Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale -- Creative Summer Art Academy -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

There are great summer art programs around South Florida.  I will be posting links as I find them.  Remember, many studies have been done in the past two decades regarding the importance of art and creativity in the development of children. 

Creative Summer Art Academy website link

Monday, May 23, 2011

Art Around the Web -- Maritime Art Collection -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

Admiral Rodney's Fleet Deploying in the West Indies, 1782
Robert Cleveley (1749-1809)
This post is for my friend Skot Olsen who is an expert at painting in the maritime genre.  Although the subject of Skot's maritime paintings can at times be filled with pseudo - history, his ship and artifact depictions are always historically accurate to the highest degree.

Artist's like Skot are always looking for good reference material and the Blue World Web Museum has some great Maritime examples.  Blue World is an online museum supported by the Kelton Foundation.
"The Kelton Foundation promotes the stewardship, enhancement and understanding of art, maritime history and man’s relationship with the sea through its collections of maritime art, navigational instruments, China Trade art and objects, Pacific ethnographic materials, Australian Aboriginal art and other fine and ethnographic art related to these fields."

Blue World Web Museum website

Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM), June 2011 -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Seventeen Broward, Boca Raton Cultural Attractions worked together to Offer Reciprocal Membership during the month of June.

BAMM's theme, JOIN ONE, EXPERIENCE THEM ALL, encourages more visitation and membership at each organization.

"With the current state of the economy, BAMM provides an excellent opportunity for South Floridians and visitors to experience the diverse cultural treasures that Broward County, Boca Raton and Delray Beach offer - all for the price of only one membership," said Mary Birch-Hanson of the Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum.

Both current and new members of the participating museums and attractions will receive free entry with proof of membership. Special events may not be included.

Participating Organizations in '11 include:

African American Research Library & Cultural Center
Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
Boca Raton Historical Society & Museum
Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Cinema Paradiso
Flamingo Gardens
Fort Lauderdale History Center
Historic Stranahan House Museum
IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum
International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum
Museum of Art - Fort Lauderdale Nova Southeastern University
Old Davie School Historical Museum
Old Dillard Museum
Plantation Historical Museum
Seminole Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum
The Children's Museum - Boca Raton
Young At Art Museum

For more information on BAMM
please call Mary Birch-Hanson at 954.364.5205.
BAMM website

"Video of the Week" -- Robert Williams -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

For this week's video I have a double feature for you; two video interviews from Robert Williams.  The first video is from 1989 and features a younger, still very punk and rebellious Robert Williams, with all his ego and bravado in full effect. The second video was done recently and features a more reflective and perhaps wiser Robert Williams.  Both videos show what an honest yet sometimes wonderfully crude artist Mr. Williams is and show the command of the art form he possesses.

Robert Williams Website

Art Basel organizers buy Asian art fair -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Art Basel organizers buy Asian art fair
The Miami Herald 
The company that owns and organizes the Art Basel fairs in Basel, Switzerland and Miami Beach are expanding into Asia.
MCH Swiss Exhibition (Basel) Ltd., has signed a purchase agreement with Asian Art Fairs Ltd, the owners of ART HK – Hong Kong International Art Fair. As of July, MCH Group will take a majority ownership stake in Asian Art Fairs Ltd.
The Asian art markets have heated up as China’s global economic role has exploded, and a move into Asia is a logical expansion step for Art Basel.
“As you know, Art Basel has been actively interested in the Asian art market for more than 10 years, with ever-increasing contact to Asian collectors, galleries and artists,’’ co-directors Annette Schönholzer and Marc Spiegler wrote in an email release.
“Not only the directors but also the selection committees have frequently travelled to explore the many Asian art scenes, and thus we have had a rising number of Asian galleries participating in our shows over the last decade.’’
The Hong Kong show will retain its current name for the 2012 year but will move from its current late-May time slot to early February, staggering the show between Art Basel’s June fair in Switzerland and its December show in Miami beach. In future years organizers plan to rebrand the Asian show with the Art Basel name.
Link to Miami Herald Article

MoMA to buy American Folk Art Museum next door -- posted by Florida Fine Art

New York NY, MoMA to buy American Folk Art Museum next door.

