On a recent art expedition to Baltimore I went to the American Visionary Art Museum, a museum that is so bizarre it is impossible to describe. All I can say is that it is wacky, weird, but totally cool.
John Waters, an extremely talented filmmaker, once said, “I would never want to live anywhere but Baltimore. You can look far and wide, but you’ll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style. It’s as if every eccentric in the South decided to move north, ran out of gas in Baltimore, and decided to stay.”
This quote could not fit The Visionary Museum more perfectly--and pretty much the rest of the city as well.
The Visionary Museum’s current exhibition, Human, Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity! is an exploration of the impact of new technologies on our life. AVAM's newest exhibition takes on its most complex subject yet: examining the rapid and ever-increasing impact of artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, genetics, 3D printing and Big Data on nearly every aspect of human life.
This thought-provoking exhibit investigates technology's influence on issues of privacy and surveillance, employment and manufacturing, longevity and health, defense and warfare, farming and food, access to global and personal information, creative invention and entertainment.
This is high stakes, new territory never before negotiated by any prior civilization. Two visionary artists that made their mark on the exhibit of over forty artists were Candy Cummings and David Knopp.
Candy Cummings’ “Retrotech” sculptures transform obsolete technologies into art. The sculptures of melded objects look so futuristic that we are forced to rethink what we know about the past and reexamine the ideas of form and function.
For more on Candy Cummings click here
David Knopp is another sculptor who uses plywood as his medium and constructs extremely fluid, organic shapes. In his artists statement Knopp describes concepts behind his work, “a single drawn line can express gesture and movement, direction and depth on a flat surface. Over the years, I strived to convey these qualities in my drawings. Moving toward sculpture, I carried these disciplines to another dimension.” Knopp successfully constructs graceful pieces that feel very natural with the use of his plywood material.
To see more from David Knopp click here
Sometimes you need a little break from the place you are in order to refresh your perspective. I would highly encourage any art enthusiast to take the easy 45 minute train ride out of DC to explore the burgeoning modern art scene in Baltimore that may just turn your world a bit topsy turvy.
Information for a visit to the American Visionary Art Museum can be found here.
Bringing the Art in DC to You,
This weekend one of my favorite DC artists will open her solo show at Heiner Contemporary. The show is collection of three bodies of work that I had the privilege of seeing in progress in her studio over a year ago, just as she was beginning to express the ideas on paper. Rachel Farbiarz has already proven to be a prolific artist who has the ability to create powerful works in almost any medium. In Take Me With You, Farbiarz will show her work in three different mediums; drawing, collage, and installation.
The first, which is one of the most profound concepts I have ever seen, is her series entitled The Apology Series. The series is a transcribed apology from the past prime minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, for the country’s participation in illegal activities with the British. The result is a whimsical, powerful display of words, lines, and if you let your mind wander, an image of a beautiful sentiment.
In her artist statement, Farbiarz says that she creates her work in “an effort to memorialize, conserve and dignify words, things, people and happenings."
The other piece in Take Me With You that might ring a little closer to home is the collage piece in the series Christmas Truces & Live-and-let-live, entitled Memorial Hill. This piece is equally as powerful as her more lengthy apology. It is a beautiful synergy of different mediums to create the image of a procession of various historical figures. Farbiarz became interested in a period of World War I known as the truces, when members of all sides would come together for a brief time to put war behind them. In this piece she is most interested in what gets left behind in that interaction - both physically and emotionally. All that is left behind fills the blank space on the piece - both physically and mentally for the viewer.
Over the past year, ArtSee's grown rapidly into a budding and forum and news source for artists and art enthusiasts in the DC area. Because of that, we're seeking a few highly motivated full and part-time bloggers for our local arts-based blog, Coloring DC. Bloggers will work closely with the founder and owner of ArtSee LLC, Elizabeth Grazioli, along with her experienced team of arts enthusiasts to produce arts-based content for their website 1-2 times a week. Bloggers will be encouraged to attend exhibition openings, gallery showings and art parties at all galleries and venues based in the Washington, D.C. area, and are required to attend all ArtSee related events. Bloggers will write op-ed pieces, reviews, calendar updates and have the opportunity to pitch ideas, subjects and new findings to the team.
ArtSee is the premier fine arts communications agency. Our creative, focused and enthusiastic team helps connect artists and art-enthusiasts with those who appreciate high quality local art. We specialize in art event and exhibition marketing and personal professional development for emerging artists. We work with restaurants, galleries and nonprofit organizations to accomplish their goals and host art events and pop up exhibitions.
