Sunday, May 15, 2016

Havana street, 1950s and Cuban State of Mind (History)

Havana street, 1950s
 
There's a grossly erroneous perception, driven home by Hollywood movies and the narrative of the extreme wingnuts of the left worldwide, that pre-Castro Cuba was ripe for the Castro brothers due to the extreme poverty in the island, corruption, backwardness, disease, illiteracy, etc.

 
Nothing could be further away from the truth.

 
Cuba was the most likely, and also the least likely of all Latin American nations to fall under the clutches of Communism. In 1953 Fidel Castro wrote (In History Will Absolve Me):
"Once upon a time there was a Republic. It had its constitution, its laws, its civil rights, its President, a Congress, and law courts. Everyone could assemble, associate, speak and write with complete freedom. Public opinion was respected and heeded and all problems of common interest were freely discussed. There were political parties, radio and television debates and forums and public meetings. The whole nation pulsated with enthusiasm."

He, and his brother, erased that Republic, brutalized it, and replaced it with a Communist dictatorship.

Cuba was not a backwards island nation in 1959....

  • In 1829, Cuba was the first nation of Latin America, and also before several European nations, to use steam ships.
  • In 1837, Cuba became the third nation in the world, after England and the US, to build a railroad. It also had the causal effect of creating a significant Chinese immigration to the island.
  • The first doctor to use anesthesia in medical operations in Latin America (and also before Spain, Portugal, Italy, France and many other European nations) was a Cuban. It was ether and the year was 1847.
  • In 1860, in the city of Cardenas, two clinics started the world’s first health insurance projects. Known then as Mutual Benefit Organizations, these MBO's were the precursors of what are known today in the US as Health Maintenance Organizations or HMO's. Membership in one of Cardenas's MBO's gave its members access to all of the then available medical treatments that the clinics offered. As the medical systems and clinics developed, most Cuban hospitals and clinics provided free healthcare to the poor.
  • The first Latin American to play professional baseball in the US (and the “father of Cuban baseball) was the Cuban, Esteban Bellan in 1871.
  • The very first demonstration on planet Earth of an industry powered entirely by electricity was in done in Havana in 1877.
  • In 1881, a Cuban epidemiologist, Dr. Carlos Finlay, was the first to discover the transmitting agent of yellow fever, the mosquito Aedes Aegypti, which now also happens to carry zika. Dr. Finlay studied medicine at Thomas Jefferson University in the US.
  • The first system of electric lighting in all of Latin America, and also before a dozen European countries was installed in Cuba in 1889.
  • The first streetcar in Latin America (and before six European nations) began operation in Havana in 1900.
  • In 1900, before at any other country of Latin America, the first automobile arrived in Cuba. By 1959, there were more Cadillacs in Havana than in New York City.
  • The first Latin American woman to drive a car was the Cuban writer Renee Mendez Cape in 1900.
  • The first Latin American Olympic champion was a Cuban. The gold medal was won by the fencer Ramon Fonst Segundo, in 1900 (he also won a silver in that Olympiad). In 1904 Fonts won three gold medals in fencing!
  • The first Ibero-American nation to abolish bullfights was Cuba in 1901.
  • In 1902, when Cuba finally broke away from Spain, the island had been the source of between 50%-75% of the entire Spanish Gross National Product.
  • The first city on the planet to have a direct dialing telephone system was Havana in 1906. The second city in the world to have a direct dial telephone system was Santiago de Cuba, the capital of the Oriente province. All through the first half of the century, Cuba had more telephones per capita than any Latin American country except Argentina and Uruguay.
  • In 1907, the first x-ray medical department in Latin America (and before nearly every European nation) was established in Havana.
  • On the 17th of May, 1913 the first international aerial flight in Latin America was achieved by the Cuban pilots, Agustin Parla and Domingo Rosillo del Toro. The flight was between Cuba and Bone Key, Florida and lasted 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • Cuba, in 1918, was the first country of Latin America to grant divorces to married couples.
  • The first Latin American (and the first person born outside of Europe) to win the world championship of chess was the Cuban master, Jose Raul Capablanca. He’s considered one of the greatest players of all time and was world champion form 1921-1927. He only lost 35 matches in his lifetime.
  • In 1922 Cuba was the second nation in the world to have a commercial radio station, and the first nation in the world to broadcast a music concert. By 1928 Cuba had 61 radio transmitters, 43 of them in Havana, giving the nation the fourth place of the world, only surpassed by the US, Canada and the Soviet Union.
  • In 1935 the concept of the radio novel and radio series was created by the Cuban Felix B. Caignet. That was the seminal birth of the telenovela as well!
  • In 1935, the first black man to play professional baseball in the then segregated Major Leagues (and 12 years before Jackie Robinson) was the Cuban player Roberto Estalella. Cuban professional baseball had never been segregated.
  • In 1937 Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before most European countries) to establish a legal work day of 8 hours. It also established a minimum wage!
  • In 1940 Cuba became the first country of Latin America (and also before many European nations) to elect politicians by universal suffrage and absolute majority.
