A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.


Great skates

I owned a pair of these when I was a kid. Of course they were adorned with the obligatory pompoms. Pink and purple as I recall.

Indie arty talk

Tuesday, April 8
7 - 9:30 PM
Marvin Restaurant
2007 14th Street, NW
OK, pop quiz.

1. D.C. has a vibrant indie design scene: true or false?
Answer: TRUE

2. Which of the following might describe a typical day in the life of a D.C. designer?

A. Moderating a panel at a graffiti art show, meeting a band on your record label for lunch, and making some logo sketches for that new wine bar opening down the street from your office.

B. Traveling the world taking photos of your world-famous dj friends on tour, filming a documentary about disarming land mines, and building a web site for an airline.

C. Curating a roaming art gallery, hosting a live-art “happening,” and just plain having fun.

D. All of the above.

Answer: D. All of the above.

Do any of the above apply to you? If it seems as crazy and far off as a moon landing, maybe you should ask yourself this: who says that designers can only be, well, designers? AIGA DC wants to let you in on a little secret: everything you need to break out of the mold is within your reach. And what’s more, you can find it all here in D.C. —if you know where to look.

Join us next week at an exclusive*, VIP event with practically unrestricted access to five of D.C.’s most progressive DIYers:

• Moderator Philippa Hughes of the Pink Line Project will give you the “in” on D.C.’s independent art scene
• David Fogel of Eighty Eight D.C. will let you in on how he brings art to life
• Jayme Mclellan of Civilian Art Projects has got the lowdown on what it takes to start a gallery
• Nick Pimentel and Brian Liu of ToolboxDC will rant about their uncompromising approach and the inspiration for their eclectic creative experiences, and will mix it up afterwards as the evening's DJs, Yellow Fever.

The common thread between them? They all followed their passion and refused to be limited by how things are “done” in D.C. Don’t miss your chance to learn how you too can get a little soul in your life—and your design—without selling out.

Attendees at this event will be limited to 30—small enough to literally rub elbows with the panelists. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now!
Pricing Information (Online)
Member: $35
Student Member: $35
Non member: $50

Pricing Information (At The Door)
Member: $50
Student Member: $50
Non member: $65

That explains it!

Apparently the reason why you are ignored by New York gallerinas when you pop in for a visit is that they are much much too overworked to pay any attention to you at all, according to this New York Times article. Also, 99.5% of you won't buy any art when you're walking around Chelsea anyway so why should they bother even greeting you when you come in the door.

I know I can't afford to buy anything at mega galleries like Gagosian so I don't really expect a sales person to indulge my curiosity, although it would be nice if they could take a few minutes to explain the works to me. Regardless of the chilly attitude, ask to see the artist statement, which is usually if not always helpful. It's really important for art collectors and art lovers to explore shows at the high-end galleries because it's part of educating yourself on what's considered the best in the contemporary art market. It's also critical for collectors to look at art in galleries at every level to hone your eye and to better understand the process by which artists rise up through the gallery system. I am especially fond of the emerging gallery scene in the Lower East Side, where one of my favorite galleries 31Grand is located. The LES feels like a friendly neighborhood but also has great art. And of course, we have fantastic contemporary art galleries in DC where you can always find an approachable gallerist who will answer your questions and help you learn about contemporary art.

Nationals win!

The Washington Nationals won their first regular game in the new stadium last night with a dramatic home run by Ryan Zimmerman! Great fun! I was really disappointed by the blandness of the new stadium, though, especially the two giant parking garages that front the entry. The design looks a little hasty. But when you walk inside and see the whole park open up and you smell the sizzling spicy sausages, all is well with baseball.


Wreckfest fun!

Thanks everyone who came out to Wreckfest@Tiffany's on Friday! I'll post pictures as soon as I get them back from the photographer. In the meantime, thought you might like to give your opinion on whether graffiti belongs in art galleries on a blog called yesornodc. They'd also like to know what you think about the DC art scene in general.

