Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Firework Painting #10, 2009
Rosemarie Fiore

Ringing in the new year with Rosemarie Fiore's firework paintings would be much more interesting than another image of champagne flutes and fireworks.

From the Saatchi online magazine:

"Rosemarie Fiore's discipline relates to the European Surrealist movement and to German Wolfgang Paalen's method of Fumage -- known as an automatic technique, whereby unpremeditated imagery is generated, when provoked by a candle held under a sheet of paper, causing soot to gather on its surface -- prompting the mind to associate freely. With her own process, Fiore similarly favours this element of randomness, being subjected only to her medium's limitations and to the source of her subconscious.

Following her own realization that fireworks, lit and thrown onto a smooth cement floor, leave chaotic marks as they spin and explode, Fiore started painting and drawing with the colorful pigments discharged by the explosives. By way of cardboard cylinders and metal cans, Fiore retains the firework explosions like specimen, restraining their movements to a constricted area on the paper and regaining a certain authority over her source. Furthermore, by tying fireworks to a large stick, she commands her medium, like any other, narrowing the potential for chance errors. Fiore concedes, however, acknowledging that "Fireworks are explosives. They are violent, destructive and chaotic in nature."

Originally discovered in China about 2,000 years ago, fireworks, both then and now, are thought to have the power to fend off evil spirits and ghosts, by frightening them with the loud bangs of their explosions. The alchemical connotations of fireworks, exemplified by the tragic figure of Dr. Faustus, who used pyrotechnics for his experimental rituals in his quest for greater enlightenment, are immanent. Fiore's practice alludes to these deductions while simultaneously demonstrating that, above and beyond all implications, fireworks can simply be used as a creative tool for abstract compositions of colour and light."

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Toledo Museum of Art Launches New Website

The Toledo Museum of Art has launched a redesigned and expanded website: The new, easier-to-use site provides immediate ways to explore TMA’s current and upcoming exhibitions, its programs and events, and detailed information about the Museum and its world-renowned collection. “More and more people are turning to the Internet as a primary source of news and information,” said Kelly Fritz Garrow, director of communications. “It’s essential for the Museum to have an active and vibrant online presence.”

New features of the Museum website include:

Web calendar by GoogleContains up-to-the-minute details on all TMA programming including special events, demonstrations, tours and hands-on activities.

Online class registration—Signing up for one of TMA’s many art classes and workshops has never been easier. Viewers can browse the catalog, register, pay and get registration confirmation at their convenience.

TMA Newsroom—Provides easy access to downloadable news releases, media guidelines, image request forms, RSS feeds and more.

Links to Facebook and Twitter—More than 7,000 Facebook fans and 1,600 Twitter followers get breaking news about the Museum here.

Online Museum StoreOffers easy, convenient shopping at the Museum Store, which features a diverse selection of unique merchandise and specialty gifts.

The new website is part of a re-branding campaign to refresh the Museum’s graphic identity and web presence.“As a brand, the Toledo Museum of Art enjoys high levels of awareness and favorability,” said Garrow.“This process is meant to refocus and refresh Museum communications to reach new audiences while still engaging our long-time supporters.”The design, content, and functionality of the new website has been a joint effort by the Museum’s Office of Communications and Madhouse, a Toledo-based graphic design agency.Note: For more information, contact Kelly Fritz Garrow at or 419-255-8000, Ext. 7408.

Nudes pose in the cold Akron weather for Tunick

Monday morning, Spencer Tunick, 42, of New York state, took pictures of Roger Marble, of Brimfield Township, and Jen Maurer, of Akron, for his series of nude individuals in public settings. Tunick is in town for the holidays with his wife, Akron native Kristin Bowler, a graphic designer.

The photographer was Spencer Tunick — an artist best known for his photographs of large groups of people in the nude in public spaces. In 2004, 2,700 people stripped naked for a Tunick shoot near the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Cleveland.

Tunick plans to take more photographs in Akron. Those interested in being subjects can reach him through his Web site.

Tunick is not sure what he will do with his collection of Akron shots. His next show is set to open Jan. 15 at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Monterrey, Mexico. It will feature portraits of individuals he took this year in Mexico City.

Read the for more on the Akron shoot.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

CAM Expands Free Parking

I was just at the Cincinnati Art Museum yesterday afternoon finding myself grumbling yet again about the parking fee for non-members. I renewed my membership so it doesn't really affect me, but like many, I felt there was a bit of a "bait and switch" between the "Great Art Free" campaign and paid parking.

