Thursday, January 14, 2016

Cuba in Jail

For TBT: "Isla Prision (Prison Island)", c. 1978, charcoal on paper, done while a student at the University of Washington School of Art, where I studied art from 1977-1981.

"Isla Prision (Prison Island)"By F. Lennox Campello
c. 1978, Charcoal on paper
In a private collection in New Jersey

Asshole of the Week: Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association has banned high school students from chanting certain words and phrases at basketball games, and none of them are remotely close to being hurtful or inappropriate.
The generation of the easily offended strikes again! Details here.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wanna go to an opening this Friday?

Wash: New Paintings by Greg Minah
January 15 - February 14, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, January 15th, 7-9 P.M.
(Please RSVP at the Facebook Event Page and feel free to share and invite others!)

Gibbs Street Gallery
155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD  20850 

Artist residency by the sea

It's time to apply for the Goetemann Artist Residency. Selected Artists
will spend a month in a beautiful harbor-front live-work space In The Rocky Neck Artists Colony, Gloucester, Ma.

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Wake effect" - more empirical data

If you don't know what the art fair "wake effect" is, then read this.

Latest wake effect is the sale of the below piece to a Philadelphia collector who saw it at Context Art Miami last December and then followed up with the gallery a few days ago and purchased it.

Portnoy's Complaint (From the Written on the Body Series) by F. Lennox Campello. Charcoal and Conte on Paper. 2014. 11x13 inches. Matted and framed to 16x20 inches
"Portnoy's Complaint" (From the Written on the Body Series) 
by F. Lennox Campello
Charcoal and Conte on Paper
2014. 11x13 inches. Matted and framed to 16x20 inches
In a private collection in Philadelphia, PA

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The Batman Brooding

The Batman Brooding (Version II) 36x36, c. 2015 by F. Lennox Campello
The Batman Brooding (Version II)
By F. Lennox Campello
c. 2015, Charcoal on Paper, 12x36 inches
The Batman Brooding (Version II) 36x36, c. 2015 by F. Lennox Campello
The Batman Brooding (Version II)
By F. Lennox Campello
c. 2015, Charcoal on Paper, 36x36 inches

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Superhombre Flying Naked

This piece went to Miami for Context Art Miami last December and now lives in Canada.

Superhombre Flying Naked  36x36 inches - Charcoal on Paper  c. 2015 by F. Lennox Campello  In a private collection in Montreal, Canada
Superhombre Flying Naked
36x36 inches - Charcoal on Paper
c. 2015 by F. Lennox Campello
In a private collection in Montreal, Canada

Friday, January 08, 2016

The Pope on Art

 For Pope Francis, "a work of art is the strongest evidence that incarnation is possible." It is an idea expressed in his book "La Mia Idea Di Arte" (My Idea of Art), co-written with Italian journalist Tiziana Lupi.
Details here. 

Bethesda Art Walk is today

The first Bethesda Art Walk of 2016 will be held today Friday, Jan. 8, 2016. Stop by one of these local art spaces for new creative works in art + design.

Consider It Done
7806 Old Georgetown Road

Gallery B
7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E

The Lost Herd
4800 Auburn Avenue

Studio B
7475 Wisconsin Avenue, Lower Level

Union Hardware
7800 Wisconsin Avenue

Waverly Street Gallery
4600 East-West Highway

Thursday, January 07, 2016

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this mutant, trying the old rip off scheme:
From: Kenneth Jackson (
Sent: Thu 1/07/16 5:53 AM
Hi there,
I'm an art lover/collector and I'm collecting a few pieces to design the living room and stairway in my new house.I came across your artworks and I find them captivating. I would love to have some of your pieces. Let me know the pieces you have available including their sizes,materials and prices so I can make an order. You can also send me some pictures.

Wanna do some hands-on silkscreen printmaking?

January’s 2nd Thursday Art Night at
the Torpedo Factory Art Center
Thursday, January 14
6 – 9 pm

January 6, 2016 – Alexandria, Va. – The Torpedo Factory Art Center’s first 2nd Thursday Art Night of 2016, on Thursday, January 14, 6–9 pm, features live music, gallery openings, and an opportunity to experiment with printmaking.
·        6 – 9 pm: 
·        Four hands-on silkscreen stations will be located throughout the building to allow visitors to create a one-of-a-kind four-color print. Find the final station in the Alexandria Archaeology Museum (studio 327).
·        6 – 7 pm; 8 – 8:45 pm:
·        Cat Janice performs her original jazzy/alternative rock songs throughout the evening. 
·        7 pm:
·        Visitors are encouraged to bring in items to photocopy and experiment with Xerography in Target Gallery’s (studio 2) current exhibition, Printed Matter.
·        7:30 pm:
·        The Art League Gallery (studio 21) hosts openings for Muted, featuring works focused on subtlety, and the Solo Preview 2016, which offers a glimpse of the nine artists who will have solo shows this year. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

On the first anniversary

One year ago my father died... here's my eulogy from a year ago:
"Hoy se ha caido otro roble en la selva del amargo exilio" is how I always thought that my father's eulogy would begin once he died.

