Sunday, August 30, 2020

More Bad Things Galleries do to Artists

This has happened to artists several times in my memories, both in the US and in Europe:

Artist and gallery owner agree to do a show of the artist's work. The gallery, like many all over the world, also has a side business as a framing shop, and tells the artist that they will take care of the framing.

The artist agrees on a handshake, and never asks for a contract, or costs, assuming that the gallerist knows what he is doing.

On opening night the artist shows up and is not too keen about the framing, but it's too late for any real discussions, as people are beginning to show up. Several pieces are sold, and the artist is very happy with the opening.

At the end of the show, the artist gets a letter in the mail from the gallery. Excited to see the payment for the sold work, the artist opens the envelope and finds a framing bill.

The bill details the cost of the framing, substracts from that amount the artist's commission from the sold work, and bills the artist for the remaining amount, as framing is very expensive.

Anger follows...

More bad things that (a) galleries do to artists or (b) artists do to galleries or (c) galleries do to collectors 
here, and here and here.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

A bad thing that unethical galleries do to artists

The vast majority of independently owned, commercial fine arts galleries are ethical, hard-working labors of love, the second most-likely business to fail (in the US), and often run on a tight budget.

This is an example.

There are also unethical galleries gallerists who will take in a piece of artwork by an artist, and when the price is discussed, the gallerist asks: “What’s the price?” and the artist says: “$1000″ 

The gallerist nods OK and the artist leaves, knowing that if sold, he’ll get $500 (most galleries in the US charge 50% commission — in NYC some are as high as 70%).

The gallery then sells the piece, but for $2,000, sends the artist a check for $500 and pockets the extra $1,000. 

That is why artists should insist on having a contract with a gallery, and the contract must specifically address that the artist will get 50% of the actual sale price.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Bad things galleries do to art collectors...

Our area, like most major metropolitan areas, is peppered with stores that have the word "gallery" in their business name, but are very much far removed from what one would consider a true art gallery. 

You will always find them in high traffic areas; main thoroughfare streets where "real" galleries could never afford the rent. 

You also often find them in malls. I am speaking of the places that sell mass produced decorative works, either by Kinkade wannabes, Spanish-surnamed painters and worse still, the following scam: 

Some of Picasso's children inherited many of the plates used by Picasso to create his etchings. Since them, some of those plates have been printed ad nauseam by the current owners and are sold around the world as Picasso prints. 

And then, to make matters worse, some of the plates are signed "Picasso" by his offspring owner, who is (of course) technically also surnamed Picasso. 

The sales pitch, which is not technically illegal, but certainly unethical, goes something like this:"This is a real Picasso etching, printed from the original plate and it is signed." 

Note that they never state who signed the print. 

Hapless buyer purchases the print for a pretty good chunk of change, takes it home and brags to his friends about his signed Picasso. 

This will be a hell of a mess for the Antiques Road Show experts to detangle in a couple of hundred years.

 And don't even get me started on the great Dali art fraud.

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Hatuey Webinar is on now!

 OK my art peeps! Need all my peeps to support Ric Garcia

Join me in an Artist Conversation with Ric Garcia


In concert with the show "Hatuey: Rebel Chief" in the Maryland Milestones Heritage Center, artist Ric Garcia will discuss his process and the inspiration behind the show in conversation with The Lenster!

Click the link to register!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

My Dad in the 1940s


My father, Florencio Campello Alonso, somewhere in Guantanamo in the 1940s? 

Enjoying either a glass of wine or maybe a coffee... Check out those elegant shoes..... 

His nickname was "Ciclon."

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

More Bad Things Artists do to Galleries

This actually happened to a gallery in Georgetown, in Washington, DC in the 1990s:

Back when there were eight galleries in Canal Square, one of the galleries had given a show to a local -- at the time "hot" artist -- who was a painter (I say "was" because I haven't heard of the dude in years).

The artist was supposed to deliver and help hang all the paintings on a Wednesday, in order to be ready for the Georgetown third Friday openings. He did show up on Wednesday with about 50% of the work, and brought some more (freshly finished) on Thursday and to the gallerist's horror, even brought some more on Friday, and even as the show was opening at 6PM, was adding the last painting touches to several of the works.

