Wednesday, November 16, 2016

MoCo and Artomatic - The council responds!

In response to my issue raised here, where I complain about the 11th wealthiest county in the USA's lack of financial support for Artomatic, Nancy Floreen, President of the MoCo county responds:

Dear Mr. Campello, 

Thank you for your correspondence urging the County to purchase art from local artists participating in Artomatic in Montgomery County. I have made it available to my Council colleagues, and I am pleased to respond on their behalf.
The Executive Director of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County (AHCMC) was correct when she said that no funding has been designated for this purpose.  Funding for the arts was reduced during the recent recession and has slowly been increased each year since.  The County Executive is currently developing the FY18 budget for the AHCMC and other arts projects supported by the County.  Therefore, I am forwarding your letter to the Executive’s office so that he can consider your funding request for the purchase of local art for inclusion in the FY18 budget which will come to the Council in few months.
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts on this important matter.

Nancy Floreen
President, Montgomery County Council


Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New boss at GRACE

The Board of Directors for the Greater Reston Arts Center (GRACE) today announced the appointment of Lily Siegel as the Center's Executive Director and Curator. She will start on December 5. The appointment comes at an important time in the Center’s history, as it builds out its Destination GRACE vision of becoming an even more robust cultural institution in the DC metropolitan region, coinciding with the arrival of the Metrorail’s Silver Line.

“GRACE is a strong regional voice well poised for national impact. Together with the terrific Board of Directors and staff, I will promote that development through a robust exhibition program that includes local and international artists shown side-by-side,” Ms. Siegel said. “We will expand the scope of educational programing, both in regional schools and in the gallery, by emphasizing the promotion of art to enrich community. The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival will continue to grow by broadening the opportunities for artists and the public to get involved.”
Ms. Siegel received her BA (Visual Arts: History and Criticism) from the University of California San Diego and her MA (Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism) from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). She began her career as a curatorial assistant at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, followed by tenures as the Assistant Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the High Museum in Atlanta and then as the Associate Curator at The Contemporary Jewish Museum (The CJM) in San Francisco. Since moving to Washington, DC, just over a year ago, she has continued her relationship with The CJM as a guest curator for the exhibition From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory in Contemporary Art, which opens on November 25. She will be presenting an exhibition on the late artist Moira Dryer, Moira Dryer: Vice Versa (working title), at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C. in Spring 2018. Exhibition research for Moira Dryer: Vice Versa has been generously supported by a Curatorial Fellowship from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
“Lily has already achieved a great deal in her young career, which speaks to her special talents,” said Robert Goudie, GRACE Board Chair. “She brings outstanding academic achievement, a passion for contemporary art, a demonstrated ability to raise money for and manage significant projects, and a national perspective, relationships, and experiences. She’s exactly the right person to lead us forward in our determination to become an even more impactful presence in the metropolitan area’s visual arts landscape. We could not be more excited to have her assuming the leadership of the organization.”
“I am honored by this opportunity and look forward to getting to work. The chance to lead this dynamic period of growth and extend GRACE's already well-established reputation for quality is a compelling combination for me,” said Ms. Siegel. “GRACE has a rich history in the community. As the community grows—with the coming of Metrorail and extension of the DC metro area—so will GRACE.”

Monday, November 14, 2016

Wanna go to an opening tomorrow night?

Bethesda B's

The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District is further fulfilling its commitment to public art and unveiling a new series of sculptures throughout downtown Bethesda. The thirteen aluminum sculptures, designed in the shape of a B, will be placed near Bethesda’s arts and entertainment venues as well as throughout downtown Bethesda to highlight venues as well as brand Bethesda as an Arts & Entertainment District.

“We are pleased to now have a piece of art that signifies Bethesda as a destination for the arts,” said Cathy Bernard, President of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, “Bethesda is proud of our state-designated Arts & Entertainment District, our arts venues and our programs that honor and support regional artists. These sculptures celebrate and promote the many local organizations that encourage and foster arts and cultural programming downtown.”

