Monday, February 06, 2012

Charity Auction

Distinguished works of art will grace the Middleburg Community Center on Friday, February 24th, in an unprecedented auction of original artwork from the community’s best local artists. Doors for this fundraising event will open at 5:30 P.M., and proceeds will benefit the Middleburg Montessori School.

"It is always impressive when so many artists come together to support a worth-while cause like this one," offered Bradley Stevens, a well-known realist painter. Stevens, a former faculty member at both George Washington University and Georgetown University, donated a children’s group drawing lesson in portraiture and an adult “plein-air,” or outdoor oil-painting lesson, at Barrel Oaks winery in Delaplane. These items, like all other offerings, will go to the highest bidder.

With more than fifteen committed artists, including the furniture of craftsmen at Plank & Nickel, the auction will showcase the art of Misia Broadhead-Barham, Anthony Barham, Kim Basinger, Armand Cabrera, Hwa Crawford, Mikel Diaz, Richard Dimon, Charles Matheson, Lilla Ohrstrom, Dana Lee Thompson, Dana Volkert, Antonia Walker, Charlie Westbrook, Henry Wingate, and Cathy Zimmerman, among others.

A sample of the featured artists:

Armand Cabrera, known for his alla prima work—paintings completed in one sitting in the studio or outdoors—has donated “Farmhouse,” a stunning 8’ x 10’ oil on linen. Armand, a former California-based production artist in the entertainment industry, brings his eye for detail to his exquisite landscapes. His work has been featured in International Artist Magazine and American Art Collector.

Local artist Dana Volkert captures the natural world, isolated and enlarged, in abstract beauty. Her compelling work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide and is a must for the modern collector.

Antonia Walker, whose works are represented in many collections including the Arts-in-Embassy Program of The State Department, has been a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome. She has studied under Spanish Sculptor Benjamin Saul as well as Brittany, France-based artist William Woodward. Antonia is most well known for her oil paintings of the Virginia countryside and images of Italy and France.

Artist Henry Wingate’s first career was flying airplanes for the Navy. Wingate is best known for his classic oil portraits and his traditional representational works of art, approaches he studied in ateliers, or working studios. An award winning artist, Wingate has been featured in American Artist and Portrait Highlights magazines.
Also included in the auction are handcrafted, reclaimed wood furniture from the designers at Plank & Nickel. Two beautiful live-edge modern benches will be among the offerings.

The public is invited to this open event. Barrel Oak Winery will be providing wine to bidders and guests alike. Delicious hors d’oeuvres from Julien’s on Washington Street will add a touch of French cuisine.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with these talented artists,” explained BethAnn Slater, Head of School of Middleburg Montessori. “Ultimately, we are all coming together to benefit the children in our community.”

For more information about the event, or to become a donor, please contact Middleburg Montessori School at 540-687-5210.

WHAT: Art Auction and Reception, “ART OF THE PIEDMONT”
WHERE: Middleburg Community Center, 300 Washington St. Middleburg, VA
WHEN: Friday, February 24th, 2012 at 5:30-9:30PM (Free to the public)
WHO: Hosted by Middleburg Montessori School. Contact: 540-687-5210

Sunday, February 05, 2012

For the big game

For the last two days I've been cooking "Ropa Vieja" in the slow cooker. This is my favorite Cuban dish and it takes forever to cook properly, but when done right... OMG! You start with simply a few chunks of skirt steak, tomato sauce, onions, fresh garlic, and a few key spices and two days or so in the slow cooker.

Since it is the Super Bowl, I also made my own salsa, and not to brag, but seeing that salsa is NOT a Cuban dish to start with, I think I've put my own tag on this most Mexican of foods and may have even put my Mexican compadres to shame; let's just say that garlic and cilantro to an overwhelming state can never go wrong - and then crush some mango into that puppy and Mmmmm...

Now let's hope that the Giants kick some rump.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Chawky Frenn Opening at BlackRock

Port side wall at BlackRock

Prof. Chawky Frenn at BlackRock Arts Center

Starboard side wall at BlackRock

Tonight: Chawky Frenn at BlackRock

I have always thought that the BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, MD has one of the most beautiful and dramatic gallery spaces in the region. With its impossibly tall gallery space, it opens itself to all kinds of great curatorial ideas.

And tonight, GMU Professor Chawky Frenn will be opening his "Be The Change You Seek" solo show. And if you know Frenn's past, then you can expect a show sure to raise some eyebrows. Frenn uses his vast technical skills as a painter like a weapon, aiming his talented brush at social, political and historical issues.

The opening is from 5:30 - 7:30PM. The show goes through Feb. 27.

BlackRock Center for the Arts is located at 12901 Town Commons Drive, Germantown, Maryland 20874. Call them at 301.528.2260 for more info.

See ya there!

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: Friday, March 9, 2012

The Bethesda Urban Partnership and Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District has announced “Tunnel Vision,” a public art exhibition to be hung in the Metro Tunnel that runs under Wisconsin Avenue in downtown Bethesda.

“Tunnel Vision” will showcase the work of 12 selected artists inside the Metro Tunnel. Interested artists are invited to submit up to 5 images of their work for review. Each artist will be paid $500 for the license to use their image. If selected, artists will need to provide a high resolution file for the image of their artwork to be printed on a poly metal material, size 4' high x 8' wide. Artists are encouraged to submit artwork that can easily be sized to 4’ x 8’.

Artists must be residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. to be eligible for consideration. There is a category for young artists, age 14-17, to apply. The deadline for submitting images for review is Friday, March 9, 2012. Interested artists should visit this website for more information and the application for consideration.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Heard on Univision

The Mexican Minister of Health, Salomón Chertorivski, has announced that the Mexican government has invented a vaccine to prevent heroin addiction.

Details here, in case you think that I'm messing with you.

Torpedo Factory Art Center Visiting Artist Program

Deadline: February 15, 2012. 



The Torpedo Factory Art Center invites emerging and experienced artists to apply for one, two, or three-month residencies between June 1 and August 31, 2012.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia is home to more than 140 visual artists working in 82 studios. Artists create in a wide variety of media including painting, fiber, jewelry, ceramics, printmaking, and sculpture. The Torpedo Factory is open to the public every day; visitors are invited and welcomed into studios to watch artists at work.

Visiting Artists will be provided with studio space and will be able to display and sell original work. The projects undertaken for this self-directed, creative residency must be compatible with available working studio spaces and facilities.

Finalists will be selected by Paula Amt, owner of gallery plan b. There is no application fee. 
You can download the Prospectus from this website.

Spidey is an issue

So far, for my naked Superheroes series of drawings I've depicted the Man of Steel about a dozen times, Batman (and Batman and Robin) 2-3 times, and Supergirl about 6-7 times.

Next is Spiderman, although I am having a hard time visualizing the drawing. It is easy to conceptualize Superman or Supergirl flying in the buff, but why would Peter Parker be climbing the facade of a building in the buff, and somehow still be wearing a mask or somethings that identifies him as Spidey?

The agonies of a brilliant mind...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Maryland Art Place names new Executive Director

Maryland Art Place (MAP) has announced the hiring of Amy Cavanaugh Royce as its new Executive Director. I also know that she is one helluva good cellist!

In her former position as Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of the ARCH Development Corporation in Washington, D.C., Ms. Royce spearheaded the development of four cultural facilities, which now operate as the cultural arm of ARCH organization.

