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Lecture: On Identity in the Arts: What Does It Mean to be Latinx?

Montpelier Art Center9652 Muirkirk Rd

Saturday, September 14, 2pm.

I will be delving deep into the history and evolution of the Latino ethnic label and then discussing important questions on the issue while wrapping it around the context of the fine arts in a sometimes funny, but always informative presentation. 

Lecture is free and open to the public.
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F. Lennox Campello
More Obsessions: Thoughts and things that keep living in my head

Stone Tower Gallery
7300 MacArthur Blvd.
Glen Echo, MD 20812
Exhibition:  F. Lennox Campello: More Obsessions
Exhibition dates: July 5 to 28, 2019
Gallery Hours: Saturday & Sunday, 11am to 6pm and by appointment
Art Walk Reception: Friday, July 5, 6 to 8pm


Is technology part of contemporary art? Of course it is! 
Is technology a drug that causes obsessions? Of course it is! 
A compulsive drive to work the same image or idea repeatedly is not that rare an issue in the pages of art history. Nearly every major museum in Europe has a similar version of El Greco’s vision of Christ throwingthe merchants from the Temple, and Mondrian redefined the same abstractcomposition of color blocks over and over, and over, as did Italian artist Giorgio Morandi, who obsessively returned to the same basic still life over, and over, and over. 
What drives those “obsessions” is a matter for debate, as well as for much furrowing of eyebrows at art schools across the planet, where it is generally noted as a negative trait for an artist. 
F. Lennox Campello, who the Washington City Paper included a few years back in their annuallisting of Washington’s most interesting people, not only relishes in returning to the same subject many times over, but in some cases the “many times” have over the four decades of obsessions delivered interpretations now numbering in the hundreds for a single subject. 
A new obsession to Campello has been the incorporation of technology to help his other obsession (telling a story via his artwork) succeed.  Video and sound become powerful narrative additions to almost classical drawings.

“Your Portrait in a Gallery of Portraits”is such an obsessive narrative technical and technological composition. In the charcoal and conte drawing, we see a solitary figure from the back, as she visits an art gallery. To both sides of the figure embedded digital screen search online and put a new portrait of a famous person every five seconds on each screen. The center screen seems empty at first, until a viewer approaches it, and realizes that their image is now part of the work (captured by a hidden miniature camera). 

The work (exhibited in the DC area for the first time), has kindled an unexpected response from the viewers during its initial exhibition at the Art Basel week of art fairs in Miami last year. “I noticed – and recorded – hundreds and then thousands of people taking a selfie of themselves ‘inside’ my artwork,” notes Campello, “… a selfie of a selfie, if you will…,” he adds. 
Other obsessions also make an appearance: the Picts of ancient pre-Celtic Scotland (where Campello lived for several years), Argentine revolutionary mass murderer Ché Guevara, the Biblical Eve, and the Kabbalah’s Lilith, Saint Sebastian, Saint John the Baptist, a naked Supergirl, enjoying a nudie flight, Campello’s own secret messages in a secret written code. 
The artist, who was a US Navy cryptologic officer for over two decades, has invented a secret visual written language which is a marriage of ancient Celtic Ogham (the secret writing code of the ancient Druids) with the more modern US Navy Falcon Codes, a series of phrases with double meanings. They also appear, hidden in the shadows of bodies and objects throughout some of the drawings.
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Application Deadline: June 22, 2019

ARTSFAIRFAX invites professional artists of all disciplines interested in conducting a teaching artist residency to apply for the FY20 Artist Residency Program.  

The program is a collaboration between the ARTSFAIRFAX and the Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) for artist residencies that engage students in cross-curricular learning through the arts.  Arts disciplines include, but are not limited to, visual arts, music, theater, literature, dance, choreography, storytelling, design arts, architecture, sculpture, media/film, animation, and digital art.  Professional artist includes individuals who have exhibited, performed, presented and/or published artistic work in a public context that demonstrates an ongoing commitment to their artistic discipline at a professional level.  

Application Deadline: June 22, 2018.  

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Deadline: rolling basis
This emergency grant provides financial assistance to painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation.
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Deadline: rolling basis
Do you have an unanticipated opportunity to present your work? Did you incur an unexpected expense that you didn’t budget for? The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers Emergency Grants between $200 and $2,500 for visual and performing artists. They review applications once a month, so you can quickly take advantage of momentum or solve any budget errors.
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Best in Show Winner Mary Anne Arntzen Awarded $10,000
The Bethesda Arts & Entertainment District announced the top three Bethesda Painting Awards prize winners on Wednesday evening during the exhibition’s opening at Gallery B. Mary Anne Arntzen of Baltimore, MD was awarded “Best in Show” with $10,000; W.C. Richardson of University Park, MD was named second place and was given $2,000 and Nicole Santiago of Williamsburg, VA received third place and was awarded $1,000. Additionally, McKinley Wallace III of Baltimore, MD was recognized with the Young Artist Award and received $1,000.