Spring is here!

Looks like Mark Jenkins is happy spring has finally arrived!

Prima gallerina

My good friend Heather Stephens is featured in the New York Post's Page Six today! Her gallery is 31Grand and they show one of my favorite artists, Adam Stennett. The current show by Barnaby Whitfield is pretty darn good too. Check it out if you're in New York before April 19. At 143 Ludlow Street, in the Lower East Side.

Barnaby Whitfield, Fit To Burst (Heather Stephens As The Bird Flu), 2007, Pastel On Paper, 28.5 by 36 inches


Collecting art on a budget

GRETCHEN SCHERMERHORN: "Harnessing Nature II," $300

Great article in Sunday's Washington Post about how to start an art collection on a budget. Unlike buying a designer handbag or an HDTV, original art won't go out of style or become obsolete, and it can cost less too! Most of all, having original art in your life can inspire and challenge you intellectually in a way that no other material object can, because art is about so much more than the object itself. Works of art are the creative expression of ideas and a good idea is worth more to me than a new pair of shoes.


Wreckfest is tonight!


Fashionable art

The New York Times' Michael Kimmelman wrote an excellent article about Miuccia Prada as art patron. Prada has established a foundation that annually commissions two large-scale, ambitious works from great contemporary artists, such as John Baldessari and Nathalie Djurberg, who would not normally have the money or opportunity to create such works. Rather than simply buying up art to amass a collection of trophy works, which she could easily do, Prada encourages artists to produce new art. As collectors on a much smaller scale, we may not have the money to become patrons at this level, but I think we have an obligation to support artists beyond simply buying art. We can become part of the creative process by thinking of small creative ways to provide artists with the resources they need to create.

I like what Kimmelman writes about fashion in art too.

She also used to like to say that fashion is fun but frivolous, and fundamentally commercial, while contemporary art is serious and intellectual. It’s the mind-set of the 1968 generation: well-to-do, educated Europeans proving their modernity by prizing innovative art but disdaining fashion, notwithstanding that they were, and still are, as clothes-obsessed as anyone.

You might argue that Prada has the current art-fashion equation exactly the wrong way around. In any case, her stance (and who can say just how uncalculating it is?) has reinforced her status as a highbrow designer and a fashionable patron, playing to fashion’s endemic insecurity and to the art world’s eternal yearning for fashionability. As the New Yorker writer Michael Specter once phrased it, the clothes, shoes and handbags promise people “a better, hipper version of themselves,” which, for many of today’s Prada-clad art collectors, is the promise of acceptance in the art world, where Prada and her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, are like royalty.


Hatchet job

Kriston Capps wrote a review of Collectors Select for the City Paper last week. I think he missed the mark by a wide swath but I didn't want to be whiny and complain so held back on commenting. Thanks much to Jeffry Cudlin who writes Hatchets and Skewers for setting things straight. And thanks also to Richard Gould for his insightful comments. Hope everyone will come out to the Arlington Art Center Friday night for Wreckfest@Tiffany's to see what all the fuss is about!

Lenny has jumped into the fray here!

Inspired by the past

Jeff Koons collects old masters! See here. Even if or especially because an artist produces kitshy pop art like this, he still looks to the past for inspiration. Or maybe he is just playing a big joke on all of us.


More trains...wooooo woooooo

Many of you who came to the opening of Wreckfest@Tiffany's last month expressed interest in these little box cars that a couple of the guys painted for the show. A savvy collector snapped them up right away! Knowing that there were a lot of disappointed folks out there, the artists painted more trains and they'll be on display and available this Friday at the Wreckfest closing party.

Derby report

The Washington Post covered Saturday night's roller derby double-header at the DC Armory. If I were to join a team, I would definitely pick this pink team, the Cherry Blossom Bombshells. They look tough.

Arty stuff this week . . .

Tour of City Hall Permanent Art Collection
Led by the curator: Sondra Arkin

Wednesday, March 26
@ Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Conversations with artists:
Andrea Robbins and Max Becher

Wednesday, March 26

5:30 pm
@ Phillips Collection

In the Carriage House

Art Buzz
Thursday, March 27
6:30 to 9:30 pm
@ SenateRealty Offices

909 U Street, NW

Artist Talk: Don Kimes
Thursday, March 27
6 - 8 pm

@ Hillyer Art Space

9 Hillyer Court, NW

New American Paintings:
New Work by Robert Sparrow Hones and Jamie Pocklington

March 28 - April 26
Opening reception:
Friday, March 28
5 - 8 pm
@ Long View in the City
1302 9th Street, NW

Into the Light:
Mark Planisek, Marie Cobb, Lynn Silverman, Craig Kraft, Emily Erb, Phil Stein, Joan Belmar, Cathlyn Newell and Kendall Nordin
March 29 - May 3
Saturday, March 29
6 - 8 pm
@ The Honfleur Gallery
1227 Good Hope Road, SE

RSVP to: info@1435girard.com

Suzanne Goldberg: Visual Rhythms

March 26 - April 19
Artists Receptions:
Saturday, March 29
5 - 7 pm
@ Studio Gallery
2108 R Street, NW

Daniel Pink Lecture
Author of A Whole New Mind
Arts Advocacy Day - Americans For the Arts
Monday, March 31
7:30 pm
@ The Kennedy Center
Free registration.

invites you to the presentation of


Contemporary California Farm Workers
Photographs and text by Rick Nahmias



Monday, March 31

5:00 PM
Roundtable discussion with:
Demetrios G Papademetriou, President, Migration Policy Institute
Bruce Goldstein, Executive Director, Farmworker Justice
Irasema Garza, former Farm worker and Director for Community Outreach,
Working America, AFL-CIO
Rick Nahmias, Photographer, The Migrant Project

6:00 PM
Presentation of the exhibit by the photographer
Reception and book signing to follow


Bill Johnson Studio

Furniture Meets Fashion!

You may know Bill Johnson Studio for designing and making great furniture. Bill's now offering fabulous and exquisite vintage leather apparel from the 1950's thru 80's. Check out his work here!


Creative space for creative people

If you are a creative who is looking for shared work space in Silver Spring, check out Space88. Lots of amenities in a cool, funky building, working alongside some excellent people. For more information, email david@eightyeightdc.com.

Benefit for Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care

I hope you will be able to attend this fundraiser to benefit Pediatric AIDS-HIV Care, which serves DC children living with the disease. I got interested in helping this organization a few years ago when I learned that they use art as a form of therapy. It's the kind of charity where your donations make a huge and direct impact on a truly under-served community.

Children and Cherry Blossoms
Wednesday, April 2
6 - 8:30 pm
@ The National Arboretum
Buy tickets.


Party in NY!

If you're going to NYC next week for the art fairs, check out my friend Chris Tousimis' new art at Elmo (156 7th Avenue @ 19th Street). And come to a party there on Saturday night (March 29) from 9 to 11 pm!

Fake facebook friends

Thanks once again to Authentic Art Visions for referencing another great arty article, this time about people who make fake facebook pages using the profiles of famous artists. I am disappointed to learn that I am not REALLY friends with Jeff Koons! Some of you may have become facebook friends with DC artist Dan Steinhilber recently. Sorry to burst your bubbles too, but that's not really him either.


Do you like art less when the price goes down?

Authentic Art Visions highlighted an interesting article in her blog yesterday about scientific findings that show people like things less when the price of the thing is low. If you're buying and selling art as a short-term investment, then this conclusion may be relevant as the art market starts feeling the effects of the recession. But what I think is especially important to consider when reading this article is that it is further proof that you really ought to just collect art that you love and not worry too much about the price beyond consideration for what you can afford. Frankly, I can't imagine ever selling anything from my art collection so it really does not matter whether the market value of anything in my collection goes up or down.