We pride ourselves on providing high quality dedicated articles, marketing exhibitions, corporate curated exhibitions, pop up exhibitions, social media management, portfolio creation and submission, graphic design for marketing, web consulting and management and much more. Every month we host an emerging artist exhibition at Tabula Rasa, an event space and meeting place located on 8th street SE in Eastern Market. We’ve worked with a variety of restaurants, organizations and companies such as Tryst Café, Local 16, Pound the Hill, TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, ArtSpace Management, The Fridge—Fresh Produce, Borderstan blog and more. We’ve received high accolades from our clients, artists and local publications.
Must have the time to research and attend art events to post a weekly average of 1-2 articles.
Experienced writer with a unique voice and proper grammar skills.
Excellent communication skills.
Excellent time management skills.
Highly motivated with fresh, creative ideas.
Ability to work independently and hold oneself accountable.
Experience with WordPress is a plus.
If you consider yourself “ArtSee” and would like to work with our creative and energetic team, please email your resume and two writing samples to email@example.com with the subject heading “Blogger”.
Highlighting the intersection between art and economics through artist-run art subscription programs. The very thing that ArtSee supports and stands for is artists finding ways to support, marketing and make a business out of their art! DC is no stranger to artist driven non-profit initiatives that incorporate and support the art community, but this show has DC nowhere to be seen. This show will highlight the work created through the artreprenuers of artist-driven organizations that use art to communicate their message from all over the US. Transformer will explore how these pieces stand alone as works of art and how they invoke the groups, artists and networks that they represent. Don’t miss the opening from 6:00 – 8:00 PM!
Featured Artists Include: Alula Editions (Bay Area, CA), Art Practical Mail Art Subscription (San Francisco, CA), Community Supported Art Chicago, Community Supported Art Philadelphia, Community Supported Art Minneapolis, The Drop/NOLA (New Orleans), The Present Group (Bay Area, CA),Regional Relationships (Chicago), and The Thing Quarterly (San Francisco, CA).
(featured photo courtesy of Transformer: Eric Fleischauer, Universal Paramount, archival inkjet print, 2011)
I love a great solo show by an amazing local DC artist! Project 4’s show featuring artist Christine Gray, Believer, gives viewers a look into a distorted view of reality. The artist is set on intentionally letting our minds wander to a place where we are meant to creative the narrative. Gray has mastered the still life in a modern way to juxtaposition unique objects in unlikely places. The arrangement and composition of her work challenge the traditional meaning of everyday objects.
What really makes Gray’s work shine is her intense, accurate and colorful details. Her attention to detail really makes these obscure scenes come to life. Her show at Project 4 runs through October 26 and opens on Saturday from 6:00 – 8:30 PM. For more on Christine Gray visit her website and see her work at Project 4.
17th St Festival
This Saturday, 17th St will be taken over with art, entertainment, food and more! In its’ 4th year, the festival is one of DC’s best ways to discover local culture, food, shopping, and ART! This year there will be over 20 individual artists displaying and selling their pieces throughout the festival. One of our favorites Indigo Wakatama will be there and display some of her amazing prints and original pieces. In addition, Michael Auger, RADICArt and the Washington Studio will show pieces. For the complete list of participants visit the website.
Bringing the Art in DC to You,
The Hemphill Fine Arts on 14th Street recently had an exhibit titled “Artist-Citizen, Washington DC.” This exhibition explored how artist interact with our nations capitol, a city that they regard as home. Wandering through the third floor gallery space the walls were not covered with images of the monuments as I expected, rather faces. These faces are what make up the city: it is not the buildings that create the political powerhouse that is D.C., but it is the individuals who have become passionate about the government and state of our nation. D.C. is a beautifully diverse city filled with unique personalities.
Within the first room was an entire wall filled with photographs of individuals dressed in what can only be described as the power suit. I remember my first visit to D.C. what truly captivated me wasn’t the monuments, or the historical sites, not even the museums and galleries (don’t get me wrong, these things are amazing), it was the people. I remember sitting on the metro around 9:00 am and watching all the men and women dressed in suits, caring brief cases and looking so purposeful as if today and every single day in the District was the opportunity to change the world. All these sophisticated people on the metro, during rush hour, were going to do just that. Their lives had purpose. I wanted to walk into the world that intentionally, determined, and purposeful. So here I am, living in D.C., looking at this piece on the wall of a small local gallery, and it was able to connect me to that initial emotion that drew me into the city.
In the Hemphill’s exhibit, each artist did an impeccable job capturing and expressing the essence of Washington D.C, an aesthetic that may be foreign to those who have not lived and loved this city. By shifting the focus of the art onto the people and landscape rather than objects so often featured when discussing Washington D.C. “Artist-Citizen” was able to reach the viewer on a more human level. Reminding all citizens that we are surrounded by the diversity and beauty of politics, arts, and history: being woven together to form a home.
