Friday, April 22, 2016

The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants to Washington

The Looking Glass: Artist Immigrants to Washington
June 18–August 14, 2016
Opening Reception: June 18, 6-8PM
Naul Oleja, Fleeing From the Storm, 1981
The Alper Initiative for Washington Art presents the work of ten artists who immigrated to Washington, DC from Latin America under duress during the past fifty years, found homes in Washington, and made or are making positive contributions to our artistic culture and quality of life.
The exhibition features work by artists:
Artists who left their homes in Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Mexico, and Uruguay.
American University Museum
Tel: 202-885-1300
Fax: 202-885-1140
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016
Admission Free
Parking Free (weekends)
Tue-Sun, 11:00-4:00
Fully Accessible

Thursday, April 21, 2016

The art of money

The recent decision to replace Andrew Jackson with Harriet Tubman, like nearly anything in the last few years, seems to have multiple political and social angles and views, depending on where your dogma lies.

The right wing should be rejoicing, as Tubman was a strong supporter of gun rights, and a vibrant activist for the Republican Party.  Jackson, on the other hand, was a Democrat.

As a result, essentially a Republican has replaced a Democrat on the twenty spot... not just any Democrat, but the founder of the Democratic Party!... cough, cough.

Personally, I'm more interested in the art angle aspect of this decision, hoping against all odds that the new Tubman $20 bill will be a bit more "artsy" than existing US money.

While the US dollar is the king of the hill when it comes to money, there's a vast chasm in art appeal in American money from many other countries.

Don't get me wrong, most countries have pretty boring bills, more often than not copying the style of the US dollar. Even the dirty, rotten Commies in Cuba use the "dollar style" here and there, such as in the case of the homophobic, racist, mass murderer Che Guevara three pesos bill:

And OK, the twenty Euro bill doesn't even look like money, but more like a coupon that you get in the mail or a ticket to a soccer game, or 20% discount at AC Moore's.

But before the Euro took over, European denominations were works of art in their diverse and colorful beauty. Check out the beautiful landscape in this Spanish 1000 peseta bill:

Or art!  See how Delacroix and the other figures look like rough drawing sketches from his Liberty Leading the People (La liberté guidant le people) 1830 painting?, not to mention bare tits, on this French 100 francs bill:

We will never see a woman's breasts on any American money - ever!

In Latin America, a few decades ago, most currency bills had the same style as the US dollar - but the introduction of technology to reduce fake bills also brought an opportunity to revamp their bills, and even to introduce women imagery - an interesting accomplishment in these macho societies. My favorite? Frida Kahlo in the Mexican 500 pesos bill. She's on the back, and her husband, the very ugly Diego Rivera, is on the front... cough, cough.

African countries also have gorgeous money, and plenty of females on their currency. Cameroon, in particular, has some beautiful women on their bills, although they seem to have an odd fixation with blue-eyed African women?

And then Costa Rica rocks the animal world with this super cool image of a Great White:

Or this beautiful butterfly:

But to get back on topic (boring US currency design), perhaps the new $20 bill could start by taking baby steps. How about if the image of Tubman breaks the usual compositional plane of the rectangular dollar note? Have Tubman really breaking out of the composition and leading American currency to new design heights?

Nearly all the suggested designs here are boring, although a few do take my suggestion and break the compositional plane.

This image below (via) begins to really re-composition US money, although it stands a snowball's chance in hell to ever be in any bill - but it has the artistic compositional elements that I visualize (breaking the plane of the rectangle).

Baby steps...

Opportunities for Artists

Artists Can Apply to Plein Air Festivals
Plein Air painting is a phrase borrowed from the French meaning "open air” and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors where an artist reproduces the visual conditions at the time of the painting. Maryland is home to a dozen Plein Air festivals. Below are upcoming opportunities for artists to participate:

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Campello at auction

This gorgeous framed 1999 limited edition print of mine just showed up for sale on the secondary market, and they're taking offers. Check it out here.

Limited Edition Print
Framed to 16x20 inches
c. 1999 by F. Lennox Campello

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Scary dude

Florencio Lennox Campello
Self Portrait, c. April 16, 2016

Monday, April 18, 2016

DCCAH Launches FY17 Arts and Humanities Grants

On Thursday, April 14, 2016, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH) launched its project and arts and humanities fellowship grant programs for funding in Fiscal Year 2017. Funding opportunities are available for District artists and humanities professionals and non-profit organizations.

