Saturday, May 30, 2015

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship program

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship program is a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia.  VMFA is committed to supporting professional artists and art students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline and, as such has awarded more than $5 million to Virginia’s artists since the program’s creation. This year marks the 75th anniversary of VMFA’s Fellowship Program.  A dedicated microsite and documentary to the 75-year history of the program is at http://vmfa.museum/programs/75th-anniversary/.
 
The VMFA Fellowship program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  Offered through VMFA Statewide, Fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment, and supplemented by annual gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic, Jr. Scholarship Fund.  The Fellowship program has a long and established history of supporting Virginia’s artistic talent and has helped to further the careers and studies of many distinguished individuals, including recent recipients Morgan Herrin of Richmond, Kelly Queener of Henrico, and Will May of Charlottesville.
 
VMFA offers $8,000 awards to professional artists, $6,000 awards to graduate students, and $4,000 awards to undergraduate students.  Applicants may apply in the disciplines of Crafts, Drawing, Film/Video, Mixed Media, New/Emerging Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, Sculpture, and Art History (graduate students only).  All applicants must be legal residents of Virginia and student applicants must be enrolled full-time in degree-seeking programs. Applicants’ works are reviewed anonymously by distinguished jurors and awards are made based on artistic merit.  The deadline for Fellowship applications is Friday, November 6, 2015.
 
I encourage interested students and professional artists to apply. Full eligibility criteria, can be found at www.VMFA.museum/fellowships.  Visit this page during the summer of 2015 for information on how to apply for a 2016-17 VMFA Fellowship.

Eve returns

A DMV collector saw this piece at the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts in their super-popular Alchemical Vessels Exhibition and Benefit.

But someone else bought it before her turn came to pick a piece... undeterred, she found me and asked for a commission.

And thus everyone wins: She gets an original Campello, the Joan Hisaoka Arts Gallery gets another sale to raise funds for their very worthy cause, and I gain another collector.

Eve Running Away from Eden  Charcoal on Broken Clay  2015 by F. Lennox Campello
Eve Running Away from Eden
Charcoal on Broken Clay
2015 by F. Lennox Campello

Thursday, May 28, 2015

The curious case of Senator Udall, President Obama, gay marriage, Cuba and the Pope

President Obama really wants a "deal" with the Castro brothers... it is beginning to seem as "no matter what." In supporting his zeal, he often invokes the Pope's newly-flowering relationship with the brutal Castro brothers.

What it is not often discussed is that the "real" behind-the scenes force in "brokering" our President's's one-sided deal, which pretty much just benefits Cuban dictator Raul Castro, was Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican's Secretary of State and thus the number two man at the Vatican.

The same Cardinal Parolin who yesterday, in response to Ireland's historic national support for marriage equality, referred to the referendum as "a defeat for humanity."

As CHC puts it:
The Vatican welcomes and joyfully embraces brutal dictators, who have murdered, tortured and imprisoned countless innocent people -- regardless of whether they repent for their crimes.  
But peaceful, loving couples -- who have harmed no one -- are "a defeat for humanity"?
And meanwhile... what's going on in Cuba?

As we noted recently, the Havana Biennial is being marred by arrests of Cuban artists in the capital, and mass arrests of dissidents in the provinces; yesterday alone over 200 dissidents were arrested throughout the island.
And yesterday more dissidents from Cuba's Anti-Totalitarian Front were arrested as they distributed pamphlets with the images of political prisoners.  Among those arrested were Luis Dominguez, Hugo Damian Prieto, Andres Sabelino, Lazaro Mendoza and Eugenio Hernandez. 
Also arrested today was independent journalist, Yuri Valle Roca.  And political prisoner Yuset Perez Moreira, a youth activist for The Emilia Project, is on the 27th day of a hunger strike protesting his unjust imprisonment.
Meanwhile, the Congressional delegation led by U.S. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) continued the disturbing trend -- enhanced by the Obama-Castro deal -- of ignoring Cuban democracy leaders and keeping mum on all the mass arrests - including the re-arrests of several political prisoners who had been freed as part of the original Obama-Cuba deal!

