Monday, October 15, 2018

Superfine DC coming!

Art fairs in cities across the world continue to remain as one of the key components of the planet's cultural tapestry, with Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) still holding the title of the "big dance of the art world" each December in the Greater Miami area.

Other cities around the world, London, Toronto, Madrid, Capetown, Frankfurt, Basel, Buenos Aires, etc., all host and have really good art fairs as well, and many American cities - besides Miami - also host excellent fairs, most notably New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Seattle, Houston, etc.

And yet, in spite of several attempts by art fair world giants such as the Art Miami group, and by ubercollectors such as Mera Rubell, the DMV's attempts to enter the art fair circuit have failed. Here's my review of the 2008 attempt by Art Miami to start a fair in DC.

It's a paradoxically confounding issue! After all, according to a recent poll, the DMV has the planet's second highest concentration of multi-millionaires, so the disposable income is present in the Greater DC area and surrounding counties (six of the top 10 richest counties in the United States are in the DMV). 

Thus it is a fact that although the money is here, as anyone who's ever tried to sell a piece of art in the area knows, the collectors themselves are far and few in between, and a significant number of the 125,000 millionaires who (according to Census figures) live in the DMV region do not generally buy artwork with the same zest and zeal that they obtain giant mansions in Potomac, and ride around in huge SUVs, or expensive weekend motorcycles.

Why? Because to a certain extent, many of them lack the "formation" (as a Communist would say) to really understand, appreciate and know the difference between a "picture" and a work of art.

It's not that they are stupid or uncultured - after all, most of them are first generation, self made "progressive" men and women, often from blue collar backgrounds, and who worked their way up the capitalism food chain and made themselves what they are today.

Savvy businessmen, too many sharp lawyers, brilliant computer geeks, enviable technocrats - and all with little, if any, exposure to the arts in their upbringing, and more importantly, exposure to the availability of the arts. The last due to the exceptional apathy that our local DMV media has towards the visual arts.

We also have a really good art scene, mostly centered around the many museums which we're lucky to have in the area - mostly all "national" museums, which sucks for DMV artists, since they seldom pay attention to their own backyard, but a lot of museums nonetheless. We also have a lot of great art programs, since we're surrounded by dozens of world class Universities and colleges in the area with terrific art programs. 

We also have highly attended and highly ranked outdoor art festivals - most notably in Bethesda and Reston, and the Artomatic open show draws as many as 1,000 artists and 75,000 visitors!

Our area also has the lowest unemployment rate in the Universe.

All of those things are ingredients which would lead one to think that an art fair would do well around the DMV.

No one has cracked that nut yet, and if you are a constant reader of this blog, then you know that (since I have been participating in art fairs for well over a decade now), I have often offered advice via this blog on how to stage a potentially successful art fair in the DMV. You can read some of that advice, given 10 years ago here.

Art fairs are a huge financial risk to art galleries - You drop $10,000 to $15,000 bucks on an art fair, and if you come home with little or no sales, and an empty bank account... that often means that it is lights out for the gallery. I've seen and heard this happen multiple times in the decade plus that I've been doing art fairs.

What are the art fair costs? There are direct costs and associated costs.

Direct costs are:
(a) Cost of the basic booth
(b) Cost of additional booth stuff (extra walls, extra lights, storage)
(c) Some fairs have a "shared" advertising cost

Associated Costs are:
(a) Cost of required insurance
(b) Cost of transportation of the art. If using own vehicle, then also cost of parking it and gas
(c) Cost of people transportation to the fair, food and hotel, etc.

Bottom Line: Commercial galleries take huge chances at art fairs. My very first art fair all-around cost was about $8,000 over a decade ago in New York - all that was charged on the gallery's credit card and we held our breath while at the fair. We sold about $30,000 worth of art, and thus after commissions to the artists we cleared $15,000 and paid off the credit card, and then had $6,000 to put towards the next art fair fee. 