"Today another oak falls in the jungle of bitter exile," began the eulogy for the man whose bloodlines my children and I carry on.

Florencio Campello Alonso died today at age 90 in Miami, the heart of the bitter Cuban Diaspora. Like many Cubans of his generation, he was the son of European immigrants to Cuba. His Galician parents left the scraggy mountains of northern Spain's ancient Celtic kingdom and in the first decade of the 1900s migrated to the new nation of Cuba upon its liberation from Spain.

Galicians have always been uneasy subjects of the Spanish crown, stubbornly hanging on to their ancient Celtic traditions, to their own language and to their bagpipes, so it is no historical surprise that they left their mountain homelands en-masse and headed to the new tropical paradise of Cuba, free from the heavy hand of the Spanish monarchy.

And thus it was never a surprise to me that my father was both a fighter against heavy-handed rulers, a lover of freedom, and one who was never afraid to re-start a life for the better, even if it involved discarding the old.

My father could have been one of the privileged few who currently rule atop the food chain of Cuba's Workers' Paradise. But instead of accepting the benefits of oppression, this most valiant of men chose the harsh path of right over wrong.

And he paid for it dearly (he spent years in Concentration Camps), but when he died, his soul was clean.

In his youth, my dad worked the brutal hours of the son of an immigrant who was slowly building a small financial empire in eastern Cuba. My father was pulled from school as soon as he learned to read and write, and like his two other brothers and eight sisters, he was expected to work and contribute to building a familial empire.

And he did, as my mother relates the stories of my father's childhood in the fields of eastern Cuba, a blond creole in a land of jingoist natives... he trying to out-Cuban the "real Cubans"... how he organized a labor union of the exploited Haitians who worked almost as slaves at the Los Canos Sugar Mill, how he joined a group of bearded rebels in the mountains of the Sierra Maestra in the fight against a tyrant, how he ran for the leadership of the Sugar Workers' Union and beat the Communists to the post, and how he spent years in a Castro Concentration Camp, jailed for the crime of refusing to join the Party, because he believed in Democracy and not Communism.

And because of that stubbornness, in the 1960s he was offered the bitter pill of exile, and this brave man decided to choose family... and left his birth place, and thus became another immigrant within two familial generations and brought his wife and child to another new land.

And it is to him that I owe the greatest gift that a father can give a son: the opportunity to grow in freedom in the greatest nation in the history of this planet.

It is because of my father's courage that I was raised in this country and not in a land bloodied by brutality and oppression.

It is because of my father's teachings that I was raised with the conviction that freedom is not free and never to be taken for granted; after all, he fought for freedom and then Castro, the man who inspired the fight, ended up being a worse dictator, eventually destroying all notions of freedom for all of his people.

It is because of my father that I was taught that every citizen owes his nation some form of service, and that's the main reason that I signed (at age 17) to serve in the US Navy.

It is because of my father that I despise anyone who hides behind the mask of victimism to excuse failures and shortcomings.

When our family arrived in New York in the 1960s, my father began to work in a factory three days after he landed at the airport; my mother (who came from a privileged Cuban family and had never worked a day in her life) found a job as a seamstress five days later. That pattern was repeated for decades as they worked their way in a new nation.

"We thought we'd be back within a few years," was the answer given to me when I once asked the question about leaving their birthplace. When that didn't materialize, they became fierce Americans in the "United States of Americans" sense... these were the "America None Better!" set of immigrants, and in my Dad's case, you better be ready to fight if you dissed the USA.


Always a fighter he was... and always for the right reasons.

Cubans are archaic immigrants... we love this great nation because we recognize its singular and unique greatness; perhaps it is because our forebears had the same chance at greatness and blew it.

And my Dad loved this nation even more than he once loved Cuba... perhaps it is the genetic disposition of the serial immigrant. After all, his father had left his own ancient Celtic lands and kin for a new land... which he learned to love dearly.

My father always wanted to make sure that I knew that I was an "Americano" and not another forced-on label.

"Labels," he'd say, "are just a way to separate people."

By labels he meant "Hispanic" or "Latino" or anything with a "-" between two ethnic words.