Senator Udall!!!!!!!!!!!
We, Ladies in White, believe that these relations and conversations between the Cuban and U.S. governments will not be of any benefit to the Cuban people. And even less will it empower civil society, as President Barack Obama says. If no conditions are placed on the Cuban government, it will be more of the same or worse. We don't see the U.S. government, the European Union, or Pope Francis, pronouncing themselves as regards the violations of human rights on the island, which is giving the Cuban government a green light to continue violating them. 
-- Berta Soler, leader of The Ladies in White democracy movement, during the Oslo Freedom Forum, EFE, 5/26/15

Assholes of the Week: Madison School Board

Here in the DMV we are all active participants in the national debate over the Washington Redskins name and logo - in the past we've offered an alternative to the issue: Rename the team The Washington Redskin Potatoes, a suggestion which was promptly stolen by PETA and submitted as their own.

The issue of potentially racially or ethnic sensitive/offensive logos, names, etc. has many side and multiple vectors affecting it, but the slice of the issue dealing with our Native American fellow citizens is a particularly salient one, with multiple opinions (even amongst the Native American tribes themselves) and so it is understandable why the Madison, Wisconsin School Board attempted to address the issue by banning student attire with Native American mascots, logos, etc.

But my issue with that attempt is that they've gone waaaaaaay too far in their wording of the ban, far over reaching waaaaay past Native American related imagery and into areas that technically (and I know that I am a pedantic Virgo, but you'd think that these knuckleheads would read the wording of the ban a little carefully) cover a whole lot of other logos and mascots beyond the first Americans.
The amended rule states that students may not "wear clothing with words, pictures, or caricatures based on negative stereotypes of a specific gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
I could pick this apart starting with who decides what is a "negative stereotype," but I suspect that just like pornography, it is hard to define but we'd all know when we see it.

But do we as a whole "we" - hopefully all of us defenders of the first amendment - agree on what's offensive? There are certainly a lot of logos out there that to many eyes seem offensive... but...

Is the Fighting Irish logo a negative representation of people of Irish ancestry? Five gets you ten that you can find some Irish who think so. In fact, check out these responses... And Pulanski H.S. in Wisconsin: You're in trouble too in your... cough, cough... adaptation of the Notre Dame logo.

Is the vintage 1960s Pittsburgh Pirates (or the 1997) logo a negative representation of people with a handicap?

The Chicago Blackhawks logo doesn't seem to cause any issue, but now it is also banned in Madison.

Can you wear a retro Chiquita Banana logo? Only if someone in the Madison School Board decides that it is not offensive to either Carmen Miranda or bananas... cough, cough...

And if you wear anything with the Two Rivers High School athletic logo, (or Gilman H.S.) also in Wisconsin, you may get in deep kimchee, as it may be deemed offensive to handicapped people... I'm just sayin'...

And none of these cut the mustard.

I hope that it is clear that I'm having a bit of fun with a somewhat sensitive issue; however, my issue with the issue, cough, cough, is the heavy-handed way in which it has been handled by the Madison, Wisconsin School Board.

This is all really about free speech, and if the board bans images speech that is offensive to some, where does it stop? The wearing of attire with American flags is already banned in some places... Now Madison has added a huge and quite possibly unenforceable set of new imagery to the banned list.

Makes my head hurt!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Artist Protection Fund

Last Tuesday night, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, The Institute of International Education and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation announced the exciting launch of a pilot program to save the lives and work of artists who face persecution in their home countries. The  Artist Protection Fund (APF), a three-year pilot program supported by a $2.79 million grant from The Mellon Foundation, will make life-saving fellowship grants to threatened artists from any field of artistic endeavor, and place them at host universities and arts centers in countries where they can safely continue their work.
In many parts of the world, artists suffer harassment, imprisonment, violence, and even death as a direct consequence of their unique role and power to advance free and creative expression. With participation of many arts organizations and partners from around the world, IIE has taken action to develop the Artist Protection Fund to fill a critical unmet need and provide relief and safe haven to artists on a large scale.
 
IIE is calling on arts organizations around the world to join in this important effort over the next three years. The launch of the Artist Protection Fund makes an excellent story opportunity for publications covering the arts industry and sends an important message to the many audiences of the arts community about how to become involved as a host or nominate a threatened artist in the world.
Please see full press release here.
 
My first nominee for this program is Cuban artist Tania Bruguera, and I call for the APF to award a grant to this jailed artist and to join our voice in demanding the release of Bruguera from the Castro Brothers' prison island.
 