I can count on one hand the number of times that we have ever sold that much art in any gallery art show in the DMV; and as a reference, I've had a physical brick-and-mortar gallery here of one sort or another since 1996 and through 2009. 

Since those galleries closed - the last one in 2009, three years after I left it, and we went virtual, we've focused on art fairs and done OK - and art fair prices kept going up, and up.  The last art fair that we did in Miami last summer cost over $60,000! It was a giant booth... too big!

But, in the 21st century, doing art fairs is a "must do" not only for independently owned commercial fine art galleries, but also for any and all other genres of visual art spaces (non profits, artists cooperatives, art leagues, art schools, etc.).

What's in an art fair for the artists?

Usually a lot more than for the gallery. I will repeat this: just as often, an artist reaps more good things out of an art fair than the gallery does.

These things include:

(a) Exposure to more art collectors, curators, press, etc. in a few days than in years of exhibiting art around the DMV. You will see more people in 4-5 days than in five ten years at a gallery in the DMV.

(b) Exposure to other galleries who may be interested in your work. I have multiple examples of this - Just ask DMV area artist Judith Peck what has happened to her career once she started showing at art fairs.

(c) A significantly higher chance of getting critical press, as art fair openings are a magnet for nor only the usual press, but also for every other scribe who has anything to do with writing about art.

(d) A significantly higher chance of getting your work noticed by both freelance and museum curators. The chance of getting your work noticed by a DMV museum curator is probably worse than the chance of winning the lottery. Most DMV area museum curators (AU's Jack Rasmussen being the brilliant exception) would rather take a cab to Dulles to fly to Miami to see emerging artists' works at Miami fairs than taking a cab to see a gallery show in Georgetown.

(e) Being part of the art fair "wake effect" --- Read about that here.

(f) A much better chance to getting invited to participate in other shows such as university shows, themed-shows, group shows, etc. Ask Virginia artist Sheila Giolitti about that, or (now) Ohio artist Audrey Wilson.

Twice in the last five or six years I've been retained as an advisor to two giant international art fair conglomerates which were exploring the DMV as a potential site for expansion.

I was pretty brutal with them on the negatives (which I'll gladly expand on upon demand, but most of which have been documented here in the nearly two decades that this blog has been documenting the DMV art scene), and the many great positives, as well as what I thought was the secret code to break the art fair losing streak of the DMV.

Enter SuperfineDC! In their own words:

The Art Fair DC Deserves Arrives This Month

Fun, approachable, and chock full of art by local and global emerging artists, Superfine! DC descends on the capital from October 31st to November 4th for a fall art spectacular the likes of which the District has never before seen. The art fair that's built its chops in New York and Miami by serving up a clear, transparent, new art market friendly to both long time collectors and people interested in art who've never purchased a piece before is bringing its unique formula to DC's Union Market, and you'll never experience art the same way again.
Over 300 visual artists from DC and beyond will present new contemporary artwork throughout 74 curated booths, and with price points beginning below $100 and 75% of works available below $5,000, you're certain to discover the perfect piece for your castle or cottage. Join us for a chic sneak peek Masquerade Vernissage opening on Halloween night, or indulge your inner child with artisan scoops by Trickling Springs Creamery at our Young Collectors' Ice Cream Social on Friday 11/2. From panel discussions with local art luminaries to art movie nights and VR experiences, Superfine! DC has Washingtonians covered as your own local, global art fair.