Sad day for this wonderful museum.  Another casualty of the great art recession that continues to affect art organizations everywhere.  The question might be why categorize certain art as folk anyway, is it not also modern?  Is an artist's work created in southern Alabama judged not as worthy as an artist's work created in SoHo?  Why limit these artists in "Folk"?  Is "Folk art" a code or cop-out for the institutional accepted norm that big city art is somehow superior?  Are Purvis Young and Thorton Dail not also abstract expressionists, every bit as modern as De Kooning?  Is Howard Finster's work not every bit the equal to Jasper Johns?  Maybe its time to acknowledge that just because an artist is from the South, usually black and unschooled, that does not mean that they cannot produce work which is important to our national dialog. GL

Article about the Museum closing.

FAT Village Struggles to Create an Arts District in Culture-Starved Broward -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

FAT Village Struggles to Create an Arts District in Culture-Starved Broward
New Times By Stefan Kamph Thursday, Apr 21 2011

An article from New Times about the difficulty starting up an arts district in the old warehouse area of downtown Fort Lauderdale.  A lagging economy, lack of art buyers, property owners with undefined visions, high rent, crime, galleries to spread out, unenthusiastic general public, lack of major artist to draw people in and landlord  - artist feuds all contribute to the lackluster gallery walks and high turn over of new galleries. 

A major gallery as an anchor and more syergy with the city and county arts organizations would be a great start.  Also lower rents for the first few years to attract more galleries would help fill in some of the dead spaces.  But most importantly, in most cities these "art districs"  bubble up organically out of the need from a large arts movement for cheap exhibition space.  Does Fort Lauderdale have a large enough amount of professional artists?  Or with rents throughout South Florida's many warehouse districts being relatively cheap are there just pleanty of other gallery space oportunities?  I have never heard an artist complain about a lack of cheap space in Fort Lauderdale.  I wonder if trying to engineer this arts district from the top down will work in the long run.  I will continue to show my support by attenting the art walks which occur the 4th Saturday of each month.  GL

This Saturday night May 26th will be an exciting art walk  - the "South Florida Graffiti Expo"
The feverishly anticipated NEW ERA South Florida Graffiti Expo is being curated and produced by Renda Writer of WeMerge Magazine, Saturday May 28th @ FAT Village Arts District.

The south end of the event will be converging at 17 NW 5th St., with live performances and DJ's on the north side of the event inside The Projects located at 523 NW 1st Avenue.

This 12-hour event will feature 50+ graffiti artists painting live all day and night, infusing 50,000 square feet of graffiti along the west exterior walls of warehouse spaces at FAT Village Arts District.

The monthly FAT Village Art Walk, which is held on the last Saturday of every month, are on the same day of the Graffiti Expo. The Art Walk starts at 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. featuring open artist studios and gallery showcases throughout FAT Village.

To download map of FAT Village Arts District, click HERE

To check out a video walk through of the pre-event presented by Renda Writer, visit FAT Village Arts

To RSVP for the NEW ERA South Florida Graffiti Expo - 2011, click HERE

FAT Village Arts website
Link to New Times Article about FAT Village

Thursday, May 5, 2011

This Friday -- Marcus Jansen / A Painter's Allegory -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Marcus Jansen - A Painter's Allegory  
Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center opens at 6:00pm!
PUBLIC reception + NO cover fee  
DJ Ceron, SW Florida's premier DJ after 8:00pm as we move into our after party!!!

"Video of the Week" -- Francis Bacon 'A Terrible Beauty' -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

From the people who like to watch state executions to those this week screaming for pictures of bin Laden's head, America sure seems to love gore. That got me thinking of Francis Bacon and his wonderfully grotesque paintings.