A dedication of the Sculpture B’s will be on Thursday, November 17, at 10:00am in Veterans Park which is located at the corner of Woodmont and Norfolk Avenues.  The B’s were made possible by a grant from Montgomery County, MD. Thanks to the generous contributions of twenty-one local organizations, the Bethesda A&E board raised $50,000 for the project, which the county generously matched. The following individuals and organizations contributed to this project:

Bernard Family Foundation; The Bernstein Companies; Bethesda Urban Partnership; Central Farm Markets; Chevy Chase Land Company; The Donohoe Companies; EagleBank; Fred & Starr Ezra; Greenhill Realty; Jane Fairweather Team/Coldwell Banker; LA and LK Greenberg Charitable Foundation; Lerch, Early & Brewer; Linowes and Blocher; Mark Kramer Architects; Zachary & Janna Oxman; Polinger Company; Stage 2 A/V Productions; TD Bank; The Tower Companies; United Bank and Vamoose.
The sculptures are installed at the following locations:
·         7200 Wisconsin Avenue
·         Bethesda Library, 7400 Arlington Road
·         Bethesda Metro, corner of Wisconsin Avenue & Old Georgetown Road
·         Bethesda Urban Partnership, 7700 Old Georgetown Road
·         Corner of Bethesda & Woodmont Avenues
·         Corner of Fairmont & Norfolk Avenues
·         Corner of Norfolk & Del Ray Avenues
·         Corner of Wisconsin Avenue & Bradley Boulevard
·         Corner of Woodmont Avenue & St. Elmo Avenue
·         Gallery B, 7701 Woodmont Avenue
·         Imagination Stage, 4908 Auburn Avenue
·         Round House Theatre, 4545 East-West Highway
·         Veterans Park,  corner of Norfolk & Woodmont Avenues

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Postcards from the Edge

This is a great charity! I've participated for years and encourage all of you to do so...
Call to Participate:
Postcards from the Edge 2017
Host Gallery: Metro Pictures
January 13–15, 2017
Postmark Deadline for Artwork Submission: December 5, 2016
Create or attach an original artwork on any 4"x6” heavy weight paper. Drawings, photographs, paintings, printmaking, and mixed media are welcome. ONE ENTRY per artist. If you are in NYC and would like a blank postcard, stop by our office to pick one up, donated by

For information on mailing artwork and to download the submission form, visit the Visual AIDS website.

PFTE is one of our most important fundraisers of the year, and its success will allow us to produce important art activism projects in 2017. By participating, artists support our mission, enabling us to produce AIDS-focused contemporary art programs and provide supplies and assistance to artists living with HIV/AIDS, many of whom are unable to continue producing work without such support.

Congrats to Adah Rose Gallery!

Congrats to Adah Rose Gallery on their 5th anniversary today!
Please Join them in the Gallery, today Sunday Nov 13 for their 5 year Anniversary Celebration and the Opening for:
Brian Dupont and Alan Steele

"The Impulse for Keeping a Record"
3766 Howard Ave
Kensington Md 20895

Music by Bud Wilkinson
12-3 pm

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Artomatic 2016: The Review

Artomatic, the planet's greatest open visual arts show is back, this time in Montgomery County, Maryland, which is part of the Greater Washington, DC area, or as I dubbed it over a decade ago, the DMV (District-Maryland-Virginia).

And, because this is the smallest Artomatic ever (by Artomatic standards anyway) since it only has about 380 artists, it is perhaps the easiest to see, since it would only require 2-3 visits to see all the artists on the 5th and 6th floor of the Park Potomac building where it is being staged.

I'll start with work that caught my eye, my usual Artomatic "Best Awards" and finish it with my top ten picks, perhaps the hardest job that any art critic, or opiner on the arts ever has, since the trite saying "art is in the eyes of the beholder" has never been more applicable than after a visit to any Artomatic.

I'd also like to brag that (as many of you know) many of my past Artomatic Top Ten picks have gone on to become recognized, blue chip artists around the DMV; and some, such as Tim Tate, around the nation, and some, such as Frank Warren around the planet! 

On the 6th floor I liked the paintings of William Tinto (great deals by the way - all around $300-$400), Nils Lofgren, Nancy Abeles and Praveen Thaivalappil. I also liked some very unusal paintings by Yumiko Hirokawa - I note "unusual" because they're on a substrate of aluminum paint and boast superb technical skills (as do all the previously noted painters) with a hard-to-pin-point sense of macabre to them. I also liked Joyce McCarten and Laurie Breen. I also liked the works of Chris Meer, who is unknowingly channeling Anne Cherubim and should probably meet her and see her paintings on the same floor!