She also co-founded and operated a state-of-the-art contemporary exhibition space, Honfleur Gallery.

John James Anderson and Susan Stacks at Adah Rose Gallery

Adah Rose Gallery (3766 Howard Ave Kensington Md, 20895, www.adahrosegallery.com is a relative newcomer to the DMV art scene, but under the experienced guidance of Adah Rose, it seems to have hit the deck running.

“The Pleasures Here Are Well Known” - work by John James Anderson and Susan Stacks - is their next show, with an opening reception, on Saturday February 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m. (also music by Walker Road).

John James AndersonThe printed word and the acquisition of language are the principal ideas in the work of John James Anderson. His first series, “Building Blocks,” adopts the playful vocabulary of pop art with familiar logos and graphics which require reading through a lens that is both nostalgic and cerebral. Mr. Anderson creates a graphic alphabet from the eye-catching lettering of soda cans, candy wrappers and cereal boxes. In his second series, “Out of Print,” language and the evolution of our collective literacy is also explored, this time in the decline of print journalism. Mr. Anderson collected the front pages of national newspapers and carefully erased portions of their content, resulting in graphic and poetic musings on the fate of mass communication.

... Beginning with the unconsciousness of a doodle, but executed with the commitment of surgery, Susan Stacks creates drawings with pencil and pen that are artifacts of a meditative experience. These intricate and elegant works reference landscapes, microscopic forms, and cartography. As Ms. Stacks draws, a twist becomes a tug, a dash a dot. Her influences are as varied as novels, mythological figures, plant and bacterial life, rock stars and vending machines. She refers to her drawings as emotional maps, parasites, friends, and penance.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Artguardian

(Via/Thanks!)

There are an estimated 150 million works of art in the market today – in museums, public spaces and in the holdings of private collectors. Not only because of their material value, but also because of their intangible value they deserve to be handled carefully. However, neither artists nor museums or collectors want to protect artwork from detrimental influences by keeping it in a climate-controlled safe. Art needs the public.

By combining modern technologies from the fields of microelectronics, building physics and information technology, three Fraunhofer Institutes and their partners have now developed a solution that meets the challenges that arise: "Artguardian consists of four sensors invisibly attached to the work of art; they register temperatures, humidity, lighting conditions and any bumps or movements", observes Dr. Stephan Guttowski from the Fraunhofer Institute for Reliability and Microintegration IZM in Berlin." It forwards data at regular intervals to a base station located near the work."
Check it out here.

Google's new search by image function

I'm loving Google's new search by image capability. Now you can drop an image into the search box and it not only finds all "similar" images around the Internets, but also all the websites where that image is being used.

Using that function, I've discovered that many of my drawings are being used all over the place without my permission, and I've only researched about a dozen or so pieces.

Victorious PictExample: "Victorious Pict" is a decade old drawing that was part of my Pictish Nation show at the old Georgetown Fraser Gallery.

After using the Google function, I've discovered that the drawing is in use by all these websites all over the planet.

Go play with it.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to rip off artists?

According to some of the artists whose work is being sold via this website, the fellow human from our northern neighbor who runs it is allegedly ripping off the artists in question, and despite repeated requests to remove their artwork from the site -- from the artists to the website owners -- it has all been apparently ignored.

For all that matters:

Registrant Name: Alex Munin
Registrant Organization: munin.co
Registrant Address1: 172 Vagan Rd.
Registrant City: Toronto
Registrant State/Province: ON
Registrant Postal Code: m6c3a4
Registrant Country: Canada
Registrant Country Code: CA
Registrant Phone Number: +1.6472284753

Lori Earley is one of the artists being allegedly ripped off. Lori's wondrous work has been exhibited in the DMV by the olde Fraser Gallery - decades ago now! Check it out here.

Anybody out there know anything about this? Mr. Munin? Want to respond? (I found his email address and sent him a request for comments).

Any other artists?

We have a possible Comemierda alert.

Update: Looks like the website in question has been taken down since last night!

Heard on Univision

I just heard that the Spanish language TV show Sabado Gigante, a variety show by Chilean-born TV host Mario Kreutzberger Blumenfeld - known to the Latin American television-watching world as Don Francisco - is celebrating its 50th year anniversary.

WOW!

Congrats Don Francisco!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Wanna come to my book signing?

100 Artists of Washington, DCThere will be a book signing for my 100 Artists of Washington, DC book on February 16 from 6:30 - 8:30PM at the gorgeous BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland.

Bring your own book (buy it at Amazon here) or get a copy from me at the Center (it will be cheaper at Amazon).

Many of the artists in the book will be there, so this is also a good opportunity to get your copy signed by them as well.

I will also be giving a talk about how this book came to be, and the selection process (an update) for the next two volumes.

BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive
Germantown, MD 20874

301.528.2260 (administrative offices)
301.528.2266 (fax)
info@blackrockcenter.org (e-mail)

See ya there!

Call for Artists: Bethesda Painting Awards

Deadline: Submissions must be received by Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the seventh annual Bethesda Painting Awards. Up to nine finalists will be selected to display their work in an exhibition during the month of June at Gallery B in downtown Bethesda, and the top four winners will receive $14,000 in prize monies.

Best in Show will be awarded $10,000; Second Place will be honored with $2,000 and Third Place will receive $1,000. Additionally, a “Young Artist” whose birthday is after February 24, 1982 may be awarded $1,000. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.

All original 2-D paintings including oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and mixed media will be accepted. The maximum dimensions should not exceed 60 inches in width or 84 inches in height. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibit.

Each artist must submit either 5 slides, application and a non-refundable fee of $25. Digital entries will be accepted on CD in JPG, GIF or PNG format.

For a complete application, please visit www.bethesda.org, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Bethesda Painting Awards
c/o Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Or call 301-215-6660 x117.

Mitt's Mexican Dad

"White House hopeful Mitt Romney rarely mentions a key fact as he works to woo Hispanics ahead of Tuesday's Republican presidential nominating contest in Florida -- his own Mexican heritage."
I mentioned this back in 2008, but read the more recent update to the story here.

And if we follow the silly definitions of "Hispanic" or "Latino", then Romney qualifies, since his father was born in a Latin American country, and could be the GOP's second "Hispanic" Presidential candidate!

Uh? Well... you see, since John McCain was actually born in Panama...

Makes my head hurt.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Emilio Sánchez

Without a lot of fanfare, the Smithsonian American Art Museum last year acquired a truckload of paintings by Cuban-born painter Emilio Sánchez, all donated to the SAAM by The Emilio Sánchez Foundation.

See and judge them here.

My favorite Smithsonian acquisition of 2011? So far these three by local DMV artist and metal wizard Chris Shea.

Sean Scully at SAAMThe ones that leave the least impression for me? These three gifts to the SAAM by Sean Scully.

Of course, a lot of that is informed by the fact that the SAAM probably wouldn't take any gifts of my own artwork, were I to offer it to them as a gift.

Just sayin' ...

Book Signing

100 Artists of Washington, DCThere will be a book signing for my 100 Artists of Washington, DC book on February 16 from 6:30 - 8:30PM at the gorgeous BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland.

Bring your own book (buy it at Amazon here) or get a copy from me at the Center (it will be cheaper at Amazon).

Many of the artists in the book will be there, so this is also a good opportunity to get your copy signed by them as well.

