Friday, April 30, 2010

Designer Ilene Pearl Bannwart to Show iPEARL Collection at James A. Michener Art Museum in Doylestown PA During the Museum's Icons of Costume Exhibition

Bucks County based artisan and fashion designer, Ilene Pearl Bannwart, will show her iPEARL fashion collection at the James A. Michener Art Museum on Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In conjunction with the current exhibition, Icons of Costume: Hollywood’s Golden Era and Beyond, the Museum’s Denoon Shop is presenting a Fashion and Accessories Trunk Show featuring regional artisans.

Yardley, PA (Vocus/PRWEB ) April 30, 2010 -- Bucks County based artisan and fashion designer, Ilene Pearl Bannwart, will show her iPEARL fashion collection at the James A. Michener Art Museum on Saturday, May 8 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. In conjunction with the current exhibition, Icons of Costume: Hollywood's Golden Era and Beyond, the Museum's Denoon Shop is presenting a Fashion and Accessories Trunk Show featuring regional artisans.

This rich turquoise cashmere iPEARL topper length jacket features Trapunto stitching on the collar, cuffs and hemline.
This rich turquoise cashmere iPEARL topper length jacket features Trapunto stitching on the collar, cuffs and hemline.
"It's wonderful to be part of this talented, select group of regional artisans and designers presenting at the Michener Museum during the Icons of Costume exhibition," commented Pearl Bannwart. The iPEARL collection features couture quality, classic jackets and coats in rich European fabrics with an unexpected kaleidoscope of color, silk lining inside. These exclusive, limited edition, and some one-of-a-kind, meticulously tailored and detailed luxurious investment pieces can be worn as eveningwear or casually with jeans.
It’s wonderful to be part of this talented, select group of regional artisans and designers presenting at the Michener Museum during the Icons of Costume exhibition.
Pearl Bannwart will be introducing selections from her new iPEARL rainwear collection at the trunk show. "The luxury rainwear category has always fascinated me. Why shouldn't women be able to obtain smart, savvy fashion creations that are impervious to the weather?" said Pearl Bannwart. The iPEARL collection has gained a strong following throughout the Greater Philadelphia area and nationally through fine specialty stores. Unique boutiques along the Philadelphia Main Line, and in Chestnut Hill, Princeton, Sarasota, Evanston, and St. Louis have presented the brand as well as Takashimaya New York. The iPEARL collection provides discerning women of all ages and sizes with sophisticated, luxurious jackets and coats that are timeless and effortlessly wearable.
Admission to the trunk show at the James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 South Pine Street in Doylestown, is free. Proceeds support the community programs the museum offers all year.
Media contact: Donna Weaver, WeaverWorks, 215-428-0972
About the iPEARL collection
The iPEARL collection, known as 'Luxurious fashions for elegant women', is the vision of Ilene Pearl Bannwart. Pearl Bannwart launched her concept for the iPEARL collection two years ago. Her firsthand, in depth knowledge of fine custom apparel can be traced back to her family heritage, the love of fine clothing, and the arts. The Bucks County, Pennsylvania designer was born into a St. Louis family whose lineage was steeped in the art of crafting fine quality garments. Her ancestors immigrated to America from Russia and Poland, and were skilled artisans in the world of design and tailoring. As a child, she had the good fortune of being outfitted in a custom made wardrobe, which soon became the standard she expected in clothing, and continued over the years. She loved fabrics and textiles, and spent hours studying those and poring over pattern books.
Ever the student of fashion, Pearl Bannwart has traveled extensively around the world. This global perspective enhanced her knowledge of the apparel industry and influenced her appreciation of fashion worldwide. A graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, her focus could have been fashion design, but she followed her avocation for music and voice studies. After a career in development for the nonprofit sector, Pearl Bannwart returned to her love of quality fashion and fine textiles. As the designer of iPEARL, she is living out her passion by creating styles for elegant, discerning women of all ages and sizes. The iPEARL collection retails from $500 to $2,900. For more information, visit

Trunk Show This Weekend at Art-Sea Living

We are huge fans of Art-Sea Living here at Boca Raton magazine so we're very excited about this weekend's sale and trunk show. This Saturday and Sunday, 12 local artists will be showcasing and selling their awesome artwork, jewelry, home decor and other cool accessories and things. Also, there will be a huge sale (discounts of 10–50 percent off) on store merchandise. And there will be wine too... just saying.
If you haven't checked out this awesome boutique and art studio, this is a great weekend to do it, especially if you're still looking for a cute Mother's Day gift. And while you're there, sign up for an art class—Art-Sea Living offers really cool pottery painting, jewelry making and lots of other classes.
1628 S. Federal Highway, Boynton Beach, 561/737-2600,

Picasso Painting Could Fetch $90 Million At Auction

Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," was painted in 1932.
-- A Picasso painting could sell for as much as $90 million at Christie's auction. Also for sale are several Warhols, a Matisse, and a Munch. One of the most valuable private art collections ever offered at auction, led by a $90 million Picasso, will be sold in May at Christie's in a sign that the art market might soon flirt with the record levels seen before the financial crisis struck in 2008. The sale of more than 50 works from the estate of Mrs. Sidney Brody, a Los Angeles philanthropist who died in November, is conservatively estimated to sell for more than $150 million, and is one of two prestigious collections being handled by Christie's, the other being some 100 works owned by late best-selling writer and director, Michael Crichton. The star of the the Brodys' modern art collection, most of which was assembled during the 1950's, is Picasso's "Nude, Green Leaves and Bust," a pristine, vibrant large-scale portrait of Picasso's mistress and muse, Marie-Thérèse Walter from 1932. It was the couple's first Picasso, acquired directly from Picasso's dealer in 1951 for $19,800, and has not been seen publicly in nearly 50 years. Christie's estimates the work to sell in the region of $70 million to $90 million, which would achieve one of the top prices for art at auction. "They express a wonderful moment in Picasso's career which is all about romantic obsession. It's about line. It's about color, and it's about scale. They're huge statements. They are wonderful, exuberant love letters to a figure, Marie-Therese, who inspired in Picasso some of his greatest art," said Conor Jordan, Christie's head of Impressionist and modern art in New York. Alberto Giacometti's "Grande tete mince," estimated at $25 million to $35 million, Edvard Munch's "Fertility," estimated to sell for up to $35 million, and a Matisse nude expected to sell for $20 million to $30 million, are other highlights. "The sale itself, the works that we are offering, the sculptures and the paintings are definitely among the strongest groups that we have brought to market in many years. And all indications from our clients at the moment is that they will be very well-received and we're experiencing unprecedented pre-sale interest," added Jordan. Also for sale is the Michael Crichton collection. The centerpiece of the collection is one of Jasper Johns seminal "Flag" works, created from 1960 to 1966, which the best-selling author of "Jurassic Park" and creator of the hit television series "ER" acquired from the artist in 1973 and kept in his bedroom until his death in 2008. Crichton did not consider himself a serious collector, once writing "I just bought images that I enjoyed looking at. Estimated at $10 million to $15 million, Christie's said it was priced conservatively in view of a still-recalibrating market. An earlier Johns Flag reportedly sold for around $110 million on the private market. The Crichton collection, which also features Picassos, Warhols and Lichtensteins, is expected to take in $50 million to $75 million, although competition for such prestigious private collections often sends prices far above expectations. Christie's Impressionist and Modern art sale is scheduled for Tuesday, May 4. The Crichton and Post-War & Contemporary Art sale is set for Tuesday, May 11.

