Archive for June, 2010

Patrick trims Massachusetts arts budget

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

The Massachusetts Cultural Council will receive funding of $9.1 million – a cut of 6 percent from the current fiscal year – in the state budget signed by Governor Deval Patrick today.

This is less than the $9.25 million that the Legislature approved for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1, because Patrick vetoed $151,000 in contingency funding that would have been available to MCC only if the state is reimbursed by the federal government for Medicaid expenses.

“Funding cuts are never good news, especially at a time when many of our nonprofit cultural organizations, schools, and communities are still feeling the effects of the recession,” MCC Executive Director Anita Walker said in a prepared statement. “Nevertheless, state government faced tremendous financial pressure this year, and there were very few public programs that were spared cutbacks.”

These cuts mean that the MCC budget has declined by 28 percent from its funding of $12.65 million two years ago, and is less than half of the MCC’s budget of a decade ago.

June 29, 2010: Legislature votes $9.25M for MCC.
April 1, 2010: MA, RI subsidize millionaires, cut the arts.

Hood’s Kennedy leaving for Toledo

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Brian P. Kennedy, director of the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, since 2005, has been named the new director of the Toledo Museum of Art. He is expected to begin work in Ohio on Sept. 1.

Kennedy’s pending departure was announced to Hood staff yesterday. Dartmouth plans to appoint an interim Hood director shortly. Kennedy was previously director of the National Gallery of Australia at Canberra from 1997 to 2004 and assistant director of the National Gallery of Ireland in Dublin from 1989 to 1997.

Legislature votes $9.25M for MCC

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

The Massachusetts Cultural Council faces a 4.6 percent funding cut in the state budget approved by the Massachusetts Legislature on June 24.

The MCC budget of $9.25 million for the 2011 fiscal year, which begins July 1, must still be approved by Governor Deval Patrick. And the arts budget could still be cut by $150,000 if the state is not reimbursed by the federal government for Medicaid expenses, according to the MCC.

That $9.25 million total is less than Patrick’s proposed $9.4 million MCC budget for the next fiscal year. But it’s more than the $9.1 million MCC budget the state House of Representatives approved in April. All of these proposals would be below the MCC’s current $9.7 million budget, which itself was a 23 percent reduction from the previous year.

April 1, 2010: MA, RI subsidize millionaires, cut the arts.

New director for RI Arts & Biz Council

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Rebecca Siemering (pictured), the director of Providence Art Windows, began work as the new executive director of the Arts & Business Council of Rhode Island on June 25. She fills the shoes of Peter Bramante, who has become managing director of FirstWorks in Providence after 10 years leading the arts-business nonprofit.

Siemering has worked with the Arts & Business Council for four years on a project basis, providing support for the Encore Awards, IndieArtsFest, independent gallery projects and grant support. And under her leadership, Providence Art Windows won a People’s Choice award in the “Public Exposure” category of the 2008 Boston Art Awards.

Arts & Business Council Chair Gina DiSpirito said in a prepared statement, “Rebecca’s solid management credentials, knowledge of the arts community and previous experience with the organization will not only allow a smooth transition of A&BC/RI’s executive leadership, but will be instrumental in broadening the appeal, services and membership of the newly deployed ArtTix platform and website.”

“Are you some inbred southern twit”

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Below is an e-mail I received that is critical of my review of “Five from Providence” at Rhode Island College’s Bannister Gallery. I’m posting the note in full because I believe Mr. Watrous’s charges are important, though I’m not sure how he came to his conclusions. I certainly intended to be critical of the art in the show, but not of the artists’ good intentions or their race.


I am curious how your remarks related to the view of the current Bannister exhibit came to be.

Did you just choose to be ignorant for a day or is this your usual train of thought. I as a white artist of 35 years found your remarks very offensive. Personally I think you owe 4 out of the 5 artists a heart felt apology.

I felt like I was reading commentary out of a 1960′s rag. Are you some inbred southern twit that has not entered the current age of society. What is this “itchy feeling”? Have you been to the doctor yet?

From what little I have seen of your work on your pages, you are not “accomplished” by any means, you do not even reach the level of artistry of the youngest artist presented in that show. You, young man need to go find another job. You really do not know how to properly fulfill the role required to do this one.

Rich Watrous
Seekonk, Massachusetts

St. Peter’s Fiesta 2010

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The annual St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester, Massachusetts, this past weekend as photographed by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Over the next few days, we’ll post more of our Fiesta photos here.

June 23, 2010: St. Peter’s Fiesta gets underway.

1,500 prints given to Bowdoin

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Brunswick, Maine, has announced that Charles Pendexter of Brunswick has donated more than 1,500 prints and eight drawings to the museum. Some are featured in the institution’s “Scratching the Surface: Master Prints from the Charles Pendexter Collection,” on view from June 16 through August 29, 2010. The museum says the gift – which includes works by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, Édouard Manet, Giorgio Morandi, Honoré Daumier, Francisco de Goya – increases the museum’s print collection by 20 percent.

Pictured: Albrecht Dürer , German, 1471-1528, St. Jerome in the Wilderness, ca. 1496-97, engraving.

Hera Gallery returns to Main Street

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Hera Gallery is returning to its old space at 327 Main St. in Wakefield, Rhode Island, after moving to Peace Dale in November 2008.

“Due to a proposed property development, Hera Gallery had to leave our home of over 34 years and has been On The Road for two years now,” Hera Director Islay Taylor writes. “During this time of ‘homelessness’, Hera has been generously provided for by our community. Through the support of Friends of Hera, our network of artist and community advocates, and venues such as Bagelz of Wakefield, we have been able to survive this displacement.”

Hera is scheduled to open “Money,” its first show in the new/old space, on June 26.