I also remember as a kid in New York, when he bought a huge Hi-Fi record player-color-TV console... that thing was huge. He bought it "lay-away" and he'd pay $10 a week to the store and him and I would walk all the way from our house on Sackman Street to the store on Pitkin Avenue to make the payments every Saturday - he never missed a single payment, and that taught me a lesson.

It was soon playing my Dad's favorite music, which oddly enough was Mexican music (Cuban music was a close second)... and he knew all the words to every charro song.
Guadalajara en un llano, Mejico en una laguna...
Guadalajara en un llano, Mejico en una laguna...Me he de comer esa tunaMe he de comer esa tuna.... aunque me espine la mano.
That Jorge Negrete song... being shouted often on weekends at the top of his lungs from our apartment in a mostly Italian neighborhood in East New York in Brooklyn must have raised some eyebrows.

My dad and I watched Neil Armstrong land on the moon on that TV set... we also watched loads of Mets games... and in 1969 and 1972 went to Shea Stadium to see the Mets win in '69 and lose in '72. He really loved baseball and he really loved those Mets!

When I joined the Navy at age 17, my first duty station was USS SARATOGA, which at the time was stationed in Mayport in Florida, so my Dad decided to migrate south to Florida and moved to Miami... just to be close to me.

He and my mother spent the next 40 years in the same apartment while I was stationed all over the world.

When I visited him today in Miami, he looked good and freshly shaven... this is a good thing, as my father was a freak about hygiene... and that's a common "creole" trait.

The Hospice nurse almost teared up when I told her that my parents have been married for 60 years.

I looked at this old "gallego"... his skin as white as paper, his eyes as blue as the sky, and his head (once full of blond hair) as bald and shiny as the old Cuban sing song ("Mira la Luna, mira al Sol... mira la calva de ese.....") and I saw the generations of Neanderthals, Denisovans and Gallego Homo Sapiens that led to my bloodlines... the generations of fighters, of strugglers, and of tough guys who didn't take no for an answer and who made a better place for others. 

And I felt at peace and grateful.

And as my father died tonight, after an extubation,  all that I can think to say to him is "Thank you for your courage... from me, and from my children... and soon from their children. You opened a whole new world for them."

I love you Dad... Un Abrazo Fuerte! Thank you for your gifts to me and my children and it is no coincidence that you died on El Dia de Los Reyes.

The curious case of 2015

2015 was somewhat of a brutal year in some aspects... I am told that it is called a "Saturn Return."

It started with my father dying unexpectedly after visiting the hospital in Florida for stitches and subsequently contracting MRSA. That same January my mother in law also died - also from contracting MRSA during a routine Bethesda hospital stay. In one month Anderson lost two of his grandparents.

All throughout that month I had a broken wing, and in February I went through rotator cuff surgery. The recovery was brutal, and as a result, I spent most of the first half of 2015 unable to do any artwork!

The gallery participated in several fairs in 2015. We did both the Spring and Fall versions of The Affordable Art Fair in New York. We also, for the first time, participated in the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston, Texas and SOFA Chicago. In December, as we've been doing for about a decade now, we went to the big dance and did Context Art Miami for the third year in a row.

In June I went to Miami to rescue my 94 year-old-mother from the harpies "taking care of her" and then placed her back in her own apartment, under the care of loving hands. I am happy to report that she's healthy and happy!

In September I tore the MCL in my left knee (the operation awaits to 2016), and in November I got more bad medical news - all awaiting resolution in 2016.

But things can always be worse... right?

The curiosity of 2015 is that because of all of the above, my artwork production was the lowest that it has been in the last three decades - by far the lowest in terms of number of works created.

And yet, 2015 saw the largest number of sales of my own work... ever! And it also recorded the most significant price jump ever! The basic law of supply and demand seems to have made a presence in 2015; that's ECON 101.

Only problem: I'd rather do a thousand new works of art a year than a dozen; that's ARTBRAIN 101.

In 2015 I also added a collector from that sketchy "Top Art Collectors of the World" list; I think I now have work in five or six of those collections.

The piece that he acquired (at the 2015 Context fair) was a rather large (for me anyway) drawing. It was 36x36 inches. The day that he bought it last December, was rainy, and I double wrapped it and had it ready to walk out the fair's door.

"Can I pick it up outside tomorrow morning?", he asked. "I don't want to take it out in this rainy weather."

The next morning, as pre-arranged, I got there a little early and he called me on my cell. "I'm just a few minutes away," he noted. I responded that I'd wait for him outside the fair tent.

Once outside, he called again. He reported that traffic was bad (duh!), but that he was just a block away. "I'm in the black Jaguar SUV," he advised.