34zero9 Micro-Gallery Grand Opening

The tiny art gallery is a big deal.
 
In response to the closing of Artisphere, artist and creative activist Barbara Januszkiewicz set out to uncover new opportunities for gallery space in Arlington. The small store-front common space that she shares with studio mates John M.Adams, Matthew Grimes and Paula Bryan  is now the newest gallery in the metro area.
 
With a bit of ingenuity they have been able to turn the pocket-sized space into a micro gallery.  
 
At roughly 60 square feet, this re-imagined space would be easy to miss if not for the exuberant art visible from the window. It has all the required components of a gallery: white walls, high ceilings, an expansive window -- along with a cleverly hidden water cooler  and carefully disguised electrical boxes.
 
What type of impact can a micro-sized gallery deliver?
 
"Any visibility and awareness for the visual arts can fuel innovative ways to think creatively and abstractly," says Januszkiewicz. She stresses that this is not an impermanent "Pop Up" gallery, but instead, part of a new initiative to show that art galleries are important enough to sustain permanent locations.  "In our increasingly complex world, having a space where we can have one-to-one conversations and provide creative opportunities to show and explain work is priceless," she adds. "We welcome an opportunity to foster engagement with our art."
 
Anyone who walks by Kansas Street to the Virginia Square Metro or to North Side Social can now view fine art from this diverse group.
 
The 34zero9 Micro-Gallery will be an on-going project between all the artists who have studios in the building. The 34zero9 Art Studios are between Clarendon & Virginia Square, located in a pedestrian breezeway behind a modern Arlington high-rise, a contemporary steel and glass high-rise condominium on Wilson Boulevard, ARC 3409.
 
Micro-Gallery opening, and open artist studios, is Saturday, May 30 from 4-7 pm. 3409 Wilson Blvd. Arlington VA 22201.
 
Artists:
John M Adams www.thefullempty.com
Paula Bryan
Barb Januszkiewicz www.barbaraj.info
 
Special Guest Jennifer Lillis, founder of the Dotted Line Project, with her Pop-Up Art Hugs photo booth. The Dotted Line Project has been  actively connecting to the community and creatives in the metro area with art appreciation art hugs photo booths.  Ms Lillis will set up the art hugs booth outside the Micro Gallery during  this  event.
 
For additional information, contact Barbara Januszkiewicz at (703) 798-3645 Email barbjan@mac.com

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Art Scam Alert!

Beware of this art scammer!


From: Sonia Justice <sonniajustice@gmail.com>
Date: Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Subject: Order Inquiry

Hi there,

Placing an order from your online gallery shouldn't be a problem, but
I still need to confirm if International order is accepted from your
gallery?
Kindly get back to me with your available piece of work or website
that displays your current work only if my request is accepted.

All the best.

Sonnia

The curious case of Tania Bruguera, the UN and the Cuban dictatorship

As you know, DC Art News has been following the saga of well-known artist Tania Bruguera and the bloody Cuban dictatorship.

Bruguera, a New York-based Cuban artist, and easily one of the best-known artists on the planet, was temporarily arrested on December 30, 2014 for organizing a free speech performance entitled #YoTambienExijo -- pursuant to the Obama-Castro deal. She had her passport confiscated and has not been allowed to leave the island.

The Washington Post wrote about this in an editorial:
...Tania Bruguera planned a simple event for Tuesday: She would set up a microphone in Havana’s Revolution Square and invite anyone who wished to step up and talk about the country’s future. Dozens of dissidents planned to participate under the slogan “I also demand” — which might be taken as an allusion to their exclusion from the secret normalization negotiations conducted by the Obama administration and the regime of Fidel and Raúl Castro. 
That the deal announced Dec. 17 by President Obama did not include any protections for Cuba’s pro-democracy activists quickly became obvious. Security forces detained Ms. Bruguera as well as several dozen other activists. The free-speech performance never took place. “I spoke to Tania Bruguera and let her know part of her performance was done,” tweeted Yoani Sánchez, an independent journalist whose husband, Reinaldo Escobar, was one of those detained. “Censorship was revealed.” 
The incident should have been an embarrassment to Mr. Obama, who said that he decided to restore normal relations with Cuba in order to “do more to support the Cuban people and promote our values.” But the administration shrugged off the crackdown. On Wednesday, the State Department issued a statement saying it was “deeply concerned,” the same words it uses to describe human rights violations in China, Vietnam and other countries where the United States has no leverage and plans no action. Talks on the opening of embassies will go forward.