  • Also in 1940, when 70% of the Cuban population was white, Cuban voters elected a black Cuban as President (Fulgencio Batista). Batista was the first (and so far only) black  President elected in Latin America.
  • In 1940, Cuba was the first nation in Latin America (and before several European nations) to recognize and authorize the right to vote for women, the equality of rights between sexes and races, and the right of women to work.
  • In 1942, the Cuban musical director Ernesto Lecuona became the first Latin American musical director to receive a nomination for an Oscar.
  • The second country in the world with a commercial television station was Cuba in 1950. Throughout the decade, Cubans had more TV sets per capita than any other Latin American country, and more than Italy, Spain, Ireland, and Portugal.
  • Also in 1950, Damaso Perez Prado’s mambo piece Patricia was the number one record for 15 consecutive weeks in the Hit Parade list.
  • In 1951, Desi Arnaz became the leading producer in American television. He also pioneered the concept of a third camera in television programming.
  • In 1951, the Hotel Riviera became the first hotel in the world with central air conditioning
  • A year later, in 1952, the first all-concrete apartment buildings in the world were built in Havana.
  • In 1953, about 57% of the Cuban population was urban and more than 50% of the population lived in cities with more than 25,000 inhabitants, 33% lived in four cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants.
  • In 1953, one-sixth of the population lived in Havana, making it the third-largest capital in the world in relation to the total number of the nation's inhabitants (after London and Vienna).
  • In 1954 Cubans had the third highest meat consumption per capita in Latin America (after Argentina and Uruguay) and higher than most European countries.
  • In 1955, Cuba had the second lowest infant mortality rate in Latin America, 33.4 per thousand born and the third lowest in the world. It ranked ahead of France, Belgium, West Germany, Japan, Austria, Italy, and Spain.
  • In 1955, life expectancy in the US was 66.7 years. Life expectancy in Cuba was among the highest in the world at 63 years of age; compared to 52 in other Latin American countries, 43 in Asia, and 37 in Africa.
  • In 1956, the United Nations literacy report noted Cuba had the second highest level of literacy in Latin America and higher than several countries in Europe.
  • In 1956, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce analysis, Cuba was "the most heavily capitalized country in Latin America" and its "network of railways and highways blanket the country."
  • In 1957, a United Nations report noted that Cuba had the third largest number of doctors per capita (one for each 957 inhabitants) in Latin America, and more doctors per capita than Britain, Holland and Italy.
  • The same UN report also noted that  Cuba had the number one percentage of electric access to houses in Latin America (and higher than Portugal, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and all of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union), and second in Latin America, after Uruguay, in per capita daily caloric consumption (2870 calories per person). This was also higher than all Eastern European nations and three Western European nations.
  • In 1957 Havana became the second city on the planet to have a 3D movie theater and a multiscreen theater (the Cinema Radio Center).
  • In 1957 Cuba had more television stations (23) than any other country in Latin America, way ahead of much larger countries such as Mexico (12 television stations) and Venezuela (10).
  • In 1957 Cuba was first in Latin America, and ranked eighth in the world in number of radio stations (160), ahead of countries such as Austria (83 radio stations), United Kingdom (62), and France (50).
  • In 1958 Cuba was the second country in the world to broadcast television in color. The US, of course, was the first.
  • In 1958, Cuba was the first country in Latin America, and the third country in the world with the most cars per capita (one for every 38 inhabitants).
  • Cuba was also first in Latin America and third in the world with the most electric home appliances per capita.
  • In 1958 Cuba was the first country in Latin America and third in the world (after the US and England) with the most kilometers of railway lines per square kilometer and the second in the total number of radio receivers.
  • In 1958 Cuba had 58 daily newspapers of all political hues. There were 18 daily newspapers in Havana alone. Bohemia magazine, with a circulation of 250,000, was the largest Spanish language weekly magazine in the world.
  • People wanted to immigrate to Cuba – not escape from Cuba! Despite drastic immigration curbs set in place in the 1930s, when European immigrants almost matched the number of natural born Cubans, during the entire decade of the 1950's, Cuba was second in Latin America in the number of immigrants per capita.
  • In 1958, and in spite of its small size, and small number of people (6.5 million inhabitants in 1958), Cuba ranked as the 29th largest economy in the world, ahead of several European nations.
  • In 1959, Havana ranked as the number one city in the world with movie theatres (358). New York and Paris were second and third, respectively.
  • By 1959 Cuba had a large middle class comprising about a third of the population and 23% of the working class was classified as “skilled.”
  • In 1959, Cuba's gold reserves were third in Latin America, behind only Venezuela and Brazil.
  • Cuba had the third-highest per capita income in Latin America, exceeded only by Argentina and Venezuela (around $550 a year). It was also higher than Italy, Japan, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal and every single Eastern European nation in the Soviet bloc.

