Monday, December 01, 2008

Fragmented Idioms
First Day by Anthony ArmstrongI love the power of representational imagery to deliver a visually important work of art.

And to the left is "First Day" by Anthony Armstrong, whose works open at Howard University's Armour J. Blackburn Gallery with an opening reception December 7, 2008 from 5-8PM.

The gallery is at 2397 6th Street, NW in DC.

Here we go again: Dexter & the Cubans

I do realize that this issue of mine is such a jingoist thing, and I am also keenly aware that I've written about it before in a different scenario, but the more we become aware how culturally blind Hollywood is, the more they underscore their own cultural stupidity with minute mistakes that keep adding up to colossal mountains.

Last year I bitched when Jimmy Smits, a superb actor on his own, was chosen to play the lead part in the CBS drama "Cane."

My historical issue was that Jimmy Smits is a great actor, but not what your typical Cuban sugar magnate would have looked liked in the racist Cuban society of the late 1950s and the Cuban-American refugee wave of the early 1960s.

CBS picked Smits, a brilliant actor, I guess based on their perception of what a Cuban looks like (Smits is not of Cuban ancestry... his father, Cornelis Smits, was a Surinamese immigrant from Dutch Guiana, and his mother, Emilina, is Puerto Rican).

Pepe and Emilia Fanjul via Panache MagThis is what the person that Smits' "Canes" character was loosely based upon really looks like...

That is him and his also Cuban wife to the left... but because, like a lot of Cubans, he looks too "Anglo" and not enough of what Hollywood (and CBS) want all of us to think that Latinos should all look like, they hired a terrific Emmy-winning Surinamese actor who fits the sterotypical image of what Hollywood thinks Cubans should look like, to play the lead part.

Latinos are a culturally, racially and ethnically diverse group of people, and we're not all made of one mold, as Hollywood wants you to think.

So that was then, and here's what has me all spun up in a tempest in my demitasse.

Currently my absolute favorite TV show is Showtime's "Dexter."

If you haven't seen this show, then go and rent seasons one and two out on DVD and then get hooked.

Michael C. Hall as DexterIn the series, Michael C. Hall is absolutely brilliant as a serial killer who works as a blood expert for the Miami Metro Police while hiding the fact that he is also a serial killer. Dexter goes after bad guys, but he is still a truly disturbing psychopath pretending to be normal while killing bad guys left and right in a very orchestrated manner.

Dexter is television crime drama at its best.

Because this is set in Miami, several of the regular characters in the series are portrayed as Cuban characters, such as Dexter's boss, Lt. Maria LaGuerta, played superbly by Puerto Rican actress Lauren Velez and detective Angel Batista, also played superbly by Puerto Rican actor David Zayas.

Now enter season three, which introduced a new character, that of Asst. District Attorney Miguel Prado, another Cuban character played by, yep that's right: Jimmy Smits!

Smits is a terrific actor, and since by now he seems to be making quite a decent living playing Cubans on TV, the least that Showtime can do is hire some Cubans to write their Spanish dialogues for the series so that at least he can sound Cuban.

I know that this is pedantic, but everytime that the "Cuban" characters speak to each other in Spanish banter, it is grating to Cuban ears to hear "non Cuban" being spoken.

Imagine that you are watching a foreign movie, let's say a French movie... and all the dialogue is in French, and two British actors are in the film playing American parts, and every few minutes they speak to each other in English, and instead of American English coming out of their mouths, what comes out is cockney English.

That's what (in my pedantic world of Virgoes) I have to suffer everytime that LaGuerta, Batista and/or Miguel Prado talk in Spanish.

The straw that broke the camel's back a few episodes ago was when Miguel Prado (Smits) jokingly called Dexter a "filipolla" (or "gilipolla").

That's when I realized that whomever Showtime has hired to write the Spanish for the series, not only has no idea about what Cuban Spanish sounds like, but also zero idea of what Latin American Spanish sounds like.

Having lived in Spain for a few years in my 20s, I know what that word means, which is essentially a curse word used by Spaniards; let me repeat that: Spaniards, to mean asshole or jerk, etc.

I am almost 99% sure that no Cuban in Miami or Cuba or anywhere else in the Great Cuban Diaspora, has ever called anyone a gilipolla, unless perhaps they live in Spain and have picked up the term there... from Spaniards.

But in Miami? Naaaaaaaaaaaah...

A Cuban would have said "Maricon" or perhaps "Cabron." But fili/gilipolla? Nunca!

Now imagine those two Brit actors playing Yanks in my earlier French movie example, calling each other "arseholes" or "wankers."

Welcome to my pedantic hell.

And now for Showtime: My list of actor candidates who are actually of Cuban ancestry and thus a shoe-in for the part and who actually fucking speak Spanish with a Cuban accent:

Andy Garcia (duh!!!! perfect for the part!... but probably too classy and too expensive to do TV).

Nestor Carbonell. He was great in "Canes" and also in "Lost City," although I think that he wears eye make up?

Mel Ferrer... ah!... I think he's dead.

Desi Arnaz... fine, fine... he's definately dead; but how about Desi Jr.?????

Jorge Perrugorria

Cesar Romero ... fine! I know that The Joker is definately dead.

Julio Mechoso

Ruben Rabasa

Victor Rivers

George Alvarez...

Showtime: call me.

Meet the Artist

Jean Marie Barrett will be at her solo exhibition at the Arlington Ed. Center (1426 N. Quincy Street in Arlington, VA) today Monday, December 1 at 5:30pm with a few friends - join them!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Closing Reception for "Aqui Estamos" today

This afternoon, from 2-4PM H&F Fine Arts will host a closing reception for "Aqui Estamos," contemporary artwork by some of the best known Cuban artists from Cuba and from the Cuban Diaspora.

As I've said before, I called the show "Aqui Estamos" or "Here We Are," as sort of a footprint statement for these important artists making an exclamation point to the Greater DC area.

On the walls are drawings, photographs, paintings and etchings by Magdalena Campos-Pons, Kcho, Sandra Ramos, Cirenaica Moreira, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Aimee Garcia Marrero and Roberto Acosta Wong.

Last chance to see the show before it travels to Philly!

La Cubanita bailando reggaeton

My good friend and Cuban uberartist Tania Brugera sent me this video of a young Cuban girl dancing raggaeton, which had the effect to instantly making me proud of my Cuban roots and also feel 150 years old!

Sunday Post Reading

Washington has a vibrant, under-the-radar art party scene that has long been visible only to those in the know. But thanks in part to a growing community of art socialites, bloggers and paparazzi, nearly 3,000 people are suddenly pounding down the doors of a museum on a Friday night, and 700 are lining up in the rain to get into a crumbling skate park to see photography. Party organizers sometimes lament the new notoriety, but the crowds keep coming. This month, we fanned out to four events to capture a slice of the action.
Read the WaPo story here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New Art Scam

If you get the below email, ignore it. It is a new art scam:

Subject: Artworks..‏
From: Janet Karloff (
Sent: Tue 11/25/08 1:58 PM

Hi, Hope this message finds you well. I saw these creatives works on your web site and i will like you to get back with more details if they are still available for purchase. "Iranian Campaign" and "Expeditionary Service Test" I will appreciate an urgent reply. Best Regards,

Like I have done in the past with other scammers, I will try to hook "Jane Karloff" into wasting time and effort with me...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hundreds of portraits by Kayti

She never did my portrait, but Kayti Didriksen, who can rightfully claim to have done Dubya's most famous portrait, will have an exhibition of a lot of new portraits.

It all starts on Saturday, November 29th at 7 pm at th Fight Club, located in Blagden Alley between 9th and 10th and M & N Streets, N.W. Washington D.C.

