Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Art Scam Alert

Beware of this mutant trying to rip off artists:
From: mike Evans <mik22230@gmail.com>
Subject: artwork is needed
Date: August 22, 2016 at 6:12:27 PM EDT
My name is Mike Evans from Washington DC. I was looking for some artwork online and i found your contact while searching. I will like to purchase some of your work for my wife as a surprise gift for our 20th anniversary.Please kindly send pics and prices of some of your art which are ready for immediate sale within price range $500- $5000, i could be flexible with price. So i will hope to hear a lot more about any available piece in your inventory ready for immediate sale.

Thanks and best regards,

Monday, August 22, 2016

The curious case of Cristina Arreola, Ryan Lochte, and cultural brainwashing

Ryan Lochte Cuban Mom meme
I know of no one on the planet who defends the disturbing Rio Olympics behavior of 32-year-old American swimmer Ryan Lochte Aramburu.

He deserves all the crap that came his way as a result of his hooligan behavior, and he deserves the probable loss of millions of dollars in endorsements that he flushed down the toilet, along with drunkard's urine, that fateful night in Rio.

Note to Lochte's former sponsors (Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Airweave, and Gentle Hair Removal): Transfer the sponsorship to the amazing and history-making Claressa Shields!

Back to RLA: He also deserves the "cocotazo" (Cuban slang for getting hit on the head with the knuckles) that his Cuban mom hopefully gave him when she found out that Ryan had lied to her, and then to all of us.

He even deserves the opinionated racial blame aspect that came out of this boorish incident, dealing with the "white entitlement" angle surfaced by the question (asked first by Bomani Jones) of how different the worldwide reaction would have been had these athletes been black.

That's all understandable and clear.

But then enter a mind blowing piece in Bustle by Cristina Arreola, which was subsequently picked up by NPR's Leah Donella, and is thus forever destined to fill the sensitive minds of its readers with some of the most convoluted and erroneous information that mixes (and confuses) race with ethnicity and with nationality, that has been ever written. 

Ms. Arreola is the Books Editor at Bustle, and after reading several of her pieces, I can tell you that she's a really good editor!

In the past, I've written extensively on how Americans - and having lived many years in Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America, apparently no one else in the world - often confuse nationality with race, and more often with ethnicity. 

This is often most common with people with Latin American roots, and usually it is Americans of Latin American ethnicity whom are the most confused. The probably very nice Cristina Mari Arreola is very confused, and unfortunately, she's now managed to spread her confusion to all of her readers, and the ones that NPR reached by echoing her erroneous conclusions.

Let me try to untangle this.

Imagine there are two brothers in a small village in Sweden of ancient Nordic stock straight out of a Gunther Grass novel, and they marry two local Swedish girls. The two young Nordic couples decide to migrate to the New World. "We're going to the United States," declare Sven and Annika. His brother Lars looks at his blue-eyed and very pale wife Uta and says, "Uta and I are moving to Argentina!"

They hug at the airport and take flights to the New World. Two years later, Uta gives birth to a healthy young boy somewhere in Buenos Aires and they call the Argentine boy Martin.  A few days later Annika gives birth to a healthy little girl in Seattle and they call her Anna.

According to the Cristina Arreolas and Leah Donellas of this world, Martin is a "person of color", while his American cousin Anna is a white person.

Convoluted uh? From reading Arreola's piece and Donella's subsequent endorsement, it seems to me that this scenario would probably throw these two, I suspect, very nice ladies for a cultural loop.

In her piece "Ryan Lochte's White Privilege Is Way More Complicated Than You Think", which is has already spread cultural ignorance all over Al Gore's Internet, Arreola goes to extremes to point out that "Lochte is a white-passing person of color, which doesn't excuse his actions, but instead, makes them infinitely more disappointing." 

She arrives at this conclusion based on the single fact that his mother, Ileana Aramburu, was born in Havana, Cuba. Thus, in her mind, Lochte cannot possibly be "white" because of the geographical location of his mother's birthplace, regardless of her race. That's her on the right... cough, cough. It is also clear that Arreola has no idea of who the Aramburus are in Cuban history, and their place in pre-Castro Cuban society, otherwise, she would not have made this absurd assumption.

Back to point, according to Arreola, Lochte is not white because her mom (that blonde, blue-eyed, white-skinned lady in the photo above), is "Cuban" and thus can't possibly be white... cough, cough.

If Lochte is not white, then what race is he?

I suspect that Arreola's answer would be (after showing a little shock that someone is actually asking her that question) "... well, his mother is Cuban!." She wouldn't answer the question directly, but point to Lochte's mom's birthplace and nationality. Her brain wants to say that Lochte's race is "Latino", but even Arreola is not sure of that answer.