Needless to say, several of the oils were actually wet when people starting showing up. On opening night, it was crowded, and someone apparently rubbed against one of the paintings and smeared some of the oil paint.

Now the gallerist was faced with a very irate person, demanding that his suit be cleaned (it eventually had to be replaced) and with a furious artist, demanding that the gallery pay him in full for the damaged painting.

If I am to believe the gallerist, the case actually went to court, where the judge threw it out.

Monday, August 24, 2020

A bad thing some artists to do galleries

A good reputable gallery is a work of love, with gallerists usually running the business by the skin of their teeth. 

And when a gallery gives an artist a show, they go through all the various multiple expenses associated with doing so (rent, electricity, staff salaries, publicity, ads, post cards, opening reception catering, etc.) - usually before a single work of art is sold. 

So far the gallery has put forth a considerable investment in presenting the artist’s works - all because the gallerist believes in the artist’s work. 

An interested novice collector meets the artist at the opening and expresses interest (to the artist) in buying some of his artwork. The artist, wishing to stiff the gallery for their commission says: “See me after the show and I’ll sell it to you directly and save myself the gallery commission.”

This is not only unethical, but it’s also guaranteed to ruin the artist’s reputation in the city, as these things always come out in the wash, and soon no gallery will exhibit any work by this artist. 

Remember, when a gallery gives an artist a show, and nothing sells, the artist still walks away with all his/her work, and maybe even a review, plus the art has been exposed to collectors and the public. 

The gallery gets to pay all the bills, even though no sales were made.

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Gateway Open Studios

Gateway Open Studios is back, only this year their Open Studios is all virtual thanks to the Covidian Age,

Saturday August 22 between 11-am 5 pm, you can access the Virtual Open Studio Tour at

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Copyright for Artists in the time of COVID-19


Envision: Copyright for Artists in the time of COVID-19
Wednesday, August 26, 2-3PM

During this time, many creatives have had to shift their practices, especially from in-person to online formats. These format changes have implications related to copyright law that are worth exploring to better protect your work or protect yourself from infringing on someone else's work. This workshop will go over copyright basics but touch on specific COVID copyright issues including protecting online courses, recordings, and streaming.


Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Scam websites

Even the best of us get scammed! 

These are all scam websites - they all look legit, and even have Paypal payment options, run on secure servers, etc. They have dozens of mirror websites essentially selling the same things. Beware of them - I have reported them to the FTC, to their host servers, and plan to report them to the MD Attorney General. - which says it is located at 1303 Lighthouse Pl Spc 1303, Michigan City, IN 46360 - check out what's really there on Google Maps! According to WHOIS, the site has been active since March - probably cashing in like crazy! They have dozens of mirror sites with different URLs! Some of the mirror fake sites are, and many others. The Paypal email associated with these in Paypal is

Same for - They are scams! Email associated with that one is 

Also beware of this art scammer:
Subject: Mail order From: "Mary Boom" -- 
Hello Sir/ma Am Mary boom i will like to place an order from your store, and be making payment with credit card details. can i go ahead and send you the List of items Interested in Ordering . Thanks Mary Boom 

Monday, August 10, 2020

Developing Your Elevator Speech

 WSG PROGRAM: Developing Your Elevator Speech

Talking about art is important. Talking effectively within a socially accepted time frame is even more important. Very few us will be presented with unlimited attention that will allow us to frame what we do. Most say more than 30 seconds to place your work into context is about all you are ever going to get in most situations. Let’s face it, if you cannot distill your practice down to a couple of sentences, your work may have very little chance of resonating. No one can tell you what your work means, but, but without putting it into short statement, designed to entice further exploration, we take a real chance of not making the connections or building the audience that our work might deserve. This workshop will enable participants to hone their message into digestible descriptions that are versatile enough to adapt to different contexts, while focusing attention on artists’ practices in ways that respect the patience of listeners. 
Register to Participate; meeting link provided upon registration.

Sunday, August 09, 2020

Art Scam Alert!