Below is a YouTube from a Francis Bacon show which took place in Dublin in 2009. The museum painstakingly recreated one of Mr. Bacon’s artist studios even down to moving the actual walls, ceilings, windows and doors of the original studio. I love that the museum thought to include the studio in the show. I have had a secret method of evaluating new artists that are asking for representation. I always ask to come see them in their studio. You can learn a lot about an artist by how he/she works. Are they just starting or do they have a massive amount of work? Do they just paint on the weekends on a kitchen table or do they have a dedicated studio space? What are they referencing? How much work can they produce in a year? How has their style changed over the years? What is their work schedule? What are their influences? It's always informative to see the studios. GL

Two New Coffee Shops Set to Open in Wynwood -- posted Florida Fine Art Blog

Two New Coffee Shops Set to Open in Wynwood

Lester’s will open at 2519 NW 2nd Ave by early May.
“It’s the kind of place where you can come in, grab a magazine, be on your computer, kind of camp out a little bit, meet up with people, have a drink in the afternoon and then a ‘drink-drink’ at night."

Panther Coffee Shop, a "Boutique Coffee Roastery and Coffee Bar" at 2390 NW 2nd Ave, is tentatively set to make its long awaited official debut in mid-May after the owners overcome five months of bureaucratic delays to obtain a building permit from the the City of Miami.

Full Article from The Miami Herald

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

My Favorite Painting -- by Florida Fine Art Blog

The painting above, a Rembrandt Self Portrait from 1658, is the greatest painting I have ever seen live. And a painting I have been back to see countless times, in fact every time I'm in New York City.

After the Rembrandt post from this morning I just had to talk more about Rembrandt and point out my favorite painting.

Make sure you check out the museum's website (link at the bottom) it’s one of the first museum websites to have a 360 degree virtual tour!

I never imagined that my favorite painting would be a Rembrandt. I never studied Rembrandt in particular, never sought him out or focused much attention, other than what we are all taught in art history classes. But there I was, literally stunned silent, almost weeping at the greatness of a painting that five minutes earlier I would have told you, “Rembrandt, yea he's great, but not my thing."

It was 1996 and I was living in New York for a few months of the summer, taking art classes by day and trying to find trouble by night. I had already visited most of the city's more famous museums when my Dad suggested I visit The Frick Museum on 5th Ave and 70th Street. The museum is the former home of Henry Clay Frick, an industrialist from the turn of the 20th Century. Henry became an astute collector, traveling to Europe on many occasions and built three art collections in his lifetime. The museum holds his third and most important collection.

The Museum's appeal for me at first was that it was a 5th Avenue Mansion from the turn of the century, a home from the ‘Gilded Age”. I loved the idea that the home was preserved. But once you enter and begin to see what is on the walls you quickly realize that this is no ordinary home and Henry was no ordinary collector. Mr. Frick developed a superb eye over the years and amassed a collection that rivals any in the world. It’s a small but powerful collection with all the old masters represented.

My first visit I walked from room to room enjoying the furniture and rugs as much as the artwork. Then in a large naturally lit room called the West Gallery, I stalled by a large dark portrait. I instantly knew this painting was special. It was just better, done at a higher level than I think I have even seen before. The massive amount of layering and glazing that Rembrandt used and the way he focuses the light in this painting made me stop and decide to spend some time with this painting. The first thing that caught my eye were the hands, which are in the foreground of the painting and are as perfect as anything ever painted. After studying this painting you realize why Rembrandt is held up above all other artists. There is a level of skill that I have never seen in another painter. He went further somehow, deeper into the flesh to find the more correct reproduction.

It is a late self portrait, one of many that Rembrandt did throughout his lifetime. He is dressed in what looks like royal robes. Expensive and important clothing but ill-fitting, like he was still dressing for a younger time, a time in his prime. He no longer fills out the clothes, and now sits slumped over, the robes seem to encase him. The hat he wares is now too big and droopes down making him look even more frumpy. To paint yourself with such, almost disgust, Rembrandt is showing us how he truly feels. He is a man at the end of his powers, at the end of his life and he looks haunted. No hero’s pose, no grand composition , he is almost lost in the shadows. And the loathing is not just introspective. Rembrandt paints his eyes looking back at us with at least as much disappointment and abhorrence as he reserves for himself. I get chills just thinking and writing about the painting.