It looks now that the free parking policy is evolving. Beginning January 1, 2010, the Art Museum will provide free parking to customers of the Art Museum Shop, diners in the Terrace Cafe and attendees of paid programs.

See the CAM announcement for details.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Youngstown's Butler Institute of American Art Gets a Pollock

The Butler Institute of American Art, in Youngstown, Ohio has acquired a painting by mid-twentieth century master artist, Jackson Pollock. The work, titled "Silver and Black", measures 21.25 x 15.75 inches and was painted with oil and metallic paint in 1950. The painting, which is a gift from a Western Pennsylvania collector whose family acquired the work in 1958, is valued at two million dollars.
According to Butler Director Dr. Louis Zona, “This is indeed a very special holiday present, and I am still pinching myself about it. The Butler can now boast that we have a very rare work of art by America’s most renowned 20th century artist, a man who literally redefined world art. Pollock was a troubled genius whose magnificent art has engaged generations.”
On Sunday, January 10, 2010, at 2 pm, Dr. Zona will give a gallery talk about artist Jackson Pollock and the new Butler acquisition of the artist’s work in the Butler’s Beecher Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Seating is on a first come-first served basis.

The Butler’s Jackson Pollock painting, "Silver and Black", will be on view in the museum’s Beeghly-Schaff Gallery in Youngstown.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Around Cincinnati Interviews Aeqai editor, AC Frabetti

Aeqai editor, A.C. Frabetti was interviewed by Rick Pender for Around Cincinnati on 91.7 WVXU. The online art magazine recently celebrated it's first anniversary. For more about Aeqai and to hear the interview click here.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The CMA's Gauguin Show Will Travel to the Van Gogh Museum

From February 19 to June 6, 2010 "Paul Gauguin: The Breakthrough into Modernity" will be on view in the Van Gogh Museum (exhibition wing). This exhibition is the first to devote attention to the 'Volpini Suite': a series of prints that Gauguin (1848-1903) exhibited in monsieur Volpini's Café des Arts during the Paris Exposition of 1889. The 11 zincographs offer a fascinating overview of the key themes in the artist's work: from the exotic landscapes of Martinique to scenes of Brittany and Arles.

The exhibition will also show works by Gauguin and his friends closely linked to the 'Volpini Suite'. Altogether there will be some 60 works of art (paintings, works on paper, sculptures and ceramics) on view, including key pieces such as "Be Mysterious" (Musée d'Orsay), "Breton Girls Dancing" (National Gallery of Art, Washington), "Self-portrait" (Pushkin Museum, Moscow) and "Is There News" (Gemälde galerie Neue Meister, Dresden). The recent acquisition of the Van Gogh Museum, "Breton Girl Spinning" will also be on show. "Paul Gauguin:
The Breakthrough into Modernity" has been organized in collaboration with the Cleveland Museum of Art, where it will run until 18 January 2010.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Oberlin College's Allen Memorial Art Museum to Close for Renovations

The Allen Memorial Art Museum is in its last weeks before closing for a year for a $10 million interior renovations. The last day the museum will be open is Wednesday, December 23rd. These renovations include an upgrade of the museum's 30 year old mechanical systems that maintain climate control, lighting, additional storage, as well as security.

The museum is currently exhibiting three shows: Starry Dome: Astronomy in Art and the Imagination, Engaging Spirits, Empowering Man: Sculpture from West and Central Africa, and Out of Line: Drawings from the Allen from the Twentieth Century and Beyond. All of these will be open through December 23rd.

So if your holiday travels take you to northern Ohio, be sure to stop in Oberlin. It's one of my favorite Ohio cities and the AMAM is one of my favorite college museums.

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Speed Art Museum gets $10 Million for Expansion

At its first annual Legacy Society Dinner honoring donors who have included the Speed Art Museum in their estate plans or given or pledged more than $100,000 in art or cash contributions during their lifetimes, Dr. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman announced that she and her husband, Dr. Frederick K. Cressman, have pledged $10 million to the Speed Art Museum’s upcoming renovation and expansion project. The Cressman gift is among the largest donations ever made to the Museum since its founding in 1927.