And then came 1959 and the Castro Brothers’ Workers’ Paradise… Since 1959, over one million Cubans have escaped from the island.

"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."

Sir Winston Churchill


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Blacksnake visiting our deck


This guy was sun tanning on our deck this morning... it also looked as though he'd had an early lunch, judging from the bulge on his middle. We think that this is a black snake? They eat rodents.

Simon Monk Charcoal "Paintings"

"Bargain Box One"
Charcoal on Paper
2015 Simon Monk
15.75 x 14 inches

"Bargain Box Two"
Charcoal on Paper
2015 Simon Monk
15.75 x 14 inches
In a private collection in the United States

"Bargain Box Three"
Charcoal on Paper
2015 Simon Monk
15.75 x 14 inches

"Bargain Box Four"
Charcoal on Paper
2015 Simon Monk
15.75 x 14 inches

"Study for Wonderwoman"
Charcoal on Paper
2015 Simon Monk
12.25 inches diameter

Friday, May 13, 2016

Gateway Arts District Annual Open Studios & Party!

gateway arts district
12th annual open studio tour

Saturday, may 14, 12-5 pm
after party 5-8 pm


Get up close and personal with legions of local artists in their studios and see the work of this intensely creative community. Start at the Gateway Arts Center and pick up a map. Drive, walk or bike your way through the self-guided tour.

Come back to the Gateway Arts Center for the Open Studio Tour After Party from 5-8 pm. The after party also serves as the opening reception for Leslie Holt's  "Unspeakable". Many studios at the Gateway Arts Center (including mine) will remain open during the party.

For more information about the Open Studio Tour and to see a map of locations, go to gatewayopenstudios.org.

Tomorrow and Sunday

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
May 14, 10am - 6pm and May 15, 10am - 5pm


130 artists from throughout the United States and Canada will converge in Bethesda's  Woodmont Triangle for the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. Along with booths of fine art and fine craft, the festival will feature live musical, great eats from Bethesda restaurants and a children's activity area. 


Join them for a unique shopping experience in downtown Bethesda. Browse jewelry, furniture, painting, photography, sculpture and more. 
Admission to the festival is free and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

María Magdalena Campos-Pons at the National Portrait Gallery this Saturday!

WHAT: IDENTIFY: Performance Art as Portraiture


WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 4 p.m. 


WHERE: Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard Eighth and G streets N.W.



WHO: Cuban-born artist María Magdalena Campos-Pons and Neil Leonard



One of my favorite artists on the planet, María Magdalena Campos-Pons works with her husband, saxophonist and composer Neil Leonard, to reinsert the black body into historical narratives. Under the name FEFA, they use personal stories, music and procession to evoke both protest and devotion.


Born in Matanzas, Cuba, Campos-Pons is an internationally recognized artist known for pushing the art of portraiture in new directions through her large-format Polaroid photographs and immersive installations. Drawing on her ancestral roots in Nigeria and her childhood memories of Cuba, her performances confront the complexities of history and race.




Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons



This performance will begin in the museum’s Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard. Visitors will be invited to join a procession as it continues through the museum to George Peter Alexander Healy’s portrait of President Abraham Lincoln; it will conclude in the front of museum.