I also liked Doug Stern and Roger James. Their locations on the 6th floor, next to each other is artist placement genius... enough said, you'll have to go see it to ... cough, cough... see what I mean.

On the 5th floor I liked the sculptures by Daniel Aaron Stuart, and many other artists which are mentioned below.

And now, the awards!

Artist Most Likely to Attract Gallerists: Kathy Lindert... I can't find a website for her, so I'm assuming that this talented painter is unrepresented... Get a website!!

Best Naive Art: Schroeder Cherry - this artist, located close to the elevators on the 5th floor, initially fooled me into thinking that he was a self-taught artist (he's not), until on my third visit to his booth, I did a closer examination of his works, and realized that he's perfectly accomplishing one of the most difficult tasks in the visual arts, which is to use a naive visual approach to deliver intelligent and resonant works of social commentary and narrative complexity. Cherry focuses on African-American themes that reflect powerful imagery, augmented by striking presentation (chopped frames, etc.), found objects, etc.

Angel Can #42 by Schroeder Cherry
Best Animal Art: Sandra Perez-Ramos - She also gets the "Coolest Use of Pocket Protectors" award.

Best Mono-Chromatic Art: Alex L. Porter - Impressive what Porter can do with just black and white.

Best Portrait Artist: George Carr - He also gets the "Best Figure Painter" award - not an easy double award to get in two very hotly contested categories!

Best Textile Art: Diane Tuckman - a master of the craft!

Best Wall 3D Art: Erin Antognoli - Amazing 3D piece, right on the wall by the side of the elevator.

Best Furniture Art: Daniel Good - Overtly busy paintings in the shape of furniture... Dude it is 2016: Get a website!

Best Illustration Art: Annie Lunsford - She also "illustrated" her booth's drywall! This was a highly competitive category, as there is a lot of high quality illustrative work in this iteration of AOM.

Best Installation: Liliane Bloom - Her "Pink - A Cherry Blossom Fantasy" is not only mesmerizing to the eyes, but also a perhaps unintended tip of the hat to DMV installation artist Dan Steinhilber.

Best Glass Artist: Sherry Selevan - Opaque and mysterious works that stand from the usual glass menagerie of bowls and vessels. She shares the award with Trish Kent's very cool fused glass dresses (get a website!!).

Best Erotica: Jenny Wallace - She runs away with this coveted award, although I must also add that this Artomatic doesn't have the usual large numbers of erotica as part of its roster of artworks. I also noted that most artists working erotic themes have been cleverly located in corners of the spaces, with the images usually facing away from the main walkways. Wallace also wins the "Sexiest Image Award" with her photo titled Resignation. Wallace could be the best fetish-focused artist that I have ever seen. The second place for sexiest image goes to Julia Mazur's photo of a nude woman sitting on a window sill. The image is back-lit and highlights every single hair on her body, each one seductively outlined by the light.

Photo by Julia Mazur

Best Erotic Fruits: Tara O'Neil - Her sliced peaches got me all fuzzy! 

Peach by Tara O'Neil

Best Flag Art: Blue Robin and Lindsey D. Vance share this award. Blue Robin's use of the coqui on the Puerto Rican flag is genius!

Best "I Already Knew He Was Good" Award: Ric Garcia

Best Technical Skill: Branch School of Art

Best Color Pencil Artist: Amanda Spaid - Wonderful control and intelligent employment of color - really, really good at a very difficult technique..

Best Clay Artist: Kasse Andrews-Weller - Busy and intelligent! Another artist without a website...

Best "Is it Abstract or Not" Award: Anne Cherubim is one of the most interesting painters around the DMV, and her dream-like paintings are deceptive images which showcase her formidable painting skills - they leave the viewer wondering as to the subject matter, while all along Cherubim has been hypnotizing them with her mastery of the subtle psychological effects of color!

Best Standing Stones Photography: Peter del Toro - I know, I know... pretty slim category, but I love standing stones imagery, and as such I read once that I was one of the world's top authorities on the subject (I wrote it, then I read it.. cough, cough), and therefore I know good when I see it, and del Toro's photos are really superb!