This painting is a prime example of what I mean when I say you have to go out and see these great paintings live. The difference between the image above and the real paintings could never be explained without seeing this painting for yourself. All of the genius of Rembrandt is lost in reproductions. The way the painting sucks you in and the size of the work all make the experience impossible to replicate in any reproduction.

I hope you dear reader have found your painting, found that artist that just “does it for you.” Art can change your life, I really believe that. There is much in this life that words can not explain or describe. Many feelings we encounter are hard to process. When you give Artwork the time required it can fill you up in a way nothing else can. Art can make you cry with joy and let you know, that your thoughts and your feelings are universal. You are not alone. GL

If you have not already please enjoy this link to a wonderful Rembrandt Web Catalog
Henry Clay Frick Museum website

All-Media Juried Biennial returns to the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

The All-Media Juried Biennial
6-9 p.m. Friday, April 29 and run through June 5
Art and Culture Center of Hollywood
1650 Harrison St.
Admission is $10.

The biennial will feature works culled from a call to artists throughout Florida. This year’s jurors — artist Michelle Weinberg and Twenty Twenty Projects owner and director Scott Murray — selected 35 artists from 294 who submitted images of their works. The chosen include emerging and established artists such as Antonia Wright, Ruben Millares, Carrie Sieh, Jillian Mayer, Don Lambert, Susan Lee-Chun and Nicholas Arehart.

As a bonus there is another show opening at the museum; "She-Monster (Joan of Arc)" by Lisa Rockford.  As Rockford explains in her statement, “Segments appropriated from Barbies, monsters, Disney princesses, wrestlers, superheroes, etc., are joined seamlessly into portraits that are an unnerving assimilation of the iconography.” The imagery is meant to challenge viewers to “disband stereotypical notions of femininity and examine questions of gender, power, and persona.”

"The Best of Backus" opens in Palm Beach -- posted by Florida Fine Art

“The Best of Backus”
May 3-May 30, 2011
Edward and Deborah Pollack Fine Art
205 Worth Avenue, second floor, Hours are Monday-Friday, 11-5 or by chance or appointment.
For more information please call 561-655-1425 or email

This retrospective celebrates the seventy-fifth anniversary of the first occasion (1936) when Backus was asked to exhibit his works in a prestigious nationally-invited show at the Palm Beach Art Center along with major artists, Jane Peterson, Charles C. Curran, Anna Hyatt Huntington, and many others.

The show will display, according to Sherrie Johnson, Backus curator, expert, author, and former Backus student, the "diversity highlighting Edward and Deborah's keen educated and sophisticated sense of fine art….”

Kick out the FTC to make room for art? -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Fred Hiatt, Editorial Page Editor for the Washington Post has an interesting article about a power struggle going on in Washington D.C.

Rep. John Mica,  chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, wants to kick the Federal Trade Commission from its historic quarters at Pennsylvania and Constitution avenues and let the National Gallery of Art move in.

“You won’t believe me, but this is my only priority as chairman,” he says — a fact that has the commissioners sputtering.  “I know the commissioners think I hate them,” Mica says, with the air of a man who’s not losing much sleep over that little misunderstanding. “That’s not the truth. . . . They’re an important agency. I’m not trying to kick dirt in their face.”

What he is trying to do, Mica says, is help the National Gallery rival the great museums of other world capitals: the Louvre, the Prado, the National Gallery in London. As an art lover, collector and frequent museum visitor, Mica explains, it pains him that much of the National Gallery’s collection has to be kept in the equivalent of the attic.

When I ask how his project will play among penny-pinching Republicans, Mica replies, “If they don’t like art, look at the finances.” By consolidating the FTC, which is leasing a couple of satellite sites, he argues, and by offloading to the National Gallery’s private donors the $200 million-plus cost of renovating the seven-decade-old FTC building, taxpayers will save money and the Federal Triangle will be enriched for visitors and Washingtonians.