This neighborhood is peppered with a lot of "off the radar" little clubs and "you need to know someone in order to get in" places, and the best way to get on the "in" list is to hang around some of these exhibits for a while and ask...

Go see this show and then tell me (here it comes) how Kayti did.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: December 8, 2008

No entry fees!

CRUX is an exhibit sponsored by Trinity Presbyterian Church (TPC)M in Norfolk, VA. The purpose of this show is to support the arts community as it explores the theme “CRUX.” The exhibit will be held at The Mayer Fine Art Gallery (MFA) in Norfolk on January 10-31, 2009.

Eligibility: All are invited to participate. Fine art in two and three dimensions is eligible for entry. Works should relate to the theme. TPC reserves the right to refuse any works with unusual installation requirements or works otherwise judged unsuitable.

Entry application: There are no fees. Artists should complete the entry form and notification form giving all information requested. Send a SASE for notification.
digitatal entries only: Artists may submit one image each for up to three works. Digital images should be sent on a PC-compatible CD-ROM in JPG format or emailed to Each file should include artist’s name and image number to correspond with annotated image list. Maximum image size is 1920 x 1920 pixels at 72 dpi. Do not embed images into PowerPoint or submit moving images or audio files. Each artist should submit an image list including title, medium, dimensions, year and description of piece as it relates to the theme, CRUX.

Sales: There will be absolutely no commission retained on any sale by either TPC or MFA. Work will be sold at the price listed on the entry form. All work not for sale must be marked “NFS” and please, no “PORs.”

Jurors: William Hennessey, the Director of the Chrysler Museum, Solomon Isekeije, Assistant Professor of Arts with the Department of Fine and Performing Arts at Hampton University, and Ken Daley, Professor of Art at Old Dominion University.

12/12/08 Deadline to receive entry forms, and digital submissions, all postmarked by Dec. 8, 2008, and mailed to:

Trinity Presbyterian Church
7th Annual Juried Exhibition
Attn. S. Lucas
1600 Colonial Avenue
Norfolk, VA 23517

Email submissions may be made to
12/17/08 Notification forms mailed
1/8/09 Accepted works must be received at TPC
1/10/09 Exhibition reception from 7:30-10:00PM
1/30/09 Exhibit closes.
1/31/09 All hand-delivered works are to be picked up from TPC.
2/2/09 All works shipped UPS will be returned UPS at artist’s expense.

Contact the TPC office at 757.466.0989 or with questions or for more information or to get a copy of the prospectus.

Hickey on the art boom's Dionysian last gasps

After attending 2007's Frieze Art Fair and Art Basel Miami, Dave Hickey found himself pondering the retrenchment to come:

"So think of the art world as a beach and money as the surf. Waves roll inbut they always suck back out, leaving a few masterpieces, taking some beachwith them. When a really gnarly monster rolls in, the best we can hope isthat it will leave some beach behind and a few treasures in the sand, alongwith the wreckage and the bodies‹because the wave will suck away. And whenit does, as it is doing right now, the whales will either hold or dump. Ifthey hold, art will remain a stable-valued, low-liquid commodity. If thewhales dump at cut-rate prices, the art world will undergo its firstcatastrophic value re-adjustment in 40 years. It won¹t be pretty, but itwill be exciting to watch."
Read the article in Vanity Fair here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Last week to see "Here We Are"

"Aqui Estamos" (Here We Are) closes on November 30 at H&F Fine Arts just over the DC street border at H&F Fine Arts, which by the way is quite a really beautiful gallery space and clearly a lot of work from the co-owners Karen Handy and Cheryl Fountain and easily the key arts presence on the rising Gateway Arts District.

On the walls are drawings, photographs, paintings and etchings by some of the most important contemporary Cuban artists on the planet today as well as a couple of emerging ones; work by Magdalena Campos-Pons, Kcho, Sandra Ramos, Cirenaica Moreira, Marta Maria Perez Bravo, Aimee Garcia Marrero and Roberto Acosta Wong.

Kevin Mellema just reviewed the show and you can read his insightful review here.

I have mentioned before the coup of this show has been in bringing to the Greater DC area for the first time work by Kcho and Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, and I will admit that I have been a tiny bit puzzled that this fact has not received a little more attention; it's not everyday that the focus of an exhibition, even a Cuban art exhibition, includes work by Afro-Cubans, with their unique perspective on art given to them by their experiences with both the African and Cuban diasporas.

Take the case of Campos-Pons.

She has been called "one of Boston’s most prominent artists," and as evidence it has been submitted that this exceptional Cuban-born (and now American by citizenship) artist has shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art (where she had a solo before age 30), Minneapolis’s Walker Art Center, the Venice Biennale, and many other prestigious venues around the world.
Poster of campos-Pons exhibit in Indianapolis
And last year the Indianapolis Museum of Art hosted “Everything Is Separated by Water,” a mid-career retrospective of Campos-Pons' paintings, sculptures, photos, and installations.

When I was trying to arrange her participation in this show (and the follow on in Philadelphia) I visited Magda, as she is usually called, and we met in her four year old gallery, Gasp, which she and her husband opened in 2004 -- and which according to the Boston press "specializes in group shows of young experimenting artists and stars from the international art circuit that her own stature attracts. It’s one of a handful of galleries in town that aren’t primarily commercial or institutional."

"Te pareces a uno de mis primos (you look like one of my cousins)," she told me with a huge smile as we met; the smile would rarely leave her face during the three plus hours that I spent talking with this dynamo of a woman.

Campos-Pons was born in La Vega, in the province of Matanzas, Cuba, a sugar plantation town where her Nigerian-born great-great grandfather worked as a slave in Cuba's brutal slave system, in which sugar mill owners often owned thousands of slaves and where death and rape were common parts of life.

In Spanish, Matanzas means "Slaughter" or "Killings" -- imagine a US state or a Canadian province named "Slaughters" as a reminder of the brutality of the Spaniards' treatment of the native Indians (within a couple of decades of the Europeans arrival in Cuba, nearly the entire native Indian population had been wiped out by disease, murder and suice). The name "Matanzas" commemorates the actual suicide deaths of tens of thousands of Taino Indians who committed suicide rather than become slaves to their white masters from Spain as Kubanacan (as Cuba was known in the native Taino language) became a colony of the mighty Kingdom of Spain as the world entered the so called "Spanish Century", mostly on the back of the red and black races.

When Cuba's native population died out from suicide or disease, the Conquistadores began the new continent's slave trade and brought in African slaves purchased from the Arabs, and mostly on the brutal labor of their backbones, a new Cuban nation was forged eventually.

And as an Afro-Cuban woman with this history in her blood lines, Campos-Pons has used her cultural and racial background the initial key theme of her own work, with long ties to her Cuban homeland, but also with a powerful influence of her evolving Americanosity.

We talked about Cuba, about her background there, her family, her education in the Cuban system, her growing disappointment with the intolerant and repressive Castro regime, her trials and tribulations in leaving the land that she loves so much, her marriage to the talented American musician Neil Leonard, the struggle to get a legal visa to the US - during which she lived for a year and a half in Canada on art fellowships with her husband visiting her on weekends, before she was allowed to immigrate to the US at the end of 1991.

We switched between machine-gun Cuban Spanish ("Cubans use Spanish as a weapon," a South American friend once told me) and English, as she described her gallery, which she is heroically building one room and idea at a time. I was amazed by a wide-planked wood floor that Magda constructed herself, the doorway that she cut through the wall, the translucent plastic materials that she uses very elegantly to cover up and separate areas and to create a resident artist's studio, and the new expansive room that she is now building. "This gallery is an art installation in progress," I thought to myself.