Best "Painterly" Cars (or is it "Best Car Painter"?) Award: Michael Kent

Best Mobiles: Rita Mortellaro - This is a spectacular departure for this award, which is usually the domain of someone channeling Calder. Mortellaro rocks this category with mobiles made out of tiny metal and/or fiber hoodies with rocks and found objects!

Mobile by Rita Mortellaro
Best Frida Kahlo Art: Marily Mojica - The Washington Post once called me a "Fridaphile" and I know my Fridas, and having curated two worldwide international homages to the Mexican icon, I really know artists working the Frida angle. And Mojica is easily one of the best that I have ever seen! Her approach is a clever re-invention of how we see Kahlo depicted (many times in her salon style hung booth).

Best Found Object Art: Seemeen Hashem... try to find it!

Is This Art? Award - Actually I have no idea is this is a sculptural installation, or just part of the construction on the floor, but it is kinda cool anyway! (see below image) Update: This installation is by artist Greg Braun!

Best "Better not have fallen asleep in Art History class" Award: Roger Cutler - This is not a surprise, as Cutler is a master of his genre, and his Duchamp's Bike Repair sculpture should be included in the next edition of Janson's!

Duchamp's Bike Repair by Roger Cutler

Best Action Painting: Kim Foley - One can almost feel the energy pop out of her works!

Best Bug Art: Emily Uchytil - Surprisingly, although not for most AOM's, this was a highly contested award! The very talented Uchytil also gets second place in the "Best Birds Art" category; she has enviable painting skills!

Coolest Idea Award: Victoria Thompson - In her booth "Object", this photographer takes old vintage photos and then modifies them, exposing breasts here and there; a clever depiction of the objectification of women.

Object by Victoria Thompson
Best Horror Vacui Award: Rachel Ann Cross - Elegant wall sculptures that employ guitars, etc. fully adorned in full kenophobic splendor!

Best Flower Art: Malathi Jayawickrama - Superb use of light and very painterly - this is one of the toughest categories at AOM, as there are many flower aficionados.

Best Record Keeper Award: Greg Benge - His "Vinyl Countdown" series is very attractive and could also get the "Recyclable Art Award." Benge notes that he "found a really great deal on hundreds of scratched unplayable discs (don’t worry, I haven’t ruined any rare finds)." For older readers: "disc" = "LP" or "record."

George Carlin by Greg Benge
Best Sculpture Award: Gloria Chapa - Her Placebo Pinata did it!

Best Encaustic Art: Marcie Wolf-Hubbard - easy pick when a master of the genre is in the show.

Best Art Deal Award: Suz Podrasky - At around $80 for original work that is intelligent and well presented - buy it! The award is shared with Rambo, Inc. on the 6th floor by the Artomatic office; they have artwork as low as $10 and it is superbly talented work. Also shared with Michael Auger; his very cool artwork can be acquired for around $50!

Best Steam Punk Art: Studio Detritus - They (Marcia and Randall Fry) also get the "Best Title Award" for Planck's Doorway 2!

Best Veggie Painter: Kathleen Carroll - Do not be deceived by the focus of the work; this is a really good painter!

Must See Award: Eeshan V. Melder - Do not miss the Eliot's Lunch installation and make sure that you read the wall text!

Scariest Painting Award Josh Gorsky - The angry mandrill did it!

Mandrill by Peter Sibrin
Angry Art Award: Artist Unknown - No name to the angry art with black fist and spent bullet casings.

Best Breast Award (try saying that three times in a row): Shanna Casey's ceramic vase, perhaps an homage to G√ľnter Grass' The Flounder?

Breast ceramic vase by Shanna Casey

Best Student Art Award: Dionnia - From Holy Trinity Catholic School 7-2A class! Her use of color, and replay of the color on the ground, on the pyramids and in the sky is playful and attractive!

Untitled by Dionnia
Best Landscape Artist: Sarah Wardell - Elegantly muted plein air landscapes, where one can feel the sunlight and smell the grass.

Top 10 Artists (in alphabetical order)

Shiri Achu - Powerful African art in a marriage of contemporary skills with strong African imagery from this Africa-born new American artist.

Ralph Baden - His ridiculous paintings are over the top!

George Carr - Spectacular painting skills! A total master of the figure and of the portrait.

Shanthi Chandrasekar - Over the years she has developed her own style of painting that is almost magic in context.

Schroeder Cherry - Read what I raved about him earlier.