"Public funding for the arts and humanities is an investment in our local artists and cultural organizations that actively support and grow our creative economy," said Arthur Espinoza, Jr., Executive Director of DCCAH. "These grant funds will help support a wide range of activities and programs for the benefit of District residents."

Applications for nine different grant programs are currently being accepted, with deadlines to apply beginning May 18, 2016. Grant applications are reviewed by independent panels of arts and humanities professionals and community members who make recommendations to the DCCAH Board of Commissioners.

DCCAH will offer workshops in April and May to provide assistance for applicants. Additionally, applicants may schedule a meeting with a member of the DCCAH grants department for assistance in preparing an application.

For a complete listing of grant programs and guidelines, and to submit an application, visit

Sunday, April 17, 2016


Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through its Creative Fellowships program annually supports residencies for writers, composers, and visual artists at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. The visiting artist is provided with a private studio, room and board, and the company of other artists from around the nation, for an intensive period of self-guided creative exploration and development. In addition to sponsorship support, a modest travel subsidy is awarded to the selected artist.

Interested artists in Delaware, Maryland, New York, and West Virginia should apply directly to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. More information is available

The next deadline for applications is May 15, 2016.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Richard Weiblinger: Hard work pays off

A common complaint from artists is "lack of exhibition opportunities." I usually address this in my Bootcamp for Artists seminar, but (at least in the DMV) there are plenty of exhibition opportunities.

Empirical data? Look at the enviable number of yearly shows that DMV area photographer Richard Weiblinger has been part of since 2011. Check out his work here.

Hard work pays off.
  • Delaplaine Visual Arts Center Frederick, MD Solo invitational exhibition November 2016
  • ArtSpace Herndon Gallery group invitational juried exhibition Herndon, Va. September 2016
  • "Water" SE Center for Photography juried exhibition Greenville, South Carolina April 2016
  • "Red" A. Smith Gallery invitational juried exhibition Johnson City, Texas April 2016
  • "Blossoms of Hope: Moving Forward" 7th Annual juried invitational exhibition Columbia, MD April 2016
  • Weinberg Center for the Arts solo invitational exhibition Frederick, MD April 2016 
  • Marymount University Barry Gallery Arlington, Va. two person invitational exhibition January - March 2016
  • 47th Annual LAG juried exhibition at Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery March 2016
  • Circle Gallery juried invitational exhibit Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD Janaury 2016
  • “Maryland State of Mind” Maryland General Assembly Maryland House of Delegates Lowe House Office Building Annapolis, MD January -April 2016 

  • "Magical Realism" The Arts Barn  juried invitational exhibition Gaithersburg, MD December, 2015
  • Washington Artworks Gallery Rockville, MD juried invitational Exhibition Decemberl 2015
  • Montpelier Art Center Library Gallery  Solo invitational exhibition September 2015
  • "Au Naruel" DelRay Artisans Gallery juried invitational exhibition Alexandria, VA August, 2015
  • Washington Printmakers Gallery juried national small works exhibition Washington, DC August 2015
  • University of Maryland The Art Gallery: Maryland Federation of Art juried invitational exhibition College Park, MD June 2015
  • McLean Project for the Arts juried invitational exhibition Mclean, VA. June 2015
  • Hill Center Galleries juried exhibition Washington, DC June 2015
  • "Transformations" Pyramid Atlantic Art Center juried invitational exhibition Silver Spring, MD May 2015
  • Gallery at Penn Place juried invitational exhibition Bethesda, MD May 2015
  • Washington Artworks Gallery Rockville, MD solo invitational Exhibition April 2015
  • "My Little Town" Photoworks Gallery, invitational juried exhibit Glen Echo, Md April 2015
  • ArtSpace Herndon Gallery "Fine Art Photography Exhibit" Herndon, Va. March 2015
  • "Focal Point" Circle Gallery juried invitational exhibit Maryland Federation of Art, Annapolis, MD March 2015
  • “The Guild” Maryland General Assembly Maryland House of Delegates Lowe House Office Building Annapolis, MD February 2014 
  • “What’s On Your Mind” Strathmore Mansion Gallery North Bethesda, MD 24th Annual Strathmore Fine Arts juried exhibition February 2015 
  • "The White Show” Washington Artworks Urban by Nature Gallery Rockville, MD juried Exhibition January 2015