We discussed her then current show at the gallery, Are We There Yet? - curated by Dawoud Bey. It featured work by Howard Henry Chen, Alan Cohen, Christine DiThomas, Aron Gent, Rula Halawani, Surendra Lawoti, Curtis Mann, Oscar Palacio and Adriana Rios. I was particularly impressed by the work of Curtis Mann and Christine DiThomas. Mann's compositional abilities and a very effective technique of distressing paper in order to acquire a good ground for the piece, really yields very memorable imagery, while DiThomas' photographs transcend the focus of the show and float - aided considerably by the very elegant presentation and soft focus - a sense of time and place; they can be "modernized" images from the 50s, 60s or even colonial America.

Magda was enthusiastic and energizing in describing the show and the artists, and relating - from one gallerist to another now - the struggles and successes of running an independent art gallery: dealing with landlords, helping the emerging Brookline neighborhood establish a separate but individual identity rather than become another cookie-cutter gentrified neighborhood, etc.

She is a hurricane in action, one moment telling me about her plans to talk to a friend restauranteur into opening an Iranian food cafe that would feature artwork; the next moment talking about forging friendships with the new small businesses that have opened since they opened Gasp.

In the middle of this, a smiling Chinese lady pops into the gallery. "I just cooked these and wanted to give you some," she tells Magda as she hands her a bag full of noodles. She is the owner of a tiny new Chinese restaurant down the block. It is the perfect exclamation point to our conversation.

I've been there for over two hours and I still have not talked about her own work, but I have been hypnotized into talking for hours about Cuba, the gallery business, art, race, immigration, the press, Cuban food, cooking, her neighborhood, Boston, and even issues dealing with the plight of illegal aliens.

Her 15-year-old son Arcadio walks in, already half a foot taller than either one of us; it is time for Magda to check his homework assignment. They disappear for a while in the back of the gallery while she checks his laptop report. Later on I find out that Arcadio's homework assignment is in fact assigned by his parents in exchange for computer gaming time. The assignment? ... To write four gallery or museum reviews a month. "He is really developing into a very good writer and critic," the proud mother tells me.

When I am not here/Estoy Alla c. 1994 by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons

We digress into a discussion about children and she laughs as she tells me about the surreal experiences of being a Cuban black woman in the wee hours of the morning taking her very Bostonian child to hockey practice in a freezing ice arena and also relates Arcadio's visits to Cuba and how well he fit into the Cuban world of La Vega.

"Probably the first grandson of La Vega to play hockey," I think silently.

My wife calls and wants to know if she can run from the downtown hotel to the gallery and meet us. Magda, who also runs regularly, changes gears and gives her directions and is amazed when my wife shows up forty minutes later. "You ran from Copley to here already?" she asks amazed.

My wife was once ranked fifth in the world in the triathlon and repesented the United States twice at the world competitions of the event. She was twice the Maryland state champion during her competing days.

We start the gallery tour all over again - this is a gallerist possessed by love for her art and love for her gallery and the opportunity that it affords to the artists that she show. "We have a different model," she tells us. "We have a curated show each month," she explains, "with a thematic exhibition by several artists as well as a show by a new, emerging artist in the back room."

We walk upstairs to her studio, on the way up she apologizes about the mess that we're to expect. "All artists do this," I think to myself. I have never been to a neat artist studio, and hopefully I never will.

She immediately begins to root around for things and artwork and post-cards and books and memories. "I never throw anything away," she warns us as she dances around the crowded two rooms that make up her studio space. The walls are packed with both work by other artists, really advanced work by her son, and works in progress by Campos-Pons.

Like most Cuban artists, Magda is highly trained in nearly every facet of the fine arts: she is a printmaker, a painter, a sculptor, a videographer, a photographer and even a glass artist.

Over the years her photographic work has been a prominent member of the leading visual imagery of contemporary art; the one below (of Magda and her mother) once graced the cover page of the New York Times' art section and is currently in the collection of the Brooklyn Art Museum ...

Madga Campo-Pons and her mother

As most artists who dance at the top of the art world know, it is a hard dance, and continuing exploration of what fuels the fire of being an artist becomes an essential part of continuing success.

Campos-Pons book cover

Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons: Everything Is Separated by Water (Indianapolis Museum of Art) (Hardcover) by Okwui Enwezor (Author), Lisa D. Freiman (Editor). Order the book here

We begin discussing her latest works and Magda dissolves and melts in front of my eyes, and reforms herself into a fountain spewing multiple jets of information at once.

Maria Magdalena Campos-PonsThere's something unique about this talented artist - she's the Cuban art world's Pocahantas to the New Yorkish John Smith art universe. Through her and her work, Cuba's bloody African entrails are exposed, perhaps to the chagrin of Miami's powerful and nearly all white Cuban-American population. Like Pocahantas, she learned English harshly and quickly, and also like Pocahantas, she learned to adapt as needed and become a new entity in an almost colorless new world.

Through her and her art, first Bostonians and then the art universe was given a high dose of Cuban art education, and within that art world even African-Americans were also initiated: "you are not the only ones, my Northern brothers and sisters," her artwork shouts to the four corners of America.

It is all a good thing for art, because the most important achievement that her artwork has caused is to deliver Campos-Pons from precisely all those boxes and labels that we are all so fond of trying to pin on artists.
María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Island Treasures, 2004

María Magdalena Campos-Pons. Island Treasures. Large Format Polaroids - Currently hanging at H&F Fine Arts

In a very strong sense, her artwork and her worldwide success has liberated her from labels, and while her Cubanosity has certainly fueled her artistic personna and productivity, it is her talent and work ethic as an artist that now has her as just a brilliantly talented artist simply producing great art.


Donate art to this

The 11th Annual Postcards From the Edge benefit for Visual AIDS will be hosted by Metro Pictures in NYC on January 9-10, 2009. This is one of my favorite charity art auctions and I've been donating and encouraging artists to donate to it for years.

Postcards From the Edge is a show and sale of original, postcard-sized artworks on paper by established and emerging artists. Offered on a first-come, first-served basis, each piece is exhibited anonymously, and the identity of the artist is revealed only after the work is purchased. With the playing field leveled, all participants can take home a piece by a famous artist, or one who’s just making his/her debut in the art world. Nonetheless, collectors walk away with something beautiful, a piece of art they love. For more details, visit this website.

Attention Artists! Deadline: Wednesday, December 10, 2008.

They are looking for artists to donate a 4" x 6" original work on paper for the exhibition and sale. Painting, drawing, photography, printmaking and mixed media are all welcome. If you would like to participate in Postcards From the Edge, download submission forms at this website.

Preview Party
Friday, January 9, 2009 from 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Your only chance to get a sneak peek at the entire show.

Benefit Sale - ONE DAY ONLY!
Saturday, January 10, 2009 from 11:00 - 6:00
Over 1500 original postcard-size works of art.
$75 EACH. Buy 4 cards and get 1 free!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Michael at G

G Fine Art holds an opening reception this Saturday for the most recent Trawick Prize winner Maggie Michael's new body of work, All at Once.

G is at 1515 14th Street NW, and the reception is from 6 to 8 p.m. Note to G Fine Art: update your website.

Wanna rent a condo in Bethesda or a house in Bowie?

I've got a couple of my properties for rent all at once...

Pooks Hill Condo in Bethesda
First one above is a really nice condo in Bethesda in Pooks Hill, close to everything... see the listing here.

Bowie, Maryland house for rentThe other one is the very first house that I ever bought when I was Navy Lieutenant first assigned to Washington, DC back in the late 80s.

Last year I poured a ton of money renovating the house.

It is just a couple of minutes away from 50 and perfectly located between DC and Annapolis and almost across the street from a really nice park and one block from tennis courts and b-ball courts and playground.

See that listing here.

Wanna learn how to self-publish your own photography book?

Transformer partners with Anacostia's Honfleur Gallery as part of FotoWeek DC to bring you: Underexposed: Self-Publishing Your Photo Book , today November 22, 2008 starting at 2pm at Honfleur Gallery in Anacostia

Free and open to the public!