Cindy Lisica Gallery | Houston, TX
Monochrome Collective | Washington, DC
Most Wanted Fine Art | Pittsburgh, PA
BoxHeart Gallery | Pittsburgh, PA
Antieau Gallery | New Orleans, LA
ArtShape Mammoth | Burlington, VT
Pure Artistry Works | Philadelphia, PA
Walton Gallery | Petersburg, VA
Sean Christopher Ward | Wichita, KS
Gallery O on H | Washington, DC


Zenith Gallery | Washington, DC
Touchstone Gallery | Washington, DC
Vox Populi Print Collective | Madison, WI
European Design & Art LLC | Miami, FL
Art Village Gallery | Memphis, TN
XOL Gallery | Baltimore, MD
glave kocen gallery | Richmond, VA
YNOBE DNA Gallery | Miami, FL
Gallery Orange | New Orleans, LA
RoFa Projects | Potomac, MD
Foundry Gallery | Washington, DC
Adah Rose Gallery | Kensington, MD
Susan Calloway Fine Arts | Washington, DC


Jeremiah Morris | Mount Crawford, VA
Lori Cuisinier | New York, NY
Alexandra Aroyo | New York, NY
The 36-24-36 Project | Brooklyn, NY
James Miille | Brooklyn, NY


Brooke Rogers | Ocean City, MD
Julio Valdez | New York, NY
Svetlana Nelson | Madison, AL
Daniel Stuelpnagel | Baltimore, MD
Rogelio Maxwell | Washington, DC
Virago | New York, NY
Bruce McGowan | Montreal, Quebec, CA
JJ Galloway | Annapolis, MD
Deming King Harriman | Brooklyn, NY
Noel Kassewitz | Washington, DC
Kelly Moeykens | Washington, DC
Olan Quattro | Washington, DC
Fei Alexeli | Thessaloniki, Greece
Mary Westphal & Armand Fogels | Alexandria, VA
Susan Hostetler | Washington, DC
ALIGUORI | Fort Lauderdale, FL
Jaclyn Mottola | New York, NY
Emma Repp | Seattle, WA
Sheila Cahill | Washington, DC
Hannah Sarfraz | Gaithersburg, MD
Diana Contreras | Miami, FL
Brianne Lanigan | Arlington, VA
Brendon Palmer-Angell | New Orleans, LA
Dennis Crayon | Washington, DC
Julie Christenberry | Washington, DC
Joseph Meloy | New York, NY
Sarah Magida | Baltimore, MD
Scott Hutchison | Arlington, VA
Chaney Trotter | New York, NY
Joseph Shetler | Washington, DC
Aaron Patton | Wichita, KS
Stephen Perrone | Sylvan Beach, NY
Christine Ruksenas-Burton | Stone Ridge, VA
Sonja Rohde | New York, NY
Wayson R. Jones | Brentwood, MD
Michael Heilman | Alexandria, VA
Helen Robinson | Brooklyn, NY
Sarah Jamison | Washington, DC
Colleen Garibaldi | Washington, DC
Adam Chamy | Washington, DC
Steve Wanna | Mount Rainier, MD
Rod Webber | Boston, MA
Kathryn Jane Leung | Manassas Park, VA
D'Arcy Simpson | Hudson, NY
Will Superfine DC succeed? I hope so!

October 31 - November 4, 2018
1309 5th St NE
Washington, DC 20002

All the details that you need are here. Disclaimer: My own spectacular work will be exhibited at this coming fair by Zenith Gallery.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Call for Curatorial Projects

Deadline: December 12, 2018

Independent curators or representatives of artist guilds or groups may submit unsolicited curatorial project proposals for exhibitions in the VisArts galleries: Gibbs Street, Kaplan and/or Common Ground Galleries. 

The proposal must be a clear, well-written description of the curatorial project including the artists that will be presented in the show. Curators cannot include their own work in the exhibition. 

Up to five images are required and may include proposed installation drawings. 

Submissions will be reviewed every December. 

Please keep in mind that submission does not guarantee acceptance. Exhibition plans are made 2 years in advance. 

Incomplete submission packages will not be reviewed. 

