Tuesday, June 28, 2011

deadline: july 1

The deadline for 2012 SOLOS at AAC is this friday, July 1. The application form is on our website here.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is the very last set of solos exhibits for which I'll be sitting on the panel--and I must say, we've pulled out all the stops for this one.

Our guest jurors this time around are:

Klaus Ottman, Curator at Large and Director of the Center for the Study of Modern Art for the Phillips Collection

Karen Milbourne, curator for the Smithsonian African Art Museum

J.J. McCracken, DC based installation artist and art professor

These folks will spend two days reviewing all of the submissions and selecting twelve to fourteen emerging contemporary artists who are producing sharp stuff and have novel proposals for exhibits in our seven gallery spaces.

Should you apply? Well, duh. I mean, if you live in DC, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, or Delaware, that would be a big yes.

Things to think about in your application:

Site specificity. How is your show going to be tailored to the spaces at AAC? Show the panel that you've thought about how you'll use our floorplan to your advantage. How will your show here be a unique occurence, i.e., not just a rehash of the same array of objects or experiences you might present in a different gallery somewhere else?

Professional development. What does showing at AAC do for you? How will it allow you to advance your game, develop your practice, attempt something on a scale or trajectory you haven't attempted before?

The non-profit difference. Why does it make sense to show your work in a non-profit art space? Is there something about your work or your project proposal specifically that makes more sense in our galleries than in a local commercial gallery? If you already have commercial gallery representation, why should your work be shown here?

If you can answer those questions, and your images/video/plans look good, then you might very well be in business.

Get those applications in!

Pictured: Images from previous SOLOS shows by Laure Drogoul, Mia Feuer, Pamela Sunstrum, David Page, Roxana Perez-Mendez, Erin Colleen Williams, Gregory Thielker, Ben Pranger, and Steven Pearson.

Monday, June 13, 2011

charmed by the charm city

No doubt you know by now that Arlington Arts Center's Executive Director Claire Huschle is leaving on August 1.

hired me to shake up the exhibitions program back in July of 2007. Thanks to Claire, I managed to risk my life installing giant murals; travel to Germany; and organize shows on transhumanism, comics, historical reenactments, experimental geography, african-american women artists who use narrative, and, well, a bunch of other stuff, too.

Claire transformed AAC; she and I shared a vision for what contemporary art is and how a community arts space ought to present it. She also gave me a level of creative freedom that I quite frankly can't imagine any other institution or E.D. offering.

I can now announce that Claire won't be the only summer departure from AAC: As of August 1, I will be packing up my office as well.

Where the heck am I going? I've been offered (and have very happily accepted) a full time position as Professor of Curatorial Studies and Practice at MICA in Baltimore.

For the new job, I'll be teaching MICA's undergraduate Exhibition Development Seminar--read an
article about a previous class project in the Baltimore City Paper here; see the website for the most recent "Open City" EDS exhibit here--and team-teaching the First Year Practicum for MICA's brand-spanking-new MFA in Curatorial Practice.

Both EDS and the new MFA are
George Ciscle's babies. If somehow you don't know about George (and I'm not sure how this would be possible), read a little background here.

No small part of my excitement about taking this job comes from having the opportunity to work with--and hopefully learn from--George, whose ideas about both teaching and developing new community arts practices I find challenging and exciting.

At AAC, I've worked extensively with recent MICA graduates as part of our annual SOLOS shows; I've also done crits at MICA over the past few years. I've known that really good things happen at MICA for awhile now, and have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunites I've had to interact with their students. Deciding whether or not to go there was a no-brainer.

What does this mean for AAC? Well, in the short run, less than you might think: While I won't be reporting to work there anymore, I still have shows in development and on the schedule. It looks like I will be bringing at least one of those--a show about images of women in sports titled "She Got Game"--to completion in January as an independent contractor. I'll be working with my suddenly much busier exhibits coordinator Catherine Satterlee to make that happen.

AAC may no longer have my body, but they get to keep my brain for awhile.

I have no doubt that AAC will continue to grow. A new E.D., an expanded budget, a larger staff: This is all on the horizon. I know that our board wants to continue the vision for the organization that Claire forged; new blood can only help propel that process.

So, goodbye Arlington; hello Baltimore! I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it here.

Above: The view from my new office window.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

mele kalikimaka!

I had a review in the Sunday Arts section of the Washington Post over the Memorial Day weekend--I wrote about "This IS Hawai'i," the two-venue show of contemporary native hawaiian artists currently on view at Transformer and the National Museum of the American Indian.

Read my take on the little indigenous contemporary art show that could

While you're at it: Read
Kriston Capps's take on the same show over at the Washington City Paper. Compare and contrast!

Pictured: Maika'i Tubbs, "A Life of Its Own," 2010, plastic forks, spoons, knives