I will also be giving a talk about how this book came to be, and the selection process (an update) for the next two volumes.

BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive
Germantown, MD 20874

301.528.2260 (administrative offices)
301.528.2266 (fax)
info@blackrockcenter.org (e-mail)

See ya there!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Call for Artists: Bethesda Painting Awards

Deadline: Submissions must be received by Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the seventh annual Bethesda Painting Awards. Up to nine finalists will be selected to display their work in an exhibition during the month of June at Gallery B in downtown Bethesda, and the top four winners will receive $14,000 in prize monies.

Best in Show will be awarded $10,000; Second Place will be honored with $2,000 and Third Place will receive $1,000. Additionally, a “Young Artist” whose birthday is after February 24, 1982 may be awarded $1,000. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.

All original 2-D paintings including oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and mixed media will be accepted. The maximum dimensions should not exceed 60 inches in width or 84 inches in height. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibit.

Each artist must submit either 5 slides, application and a non-refundable fee of $25. Digital entries will be accepted on CD in JPG, GIF or PNG format.

For a complete application, please visit www.bethesda.org, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Bethesda Painting Awards
c/o Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Or call 301-215-6660 x117.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dennis Ritchie

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You just gotta read this...

Read it here and then read the comments.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Smithsonian Institution being investigated by Congress

The Committee on House Administration has initiated an investigation into trips to Cuba sponsored by the taxpayer-funded Smithsonian Institution as part of a cultural exchange program.

On Friday, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, praised House Administration Committee Chairman Rep. Dan Lungren (R-Calif.) for looking into the matter, which she publicly drew attention to earlier this month.
Read the article by Debbie Siegelbaum here.

Why is Ros-Lehtinen (who is Cuban-American) doing this? Read that here.

Margaret Bowland and the Stolen Painting - Part II

Remember the whole saga two years ago of how New Mexico art dealer Klaudia Marr allegedly conned the National Portrait Gallery to ship a painting by New York artist Margaret Bowland to a third party who apparently had paid Marr for the painting, even though, according to Bowland, Marr and Bowland had ended their relationship (and Bowland had earlier notified the NPG of this, and claims she has never received a penny from the painting's alleged sale).

Portrait of Kenyetta and Brianna by Margaret Bowland


Portrait of Kenyetta and Brianna, Oil on linen, 2008. 80 x 72 in. (203.2 x 182.9 cm) by Margaret Bowland

Read this article in the New York Daily News by John Mazulli about a law suit Bowland has filed against the NPG over the loss of her painting. I have obtained a copy of the complaint filed in Federal Court in Brooklyn and it is reproduced below:
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
_____________________________________
:MARGARET BOWLAND HARRIS,
:(A.K.A.) MARGARET BOWLAND,
:Case No : _____________
:Plaintiff,
:
:v.
:COMPLAINT
:PURSUANT TO THE FEDERAL TORT CLAIMS ACT 28 U.S.C. 1346(b) & 2671-2680
:Defendants.
:THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION &
THE NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY,
_____________________________________

Plaintiff, by and through counsel, alleges as follows:

PARTIES, JURISDICTION & VENUE

1. Margaret Bowland Harris (“the artist”) lives and has a studio in Kings County, Brooklyn, NY. The artist’s professional name, under which she shows her paintings and is known to the public is Margaret Bowland.
2. The National Portrait Gallery and its parent organization The Smithsonian Institution, both located in Washington, D. C. are two of the most prominent museums and cultural forces in the United States. Both organizations are a part of the United States government.
3. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter and venue is proper because the artist’s residence in Kings County, NY is within the
jurisdiction of this Court. 28 U.S.C. 1402(b) & 1346 (a).
4. The artist initiated her claim by filing a Standard Form 95
with the office of the General Counsel of the National Portrait Gallery on January 12, 2011. This date is within two years of the date of the incident or occurrences which form the basis of this claim.
5. The artist was notified on July`22, 2011 by the Office of the General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution that her claim had been denied.
6. All preconditions for an action based on the Federal Tort Claims Act having been established, the artist then timely filed this
Complaint.

THE PAINTING AND THE PORTRAIT COMPETITION

7. The artist created a painting in oils on canvas entitled “Portrait of Kenyetta and Brianna,” (“the painting”). The painting is approximately six feet six inches tall and six feet wide and depicts three life size female figures.
8. The painting was exhibited at the Klaudia Marr Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico from October 17, 2008 to November 29, 2008.
9. The Klaudia Marr Gallery was owned and operated by Klaudia Marr (“Marr”).
10. On or about November 15, 2008, the artist was notified that the painting had been selected for the Outwin Boocheever Portrait Competition at the National Portrait Gallery (“the NPG”) in Washington D. C.
11. The NPG sent a shipper to pick up the painting at the Klaudia Marr Gallery and deliver it to the NPG on or about November 29, 2008.
12. The artist signed an Incoming Loan Agreement (“the agreement”) dated November 29, 2008 with the NPG. The period of the loan was March 1, 2009 to October 1, 2010.
13. On February 26, 2009, in an email to both the artist and Marr, the NPG stated that Marr had acknowledged that the artist was the legal owner of the painting. Marr never objected to the statement by the NPG that the artist was the legal owner of the painting.
14. The exhibition of paintings from the NPG portrait competition (the exhibition”) opened on October 23, 2009 and ran almost one year, closing on August 29, 2010. The painting was named one of six finalists in the competition and at the end of the show was awarded “The People’s Choice Award.”

THE RETURN OF THE PAINTING

15. Under the terms of the agreement, the painting was to be released by the NPG at the end of the exhibition only to the lender (the artist) unless the NPG was timely notified otherwise in writing by the lender.
16. The artist never notified or authorized the NPG to release the
painting to anyone other than her.
17. Under the terms of the agreement, in case of any change in legal ownership of the painting during the period of the loan, the new owner shall give the NPG legal proof of such a change as soon as possible.
18. The NPG never received notice or legal proof that the ownership of the painting had changed from the artist to anyone else.
19. The credit line used by the NPG during the exhibition and in the catalogue of the exhibition was “From the collection of the artist.”
20. As the exhibition drew to a close, the NPG sent the artist two emails about returning the painting. These emails were sent to an email address that the artist had not used for over a year instead of to the email address the artist had been using for numerous emails between herself and the NPG during the past year. The artist did not receive the emails sent to the old address.
21. The NPG had the artist’s telephone number and street address but did not try to contact her through them. The artist never received any U. S. mail, overnight delivery service mail or telephone calls from the NPG about to whom the painting should be sent.
22. The NPG sent a “carbon copy” to Marr of its second email to the artist on August 27, 2010.
23. Not quite nine hours after the NPG cc’ed Marr with its email to the artist, Marr sent an email to the NPG directing that the painting be sent directly to her client, David Naylor of Santa Fe, New Mexico (Naylor).
24. Despite these facts: that during the exhibition the painting had been credited as being “From the collection of the artist;” that the artist had never authorized the NPG to send the painting to anybody but herself; that the NPG had never received any notice or proof that the painting had an owner other than the artist; and that, once the NPG attempted to confirm where the painting should be sent, the NPG had never contacted the artist by telephone, U. S or overnight mail or by the current email address in its possession, NPG shipped the painting to Naylor.
25. When the artist learned that Naylor had the painting, she contacted him several times in an attempt to either get the painting back or to receive payment for it. Naylor claimed to have already paid Marr for the painting, and to date he has neither returned the painting nor paid the artist anything for it.
26. Marr has never paid the artist anything for the painting.

FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
BREACH OF CONTRACT

27. By signing the Agreement, the NPG was contractually responsible for returning the painting to the artist.
28. The NPG was in breach of the Agreement when it shipped the painting to Naylor.
29. As a consequence of the NPG’s breach of contract, the artist has been deprived of a valuable work of art which lawfully belonged to her.

SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
NEGLIGENCE

31. The NPG owed the artist a duty of care to insure that the painting be returned to the proper person.

32. The NPG failed to take reasonable steps to insure that the painting was shipped to the proper person.
33. Failure to take reasonable steps to insure that the painting be returned to the proper person makes the NPG negligent in its duties to the artist.
34. As a result of the NPG’s negligence toward the artist, the artist has been damaged by being deprived of a valuable work of art which is lawfully hers.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff requests this Court to award compensatory damage of $100,000, against the United States of America, the Smithsonian Institute and the National Portrait Gallery and such other and further relief as appears reasonable.

Dated: January 19, 2012
New York, NY
Update: Read Court House News take on the issue here.

Update 2: Read an almost personal attack on Bowland by Julia Halperin in ArtInfo.com here

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Book Signing

100 Artists of Washington, DCThere will be a book signing for my 100 Artists of Washington, DC book on February 16 from 6:30 - 8:30PM at the gorgeous BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown, Maryland.

Bring your own book (buy it at Amazon here) or get a copy from me at the Center (it will be cheaper at Amazon).

Many of the artists in the book will be there, so this is also a good opportunity to get your copy signed by them as well.

I will also be giving a talk about how this book came to be, and the selection process (an update) for the next two volumes.

BlackRock Center for the Arts
12901 Town Commons Drive
Germantown, MD 20874

301.528.2260 (administrative offices)
301.528.2266 (fax)
info@blackrockcenter.org (e-mail)

See ya there!

Zhang Daqian Surpasses Picasso As Top Auction Earner

Chinese artist Zhang Daqian has knocked Picasso from a very high pedestal.

The artist generated $506.7 million from auctions in 2011 alone. Close behind the best-seller was another Chinese artist, Qi Baishi. Warhol was third ($324.8 million) and Picasso ($311.6 million) -- the former top seller -- took fourth. Another Chinese artist, Xu Beihong rounded out the top five with $212.9 million in sales.
Read the whole story here.

New book for 2012?

Just stirring to get a new art book out for 2012... all the stuff has to be done in 2-3 months in order to get a end of year publication.

For 100 Artists of Washington, DC I turned all the material into the publisher by August 2010, and yet the book didn't come out until April of the next year!

By the way, there will be a book signing on February 16, 2012 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m at the BlackRock Arts Center in Germantown.

Monday, January 23, 2012

This is how you do it!

As constant readers know, I often post and bust online art scammers on DC Art News. But now artist and anti art scam samurai Katie Moe has taken the blade directly to the ever growing business of scamming artists out of their artwork.

Her blog Stop Art Scams deserves constant visits.., visit her online here.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Wilmar Villar Mendoza: Another Hero Dies

On Thursday evening, Wilmar Villar Mendoza died pursuant to a 56-day hunger strike protesting his unjust imprisonment by the brutal and murderous Castro regime.

He was imprisoned on November 2, 2011, after participating in a peaceful demonstration calling for freedom, human rights and democracy.

Wilmar was charged with “contempt” and sentenced to four years in prison in a hearing that lasted less than an hour.

Here's a picture of Wilmar during the peaceful demonstration (the "crime" according to the Castro regime) that cost him his life.

The sign reads "No More Lies."

From Human Rights Watch:

Prison guards placed Villar Mendoza in solitary confinement after he initiated the hunger strike on November 25, his wife said. He told his wife he was stripped naked and placed in solitary confinement in a small, cold cell. The last time she was allowed to visit her husband was on December 29, she said.
Read that report here.

In an official statement, President Obama said:
President Obama’s thoughts and prayers are with the wife, family, and friends of Wilmar Villar, a young and courageous defender of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Cuba who launched a hunger strike to protest his incarceration and succumbed to pneumonia.

Villar’s senseless death highlights the ongoing repression of the Cuban people and the plight faced by brave individuals standing up for the universal rights of all Cubans. The United States will not waver in our support for the liberty of the Cuban people. We will remain steadfast in our outreach to the Cuban people through unlimited Cuban American family visits and remittances, purposeful travel, and humanitarian assistance to dissidents and their families in support of their legitimate desire to freely determine Cuba’s future.

Lucy, Desi and Fidel

Below are three shots of "Lucy, Desi and Fidel." Charcoal, conte, LCD screen and Powerpoint presentation on paper. 3.5 x 13 inches framed to 16 x 26 inches.

Lucy, Desi and Fidel

Lucy, Desi and Fidel. Charcoal, conte, LCD screen and Powerpoint presentation on paper. 3.5 x 13 inches framed to 16 x 26 inches

Lucy Ball, Desi Arnaz and Fidel Castro. Charcoal, conte, LCD screen and Powerpoint presentation on paper. 3.5 x 13 inches framed to 16 x 26 inches

Update:
This piece is now in the collection of a major art collector in Miami Beach, Florida!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Cody Calamaio on Jesse Cohen

The Gazette's Cody Calamaio has a very cool profile piece on even cooler and good bud Jesse Cohen, the founder, driver and soul of artdc.org, now with over 2,400 members.

Read the piece here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Drawing meet Powerpoint

Ricky discovers Lucy fooling around with Fidel Castro
A work in progress; the alternate Universe story so far:

We're sometime in the late 1950s, and late one night, Cuban actor and band leader Desi Arnaz, one half of the "I Love Lucy" TV super hit heads home to discover his wife, the gorgeous and talented Lucille Ball, in the arms of a fellow Cuban, soon to become an icon himself, if because of more brutal causes. In the background, a B&W TV set from the period plays scenes from "I Love Lucy."

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Artomatic Returns to Crystal City in 2012!

Wooo Hoo!

The DMV's most spectacular art energy generator,Artomatic, returns to Crystal City in 2012 for their unique, massive, liberal and most Democratic free arts event, to be held in the biggest Artomatic building ever, from May 18 - June 24.

Artomatic will partner with the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) to transform the Transwestern Presidential Tower at 2511 S. Clark St. in Crystal City into a vibrant arts community that celebrates creativity and creates a unique and exciting event for tens of thousands of visitors - all free to visit.

Registration information to exhibit work at Artomatic will be available soon. Meanwhile, check it all out here.

Bethesda Artist Market

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is looking for local and regional artists to display and sell their fine art and fine craft during the Bethesda Artist Market. This year’s Market will take place on three Saturdays this summer: June 9, July 14 and August 11.

· Each artist must submit five images of their work and one image of their booth.

· The images must be representative of the work the artist plans to exhibit at the Bethesda Artist Market.

· A non-refundable entry fee of $15 must accompany the application.

· A $50 booth fee will be required for each Market the artist attends, due after artist is accepted into the show.

Apply online here. If you would like a mail-in application, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to:

Valerie Hillman
Bethesda Urban Partnership
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Seminar Booked

On February 11, 2012 from 1-5pm, The Brentwood Arts Exchange and I will be once again hosting my well-known “Bootcamp for Artists” seminar at no cost to the artists.