The Picture Show

Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times (center); photographs by Nora Sherma
Tasteful Pictures: The Art Of Food PhotographyFor as long as there has been art, there have been still lifes. And for as long as there have been still lifes, there have been portraits of food. Last week I spoke on the phone with Larry Nighswander, photography director at Saveur, to learn more about the history of food photography, and he put it plainly: "Food seems to be a central part of family life and social events. ... And I think it's only natural that photographers gravitated to documenting that activity."
Nowadays it seems like everyone is a food photographer. Or maybe it has always been a popular pastime, and now there are just more people armed with cameras. "Tasteful Pictures," an exhibition currently at The Getty Museum in Los Angeles, provides a historical look at food in photography.
The photos are drawn from the Getty's permanent collection, and represent an all-star cast of photographers: Edward Weston, Man Ray, Weegee, William Eggleston and more. It may be a bit of a stretch to say that there's great significance in Edward Quigley's peas or Eggleston's freezer. For the most part, they were experimenting — and photographing pretty much everything.
But the collection of photos is still a nice celebration of food and, if anything, shows how far we digital-camera-yielding, blog-posting photographers have come.
See also: Color Sells: Nickolas Muray's Food Photography, and stay tuned for more from Saveur.

Children can learn life skills through the arts

Teamwork, leadership skills, confidence, problem solving, analytical thinking, excellence in academics — qualities every parent wants their children to develop, yet most probably don't realize they can by studying the arts.

According to research from the National Endowment for the Arts, youngsters who participate in the arts develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, qualities important to today's employers. Youth who are exposed to the arts are "more likely engage in positive civic activities, like volunteering, exercise, and attending sporting events" as adults.

"The arts have a long lasting and tangible effect on our lives," says Wendy Leigh, vice president of education at the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts. Abilities such as confidence, critical thinking, team building and teamwork "are skills they can take into any situation in life so you really get a lot out of your investment and it tends to be often times a life changing experience."

The Patel Conservatory offers full-day and half-day summer camps in dance, theater and music, but also classes for children and for adults year-round. Those children wanting to try everything will enjoy Instrumental Petting Zoo, where they sample lots of instruments, and Arts Explosion, camps that delve into music, theater and dance for children in pre-K through ninth grade. For teenagers, camps like Summerplay, in which they write their own play as a group and perform it on stage, Patel Conservatory Youth Theater and Rock School are top picks.

Because the Patel Conservatory is part of the downtown Straz Center for the Performing Arts, one of the finest performing arts venues in the world, Leigh says, students experience the best in facilities, curriculum and instruction. Says Leigh, "All of our teachers are working professionals who are perfecting their craft in the real world," allowing students to see their teachers perform as well as instruct.

Patel also offers financial assistance on the basis of financial need and available funding resources. To register or to receive a brochure by mail, call (813) 222-1002 or visit
Practically next door to the Patel Conservatory is the new Tampa Museum of Art, Half-day and full-day camps are available for students age 6 to 14, June 21-Aug. 6. This year's campers will explore a variety of styles, working with clay, sculpture, painting, drawing and decorative arts. The museum's goal is for children to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of art, and develop a talent for self-expression.

Camps such as Drawing and Painting, Mixed Media and Sculpture, Visual Storytelling: Comic and Illustration and Conserve, Collect and Create are offered. Weekly costs are half day, $125/$150 (members/nonmembers) and full day, $200/$225 (members/nonmembers). To register, call (813) 421-8373 or e-mail laura.cook

The YMCA offers some art camps, such as Picture This and Arts and Crafts at the Interbay-Glover location. Children will be given cameras and will creatively express themselves through journalism in camps June 28-July 2 and July 19-23. The Arts and Crafts camp will run June 21-25, July 12-16 and July 26-30. More information is available at Different YMCA branches have their own camps. Check the above Web site.

At $75, the city of Tampa's full day Kids Create Art camp is an affordable option, for children 8 to 12 years old. Offered at three locations in June and July, the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. camp focuses on painting, pottery, singing and other activities. More information is available at and by calling (813) 274-8615.

For the third summer, Carrollwood Cultural Center at 4537 Lowell Road will offer arts camps. From June 14 to Aug. 6, half-day morning and afternoon camps with the option of extended care will be available.

About 30 camps, with names like Digital Zoom, Choral Rock, Pottery, Dance, Yoga, Robotics, You Can Draw, Rainforest Animals, Airplanes 201 and Hip Hop, will be offered throughout the summer. Costs are $100 for non-members with a $10 discount to members. More information is available at

A new arts camp with a magical flair has come to Tampa from down Miami. Creative Camps,, will be located in Hyde Park next to Indigo Coffee for children ages 5 to 12.

"Every day, children will learn a magic trick," said Jackie Toledo, investor. "All kids should be exposed to a performing art. It can only make them stronger in other aspects of their lives," Toledo said, citing school presentations as an example.

"It's all acting. — It allows the child to work on public speaking and build self-esteem," she said.
One benefit parents will appreciate is that free extended care is included, so even though camps officially last from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., parents can bring children from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. More information is available by calling (813) 410-5682 and at

Some camps, like the Kids Community College in FishHawk, offer arts and crafts as part of their overall curriculum. During Animal Planet week, children will make fossils; during Marine Extreme week, they'll paint sea murals, and so on. Specific information is available at

Finally, some children, especially if they have a parent home during the day, don't want to attend camps. But that doesn't mean they have to miss out. Private lessons in all art forms can be found in the area. Beth Kokol Arts (, Art Explorers ( and the Patel Conservatory all offer private lessons as well as camps.

Cleaners Paint Over Priceless Banksy Art

Getty Images -
Getty Images
An Australian council is rueing a decision to send street cleaners into a Melbourne lane after they painted over a priceless stencil of a rat by the celebrated British graffiti artist Banksy.
Melbourne Deputy Lord Mayor Susan Riley last week sent a clean-up team into Hosier Lane, renowned internationally for its colorful street art, to clean up garbage in the graffiti-lined passage after local residents complained.
But the request went awry when the cleaners painted over a Banksy stencil of a rat hanging underneath a parachute and adorning the wall of an old council building.
"Unfortunately the contractors were not made aware by us that that was an important piece. It is the nature of graffiti art. It's very vulnerable to other people's work," Council chief executive Kathy Alexander told local radio.
The reclusive Banksy, who is regarded as one of the world's top street artists, painted several stencils in Melbourne during a 2003 visit. His satirical and distinctive art is often directed at anti-war, cultural and anti-capitalist themes.
Who takes the blame for painting over the priceless piece?