  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery PAL 24th Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD December 2014 
  • “Focus” Delaplaine Visual Arts Center Frededrick, MD juried Exhibition Juror: Frank Van Riper August 2014
  • Glenview Mansion Gallery Rockville, MD invitational Exhibition September 2014 
  • Hill Center Galleries Washington, DC juried Exhibition Juror: Phiip Kennicott Art Critic The Washington Post October 2014 
  • “Beach Comber Art” AnnMarie Art Center Dowell, MD juried Exhibition August 2014 
  • “Florally Inspired” Dorchester Center for the Arts Cambridge, MD invitational Exhibition June 2014 
  • University of Maryland Art Gallery "MD Art at College Park" College Park, MD juried Exhibition June 2014 
  • "A Burst of Color” Washington Artworks Urban by Nature Gallery Rockville, MD juried Exhibition May 2014 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition April 2014 
  • 37th Annual Art on Paper Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition March 2014 
  • “Unique Visions” Hodgson Art Gallery Frederick Community College Frederick, MD Solo Exhibition March 2014 
  • “Warmer” Whitaker Gallery Hood College Frederick, MD invitational Exhibition March 2014 
  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery LAG 45th Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD March 2014 
  • ArtSapce Herndon Fine Art Photography juried exhibition Herdon, VA March 2014 
  • Strathmore Mansion Gallery North Bethesda, MD 23rd Annual Strathmore Fine Arts juried exhibition March 2014 
  • “Love is in the Air” Photoworks Gallery Glen Echo, MD juried exhibition March 2014 
  • “A Case of the Reds” Maryland General Assembly Lowe House Office Building Annapolis, MD January 2014 
  • “Color in January” iDorchester Center for the Arts Cambridge, MD invitational Exhibition January 2014 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition January 2014 
  • “A celebration of Color” Washington Gallery of Photography Rockville, MD juried Exhibition January 2014

  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery PAL 23rd Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD December 2013 
  • “Up Close and Personal” BlackRock Center for the Arts Main Gallery Solo Exhibition November 2013 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition September 2013 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD 13th Annual American Landscapes juried Exhibition August 2013 
  • “Local Color 2013” Artists' Gallery Columbia, MD juried Exhibition July 2013 
  • MD Art at College Park University of Maryland Art Gallery College Park, MD juried Exhibition June 2013 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition 2nd Place Award May 2013 
  • “Drawing for Art” Strathmore Mansion Gallery North Bethesda, MD juried exhibition April 2013 
  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery LAG 44th Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD March 2013 
  • Maryland General Assembly Lowe House Office Building Annapolis, MD “On The Verge” invitational Exhibition February 2013 
  • “Points of View” Strathmore Mansion Gallery North Bethesda, MD juried exhibition January 2013 
  • “Nature in Focus” Howard County Center for the Arts Ellicott City, MD invitational Exhibition January 2013 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition January 2013

  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery PAL 22nd Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD December 2012 
  • Delaplaine Visual Arts Center Frederick, MD 2nd Annual Juried Photography Exhibition November 2012 
  • “Focus on Color” The Arts Barn Gaithersburg MD invitational Exhibition November 2012 
  • “Under the Influence” Harmony Hall Arts Center Gallery Fort Washington, MD invitational Exhibition October 2012 
  • “Let There be Color” BlackRock Center for the Arts Main Gallery Solo Exhibition October 2012 
  • York Art Association Woodward Gallery York, PA 42nd Annual Juried Exhibition October 2012 
  • “Xl-XS University of Maryland Art Gallery College Park, MD juried Exhibition August 2012 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD “12th Annual American Landscapes juried Exhibition August 2012 Jurors Choice Award 
  • “Unique Visions” Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House Columbia, MD Solo Exhibition September 2012 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition July 2012 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition May 2012 Honorable Mention 
  • Gallery West Alexandria, VA 15th Annual National juries Exhibition June 2012
  • “Photographic Visions” Ratner Museum Bethesda, MD invitational Exhibition June 2012 
  • Gettysburg College Schmucker Art Gallery Gettysburg, PA 9th Annual ACAC Juried Exhibition June 2012 
  • “Lotta Art” School 33 Art Center Baltimore, MD invitational Exhibition April 2012  
  • Art Association of Harrisburg Harrisburg, PA invitational Exhibition April 2012 
  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery LAG 43rd Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD March 2012 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD “35th Art on Paper” National juried Exhibition March 2012 
  • “Focus on Color” Gardiner Gallery Delaplaine Visual Arts Center Frederick, MD Solo exhibition February 2012 
  • “Memories from all Directions” Maryland General Assembly Lowe House Office Building Annapolis, MD  invitational Exhibition January 2012