In the press release for the exhibit, Hemphill states: “As we mark HEMPHILL’s 20th year, we are encouraged to think about the gallery’s investment in Washington—investment not only in the art community, but in the city at large…Through these visually rich and provocative art experiences, we hope to demonstrate how the Artist-Citizen engages us in the conditions of our community, revealing our connectedness, and enhancing our well being.” As a D.C. resident, and more importantly, someone who has found a home in this big city, “Artist-Citizen was one of the most impacting exhibitions I have seen, portraying the true emotions of Washington D.C.
Now, more than ever, it’s up to independent artists to learn how to market themselves through the wonderful world of the interwebs. Whether you’re a journalist, a painter, a sculptor, a musician, or any other creative professional, it’s up to you to get your name out there and to get your work seen/heard by the masses!
How are you going to do that? Through utilizing these essential online resources.
Your website is going to be your most powerful tool. All of your work needs to be linked back to the website you create – aka to the brand you work so hard to build online! This is your online home where people will find your social media sites, samples of your work, your contact information, and a little bit of personal info about you!
It’s super important to have your own domain name for your website, too. A customized domain name like www.AwesomeAtArt.com is 10x better than a non-customized domain name such as www.AwesomeAtArt.Tumblr.com. Keep that in mind when starting up your online portfolio… it’s definitely worth the investment.
I use BlueHost to host my website…(they also have an awesome affiliate program if you’re interested in monetizing your new site)! Think about purchasing your own domain name, and then do a simple Wordpress install to get your portfolio rockin’ online! I make it super easy for you to get started in this step-by-step guide to creating your own website.
While the big guys such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are certainly going to be a huge help to you, which I’ll cover in a minute, don’t overlook the importance of joining in with your niche networks – platforms that cater specifically to artists such as yourself! ArtSlant and deviantART are some of the big players in the social art market, and of course, ArtSee!
ArtSee is going to be HUGELY beneficial for the local aspect to your online marketing. This community of artists is intended to help you discover, exchange, and promote art in your local city, and you’ll encounter new faces and new friends in your particular art scene through local events and venues. They offer an array of promo services to and often feature artists, so it’s worth looking into to help get your name out there! It’s also fun (and helpful) to build a network like this – you never know what can happen, who you’ll meet, where you’ll find inspiration, and what opportunities will come your way.
“Traditional” Social media
Once you’ve got your website set up, you’ve joined the ArtSee community, and your portfolio is ready to share with the world, we gotta help people find you online! This is going to happen in a number of ways:
1. By continuously creating great content – photos, videos, links, blogs
2. By connecting with fans on social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube… pick your poison. The only thing worse than being on TOO many social sites is being on none at all. The big social media platforms are all free – so use them to your advantage!
Some marketers suggest sticking to no more than 5 social platforms, or else it becomes impossible to manage and can actually be counterproductive. I think that’s a good rule of thumb! However, you may find that you only want to use 3 or 4. Find where your audience is hanging out, and stick to those core sites. And if you can’t… Let ArtSee help you!
A note about Facebook: While promoting your work on your personal Facebook page is important, it’s going to help you a TON if you also create a brand page for your work. Your personal page is only going to be found by friends and family, a brand page can be found by perfect strangers just waaaittting to be inspired by your art! Create a brand page, update it regularly, and connect with your fans!
Don’t forget to join the ArtSee community on Facebook! If you have any social media marketing questions along the way to stardom, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at any time or contact ArtSee about their services.
As Jeff Goins says, “being an artist means to be generous.” So be generous, and help the non-artistically talented folks (like myself), find your work online! We’d love to see it, and we’d love to share it.
-Jessie Spielvogel, Split Aces Media
Photo Credit: Jessie Spielvogel and LVK Photography
Hemphill Fine Arts
Current Exhibit: “Keeping It Alive” by William Willis and “Works on Paper” by Steven Cushner are showing June 8 to July 28, 2012 at Hemphill.
William Willis, Spiral, 2011-2012, 12” X 16”. Courtesy of Hemphill.
Highlights From the Show: We were very drawn to Willis’ “Spiral” (pictured above) for it’s dynamic geometric construction. The piece sells for $5,500. We also loved the delicate symmetry of Cushner’s “Untitled” (pictured below). We are thrilled for the artist and the gallery for the piece has sold!
Steven Cushner, “Untitled,” 2012, 21” X 17 3/4”. Courtesy of Hemphill, now sold.
A Little About the Artists: William Willis’ work is driven by experiences both individual and universal across cultures. His use of graphic geometry stems from his personal reverence for the primitive, the ritualistic, and the repetitive in forms and shapes. Willis is well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at The Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection.