"Are you saying there's a separate Cuban race?" that mean questioner would ask, forcing the issue.

Arreola thinks about it for a second. "Well... no, but Cubans are Latinos," she tries to answer in a round-about away...  skirting the real answer floating in her knowledge base.

"Ah!," the questioner would obnoxiously point his index into the air. "So you're saying that there's a Latino race!"

Arreola would now look perplexed. It is clear that no one has ever discussed or challenged her on this. In her mind, she has accepted and believed the inherently racist precept of "whiteness" as solely American or European.

Without knowing it, and certainly without meaning it, Arreola has been endorsing and facilitating a racist precept... most precepts of "race" are.

But why and how? This probably quite nice lady, I'd hope has no issue understanding and accepting the other side of the coin; she knows that there are millions of black Latinos, in fact more black people in the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean than the United States (only 4% of all Africans brought in chains to the New World came to the USA).

But I suspect that she would raise an eyebrow when told that there are also more people of Asian ancestry in Latin America than in the United States.

And more people of Native American ancestry in Latin America than in the United States.

By Arreola's faulty logic (and by her faulty logic alone, not her actual beliefs, which based on her article, may be a little twisted around the axle when it comes to this issue), Roberto Clemente, Celia Cruz, and other Spanish-speaking black people from Latin America are not "black", and Peru's former President Alberto Fujimori is not "Asian"- their race is the Latino race.

Arreola's cultural brainwashing, plus I suspect a lack of interaction with people from Latin America (not USA Americans of Latin American ancestry), have resulted in a jumbled up misunderstanding of what Latin America is, and who Latin Americans are.

She has never walked the streets of Trelew in Argentina and heard Welsh and Scottish Gaelic spoken on the cafes and avenues of that city. She has never hiked the altiplanos in Bolivia and needed a translator to translate to Quechua or Aymara. She has never been to one of the giant coffee plantations around São Paulo in Brazil, and heard Japanese spoken all over the fields.

I suspect that her vision of Latin America -- much to her chagrin once she discovers how wrong she is -- has been painted mostly by Hollywood's past racist characterizations of Latin America in their Latino movie stereotyping. And by divisive politicians, seeking to label and separate, a huge multi-hued and multi-cultural, and multi-racial group of Americans of Latin American ancestry.

In erroneously trying to paint (pun intended) Ryan Lochte Aramburu as a "person of color", she also inadvertently does a great disservice to all the true Latin American people of color who are brutalized, marginalized, and discriminated against in Latin America, such as the native indigenous people in Mexico and most of Central America; black people in Brazil (in the months leading to the Olympics, hundreds of black Brazilian men were killed by police in Rio province alone), and in perhaps the most racist government in the Americas: Afro-Cubans in Cuba.

But I suspect that Ms. Arreola has a USA-only lens, and I would even guess that she's culturally deficient in Latin America's immensely diverse cultures. I would conjecture that she has only seen Latin America, and Latinos, from the American lens of her own upbringing and teaching. This is a rather disorienting issue for a former editor of Latina magazine, where one would think that she would have met people from all over Latin America and thus adjusted the probable mis-education and brain washing of her youth.

This is a photo of Ms. Arreola with RLA, where the very pretty and blue-eyed Ms. Arreola poses along the handsome blue-eyed swimmer and jokes "Me and my husband" ... cough, cough.

Sorry Ms. Arreola, you can't trade Lochte from the "white team" to the "people of color" team - the hooligan behavior that he committed, and the subsequent cover up (and later apology) may have been evidence (as some suggest) of white entitlement for the simple fact that Ryan Lochte Aramburu, just like his suffering Cuban mom, and his American dad, are all white.

Personally, I think that RLA metio la pata.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

Arts Integration and Special Education

The Professor's first book, which is the seminal book in its field, and which for the first time delivers empirical research data to a field accustomed to anecdotal data, has been doing gangbusters in the Special Education and Arts Integration scene!

Details here.
Arts Integration and Special Education contributes to research, policy, and practice by providing a theory of action for studying how linguistic, cognitive, and affective student engagement relates to arts integrated learning contexts and how these dimensions of engagement influence content area and literacy learning.
Arts Integration and Special Education connects the interdisciplinary framework in human development and linguistics, special education, and urban education with primary action research by special educators trained in arts integration, working in an inclusive urban charter school with middle school age students. Upper elementary to middle-grade level student learning is relatively understudied and this work contributes across fields of special education and urban education, as well as arts education. Moreover, the classrooms in which the action research occurs are comprised of students with a diverse range of abilities and needs. The book’s interdisciplinary model, which draws on developmental and educational psychology, special education, and speech/language pathology research and practice, is the first to posit explanations for how and why AI contexts facilitate learning in students with language and sensory processing disorders, and those at-risk for school failure due to low socioeconomic status conditions.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Can the Single-Venue Gallery Survive?