  • “Small Wonders” Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD National juried Exhibition December 2011 
  • “Visions” Washington Gallery of Photography Rockville, MD Juried Exhibition November 2011  Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition June 2011 
  • Academy Art Museum Easton, MD “Focus on Flowers” Solo exhibition June 2011 
  • Maryland Federation of Art Circle Gallery Annapolis, MD juried Exhibition May 2011
  • Fraser Gallery Bethesda, MD 10th International Fine Art Photography Exhibition March 2011 
  • Montpelier Arts Center Main Gallery LAG 42nd Annual Juried Exhibition Laurel, MD March 2011 
  • Strathmore Mansion Gallery North Bethesda, MD “20th Annual Fine Arts Exhibition” juried exhibition February 2011

Friday, April 15, 2016

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: May 31, 2016.

Face Value: Rutgers University - A portrait is a likeness of an individual which may be portrayed through painting, sculpture, photography or drawing. The image will usually consist of the face and sometimes other aspects of the sitter’s physical presence which reflect the stature, character and/or temperament of the individual. This group exhibition will draw on contemporary portraits to explore notions of ‘value’ which are embedded in the tradition of portraiture. In this age of social media the ubiquitous ‘selfie’ has democratized the portraiture process; any and every one can create a picture of a person. So what then does it mean for an artist to create a portrait? What are the motivations behind the work? What values, messages and meanings can be communicated through the portraiture process?

Please see website for complete details:

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Fine Lines Paint Jam

On April 30th from 12-7pm at 514 Rhode Island Ave NE, a 900 ft. long wall will be turned into a canvas divided between 100 artists from around the country. The painting will take place amid a backdrop of live music, free arts tutorials, art galleries, a bunch of other local arts organizations, food trucks, arts exhibitions, and a photo competition with a prize of $500.

Admission is free.

They're essentially turning an empty lot into a free playground for the arts and they’re welcoming other arts orgs, cuultural orgs, and vendors ranging from SpacyCloud and RedBull just to name a few.

More details later.

The Argument

For TBT... I was 14 or 15 when I did this piece...

These two women lived together in my neighborhood in Brooklyn; they were Roma people and thus we were always told to stay away from them by all the neighborhood mothers - of course, we did the opposite and they were my friends, and always seemed very mysterious to me as a teen.

They had no furniture in their apartment, slept in mattresses on the floor, always seemed to have a million people passing through, etc.

I did this piece from memory after dropping by one day and found them yelling at each other in their language... the naked one used to actually walk around the place nude in the summer (ahhh! the 70s), which was one of the main reason I used to hang around there... cough, cough

The Argument  c. 1970-1971, ink on paper, 16x20 inches  By F. Lennox Campello
The Argument
c. 1970-1971, ink on paper, 16x20 inches
By F. Lennox Campello

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

USS Kitty Hawk "Big Wave"

This is why is takes a special kind of backbone to make an American sailor (and a metal lady of the sea)... And what's that helo doing there?

Does anyone know where the love of God goes. When the waves turn the minutes to hours… –Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" 

This Saturday: Meet the Artists' Closing Reception!