Curators or artist groups/guilds who have organized an exhibition at VisArts within the past two years are not eligible to submit a curatorial proposal. *Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

Apply At:

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Museum Call for Artists

Concrete and Adrift: On the Poverty Line


Entry Deadline: 10/31/18

The Alexandria Museum of Art is curating an exhibit of work by contemporary artists working in themes of poverty and homelessness to partner with Sordid and Sacred: The Beggars in Rembrandt's Etchings, which will be on display concurrently. This exhibition will feature juried works by artists working in all media in the subjects of poverty and homelessness to bring the topic to the forefront and connect it with the etchings of artist Rembrandt van Rijn.  

This exhibition will be on display at the Alexandria Museum of Art from March 1st through June 22nd, 2019 alongside "Sordid & Sacred: The Beggars in Rembrandt's Etchings" Selections from the John Villarino Collection.  

Friday, October 12, 2018


Whoever did today's artwork for Google honoring the late great Roberto Clemente (one of my childhood heroes) blew it - this guy looks nothing like Clemente -- but it is the thought that counts... so thanks Google (and please don't let China push you around!)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Lou Stovall at Sidwell!

landscapes and abstractions


Special Reception 6:00 p.m. at Daryl Reich Rubenstein Gallery, Sidwell High School

Guest Artist Lecture 7:30 p.m. Robert L. Smith Meeting Room 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Anika Sircar at Waverly Street

Drowning: Ceramic Forms
Artist Talk

Sunday, October 21st, 2 - 4 pm

Kanika Sircar's new ceramic vessels are her response to an environment shifting and changing faster than we comprehend. She will discuss the inspirations for the work in this show, the influences on her imagery, and her processes and materials.
More information:

Monday, October 08, 2018

Another hard working artist

As you know... I like giving examples of hard-working artists who do not wait for knocks at their studio doors, but go out and push their work...

Shanthi Chandrasekar is another great example - looks what she's doing:

7th September - 8th December 2018
Group Show
Asian Arts Gallery, Center for the Arts
Towson University

Betty Mae Kramer Gallery
12th October- December, 2018
With Susan J. Goldman
Reception: Friday, 12th October , 2018, 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Silver Spring Civic Building 
One Veterans Place 
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Washington Sculptors Group
23rd October, 2018 - 12 April, 2019
Group Show
Reception: 23rd October 2018, 5:30 -7:30 PM; Artist talk- 6.15 PM
American Center for Physics | One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740 | (301) 209-3000

9th November 2018- 4th January 2019
The Clinical Center Gallery
The National Institutes of Health, Bethesda

Ehibiting my new abstract paintings in the Hallway Gallery in November
Open Studio: 9th November, 6-8PM
Studio B, Lower level
7475 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda, Maryland 20814

Children's National Hospital
5th November, 2018 –  25th January, 2019
Art Exhibition displaying my students' artwork
111 Michigan Avenue, NW DC

Anuradha Nehru's Kalanidhi Dance performed Bhoomi on Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center on the 28th and the 29th September. She was honored to have the images of some of her Chakra and Kolam paintings incorporated into the video projection for the background. The drawing Transformations took a new life in one of the last scene.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Frank Frazetta

This amazing artist was the main reason that I decided to go to art school...

Saturday, October 06, 2018

La Fridita

This is a work from 1981 which just showed up for auction at an auction house in Virgina... bid for it here.

Friday, October 05, 2018

Boats and The Snipe

Look what I found while looking for something else! "Boats and The Snipe rushing to the last liberty boat, fleet landing, Naples, Italy", circa 1974 watercolor on paper, about 6x8 inches.

"Boats and The Snipe rushing to the last liberty boat, fleet landing, Naples, Italy"
circa 1974 watercolor on paper, about 6x8 inches.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Woman Plotting her Revenge

Morton Fine Art is moving to NoMA district of DC!