Esteemed jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard, a jazz band from the Duke Ellington School, a Cuban band and additional performance artists will employ recitation and reenactment in this historic event.


IDENTIFY is the National Portrait Gallery’s first-ever performance art series, which focuses attention on activism, visibility and experimentations through portraiture. More information is available at npg.si.edu.

Ben Tolman Sarajevo Drawings Open Today!

One of my favorite DMV artists, the superbly-talented Ben Tolman has returned to the DMV after spending several months working in Sarajevo. 



Petting Zoo, c. 2016 by Ben Tolman. Ink on Paper, 14x11 inches
Petting Zoo, c. 2016 by Ben Tolman. Ink on Paper, 14x11 inches


Tolman’s new drawings series expounds on his detailed, almost surreal urban landscapes.  For more information and to see the drawings online, click here.


Opening May 13, 2016 7-9pm at Centerfold Artist
703 Edgewood St., NE, Washington, DC

Opportunity for young artists with disabilities

Deadline: June 1, 2016


(Re) Invention: Art + Innovation + Disability + Design is a juried exhibition of emerging young artists with disabilities, ages 16-25, that aims to showcase artwork created at the intersection of technology, innovation, and disability. Fifteen finalists share a total of $60,000 in cash prizes: first place receives $20,000, second and third place winners receive $10,000 and $6,000 respectively, and the remaining twelve artists receive $2,000 each in awards of excellence.


Winners attend a two-day all-expenses paid professional development workshop in Washington, DC, with guest lecturer and teaching artist opportunities. The winning pieces are exhibited in a year-long national tour. Artwork in any medium is accepted, deadline for submissions is June 1, 2016, at midnight.


For more information and to apply, please visit www.kennedy-center.org/emergingyoungartists

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

DMV Trasures: “Lincoln Borne by Loving Hands”

There were no cameras outside Ford's Theatre on the night of April 14th, 1865, as a group of men carried a wounded man out of the building. But German artist Carl Bersch captured the scene on his sketchpad as he sat on a nearby porch.
The oil painting by Carl Bersch of a mortally wounded President Abraham Lincoln as he is moved from Ford's Theatre, Washington, D.C. (Courtesy: Carol M. Highsmith, Library of Congress)
 Read the whole article and the six month restoration of the painting here.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Much ado about the wrong title

A Page With Two Horses. 1660 by Albert Cuyp
Kensington Palace officials were reportedly involved in a last-minute scramble to remove the word 'negro' from a painting moments before the Obamas arrived for dinner with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Read the whole article here


But what I find interesting is that  the real title of this painting is A Page With Two Horses, 1660 by Albert Cuyp; a well-documented painting from The Royal Collection. The article is incorrect in the title that it gives the painting.


Apparently it is also known as The Negro Page, which is what the offensive name plate said... I find it odd that instead of the real title (A Page With Two Horses), it had all this time a nickname title (The Negro Page) on the name plate.


Five gets you ten that when a name plate is re-affixed to the painting, it will say A Page With Two Horses, cough, cough.

Panel Discussion and Micro-Monuments Exhibition Opening

Presented by the Washington SculptorsGroup (WSG) and The Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS) 

Center for Hellenic Studies                                      
3100 Whitehaven Street, NW                                               
Washington, DC 20008                            
www.chs.harvard.edu                                               
Tel (202) 745-4411                                      

PANEL DISCUSSION
Friday, May 27, 2016 5:30-6:30 pm, House-A

EXHIBITION OPENING RECEPTION:      
7-9 pm, Main Building

Free and open to the public; reservations required  
RSVP by May 21, 2016 to events@chs.harvard.edu  

Parking is available on-site and on Whitehaven Street, N.W.   
 
The Washington Sculptors Group and The Center for HellenicStudies are pleased to jointly present this panel discussion in conjunction with the U.S. opening of the Micro-Monuments exhibition at the CHS campus after its international launch at the Salzland Museum in Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. The panel includes Paul M. Farber, Artemis Herber, Kenneth Lum, Sven Schipporeit, Svenja Müller-Schipporeit, and Elsabé Dixon, Moderator.    

ABOUT THE PANELISTS
 
Paul M. Farber, PhD is a scholar and curator based in Philadelphia. He is currently a Postdoctoral Writing Fellow at Haverford College. Farber is also a founding co-curator and director of “Monument Lab: Creative Speculations for Philadelphia,” which premiered last year at Philadelphia's City Hall.  
 