Show Dates: March 11 - April 23, 2016 

MEET THE ARTISTS CLOSING RECEPTION: Saturday, April 16, 2:00-6:00 pm
At 1429 Iris Street NW, Washington, DC 20012

ZENITH GALLERY Hours: Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-6 PM 

Featuring: Kim Abraham, Jan Paul Acton, Doba Afolabi, Mason Archie, David Bacharach, Andrea Barnes,  Bert Beirne, Harmon Biddle, Francesca Britton,  Lenny Campello, Katie Dell-Kaufman, Renee duRocher, Elissa Farrow-Savos, Patty Porter Firestone, Richard Fitzhugh, Robert Freeman, Carol Gellner-Levin, Cassandra Gillens, Julie and Ken Girardini, Margery Goldberg, Stephen Hansen, Len Harris, Chris Hayman, Philip Hazard, Tony Henson, Frank Holmes, David Hubbard, David Jackson, Hubert Jackson, Robert Jackson, Peter Kephart, Gloria Kirk, Joan Konkel, Michael Madzo, Chris Malone, Paul Martin Wolff, Donna McCullough, Hadrian Mendoza, Davis Morton, Reuben Neugass, Carol Newmyer, Tom Noll, Keith Norval, Katharine Owens, Emily Piccirillo, Alison Sigethy, Gavin Sewell, Sica, Ellen Sinel, Bradley Stevens, Charles Taube, Jennifer Wagner, Marcie Wolf-Hubbard, Mary Voytek, Curtis Woody, Joyce Zipperer and more!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Spitoidal Mucasoids

Spitoidal Mucasoids: When you brush your teeth, and then spit out the saliva + toothpaste mixture, and do not rinse it down the drain with water. Later on, as it dries up and becomes impossibly hard to chip away, it becomes a spitoidal mucasoid.

Try to Google that... I've just invented it.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Still astounding...

Even after all these years, the work of DMV artist Alexa Meade still astounds me...

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Opportunity for Artists

Deadline: May 2, 2016

This is an Open Call for proposals for an exhibition in the summer of 2016 at Alexandria's Target Gallery.

This call is open to all artists from North America working in all visual media. Proposals for exhibitions by both individuals and groups will be considered. The jurors this year are Phil Hutinet and Victoria Milko.

Apply here

Target Gallery 105 N. Union St. Alexandria, VA 22314

Saturday, April 09, 2016

Art in the New Plutocracy

Art is no longer the mere status symbol it was in the age of Morgan. Instead, as Cohen’s exploits show, art has become an instrument for generating wealth and political influence in the interests of an audacious plutocracy. In this sense, we are indeed being ruled by art in a way we have not been before, and its price now comes at a direct social cost.
Read the article here. 

Friday, April 08, 2016

DMVers: Go to Emulsion Opening Tomorrow!

You wanna know the definition of a hard working artist? 

DMV artist Judith Peck

She has work in three shows opening this Saturday, April 9 --- Emulsion 2016 at Gallery O on H in Washington, DC, at The Walker in Kansas, and the inaugural show at the Lemon Tree Gallery in Cape Charles, Virginia! 

Go Judith!

And now UVA wants to censor art...

And now it is UVA's turn to try to censor some artwork...
Some members of the University of Virginia community want a piece of art—a mural—censored, altered, or completely painted over because it depicts students and professors partying together.  
The behaviors of the fictional characters in the painting would likely violate Title IX, said UVA music professor Bonnie Gordon, a vocal critic of the mural, in an interview with 
Details here. 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Downton Abbey Paintings

Like the Downton Abbey TV series? You you gotta see DMV area artist Marsha Stein's series of paintings on the subject.

See them here.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Gallery censored by landlord in Lafayette, LA

You have to take down the nude pictures you have in your gallery. Part of the agreement to rent you the space was to not display nude pictures.
So begins the email received by artist Nicole Touchet, an email "signed by a project coordinator with Property One Inc., the company that manages Gordon Square, the historic hotel-turned-office complex at the Jefferson-Vermilion intersection in the heart of Downtown. The UL Lafayette alumna had opened her eponymous gallery, Gallerie Touchet, in a small side space facing Vermilion Street 11 months before, hosting exhibitions of up-and-coming local artists including her own work."

Many times in the past I have taken the side of "he who owns the walls" when these sort of issues come out.