Gallery 263 starts residency program

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Gallery 263, at 263 Pearl St. in Cambridge, is launching a residency program.

“The pioneer residency program begins this July and runs through September 2010 at Gallery 263,” co-director Annie Newbold writes. “The gallery is shifting to a full participation art space where the arts-in-residence will be responsible for creating work and paying for the opportunity to use the space for three months in a shared environment, culminating in a month long showcase of their work in progress in this lovely little neighborhood gallery. The residency program is hosting six artists this period who have already started to meet and discuss the possibility of collaboration. There is a dancer, a painter, a sculptor, an urban forager, a storyteller, and a pianist. We are looking for the next set of artists to begin in December.”

Keith Knight speaks

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Cartoonist Keith Knight, who now lives in Los Angeles, returned to his hometown of Malden, Massachusetts, (“even my little league baseball coach is here”) to speak at the public library on June 3.

“I started out drawing cartoons all the time. I drew in class. I drew in my notebooks all the time. … I would go crazy, but what I found when I drew on my homework and my tests and stuff is I would actually get higher grades, so I would continue to do that.”

“The reason I created the ‘K Chronicles,’ in the media, especially at the time it was created, there was this representation that if you’re into hip-hop, you’re a thug.”

On “Vet Mentoring” strip (above): “The strip that got the most letters and e-mails. … People wrote in and said this is the first time I read a comic strip and it changed my thoughts on an issue. People always say strips have to be funny. But that’s not true.”

“I draw in cafes. I don’t draw at home. I’m a very social person. I get my ideas looking at people.”

“I do have a twin sister. … I’m nine minutes older than my sister. Usually when we’re together and she doesn’t get something, I say you’ll get it in nine minutes. Then the fists come.”

“I don’t necessarily think the Web is the entire future of cartooning. Newspapers are going through what the record industry is still going through. It’s like what radio when through when TV started. … I think it’s going to have a smaller market share, and I think there will always be boutique newspapers.”

Advice to beginning artists: “Put together a website. A website works for you 24-seven. The second thing is perseverance. You will hear from lots of people who tell you you can’t do it. Surround yourself with people who say you can. … There’s no one way to do it. … Follow the people who inspire you.”

St. Peter’s Fiesta

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

St. Peter’s Fiesta, the amazing annual Catholic-Italian-fishing-drinking festival in Gloucester, Massachusetts, has begun. Last night the Novena – nine days of prayer that kick everything off – concluded with a procession to the waterfront and the release of balloons in memory of two men who’d long been close to the festival and died in the past year: Santo Militello and Louie Aiello.

There are processions on Friday and Sunday, rowing races and the greasy pole contest on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and a carnival all weekend. A full schedule is here.

The 2009 St. Peter’s Fiesta in Gloucester.

Photos by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Deb Todd Wheeler

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

From our review of “Deb Todd Wheeler: Blew” at Miller Block Gallery in Boston:

One of the best artworks seen around here in recent years was Newton artist Deb Todd Wheeler’s installation “Live Experiments in Human Energy Exchange,” at the (now defunct) Green Street Gallery in Jamaica Plain in 2006. It was a Rube Goldberg contraption in which a bicycle (that visitors could pedal) powered lights that illuminated ant farms built into silhouettes of futuristic buildings from the 1964 New York World’s Fair, a fan that fluttered a paper hummingbird, an old speaker that piped out woozy sounds from the fair, and paper butterflies that flapped atop a crude wooden model of Biosphere 2 (the failed attempt to replicate the earth’s ecosystem in Arizona greenhouses). It was a funny, rueful, crackpot utopian vision of dropping off the grid to escape the collapse dictated by our addiction to fossil fuels. …. “Blew,” her current exhibit at Miller Block Gallery, incorporates the polish of her post–Green Street sculptures while also partaking of Live Experiments’ ambition. The showstopper is “High Sea” (2010), an 11-foot-wide photographic image of tremendous waves of a stormy blue-green-black sea.

Read the rest here.

“Deb Todd Wheeler: Blew,” Miller Block Gallery, 38 Newbury Street, Boston, May 21 to June 26, 2010.

Dec. 12, 2006: Deb Todd Wheeler’s “Live Experiments in Human Energy Exchange” at Green Street Gallery.
July 13, 2009: Wheeler in “Salt of the Earth” at Montserrat.
June 8, 2010: Wheeler, Mowbray and Boston’s zeitgeist.

Deb Todd Wheeler, “High Sea,” 2010.

Deb Todd Wheeler, “Men of War,” 2010.

Deb Todd Wheeler, “So She Floats.”

Joe Deal has died

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Pioneering photographer Joe Deal of Providence died Friday, June 18, after an eight year battle with cancer, according to his dealer, Robert Mann Gallery in New York. He was 62.

Deal’s work was featured in the landmark 1975 exhibit “New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape,” which surveyed a group of artists pursuing a new cool, “objective” and influential style of landscape photography that also reflected an America increasingly threatened by banality and sprawl. (A recreation of the exhibit was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art last year, and is scheduled to open at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in July.) He was RISD provost from 1999 to 2005, and taught photography at the school from 2005 until he retired about a year ago. Last fall, at the RISD museum, he exhibited new spare, minimalist photos of the wide-open spaces of the Great Plains – places not that far from his birthplace of Topeka, Kansas.

Pictured from top to bottom: Joe Deal, “Twin buttes. Colorado Piedmont,” 2006, and “Wash, Red Hills,” 2007.

Stone Zoo

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Stone Zoo – including the jaguar above – in Stoneham, Massachusetts, as photographed by The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research.

Previously: Safari.

White-cheeked gibbon.

Two-toed sloth with baby born May 13, 2010.


Gila monster.




White-cheeked gibbon.

Hyacinth macaws.

Bald eagle.