Artemis Herber completed her MFA at the University of Paderborn in Germany. Herber is currently the President of the Washington Sculptors Group, and works as an artist and curator for Transatlantic Projects.  
 
Kenneth Lum resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he is a Professor in the School of Design, at the University of Pennsylvania. Lum has exhibited widely, including in the São Paulo Biennial (1998), Shanghai Biennale (2000), Documenta 11 (2002), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), the Gwangju Biennale (2008), Moscow Biennial 2011, and the Whitney Biennial 2014. 
 
Sven Schipporeit, PhD, Heidelberg University, teaches at the University of Vienna. A Classical Archaeologist, his main focus lies on the interaction between religion, imagery, architecture, urban development and society, from archaic Greece to early Imperial Rome. 
 
Svenja Müller-Schipporeit, PhD, received her degree from Heidelberg University, and studied Classical Archaeology, Greek Philology, and Ancient History in Berlin and Heidelberg. She teaches at Vienna University. Her research interests lie in the relation of topography, urban and rural landscape, religion and cults, mentality and social structures in ancient societies.  

ABOUT THE MODERATOR: Elsabé Dixon is a conceptual artist working primarily with live organisms. Dixon has participated in artist presentations at the Textile Museum as well as the Smithsonian, Freer, and Sackler Museums in Washington, D.C. Dixon received her BFA in Art from the University of Averett, and her MFA from George Mason University. She is Vice-President of the Washington Sculptors Group.
 
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: The concept of “Micro-Monuments” conveys a global perspective through miniaturization as a symptom of our times that derived from diverse cultural backgrounds of the exhibiting artists. The exhibition explores the omnipresence of monuments as a universal idea in art within a trans-disciplinary and trans-cultural context of today. As an exhibition returning from Germany to the United States and its place of origin, the city of Washington, D.C., the Center for Hellenic Studies (CHS) creates an even more interconnected field between cultures, societies, and time through a cross-cultural collaboration.

Participating Artists: Julia Bloom, Greg Braun, Elsabe Dixon, Stephanie Firestone, Felicia Glidden, Carol B. Goldberg, Tom Greaves, Edel Gregan, Jonathan Guyer, Kelly Lorraine Hendrickson, Jin Lee, Leigh  Maddox, Jaqueline Maggi, James Mallos, Kass McGowan, Elizabeth Miller McCue, Jim Paulsen, Tatyana Schremko, Mike Shaffer, Lynda Smith-Bugge, Garret Strang, Lawrence S. Watson, Fabiola Alvarez Yurcisin.

Juried by Anne Reeve, Curated by Artemis Herber.

"Micro-Monuments" will be on view from May 27 – October 15, 2016 at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Open Monday – Friday 10am – 12pm / 2-4pm and by appointment

Sunday, May 08, 2016

52 O Street Artist OPEN STUDIOS: Spring 2016

Location: 52 O Street Artist Studios
52 O St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Between North Capitol Street and First street NW, north of New York Ave
Metro: NOMA red line
Date: Saturday May 21st & Sunday May 22nd 2016 Time: 11am-6pm 

The 52 O Street Artist Open Studios is an annual event that invites the public into the creative spaces of the artists and designers who work and live in the artist studios at 52 O Street. Visitors will have the opportunity to meet artists, learn about their creative process and purchase artworks directly from the site of creation. 

Since its inception in 1978, 52 O Street has been an integral part of the DC arts community. The building provides both living space and creative work space to a variety of artists and designers in different mediums. 

Conveniently located a short walk from the NOMA Metro Station on the Red Line, in the Washington DC Truxton Circle neighborhood, the 52 O Street Artist Studios is between North Capitol Street and First street NW (north of New York Ave). 

The building will be open for visitors to explore and meet the artists from 11am to 6pm the weekend of Saturday May 21st and Sunday May 22nd. 

Participating artists work in a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. The 2016 Spring 52 O Street Artists Open Studio event will include: painters, Lisa Marie Thalhammer, Thom Flynn, Cianne Fragione, Dan Treado, Kelly Towles, Tom Bunnell, Laura Tighe Katie Pumphrey, Rachel Farbiarz and Charles Jean Pierre; sculptor Matt Hollis; photographers, Caitlin Teal Price, Jonathan Ellis, Veronica Ramos, and Pitch Fork Studio (Erin Scott + Abby Greenawalt); fashion designers, Virginia Arrisueño, DeNada and Skylar Javier, Native Danger, accessory designer Vesna Kustudic of Mint Lola; Homme boutiques/gallery curated by Amir Browder; goldsmiths and instructors for JewelryClassDC Daniel Valencia and Emily Reeder; natural skincare curator Becky Waddell of Be Clean; interior designer, Veronica Revilla and co-working space Locale Workspace.