But getting back to the real point of the article, do I like art less if it is less expensive? There is plenty of expensive art that I abhor and plenty of cheap art that I love. But I cannot say that the price tag doesn't have SOME impact on what I think about the art. For example, when an artist exhibits in a gallery, a lot of concrete information about the artist is reflected in the price of the artist's work and therefore gives me some confidence that the price somewhat equates to the quality of the work and therefore may influence me to like the work a little more. The gallery price is not a perfect indication of quality but I know that in a good gallery, the price has been vetted through a process based on definable factors and is a pretty good indicator.

I can confidently say, though, that you cannot make me like a work of art more by making it more expensive. But I have noticed that I scrutinize art more when the price is low. I don't think it is a huge revelation to say that in general, when something costs less, it may be of lower quality and therefore requires more scrutiny. However, after some scrutiny, I may decide that the work is good quality despite the low price. Coming to that conclusion requires educating myself about art and artists and art collecting. The more I educate myself about art and the more I hone my eye for looking at art, the better I can make decisions about the quality of art based on much much more than the price.

More learnin' about collecting art

If you read any DC blogs at all yesterday, then you have already heard that Artomatic will take place this year May 9 through June 15 in a really cool new office building at 1st and M Streets NE. What you haven't heard yet is that The Pink Line Project will host a series of panel discussions about art collecting during Artomatic. Check back here or on the Pink Line site for more info in a couple weeks.


Thanks for the props!

An art blog called Artifice, which is based out of American U., just posted a list of their ten favorite local art blogs and they mentioned hoogrrl! Word! They note that the reason why they like reading this blog is because it's fun and it gives a collector's perspective. Exactly! Art and art collecting should be fun. Not so serious people!

7. Adventures of Hoogrrl- Great (because it’s fun!) blog from area collector with tons of images and events. It seems that so many blogs are artist or critic-driven, it’s nice to get the perspective of a collector in the mix.

Fashion art music fusion

I love the idea of fusing different art forms! Will be fun to see Dekka's interpretation.

Emerge Exposed Panel

Thanks to everyone who came to the Emerge Exposed panel discussion about collecting photography. We had a standing room only crowd! I was so impressed at the way the diverse panelists gelled into a seamless conversation that touched on many different aspects of collecting photography. The panelists answered some super insightful questions from the audience and then we finished off the evening with a fun mix and mingle.

Thank you panelists: Sarah Kennel, a photography curator at the National Gallery, Henry Thaggert, an experienced collector of photography, Alyssa Rosenberg, a new art collector, and Jason Falchook, a successful art photographer. Thanks also to Heather Goss at DCist who put in many many personal time hours organizing the Exposed photography show, which was a fabulous display of local photography talent, and Jayme McClellan who provided the space at Civilian Art Projects and generally supported this program. And thanks to both for giving me the opportunity to do this great panel discussion! I think there will be more like it and soon, so I hope you can come to the next one if you missed this one.


Arty stuff this week...

an evening of dance solo artistry

Echo Park Contemporary Ballet
Friday, March 21

8 pm

@ Dance Place

3225 8th Street, NE


Joseph and John Dumbacher
Jason Horowitz

Jason Zimmerman


100 ways to kneel and kiss the ground
Kate McDonnell
March 21 - April 26

Opening reception:
Friday, March 21

7 -9 pm

@ Civilian Art Projects
406 7th Street, NW, 3rd Floor

Texas Made
Friday, March 21
6 - 12
@ Art Whino
717 North St. Asaph Street
Alexandria, VA

Hatnim Lee
March 22 - April 26

Opening reception:
Saturday, March 22
7 - 9 pm
@ Transformer
1404 P Street, NW

Yoko K
A musical dialogue with Akemi Maegawa's Invisible, Inc.

Live Performance:

Saturday, March 22
6 pm
@ Irvine Contemporary
1412 14th Street, NW