As I predicted, the seminar is now fully booked. If you are still interested in signing up, contact them at 301-277-2863 / fax. 301-277-2865 / tty. 301-446-6802 and you'll be put on a waiting list.

Monday, January 16, 2012

If you love beauty

Then see this...

Arty Bollocks Generator

Just visit this for your instant "artist statement".

Gopnik on art prices

A pile of stools for $575,000. A cabinet full of surgical instruments for a cool $2.5 million. The global economy’s in a tailspin, but among the world’s elite collectors, works are selling for record prices.
Why Is Art So Damned Expensive? asks former WaPo art critic Blake Gopnik in Newsweek; read the Gopnikmeister here.

Call for Artists: Bethesda Painting Awards

Deadline: Submissions must be received by Friday, February 24, 2012

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is currently accepting applications for the seventh annual Bethesda Painting Awards. Up to nine finalists will be selected to display their work in an exhibition during the month of June at Gallery B in downtown Bethesda, and the top four winners will receive $14,000 in prize monies.

Best in Show will be awarded $10,000; Second Place will be honored with $2,000 and Third Place will receive $1,000. Additionally, a “Young Artist” whose birthday is after February 24, 1982 may be awarded $1,000. Artists must be 18 years of age or older and residents of Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.

All original 2-D paintings including oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, encaustic and mixed media will be accepted. The maximum dimensions should not exceed 60 inches in width or 84 inches in height. No reproductions. Artwork must have been completed within the last two years and must be available for the duration of the exhibit.

Each artist must submit either 5 slides, application and a non-refundable fee of $25. Digital entries will be accepted on CD in JPG, GIF or PNG format.

For a complete application, please visit www.bethesda.org, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to:

Bethesda Painting Awards
c/o Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District
7700 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814

Or call 301-215-6660 x117.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Cirenaica Moreira

Just had a wonderful few days with the amazing Cuban photographer Cirenaica Moreira (whom we represent), who was one of the invited guest photographers for the National Geographic Magazine prestigious annual Photography Seminar.

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

In addition to Cirenaica Moreira, the seminar included presentations by David LaChapelle with Robert Draper, Kitra Cahana, Gillian Laub, Paolo Pellegrin with Anthony Bannon, Robin Schwartz, and Anthony Suau of Facing Change.

This was Moreira's first ever trip to Washington, DC, although she has exhibited around the DMV widely (read Lou Jacobson's review in the Washington City Paper eight years ago here.

Moreira's discussion of her work, and the natural curiosity that people feel towards Cuba and all things Cuban elicited a lot of good questions from the audience, including several questions that someone who has to return to that brutal dictatorship simply cannot answer for fear of who may be in the audience. This is one gutsy and talented photographer; check out her photographs here.

Cirenaica Moreira

That's me in the center, with Cirenaica's husband Aurelio to my right and Cirenaica (who bears a striking resemblance to former WaPo art critic Jessica Dawson) to my left, and one of Moreira's photographs - part of the Campello collection - on the wall behind us

Armory Week

Help! Any DMV galleries or dealers that are doing any of the NYC art fairs during Armory Week: send me an email with details, as I have a national art magazine who wants me to write an article focused on DMV galleries in NYC during the fair week.

Deadline in a week: Hurry!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Viva La Revolución Big F-Up!

The company that manufactures Mercedes-Benz luxury cars unleashed outrage among Cuban-Americans in Miami and other cities on Thursday for using the image of Argentine revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara to promote their vehicles.
Read the whole story here.

Free Seminar for Artists

On February 11, 2012 from 1-5pm, The Brentwood Arts Exchange and I will be once again hosting my well-known “Bootcamp for Artists” seminar at no cost to the artists.

This seminar is suitable for all visual artists interested in taking their careers to the next level.

Ever wondered how to maximize the attention your work gets from the press, galleries, and museum curators? How to present your work in a professional manner and save money in the process? How to tap into grants, awards and residencies? How to approach a gallery?

Then this is the seminar for you! This program is free, but space is limited to 40 persons, and last year lots of artists were turned away because it filled up so quickly! You can sign online here.

This program will be held in MNCPPC’s Brentwood Arts Exchange on the 1st Floor of the Gateway Arts Center, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD 20722, just over the District line on Rhode Island Avenue.

See ya there!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Four free WPA Memberships

An anonymous donor is offering a free 1-year membership to Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) to four local artists in the DC/metro area. To receive further information or submit your request for consideration, please contact Carolina Salvador at poetsdaughter27@gmail.com.

This is a very generous offer. I have been a member of the WPA for decades and the WPA offers its artist-members some very valuable resources; if you are not already a member, I strongly recommend that you join it.

I hope over time this pledge idea will gain traction among members, donors and other supporters so that more and more artists may join WPA at no initial cost.

A UPI photo of the year!

Congrats to DMV area photog Colin Winterbottom, who if of course not only a highly talented photog, but also one of the artists in my 100 Artists of Washington, DC book, which as someone just unfortunately found out last night (when they needed an emergency copy for some odd reason) is not in stock at Kramers Books in Dupont Circle (what's up with that Kramers?).

Anyway, back on focus: Congrats to Colin, as United Press International has just selected one of his photographs as one of one of its News Photos of the Year for 2011.

Colin took the award winning photograph (I'll have it here later today) from the top of the Washington Monument while working under commission from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. and the photo was publicly released by the National Park Service in the fall.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Our Small Rooms

Two D.C. artists, Michele Banks and Kendall Nordin, whose work "focus on the delicacy and complexity of autonomic cellular processes: Banks through jewel-toned watercolors, and Nordin via a site-specific mixed-media installation" opened tonight at the gorgeous Open Gallery at the Cafritz Arts Center, Montgomery College, and I've already heard some good things about it.

The show goes through March 9, 2012 and the reception is Feb. 9; more details here.

Open Gallery
Cafritz Arts Center, Montgomery College
Hours: Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–4 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Location: The Open Gallery is on the ground floor of The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center located at 930 King Street on the west side of the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus. Parking is available in the West Garage, located immediately behind the center. For more information: Call 240-567-5821 or visit this website.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Calls for Entry: Experimental Media 2012

Interactive Installation Deadline: Friday, January 13, 5pm
Video Screening Deadline: Friday, February 10, 5pm

Curators: Max Kazemzadeh, Assistant Professor of Media Art & Technology, Gallaudet University and Jonah Brucker-Cohen, Assistant Professor at Parsons MFA in Design and Technology and Parsons School of Art, Design, History, and Theory.

Washington Project for the Arts is currently accepting submissions for two open calls as part of Experimental Media 2012. Consisting of an exhibition of interactive installation works, a video screening program, and a series of workshops, Experimental Media 2012 will explore recent developments in the field of art and technology, including the growth of open source software and hardware, the emergence of grassroots do-it-yourself hacker communities, and the increasing ubiquity of networked devices in daily life. While highlighting the creative potential of this new technology, Experimental Media 2012 also seeks projects that explore the broader social and cultural implications of these rapid changes.

Experimental Media 2012: Exhibition Component

Exhibition Dates: April 12 - May 20, 2012
Location: Artisphere, 1101 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA, 22209
Submission Deadline: Friday, January 13, 5pm
Download the full call here
Submit Online here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

AU opens 2012 season

The American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center will open its 2012 season on Saturday, January 28, with four new exhibitions, including Anil Revri: Faith and Liberation through Abstraction, an exhibition of introspective works by artist Anil Revri, a native of New Delhi, India.