Move mind, body and soul with Live Art

Dance company announces plans for new season

Susanne Chui, kneeling, and Jacinte Armstrong, of SINS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia dance collective) perform at the 2010-11 season launch of Live Art Dance at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax.

When Compagnie Marie Chouinard performed The Rite of Spring at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium in 1999, it was the beginning of a love affair for Halifax dance fans.
"There were about 250 to 300 people and it was the beginning of building Marie’s audience here," says Paul Caskey, executive director of Live Art Dance Productions.
"Since then the audience (for the Montreal company) has exploded."
The show was so popular, Live Art has brought it back for its 2010-2011 season, Caskey said Thursday during the season launch at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax.
The Rite of Spring will be paired with 24 Preludes by Chopin for a show at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium on Nov. 17. It is an appropriate pairing because this year marks the 200th anniversary of Chopin’s birth.
"Marie has a demonstrated gift for mixing music and movement," said Caskey. "Her dance is widely accessible but also really profound art, a magic mix. She’s the undisputed queen of contemporary dance."
The season is designed says Caskey "to move you mind, body and soul."
It features seven shows, including three world premieres.
Le Carre des Lombes from Montreal presents Danielle Desnoyer’s quintet La ou je vis, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2 at the Dunn.
"It’s richly visual and highly physical . . . agitated, urgent and driven by desire," says Caskey.
It features stunning visuals by media artist Manon de Pauw.
SINS (Sometimes in Nova Scotia) — composed of Halifax dancers Jacinte Armstrong, Susanne Chui and Vancouver-based Sara Coffin — has commissioned a new work by Vancouver choreographer Daelik and will be joined by Halifax dancer Elise Vanderborght and actor/dancer Cory Bowles.
The world premiere of Xs will be presented Oct. 7-9 at the Dunn along with the world premiere of New Work by Toronto’s Susie Burpee. Both works will be developed during residences at Ross Creek Centre for the Arts near Canning in September, with support from Live Art.
"We wanted to work with Daelik because he is a theatre artist who was in dance a long time. His work is rooted in contemporary, contact improv and improvisation rather than ballet," said Armstrong, after performing a short piece with Chui for those attending the season launch.
"When he works, he does a lot with improv and props and theatricality . . . though it is a dance piece. He asked to have an actor and Cory is filling that role. He’s part of our group, so it’s an added bonus working with him. And he’ll be doing the music."
Montreal Danse and George Stamos present the world premiere of Troglodyte Plastique, Jan. 20-22 at the Dunn. The work, to be danced by Nova Scotia native Stamos, Rachel Harris and Elinor Fueter, was inspired by a series of masks he unearthed at Value Village in Dartmouth and will feature live music by Jackie Gallant.
From Feb. 17-19, Montreal native Paul-Andre Fortier’s Cabane will be presented in three found locations to be announced Nov. 17. Running during the Canada Winter Games, the work is equal parts dance performance and installation art and "challenges the audience to open their eyes to that which we take for granted," says Caskey.
On Saturday, March 19 Wen Wei Dance of Vancouver and the Beijing Modern Dance Company present Under the Skin at the Rebecca Cohn Auditorium.
The work will feature 12 dancers, six from each company. It fuses elements from the Occident and the Orient with the idea that under the skin we are all the same.
Caskey says the large audience for Wen Wei’s 2007 debut in Halifax was proof of the effectiveness of word of mouth. He adds that the Chinese dancers are like Olympic level acrobats in their incredible level of training and their virtuosic bodies combined with their interpretation of toothy material should create a knockout show.
The final presentation is Audible, from Vancouver’s 605 Collective, May 5-7 at the Dunn.
The five performers, all trained in contemporary dance, blur the line between street and stage combining hip hop, jazz, popping, locking and ballet.
In the company’s first full-length work "the erosion of intimacy in the age of social media gets put under the microscope: data-addiction, online voyeurism, texting and tweeting . . . connecting without really connecting," says Caskey.
As well the company is entering a special partnership with OneLight Theatre’s Prismatic Festival to present the Canadian premiere of Junkyard/Paradise by Montreal’s Mayday Danse Oct. 15-16 at the Dunn.
Live Art subscribers will get discounted tickets to the work, choreographed by Melanie Demers which explores the contradictions of everyday life.
Caskey was pleased to note that Live Art has experienced a 30 per cent increase in attendance despite the economic downturn.
"Last year the average attendance for a three-night run at the Dunn was just over 300. This year the attendance is over 400."

Comic art festival puts Lucerne at cutting edge

Featured: Dan Perjovschi has drawn images in white chalk on a wall of the Lucerne Theatre
Image Caption: Featured: Dan Perjovschi has drawn images in white chalk on a wall of the Lucerne Theatre (Dan Perjovschi)

Lucerne may be a perfect tourist destination but until now it has not been known as a centre for cutting edge art.

This may be about to change, as the Fumetto International Comix Festival this year celebrates its 19th anniversary with a series of intriguing projects and exhibitions and the launch of a new pilot programme, Punkte10.

Fumetto started in 1992 as a small trade festival focused on comic arts, but has developed over the years into a major nexus for contemporary drawing, sketching, and comics. But more importantly it is known as a centre for the promotion of graphic art as fine art.

With its special annual themed contest, Fumetto supports the development of the careers of emerging artists by awarding them a stipend and organising an exhibition.

In addition to the annual contest, the festival also hosts large exhibitions in various spaces throughout the city, like museums, performance spaces, and galleries.

In the past few years, Fumetto has moved towards integrating into the festival internationally known contemporary artists bridging comic and fine art. Last year’s David Shrigley solo exhibit at the Lucerne Kunsthaus and this year’s Dan Perjovschi and Olaf Breuning participations prove that drawing and text is back in a big way.

This year Fumetto, in collaboration with Südpol Music and Dance Theatre, and Akku Art Center in Emmen, is launching Punkte 10, a public art festival taking place in parallel to the international comics festival in May.

“It's quite a long time that Fumetto and Südpol have been dreaming of creating an event like this,” said Südpol director Phillipe Bischopf.

Installations and performances

He said the idea stemmed from two convictions: that art in the public sphere can have a very important influence on the perception of the current art scene and that the treatment of the public sphere is a very delicate and critical matter.

“Creating an event like Punkte 10 is connected with the hope of producing discussions on what and how the public sphere in Lucerne could and should be defined, changed and invented,” he explained.

“We want to surprise the visitors with unexpected actions and interventions on the streets that they walk on in their daily life and to which they usually don’t pay any attention. The public sphere, as anything else in human life, is constructed and produced by society members, and it would be nice to point out this fact in an intelligent manner.”

Punkte 10 features installations, performances, and other events all in the public space. The featured artist this year is the internationally renowned Romania-based artist Dan Perjovschi, who is also participating in Fumetto.

His project for Punkte 10 involves drawing his iconic images and text in white chalk on the side wall of the Lucerne Theatre, which has been painted in black for the occasion. This drawing process is in itself a performance, open to the public to watch and discuss the social and political implications that Perjovschi evokes.

