Arts & Entertainment, Featured Post, Gallery Beat

Gallery Beat

By F. Lennox Campello

A good exercise for all practicing artists should be to make an end-of-year favorite Top 10 art shows that you saw during the year. That is important, because a key part of being an artist is to attend multiple and diverse art shows.

This is not only good networking, and good for information-gathering and kibitzing, but also great for getting one’s artistic juices flowing.

Once you make a list, examine it… that list says something about your own persona.

If you included more than three shows by artists who are also bloggers… then you must be either a blogger or stuck in 2005.

If more than six of the shows on your list are museum shows, then you have been seduced by our great DC area museums and need to get around more often to galleries, Artomatic, art centers, embassies, pop ups, etc.

If three or more of the shows on your list are from the same gallery or museum, then you’re not getting around as much as you should be before making any lists.

If your list has more than three video shows, then you must be a Hirshhorn Museum or Whitney Biennial curator.

If three or more of the shows on your list are from the same commercial gallery, then you are a hidden nepotista or a nepotista wannabe. A nepotista is someone who owes or wants something from or to someone in the art world, and all art opinions and experiences are based on that.

If all ten of your shows are from the same three or four spaces, then you don’t have a clue.

If your list includes more than one show from a library or restaurant, then you’re definitely getting around more than I do, or you have no idea where the galleries are.

If your list only includes shows that were within walking distance of a Metro stop, then you don’t have a car.

If the list includes more than one show in Bethesda, Reston, Rockville, or Arlington, then you live in one of those areas.

If all the shows in your list are located inside the Torpedo Factory, then you live in Old Town Alexandria and get to see really good artwork.

If your list includes more than three embassy gallery shows, then you’re going there mostly for the good food (or the great entertainment).

If your list only includes photography shows, then you are Louis Jacobson (photography critic for the City Paper).

If your list is based on which shows has the best food, then you are a grub.

If it’s an Artomatic year, and you list does not include Artomatic, then you’re either a DMV museum curator or one of six people in the DMV who hasn’t heard of Artomatic.

If your list includes more than three artist open studios, then you probably give art as Christmas presents.

If all the shows on your list are by non-Hispanic white male dead artists… well, you know what you are.

If your list does not include a single DC area gallery show, then we know that you’re a curator for one of the DMV museums (except the Katzen).

If your list includes a show in Richmond, Virginia, (or any place more than 75 miles from the DMV), then you’re either a close friend of that artist, or family.

I have also a separate list that I keep, and update regularly. It comes from a different perspective, as you will see:

This is a “Wish List for the Art scene in the DMV”

  1. For the Washington Post to do as promised (I have the emails from their past editors) and hire a second freelance art critic and return the Galleries column to its previous weekly format.
  2. For most of our area’s museum curators to realize that the Greater Washington, DC area is actually part of the United States of America, and for them to take a cab to a DC area art show or artist studio once in a while.
  3. For the National Gallery of Art to give Manon Cleary a retrospective.
  4. For the Hirshhorn to give Joe Shannon a retrospective.
  5. For the Phillips Collection to give Lida Moser a retrospective.
  6. For the WPA/C to work with a connected art fair organizer and bring a major art fair to the DMV.
  7. For Washingtonian magazine to add a regular gallery review column to its monthly format.
  8. For one or two of our local TV stations to add one minute a week to their local news hour programs on the subject of area visual arts exhibitions.
  9. For some of our area’s huge corporations (Marriott, Lockheed Martin, Giant Foods, etc.) to follow Carol Trawick’s example.
  10. For a documentary filmmaker to do a documentary on Artomatic.
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