However, in this case, as this article points out, the "condition" (No. 5 on Touchet’s lease with Property One) doesn't say anything about nudes, unless Property One thinks that Touchet's loosely painted nudes are so hot that they'd cause a fire:

Lessee warrants and represents to Lessor that the Leased Premises exclusive of common area shall be continually used and occupied only for the purpose of general office use. Lessee shall conduct its business and control its agents, employees, invitees and visitors in such a manner as is lawful, reputable and will not cause any nuisance or otherwise interfere with, annoy or disturb any other tenant in its normal business operations or Lessor in its management of the Building. Lessee shall not commit or suffer to be committed, any waste on the Leased Premises, nor shall Lessee permit the Leased Premises to be used in any way which would, in the opinion of Lessor, be hazardous on account of fire or otherwise which would in any way increase or render void the fire insurance on the Leased Premises or Building.
A lawyer might say that the lease says that the space will be "used and occupied only for the purpose of general office use," but then again, Touchet had used the space as a gallery for 11 months and Property One didn't complain.

In any event, she plans to close the gallery (her lease is up), but I wanted the prudes at Property One know that their ignorant, outdated, and assholish actions have been been heard in the nation's capital region and will forever be part of their footprint in Al Gore's Internet for now on.

Monday, April 04, 2016

Teresa Oaxaca at The Art League

Many years ago, I was at the old Washington Post building meeting with the then WaPo Chief Art Critic. He was going through dozens and dozens of postcards and letters (this was at the dawn of the email age), and he'd glance at them, and then drop them into a waste basket... there was a 99% rejection rate at first glance. I sat there, a little hypnotized by the sad reality of the event.

Years later, after having written about DMV area artists for almost three decades, like most art critics, writers and symbiots of the visual arts, I am also now bombarded with emails, news releases, post cards, letters (yep! old fashion snail mail) and other assorted paraphernalia designed to let me know that an artist is showing somewhere.

And like most people and that former WaPo art critic, time management is a delicate issue, and thus over the years I’m fairly sure that I’ve actually only seen about 1% of the shows that I have actually been interested in, or which have caught my attention.

A while back, one of those shows which snared my interest was an embassy show by a “new” – or at least new to me – artist whose work (at least online) seemed to be quite good.

 It wasn’t just that it “looked” quite good because of the subject matter (it did), or that it looked like the artist had some really good painting skills (it did), or even because it was eye catching in a different frequency from most works (it was) that I would usually be exposed to.

And thus, I decided to pay a visit to this embassy show (these days it involves arranging for baby sitters, planning the drive, and there's very little room for error, etc.), and to say that the work at the embassy show floored me is an understatement.

In fact, it forced me to put my nose close to the canvas; it forced me to step backwards and far away to see how the tight compositions worked together; and it even scratched my inner eye and forced me to look around to ensure that I hadn’t been transported to the past, or perhaps to the future of contemporary realism.

Teresa Oaxaca was the artist, and her paintings and etchings were the subject that dazzled my eyes, seduced my imagination, punched the solar plexus of my mind, and filled my curiosity with inquiries about all that revolved around the paradox-filled universe of this "new to me" artist.

"Pursuit" by Teresa Oaxaca
Oil on canvas with artist-made frame

Oaxaca... and this is clear to the most casual observer, and even clearer to someone who has seen the works of thousands and thousands of painters, is an artist with formidable painting skills.

Her energetic brushwork and fearless attitude towards an aggressive employment of color should be the first chapter in the lesson book to anyone aspiring to pick up a brush and apply anything to a canvas.

Look at the apple in "Pursuit."

It's not the brilliance of the fruit that makes it sing with erotic gusto; in fact it is too shiny - it is like a waxed fruit, prepared to sensualize the first bite by first decorating the visual senses.

It is not its stylized perfect shape, also designed to capture our human check points from the times that we shared the planet with Neanderthals and Denisovans.

It is in fact, those two delicate touches of white paint on the fruit, and it is also the manner in which the cloth caresses the fruit.

Oaxaca’s paintings and prints are at first sight a prism focusing the refracted colors back in time; or are they? To the fantasist, they could also be the work of an artist who has been traveling from a Victorian era to the present; or is it a future time traveler, bathing in the luxuries of the Baroque period, sending us her impressions from her latest voyage to the past?

Whatever the answer, the DMV gets an expanded opportunity to see her work, as her second solo exhibit at The Art League in Alexandria, “Misfits”, will be on view April 6-May 1, 2016.