 Beware of this mutant attempting to rip off artists:

Solomon woodson (

Greetings... I am Solomon from Gadsden Alabama. I have been on the lookout for some artworks lately in regards to I and my wife's anniversary which is just around the corner. I stormed on to some of your works which I found quite impressive and intriguing. I must admit you're doing quite an impressive job. You are undoubtedly good at what you do.

With that being said, I would like to purchase some of your works as a surprise gift to my wife in honor of our upcoming wedding anniversary. It would be of help if you could send some pictures of your piece of works, with their respective prices and sizes, which are ready for immediate (or close to immediate) sales. My budget for this is within the price range of $1000 to $3500.

I look forward to reading from you in a view to knowing more about your pieces of inventory. As a matter of importance, I would also like to know if you accept a check as a means of payment.

Friday, August 07, 2020

2020 Trawick Prize Finalists announced and Baltimore dominates!

Seven Baltimore artists and one DC artist have been selected as finalists for The Trawick Prize: Bethesda Contemporary Art Awards, a juried competition and exhibition produced by the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District. More than 300 artists from Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. submitted work to the 18th annual competition.

2020 Trawick Prize Finalists

Erick Antonio Benitez, Baltimore, MD

Cindy Cheng, Baltimore, MD

Elliot Doughtie, Baltimore, MD

Danni O’Brien, Baltimore, MD

Nara Park, Washington, D.C.

Ginevra Shay, Baltimore, MD

Bria Sterling-Wilson, Baltimore, MD

Daniel Wickerham & Malcolm Lomax, Baltimore, MD

The award winners will be announced on September 2, 2020. The Best in Show, first place winner will be awarded $10,000; second place will be honored with $2,000; third place will be awarded $1,000 and a Young Artist, a finalist who is younger than 30, could win $1,000.

The exhibit will be on display Sept. 4 – 26, 2020 at Gallery B, located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E. Gallery hours for the duration of the exhibit will be Friday-Saturday, 12 – 4pm. During operational hours, social distancing will be enforced and face masks must be worn by all visitors.

The 2020 Trawick Prize jurors are:

Larry Cook, 2017 Trawick Prize Winner; Assistant Professor of Photography, Howard University

Carrie Fucile, Professor of Digital Art & Design, Towson University

Noah Simblist, Associate Professor of Art and Chair of Painting & Printmaking; Virginia Commonwealth University.

Founded by the amazing Carol Trawick in 2003, the regional competition is one of the largest prizes to annually honor visual artists. Ms. Trawick, a longtime community activist in downtown Bethesda, also established the Bethesda Painting Awards in 2005. She has served as the Chair of the Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District, Bethesda Urban Partnership, Strathmore and the Maryland State Arts Council. She founded the Jim and Carol Trawick Foundation in 2007 to assist health and human services and arts non-profits in Montgomery County. The Foundation has awarded grants to more than 90 nonprofits in Montgomery County and funds the annual Trawick Prize and the Bethesda Painting Awards.

To date, The Trawick Prize has awarded more than $220,000 in prize monies and has exhibited the work of more than 135 regional artists. 

Previous Best in Show recipients include Richard Clever, 2003; David Page, 2004; Jiha Moon, 2005; James Rieck, 2006; Jo Smail, 2007; Maggie Michael, 2008; Rene Trevino, 2009; Sara Pomerance, 2010; Mia Feuer, 2011; Lillian Bayley Hoover, 2012; Gary Kachadourian, 2013; Neil Feather, 2014; Jonathan Monaghan, 2015; Lauren Adams, 2016; Larry Cook, 2017; Caroline Hatfield, 2018 and Oletha DeVane, 2019.

For more information, please visit or call 301-215-6660.

Friday, July 24, 2020



They have nearly 300 visual artists registered at! Take a scroll online and consider purchasing art to support our artist community.


Top 10 Craft Artists at Artomatic 2.0!!!