A few minutes later he pulled over and I helped him load the work into his SUV. "I didn't know that Jaguar made an SUV," I noted.

"They don't," he answered.

Cough, cough...

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Opportunities: GoggleWorks (not Google) Center for the Arts 2016 Juried Exhibition

Entry Deadline: FEBRUARY 29, 2016

The GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is a community art and cultural resource center for Berks County, Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania, and is the largest, most comprehensive interactive arts center of its kind in the country. The center is open daily, 11am-7pm, free of charge. The mission of GoggleWorks is "to nurture the arts, foster creativity, promote education and enrich the community." Free parking is available in the GoggleWorks parking lot, accessible from Second, Third or Walnut Streets. For more information, call the GoggleWorks at 610-374-4600 or visit 201 Washington St., Reading, PA, 19601 | GPS Address: 140 N. 3rd St., Reading, PA, 19601. 

GoggleWorks Center for the Arts 2016 Juried Exhibition

Click here for more information and to complete the 2016 application. 

 Entry Deadline: FEBRUARY 29, 2016.
Exhibit Dates: April 30 - June 5, 2016
Opening Reception: April 29, 2016 5:30-7:30pm
ELIGIBILITY: Open to all professional artists, ages 18 and up, who design and produce their own original work. Work must have been created within the last three years and may not have been previously shown at GoggleWorks. All work MUST BE FOR SALE. All media welcomed. Video artists must supply their own equipment.
AWARDS: There will be a juror's Grand Prize Award for best in show. This award winner will be featured in a solo show at GoggleWorks in 2017. There will be cash prizes awarded for first, second and third place.
JUROR:  Lydia Panas' photographs have been exhibited widely in the US and internationally. Her work has garnered many prestigious awards, been featured in periodicals such as the New York Times Magazine, Photo District News and Popular Photog­raphy and is held in numerous public and private collections including the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego among others. She has degrees from Boston College, School of Visual Arts and New York University/ In­ternational Center of Photography.  Panas is the recipient of a Whitney Museum Independent Study Fellowship. Her first monograph "The Mark of Abel" (Kehrer Verlag), was named a Photo District News Book of 2012, as well as a best coffee table book by the Daily Beast.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Opening this week

By JT Kirkland
One of the DMV's hardest working galleries, Adah Rose has a very special Vernissage on Saturday January 9.

My good bud J.T. Kirkland, and Brian Williams... 

Special musical guest James Wolf, violinist of The Orchid... join them for a super chouette evening of art, music and hipness.

The gallery, which represents DMV artists all over the nation at the top art fairs in the circuit, will be having this show at 1469 Studios - details here.

Sunday, January 03, 2016

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Vintage Campello at auction

Since several of you (mostly fellow Americans who were lucky enough to have spent part of our life in Scotland) have asked me about these Scottish watercolors... 

This one is on Ebay right now at a great price... 

These vintage pieces have been appraised for as much as $5000 (much larger pieces)... someone in Las Vegas is offering this one starting for under $200!

Best of Bethesda Magazine (redux)

I'm in broken record mode...

About two years ago, after going through the January 2014 issue (Best of Bethesda issue) of Bethesda Magazine, I started this trail:

1. Read this first.

2.Then I wrote this open letter to the magazine.

3. And then Bethesda Magazine's editor responded to my letter; read the response here.

To summarize, for decades now, I've been complaining about this beautiful magazine's lack of interest and coverage in their focus area's visual arts. 

If the magazine gave the visual arts 5% of the attention that it gives to restaurants, theatres, books, and even cinema, perhaps the area's always struggling, but once promising visual art scene, wouldn't have collapsed as it did a few years ago with the closure of nearly all of Bethesda's independently owned fine art galleries. 

I know, I know... probably from their internal research, the mag's staff believes that their readers probably could care less about their visual art scene... the magazine is giving its readers (and advertisers) what they want to read, blah, blah, blah.

The January 2016 Best of Bethesda issue magazine itself is beautiful, always offering a deep insight into the social, culinary, educational, political (there's a major piece in the current issue pretty much painting (no pun intended) a glowing portrait of Congressman Van Hollen, who is currently campaigning for a move up the Congressional food chain, and is running for Senator), etc. take of Bethesda, Maryland. From the article I learned that he's apparently never held a private industry job (other than part time summer jobs in college) in his life and has apparently always worked for politicians in government until he also became a career politician.

There are two tiny, peripheral mentions of the visual arts in this issue (none of them as part of the Best of), but they are glancing at best - but better than nothing, as it has been in the past. 

That's an improvement over last year!