Ellen Cornett - A spectacular artist! I'm so jealous of her drawing skills!

Ric Garcia - Continues to invent and define a new genre of Latino pop art.

Glen Kesler - An easy pick... and I think that I've picked him before in previous AOMs!

Kathy Lindert - Get a website!

Phyllis Mayes - Another repeat pick for me - one of the best painters around the DMV.

Artomatic 2016 is on through December 9, 2016.


November 3 – December 9

Noon – 10:00 PM

Fridays & Saturdays:
Noon – 12:00 midnight

Noon – 6:00 PM

Closed Monday Wednesday & Thanksgiving Day


12435 Park Potomac Avenue, Potomac, MD 20854

Floors 5 & 6

New Batman Brooding

You can see this piece and buy it at CONTEXT ART MIAMI art fair... booth CTX326 during ABMB week!

The Batman Brooding
16x12 inches, Framed to 20x16, c. 2016 by F. Lennox Campello
$6500 USD

The Batman Brooding (Detail)

16x12 inches, Framed to 20x16, c. 2016 by F. Lennox Campello
$6500 USD

Friday, November 11, 2016

Thank you

A grateful "Thank You!" to all my fellow vets, and to all the men and women in uniform and their families serving all over the world... we've got your back!

Petty Officer Third Class Florencio Lennox Campello, USN c. 1975
Petty Officer Third Class Florencio Lennox Campello, USN
circa 1975, USS Saratoga (CV-60)
And to all my friends on Facebook and Twitter spewing hate and discontent, and painting millions of American with a wide brush, and to the protesters on the street, refusing to accept the results of an election: There's a lot of us vets who disagree with you, but nearly every single one of us is ready to back your right to disagree and to protest peacefully.

The best protest is your vote... not thrashing someone's business, or burning someone's car, or throwing rocks at our police.

Mike Rowe put it best when he writes:
 I’m worried too. But not because of who we elected. We’ve survived 44 Presidents, and we’ll survive this one too. I’m worried because millions of people now seem to believe that Trump supporters are racist, xenophobic, and uneducated misogynists. I’m worried because despising our candidates publicly is very different than despising the people who vote for them...
Who tosses away a friendship over an election? Are my friends turning into those mind-numbingly arrogant celebrities who threaten to move to another country if their candidate doesn’t win? Are my friends now convinced that people they’ve known for years who happen to disagree with them politically are not merely mistaken – but evil, and no longer worthy of their friendship?
For what it’s worth, Carol, I don’t think Donald Trump won by tapping into America’s “racist underbelly,” and I don’t think Hillary lost because she’s a woman. I think a majority of people who voted in this election did so in spite of their many misgivings about the character of both candidates. That’s why it’s very dangerous to argue that Clinton supporters condone lying under oath and obstructing justice. Just as it’s equally dangerous to suggest a Trump supporter condones gross generalizations about foreigners and women.
I leave you with Kipling... peace out:

I WENT into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ;
But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";
But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap.
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "
But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to roll
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind,"
But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "
But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

Transformer's 13th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party

Support Transformer in their work to connect and promote emerging artists, the young visionaries who help guide us in asking questions, growing understanding, and making change in our world.

Buy a ticket to their
13th Annual Silent Auction & Benefit Party,
and buy artwork by the 175+ participating artists.

Early bird ticket price of $175 is extended through Sunday 11/13.

Advance ticket purchase is required.

Visit Transformer's Auction page 
at for further details.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Call to Artists

WHAT: The 26th Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
WHERE: Reston Town Center, Reston VA
WHEN:May 19-20, 2017
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival is a competitive, juried, outdoor event that showcases the best contemporary fine art and craft from around the nation. The Festival, which typically attracts 30,000+ patrons, is held in Reston Town Center, located in the affluent suburbs of Washington, DC. Reston Town Center is an easily accessible and upscale shopping and entertainment destination.  Our clientele is described as "affluent, enthusiastic young to middle aged couples who are not too price sensitive."

We recognize that our artists invest time, effort and money to participate in the Festival and we strive to make sure that everyone's Festival experience is excellent. 2017 exhibiting artists will enjoy outstanding support from our exceptional volunteers and a diverse knowledgeable clientele. Below are some artist hospitality attributes of our event:
*Nationally ranked outdoor festival

*The Great Application Giveaway: Art-Linx will award 3 lucky artists who elect to participate in this free drawing their jury fee.  Entry is based on application (not acceptance) to the show.  Winners will be notified via email.