TOP 10 IN CRAFT: ARTOMATIC 2.0The James Renwick Alliance jurors selected their top 10 best craft to see at Artomatic 2.0

Jurors :
- Interior designer and collector, Judy Weisman
- Artist and past Artomatic awardee, Rania Hassan
- Collector and past JRA president, Clemmer Montague
- Collectors Sandy and Norman Michell
- Collector, photographer and arts consultant, Leslie Lane


JRA Artomatic Committee : Rebecca Ravenal, Chris Shea, Tim Tate

Upcoming ARTOMATIC 2.0 JRA events
Wednesday, July 29th @ 7pm
The History of Craft in Washington, DC
The JRA presents an online ZOOM discussion on the history of art and craft in Washington DC by some of the leading experts on the subject: Brett L. Abrams, Rebecca Cross, Jaimianne Jacobin and Jack Rasmussen.

Meeting ID: 879 3579 9872
Password: JRAart2020
Wednesday, August 5th @ 7pm
What Makes a Piece of Craft Exceptional?
The JRA will moderate an online ZOOM panel conversation on how craft collectors decide what makes a piece of art exceptional enough to add to their collection. The Conversation will have artists Rebecca Ravenal, Chris Shea, and Tim Tate, arts collectors Jere Gibber and J.G. Harrington and Dr. Jeffrey Bernstein and Dr. Judy Chernoff. This event will be moderated by arts supporter Chris Rifkin. Chris currently serves on the board of The South Shore Art Center and the Fuller Craft Museum, and is a Founding Chair of CraftBoston, a juried biennial exhibition of well-known and emerging artists in the United States.


The James Renwick Alliance (JRA) is an independent national non-profit organization that celebrates the achievements of America’s craft artists and fosters scholarship, education, connoisseurship and public appreciation of craft art. The JRA is made up of art enthusiasts, collectors, artists, educators, students and art professionals who share a passion for contemporary American craft. Founded in 1982, the Alliance fulfills its mission through public programs, educational trips, publications, recognition of craft artists, and financial support of museums and other non-profit organizations, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Artomatic 2.0 Registration is Officially Open

Visual Artist Registration is officially open!

The glitches have been fixed! Please note that you can register on a laptop or an Ipad; not on a mobile device just yet. I will let you know when mobile capability is ready. 

If you registered during the "glitch period", please do not re-register. You can now go into your artist profile and make edits. 

They will provide each visual artist with an "artist tool kit" of images to help you promote your work to your networks. These images include some generic art mediums and a customizable graphic for your own images or headshot. 

Registered artists: Look out for that email in the coming days. 

If there are any questions, please email

Artomatic website.

Sunday, July 12, 2020


Bummerstein! But Artists need thick skins!

Dear Lenny Campello, 
Thank you so much for your submission to MPA's online exhibition, SHIFT. 
Unfortunately, your work was not chosen by the jurors. We received a very large number of submissions and choosing from among them was very difficult. 
The exhibition will be online from July 15 - August 27. 
The virtual opening of SHIFT will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, July 15 from 7 - 8 PM. If you are interested in attending, please register on our website, 
We very much appreciate your interest in MPA's programs and exhibitions.  
Best regards, 
Nancy Sausser,
Curator and Exhibitions Director

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Thursday, July 09, 2020

Yuri Schwebler Curatorial Project at AU

My good bud John Anderson passes the following:
I'm pleased to announce that the Yuri Schwebler curatorial project I have been working on the last few years is “open," and that the catalog is now available online. 

Although originally scheduled to open in June, because of the pandemic the American University Museum canceled all their summer exhibitions. As a result, I offered to create a virtual exhibition (fancy words for "slideshow") to substitute for what was no longer going to be on exhibit. You can find links to the slideshow, and the exhibition catalog, on the museum's exhibition page.

This exhibition is, in many respects, an extension of my earlier Jefferson Place Gallery research, which has expanded to included monographs of Hilda ThorpeMary Orwen, and Jennie Lea Knight (each at Marymount University, co-curated with Meaghan Kent and Caitlin Berry), and a catalog essay about Rockne Krebs and Sam Gilliam, for Day Eight's exhibition Built and Unbuilt.