According to The Art League’s news release, the show “explores the themes of clowns and dolls, human effigies, and painted faces, integrating human emotions and passions with allegorical storytelling. Oaxaca’s style has greatly grown and evolved since her first solo exhibit at The Art League in 2010. She’s interested in breaking the boundaries of traditional realism, and is succeeding through her choice of subject matter, compositional choices, and painterly style.”

Since I’ve just discovered this painter, I have no idea what her first solo show was about, but I suspect that it was but a bridge to her most recent work. Make no mistake, this is an artist who is deeply embedded in the world that she depicts through her art; she lives in that world.

“My work is about pleasing the eye. I paint light and the way it falls. Simple observation reveals beauty, which I often find in the unconventional. Because of this, I have learned to take particular delight in unusual pairings of subject matter,” she notes.

In that previously discussed apple, there are hours of work, but it is the final two applications of white which seal the deal.

"Laughing Queen" by Teresa Oaxaca
Oil on canvas with artist-made frame

 60" x 40"
Oaxaca’s compositions are described as spontaneous. “When a person comes to me, they occupy a space in my mind. Arrangements form from there until I excitedly see and conceive the idea for the piece. The design is both planned and subconscious. For this reason, I surround myself with Victorian and Baroque costumes, bones, and other things in which I find fascinating. I want subject matter to always be at hand, always around me.”

All of Oaxaca’s paintings will be shown within unique frames that the artist designed, built, and painted herself. She feels that the individually designed frames truly complete the one-of-a-kind piece.

Do not miss this show... More later.

Update: Ms. Oaxaca will be doing a demo in the Art League Gallery on the 13th and they will be live streaming on their YouTube channel:

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Tim Vermeulen opens in LA

Congrats to DMV artist Tim Vermeulen, whose solo show Alphabet, (inspired by the 1727 New England primer) opens April 9 at the George Billis Gallery in Los Angeles
Tim Vermeulen, J. Job Feels the Rod, Yet Blesses God. 2016, oil on panel, 19 x 23 inches framed
 You can see the show online here.

Saturday, April 02, 2016


In NYC? Come visit us at the Affordable Art Fair, booth 1.54

"Ladybird" 2016 by Lauren Levato Coyne Colored pencil on blue toned paper 11" x 9"
"Ladybird" 2016 by Lauren Levato Coyne
Colored pencil on blue toned paper
11" x 9"

Cars I've owned

Fiat X1/9 (1977-1985)
Citroen Palas (1982-1985)
Seat (1982-1985)
Saab 900S (1985-1997)
Lada (1989-1992)
Dodge Caravan (1996-1998)
Ford Windstar (1998-2005)
Chrysler Town & Country (2005 - ?)

Friday, April 01, 2016


In NYC? Come visit us at the Affordable Art Fair, booth 1.54

"Reds" Oil on Linen, 14,11 inches by Rory Coyne

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Did President George W. Bush release a new series of dog portraits?

They almost fooled me with the below news release - a very clever April's Fool prank by Artfinder... it was when their CEO started referring to Dubya as "George" that I smelled a prank!

Following the high profile exhibition of his work at the Presidential Library and Museum in Texas in 2014:
Artfinder is delighted to announce that George W. Bush will join the site as an artist from 1 April 2016. To mark the occasion, George has released a new series of technicolor dog portraits, including a Scottish Terrier, in homage to his dog Barney, who sadly passed away in 2013. The portraits will be on sale from midnight GMT 31 March.
George W. Bush comments:

I wanted to make sure the last chapters of my life were full, and painting, it turns out, has helped occupy not only space but opened my mind.  
Dogs are a subject close to my heart, and frankly they make better subjects for portraits than politicians, who are all very much alike. I am delighted to have been accepted to join Artfinder’s vibrant community of 6,000 artists around the world.
Jonas Almgren, CEO of Artfinder comments:
 “We have long been admirers of George’s work and are delighted to see him join the site. Our mission is to create a world of art for everyone – and we anticipate George’s pieces being incredibly popular.”
Artfinder is the largest global marketplace for original art, connecting over 500,000 subscribers worldwide with 180,000+ pieces of art from 6,000 artists. 