*Drive-up, set-up/tear down adjacent to booth
*Reserved artist-only parking for oversize vehicles
*Convenient and profitable selling hours
*Ample volunteer support
*Booth sitters
*$5,000 in awards
*Printed program that features full-color thumbnails and websites for every artist with accompanying booth numbers
*Continental breakfasts
*Reduced hotel rates for onsite accomodations
*Free bottled water and snack delivery
*Indoor restrooms
*Police presence in additional to the 24/7 Reston Town Center Security
*Artist mentor opportunities  
Each year our Festival features approximately two hundred artists who are selected on the basis of quality, originality and craftsmanship by a panel of independent jurors and by members of our curatorial staff.  All are superb professionals with extensive experience in various disciplines of studio art and museum curation.

This Festival is annually produced by the Greater Reston Arts Center and is our primary fundraiser. As a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to enriching community life through excellence in contemporary visual art. We offer free-to-the-public exhibitions and art education programs across all ages, and impact over 20,000 children in 40 are schools. The proceeds from the Festival directly support our educational and outreach programs.

We are committed to elevating the profile of our Festival, and have increased our marketing budget to reach new audiences and promote interest from collectors. We contract with a professional PR firm to develop an aggressive marketing and promotion campaign to better market, recognize, and celebrate our Festival artists. We negotiate for well-placed advertising in prominent magazines and newspapers, arts focused catalogs, and online Going Out Guides. We have a strong outreach campaign for social media, radio, and television, which includes both paid and trade advertising. 

For the event approximately 70% of the artists are returning, 30% are new and 6% are invited, which include the ten award winners from the previous year. Exhibitor Ginny Herzog says; "I have been exhibiting at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival for fifteen years and it is my favorite and is now my only east coast show. This show repeatedly delivers art savvy patrons and collectors from around the DC area."

Art collectors know our Festival and mark their calendars early for our marquee event. Local collectors Bob & Bonnie said "We love to purchase artwork from the amazing artists at the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. These works add vibrancy and interest to our home, while helping support the arts and artists who create them. Over the years we have collected over 20 pieces of art at this event and made many connections with artists we now call "friends". It is one of the best venues for art in the Mid-Atlantic, and also a highly anticipated event for the community and the metropolitan Washington, DC area."

Art enthusiast, Margaret says; "every year I have a list of events I very much look forward and must repeat....The quality and diversity of the art is excellent and always interesting...This year the first picture I saw as I approached the Festival took my breath away. It was perfect for a spot I had in mind...." 

Don't miss your opportunity to be here!
Apply online through Juried Art Services

Application Deadline:  December 11, 2016
Application Fee: $50 (non-refundable)

Each application require four (4) artwork images and one (1) booth/display image fully representative of work you intend to exhibit; and an artist statement, explaining your creative process, use of materials and techniques.
Additional information is available at 
Call or Email questions to Festival Director Erica Harrison 703-471-9242 ext. 113 

Wednesday, November 09, 2016

Congrats to President Elect Trump

President elect Donald Trump
Congrats to President Elect Donad Trump, whose unlikely victory was remarkable!

As we do with all President elects since we started in 2003, we wish him the best of luck, skill and ability in running the world's most powerful political office... and a well-deserved Bravo Zulu!

Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Artomatic, Montgomerycountymatic, moneymatic... problematic

Prologue: After you finish reading the below, copy my question in bold, click here, and then paste the question onto an email to each of the MoCo council members and to their Kommissar, Mr. Ike Legget.

The current version of Artomatic, the DMV's greatest visual arts extravaganza, which opened last Tuesday in Potomac, Maryland, is the smallest iteration of the show since it started almost 20 years ago. Ironically, this may make this version the "easiest" one to visit and digest, as the normal gigantic size of the show is often the main issue that jams art critics' bandwidth when they visit and subsequently discussing the show.

As usual, AOM started with the venerable George Koch, Chair Emeritus of AOM and the ancestral father of this event, introducing some local Montgomery County artists, as well as the local developer (Foulger-Pratt, who owns the building and surrounding development), Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County, and a couple of local politicos (Council Vice President Roger Berliner, and Council member George Leventhal.