Bringing together a diverse group of photographers via a facilitated panel discussion, the participating speakers will address the processes and challenges of self-publishing books of photographic work. Participants will share their experiences as both photographers and editors, followed by a question and answer segment with the audience. Participating panelists include Melissa Catanese, Chan Chao, Lely Constantinople, Ed Panar, and Max Hirshfeld.

Honfleur Gallery
1241 Good Hope Rd. SE
Washington , D.C. 20020

For further information call 202.483.1102

Wanna go to some open studios in DC tomorrow?

19 countries, 37 artists and 57 works of art

Is what you will discover at the XVII Ibero-American Art Salon opening today, November 22, 2008 from 6-9 PM at the Katzen Arts Center- American University in DC. This exhibit will remain open until December 21st.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Job in the Arts: at the WPA in DC

Position Title: Executive Director- Washington Project for the Arts (WPA)

Reports to: WPA Board of Trustees via Board Chair

Qualifications: Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration, a Master of Business Administration degree or commensurate experience (at least five to seven years) to meet the qualifications outlined below:

• Leadership experience in management of a professional staff (5-10 full or part-time employees and consultants)
• Experience in developing and managing outreach and public programs
• Experience in creating and managing complex budgets of at least $500,000
• Ideally, the three aforementioned “experiences” should have been with an “Arts Organization”
• Being a self-starter with initiative and excellent organizational skills
• Grant writing experience
• Experience with fundraising and corporate development
• Excellent communication skills including speaking, writing and conceptualization and being comfortable dealing with the public and public speaking
• Nimbleness, flexibility, and being able to respond quickly to change
• A team player with strong motivational skills
• Public affairs and media experience
• Experience with organizing publications and internet marketing a plus

Position Summary: The WPA is an independent, 501 c (3) entity that supports, develops and promotes regional artists and art programs. The organization works to achieve that goal via programming that includes, but is not limited to: exhibitions; lecture series; performances; publications; design, arts administration, and arts internships; educational outreach and general arts related initiatives. In addition, the organization creates and maintains Art File Online, a digital art file, and print materials, for regional, national, and international access to artist members.

The Executive Director oversees, manages, and directs the organization’s programming, internet-based materials, writes fundraising proposals and identifies development prospects and is tasked with developing strategies to maintain and increase membership, both artistic and general, and to generally and strategically position the organization as the major leader in contemporary art for the Washington, D.C. region and beyond. The Executive Director also works with the WPA Board of Trustees and related committees, which include, but are not limited to: Governance; Development/Membership; Finance; Programming; Publications and Auction Committees. The Executive Director works with arts leaders at various D.C. arts organizations and through city-wide events, to support and maintain a healthy visual arts community which requires advocating for funding and space for individual artists and the organizations which support their efforts.

S/he oversees the WPA’s annual operating budget, reserves, and “special projects” budgets; actively manages the staff, consultants and interns responsible for programming, membership, finance, and development. S/he oversees all printed and online materials which include the organization’s website, Art File Online, exhibition catalogues, auction catalogues, the bi-annual Artist Directory, the WPA Annual Report and other materials as needed. In addition, s/he works closely with the development team to identify new revenue sources from private philanthropy, foundations, public funds and other sources to maintain and enhance the WPA’s programs, products, and regional visibility

Duties and Responsibilities:
 Serves as Executive Directors of the WPA in all endeavors including programs, educational workshops, exhibitions and community outreach initiatives aimed at building a broader audience base and local constituency.

 Works with local arts leaders to support programs, exhibitions, arts spaces, and events that focus on regional artists.

 Work with the Board of Trustees and others to identify and secure off-site locations for programming and membership initiatives.

 Works directly with Board and board committees to carry out projects and programs that fulfill the goals and initiatives set through the mission.

 Supervises a Program Director, Membership Director, Development Director, Bookkeeper, and other staff, interns, and consultants.

 Develops new strategies and objectives aimed at growing the WPA’s membership.

 In conjunction with the Director of Development develops fundraising proposals and and identifies development and fundraising prospects outlined above.

 Oversees the organization, execution, maintenance and production of all WPA materials and artist resources, including but not limited to Art File Online, biannual Artist Directory, and other critical community service and fundraising efforts.

 Oversees annual operating budget and project budgets.

 Serves as a liaison with area artists, regional arts organizations, local governments and philanthropic entities, staff, general public, donors, and volunteers.

Washington Project for the Arts provides essential resources to support the creative spirit and success of regional artists. The WPA presents contemporary art through imaginative and provocative programs, and connects artists with the community in both traditional and unexpected ways.

Please send cover letter/ resume to: Kim Ward until December 12, 2008.

WPA Executive Director Kim Ward Resigns‏

From the WPA:

Dear Artists and WPA Friends,

In the next few months I will be transitioning from my role as Executive Director of the Washington Project for the Arts and join the WPA Board of Trustees. The decision to leave as Executive Director is solely precipitated by my desire to spend more time with my immediate and extended family. In the next few years my children will begin leaving home and starting college and I would like to be more present in their lives and see them as much as possible.

Working in various capacities at the WPA over the last six years has been richly rewarding and unequivocally, one of my best life experiences. The organization has given me far more than I have contributed. I am honored to have been a part of this incredible arts group that has served the greater DC community for almost 35 years. Whether you have created contemporary art, attended WPA events, purchased artwork, or written checks to support and sustain all connected with such, you have helped move us to the healthiest position the organization has held in over 20 years. While leaving the WPA staff is difficult for me, it is easier knowing that all of our hard work has placed the organization in a solid position to continue serving artists and the contemporary visual arts community in the years to come. In recent years, the WPA has:

- Created the digital ArtFile Online, a benefit and resource for all artist members, and the arts community

- Achieved complete independence at the end of 2007, separating from the Corcoran Gallery of Art

- Grown from 300 to 1200 artist members

- Maintained five continuous years of profitability and budget growth

- Featured over 1000 artists in exhibitions in the last five years

In the next few weeks I will begin working part-time, and remain on the staff to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities to the new Executive Director. I would like to encourage members and friends of the WPA to send any qualified candidates my way. The position description will be posted on our website and a variety of arts job banks.

Again, it is a pleasure to pause and thank all of you for your generous support, direction and guidance over the years. There are too many people to thank who gave me a “leg up,” going out of their way to help me in all possible ways. I am looking forward to staying involved and rooted in the local arts community, while continuing to support the WPA through my new role in the organization. Please stay in touch, keep me on your lists, and finally, I want to wish all of you and your families a happy and healthy holiday season.


Kim Ward

Primera Nieve

I was surprised to look out my backyard window this morning and see this:

1st snow of the year by f. lennox campello

Get your book signed this Sunday

Some of my favorite photographers in all the world will be signing their books at Fraser Gallery in Bethesda this Sunday as part of Fotoweek DC; here's the schedule:

Sunday November 23, from 12PM - 5PM

Noon - Joyce Tenneson "A Life in Photography: 1968 - 2008"

1PM - Frank Van Riper and Judith Goodman "Serenissima"

2PM - Maxwell MacKenzie "Markings," "Abandonings" and "American Ruins"

3PM - Karen Keating "Cuba: Watching and Waiting"

4PM - Danny Conant "Vanishing Tibet"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Pat Goslee opens tomorrow at DCAC

Pat Goslee: Flow, new mixed media works by Pat Goslee opens at the District of Columbia Arts Center with an opening reception on November 21, 7-9pm.

"Flow" represents the most recent work by Washington, DC's Pat Goslee, an intuitive artist whose paintings seek to part the curtain that, according to Kabbalah, separates the physical world from the spiritual. The work raises the questions: How do we store information, emotional baggage, and awareness? What do we absorb and what do we filter out? What layers need to be removed, or rearranged, in order to achieve change?
The exhibition runs through January 4, 2009.