For more information please visit them online.
Website: http://52ostreet.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/52OStreet/

Saturday, May 07, 2016

José Raúl Capablanca

I've taught Little Junes how to play chess, and he asked me why I always open the game with the King's Knight opening.

It reminded me of José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (19 November 1888 – 8 March 1942). Capa was a Cuban chess player who was world chess champion from 1921 to 1927. 

José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera
Nearly everyone who is a chess geek considers Capa as one of the greatest players of all time and it was he, not Bobby Fisher (who is one of Capa's greatest fans), who became the first person born outside of Europe to become world chess champion.

Chess geeks are always studying the masters' games and Capa is recognized as one of the best - he only lost 35 first class games in his entire career.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Is this new for the Washington Post?

This medical article in the WaPo is a fascinating read and I highly recommend it. I was also startled to find the article illustrated by a series of original artworks (23 of them!) credited to Robert Carter.


Artwork by Robert Carter
The works are actually quite good! See them here.

GRACE Call for Artists

Deadline May 21 ‏


This summer the Greater Reston Arts Center will present its second biennial exhibition highlighting the talents of their artist members.


Juried by a distinguished outside guest curator, this group exhibition will feature multiple artists working in a variety of media and treating a wide range of themes. 


This call is open to all artists. Application fee is a $35 membership to the Greater Reston Arts Center. Read more

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Call for Artists

Deadline: May 6
In association with Woolly Mammoth’s upcoming production of An Octoroon, by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Sheldon Scott Studios is calling for visual artists to include in their exhibition, Radical Re-imaginings: Our Racialized Past, Present, and Futures. This is an all-media call for a public art project at Woolly Mammoth featuring DC area artists responding to the ways in which America’s racialized past continues to inform our present moment.
Details here. 

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Fox 5’s Shawn Yancy's really, really good artwork

Whodda Thunk It? Local DMV news anchor Shawn Yancy is not only one of the region's top newscasters but also a superbly talented artist!
You have said that journalism is black and white, while art is more of a creative outlet. Do you think journalism and art complement each other, or are they different?
I think they’re different. I don’t think news is as black and white as it used to be, but it’s black and white. We’re supposed to look at the facts. For me, art is my opinion all the time. In TV news, every now and then we can give a little opinion. In art, it’s all my opinion. It’s colorful. That’s not to say news isn’t creative because certainly there’s a lot of creativity and thought that goes into the shows that we produce and air every day. But it’s different. There are certain guidelines that we need to follow. This is the difference: News, basically you stay in [the] lines. With art, you can color outside of the lines. I never liked it when teachers said, ‘Color in the lines.’ I don’t believe that’s what you should do when it comes to art.
Installation paintings by Shawn Yancy

Read a really informative and very well-written piece about Shawn in Bethesda Magazine (which is usually taking the brunt of my ire for their lackluster coverage of the visual arts, but gets an A+ this time) here.


To see more of her work, visit her website at shawnyancy.com.

Tomorrow: Alper Session

May 5th
5:30-7:00 pm

Join the Alper for the second session of Free Parking, a series of salon-style conversations in the Alper Initiative for Washington Art. It could get rowdy as we review the life and art of musicians in the 70s and 80s DC Punk and New Wave music scenes. Special guests Bill Warrell and Michael Olshonsky.

This event is free and open to anyone interested in discussing the art and artists of the Washington Metropolitan area. Space is limited.




Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Touchstone Gallery celebrates 40 years!

Congrats to Touchstone Gallery! In gallery years, 40 is like 200 years for most other businesses!


May 4 – 29, 2016

CHAMPAGNE GALA RECEPTION: Friday, May 13, 6-8:30 PM
Hors d’Oeuvres provided by Acadiana Restaurant
Brazilian music by Tom Rohde, guitar and Pablo Regis de Oliveira, cavaquinho
(Free and open to the public)

GALLERY A
40th Anniversary Show including artwork by 50 current and 40 former gallery artists.