On Thursday, at 12:30 Eastern, there is a virtual discussion between the Museum's Director, Jack Rasmussen, and myself. Registration can also be found on the exhibition page.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Saturday, July 04, 2020

Spanish dealer claims to find long-lost Frida Kahlo painting

A Spanish art dealer named Cristian López claims that he has located the “holy grail” of Frida Kahlo’s oeuvre, the long-lost painting La Mesa Herida (The Wounded Table) from 1940 that went missing 65 years ago. The painting is currently in a warehouse in London, according to López, and its anonymous owner is requesting around $45m for it. Meanwhile, experts question the painting's authenticity.
Read the story here. 

Friday, July 03, 2020

MEG Group Exhibition

Multiple Exposures Gallery
Reopening and Group Exhibition of Photography
 July 2020 Update

"MEG Group Exhibition"

Exhibition Dates:  July 1 to September 1, 2020
Craig Sterling, Juror
The uncertainties arising from COVID-19 outbreak continue to affect us all and have had a significant impact on the arts community throughout the Washington DC metro area.  The City of Alexandria, VA is currently in Phase 3 of the state’s Forward Virginia reopening plan and in accordance with these guidelines, the Torpedo Factor Art Center has reopened.
The public may visit the Torpedo Factory Art Center from Wednesday to Sunday, 10 am to 6 pm.  Entrance to and exit from the Torpedo Factory are via sliding doors on the Waterfront and on Union Street only.  There is no capacity limit in the Art Center, but masks are required for admittance and social distancing should be observed for the duration of the visit.

Multiple Exposures Gallery is now exhibiting our recently featured online Group show in our gallery.  MEG member photographs are now up on the walls and we think it is a beautiful exhibition.  Visitors may view and enjoy the show at our gallery in the Torpedo Factory Art Center.  Please note however that gallery access is currently by appointment only.  To schedule a visit, please send an email to:

About the Gallery Exhibition:
Our current Group Exhibition has been juried by Craig Sterling.  Craig is an artist, photographer and educator whose works are held in numerous public, private and corporate collections in the United States and abroad. His photographs are included in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (now part of The National Gallery of Art’s Archive Collection), The Oakland Museum of California and the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.  Craig Sterling lives in Sarasota, Florida where he continues to photograph and teach, and is currently an instructor at The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at The Ringling College of Art and Design. 

Of the images submitted by MEG artists, Craig Sterling selected 36 photographs that comprise our Group exhibition now on display at our gallery.  For those unable to visit Multiple Exposures Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, the exhibition may also be viewed online at the MEG website.

To view the exhibition online please click here.

Art Inquiries and Acquisition:
All photographs in the exhibition are available for acquisition from the individual artist through Multiple Exposures Gallery.  Information about photograph image size, edition, pricing and framing is provided online in the exhibition.  For additional information regarding art acquisition, please send an email request to Multiple Exposures Gallery at

Friday, June 19, 2020

I am not an angel

I live in a cul-de-sac.

My last four houses have been in a cul-de-sac.

There are a lot of "walkers" in our neighborhood... people who walk around, just walk and enjoy their walks.... sometimes I am one of them.

Early this morning, I went out to put something in my mailbox for the mailman to pick up. After spells of sunshine, it was Seattle-like, gray and brooding.

I heard a woman sobbing as she rounded the trees in the center of the cul-de-sac... so I delayed a little, and when she got close to me, I asked her if she was OK.

She came to me and hugged me and cried on my shoulders. She was a stranger, but the two or three generations of the women who raised me (my grandmother, my mother, and all my wives) popped through, and I hugged her back, and soothed her and said, "It will be OK."

She cried for a few seconds, then gently pulled away, sniffed... and asked me, "Are you an angel?"

She was serious - I felt the seriousness of the question.

"Fucking far from it", I thought to myself (thank God that I didn't say it out loud!)... but I just smiled and said no and asked her again if she was OK.

"Yeah", she sniffed again and started walking away slowly... then the stranger turned around and said to me, "Thank you Lenny."

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Andy Warhol at auction

This 40-year-old work of mine just showed up at auction in Houston! This 1980 art school assignment is a signed and numbered litho of a portrait of Andy Warhol done for printmaking and also for portrait class - a steal at $50 opening bid!