Another installation of note is Micha Aegger’s sculpture on water, featuring numerous floating white balls connected together to create an organic and amorphous shape, but attached to the bottom of the river to remain in place.

In addition to the installations and art projects placed at various locations throughout Lucerne, Emmenbrücke, and Kriens, Punkte 10 also features music and dance performances, as well as children’s activities.

Making an impact

As a pilot, Punkte 10 has much to learn from this year’s experience and how it can leverage what it has created to make an even bigger impact next year and in the years to come.

“I hope that the festival will develop during its two year pilot phase into a Swisswide-known and respected platform for art in the public space,” said Fumetto director Lynn Kost.

“Fumetto will be one of the partners to accentuate the content of the festival in the future, and push Lucerne forward as a centre for this lively art form.”

She said art in the public space provoked discussion, and different opinions could be discussed with other people, creating opportunities to enter into contact with one another.

“I hope visitors will take advantage of these opportunities and approach each other to exchange ideas. I hope as well that they will participate and interact with the artists and experience how exciting art can be,” Kost said.

The art of map making

DIOGO HOMEM, A Chart of the Mediterranean Sea, 1570 (detail). Photo credit: British Library Board
Diogo Homem's A Chart of the Mediterranean Sea, 1570, is over a metre wide
To many people, thoughts of maps conjure up images of dusty classrooms and geography teachers.But a new exhibition at the British Library, Magnificent Maps, aims to put the art back into how we view, and use, these often beautiful examples.
More than simply a topological survey of a country or continent, the maps on display are as diverse as their decorative features - from hunting dogs to sea monsters and cherubs blowing the winds across the ocean.
Picked from a "long shortlist" of 26,000 maps from the library's 4.5 million-strong collection, curators Peter Barber and Tom Harper carefully selected 80 impressive wall maps, some of which have never been displayed in public.
The artistry of maps is seductive and like the teaspoon of sugar that helps the medicine go down
Peter Barber
"We wanted to make the point that maps can be artistic, so we intentionally selected maps that look good," explains Mr Barber.
The maps on show date from 200AD to the present day. Some are made of silver, carved in wood or marble, or stitched tapestries that were intended for display side-by-side with some of the world's greatest paintings and sculptures.
Some of these "pictorial encyclopaedias" rival them in their artistry.
Diogo Homem's 1570 Chart of the Mediterranean sea is dripping with gold and saturated colour, while Pierre Descelier's World Map of 1550 is a hand-painted visual representation of the legends and natural history of the world.
Fred W Rose's war map depicts Russian foreign policy as the tentacles of an octopus threatening and throttling the Ottoman Empire.
Aside from the aesthetic quality, this artistry and creativity by the cartographers do serve a purpose, Mr Barber explains.
"The main purpose of virtually all of the maps here is propaganda because propaganda consolidates power.
"But the power isn't necessarily political, it could be for status, such as the map of a merchant's estate. And for a map has to be pretty to work as a status symbol. An ordinary ordnance survey map would not do.
"The artistry of maps is seductive and like the teaspoon of sugar that helps the medicine go down, tries to persuade us to swallow a particular political message."
Staff member Radhika Dandeniya views the world's smallest atlas ever to be published which was commissioned for the dolls' house of Queen Mary consort to George V
The world's smallest atlas, made for doll's house of Queen Mary, is on show
But that is a view many map purists find hard to digest.
When geography came into being as a subject during the Enlightenment maps have been regarded as its handmaiden.
Art, they argue, has no place.
"Since about 1800 people have tended to associate maps with mathematical geography, but it is a self-closing view to say if something is pretty it can't be a map," says Mr Barber.
"Lots of people consider it superficial and wrong for us to include these decorative maps in the exhibition. In some cases they don't appreciate art and at a deeper level there is still the view that if a map is not primarily about geography and measurement then it really shouldn't be included.
"But some of the outstanding examples in this exhibition have actually been acquired in art galleries rather than from map dealers, such as Grayson Perry's Map of Nowhere and Steven Walter's London.
"We have also acquired political posters containing maps, some of which are quite striking images that have only recently become available from map dealers.
"With this exhibition I wanted to talk to my peers and show them that maps were works of art and demonstrate that they played a role in court life, in political life.
"Sometimes when you make this point some people look at you like you're a man from Mars."
'Money maps'
Meanwhile, a new exhibition examining the crossover between art and geography is to open at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS).
The RGS asked contemporary artists Susan Stockwell and Agnes Poitevin-Navarre to respond to their extensive collection of maps.
Creative Compass examine themes of migration, identity, gender and global economics inspired by the maps and photographs.
Susan Stockwell
Stockwell has produced several pieces inspired by maps
Poitevin-Navarre's work includes a map of London built up from residents' aspirations and achievements, capturing individual and shared moments from across the capital's 33 boroughs.
Stockwell, meanwhile, raises questions about the global economics of power and colonial histories in her series of "money maps" and an intricate Victorian dress.
The dress is made from a map of the world with the countries and continents carefully placed to relate to an organ of the human body.
Her map of Afghanistan, made from US dollars carefully stitched together, is a subtle comment on American imperialism. The red stitching closely echoes US state lines.
Maps are an important theme running through Stockwell's work - a map of the world made out of Chinese currency hangs at the V&A Quilts show - and it is an area she admits to be "fascinated" by.
She said: "Maps have this geo-political content. They are also about power and war and gaining territory, and, as an artist, I'm fascinated by them.
"I realised mapping is a very male language, a very particular male world that is very powerful in its own way. So by making a dress out of maps, which is about power and ownership and possession, is subverting the material and getting people to look at it differently.

Community, 'The Art of Discourse': Food fight!

Joel McHale and Lisa Rinna on "Community.
community-lisa-rinna.jpgA review of last night's "Community" coming up just as soon as I meet Sting at a Cracker Barrel...

"Ridiculous situation descending into heavy-handed drama for the illusion of story... check." -AbedAfter last week's all-out "Goodfellas" parody, "The Art of Discourse" confines most of the meta/pop culture humor to the Abed and Troy subplot, while going more straightforward in showing Jeff and Britta, and also Pierce and Shirley, dealing with being the old men (and women) out on campus.

Jeff and Britta's conflict with the high school kids was played entirely for laughs, as we once again see that those two are more entertaining when they join forces for some ridiculous goal than when we're supposed to care about the simmering sexual tension between them. This was a really strong episode for Gillian Jacobs as Britta let herself get sucked into trying to pwn the three Schmitty kids, whether pathetically trying to defend her life choices (invoking Winona Ryder and wearing a Discman) or going pure evil in that moment when she had the brainstorm to send Jeff to have sex with Lisa Rinna.