The Cressmans are avid art enthusiasts and since moving to Louisville in the 1980s have been long-time supporters of both the Speed Art Museum and the University of Louisville. Elizabeth Pahk Cressman was born in Seoul, Korea and earned a degree in medicine from Seoul Women’s Medical College. Following her arrival in America, Dr. Cressman completed her medical education in Chicago at Wesley Memorial Hospital, Cook County Hospital, and Passavant Memorial Hospital and has enjoyed a successful career as an anesthesiologist. Elizabeth Cressman retired in 1990 and went on to pursue her life-long interest in art earning a Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Bellarmine University and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Louisville. A pathologist, Frederick K. Cressman trained in Philadelphia at Hahnemann University Hospital and Pennsylvania General Hospital, followed by a residency at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore. In Louisville he had a successful career as Chief of Pathology at Audubon Hospital. He retired in 1999.

Commenting on their donation, Elizabeth Cressman stated that the purpose of the gift is “to allow the Speed to further its mission by strengthening the quality of its facilities in a dynamic way that will engage the Speed Art Museum, the University of Louisville, and the community. Our ultimate goal is to bring the Speed and the University together as true partners so the lives of students are enhanced through exposure to art and culture at the museum.” Director, Dr. Charles L. Venable, added “It is truly inspiring to have patrons like the Cressmans make such a leadership gift just as the architectural and landscape plans for the Museum are coming together so beautifully. We are extremely grateful to them for making this bold statement about the importance of the Speed in the life of our community.”

Established in 1927, the Speed Art Museum is Kentucky’s oldest and largest art museum with over 13,000 pieces in its permanent collection. Its extensive collection spans 6,000 years, ranging from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.

The museum has distinguished collections of 17th century Dutch and Flemish painting, 18th century French art, Renaissance and Baroque tapestries, and significant holdings of contemporary American painting and sculpture. African and Native American works also represent a growing segment of the museum's collection.

The Speed also houses paintings, sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts by Kentucky artists and created for Kentuckians.

See Artdaily for more on the donation.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2010 Ohio Governor's Awards Recipients Named

Six winners were chosen for the 2010 Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio. Winners were selected from 79 nominations submitted by individuals and organizations throughout Ohio. Awards will be presented at a luncheon ceremony honoring winners and members of the Ohio Legislature hosted by the Ohio Arts Council and Ohio Citizens for the Arts Foundation at noon on April 21, 2010 at the Columbus Athenaeum in downtown Columbus. Winners will receive an original work of art by Cleveland photographer Larry Kasperek.

Award categories and recipients include: Arts Administration, Kevin Moore and Marsha Hanna, Human Race Theatre, (Dayton); Arts Education, Sylvia Easley, The Music Settlement (Cleveland); Arts Patron, Jim and Enid Goubeaux (Greenville); Business Support of the Arts, American Electric Power (statewide); Community Development & Participation, Donna Sue Groves (Manchester); and Individual Artist, Andrew Hudgins, poet (Columbus).

For complete descriptions of each winner's accomplishments please read the Winner Biographies. The 2010 Governor’s Awards Committee, consisting of Ohio Arts Council Board members, included committee chair Sheila Markley Black (Canton), Martha Burton (Worthington), Sharon Howard (Dayton), Charlotte Kessler (New Albany), Mary Lazarus (Columbus), Jeff Rich (Columbus) and Susan Saxbe (Columbus).

More information about the Governor’s Awards for the Arts in Ohio and Arts Day Luncheon, including a full list of past winners, is available on the Ohio Arts Council Web site at

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Day With(out) Art

Founded in 1988, as a response to AIDS and as a way of organizing the art world towards direct action, Visual AIDS has evolved a two-part mission. 1) Through the Frank Moore Archive Project, the largest slide library of work by artists living with HIV and the estates of artists who have died of AIDS, Visual AIDS historicizes artists' contributions while supporting their ability to continue making art and furthering their professional careers. 2) In collaboration with artists and organizations, Visual AIDS produces contemporary art exhibitions, publications, and events to spread the message "AIDS IS NOT OVER."

As the only arts organization of its kind, Visual AIDS is a resource for art programming promoting AIDS awareness and HIV-prevention. While art projects evolve annually, they are all based in the knowledge that visual art offers opportunities to discuss the AIDS pandemic and its attendant issues. Documenting HIV-positive artists' work in the Frank Moore Archive Project, Visual AIDS preserves their place in history and reveals the impact of AIDS on contemporary art.

Visual AIDS