Exhibiting Artists: Lina Alattar, Steve Alderton, David Alfuth, Linda Bankerd, Ann Barbieri, David Beers, Harmon Biddle, Jo Ann Block, Jill E. Brantley, Richard Braswell, Dana Brotman, Chica Brunsvold, Roberto Carvalho, Danny Conant, Marcia Coppel, Tory Cowles, Charlie Dale, Lionel Daniels, Mari DeMaris, Anthony Dortch, Susan De Serio Faden, Susan Feller, Connie Fleres, Elaine Florimonte, Michelle Frazier, Pamela Frederick, Jeanne Garant, Judith Giuliani, Robert Goebel, M. Alexander Gray, Marco Gutierrez Zevallos, Patricia Helsing, Angela Herbert Hodges, Carolyn Johnson, Timothy Johnson, Leslie A. Johnston, Peter Karp, Aleksandra Katargina, Nihal Kececi, Makda Kibour, Ai-Wen Wu Kratz, Chee-Keong Kung, Harvey Kupferberg, Michael Lang, Paula Lantz, Cathy Leaycraft, Carl Lennartson, Francine Livaditis, Teresa RobertsLogan, Carol Lopatin, Marge Loudon Moody, Shelley Lowenstein, Rosemary Luckett, Mary H. Lynch, Kate McConnell, Pete McCutchen, JoAnn McInnis, McCain McMurray, Newton S. More, Bill Mould, Georgia Nassikas, Minna Nathanson, Aina Nergaard-Nammack, Leslie M. Nolan, Nancy Novick, Mary D. Ott , Mark Palmer, Cheryl Parsons, Wendy Plotkin-Mates, Lauren Rader, BD Richardson, Ron Riley, April Rimpo, Michelle Rogers, Colleen Sabo, Amy Sabrin, Claudia Samper, Rhona LK Schonwald, Rima Schulkind, Janathel Shaw, Connie Slack, Janos Somogyi, Maureen M. Squires, Tre, Mary Trent Scott, Lisa Tureson, Rosa Vera, Gail Vogels, Gale Wallar, Jonathan Wassom, Ellyn Weiss, Janet Wheeler, Melissa Widerkehr, Patricia Williams.

GALLERY B
“Do I Know You?” by Paula Lantz
Paula Lantz presents part of an on-going theme of boldly painted and collaged abstracted figures.

GALLERY C
"A Few of my Favorite Things” by Colleen Sabo
This show will feature all new work completed within the past two years in oils. Included will be landscapes, city scenes, florals and still lifes, with an emphasis on French landscapes.

Touchstone Gallery
901 New York Ave NW
Washington DC 20001
Tel: 202-347-2787
Open: Wednesday-Friday 11-6, Saturday-Sunday 12-5

Monday, May 02, 2016

Opportunity for Artists


Deadline: Friday, July 1, 2016

Artists wishing to be considered for an exhibit in the Howard County Arts Council (HCAC) galleries are invited to submit a general exhibit application. The HCAC Exhibits Committee meets quarterly to review applications and select artists for the exhibit space. Artists, ages 18 and older, working in all media and styles including time-based and installation artists, are encouraged to apply either individually or as a group. The Committee also welcomes proposals from curators and organizations.
 
Detailed entry guidelines are available on the ‘Exhibits’ page of the HCAC website, for pick-up at the Howard County Center for the Arts, or by mail by calling 410-313-2787 or emailing info@hocoarts.org. The next deadline for submissions is Friday, July 1, 2016.
 
HCAC manages two galleries at the Howard County Center for the Arts with over 2100 square feet of exhibit space. The HCAC gallery program was established to enhance the public’s appreciation of the visual arts, provide a venue to exhibit the work of local, regional, and national artists in a professional space, and provide leadership in the arts by presenting a broad spectrum of arts in all media from both emerging and established artists.
 
HCAC presents 11-12 exhibits per year of national, regional, and local artists, including two-person, small and large group, juried, curated, and community shows.
 
Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10AM - 8PM, Saturday 10AM - 4PM, and Sunday 12 - 4PM.  To learn more about HCAC programs and exhibits, call 410-313-ARTS (2787) or visit hocoarts.org.  

Sunday, May 01, 2016

The Batman Brooding Over Robin

Newest piece that marries technology with contemporary drawing: A traditional drawing of The Batman as he sits in the dank bat cave brooding over the death of Robin. In the embedded video we have a 6.5 minute embedded video loop that focuses on the relationship between the Dark Knight and The Boy Wonder.