The Pierce and Shirley plot, meanwhile, did a nice job of balancing laughs (Pierce being oblivious to his racism, the gang all turning on each other in the search for New Pierce) and some more genuine character moments about Shirley and Pierce's feelings about each other and their respective places in the group. Unlike the scenario Abed described in the quote above, this felt like actual story, and like something the show's been building to for a while. If the series wants us to care about this community and its characters beyond their role as avatars of pop culture gags - and it clearly does - then sooner or later Pierce's treatment of Shirley in particular and the group in general had to be addressed, and in a mostly heartfelt, sincere manner. Some very nice work by Chevy Chase and Yvette Nicole Brown in this one, and ultimately their moment of bonding climaxed with a nice callback to the pantsing joke that started the whole mess - and by the time we got to the food fight and the extended riff on the end of "Animal House," it felt okay to go whole-hog on the parody, and I look forward to seeing Troy and Abed in "College Cut-Ups 2: Panty Raid Academy."

What did everybody else think?

Many mediums, one message

Bringing climate change to attention artistically
Camp end: SAARC artist with the NEC officals
SAARC Art Camp 30 April, 2010 - A picture paints a thousand words and if its messages are absorbed and heeded, the world would have become a far more seeing, more hearing and, above all, more feeling one.

Despite the splashes of colours – green, blue, red, black and yellow – all depicting our immediate environment, that 19 artists from the SAARC member nations used, they all carried one message, impacts of climate change.

The SAARC art camp, which began from April 19, was initiated as a side event for the summit. The artists used their talents to express their views on issues of climate change. Sudath Abeysekara from Sri Lanka painted a picture of a tornado destroying almost everything in its path, leaving a landscape bereft of life and exposed under the intense heat of the sun. 
“That’ll be our fate if we don’t act fast,” he said.
People, who watched the artists at work, first see them sketch vague outlines on a paper, before finally painting on the canvas, bringing light and life to the work through their portrayal of vivid images etched in their minds.
Sareena Khemka from India even used charcoal and sand in her painting to depict the adverse effects of fire turning the forest into soot and ashes, as it devoured trees and life forms on its way.
While most artists used material such as acrylic for their painting, Dr Mohammad Yousof Asefi from Afghanistan used oil paintings, which, he said, gave his art life. “It takes about two weeks for the oil paint to dry completely, but I love using it,” he said.
Of the 42 paintings, about 30 were painted in Thimphu, which were donated to national environment commission.
The SAARC artist camp concluded yesterday. All artists received certificates for their contributions and participation in the camp.  
“The ideas and exposure I gained from the group of visiting artists has been of immense help should I decide to continue the trade,” Rinchen Wangdi, who has been an artist for 11 years, said. “For the first time Bhutan is experiencing new media art, installation and video art.”

True Anzac a real work of art

One old Digger was on my mind more than any other on Anzac Day - Ted Matthews.Of all the Anzac troops who stormed ashore at Gallipoli on that most iconic day, April 25, 1915, Ted was the one who lived longest. He died at age 101 in 1997.
I had the great fortune to help uncover his fascinating tale a couple of years earlier.
I wrote a big story about him which, I like to think, had something to do with him receiving a visit on his 100th birthday from then Prime Minister John Howard and the Turkish ambassador in Canberra.
My wife cooked some Anzac biscuits for his birthday, which I remember with a chuckle he wasn't keen to share with our national leader.
Ted spoke such good, old-fashioned common sense, even as a centenarian.
I visited him a few times at his nursing home in northern Sydney, and asked him once to define what it was to be an Aussie.
"An Australian," he replied after great deliberation,"is someone who can see the humour in anything."
I think of Ted often.
I spent his final Anzac Day riding with him in a cab in the procession through Sydney.
It was a rare privilege, and a great joy to see thousands of people waving at him. He got quite a few kisses along the way, too.
I thought of him particularly this Anzac Day as a week earlier I found to my delight how he struck a similar chord in someone else.
I was viewing the finalists for the Gallipoli art prize when I noticed one was a portrait of Ted.
The notes accompanying the work moved me greatly, and I would love to share them with you.
"In 1996 I had the great honour to sketch and chat with Mr Matthews," commented Victorian artist Alistair (Archie) Graham.
"After many stories, personal notes and sketches, I asked Ted to remember his mates.
"He went deathly quiet, gazed down and pushed his old, wrinkled hand over his heart.
"In that one moment of a gesture, I instantly heartfelt an emotion which we call the mateship of the Anzac, the loyalty, love of country, respect, comradeship, the eloquence of an old man's simple gesture.
"One which I really cannot capture in words. It was felt in my heart and soul, and this is what I have desired to capture."
I wish Ted had been around to hear those words.
At least he was able, right at the end of his life, to get some idea of the esteem and gratitude we all feel for the sacrifice made by Ted and his mates - all 416,000 of them in the Great War and 1.8 million in the past 95 years.
I am so glad I was able to play a part in relaying Ted's story. For me he epitomised the true Anzac.
The artist who painted Ted actually set out to paint the Gallipoli landings.
"But the fallen corpses of 19-year-old men saddened me so profoundly I had to stop," he wrote. "I opted instead to capture the love and pride I feel for someone so dear to Australia's essence and character."
He closed with three little words which explain why we make this fuss every year. "Lest we forget."

Randomly Penciled 4-30-10

As an art student, the majority of my money goes toward art supplies. Every paycheck gets distributed between rent, groceries and art materials. Sometimes the need for drawing pencils wins over milk. College students only need ramen in their pantry, right?
There is a wonderful thing, though, that makes the world of art in college all the better: art cash.
In the magical world of art classes, professors stock their supply closets full of art-making necessities. In printmaking, you’ll find a collection of mediocre to majestic paper selections while in metalsmithing there is a variety of metal sheets and wire.
Your first encounter with art cash is similar to your first day of college: frightening and exciting. Within your reach is an assortment of almost everything necessary to create a masterpiece. And yet, lurking at the back of your mind is a warning of being too enthusiastic. “Don’t forget about your bills,” your mind reminds.
Then you learn all of these materials are accessible to you without upfront payment. Art cash allows you to pay for an assortment of supplies at the end of the semester, after those materials have served their purpose. Well, how can you resist such an offer?
That’s where everything goes all wrong, at least for me. I tend to hoard art supplies, in fear one day I will be ready to turn out an epic drawing or print only to discover  I am fresh out of paper or lithography plates. So every time the professors ask if anybody needs something from art cash, I jump at the occasion.
Everything seems to be going smoothly until the end of the semester sneaks up. Soon after final exams and final critiques have passed, professors begin tallying up how much money each student needs to cough up in order to pay their art cash bill.
Sometime between when the last final is given and grades are posted, art cash fees are posted. This is typically a day to be dreaded. 
Just as students in other departments shell out hundreds of dollars for their textbooks, so do art students when it comes to supplies. It all turns into a twisted game to guess who will have spent the most in the past semester.
At the beginning of every semester, art cash is there to support my needs and keeps me swimming in the materials I need to create art. Then, it turns around and hands over my spending records to Sparks Hall.
Every summer begins with me cursing my dependence on art cash, but I always go crawling back at the beginning of the fall semester, desperate for my fancy paper and art making ingredients.

Archaeologist will speak about American Indian rock art

Fort Montgomery — Archaeologist Edward J. Lenik will give a lecture — American Indian Rock Art in the Hudson Valley — at the Fort Montgomery Visitor Center, on Thursday, May 6 at 7 p.m.