Mellema on Cuban Show

Kevin Mellema reviews "Aqui Estamos (Here We Are)" which is currently on exhibit at H&F Fine Arts through November 30th.

Read the review here.

Go see this show and go buy some artwork.

When Absence Becomes Presence

Curated by Sonja Simonyi and Niels Van Tomme and part of the WPA's Experimental Media Series, the opening reception is today Thursday November 20th, 7-9pm at the WPA and there's a Screening & Curator’s Talk on Thursday, December 11, 6pm at The Phillips Collection in DC.

This event is the launch of the fourth annual Experimental Media Series and "When Absence Becomes Presence," is an exhibition that "explores the play between two separate, but linked conditions of absence and presence, and which reflects upon the very nature of time based media. Curators Sonja Simonyi + Niels Van Tomme have selected a staggering variety of experimental artworks that include sound art, music, literary readings, video art, as well as a mysterious sound recording."

Artworks from: Herman Asselberghs, The Conet Project, Paul Chan, Martin Creed, Andrea Geyer, Ibro Hasanovic, Miranda July, Damir Niksic, and Douglas Ross

Stay tuned for a screening of selected works and a discussion with the curators at The Phillips Collection on Thursday, December 11, at 6pm. During the screening, the Kraft Prize for New Media and the WPA Experimental Art Prize will be presented to two winning artists from the When Absence Become Presence Call for Entries competition.

Aquilino at Neptune in Bethesda

“Another Level” is the title of John Aquilino’s new exhibition on the elevated walls of Neptune’s new loft like gallery in their beautiful renovated green building in Bethesda, MD.

Aquilino had a highly successful solo sold-out debut at Neptune in May, 2007, and an impressive year at the art fair circuit.

Reception for the artist is on November 22, at 7 PM and the gallery is also open for the Bethesda Art Walk, December 12, 6-9 PM. The show runs through December 20, 2008.

Cuban show opens in Baltimore this coming Sunday

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

At Wilmington: Art for the Masses

200 Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania Regional artists are pleased to invite you to purchase artwork directly from them priced at $250 or less.

Artwork available in pottery, painting, fiber, mixed media, jewelry, photography, watercolor, wood, metalsmith, digital, collage, illustration, mosaic, screen printing, sculpture, printing, glass, and drawing and more.

Saturday, November 22, 2008 from 10am - 5pm at:

Hanover Center
3501 Oleander Drive
Wilmington, NC
(behind Stein Mart inside a 30,000 square foot warehouse)
Rain or Shine

$3 donation requested at the door. Among the 200 artists will be:

Abigail Blackerby
Abigail Perry
Aiden Kenny
Alisha Payne
Amy Winston
Angela Johnson
Anita Larko
Ann Conner
Anuzia Rodriguez
Barb Scalia
Barbara Tuzzeo
Barton Hatcher
Ben Keys
Bonnie Gaynor
Brian Peterson
Brooks Pearce
Camden Noir
Candy Pegram
Cape Fear Art Studio
Cape Fear Camera Club
Carol Williams
Carroll Crouch
Casey Scharling
Cassandra Skrzypek
Charles Bowden
Charles Wilkinson
Cheryl Snyder
Christine Maclellan
Christine O'Connell
Cilla Dahlbeck
Cindy Ella Rhodes
Cindy Martin
Cindy Weaver
Claudia Croom-Cole
Courtney Chappell
Dana Laymon
Deborah Cavenaugh
Deborah Hendricks
Deborah Petoskey
Dixon Stetler
Doug Kazantzis
Dreams of Wilmington
Edge of Urge
Elizabeth Bender
Elizabeth Norton
Eric Paige
Erika Lawrence
Erin Owens
Erin Wenzig
Flo Simpson
Francisca Dekker
Frank Bielski
Gail Henderson
Gail O'Neil
Gail Powell
Gail Smith
Gail Sue
Garrett Clark
Gaye Murphy
George Rabito
Ginnie Kuhn
Grayson Bowen
Harry Davis
Heather Pack
Holly Diehl
Holly Nettles
Jan Beyma
Jane Baldridge
Jane Hanck
Jean Chasmer
Jennifer Marano
Jennifer Royall
Jennifer Stockman
Jeremy Millard
Jim Edwards
jo bellamy
Joan Croft-Jones
John Gaynor
John Golden
John Greenwood
Julia Jensen
Julie Olson
Julie Reed
Karen Mason
Karen Pait
Kathleen Dentinger
Kathryn Bilisoly
kathryn graham
Katie Palacios
Katrina Fairbank
Kay Ballard
Kee Wilde-Ramsing
Keely Steelman
Keith Ketchum
Kelly Starbuck
Kids Making It
Kimberly Baker
Kinga Baransky
Kyle Page
Lauren Caddell
Lee Chappell Monroe
Lee Spivey
Leslie Isaksen
Leslie Pearson
Linda Hudspeth
Linda Kidd
Linda Parker
Lisa Haskins
Liz Hosier
Logan Mock-Bunting
Lois DeWitt
Loraine Scalamoni
Lynette Ashby
Lynn Graham
Lynn Manock
Macon Cathey
Marcelle Hooks
Marie Szendrey
Marissa Coley
Marlene McDonald
Martha Odins
Marty Relan
Matthew Dols
Maureen Mountcastle
McKenzie Constantino
Meg McGrew
Meghann Smith
Melanie Walter
Merv Wilkinson
Michael Baker
Michael Polomik
Michael Steele
Michelle Connolly
Mike Bryand
Miles Lewis
Mitzi Jonkheer
MJ Cunningham
Monique Mueller
Nancy McCurtin
Natasha Caine
Nicolle Nicolle
Noel Wilcox
Pam Toll
Patrick Raynor
Paul Boroznoff
Paul Hill
Paul Krauss
Peggy Cleary
Pete Cozart
Pete Paterson
Phil Meade
Polly Tait
Quentin Warshauer
Rachel Kastner
RDG Designs and Glassblowing
Rebecca Romulus
Rebecca Yeomans
Renato Abbate
Rhonda Willett
Robert L. Bullock
Robyn Chapman
Ronald Williams
Sally Bullers
Sandra Sharpe
Sandra Siemering
Sandra Wagnon Honeycutt
Sara Pepper
Sara Westermark
Sarah Collier
Sarah Holstein
Sarah Tector
Satu Harris
Sean Carr
Shade Maret
Simone Barbe
Stephen Cain
Steven Heiner
Susan Day
Susan Kirkendol
Tammy Clark
Teresa Bland
Three Hounds Gallery
Timothy Dols
Todd Carignan
Tony Forrest
Tracy Kellogg-Brodeur
Tracy Kirchmann
Tracy Weaver
Wendy Pittillo-Rae
Will Olney
Willard Fields
William Hubbard

Opportunity for Spineless Art

Deadline: November 30, 2008

Atrium Art Gallery, University of Southern Maine, Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston, ME 04240. September 8 - December 18, 2009. Reception, Friday, September 18, 2009. "Spineless Wonders" celebrates the diversity of species for the 2009 bicentennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of "On the Origin of Species."

Paintings, prints, sculpture, poetry, sound, and work in clay, metal, fiber, glass, wood, and stone will all be part of the multi-dimensional exhibition. Invertebrates are animals without a spine, comprising 97% of all animal species. This vast group includes worms, insects and their larva, spiders, jellyfish, shellfish such as crabs and shrimp, sponges, and more. From fairy shrimp and glow worms to luna moths and giant squid, invertebrates include both aquatic and terrestrial forms. If it's not a fish, reptile, amphibian, bird, or mammal - it's an invertebrate. They are seeking paintings, drawings, printmaking, textiles, and work in clay, metal, fiber, glass, wood, and stone. Also poetry and projects that include sound, video, or any combination of media. Please contact Robyn Holman, director of exhibitions,, 207-753-6554 for more information. Web:

Be Still my heart

"Decades ago, when a husband and wife moved into their new home, a friend gave them a painting by the man's former college professor.

