions?

Opportunity for Artists in McLean, VA

Deadline: April 11, 2008

The McLean Project for the Arts has announced a Call for Entries for Once Again, Again: Rhythm and Repetition. Artists notification: Late April. Exhibition Dates: June 19 - July 26, 2008. Juror: Annie Gawlak of G Fine Art.

Eligibility: All Mid-Atlantic artists (DC,VA,MD,DE,PA,NJ,WV) artists are invited to submit up to four digital images (jpegs) of 2 or 3 dimensional, installation or video works completed within the last two years and not previously exhibited at MPA.

Works that employ multiple images or repetition as concept and/or technique will be considered. Works that move beyond traditional forms and media are encouraged. Works must fit through 81" x 65" doorway. Awards: Cash prizes totaling $1500 will be awarded by the juror. Decisions are final. Entry Fee $25. Fee waived for current MPA members. Fee includes one-year artist membership to MPA. For more information and entry form, go to this website.

Opportunity for Artists in Philly

Deadline: April 27, 2008

Vox Populi, a member-run artist collective, founded in Philadelphia in 1988 to support the work of emerging artists with regular exhibitions, lectures, gallery talks and related programming, is currently accepting submissions for the gallery's annual juried exhibition.

Solid Gold will be on exhibition at Vox from June 6 through June 27 and is being juried by Adelina Vlas, Assistant Curator for Modern and Contemporary Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Sarah McEneaney, visual artist. Artists of all media are invited to submit 3 or 5 examples of works. All work submitted for consideration must be available for exhibition.

Fee: $20 for 3 submissions, $30 for 5 submissions.

For more detailed information, requirements and submission form, please visit here.

Wanna go to a DC opening this Friday?

New American Paintings
The artists featured in this month's Longview Gallery in DC were selected by Stephen Bennett Phillips (formerly of the Phillips Collection) for the New American Paintings publication, Volume No. 69. I've heard all kinds of great stories from artists whose selection to that publication has led to good gallery attention.

And here is a real life example!

Robert Sparrow Jones' works are loose and energetic, relying on a bright and forceful color scheme to evoke an emotional response.

Jamie Pocklington’s subjects come mostly from internet photos albums and image search engines. He is drawn and appropriates images that have universal qualities that he then collages into new scenarios, out of context of the original photos.

The opening reception is Friday, March 28, 5-8pm.


To DC area artist Tim Tate, whose Chicago debut in a cool four person show opened in the middle of a Chicago snowstorm last weekend in Chicago's ubergallery Marx Saunders.

Five years ago or so, you could have acquired a piece by Tate for around $600 bucks - at this show, his work is going for as high as mid 20s.

Details of the Chicago show here.

This week

This week Dr. C. Everett Koop, Dr. Gary Vikan, Mr. Fred Lazarus, myself and others -- will be jurying the artwork for the The Innovators Combatting Substance Abuse Program in Baltimore.

Then on Thursday I'll be at The Fifth Annual Visual Culture Symposium, “Intended to Provoke: Social Action in Visual Culture[s]” will take place at George Mason University on Thursday, March 27, 2008 as I have been invited to participate.

I will be discussing the emergence of a significant number of visual art blogs at the turn of the new century. This emergence was almost immediately ignored by both the mainstream media and the fine arts world. Just a few years later art blogs not only challenge the mainstream media in the reporting and discussion of the arts, but often lead the way in in-depth announcement, discussion, imagery and promulgation of socially challenging, subversive or political art, as well as presenting historically bound street art, such as graffiti and street installations to worldwide audience.

In this presentation I will discuss the emergence of visual art blogs and offer examples of how blogs have taken over the lead from other sources and venues, as the leading proponent, critic and publicist for art intended and created in order to provoke. The presentation includes discussion and examples of work from artists from places such as Cuba and Iran, which was only recognized and discovered by a worldwide audience through those artists’ own illegal blogs or discussion of their work in other blogs or through the process knows as the “blog roll.”

Questioning accepted literary styles, the visual art bloggers also became part of the social reaction towards established art criticism, and in a way also provided a way to criticize and dissect the critic him/herself. I draw on a variety of widely read visual art blogs to establish bloggers initial discordance and break from formal art criticism and reporting conventions and the eventual alignment of many of them with the same conventions as their influence grew. As a visual arts multi-political and international force they now wield a powerful impact on what is considered an “intentionally political work of art,” such as the Abu Ghraib paintings by Colombian artist Fernando Botero or the chalcography etchings by Cuban artist Sandra Ramos Lorenzo.