Tania Bruguera, photo by Yali Romagonza.
Courtesy of Studio Bruguera
As most of you know, the Havana Biennial is currently underway, and collectors, arts aficionados, curators, many DC-area artists, and the art cabal has descended en masse upon The Castro Brothers' Workers Paradise.

Tania Bruguera was arrested again a couple of days ago as she approached the Museum of Fine Arts to attend an exhibit for the Havana Art Biennial. No one seems to know what the charges (if any) are... but then again, this is Cuba.

Via Facebook, her sister (who lives in Spain I believe), reported that Bruguera began reading 100-hours of Hannah Arendt’s seminal book, The Origins of Totalitarianism, on May 22 - apparently that's part of her "crime."

But there's more.

In Havana, four dozen members of The Ladies in White were arrested as they attended Sunday Mass. Also arrested were many of their male supporters, including democracy leaders Antonio Rodiles, Angel Moya and independent journalist Juan Gonzalez Febles. The Cuban dictators are particularly terrified of this group of women, whose "protests" generally consist of: (dress in a white dress on Sundays, (b) attend Sunday Mass, (c) march in unison while holding flowers to the cemetery and (d) get abused, beaten and arrested on the way there; repeat next Sunday.

Band leader Gorki Aguila was grabbed by undercover police outside the museum for the simple reason that he was displaying a photo of graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado and the word “freedom.” That's a no, no in the Workers' Paradise.

Graffitist Danilo Maldonado was arrested in December for "tagging" several pigs with the names "Castro" and "Raul." The names refer to the Castro brothers(Raul and Fidel Castro), suffocaters of the poor island prison. Where Maldonado was able to find pigs in food-poor Cuba will always be a mystery. I suspected the pigs were also snatched and ended up being served later that night in the homes of the undercover police bosses.

In Santiago de Cuba, capital of the Oriente province (the original province), over 80 activists of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) were beaten and arrested, including some who had been released under the Obama-Castro December 17th deal, namely Diango and Bianko Vargas Martin, and Ernesto Tamayo Guerra.

Dozens of others were arrested in the interior provinces, including Raul Borges, father of political prisoner Ernesto Borges, and youth activists from the Cuban Reflection Movement.

Meanwhile, the US State Department and the Obama administration march forward...
“I don’t want to sound too Pollyannaish . . . but I do think we’re closer than we have been,” the official said. “I think my [Cuban] counterparts are coming up here with a desire to get this done.” The negotiating session will be held at the State Department. 
“I wouldn’t be even remotely optimistic if I did not feel that we were making progress,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity under rules imposed by the State Department.
Unfortunately I am resigned to see our administration march forward, no matter what the Cuban dictatorship does to its abused citizens - after all the bottom line here is business.

But where is the United Nations on these issues? Where are the Cuban people's Latin American brothers and sisters? Where is Cuba's madre patria, Spain? Where's is the European Union?

Makes my head hurt.

Stay strong Tania; stay strong Ladies in White... each little "crack" in the dictators' bloody boots helps.
 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Campello reviewed

"Elise Campello is Sally Bowles, the free-spirited, devil-may-care character who demands herself to be oblivious to all things negative surrounding her lest she must be taken seriously.  Campello is glibly charming in the role and shows sequestered understanding of the underlying meaning to the part.  Campello sings the title song, “Cabaret,” acting the words instead of just setting them to music – giving them true meaning."
Review here: http://thesubtimes.com/2015/05/24/cabaret-at-tlt-reveals-decadence-and-danger-of-the-era/

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Campello Sangria for 100

Box of cheap white or red wine
2 liter bottle of cherry 7 up
1/4 to 1/2 bottle of cheap vodka
1 can of Goya mango juice
1/2 carton orange juice (pulp free)
1/2 cup lime juice
1/2 cup lemon juice

  • Cut one red and one green apple in cubes
  • Wash, then slice one orange and one lemon and one lime... Leave rind
  • Mix all liquids and add cut fruit
  • Taste and adjust "sweetness" to taste by adding lime juice if more tartness is desired... You can also add Triple Sec if more orangeness is desired.
Serves over 100; It tastes better if you prepare it a few hours ahead of time and let fruit sit in it.