Located along rivers, at the edges of lakes, on mountain boulders, in rock shelters, on rock ledges where the continent meets the ocean, and tucked into parks and public places, American Indian rock art offers glimpses of the signs and symbols of Native American culture.
Petroglyphs carved into rock surfaces and pictographs painted on them are harder to find in northeastern North America than in the American Southwest, but they are here. The lower Hudson River Valley contains examples of these elusive artifacts from the past.

Lenik, familiar to many for his work in historic archaeology at Fort Montgomery, has had a lifelong fascination with the petroglyphs and the pictographs of northeastern North America. He has researched and searched out the rock art that remains here and is the author of two books on American Indian rock art of the northeast. He will share his adventures, discoveries, and interpretations on rock art sites in the Hudson region during this evening slide presentation.

Admission is free. A book sale and signing will follow the event.

The visitor center is located at 690 Route 9W, 1/4 mile north of the Bear Mountain Traffic Circle in Fort Montgomery.

The Decision Day

 Living in times of global interactions, we are rarely out of some choice-making process - considering options, analyzing models, planning win-win strategies, exploring proven patterns…just to find out that by the time this is finished, there is just "around the corner"
a by-product, simply waiting to be decided.
Are we modern decision kings, or is decision a king, that is controlling us to the game?!

The belief that we are the kings of decisions is unquestioned by any modern rationale, but some unusual past examples can reduce this belief to a myth. Such sample that rocked the lives and souls of millions is the mysterious decision-making procedure, which Bulgarian king Boris I underwent in 865.
(C. Mango, Art of the Byzantine Empire, 1986,as told earlier by Theophanes Continuatus)

It relates a decision of magnanimous proportions, but of seemingly effortless nature.  
The story opens in a descriptive register punctuated with a passionate ton of experience:
"The Bulgarian ruler Boris, who was consumed by a great passion for hunting, wished to represent subjects of that kind in one of the palaces that he used frequently, so that he might enjoy the sight by day and night."

The king’s motivation point - to have a visual enjoyment sight brings a reasonable decision target in focus besides revealing the high cultural standards of the Court – it will be explored "by day and night".

Having identified the objective, the king’s second step was to introduce immediate action plan – an essential decision tactics, which believes that long thinking kills action. Just do it!
And he did it in style!

"Seized by this desire, he summoned one of our Roman monks, a painter named Methodius, and when the latter came into his presence, he commanded him (through some divine inspiration) to paint not killing of men in battle or the slaughter of wild beasts, but anything he might wish, on condition that the sight of the painting would induce fear and amazement in its spectator."

The third step opens a vista into the deep structure of the decision-making process, identified by the classical thinkers with the "Muses", today - a challenging psychological conception, here – simply marked as "some divine inspiration".
The forth step confirms its special nature by having all available target options cancelled – neither men in battle, nor slaughtered wild beasts should find place in the representation,
thus effectively closing an old and turning a new page in cultural history.

Against the silent empty space, the fifth decision-making step bursts like Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony opening – "fear and amazement" is the destined duo that is knocking on the page to take its profound intangible place.
A high drama is set up - the ego is deprived from its familiar winning visions, instead, the most uncomfortable spiritual foundation – fear is sought for, while the most elusive emotional pinnacle – amazement, is demanded as a partner! These are the new players of the decision game and they loom high and stunning in the call of the most powerful man.

Now comes the reality point, when the artist acts after the given instructions. His own decision-making process is swift and strait forward in choosing the best known option,
worthy of a man in noble quest:

"The painter, who did not know of any subject more apt to inspire fear, than the Second Coming of the Lord, depicted it there with the righteous on one side receiving the reward of their labor, and the sinner on the other, reaping the fruits of their misdeeds and being harshly driven away to the punishment that had been threatened to them."
Now enters the king to unravel the destined denouement:
"When Boris had seen the finished painting, he conceived thereby the fear of God and after being instructed in the Holy mysteries, he partook of divine Baptism in the dead of night."

The call of the king has been answered: the new players have sealed the game with an instant effect – instruction and baptism! It is a rare glimpse into the reality of a concept as subtle as the aesthetic catharsis, here so powerful as to move history. A sample about art as a decision making force, or to be more precise, when art became the king of a king.   

This 9th century decision-making procedure captures the imagination not only with its swift and unexpected action turns, but also with its unparalleled intensity and scope.
Indeed, this personal act of radical change was followed by the Christianization of the entire Bulgarian nation. But to move art from the wall onto the street proved a dramatic act. The king who did not want to see bloodshed in a picture, actually had it on the streets in order to achieve the effect of the picture in massive, when some of the leading figures refused to be impressed!

At the same time he brought to them the Lord’s word in pure Bulgarian, delivered in a script devised especially for this language and for the new religion, an unparalleled historic phenomenon!
He welcomed Orthodox scholars and writers, sponsored a massive educational programme with extraordinary book production, constructions of churches and monasteries and converted his nation from Tangra worshipers into the leading mind of the Slavonic peoples.

But – that was not all. The grand finale was jet to come.
In 889 some quarter of a century after his unique choice-making, the king grew to another challenge and in his customary fashion, abided to the call of the image –
he exchanged his secular title for that of a monk, the purple mantle - for a black robe, the scepter - for a cross, the palace – for a monastery and the power - for prayer.

Indeed, king-monk Boris-Mikhail presents an impressive image of an explorer-reformer, who uses aesthetic psychological orchestration in order to achieve reforming intensity, sustained by a controversial negative feeling of fear, balanced with amazement. Modern positivists will possibly argue against such stressful combination, but because of the fact that it was incited by an image and abided by a king, it will probably receive the appreciation of the modern ego opposition for its humbling effect, and of the literati for its function as a novelistic inner journey-to-the self.
The fact that it was all light up by an abstract image makes him a modern visionary too. It is very likely that the image had become part of his midset, in a way familiar today to conceptual art-lovers.

Obviously, this faithfulness proved an all consuming engagement, and not surprisingly, king Boris lost most of his military battles, finally to abandon them completely.
But isn’t peace exactly what the art’s mission is,
even when by default, or as a by-product!

However, on the spiritual battlefield heroes are of different nature and his enigmatic inspirational example of one, who had won all the battles against the ego,
 was to be preserved posthumously: he was canonized a saint with his Holy day being designated as the day of his departure from the worldly battlefield – 2nd May 907.

This is an important day in the Orthodox calendar - the first Bulgarian Christian king’s day, symbolically The Decision day, alternatively - the Art’s power day

DV student art show runs with ‘Millie’ this weekend

Poster art by Kurt Zimmermann, Andrea Cerciello, Marshall Brancy, and Sarah Gilmour
WESTFALL — The Delaware Valley High School Annual Student Art Show this weekend is held in conjunction with the DV Drama Production of, “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” and the artwork will fill the hallways of the DV entrance.

The art show opens one hour before all drama performances: 6:30 p.m. on April 30, and May 1, and 1 p.m. on May 2.
A public reception opens the art show, honoring the Senior Artists, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday only.