Foulger-Pratt 's CEO, Cameron Pratt, discussed the process via which the company approached AOM leadership about hosting the show, the opposite of the usual process, where AOM searches, and then begs for space. This deserves a kudo to Mr. Pratt's company. He was also quite funny in his remarks, discussing how real estate developers/politicians are not exactly well-loved these days.

Everyone laughed at the pun, and when Councilmember Leventhal's turn came up, he also brought it up, but incorrectly noted that Pratt had mentioned Donald Trump (by name) in his joke (he didn't... he just said "real estate developers/politicians"). This not only added a little bit of the Presidential race into the remarks, but it even highlighted the divisions, as the person behind me whispered to his companion: "I thought Pratt was talking about LuAnn Bennett..."

For any readers not familiar with Ms. Bennet, she's a local DMV real estate developer running for Congress in a race for her husband's former seat. Radio and TV ads constantly hammer home the message of her alleged manipulation of tax laws to enrich herself... cough, cough, so it's easy to see why Pratt's message could have been about Bennett and/or Trump.

Other than the Leventhal jab at Trump, both politicos pretty much delivered the same message, and what was common in their remarks, was the immense praise for the arts and its economic impact on Montgomery County.

They heaped praised on AOM, on the visual arts, on artists, on number two pencils, etc.

However, after a little investigation, the only thing that Montgomery County apparently has not done, is to contribute a penny towards AOM. If my conclusions are incorrect, then my apologies, and someone please correct me, cough, cough.

I discussed this with Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. I noted that when AOM was held in Prince George's County in 2012, the The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission had orchestrated a program via which multiple Artomatic artists from PG County were selected to have their work acquired for the county's art collection. And together with M-NCPPC, the Prince George’s Arts and Humanities Council supported a couple of programs for Artomatic 2015.

Would Montgomery County -- one of the richest (11th richest county of 1,343 counties in the US) and most heavily taxed counties in the nation, one whose council members recently approved a whooping 8.7% property tax increase, and Maryland's state and local tax collections per person ranked 3rd highest nationally! -- be doing something similar with county artists at AOM?

In other words, would the county be acquiring any AOM works for their public art collection?

The answer was no, and the reasoning behind it quite solid: The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County's miserable funding has barely enough funds to cover the maintenance and preservation of the nearly 700 works of art presently in its collection - so it can't afford to buy any!

For me, it put all the political talk in the trash bin and left me with the puzzle as to why PG County artists were shown some financial love, but Montgomery County, by far richer and with a much wealthier tax-paying base, cannot or will not, or perhaps hasn't even considered it!

Council members of Montgomery County: Will you set aside $20,000 for acquisition of artwork by Montgomery County artists currently on display at AOM?

Artomatic 2016 is in the Park Potomac development, which is located where Montrose Road crosses I-270, almost right off where the Beltway and 270 connect (going North). Artomatic is at 12435 Park Potomac Avenue and is free and open to the public. With 45,000 square feet of display space on the 5th and 6th floors featuring 380 artists, even at this "small" size, it is the largest open, anything and anyone shows, display of art on the planet. Do not miss it!

My review of Artomatic will be coming later this week!

A rarity: A DMV museum show about a DMV artist!

"DC area museum curators would rather take a cab to Dulles to fly to Berlin, or London, or Madrid to visit the studio of an emerging artist, than take a cab to Alexandria, or Adams Morgan, to visit the studio of an emerging local artist..."

 - F. Lennox Campello, Kojo Nmadi show about a decade ago...
Breaking news! In a radical departure from the norm, a DMV area art museum is doing a museum show about the works of a "local" artist!
This selection of fifteen classic stripe paintings by Gene Davis from the 1960s reveals the ambitious vision and accomplishment of one of Washington, D.C.’s outstanding visual artists.
Gene Davis: Hot Beat is organized by the Smithsonian American Art Museum with generous support from the Joanne and Richard Brodie Exhibitions Endowment, Gene Davis Memorial Fund, James F. Dicke Family Endowment, Tania and Tom Evans Curatorial Endowment, and YARES ART, New York, Palm Springs, Santa Fe.

Gene Davis: Hot Beat

3rd floor North, American Art Museum (8th and F Streets, N.W.)
November 18, 2016 – April 2, 2017