To view Bush’s Artfinder shop please visit:
Update: Artfinder actually has a pet portrait painter who has joined them - Arizona based Alicia VanNoy Call a.k.a Dawg Art - she is the one behind these canine portraits.

Here's a link to her Artfinder shop:

Spring exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

Spring exhibits at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center are open April 2 through May 29, 2016.

Popular and critically acclaimed Washington artist, Kevin MacDonald, gets a posthumous career retrospective in Kevin MacDonald: The Tension of a Suspended Moment. Created out of unorthodox materials like coffee and tea, representational paintings, lithographs and silkscreens, capture unpeopled interiors, still-lifes, industrial landscapes, and cubist and surrealist representations of daily life. At the time of his death from cancer in 2006, MacDonald, 59, was at the height of his artistic powers and planning an ambitious body of work related to the shared, unwritten, and personal history of Silver Spring, Maryland, where he had spent most of his life. MacDonald’s work is in the permanent collections of The National Gallery of Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, The Phillips Collection, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Baltimore Museum of Art.

Coinciding with the retrospective of Kevin MacDonald, the Alper Initiative for Washington Art (AIWA) presents Twisted Teenage Plot. Besides being an excellent artist, MacDonald also played in bands, most notably Twisted Teenage Plot. Twisted Teenage Plot will showcase the work of visual artists who played in bands in Washington in the late 70s and early 80s, including Dick Bangham, Michael Baron, Jay Burch, Kim Kane, Clark Vinson Fox (aka Michael Clark), Steve Ludlum, Michael McCall, JW Mahoney, Michael Reidy, Robin Rose, Judith Watkins Tartt, and Joe White. Sound recordings, posters, videos, and memorabilia are also featured.

Free Parking, a new series of salon-style conversations, will host its second session in the AIWA space on the museum’s first floor at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 5. AU Museum Curator and Director Jack Rasmussen will lead a review of the life and art of musicians in 1970s and 80s D.C. The event, free and open to the public, features special guests Bill Warrell and Michael Olshonsky. RSVP is required:

William Dunlap: Look At It – Think About It is a survey exhibition of paintings, works on paper, constructions and sculpture by the artist from the 1970s through the present. Both found and fashioned objects reflect Dunlap’s interest in the narrative tradition in visual arts and modernist concerns with remote association and conceptualism. The exhibition coincides with the release of Dunlap’s book of short stories, Short Mean Fiction, Words and Pictures (Nautilus Press).   

Elsewhere: Southern Constellations is the third exhibition in Transformer’s four-part ‘Do You Know Where Your Art Comes From?’ series, presented in partnership with American University Museum. Southern Constellations profiles the work of Elsewhere Museum and Residency and highlights a curatorial initiative to extend experimental practices and creative networks in the South.

Elsewhere Museum and Residency is an artist-run non-profit contemporary art organization set in a former thrift store in downtown Greensboro, NC. Six artists, born or based in the Southern United States, are brought to the living museum and residency each year to create new site-specific works that explore the museum, its collection and communities. Connecting a regional network of experimental artists and arts spaces, Southern Constellations considers the conditions and context for experimentation in the south, as well as the resources that sustain and engage practitioners in the region. Victoria Reis, executive & artistic director of Transformer, is curator, in collaboration with Tim Doud, associate professor of art and coordinator of the Visiting Artist Program at American University.

MASTER OF FINE ART FIRST YEAR AND THESIS EXHIBITIONS features the work of Master of Fine Art candidates in American University’s Department of Art. The First Year MFA exhibition will run April 2 through 20, and the MFA Thesis exhibition will run from April 30 through May 29. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Our booth at the Affordable Art Fair NYC - Wishing that I was there! Good luck to Lori Ehrlich Katz, Rory Coyne and Lauren Levato Coyne - make us proud! Booth 1.94 on the first floor.

Monday, March 28, 2016


As we have been for the last decade, we'll be doing the Affordable Art Fair New York again this Spring (March 30 - April 3 at the Met Pavilion). 

Because of my recent medical issues, I won't be there, but the gallery will be well-represented by DMV artist Lori Katz and Chicago-based artists Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne.

We'll be in booth 1.54 on the first floor; if you'd like some free passes to the fair, please send me a note.

Graphite on Maple
by Rory Payne

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Call to Artists