Revri, an alumnus of Washington’s Corcoran College of Art and Design, constructs his paintings on a grid, and the repetition of finely detailed geometric elements offers viewers numerous optical rewards. But these are also contemporary spiritual paintings analogous in their functions to Tantric Art, and its distant relation the Byzantine icon.

Byzantine icons were thought to be windows into heaven. Through the icon, the viewer could know God and experience the miraculous. It was expected the Byzantine iconographer would lead a life of prayer, meditation, and fasting. For Revri, too, as a Tantric Artist, painting is a spiritual act, an act requiring discipline and devotion.

“They are beautiful, their craft is breathtaking, but their success depends on whether they further us, and the artist, along in the process of enlightenment,” said Jack Rasmussen, director and curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center.

The exhibition is sponsored by the Indian Embassy.

In addition to Anil Revri: Faith and Liberation through Abstraction, three other exhibitions will open January 28 at the American University Museum — Gabarrón’s Roots, Raoul Middleman: City Limits, and Regaining our Faculties: Zoë Charlton, Tim Doud, Deborah Kahn, and Luis Manuel Cravo Silva.
Anil Revri: Faith and Liberation through Abstraction and Gabarrón’s Roots close Sunday, April 15.

Raoul Middleman: City Limits and Regaining our Faculties: Zoë Charlton, Tim Doud, Deborah Kahn, and Luis Manuel Cravo Silva close Sunday, March 18.

Monday, January 09, 2012

(dis)figure

Jessika Dené Tarr
(dis)figure
Jan 13, 2012 - Opening Reception 6pm - 9pm

Curated by Jacqueline Hoysted, this exhibition showcases thirty-four new works on paper by Jessika Dené Tarr. Each piece explores the human figure by presenting ideas about its invention and reinterpretation.

CountDown Artspace
4526 Cheltenham Drive
Bethesda MD 20814

Jessika Dené Tarr

Nome is frozen!

...and the Coast Guard has ice breaker issues... read the NYT story here.

World’s first Art Decathlon to be at DC Arts Center


Four artists compete in 10 categories to claim the title of best artist.

If the best all-around athlete is one who most efficiently balances speed, strength, technique, and endurance, then what defines the best all-around artist?

This good-natured competition sparks the debate around the issue of what it means to be the best all-around artist, challenges individuals to try their hand at new disciplines, and gives exposure to artists who embrace working in various media.

In the spring of 2011 DCAC posted an open call for individual artists in the DC metropolitan area to submit proposals that explore the significance of what “unspecialized” means to being a working artist today. Artists were told they had to “compete” in ten artistic areas: Textiles/fiber art, Painting, Drawing, Video, Printmaking, Photography, Collage, Sound, Conceptual Art, and Sculpture.

Applicants from diverse backgrounds were narrowed by DCAC’s Visual Arts Committee to four semi-finalists: Shanthi Chandrasekar, Lee Gainer, Lisa Rosenstein, and Mary Woodall. During the six-month run-up to the exhibition, designated commentators Buck Downs, Patrick McDonough, Karen Joan Topping , Hays Holladay and Ryan Holladay, covered the progress of the decathletes on a blog as the artists created work for the show, with each commentator being assigned an artist to visit once a month. Shanthi Chandrasekar likened her experience to "learning to drive on the expressway" and Lisa Rosenstein states "this competition has changed the way I look at my whole working process."

The opening reception for The DCAC Art Decathlon will take place on Friday January 13, from 7:00 – 9:00 and will culminate in an artist’s talk and awards ceremony on Sunday, February 5 at 5:00.

The work of all the semi-finalists will be on view at DCAC from January 13 to February 5, during which time it will be viewed and judged by an eight-person panel including George Hemphill, Andrea Pollan and Vivian Lassman. Two discussion panels will be held during the exhibition, one focused on the relationship of athletic competition and a second on art and the creative process for the four finalists. Dates to be determined.
Follow the decathletes and their progress at dcacdecathlon.wordpress.com.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Great lecture and discussion

Yesterday's talk and discussion by the very talented Magda Campos-Pons at the National Museum of African Art was amazing!

And it was really well-attended.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Go to this today...

This Saturday, January 7, at 2 pm in Mezzanine, Sublevel 1 of the National Museum of African Art: The human hurricane known as María Magdalena Campos-Pons!!!

Cuban-born American artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons discusses her work of the last 20 years, focusing on the installation art, performative photography, and cultural activism that have gained her international recognition. Art historian Steven Nelson (University of California at Los Angeles) joins the artist in a conversation about her family history in Nigeria, Cuba, and Boston and its influence on her poignant artworks. This program is free, spread the word!!!

Image: still from "Not just Another Day", 1999, Version #2, silent video projection, María Magdalena Campos-Pons.
My 2008 studio visit with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons can be read online here. Read it and prepare to be impressed by this dynamo of an artist.

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

Friday, January 06, 2012

SELECT: WPA 2012 Art Auction Gala


SELECT: WPA 2012 Art Auction Gala - March 3, 6:30pm - 11:30pm

Don't miss your opportunity to purchase original works of art by top talents and support the work of Washington's premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting artists and presenting the best in contemporary art!

New location: 1800 L Street NW, DC (Special Thanks to Somerset Partners)

Click Below To Purchase Gala Tickets Online

Individual Patrons

Corporate Patrons

For More Information or to Purchase by Phone or Email

Contact Christopher Cunetto at ccunetto@wpadc.org or 202-234-7103 x 5

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Still damaged

A 36-year-old woman was accused of causing $10,000 worth of damage to a painting by the late abstract expressionist artist Clyfford Still, a work valued at more than $30 million, authorities said on Wednesday.
Read the whole story here.

US Rep. Ros-Lehtinen on the SI

U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (and who is a Cuban-American), made the following statement on the Smithsonian Institution’s upcoming trips to Cuba under a so-called People-to-People Cultural Exchange Program:

“The Smithsonian's 10-day trips to Cuba will amount to little more than a tropical vacation. Americans participating in these trips will not see the brutal reality of the Castro dictatorship. They will not be visiting run down hospitals where sick Cubans have to bring their own bed sheets and medications, nor will they have the opportunity to sit in a court room where peaceful pro-democracy advocates are sentenced because due process and a real judicial system are non-existent.

The nature of the Smithsonian's upcoming trips to Cuba becomes clear merely by looking at the ad promoting it. The ad fails to mention that Cuba is a state-sponsor of terrorism or that Castro's thugs repeatedly and routinely beat and harass the innocent Ladies in White while they peacefully march down a street. It does not mention that an American citizen is being held hostage by the regime simply for seeking to lift the veil of censorship that the dictatorship imposes on the Cuban people.

Americans will not be able to interact with a typical Cuban family as they conduct their daily desperate search for food, stop by a dormant newspaper's office that no longer operates because there is no freedom of the press, or visit the ever-growing prisons where countless political prisoners languish in their cells for exercising freedom of expression. These are the real cultural experiences in Cuba. Instead, these tourists will experience a false depiction of Cuba through a biased and censored 'tour' of the island.