We did our first art fair ten years ago, and have been doing them ever since. As I have vociferously noted many times, an art fair participation scheme must be part of any gallery business plan, if that gallery is to survive as a bricks and mortar place... or as a gallery/art dealer.

Every time that I write this down somewhere, I also offer to meet with any gallery owner, at no cost, and discuss with them my experiences, lessons learned, and suggestions for them to dip their toes into the art fair scene.

In 2016, ten years after we first ventured to New York for our first art fair, we're on track to do both the Spring (done) and the Fall versions of the Affordable Art Fair in New York, the SOFA Art Fair in Chicago, the Texas Contemporary Art Fair in Houston, the Context Art Miami fair in Miami, and possibly the Scope Art Fair, also in Miami.

Judd Tulley, writing for Art + Auction (and highlighted in Blouin Art Info) noted a while back:
Given the now-obsolete or about-to-be-Rust-Belted model of the tradition-bound gallery, what do younger galleries turn to in the current environment? “The increase in the importance of art fairs has really hollowed out the midsize and small gallery market,” said Brett Schultz, cofounder with Daniela Elbahara of Mexico City’s Yautepec Gallery
We are empirical evidence of the success that art fairs can give small, independent commercial art galleries - at least those with a vision, the work ethic and the gusto to plow forward into the financially-terrifying waters of an art fair expense marathon.

And artists who work as partners in the gallery enterprise, rather than just being "represented."

About 4-5 years ago, I was taking a break on the terrace of the Aqua Hotel in Miami Beach, where we were doing the very cool Aqua Art Fair, when I ran into the then owner and director of a small, DC gallery. This gallerist had also done her very first art fair in 2006, and by a coincidence of fate, our first explorations of the then novel model had been at the same NYC fair, where we were almost booth neighbors. The only difference was that at that fair we did really well, while her gallery (overly "curated" if you ask me) did not.

That first lucky strike wet our appetite for art fairs, and we plunged on.

"What are you doing here?", she asked somewhat surprised - I'm not sure why.

"We're doing Aqua," I answered.

"Oh!," she said wrinkling her nose. "I thought only real galleries could do art fairs."

By that she meant brick and mortar spaces, and her comment was based on the one time fact that most art fairs, at their early beginnings, required that a fair participant have a brick and mortar "store" in order to participate in an art fair.

That didn't last very long, as brick and mortar galleries began to close all over the world as art dealers focused their precious sheckels onto the more lucrative art fair scene. Want evidence? Look at the gallery list for the DMV a decade ago, and look at it now... and see how many dealers exclusively focus on art fairs and have closed their doors, or do "pop up" shows, or moved their gallery walls to their private homes.

"No," I responded, ignoring the barb. "That requirement stopped long ago." I continued then with my own barb, knowing that her answer would be "none" ahead of time, and asked: "What fair are you doing? - We're doing great at Aqua!"

Read the Tulley article here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Call for Entries: The Nude Figure

Deadline:  September 9, 2016

Apply here.
The Nude Figure will present a survey of contemporary responses to the nude to illuminate resonances between traditions of imagining the figure and the artist’s personal experience. The theme of mirroring is a metaphor for the persistence of the nude as a theme in art and our shared visual understandings of the body. Entries are being accepted in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, sculpture, ceramics, fiber, glass and mixed media.
Jurors Paul DuSold, instructor at the Woodmere Art Museum and Fleisher Art Memorial, and Scott Noel, professor at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, look to assemble a survey of contemporary responses to the nude to illuminate resonances between traditions of imagining the figure and the artist’s personal experience.

$3,000+ in prizes
Exhibition dates: October 16 - November 19, 2016
                Digital entry deadline: September 9, midnight CST ($45 fee)
                Extended digital entry deadline: September 12, midnight EST ($65 fee)
                Notification of accepted/declined work: September 19
                Artist reception: October 16, 3:00 - 5:00 pm
                Painting lecture with jurors: October 22, 1:00 - 2:30 pm
                Workshop with Paul DuSold: October 29 & 30, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm           
                Workshop with Scott Noel: November 5 & 6, 10:00 am - 4:00 pm        

$45 for up to two works