Fast-forward 40 or 50 odd years and the oil painting, still in the same family, is appraised during an "Antiques Roadshow" stop in Palm Springs, Calif., for a cool half-million bucks - the most valuable object ever discovered in the show's history."
Read all about it here.

MFA Auction at Penn

From what I am told, the annual MFA auction at Penn is a hot ticket in town and usually sells out.

As I've often advised, student artwork is a great way to get started collecting art and this auction is a great a good place to start, although it is also attended by a lot of savvy collectors.

It takes place this coming Friday, Nov. 21st to benefit the 2009 MFA thesis exhibition.

Again... there you will find one of the nation's best venues to get some good original artwork on your walls and finally get rid of those college posters (and if you are a gallerist, a terrific opportunity to scope out some new talent).

The auction is from 5:30-9 PM at the University's Meyerson Gallery. Work from over 40 artists will be available including work by Terry Atkins, Jane Irish, Doug Martenson, Eileen Neff, Nigel Rolfe, Judith Shea, and Jackie Tileston.

The art being offered includes drawings, paintings, ceramics, prints, sculptures, and photographs. There will also be gift certificates from Philadelphia restaurants and businesses. Everything is affordably priced with some items starting as low as $10. Appetizers, beer, and wine will be served and DJs will provide music through out the evening. Free and open to the public.

For more information check out this blog or contact the Graduate Department of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania at 215-898-8374.

The gallery is at 210 S. 34th St. at Walnut. For building locations on Penn's campus, please consult the online maps here.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Palin Hoax

This story in the New York Times got me to thinking...

"It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times."
Are there more hoaxes out there in other realms of information? - of that I am pretty sure, but my focus is the visual arts and thus my question to myself is: could such a hoax be executed in the fine arts?

I don't think so, and the reason that I don't think so is because unlike the need to demonize our political opponents that exist in places like Fox and MSNBC, the fine arts world is sort of a self-licking ice cream where 95% of the people who pay attention to it and want a lick at the ice cream are somehow involved in the art world itself, and very few are interested "outsiders," who are the ones needed to consume such a hoax and spread it eagerly.

And I'm not sure if the people who write about art lack the very basic "check the story" and "check it again" mentality of the political press, always frothing at the mouth to report something negative about the other side.

And of course, news outlets generally could give a rat's ass about the fine arts unless it involves some sort of scandal, sex, censure or shock.


New Art Scam

This is a scam... posted exactly as received, with all the grammar errors which usually characterize this sort of scam...

Date: Mon, Nov 17, 2008 at 10:59 AM
Subject: Artists File Online: Your artworks

**This following message was sent to you by a person who found your artwork on Artists Space's Artists File Online website. Please report any problems or concerns regarding this email to

My name is kevin, I am an individual art agent and interior decorator from Glasgow, scotland. I got an order for the supply of some artworks from a group of client, and when i came across your portfolio on your site, while searching for good artworks, I found some of them to interest me and fit what i am looking for, and I intend to market these items to my client and also negotiate a price that will include your price (i.e your selling price) and a mark-up as a profit for my effort.
Payment will be made directly to you at the price i am selling and i will expect you to ship after payment clears and send me my commission /margin afterwards.
My client prefers to make payment using a credit card as this is much easier and cost effective for an international transaction thus will provide you directly their credit card for payment.
Please let me know if you do commission work and if you accept master card payment after which I will let you know the items we are interested in, and we can proceed with the order.
I am looking forward to a long term working relationship beyond this order.I am sorry I do not have a website yet but it should be ready soon however you can always contact me if you have any question and I would get back to you as soon as possible.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Best Regards.
kevin Stokes
Delete this email if you get it or email Kevin back and tell him to go fuck himself.

Lauren Sherman on the new art fairs

Forbes' Lauren Sherman has an interesting article on the "other" art fairs at Miami and elsewhere.

Gallerists are holding their breath at Miami; I know now of four dealers in DC and Philly who have pulled out of the fairs in Miami because of economic fears.

On the other hand, I have been told that SOFA Chicago, after a dreadful start, ended up being surprisingly good for many galleries.

Read the Sherman report here.

Artists Websites: Priscilla de Lima

Greater DC area photographer Priscilla de Lima-Ledesma has been "assembling photos, video, art installations internationally since 1997," and her works focuses on social realism.

Visit her website here and her blog here.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Working and Surviving as an Artist Seminar

When: Wednesday November 19, 2008 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Working and Surviving as an Artist: Establishing and Maintaining Professional Relationships: The seminar will examine strategies and practices needed to work and survive as a visual artist. The seminar panelists: June Linowitz, artist and founder of ArtSeen, Inc; Ellyn Weiss, artist and curator; and Claudia Rousseau, PhD, art historian and critic.

The panelists will draw on their professional visual arts experiences as artists, curators, gallery directors, art historians and art critics to provide valuable strategies for conducting business in the visual arts world. Susie Leong, Director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County's Public Arts Trust will serve as moderator for the seminar.

This seminar is the first in a series on working as a visual artist. Reception & Tour 6:00 - 6:45pm Join them for a reception with light fare, open gallery, Cafritz Art Center tour and viewing of the Cafritz Art Center exhibition American Psyche, curated by the Brooklyn Arts Alliance and sponsored by Pyramid Atlantic and Montgomery College's Takoma Park/Silver Spring Visual Arts Department.

At the Lecture Hall of The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Art Center, 930 King Street, Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus of Montgomery College.

Registration is required. Advanced registration $20. Day of registration, $25.

Please visit for more information, or contact Mark Puryear at 301-565-3805, or

Want some alabaster stones?

The Soviet Socialist Republic of Montgomery County government in Maryland will be taking down pieces of white and tan alabaster stone from one of its buildings in Rockville soon.

They are striated in color (like bacon strips). I am not sure how long the pieces are, but I am told tha they are about 2-3 feet wide, 3/4 inch thick.

If you are a sculptor and would like to reuse it, then please contact Susie Leong at the Arts and Humanities Council,, 301-565-3805, ext 26.

Have Art? Will Lend $$$$

One art-world business is booming: collectors looking to borrow against works they own, especially before the fall sales threaten to lower values. “We’ve been contacted by lots of people who are feeling some sort of margin call,” says Sotheby’s CEO, Bill Ruprecht. Other lenders have virtually stopped lending against art recently, but Ruprecht says Sotheby’s is still “very comfortable” doing so. (At 2007’s end, the auction house had $176.4 million loaned out; by the middle of this year, it was $212 million.)
Read the entire NY Magazine piece here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Paper at Projects in Philly

No matter how you print, fold, layer or carve it, paper is often the primary media to which an artist applies their talent.

“Paper” at Philadelphia's Projects Gallery seeks to engage the audience in both the simplicity and the complexity, the universality and the uniqueness and even the humor of paper in the hands of about 20 multi-faceted artists.

Work by Henry Bermudez, Elizabeth Bisbing, Jim Brossy, Peter Gourfain, Frank Hyder, Florence Putterman, Alex Queral, and Caleb Weintraub. Also participating are Virginia Batson, Aubrie Costello, Michael Edwards, Talia Greene, Brooke Holloway, Itsuki Ogihara, Mia Rosenthal, Krista Rothwell, Gregory Farrar Scott, Heather Sundquist and yours truly!

“Paper” opens November 19th with an artists’ reception First Friday, December 5th from 6-9 p.m. The exhibition continues through December 20th.