It is deeply disappointing that the Smithsonian Institute, primarily funded by American taxpayers, is facilitating access to U.S. dollars, which enables the Castro regime to make a hefty profit. The trips not only illustrate a blatant disregard for human rights conditions on the island by an entity that receives U.S. government funding, but provide the deplorable Havana tyranny a sense of legitimacy.
Why is this US Rep. doing this? Not that you'd ever see this on American television, which for some reason focused a lot of time and effort on the uprisings in Egypt, Libya and Syria... but chooses to ignore the ever-growing uprising, led by Cuban women, going on 90 miles south of Florida.

Witness this (Via):
This week, female pro-democracy leaders took to the streets of the central Cuban town of Santa Clara to demand the release of their colleague, Ivonne Malleza, who remains imprisoned without charges since November 30th.

As a result, they too were arrested, albeit for short term.

Here's the disturbing testimony of their arrest:

Idania Yánez Contreras described her time behind the bars as "horrible." According to the dissident, in her cell "the guards, under the orders of State Security, were screaming obscenities at us" and even threatened with raping the women. Yanez denounced that one of the obscene threats she has not been able to forget was that "they began to tell me 'I am going to sleep with Idania because she has the largest ass.'" She added that the guards were "raffling" the women amongst themselves, choosing which one they would rape.

Meanwhile, Damaris Moya also suffered verbal and physical attacks. "I was treated horrible under the orders of Captains Andro, Yuniel Monteagudo and another by the last name Gil," denounced the co-president of the Central Opposition Coalition, adding that the initial violence occurred in front of her young son who is only 13 months old. "He was desperately screaming in the arms of his grandmother while the agents were applying martial arts immobilization locks on me. And that’s how they dragged me to the police vehicle and later to the detention center." In the case of her husband, Yanoisi, he was beaten and "choked and he now has his face swollen... they also punched him on the stomach and in the testicles."

The same official - Yuniel Monteagudo - was also responsible for the brutality against Antunez, even while he was detained in the back seat of a police vehicle. "That official told one of the Rapid Response agents: ‘punish him during the entire trip,'" explained Antunez, "and then they started to punch me the entire way. While he was hitting me he was saying 'piece of shit [N-word], scream 'Fidel Lives.'" The dissident responded with the contrary. "I started to scream 'Down with Fidel,'" amid even more blows, "and that’s how the entire trip was until we reached the police unit of Santa Clara." The blows against Garcia Antunez resulted in numerous swellings on his head, and he is currently suffering from dizziness and lack of vision in his left eye, where he was also hit.

However, the dissident affirmed that although 2012 began with lots of violence against the peaceful Resistance, something positive was that during one of the marches in demand for freedom of those who were detained on that morning, "neighbors of Santa Clara were also fed up with the violence and joined the protest…they would scream 'abusers,' 'hunger and misery' and some of these citizens were even arrested." Antunez, like Idania Yanez and Damaris Moya also affirmed that they would not give in or give up in the face of the terror that the Cuban dictatorship tries to impose on its people. "Despite the beatings," assures Antunez, "I feel satisfied and convinced that now, more than ever, we are witnessing the final days of the tyranny." The dissident classified 2012 as a year of "importance" for the Cuban Resistance.

Damaris Moya also sent out a direct message to dictator Raul Castro. "If the supposed measures which Castro was enforcing are just to massacre us, well then we will be massacred because we are going to continue with our marches demanding food for the people, demanding justice and always out on the street." Idania Yanez echoed this same attitude: "Here we are, and we are going to continue with our actions."
Notice how the N-word was used against one of the Afro-Cubans while he was being beaten... another example of the mostly ignored racist nature of Castro's Workers Paradise.

For what it's worth, I've got a feeling that 2012 is the end of the reign of the longest-lasting dictatorship in the world, and in that end, it will be courageous Cuban women who will drive a stake through the heart of the Castro vampires and their enforcers.

Free Bootcamp for Artists Seminar

On February 11, 2012 from 1-5pm, The Brentwood Arts Exchange and I will be once again hosting my well-known “Bootcamp for Artists” seminar at no cost to the artists.

This seminar is suitable for all visual artists interested in taking their careers to the next level.

Ever wondered how to maximize the attention your work gets from the press, galleries, and museum curators? How to present your work in a professional manner and save money in the process? How to tap into grants, awards and residencies? How to approach a gallery?

Then this is the seminar for you! This program is free, but space is limited to 40 persons, and last year lots of artists were turned away because it filled up so quickly! You can sign online here.

This program will be held in MNCPPC’s Brentwood Arts Exchange on the 1st Floor of the Gateway Arts Center, 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD 20722, just over the District line on Rhode Island Avenue.

See ya there!

For your Saturday: Do this!

This Saturday, January 7, at 2 pm in Mezzanine, Sublevel 1 of the National Museum of African Art: María Magdalena Campos-Pons!!!

Cuban-born American artist Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons discusses her work of the last 20 years, focusing on the installation art, performative photography, and cultural activism that have gained her international recognition. Art historian Steven Nelson (University of California at Los Angeles) joins the artist in a conversation about her family history in Nigeria, Cuba, and Boston and its influence on her poignant artworks. This program is free, spread the word!!!

Image: still from "Not just Another Day", 1999, Version #2, silent video projection, María Magdalena Campos-Pons.
My 2008 studio visit with Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons can be read online here. Read it and prepare to be impressed by this dynamo of an artist.

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

GRACE gets a new Director

The Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) is pleased to announce leading arts advocate and administrator Damian Sinclair has been named the new Executive Director of GRACE effective February 6. Sinclair will replace President and CEO John Alciati who will retire after a six year tenure. Alciati will rejoin GRACE’s Board of Directors where he had served prior to his appointment to his executive position.

Sinclair, 34, was the Arts & Events Director of the Reston Community Center in Reston, Virginia since 2008. Before that, he served as the Director of Development at Arena Stage in Washington DC. Prior to Arena, Sinclair was the Executive Director and brainchild behind the region’s recognized Capital Fringe Festival, creating and growing the event into one of the largest and most exciting annual cultural art offerings in the Washington DC region.

"Under Alciati’s leadership, GRACE and its highly rated Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival are recognized for bringing high caliber arts programming to the region,” said GRACE’s Board Chair Holli Ploog. “Damian has the experience and skills to maintain this momentum. His experience, coupled with his passion and enthusiasm for GRACE will help guide the organization to the next level, focusing on the importance of arts within communities, expanding our reach and increasing our brand identity.”

"I am excited to come to GRACE," said Sinclair. "This organization is poised to make a major cultural impact on Reston and the Greater DC Region. The coming of METRO to the area and the potential growth of our community means that GRACE will need to meet the artistic and cultural needs of a larger and more diverse audience. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to drive that process."

As the Arts & Events Director of the Reston Community Center, Sinclair programmed a Professional Touring Artist Series, expanded artistic outreach into Reston area schools and the greater community, and helped provide performing elements for many of Reston’s annual festivals. He designed an exciting and innovative performance component for GRACE’s Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival which helped raise the profile of the already successful event.

As Director of Development at Arena Stage, Sinclair served as a major gifts officer and a leader in the organization responsible in part for an annual budget of $3.3 million and a capital campaign of $125 million. He was part of the team that helped guide the organization through a nomadic transition that saw it depart its longtime home in Washington, DC to take up temporary residence in Crystal City, VA.