Steven Cushner’s works on paper are a visual testament of the possibilities of painting and process. His works transcend the paper medium as complete and meaningful works of art. Cushner is also well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.
For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit Hemphill.
Bringing the Art in DC to you,
Recently opened at the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street was the third annual “Call + Response.” Writers and visual artists are paired together for a unique experience: the writer creates a work - the “call”, and the artist creates a work in return - the “response.”
This year for the first time ever the writers were invited to see the artists’ responses and then create a final re-response to complete the exchange. At the gallery opening the audience was encouraged to continue the exchange by using pieces of paper to create a “call” in response to the exhibit, for which their neighbor would return a “response.” All of these paper exchanges are now tacked onto the gallery walls.
Artist exchange permeates the entire exhibit. During a vivid opening panel discussion the writers and artists were surprisingly forthcoming about the collaborative experience.
Though it is obvious that the artist pairings were not randomly selected, most of the pairings admitted that the project was a significant departure from their normal creative processes — some even claiming that the whole experience changed the way they think about their art-making.
In spite of the fact that “Call + Response” is only open for 2 weeks, it is not a mere blip on the D.C. art scene. The artists’ lack of simply creating direct illustrations to accompany the authors’ writing reveals a surprising aesthetic moving away from visual narrative.
Each pairings’ work is somehow a distinct, yet related, entity. The masterful collaborations of “Call + Response” not only encourage artists involvement - but also invent new modes for artistic demonstration.
The artists included in the project are: Michael Kimball (writer) and Trever Young (artist), Reb Livingston (writer) and Matthen Mann (artist), Danielle Evans (writer) and Lisa Marie Thalhammer (artist), Amber Sparks (writer) and Yay Team! (artists), Kyle Dargan (writer) and Mia Feuer (artist). “Call + Response” was open at the Hamiltonian Gallery from June 2 - June 16, 2012. The Hamiltonian Gallery is located at 1353 U St. N.W. Washington, D.C.
Bringing the Art in DC to You
Looking for great local, affordable and generally awesome photography? Look no further…
Last Wednesday night, DCist launched their 6th annual photography show Exposed at Longview Gallery. I snuck in a little late but just in time to enjoy the awesome photography that was selected this year by local, emerging photographers. The music and flowing beverages helped too!
This year there were some stellar standouts in the crowd; among them were Ryan Maxwell, Markus Krisetya, Henry Throop and Ivan Sciupac. Each of these pieces really stood out to me for several reasons, their color, content and angle of each image really stuck. Ryan Maxwell’s Prepare for Liftoff is not immediately recognizable by any means and really takes you a minute to figure out what he is depicted where as Henry Throop’s Weathering the Storm is just simply beautiful and slightly ironic considering the lack of snow this year in our fair city. Also, chosen as the cover image for this year’s guide to Exposed, Ivan Sciupac’s Stairway to Lincoln just grabs you from the minute you see it with a blue sky so beautiful that you wish you had been outside with him the day it was taken (or could at least bottle the color for a rainy day). My personal favorite however? Drum roll please… Markus Krisetya’s Untitled of our infamous President Lincoln bobble head, known best for beating Teddy Roosevelt at every home Nationals game, descending the lengthy escalator of one of our metro stations – wonderful image!
Although I selected all of the cliché DC pieces here there were so many that really stood out! I suggest stopping by Longview any time before April 1 when Exposed closes to take a peak and every piece is reasonably priced around $175 so definitely bring your wallets!
Bringing the Art in DC to You,
PS – Tonight at Longview join them for a panel discussion sponsored by Pink Line Project with distinguished DC artists and patrons to learn about collecting photography.
30 Americans at the Corcoran is a beautiful, emotional, overwhelming and highly satisfying exhibit. Last night’s opening was also one of the best I’ve ever been to at the Corcoran. The crowd was also more ethnically and racially diverse than I’ve ever seen at a Corcoran party. Coincidence?
I think that the positive energy that the Rubells emit is part of it, but it’s also the artists’ work and the story it tells about America and who we are today. The demographic changes of the last decades and those yet to come, don’t always square with what we see reflected in the traditional/institutional art world be it artists, gallery and museum professionals, art historians and critics, collectors and others.
To see 60-plus works from 31 African-American artists that span several generations drives home the sense that we need more shows like 30 Americans and we need to support ways for paths to those possibilities to be created, navigated and supported for all artists who don’t have access to them because of race, ethnicity, class, or economic status.
30 Americans at the Corcoran Gallery of Art opens to the public on October 1st and runs through February 2012.