Volkova at Flashpoint

Elena VolkovaA few years ago I curated the work of Ukranian-born photographer Elena Volkova into a few exhibitions around the Greater DC area, and she also showed at my former gallery. At that time I was attracted to her ethereal imagery of the Baltic and her sensitive treatment of the subject as shape and form, rather than what it was in itself.

Elena Volkova’s Airscapes, part of the inaugural, city-wide FotoWeek DC is a whole new line of subject matter that still shows this talented artist's sensitive eyes and hand.

“Airscapes is a collection of photo-based prints of clouds that deal with the human perception of boundaries and the essence of a subject against a background of nothingness,” says Volkova whose show opens Friday, November 21 from 5-7pm at The Gallery at Flashpoint and runs through December 20, 2008.

Gallery moves

Michael O'Sullivan yesterday had an excellent spread in the WaPo's Weekend section detailing an assortment of gallery moves and new spaces in the Greater DC region. Read it here.

Barista Art

As I've often repeated myself, I have fond memories of when I was an art student at the University of Washington in Seattle and used to sell all my art school assignments at the Pike Place Market.

I also have fond memories of the original Starbucks there, and the great deals that they would give artists and craftspeople and farmers at the market.

Now, if you are in DC area, you can experience the art beyond the apron at "Avant-Grande 2008," Washington DC's exhibition of visual art and spoken word created by Starbucks baristas.

The event will be hosted at DC's House of Sweden on November 17, starting at 7:30pm. The evening will include hors d'oeuvres and cocktails at this one-of-a kind location on the Georgetown waterfront overlooking the Potomac. Tickets are $20 (including the open bar and food). 100% of ticket sales will benefit Sol y Soul, an arts based organization whose focus is on supporting, creating and inspiring artists of varied backgrounds and proficiencies.

If you would like more information please check out the website at or contact Aubrey Davis at

Open bar for twenty bucks! C'mon it's a great deal at a gorgeous location and great views.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Red Dirt Open Studios

Red Dirt Open Studios
Red Dirt is having their Fall Open Studio show and sale this Sunday from 1-5 PM, and the cool thing is that you can also walk to and visit Flux Studios, Washington Glass School, Blue Fire Studio and other neighborhood artists at the same time.

Work by Margaret Boozer, Kate Hardy, Ani Kasten, J.J. McCracken, Joanie Turbek, Irma Alba, Graham Boyle, Sara Caspi, Sandy Dwiggins, Joe Hicks, Leila Holtsman, Ume Hussain, Sean Lundgren and Tetyana Wittkowski. The last time that I visited Red Dirt, visiting artist Joanie Turbek was working on her Prostethic Lawn installation, which will be ready for the open studios.

Red Dirt Studio is at 3706-08 Otis Street, Mt. Rainier, MD 20712... next to the Washington Glass School and a bunch of other artists' studios. More info at:202/607-9472.

Call for a new MLK statue

Deadline: December 5, 2008November 2008

The City of Hollywood, Florida invites interested artists with bronze sculpting expertise to submit a proposal to create a sculpture of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to be displayed at the newly renovated ArtsPark at Young Circle in Historic Downtown Hollywood. Adult artists with bronze sculpting expertise are encouraged to apply. Artist teams are eligible to apply, including teams of artists from multiple disciplines.

The artist will also provide a schematic design for the bust’s concrete base to include the incorporation of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech in its entirety. The project will be publicly displayed outdoors at the ArtsPark at Young Circle and provide a new platform of public art to facilitate community interaction of diverse populations. The maximum budget is $20,000. For Questions or an Application Please Call: Renée Jéan, Grants Manager, at 954-921-3201.

Tonight: Fixation photography exhibit at Fight Club‏ in DC

This Friday, November 14, from 8:30 pm - 2 am at the Fight Club (1250 9th Street, NW, enter through the rear in Blagden Alley, from N St., between 9th and 10th).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taxing Botero

"Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero is being investigated on suspicion of tax evasion, Italian authorities said Tuesday.

Tax police in the northern town of Viareggio said they are investigating whether Botero, famous for works of plump figures, should have declared 7 million euros ($8.92 million) in earnings from 2003-2008.

They allege that Botero must pay taxes in Italy because his artworks are produced entirely by companies and foundries in the country that distribute them to galleries worldwide."
Read the AP story here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: December 9, 2008.

Florida's Art in State Buildings Program announces a new public art project at the University of North Florida. The College of Education & Human Services has a budget of $40,000 and the art selection committee is open to commissioning site-specific work and/or purchasing existing artwork. Interested artists can view the new Call by going to the University of North Florida's Facilities Planning & Construction website and clicking on Art in State Buildings under Quick Links, and then Call to Artists: For more information, contact the Project Administrator:

Linda Sciarratta
University of North Florida
1 UNF Drive
Jacksonville, FL 32224.

Call 904.620.281 or email

Viva Chile in Philly

Later today Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will make a proclamation naming this week in November the “Viva Chile in Philadelphia!” week for Philadelphia.

He will be joined by Chilean Ambassador Mariano Fernandez who will honor Hizzoner with the Orden de Bernardo O’Higgins, Grado Comendador, Chile’s highest commendation for non-Chilean citizens. The award, which is approved by the President of Chile, is the first such commendation from Chile a Philadelphia Mayor has ever received. Bernardo O'Higgins was the son of an Irish-born Spanish colonial administrator in Chile (figure that one out) and he rose from obscurity to become the Hero of the Wars of Independence from Spain. His father, Ambrosio O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, was a Spanish officer born in County Sligo in Ireland, who later became governor of Chile and later viceroy of Peru. Because Spanish government officials in the Americas were forbidden to marry locals, and Bernardo's mother was a Chilean creole, Chile's independence hero was born as an illegitimate son, and yet rose to lead the new nation's asskicking of Spanish rulers.

Philadelphia will then open its cultural arms to embrace Chilean culture as the city celebrates the sights, sounds and flavors of Chile in a series of events called Viva Chile in Philadelphia.

This set of events will offer performances of Chilean musicians, an exhibition of Chilean Art from the 1960s, a celebration of Chile’s gastronomy, tastings of Chilean wine, a film festival, seminars, talks and much more.

Events take place November 13-21, 2008 and details are here. Most events are free and open to the public.

Viva Chile everywhere!

New DC gallery

LUMAS has 14 galleries around the world and they represent over 120 contemporary photographers and classic estates. Their Grand Opening reception and "Foto Week DC Blowout" in their brand new 3500 square foot Georgetown space is Thursday, November 20, 2008 from6:00pm - 11:00pm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finding Equilibrium tomorrow in Alexandria

I'm hearing all kinds of good things about a really cool sculpture exhibit at Alexandria's Target Gallery by Tennessee artist Travis Graves.

I'm hearing it from people’s reactions when they get a glance from the hallway of the Torpedo Factory and see his work and it draws them right in to see if they can figure out just how he did that. His craftsmanship is impeccable and the unsettling feeling that he is trying to convey is quite successful.

Travis Graves
At first glance it appears to be just logs that he has cleverly balanced or suspended in unlikely ways, but further inspection into the artist’s process leads to discovery of exceptional talent and craftsmanship. He is taking real logs and completely deconstructing and putting them back together again, bark and all, and visitors can’t even tell from the naked eye how he did it.

Graves is coming in from Tennessee for the reception and he will be providing a brief gallery talk about his process and message on Thursday, November 13 at 7pm.

Rosetta DeBerardinis Interview

Our own Rosetta DeBerardinis gets interviewed by Radar Magazine... see it below:

Driving criticism

Jay Busbee at Yahoo! Sports has a reoccurring thread about NASCAR fan consumption. Recently he reviewed one of DC area artist Andrew Wodzianski's 'Android' pieces, "Tony, I'll be there soon."