The background, as usual, contains a series of double encrypted messages (in the "cracks" on the wall. Click on the images for a larger version.




The Batman in The Batcave (Brooding Over Robin)  Charcoal, conte and Embedded Appropriated Video. Circa 2013  Framed to 30x40 inches.
The Batman in The Batcave (Brooding Over Robin)
Charcoal, conte and Embedded Appropriated Video. Circa 2013
Framed to 30x40 inches.

F. Lennox Campello's The Batman in The Batcave (Brooding Over Robin)  Charcoal, conte and Embedded Appropriated Video. Circa 2013  Framed to 30x40 inches.



The Batman in The Batcave (Brooding Over Robin)  Charcoal, conte and Embedded Appropriated Video. Circa 2013  Framed to 30x40 inches.

Call for photographers: Photo '16

Entry deadline:June 30, 2016


Photo ‘16 is a national juried fine art photography exhibit at Multiple Exposures Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. 
We are extremely pleased that Sam Abell, long-time National Geographic photographer who contributed some of the most intriguing and memorable images in the Geographic, will be the juror for this competition and exhibit.

All photographers living in the U.S., 18 years or older working in traditional, digital or alternative photographic processes are eligible to participate.


Exhibit dates: October 18, 2016 - November 27, 2016
Awards and Reception: Saturday, October 29, 2016: 2pm-4pm


Details here.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Tonight


Come talk to the critics and meet the artist for the closing of 'The Critiqued' at The Otis Street Art Project.
We are honored to have our distinguished critics F. Lennox Campello, Adah Rose Bitterbaum, Michael O’Sullivan to return. We will revisit common artistic issues discussed throughout the year and the critiqued experience.

Doors open at 6pm
Panel 6:30-7:30pm
Party 7:30-8:30pm
Exhibiting Artists:
Zofie Lang
Christian Tribastone
Ceci Cole McInturff
Amy Hughes Braden
Jose Fernandez
Alexandra Silverthorne
Fallon Chase
Amber Robles-Gordon
Joan Belmar
Katie Pumphrey
Steven Durow
Jacqui Crocetta
Stephanie Booth

If you have not seen this show yet it's a must see. They are open Saturdays 12-5, Tue-Fri by appointment.


 See the review in the Washington Post here.


Otis Street Arts Project
3706 Otis Street

Mount Rainier, MD 20712
202.550.4634
mailto:Info@OtisStreetArts.org
OtisStreetArts.org

Friday, April 29, 2016

Spectacular Children Art

First some images of kindergarten artwork from Sidwell Friends Lower School, followed by a video of the SFS Lower School Art show... some of this work is just breath-taking!  The video is all the way at the bottom...





Thursday, April 28, 2016

Art Scam Alert!

Be careful with this mutant:
From: Susan Martez (info1@barbedtapewire.com)
Dear Frien
 
We are interested in purchasing your product,
Kindly reply us with your company business terms and conditions so that we can place a trial order ASAP
Waiting for your timely reply
Best regard
Susan Martez
Purchasing Manager
Lumach Groups Company Limited
Address: 055 Quatics blk
North CarolinaZip:610026
United state.
Tele:1-870-399047204
sale@lumachgroups.com

Paintings ‘stolen’ from the Internet

It’s a show called “Can t you sue ppl for stealing tweets isn’t that playjarism?” and it consists of 15 oil paintings, none of which were made by Lavoie. He didn’t even see them until the day they were installed, though he came up with the ideas, negotiated with subcontractors and signed off on every stage of the work. He did everything that a creative director and project manager would do at an ad agency, except that he didn’t have to get a client’s approval.
Read here the details of this fascinating approach to 21st century art (which in variant forms has been employed by artists since the atelier was invented). 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Next month...


Bethesda Fine Arts Festival
May 14, 10am - 6pm and May 15, 10am - 5pm


130 artists from throughout the United States and Canada will converge in Bethesda's  Woodmont Triangle for the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival. Along with booths of fine art and fine craft, the festival will feature live musical, great eats from Bethesda restaurants and a children's activity area. 


Join them for a unique shopping experience in downtown Bethesda. Browse jewelry, furniture, painting, photography, sculpture and more. 
Admission to the festival is free and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine.