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


What is "urban" art?

Phillips de Pury, a major art auction house, recently held a sale of "urban" art. Flavorwire did a nice interview to help explain "the rise and relevance of this movement." Art consultant Ken Miller says:
To me, “urban” art is kind of a misnomer at this point. I think youth art might be more accurate, since it speaks to a youthful pop sensibility and a range of influences from youth culture. This includes graffiti and street art, but also punk rock, graphic design, advertising and more.
Auction curator Alex Smith defines "urban" art:
Graffiti is as old as time and could be defined as unsolicited expression and a type of urban folk art or vandalism found mainly in public areas. It’s typically made by unseen, youthful forces. Graffiti is urban but urban is not graffiti. Urban [art] has quickly become the umbrella term for anything with even the loosest ties to and origins with graffiti and street art. I think the corporations (and perhaps the auction houses) are the easiest ones to blame for this. It’s a convenient blanket term that has become frequently misused of a certain graphic style, and as a byproduct [the term] has been stigmatized by the many of the artists associated with it.
Interesting! More here.

Highly recommended: the "nine" @ DC9

Sunday, May 10
Doors at 7pm, show at 7:30pm
@ DC9 - 1940 9th St NW

Nine handpicked songwriters play two songs each and then they go around again. Great opportunity to hear some of DC's best songwriters in action. Especially my longtime fave Maureen Andary. I heart Maureen! I can't wait to see the other performers:

Justin Trawick
Olivia Mancini
Nathan Robinson
Maureen Andary
Stripmall Ballads
Adrian Krygowski
Molly Hagen
Matthew Hemerline
Rene Moffatt


A visionary and a good manager

Photo by Lois Raimondo -- The Washington Post

Blake Gopnik writes about the Hirshhorn's new director Richard Koshalek in today's Washington Post. Seems like he's going to be an excellent fit. I especially liked this about him:
The reason he would want a lot of people in to see a show, Koshalek says, is "not because I want to have high attendance, or high numbers. It's because I believe they deserve to have the opportunity to see the work of these artists, to encourage them to also be creative individuals in their own lives."
Wowzers! A museum director who embraces a concept that lies at The Pink Line Project's core: people seek out art experiences to inspire their own creativity (which is especially important in a relatively staid town like Washington).


DC is quirky

Thanks Amanda for the shout-out on Washington Business Tonight!

Arty stuff this week...

Alexandra Silverthorne
Open Studio

Wednesday, April 29
6 - 8pm

@ Heineman Myers Gallery
4728 Hampden Lane

Variant Method 09

Opening reception:
Thursday, April 30
5 - 8pm

@ Corcoran Gallery of Art, Rotunda
500 17th Street NW

Franz Jantzen, Inventory 1, digital assemblage, 41 x 34in

Artist Talk with Franz Jantzen

Thursday, April 30
7 - 9pm
Free, RSVP required info@mpaart.org

@ Emerson Gallery, McLean Project for the Arts
1234 Ingleside Avenue, McLean VA

Open Studio and Corcoran Student Show

Friday, May 1
11am - 9pm

@ Studio 4903
4903 Wisconsin Ave NW

Martha Oatway

Martha Oatway
Ephemera: Shadows and Transparencies
April 28 - May 31

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
5 - 8pm

@ Washington Printmakers Gallery
1732 Connecticut Avenue NW

Rosemary Feit Covey
Reality Confront End
April 29 - June 27

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
5:30 - 8pm

@ Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Center
1632 U Street

Diane Blackwell, Word Play

Mr. Mooskoo, Ken Weathersby, Reuben Breslar, Valerie Molnar, Amber Landis, William Brovelli, David Williams, Cat Manolis, Patricia Correa, Rachel Fick, Leah Frankel, Diane Blackwell, Andrej Ujhazy, Breht O’Hearn, Andrew Brown
May 1 - May 9

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
6 - 9pm

@ Moderno
1939 12th Street NW

Frank Warren
PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death and God
May 1 - June 26

First Friday reception:
Friday, May 1
6 - 9pm

@ Hillyer Art Space
9 Hillyer Court NW

Tom Block, Secret Garden

Artist Talk with Tom Block

Friday, May 1

@ Washington Project for the Arts
2023 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Multifarious: the Artwork of Heather Schmaedeke
April 28 - May 30

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
6:30 - 8:30pm

@ Space 7:10 at Kefa Cafe
963 Bonifant Street, Silver Spring

Jeff Huntington

Artist Talk with Jeff Huntington and Sarah Tanguy

Friday, May 1

@ Reyes + Davis
923 F Street NW

Erick Jackson

Erick Jackson: All Night Flight and Ken D. Ashton: The M Street Project
May 1 - June 6

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
7 - 10pm

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

Erica Melville, Complex State, oil on canvas, 60 x 48in

Andrey Bogoslowsky, Erica Melville, Linda St. Clair
A Prelude to Warmth
May 1 - May 31

Opening reception:
Friday, May 1
6 - 8pm

@ The Aaron gallery
1717 Connecticut Avenue NW

Jonathan Stein, Hitler with Sprinkles

Jonathan Stein: Good Humor and E. Brady Robinson: El Super

Opening reception:
Saturday, May 2
6 - 9pm

@ Heineman Myers
4800 Hampden Lane, Bethesda

Cynthia Jawitz Brower

Cynthia Jawitz Brower: Paintings and Prints,
Chris Chernow: Recent Works, Katya Kronick: Red
April 29 - May 23

First Friday reception:
May 1
6 - 8pm

Meet the artists reception:
Sunday, May 3
2 - 5pm

@ Studio Gallery
2108 R Street NW

Open Studios at Jackson Art Center

Sunday, May 3
12 - 5pm

@ Jackson Art Center
3048 1/2 R Street NW

Artist Talk with Ellington Robinson

Sunday, May 3

@ DC Arts Center
2438 18th Street NW


Emergency landing at Flashpoint

Photo: Max Cook

I think you can tell from this picture how much I adore the artist Trevor Young. His show Non-Places opened at Flashpoint on Saturday and it is brilliant and beautiful. Showing you digital images of his work here is pointless so please just go see it.

The opening was really fun too! Airports and airplanes figure prominently in this body of work, which sorta explains why many of Trevor's good friends dressed as stewardesses and pilots to help him celebrate the opening.

Photo: Jade Floyd
Coffee, tea, or me?

Jade, Tiffany, me, and Asma getting into the spirit of the evening!

Photo: Max Cook

Captain Oberndorfer enjoying an in-flight snack. That's First Officer Miner in the background.


Living with art

Last week I attended a small fund/friendraiser for Art Train at an important DC collector's home. The urban home and garden were large and beautiful, but what blew me away was the art collection. Everywhere I looked, there were jaw-droppingly stunning works by some of the biggest blue chip names in modern and contemporary art. Gerhard Richter, Agnes Martin, Eric Fischl (and see above, me and one of my interns Allison casually sipping fruity vodka drinks in front of one of the collector's several gorgeous Damien Hirsts). In addition to the art, the home was beautifully and perfectly appointed with fine furniture throughout. One thing in particular caught my eye: two white, stuffed chairs in the living room that were adorned on the backs with delicate strings of fine fabric that fluttered gently as each person passed by. It was so artful and sculptural! On closer inspection, though, I realized that this was the work of feline claws! And that made the chairs even lovelier to me knowing that this collector truly lived with his art. Awesome.


"From Rust Belt to Artist Belt" - Artists lead economic development

Greg Ruffing/Redux for The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Di Liberto and Ms. Boneham outside their new home in Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood.

Artists have long led development by moving into inexpensive neighborhoods and revitalizing them into places they could no longer afford to live in. A process that always happened organically. However, according to the Wall Street Journal, hard economic times have forced everyone to become more creative and government officials and developers are actually seeking out artists to help revive neighborhoods blighted by foreclosures and retail vacancies.

What began as a grass-roots movement, with artists gravitating to cheaper neighborhoods and making improvements, is now being embraced by city officials as a tool to revive neighborhoods reeling from vacancies and home foreclosures.

More good creative stuff this weekend

The Dunes presents: Get Trunk
Fashion, Accessories and Art of "Artistic Aya", Dana Ayanna Greaves
Event supports Pediatric AIDS/HIV Care

Sunday, April 26
3 - 6 pm
@ LeftBank
2424 18th Street, NW (Adams Morgan)

Buy tickets here.

Tickets are $20 for general entry and $50 for VIP. All tickets include open bar from 3-4:30 pm, a runway show, an off-runway accessories show, pop-up boutique and live music by DJ Collins Hughes (Marvin Wednesdays) and local band Tennis System.

Czech National Theater Ballet
Saturday, April 25 at 7pm
Sunday, April 26 at 2pm
Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street NW

The Czech National Theater Ballet from Prague will make its Washington debut, dancing the DC premiere of Petr Zuska's D.M.J 1953–1977 and Jiri Kylian's Petite Mort, as well as performing Kyian's Sinfonietta.

This event gives center stage to 20 top ballet dancers with choreography by internationally-acclaimed Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian and artistic director Petr Zuska.

See more on You Tube.

FarFar Oasis
@ Round House Theatre in Silver Spring
8641 Colesville Rd. Silver Spring MD 20910

Thursday April 23 - 8pm

Friday April 24 - 8pm
Saturday April 25 - 8pm
Sunday April 26 - 3:pm and 7:30pm

Tickets $15 ($12 for Round House subscribers, senior citizens, patrons under 25, and groups of 10 or more)
To purchase tickets click HERE.

In the early 20th Century, Europeans and Americans indulged their romantic notions of the Middle Eastern Desert in popular culture. FarFar Oasis takes as its point of departure this rich cultural phenomenon, contrasting the era’s charmed perceptions with the reality they missed in a pastiche of Rumi, Valentino, and songs like the Sheik of Araby. Lookie, lookie, lookie, see the hootchie kootchie girl. Authentic Turkish Delight candy will be sold at the concession stand. It is the companion piece to Happenstance Theater’s original theatrical scrapbook, Low Tide Hotel.


Yay DC artists and galleries

Good press lately for some of my favorite artists. Yay! Lisa Marie Thalhammer got a nice mention in U.S. News & World Report for her contribution to the Manifest Hope show.
Next: Lisa Marie Thalhammer of D.C. "My work deals with powerful women," she says. "Michelle is an important figure for us to look up to." Thalhammer says that she does not usually produce politically minded art but has always been interested in portraying gender and power. Her portrait of the first lady stands out amid a sea of Obama portraits. "People around town talk about how much they admire her already," said Thalhammer. "I'm excited to see her in her new role. I thought she needed to shine."

Nicholas & Sheila Pye, Togetherness I & II, digital C-prints, 60" x 40" each, ed. of 5, 2009

Nick and Sheila Pye (rep'd by Curator's Office) have received a well-deserved deluge of media attention. They're in: Art In America AND Eyemazing Magazine AND Art News AND Art Forum (below). Nice.

Picture Equality open again

Photos: Adam Levner

As part of the Anacostia Art Walk for the Anacostia Cherry Blossom Festival a couple weeks ago, The Pink Line Project produced an awesome art exhibit celebrating youth making art for social change, with the curating assistance of Chanel Compton. It's a really special exhibit so we decided to open it up again so more people can experience the work of these remarkable young artists.

Picture Equality
Graffiti, Turntables, and Documentary Photography

Friday, May 1
9pm - 12am
@ 2204 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave, SE
Awesome Anacostia!

View pictures of the opening and the exhibit here and here.

About: Critical Exposure and Words Beats & Life are Washington DC based youth arts organizations that empower their students to be the leaders of today. The featured works, graffiti and photograph were created by students and supporters in order to promote social change and to share their creative vision.

Special thanks to Red Bull for their support of this project.

I almost ran over a Serra sculpture

I came two inches from crashing a car into a Richard Serra sculpture last week. Probably would have hurt the car more than the sculpture if we'd made contact, but I am still completely rattled by the experience. For one thing, Serra's art can kill! But more importantly, the thought of damaging this beautiful piece of art (not the one pictured above, which is at MOMA in NY) nauseated me. Though I was not at the wheel, I could barely speak of the incident for days without shuddering and wishing I could banish the memory, or at least, hoping the day would come sooner that I could look back and laugh.

My perspective changed a little, though, after I moderated a panel discussion the day after the incident that centered around Workbook, an installation at Flashpoint by Kate McGraw and Ann Tarantino, and after the artists spent two days erasing any trace of the installation by painting over it with five gallons of Killz and two gallons of white gallery paint.

I'd assembled the artists and Allison Marvin and Profesor Luis Silva to talk about drawing and collecting it. But the discussion took a turn and I was reminded that what is important to me about art is not the objects, but the artists and their ideas and the creation. The object they produce is only a representation or reminder of what is great about art and you can't really destroy that.