Pictured from L to R: Catriona Fraser, Painting Awards Chair; Nicole Santiago, Third Place Winner; Carol Trawick, Founder; Kyle Hackett, 2019 Painting Awards Judge
Mary Anne Arntzen earned a Masters of Fine Arts from the Maryland Institute College of Art and her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Boston University. Her work has been shown nationally, including recent exhibits at the Walters Art Museum, the Painting Center and St. Charles Projects in Baltimore, MD. She has completed residencies at the Wassaic Project, Vermont Studio Center and Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild. She was a 2018 nominee for the Joan Mitchell Painting and Sculpture Grant and a finalist for the Sondheim Prize in 2017. Arntzen has taught at the Maryland Institute College of Art, George Washington University, and the Community College of Baltimore County. She is also a member of ICA Baltimore.

Work by Mary Anne Arntzen
The eight artists selected as finalists are:

Mary Anne Arntzen, Baltimore, MD

Taha Heydari, Baltimore, MD

Lillian Bayley Hoover, Baltimore, MD

Gina Gwen Palacios, Baltimore, MD

Erin Raedeke, Montgomery Village, MD

W.C. Richardson, University Park, MD

Nicole Santiago, Williamsburg, VA

McKinley Wallace III, Baltimore, MD


A public opening will be held on Friday, June 14, from 6-8pm. Gallery B is located at 7700 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite E in downtown Bethesda. The work of the eight finalists will be on display from June 5-29, 2019. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday from 12-6pm.

Personally, my winner would have been Nicole Santiago - who was awarded the Third Prize; but of course, art favoritism is very subjective, no matter what anyone tells you.

Work by Nicole Santiago
The competition jurors were Kyle Hackett, Professor of Art, American University and the 2014 Bethesda Painting Awards; Sue Johnson, Professor of Art, St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and Susan Zurbrigg, Painting and Drawing Area Head, Professor of Art, James Madison University.
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Botero may be an international, populist favorite, but most North American critics won’t give him the time of day.
Read a really cool article by Scott Indrisek here.
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Printmaking Coffee and Fellowship
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

June 21, 3-5PM

Calling all local printmakers! The Katzen invites you to the museum for coffee, fellowship, and networking. Meet printmakers from across the DMV and view our two ongoing printmaking exhibitions! Please let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing here
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Printmaking Coffee and Fellowship
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center

June 21, 3-5PM

Calling all local printmakers! The Katzen invites you to the museum for coffee, fellowship, and networking. Meet printmakers from across the DMV and view our two ongoing printmaking exhibitions! Please let us know if you plan to attend by RSVPing here
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I've been hearing this "new" (at least new to me) art term "Queer Glass" all over the glass artmosphere of the art planet lately -  the term is used to describe fine art glass about and by LGBTQ artists and issues -- and thus in honor of Pride month, I'd like to share this essay on the early days of Queer Glass... 