Jay's report, and his readers' comments, may be the funniest criticism that has ever been written. Read it here.

Tony, I'll be there soon by Andrew Wodzianski

Tony, I'll be there soon, by Andrew Wodzianski


"A legal battle rages over the rights to works given away by a Mexican artist confined in US asylums...

A row has erupted over the legacy of one of the most celebrated exponents of "outsider art", more than 40 years after his death.

During his deeply troubled lifetime, Martín Ramírez's paintings were ignored by the art establishment. A poor Mexican immigrant to the United States, Ramírez painted in near obscurity for more than 30 years while incarcerated in Californian mental hospitals until his death in 1963.

But Ramírez's artistic reputation has undergone an extraordinary re-evaluation in the last few years, with his paintings now fetching hundreds of thousands of dollars at auction. Now a multi-million dollar legal battle has begun over the ownership of his paintings, hundreds of which he simply gave away in the hospital ward. An auction of 17 paintings at Sotheby's was recently halted when lawyers for the Ramírez family claimed them."
Read the story from the Guardian here.

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: December 12, 2008.

The Athens Area Arts Council of Athens, Georgia, in partnership with the Athens Transit System and the Unified Government of Athens Clarke County, announces its second Art Bus Shelter Design Competition. This year's theme, Art Rocks! asks designers to pay artistic tribute to the musical talent of Athens. Eight bus shelters will be installed along two major arteries near downtown Athens. Winning designs will receive an award of $5,000 per shelter. Bus shelter fabrication, materials and shipping budget limited to $9,160 per shelter. This is a nationwide competition open to all artists, architects, students and designers. Deadline for submissions is December 12, 2008 (extended from November 30). Details are available on the Arts Council website at

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Art Sales

Not surprisingly, last week's Impressionist and modern art sales in New York were unable to live up to the price estimates set months ago, when the full scale of the credit crisis had yet to affect the upper end of the art market. In the summer it seemed possible these sales would make at least $800 million (£508 million) - the same amount as this time last year. But by the time the art had been hung, billions of dollars had been lost in financial markets worldwide. As Marc Porter, president of Christie's America, put it before the sales: "Prices of assets have fallen - stocks, gold, oil, real estate - and it would be unrealistic to expect art to be immune to the market's pressures."

The extent of the downturn, from $800 million to a final count of $470 million by Friday night, looked bad. Seven lots estimated to fetch more than $10 million each did not sell, and the total accumulated was the equivalent to the amount fetched in New York two and a half years ago.
Read the Telegraph story here.

Veterans Day

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:

O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.

Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.

For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!

-- Rudyard Kipling

Matchmaker Finds Patrons for Artists’ Work

They also represent a small success story for a new arts fellowship program, United States Artists, a nonprofit group in Los Angeles that has developed a knack for bringing patrons and artists together. Ms. Early discovered Mr. Millepied’s work just over a year ago, not onstage but in the Los Angeles boardroom of United States Artists, where she agreed to provide a $50,000 fellowship for him.

Such relationships are “bridge builders,” said Katharine DeShaw, executive director of United States Artists. “It’s a great thing for artists to find someone who cares deeply about the arts, who might introduce them to others who care deeply about arts, who might support other projects of theirs, who could really open doors.”
Read the NYT story here.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Los Cubanos

Video of the work at "Aqui Estamos" (Here We Are) at H&F Fine Arts.

The show is on exhibit through November 30, 2008. Go buy some artwork.

Sidney Lawrence at DFA

I hear that Sidney Lawrence is a pretty good jazz vocalist, but Lawrence has visual arts in his genes and this coming Nov. 15, from 5-8PM he opens his second solo show with DC's District Fine Arts gallery in Georgetown.

Tribe, 2008 by Sidney Lawrence.
Oil and modeling paste on paper canvas and compressed board, 17 3/4 x 22

This show of oil portraits, including a small painting of Martin Luther King Jr., an island wall relief, a dog head, ink drawings of cities, and an illustrated travel diary is Lawrence's first solo exhibition at DFA since 2005.

One of DC's key arts presences, Lawrence is also a writer, curator and art-PR specialist. He served as the Hirshhorn Museum's press officer from 1975 to 2003 and as an occasional curator there, and more recently organized "Roger Brown: Southern Exposure," for the Jule Collins Smith Museum at Auburn University, Alabama.

For over two decades he exhibited at Gallery K (until that venerable gallery closed when both owners suddenly died) and other DC venues and has also exhibited work in Massachusetts and California. Lawrence's self-revealing, funky style draws from influences as diverse as Red Grooms, JMW Turner, Lucian Freud and Edward Koren.

Sidney Lawrence, Recent Works, through January 17, 2009 at DFA, with an opening reception, on Saturday, November 15, 5 - 8 pm and an Artist Talk, 5:30 - 6 pm and a Book Signing, Ink Cities on Saturday, December 13, 4-6 pm.


The week of November 15-22, 2008 will mark the launch of FotoWeek DC, the first annual gathering of a diverse and wide-ranging photography community in the nation’s capital, including photographers, museums, universities and all those involved in the profession across the metro D.C. area, including Virginia and Maryland. Unique among American cities, Washington, D.C. is a nexus of artistic, business, political and public sector energy, in which photography plays an integral role. FotoWeek DC seeks to bring together all photographers and imaging professionals from every discipline to join with the public in celebration of the medium.
Details here.

There are dozens and dozens of gallery shows, dozens of lectures by famous photographers, loads of book signings, many workshops for all you photo geeks and everything associated with making lovers of the silver gelatin happy.

This is a massive, city-wide event and clearly a ton of work by the organizers has taken place; my kudos to all of them!

Now let's see how the (a) city fathers and mothers, (b) DCCAH and (c) the media add their part to the event so that (d) the local collectors and buyers react to it so that (e) the international photography market and (f) other collectors and (g) curators and (i) national museum curators pay attention and thus make it impossible for (j) for local DC area museum curators to ignore it.

This is a once in a decade opportunity for DC area museum curators to get off their butts and go visit a couple of dozen art venues and see a myriad of photography shows (and earn their pay) and perhaps discover a good local photog here and there, and even a gallery here and there. Get the fuck out of your offices and do your jobs!

This is a once in a decade opportunity for the Washington Post and the Washington Times and the Washington City Paper and Washingtonian magazine and all those other thick, full of ads DC area magazines to record for posterity this important local effort on behalf of art and photography in a city and region where the moniker "local" raises semantic eyebrows. And yes... I know several of these media outlets are "sponsoring" the event - thank you! But now I'd like for all of them to leave a newsprint and digital footprint of the event.

Visit this website, learn all about it, and visit DC, Bethesda, Virginia and all of that great artsy area known as the Greater Washington DC region to see some great photography and then buy some photos!

Cheerleader in Chief and proud of it.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mona Lisa painted in 80 milliseconds

You gotta see this to believe it (wait until end of video):

Wanna go to a Russian opening in DC this week?

"Inspired by Russia" is a show that features both paintings and sculpture by eight Russian artists from around the world - Natalia Vetrova (Canada), Serguei Zlenko (Finland), Vladimir Popov (France), Galina Lopatina (Russia), Vladimir Fomichev (Russia), Evgeny Vereshchagin (Russia), Olga Karpeisky (USA), Luba Sterlikova (USA). The exhibit official opening for registered guests is on November 12,2008 at 6 p.m at the Embassy of Russia.

The reception to meet the artists is on Saturday, November 15, 2008, 4-7 p.m. at the Russian Cultural Centre at 1825 Phelps Place NW, Washington, D.C. 20008.

You must RSVP to (202) 265-3840 or The show runs at the Russian Cultural Centre through November 22, 2008.