Some things that Luis and Allison said that particularly struck me:
  • Drawing is a primal and immediate act of mark making that begins with the literal representation of an object. At that level, the drawing replicates the reality. The artist sees something that looks good so she recreates it in a representative drawing.
  • When an artist begins to draw in a less literal manner, she seeks to understand the raw essence of an object and investigates its cultural impact.
  • When the artist investigates the experience of making drawings, the drawing becomes less about the mark itself and more about how it was made, the process of creation, the gestures, the performance. Much like theater, the process and the experience of the process is never the same when done again.
  • The video became an integral part of the Workbook installation. Maybe even the most important element because it documents the process and not the thing itself so that we can relive the experience once the drawings themselves are gone.
  • As Duchamp said, art is about the idea and not about its creation.
  • Having tangible drawings though reminds us, for example, of how graphite looks on pulpy paper.
I'm so glad I was able to be part of the making of this video and this art project. For more information about Workbook, go here.


Highly recommended: The Art Registry

The Pink Line Project is working with The Art Registry to bring you another uber awesome art installation by one of my favorite artists, DECOY. Come by and take a look and also see works by other great artists.

The Art Registry
Thursday, April 23
6:30 to 10 pm
@ 1515 11th Street, NW (at Rhode Island Ave.)

Man falls for art

One of my favorite artists Kerry Skarbakka on the Today Show this morning. Yay Kerry!

Arty stuff this week...

Washington Project for the Arts Presents:
Tug-of-War, Blurring the Line Between Art and Craft

Panel discussion:
Wednesday, April 22
5:30 - 7:30om

@ WPA Headquarters
2023 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Ding Ren
one to one
April 13 - 24

Wednesday, April 22
6 - 8pm

@ Gallery 102, Smith Hall of Art
George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW

Allison Reimus, Green Pattern, acrylic on panel, 36 x 48in, 2009

Josh Baptista, Kate Gartrell, Igor Pasternak, Nikki Painter, Erin Raedeke, Allison Reimus, Katherine Sable, Bonner Sale, Lana Stephens, Zac Willis

RESULTS: American University MFA Thesis Exhibition
April 23 - May 17

Opening reception:
Thursday, April 23
5 - 9pm

@ American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Robin Rose
April 7 - May 17

Opening reception:
Thursday, April 23
5 - 9pm

@ American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center
4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW

A Fine Line
Works by Noelle K. Tan and Laurel Lukaszewski
April 23 - July

Opening reception and artist talk:
Thursday, April 23
5:30 - 7pm

@ 505 9th Street NW Lobby

The Art Registry in conjunction with
Wilco Residential, urbanpace, and the Pink Line Project

Thursday, April 23
6:30 - 10pm

@ Eleventh Street Providence Lofts
1515 11th Street NW

Hillyer Art Space Film Series
Featuring Henry Ferrini's
Polis is This:
Charles Olson and the Persistence of Place

Thursday, April 23

@ Hillyer Art Space
9 Hillyer Court NW

Michelle Eye Study #1, oil on canvas, 6 x 8in, 2009

Laura Elkins: The First Ladies and Me
through May 4

Gallery talk:
Thursday, April 23

@ Sixth & I Historic Synogouge
600 I Street NW

Photo by Darren Santos

Transformer Presents: Collector's View 2009
View the Collection of Farinaz & Dadi Akhavan

Thursday, April 23

Amita Bhatt, Nina Glaser, Kat Rohrbacher, Katherine Mann, Scott Shanley, Karla Cott, Clarissa Gregory, Judy Stone, Pete Cullen, Alan Callander, Robby Rackleff, Emily Wathen, Sandy Triolo, Tiffany Plante
Maryland College of Art Graduate Thesis Exhibition
April 24 - May 3

Opening reception:
Friday, April 24
5 - 7pm

@ Decker Gallery, Fox Building
1300 W. Mount Royal Avenue, Baltimore

ArtSpace Cellular Photography Show 2009

Friday, April 24
6 - 8pm

@ ArtSpace
614 S Street NW

Trevor Young
April 25 - June 6

Opening reception:
Saturday, April 25
6 - 8pm

@ Flashpoint Gallery
916 G Street NW

Flaunt: Photography and Fashion Collaboration
presented by Honfleur Gallery, Ten Miles Square and Project Beltway LLC

Saturday, April 25

@ Honfleur Gallery
1227 Good Hope Rd, SE

O Street Artist Studios
Open Studios

Saturday, April 25
Sunday, April 26

11am - 5pm

@ 52 O Street NW

Bike Rack Dedication

Monday, April 27

@ US DOT Southwest Plaza
New Jersey Avenue and Tingey Street SE