From the Washington Glass School:
Queer Glass : A Personal History
Tim Tate: Queer Glass
I’ve heard the term “Queer Glass” being used lately, which completely excites me! Meegan Coll’s “Transparency.” LGBTQ exhibit at the Liberty Museum last year, Jan Smith’s Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass, Reflecting Perspectives: Artists Confront Social Issues of Diversity and Inclusion and Susie Silbert’s (Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass) upcoming seminar discussion in October ( thank you Meegan and Susie!). This makes me want to cheer from the roof tops. Thank you to Meegan for curating that first show, and thank you to Susie for being the first institution to use the term Queer Glass.
One of the reasons I’m happy about this is that it gave me a reason to compile a history of my own Queer Glass, an excessive I had never undertaken. There are a few more reasons as well.
One of Tim Tate’s earliest glass pieces from the mid 90’s. Said Tim of the work: “I lost 9 friends to AIDS in one year. This bowl with 9 angels covered by positive symbols was my tribute.”
In 1990 I began taking glass classes at Penland School of Crafts. I went there to heal by creating. A few years earlier I received a terminal diagnosis: I was told that I had one year to live; I was a gay man who had AIDS. I embraced glass at that time so that I would at least die as the artist that I had wanted to be, rather than my former job…the job that everyone else thought that I should have.
In this 2-week class I met another gay man who was a very nice guy. I didn’t come out to him right away, as I was going to do it later that week. Before I could, however, this young man went to another well-known glass artists studio, covered the ground with newspapers, and fatally shot himself in the head.
I was not to meet another gay man in glass for the next 15 years.
Said Tim Tate of this image of New Orlean’s AIDS Memorial – “The cornerstone of my Queer Glass Series is of course The New Orleans AIDS Memorial. I designed it in 1996 and my friend Mitchell Gaudet cast the glass when it finally got installed. This was one of the very first AIDS memorial sculptures in this country. It represents one of my proudest achievements as an artist. Thank you all who helped make it come to fruition. Its in Washington Park in the French Quarter.”
I had no idea at that time just how scarce gay people were in the world of fine art glass. It was a hetero-normative art form. They are still scarce, though things are getting better. Frequently when I mention this fact to people, they start telling me the names of gay people they knew of (almost always the same 5 or 6 names). Comparing this list to the number of heterosexual glass artists is ridiculous. If anyone else was making direct queer work back then I would love to hear from you.  
I had heard of several gay women artists, and eventually heard of a few gay men. Thank God for them! It always gave me hope. But being a gay person making glass sculpture does not mean that you make Queer Art. I believe Queer Art should address the concerns of gay people. They should be fighting issues that stand in our way towards equality. At least to me, they should also be identified as Queer Art… no “passing” allowed! I’m just happy that we live in a time when we can publicly embrace the word queer to re-empower ourselves.
The queer issues then centered around HIV, marriage equality, violence towards gay men and women, all vast civil rights. Today’s issues seem to be centered around getting acceptance of family, civil rights (still), political advancement and keeping the extreme right at bay in order to keep the rights that we now have. So – as I waited to meet other queer men in glass, I made my art. 
To be clear, there were other queer people making art…but not glass art. So, I began on my own. I never saw another piece of queer glass until the Liberty Museum’s “Transparency” show last year. What a delight to meet others embracing their self-identities for all to see!
The vast majority of my queer work goes back to 1992 to 1999, when I was the founder and director of the Triangle Artists Group (TAG) in Washington, DC…. which at one time boasted over 200 members who curated over 40 shows. Most notable was a show curated by Ruth Trevarrow entitled, “Too Queer”, which examined society’s homophobia and our own internalized homophobia. We worked with art and what was then called the “Prison Project” (concerning how gay people at that time were 3 times more likely to be incarcerated and 10 times more likely to be sexually abused in prison). AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) played an important role among many TAG members. We were fighting to stay alive. 
As such, this was the soup in which I swam. I was an HIV+ gay man surrounded by the politics and artistic expression of our times. I just never saw or experienced any queer glass art, other than my own. I saw the creation of this type of issue driven art as healing to me. Not only healing in the act of creating, but also healing for the viewers who shared these issues. Loss and healing became the main theme of many of my works. In one year alone, I went to 9 funerals. My friends, my partners… my world – was dying before my eyes. It was impossible for us to stay silent. HIV and Matthew Shepard’s death defined the late 90’s. Either a faceless disease or homophobic murderers were going to kill us. This seemed to be the worst time in the last century to be gay. The world’s queer artists united together – but not queer glass artists.
Tim Tate; “In The Dark Hours”; 16″ x 7″ x 7″; Blown and Cast Glass, Electronics, Video; 2006. Said Tim of this work: “In the early days of AIDS, there was a great deal of shame associated with contracting the disease. It felt like all control had been taken from your life, so many people took back the that control by committing suicide before the onset of symptoms. Suicide was the first thought I had when I discovered I was positive.” Photo by Pete Duvall.
There was also a few gay glass collectors that existed. Unlike the fine art world, they rarely supported struggling queer glass artists (they still rarely do). Perhaps it was the old internalized homophobia rearing its ugly head again. One glass art gallery that I showed my work in said that I could make glass with a gay narrative, but they would not exhibit those works in the gallery. They said they had no clients for it. The economics were on the side of hetero-normity.
I was lucky in that I discovered that some many non-gay collectors would acquire my work, even queer work. The artwork just needed to be very good work as well. The glass and art collectors of the time were, for the most part, enlightened liberals. Museum curators were much more open to showing queer artwork. In the earliest days it was never about the economics anyway. It still isn’t. It’s about refusing to stay invisible. SILENCE = DEATH was the mantra for queer artists.
I assume that there were regional pockets of queer glass artists that I was just not aware of. I hope I was just not seeing a collective queer effort in glass. I saw work by queer glass artists, but nothing was in any way obvious. My point with my artwork was to escape the invisibility of being a gay glass artist at that time. Invisibility had to be left behind. I was eventually lucky enough to be asked to speak at Yale university by Glenn Adamson on the topic of Art and Conflict in a panel sponsored by the Chipstone Foundation.
So much has changed for gay people: HIV can now be controlled, we can now marry, and we have achieved some human rights. We have 10 openly gay men and women serving in Congress. We have a gay man running for president. Attitudes in the American public have improved drastically towards gay marriage. My fear is that we are becoming complacent with the gains that we have made. Anti-gay violence is on an alarming increase. The civil rights we have achieved are being eroded by the far right. This seems like the perfect time to focus again on queer art and defending what we have struggled for. I just thought I would gather that history here. Younger people than I will take it from here.
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