As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Capital Fringe Festival, Sinclair built an organization from scratch that in its first year featured over 100 performing artists (in theater, dance, music, puppetry, and experimental art) presenting over 400 performances in more than 30 venues over 10 days. In his role at Fringe' Sinclair was selected by Washingtonian Magazine as one of its 2006 People Who Made a Mark on DC and Capital Fringe was awarded the 2007 DC Mayors Arts Award for Innovation in the Arts and the 2007 Momentum Award from the Downtown DC BID.

His career in the DC area began as the Director of Marketing for Woolly Mammoth Theater Company where he grew audience participation to record levels and helped move the organization into its new home at 7th& D Streets, NW. Sinclair moved to Reston, Virginia in 2003 with his wife after beginning his career in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania as the Director of Communications at The Wilma Theater and as Managing Director of the critically acclaimed and award winning experimental interdisciplinary ensemble, Pig Iron Theatre Company.
We send Damian our best wishes to continue to take GRACE forward!

Torpedo Factory Art Center Visiting Artist Program – Summer 2012

Deadline: February 15, 2012

Emerging and experienced artists are invited to apply for one, two, or three-month residencies between June 1 and August 31, 2012.

The Torpedo Factory Art Center (www.torpedofactory.org) in Alexandria Virginia is home to more than 140 visual artists working in 82 studios. Artists create in a wide variety of media including painting, fiber, jewelry, ceramics, printmaking, and sculpture. The Torpedo Factory is open to the public every day; visitors are invited and welcomed into studios to watch artists at work, ask questions, and purchase original art – allowing the public an opportunity to share in the excitement and fascination of the creative process.

The projects undertaken by Visiting Artists for this self-directed, creative residency must be compatible with available working studio spaces and facilities.

Visiting Artists will be provided with studio space and will be able to display and sell original work.

Finalists will be selected by juror Paula Amt, owner of gallery plan b in Washington DC.

There is no application fee.

Download the Prospectus and Application Form from www.torpedofactory.org/vap.

Send questions to: vap@torpedofactory.org. No telephone calls please.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Manon Cleary's Memorial

Manon's memorial is Friday, January 20, 2012, 6:30pm at the Arts Club of Washington. It is fitting that one of the DMV's greatest artists gets remembered at the District's most classical arts venue.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Last Supper for Dictators

As I've discussed before, about a decade ago I did a huge pen and ink drawing entitled "Last Supper for Dictators".

The piece was exhibited at one of my solos at the old Fraser Gallery in Georgetown, and subsequently sold to a New York collector via Sotheby's auction.

It depicted a last supper scene with the principals being Latin American dictators. Che Guevara was The Christ, Fidel Castro was Judas Iscariot, Evita Peron was The Magdalene, etc.

For 2012, once I resolve the electric and wattage issues associated with having 13 LCD screens all in one circuit, I am going to revisit that theme again, and this time the video (or Powerpoint) component of the drawing will amplify the presence of the dictators.

The original drawing from a few years back focused on Latin American dictators, and this second version will do the same; however, it will be slightly updated historically, as version one had some historic dictators in the piece, such as Haiti's Papa Duvalier, the Perons from Argentina, Fulgencio Batista from Cuba, etc.

The selection process is now open, and once again I plan to have Che Guevara as The Christ (he's a natural for it) and Fidel Castro as The Judas (also a natural for it, since it was Castro who had a hand in Guevara's betrayal in the Highlands of Bolivia).

Who else will make the tableau? Perhaps Hugo Chavez from Venezuela? The issue in "modernizing" the imagery is that Democracy - other than in Cuba and Venezuela - seems to have finally taken root in Latin America, and modern dictators are not as abundant as they once were.

Maybe I'll have to expand the search to include the entire world and add that new weird little fat guy from North Korea, and behind the scenes' dictators like Russia's Putin.

Any ideas?

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Happy New Year's... and on this date:

Pope Alexander VIRodrigo Llançol de Borja was born on 1 January 1431 in the town of Xàtiva in the Kingdom of Valencia, one of the component realms of the Crown of Aragon, in present-day Spain.

He would become not only one of the most controversial Popes of all time, but also the man who would seed the legend known as the Borgias!

His parents were Jofré Llançol i Escrivá and the Aragonese Isabel de Borja. His family name is written Llançol in Valencian and Lanzol in Spanish.

Rodrigo adopted his mother's family name of Borja in 1455 following the elevation to the papacy of his maternal uncle Alonso de Borja as Calixtus III, the first Spanish-born Pope (and here you thought that until recent times all Popes were Italian!).

Even though for years Rodrigo was a Cardinal and eventually became Pope Alexander VI, he had multiple mistresses, and his children from one of them, Cesar (which was his name and how he signed documents, but known in Italian as Cesare) and Lucrezia, continued his seed and presence in a family destined to become one of western history's most nefarious names.

Via Alexander VI was known for his patronage of the arts, and in his days a new architectural era was initiated in Rome with the coming of Bramante. Raphael, Michelangelo and Pinturicchio all worked for him.[18] He commissioned Pinturicchio to lavishly paint a suite of rooms in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican, which are today known as the Borgia Apartment.

In addition to the arts, Alexander VI also encouraged the development of education. In 1495, he issued a papal bull at the request of William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, and King James IV of Scotland, founding King's College, Aberdeen. King's College now forms an integral element of the University of Aberdeen.

Alexander VI, allegedly a marrano according to papal rival Giuliano della Rovere, distinguished himself by his relatively benign treatment of Jews. After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, some 9,000 impoverished Iberian Jews arrived at the borders of the Papal States. Alexander welcomed them into Rome, declaring that they were "permitted to lead their life, free from interference from Christians, to continue in their own rites, to gain wealth, and to enjoy many other privileges." He similarly allowed the immigration of Jews expelled from Portugal in 1497 and from Provence in 1498.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Prayer

While you're hopefully enjoying welcoming 2012 at parties or with your loved ones tonight, please remember Cuban pro-democracy leader Ivonne Malleza Galano, who is currently on a hunger strike in a punishment cell of the infamous maximum security prison of Manto Negro.

Throughout 2011, Malleza, a member of the Ladies in White, has led a series of peaceful protests in Havana parks that have been met with great popular support.

That led the criminal Castro regime to brutally arrest her on November 30th (here's a video of the protest and arrest).

Also arrested (and still in prison) was her husband Ignacio Martinez Moreno and fellow activist Isabel Hayde Alvarez Mosquera.

Consider dedicating your New Year's prayer and wish to Ivonne's release and to the freedom of all the Cubans who have been now brutalized for over five decades.

Friday, December 30, 2011

DC in American Contemporary Art Magazine

The current issue of American Contemporary Art magazine has a focus piece on DC area shows and discusses the recent FALL SOLOS 2011 at the Arlington Arts Center, Percy Martin's solo show at Parish Gallery in Georgetown, and Frederick's version of Art-O-Matic.

Read it online here; starts in page 16.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Congrats!

To my good buds and DMV uberartists Tim Tate & Michael Janis - each one of them has been named as recipients of Fulbright Scholarships. This March, both of them will be heading over to the University Of Sunderland and to the Institute for International Research in Glass (IIRG) in the United Kingdom. Janis is represented locally by Maurine Littleton and Tate by several galleries.

Also congrats to the very talented Jason Horowitz, who just won a Franz and Virginia Bader Fund grant of $15,000 for his impressive photographic works. He is represented locally by Curator's Office.