Notecards featuring artwork by DV high school students will be sold for $5 per set.

Tickets for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” are $10, $7 for students and seniors. Call 570-2961850 ext, 7373 or order online at

Brandeis honors Bernstein with annual festival

Neil Hampton will conduct the Brandeis-Wellesley Orchestra on Thursday, April 29 at 8 p.m.

WALTHAM — Expanding a tradition begun 58 years ago, organizers of Brandeis University's annual Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts have commissioned an original work of public art.

Artist-in-residence Michael Dowling unveiled Wednesday evening his "Source/ReSource," a large-scale installation of copper, stone and water outside the Rose Art Museum.

Scott Edmiston, director of the Office of the Arts which organizes the five-day festival, said Dowling's site-specific installation exemplifies this year's festival theme, "Art is the Source."

Edmiston said two years ago festival producer Ingrid Schorr asked Dowling, a painter and artistic director of Medicine Wheel Productions in Boston, to create the first public art commissioned for the festival which Bernstein founded in 1952 for Brandeis' first commencement.

He said, "Michael is a perfect match for the festival because he has a sense of social justice and a great ability to engage the community through his art. I think 'Source/ReSource' will become the heart of the festival because it suggest this year's theme of finding connections to art."

Running from Wednesday evening through Sunday afternoon, the festival offers visual and performing arts including dance, music, puppetry and theater.

Edmiston said art featured in the festival "isn't just something you can hang on a wall."

"It's a happening about making connections with one another through 'Art (as) the Source."'

Edmiston said the festival is open to the public. "Art isn't reserved for people in ivory palaces," he said. "It's our primary town and gown event. Our doors are open. It says to Waltham and Greater Boston, 'Come and enjoy and be part of our community."'

The festival concludes 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday with several family friendly events. Throughout the afternoon, more than 200 singers, dancers, actors and musicians will perform on campus.

Other Sunday afternoon events include Big Nazo puppet performers, Sidewalk Sam and the Tanglewood Marionettes.

An acclaimed conductor and composer of "West Side Story," Bernstein served in Brandeis' Department of Music from 1951 to 1956. He organized the first arts festival in 1952 for the university's first commencement.

Edmiston said, "The purpose of the festival is to celebrate the creativity of the students and faculty of Brandeis because art is one of the core elements of the university's mission."

In 2005 the festival, which had been moved to the spring, was "renamed to honor Bernstein because he was its founding spirit," he said.

To learn about the Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts at Brandeis University and see a schedule of events, visit

Use the arts to fight early Alzheimer's

For 5.3 million Americans and their families and friends, Alzheimer’s disease is life-altering.

Although the duration of early Alzheimer’s varies, whatever time one has left still can be enjoyed, says Deborah Mitchell, author of How to Live Well With Early Alzheimer’s. A few examples:

View art. Researchers say art has a positive effect on emotions and can reduce aggression, agitation, apathy and anxiety. At galleries, let paintings “evoke whatever memories come up.” Doing art projects at home can improve hand-eye coordination and stimulate neuron activity in the brain.

Play music. Music can relax patients. Songs they enjoyed in the past can foster conversation.

Dance. Lessons can “provide physical exercise, increase the level of brain chemicals that stimulate nerve cells to grow and help some people recall forgotten memories when they dance to music they used to know.”

Art of recycling mastered for exhibition

Craft skills of special-needs pupils to go on show at Coast Festival

THE arts and crafts skills of pupils at a north-east school will be on show at a major visual arts celebration.
Youngsters who attend the curriculum support unit at Banff Academy are preparing exhibits for next month’s Coast Festival.
The work of pupils from years one to four will be on display at the Harvest Centre from May 28-30. Their pieces will range from woven work to intricate open-wire jewellery.
Weekly sessions are under way with the guidance of local artists to complete the items for show.
About 20 special needs pupils are involved in the project. S2 unit teacher Pamela Parrott said: “The unit exhibited at last year’s Coast festival and we wanted to do it again this year.
“The pupils have been using a lot of recyclable material and have really enjoyed it.
“Apart from that, it helps with hand-to-eye co-ordination and their overall development.”
Artists Roweena Dearsley and Nikki Bond are guiding the pupils at Tuesday morning sessions.
They said all the pupils were working hard to complete the range of exhibits for display.

NEXT big thing

What started as an Art Chicago annex is becoming the cool, cutting edge place to be
"Gondola Wheel II" drawing by William Steiger, who will be featured at NEXT.  

Art Chicago has descended upon the city every spring for as long as we can remember. (In case you're keeping score, this is its 30th anniversary.)

But among those of us for whom 17th century French landscapes and $50,000 price tags are more fairy-tale than art fair, NEXT: The Invitational Exhibition of Emerging Art, is quickly becoming the must-visit event under the Merchandise Mart's annual visual-arts big top, Artropolis.

It's happening again this weekend, and an estimated 50,000 folks will flock to the Mart to shuffle slowly past thousands of pieces of art over the course of three days.

We'll be there, too. But no offense to Art Chicago and that ginormous antiques show, we'll be spending most of our time on floor 7, at NEXT.

Get more stories like this. Sign up for home delivery >>


First and foremost, its affordability for both collectors and exhibitors.

In a time when many of us can only devote a fraction of our fun-money toward art purchases, we're looking for smart investments, not break-the-bank trophies for the mantle. Especially suited to the collector-on-a-budget (and really, who's not on a budget these days?), NEXT's price points fall in the low-thousands and even hundreds, whereas Art Chicago's typically soar into the tens of thousands and up.

Sales alone do not a fair make. Conversation is yet another reason NEXT scores points in our book. The fair's Converge Chicago programming invites curators and museum officials from all over the place to set up temporary shop smack in the middle of NEXT's exhibition hall, accompanied by 100 or so folding chairs set out for curious passers-by to stop and eavesdrop.

We talked to the folks behind the scenes and on the exhibition floor to find out what's next for NEXT, the feisty up-and-comer that in its third year may have the potential to bypass Art Chicago's three-decade legacy, with flying colors.

"It definitely has its niche," says local gallerist Kavi Gupta, and he should know: Gupta founded NEXT in 2008 in partnership with Merchandise Mart Properties, or MMPI, which entrusted him based on the success of Volta, the emerging-art show he co-founded a few years prior in art-centric Basel, Switzerland. Like Volta, NEXT focuses strictly on the up-and-coming: young and midcareer artists, their paintbrushes firmly on the pulse; and, in many instances, young dealers to match.

In literal terms, Gupta says, NEXT represents the next generation of artists and gallerists, which may not have a place at more traditional fairs such as Art Chicago.

"Young dealers usually have to sneak into a bigger fair to get recognition," Gupta says. "If we can make a platform for them to get recognition earlier and to have curators and collectors come and see that work at this stage in their careers, it will just help a whole generation of young artists to get out there before having to wait their turn. I like that model."