The day-long Symposium is being held at the Johnson Center Cinema at George Mason’s Fairfax Campus. The day will end with a reception in the art gallery on the first floor of the Johnson Center, Gallery 123.

Schedule - "Intended to Provoke:Social Action in Visual Culture[s]"
March 27, 2008
George Mason University

9:00 – 9:30a.m. Introduction & Video

Panel 1:
1. Robles & Stein (Community Art)
2. Wolpa (Visual Culture education)
3. Cohn (Design School)
4. Campello (Art Blogs)

11:15a.m. – 12:15p.m.
Panel 2:
1. Derr (Walking/Chance)
2. Namaste (non-violent intervention)
3. McCoy (bodies in China)

12:30 – 1:00p.m.
Dance Performance

1:00 - 2:00p.m.
Panel 3:
1. Johnson (Crises & the everyday)
2. Greet (Ecuador)
3. Campbell (culture jamming)

2:00 - 2:15p.m.
Mark Cooley and Art Exhibit Selections

2:15 – 3:15p.m.
Panel 4:
1. Clements (childbirth)
2. Slavick (R&R/altered images & things)
3. Okunseinde (Fugitives)

3:30 – 4:15p.m. Keynote/Debate

4:30 – 5:30 p.m. – Art Exhibit/Reception


Sunday, March 23, 2008


El Greco's Resurrection of Christ
El Greco's "Resurrection"

Saturday, March 22, 2008


To Tyson's Corner Habatat Gallery which is celebrating its first year anniversary with a terrific exhibition of figurative work by artists such as Bertil Vallien, Mary Van Cline, Robin Grebe, Clifford Rainey, Rick Beck, Patti Warashina, Dan Dailey and Janusz Walentynowicz.

They are having an anniversary party on the evening of March 27th. If you are interested in attending you must RSVP to

Artists' Websites

"Next Generation" by Erwin Timmers

Erwin Timmer's work embraces concepts and principles of using sustainable resources to convey ideas about the relationship between industrial and natural resources; his philosophy aligns with concepts and elements of the emerging "green art" movement.

Erwin is also one of the founders and directors of the Washington Glass School in Mt. Rainer, MD and works with recycled materials, primarily glass and metal. His most recent works focus on the use of recycled materials to convey ideas about the relationship between human craft making and industrial technology.

Timmers is interested in identifying partners who share a commitment to using sustainable resources to contribute to the quality and craft of the architectural spaces in which art exists.

You can view Erwin's background and work at

New Strauss Fellowships for Individual Artists

Deadline: April 15, 2008

The Fairfax County Arts Council announced a new grants program for individual artists from Fairfax County in VA called the Strauss Fellowships. Named for Bill Strauss (1947-2007), gifted writer, cofounder of the Capitol Steps and the Cappies, the Strauss Fellowships support and encourage Fairfax County’s finest creative artists in all disciplines and recognize professional working artists’ achievements and their demonstrated history of accomplishments; they promote artists’ continued pursuit of their creative work.

Strauss Fellowships are an investment in the sustained growth and development of the arts in Fairfax County as well as a way to honor artists’ commitment to an artistic discipline, their professional activity in Fairfax County, and their contributions to the quality of life in Fairfax County. Guidelines and application materials are available online at The application deadline is April 15, 2008.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Job in the Arts: WPA Looking for Program Director

DC's Washington Project for the Arts is looking to hire a Program Director. The PD initiates and supports WPA, and WPA-partnered, exhibitions, programs and projects, coordinates the activities of all WPA interns and volunteers; oversees projects initiated by the WPA Executive Director, WPA Board of Trustees and the WPA Artist Council.

Salary and benefits is commensurate with experience and skill and at a minimum is $35K.

The ideal candidate will have a B.A. in Arts and Sciences, Art History or Museum Studies, or a B.F.A., (M.A. preferred), a broad knowledge of and experience in the contemporary arts in the region, across all art forms, past work experience with outreach initiatives or public programs in an arts organization,
excellent organization, writing, administrative and technology skills.

For details call 202/234-7103.