Here it is:
After nearly 9 years on Florida Ave, Morton Fine Art will be relocating the gallery to 52 O Street NW, Washington, DC, 20001 in November 2018. The building at 52 O Street NW was built in 1914 in what was then a remote, industrial part of town. It was designed by architect Clement Didden who previously assisted Richard Morris Hunt in the design of landmarks including the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Before becoming an arts-dedicated space in 1978, 52 O Street NW housed a meat-packing company, a plumbing company, a Hecht's furniture factory and Decca Records. NoMA is a vibrant, growing neighborhood nestled next to Capitol Hill, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Triangle and H Street NE corridor in Washington, DC. It also has ample street parking, easy metro access, and close proximity to Union Station.
We look forward to continuing our active solo and group exhibition programming in our new location and also to participating in projects locally and nationally to promote Morton Fine Art's artists in new markets. Upcoming out-of-gallery, outreach projects include Prizm Art Fair in Miami from Dec 3-9, 2018 where we will showcase the artwork of select MFA artists to a national and international collector audience; an MFA curated group exhibition of gallery artists honoring Black History and Women's History months at Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, VA mid-Feb through the end of March 2019; and two month long “pop-up” exhibitions at Gallery B in Bethesda, MD in March and April 2019.
New Location:
Morton Fine Art
52 O Street NW #302
Washington, DC 20001

New Hours:
Wednesday - Saturday: 12pm-5pm 
Sunday - Tuesday: By appointment

Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Free After-Hours Fall Celebration at Torpedo Factory Art Center this Friday

Folklore and Fall Celebrations at Torpedo Factory Art Center
Live Mural Painting, Artist Receptions, Hands-On Art Making and More

The Late Shift: Folklore
Friday, October 12
7 – 10 pm

October 4, 2018 – Alexandria, Va. – The Torpedo Factory Art Center stays open late on Friday, October 12, for the next Late Shift event. Folklore is an early-fall celebration of stories, traditions, and fall. Festivities run 7 – 10 pm.

Artist Receptions

·         In Target Gallery, there will be a special reception for Juxtaposed. The exhibition focuses on the contradictory and conflicting. Artist talks begin at 8 pm.

·         There is also an artists’ reception in the New Project Studio for Connecting the Dots 2

·         Fall post-grad resident Kelly Johnston welcomes visitors as she moves into Studio 319.

Paint Jam on the Waterfront

·         Curated by New Project Studio artists Shani Shih and Michelle Chen, regional artists come together to create original murals that will be donated to a number of Alexandria-based nonprofits and social-service organizations.
o    MasPaz
o    Monolith
o    Jah-One
o    Jamilla Okubo
o    Gean Martinez
o    FAME
o    Michelle Chen
o    Shani Shih

Interactive Projects

·         The Omi Collective transforms the North Hall of the Art Center into a lounge featuring two participatory art projects. Nicole Wandera leads kids from the Dunbar Alexandria-Olympic Boys & Girls Club on a work that will be donated to the club at the end of the night.

·         Healing the Body leads a project with visitor that is dedicated to promoting painting as a mental wellness tool.
·         Pop-up performances with Through the 4th Wall give visitors a peek at their new musical, 19, a story about women gaining the right to vote.  

Find new art throughout the building. Torpedo Row features artists from across the DMV. Resident artists on all three floors keep their doors open into the evening.

Tuesday, October 02, 2018

Ms. Marvel

Sunday, September 30, 2018

A photographer is suing Netflix

A storm could be brewing for Netflix, as a Montana photographer Sean R. Heavey has filed suit against the streaming giant, alleging that it stole his image of a cloud formation without payment or permission.  
Read all about it here. 

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Jeff Koons was accused of plagiarizing

The creative director behind a 1985 advertising campaign for French fashion brand Naf Naf is suing Jeff Koons for allegedly plagiarizing one of the ads to make his sculpture Fait D’Hiver (1988
Read about it here

Friday, September 28, 2018


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Inigo and the man in black meet

“You seem a decent fellow," Inigo said. "I hate to kill you."
"You seem a decent fellow," answered the man in black. "I hate to die.” 

― William Goldman, The Princess Bride

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Andy Thomas at the White House?