In his response to my open letter about the magazine's track record of largely ignoring the area's visual arts, the magazine's editor wrote that we would be "seeing more coverage of the arts in Bethesda Magazine..." and that he also agreed with me "about the Best of Bethesda, and we will have at least one arts category in next year's issue."

Cough, cough... There has been some slight improvement, but I think that the magazine has a long way to go.

At the risk of repeating myself:

Here's a small slice of what the magazines' editors generally ignore, and because of their apathy towards the visual arts, what the magazine's readers are essentially missing:

- The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival is one of the highest ranked outdoor arts festivals in the nation and it is the highest ranked outdoor fine art show in all of Maryland. There are other significant outdoor art festivals in Bethesda Row and in Rockville. There was this coverage in 2015... as a listed event, not as a focus piece.

- The Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards (also known as The Trawick Prize in honor of Ms. Carol Trawick, a Bethesda supporter of the arts who sponsors the prize) is a visual art prize produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District that honors artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia. The annual juried competition awards $14,000 in prize monies to selected artists and features the work of the finalists in a group exhibition. It has been going on for over a decade and it produces an exhibition that is usually one of the highlights of the Greater DC area visual art calendar. The prize winners didn't even get a mention in 2015.

- The Bethesda Painting Awards is downtown Bethesda's annual juried art competition that exclusively honors painters from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. $14,000 in prize monies are awarded to the top four painters annually. It also produces an exhibition that is again one of the highlights of the Greater DC area visual art calendar. The prize winners didn't even get a mention in 2015.

I wish that the magazine could go back in time and cover the once struggling Bethesda art gallery scene, but in the last few years most Bethesda art galleries have closed their doors due to lack of sales or local interest. Closed are the physical spaces for Fraser Gallery, once the DC area's largest commercial art gallery. Gone are Orchard Gallery, Neptune Gallery, Discovery Gallery, Zenith Gallery, Heineman-Myers Contemporary, and several other galleries. Nonetheless, Waverly Gallery, Strathmore, VisArts, Gallery B, and others continue to offer monthly visual art shows that are routinely ignored by the magazine... other than for their calendar.

I understand that running a glossy magazine like this one depends on a tenuous relationship between its advertisers' ability to pay for full page ads, and thus try to reach the area's readers with disposable income. 

And I also know that art galleries generally do not have the financial ability to advertise in a glossy such as this beautiful magazine is, and thus a chicken and the egg syndrome exists from that angle.  

Unless the magazine has an "insider" who can see this, and thus champion the fact that exposing the visual arts to its readers should be an expected condiment to the magazine's final soup recipe, the problem/issue will never be solved, and as far as readers (and would be advertisers) can infer, the visual arts does not exist in the area.

Also repeating myself: What can Bethesda Magazine do to help to kindle awareness (and thus develop support) for the Bethesda visual art scene and Bethesda artists?

- Two or three visual art stories and/or reviews a year... stories or reviews, not social scene pieces.

- Two or three small highlights a year on Bethesda artists (like you do routinely for authors, and doctors, and chefs, etc.) - like this one, but with an art (rather than just social) approach.

- In each issue, highlight one piece of art that is being displayed somewhere in Bethesda; like the outdoor mural mentioned in the current issue, but do not just focus on public art: spread the wealth and highlight a piece hanging in one of the area's few remaining art spaces. It is curious that this particular mural received not one, not two, but three mentions in the magazine throughout the past year! In fact, from looking at this search, one easy way for an artist to get into the magazine is by creating a mural!

- And for the love of art, please create art a category dealing with the visual arts in your Best of Bethesda issues!

Friday, January 01, 2016

Happy 2016!

Here's a wish for a Happy New Year's wish to all planetary life, but especially to all my fellow veterans and all Americans on active duty; and to all of the men and women in our Armed Forces all over the planet, and who are away from their families and their nation on New Year's Day, with a special cyber hug to all my U.S. Navy brothers and sisters at sea - we've got your back!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

This March CHAL hosts its annual DC-metro area Open Call juried art exhibit based on the theme Appetite for Art. They are challenging all metro artists to interpret your art and food. 2-D and 3-D work will be accepted.

This year's jurors are Deidre Ehlen MC Williams, Public Art Project Manager and Stephen Cheung, owner of Fusion Grill and Lavagna.  They will select 30 pieces of artwork and select five for cash prizes. All artists, 18 years of age or older residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area are eligible to enter.

Deadline for submissions is Tuesday, February 16, 2016.

All awards will be presented at the opening reception and jurors’ talk on Saturday, March 5, 2016, 5–7 PM, with the jurors presenting their remarks at 6 PM.  

Please click HERE to see the full prospectus for this Open Call. 

The exhibit runs March 5 through April 15.