Link To Article at the Washington Post
National gallery of Art website

Truly one of the best art collections in the world.  Thanks to generous donations made over the years all of the work in the collection is owned by the American people.  The idea of expanding the space so that more of the collection can be seen is long overdo.  Whole collections of work have had to wait in storage for the rare opportunity of being hung.  The museum is a rare gift; the artwork is owned by the American people and there is no fee for visiting.  If possible the museum should be expanded. GL

Clyde Butcher and The Highwaymen --Museum of Florida History -- May 13th - August 7th 2011 -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Two Important Traveling Shows Together at the
Museum of Florida History - Tallahassee, Florida.
May 13th through August 7th 2001

Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher
The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen

From the press release;
TALLAHASSEE – Secretary of State Kurt S. Browning today announced two new exhibits that will be sharing gallery space in the Department of State’s Museum of Florida History. Beginning May 13, 2011, the Museum of Florida History will feature The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen and Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher.

“We are proud to display the work of these remarkably talented artists,” said Secretary Browning. “I encourage anyone who is a fan of Florida art to take advantage of this opportunity to see multiple perspectives of Florida landscapes in one gallery.”

The Road to Prosperity: Art of the Florida Highwaymen was organized by the Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University. Visions of Florida: The Photographic Art of Clyde Butcher is a traveling exhibit managed by the Museum of Florida History. Both exhibits will be on display in the Museum of Florida History through August, 7, 2011.

Secretary Browning Press Release
Museum of Florida History website

Bear and Bird Gallery -- Away In The Woods -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

Away In The Woods: Inspired by Tales of the Brothers Grimm
On exhibit: April 30 - June 18, 2011
Bear and Bird Boutique + Gallery

inside/upstairs at TATE'S Comics+Toys+Videos+More
4566 North University Drive / Lauderhill, Florida 33351
Phone: 954-748-0181 /
Gallery & Store Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-8pm, Friday and Sat 11am-9pm, Sun Noon-6pm

Art Around the Web -- Rembrandt Web Catalogue -- posted by Florida Fine Art Blog

I found this wonderful website looking for a copy image of a Rembrandt painting for Easter.  The website was designed by Frank J. Seinstra at University van Amsterdam.

Frank describes the website as more of a “Web catalog.”

Cataloging Rembrandt is a daunting task and Frank did not try to confirm or deny the authenticity of any of the work. In fact he included all known and disputed paintings, divided into 6 periods. In each of these periods the works are categorized according to their current apparent status among Rembrandt experts;
Category I: Generally accepted as autograph,
Category II: Disputed, doubted, or attributed without general support,
Category III: Generally rejected and/or attributed to an artist other than Rembrandt.

Within each of these categories the works are ordered by the year in which they were produced. Placing the mouse pointer over an image will show the painting's title, year, and location, together with the catalogue numbers taken from 14 different oeuvre catalogues published in the last 100 years (see below). If available, additional references to related literature are shown as well. Clicking generally gives a reproduction as found somewhere on the Internet.

Currently, the Web Catalogue contains 253 Category I paintings, 119 Category II paintings, and 370 Category III paintings - a combined total of 742 works.
From Frank;
The Web Catalogue is not commercial; copyright and all rights therein are retained by the copyright holders. Also, the catalogue is not intended to provide high-resolution reproductions. Instead it intends to present the most complete Internet overview of the works by - or closely related to - one of the greatest painters of all time. The Web Catalogue does not pretend to be authoritative; I am not a Rembrandt expert, and I do not have access to all the latest scientific results. Hence, the Web Catalogue undoubtedly will contain some errors - but I have tried my best to be as complete and accurate as possible. Finally, electronic and paper reproductions can never replace the actual paintings themselves - so please take this Web Catalogue as an incentive to go and see 'the real thing'.

Amen Frank, go see the real thing!  GL

A Web Catalogue of Rembrandt Paintings Link