I hear from my gofer bud at the White House that President Donald Trump liked a painting of him (by artist Andy Thomas) and which shows the President having drinks with several Republican Presidents - such as Ike, Ronaldus Magnus, Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, Bush I and II, and Teddy Roosevelt - so much that he has a print of it in the White House.

Wonder where the original is?


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Grants for Sculptors

Deadline: October 1, 2018

The National Sculpture Society has calls for three grants for figurative/realist sculptors - $5,000 each. No Entry Fee. 

Details: 212-764-5645 OR click here.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Opportunity for artists

Deadline: December 31, 2018. 

Arts and Education at the Hoyt is currently seeking artists to fill its 2020 - 2021 Exhibition Schedule. Solo, duo, collectives and curatorial proposals are welcome. 

Artists living in the Mid-Atlantic region (PA, OH, NY, NJ, MD, VA, W.VA, DE and Washington DC) are invited to apply. 

Please submit a proposal that includes; exhibition description, 10-20 jpeg images, image list with titles, media and dimensions, resume or curriculum vitae, and a $25.00 review fee. 

For more information or to apply online visit this link.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Call for Artists

Deadline: 10/26/18 
Public Art Reston, in partnership with Reston Association and Atlantic Realty Companies, seeks an artist or artist-led team to develop a site-specific artwork in a permanent medium to enhance the exterior and interior walls of the Colts Neck Road underpass in Reston, VA. The project will promote active use of the underpass that links residential areas, Hunters Woods Village Center, two schools, two senior facilities, and two community centers. At the Colts Neck Road underpass, public art will have the opportunity to enhance the community’s relationship to their infrastructure and encourage active transportation options such as walking and cycling. The artist or artist team will actively engage with community stakeholders to develop the concept of the artwork and will give workshops to students.  This project is an opportunity for infrastructure beautification, education, engagement, and inspiration. 

Museum Day: Celebrate women at AU today!

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day represents a nationwide commitment to access, equity, and inclusion. Stop by the AU Museum from 11-4PM to view their Fall exhibitions, and join them for a special Saturday docent-led tour at 1PM.

The theme of this year's Museum Day is "Women Making History," honoring women in society who are trailblazers in the arts, sciences, innovation, and culture. Today, they are spotlighting Emilie Brzezinski and Dalya Luttwak's exhibition "Finding a Path", a collaboration in wood and steel in the museum and sculpture garden.

Here in the DMV we are lucky in that most museums (including AU) are free; however, for those few ones that require an entry fee (such as the amazing Spy Museum), they're free today!

Friday, September 21, 2018

Bruce McKaig at Gormley Gallery

Bruce McKaig: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Workers, on view October 22 through November 30.

Artist's Reception
Saturday, October 27, from 4:00 to 6:00
Gormley Gallery

Parlor Games in the Library
Saturday, November 10, from 4:00 to 6:00
Fourier Hall 103

Bruce McKaig's practice explores the power of images to reshape realities, sometimes juxtaposing antiquated techniques or objects with contemporary themes and issues. This exhibition, organized around three series -- the cowboy, the wrestler, and the dictator -- combines McKaig's own artworks with curated images and materials that explore some of the historical and current cultural and socio-economic relationships between photography and those themes.

Gormley Gallery-Notre Dame of Maryland University, 4701 N. Charles St., Fourier Hall, 2nd floor, Baltimore, MD 21210

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Daphne is ready to ship

Charcoal on paper, 28x22 inches, c.2018

Just finished this piece. It is titled "Daphe", and it is a charcoal on paper, 28x22 inches. It will soon either be at the Superfine Art Fair in Washington, DC or at Context Art Miami in Miami.

Daphne (meaning Laurel) was a nymph who was the daughter of the river god Peneus. Apollo fell in lust with her and chased her - as he was about to ravish her, either the Earth goddess Gaea or her father, reached from under the Earth and turned Daphne into a Laurel tree to save her from Apollo.