More to like: In an effort to keep NEXT affordable to gallerists who are just getting their feet wet, exhibiting is cheap. "Really cheap," Gupta emphasizes. Booth space costs $25 a square foot, almost half of the cost of square footage at Art Chicago. But wait! It gets cheaper. NEXT newcomer Robin Juan, director and co-founder of Logan Square-based HungryMan Gallery, scored 175 square feet of exhibition space for about $1,000. Part of that discount means HungryMan will set up shop in a corner of the area of NEXT designated Goffo (Italian for "awkward"), primarily reserved for artists' books, small-press publishers and handmade objects.

NEXT 2010 is HungryMan's first art fair. As Juan explains, the rationale is primarily to show art, not necessarily sell it.

"I was in New York for the Armory Show," Juan says of New York's premier art fair, "and I was really disappointed in the quality of the work. People weren't taking risks, because of the economy and price points. … We're feeling really strongly about not pushing to sell stuff. Our gallery has never been concerned with selling work, as much as promoting the artists that we show."

That kind of thinking — art for art's sake, not necessarily for the collector's benefit — is just one element that sets NEXT apart from more commercially driven fairs such as Art Chicago. Two-time NEXT exhibitor Andrew Rafacz, whose eponymous gallery shares a building with Kavi Gupta's, acknowledges that "art fairs carry galleries through the year, financially. But if you're just selling things, there's got to be something else there."

For Rafacz and many others, that something else is best exemplified in a symposium called Converge Chicago, an open forum to which curators and museum professionals from across the country are invited to hash out relevant arts-related issues, smack in the middle of the exhibit hall. This year's topics range from student-run art spaces to contemporary art in Texas. In Rafacz's opinion, the event has "definitely gotten more substantial and interesting" since its inception at NEXT 2008.

"Often, things like (Converge) reside at some academic conference, whereas NEXT sort of opens it up a bit more democratically, adding a populist perspective," Rafacz says. "At a time when you're starting to see more of like a Kunsthalle model of regional museums that are doing substantial programming, and smaller museums that can afford to take chances that a larger museum wouldn't take, NEXT has really done a great job of addressing that and bringing curators in, as well as critics and historians."

Imagine it: In the dead center of this giant exhibit hall, it's entirely possible that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's visual arts center curator, the founder of Nigeria's center for contemporary art and, well, your mom could get into a heated discussion about the history of exhibition-making. Tune in at 5:30 p.m. May 1.

And then there are the Spaniards. In addition to Converge Chicago and the Goffo exhibitors, NEXT is dedicating a special section to emerging galleries from Spain in a niche showcase dubbed the Spanish Edge. Represented among them are exhibitors from Gijon, Palma, Murcia and Santander — cities we rarely hear about, let alone from which we've seen art.

Art galleries, museums

Final Friday, gallery crawl, 5-6 p.m., at Ulrich Museum of Art, WSU (School of Art & Design MFA Thesis Exhibition reception); 5-7 p.m. at Steckline Gallery, De Mattias Fine Arts Center, Newman University (Annie Strader reception); 5-7 p.m. at Exploration Place , 300 N. McLean Blvd. (John Well); 5-8 p.m. at Artworks, Piccadilly Square, 7724 E. Central, Suite 300 (reception for artist Richard Crowson/music by Karen and Richard Crowson); 5-9 p.m. at Springpark Gallery , Happiness Plaza, 3555 E. Douglas (George Bair/others); 5-9 p.m. at Beadazzled Art Glass Studio, 307 N. Mead (John Q); 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Riney Fine Arts Gallery, Riney Arts Center, Friends University (Friends University Student and Faculty Art Show reception); 5:30-9 p.m. at Pea Pod Consignment Gallery, Three Pea, 1646 E. Second St. (Jack Huber/Susan Glecier/Marvin Chiles/Mid-America Fine Arts works); 5:30-9 p.m. at West Side Baptist Church, 304 S. Seneca (Mike Fallier); 5:30-10 p.m. at CityArts, 334 N. Mead (various artists); 6-8 p.m. at Metro-Meridian Alternative High School, 301 S. Meridian ("Our Nest is Best" student exhibit); 6-9 p.m. at Artifacts, 4729 E. Douglas ("Curt Clonts: The Bird's Eye View of Colored Air"); 6-9 p.m. at Blue Swallowtail Studio, 1712 W. Douglas (Coral Hartl reception/make a glass pendant night, $10); 6-9 p.m. at Sandbar Trading, 922 E. Douglas (Native American artists); 6-9 p.m. at United Country Real Estate, 509 E. Douglas (Ann Zoglman/Aurelia Denny/Esther Blackburn/Carol Robbins reception); 6-9 p.m. at Art and Frame, 2251 N. Maize Road (Frank Martinez/Rita Zaudke reception); 6-9 p.m. at Picture Framing & More, 323 N. Mead (Martin Rodriguez); 6-10 p.m. at Gallery XII, 412 E. Douglas — (John Ellert/Don Lind reception); 6-10 p.m. at WSU Shift Space Gallery, 800 E. Third St. ("Visible Boys & Other Monsters"/MFA Thesis Exhibition reception); 6-10 p.m. at Jones Gallery at Positive Directions, 414 S. Commerce (Sisterhood of Men presents "Misery Loves Company"/music by Anti-Bacterial Cereal); 6-10 p.m. at Old Town Ballroom, 630 E. Douglas (dance party and art by Aaron Baird/Ryan Rhan/Travis Hinnen); 6-10 p.m. at Bob Schwan Studios, 111 S. Ellis (Bob Schwan/Brian Hinkle/Michael Roach reception); 6-10 p.m. at Rock Island Studios, 338 N. Mead (Natalie Malone/Paige Gillenwater/Kirstan Hanson/Taylor Munroe, music by the Valley Center High School Jazz Band); 6-11 p.m. at Bella Luz, 300 N. Mead (15 Kansas artists); 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Artists at Old Town and Upfront Gallery, 412 E. Douglas (various artists); 6:30-10 p.m. at Shopkeepers Gallery, Hewitt's Antiques, 228 N. Market (closing reception, North High Senior Art Portfolios); 6:30-10 p.m. at Mead Street Gallery and Gifts, 121 N. Mead, Suite 107 (Janet Landrum reception); 6:30-10:30 p.m. at Prairie Vistas Gallery, 151 N. Rock Island, Suite 1D (John Morrison); 7-8:30 p.m. at The Frame Guild, 506 E. Douglas (Maize High School Juried Senior Art Show & Scholarship Competition); 7-9 p.m. at Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main (Steve Perry); 7-10 p.m. at The Art of Healing, 130 N. St. Francis (Lee Shiney); 7-10 p.m. at The Fiber Studio, 418 Commerce ("Domestic Science and Medical Arts, Peg Bicker and Eric Conrad"); 7-10 p.m. at United Methodist Open Door Resource and Referral Center, Second and Topeka (Renata Britto/Bri Hanschu/Jessica Morton/Tiesha Stewart and live music); 7-10 p.m. at Center Gallery, 111 Ellis (Daniel Farnum/"Ten X Ten" reception); 7-10 p.m. at Fisch Haus, 524 S. Commerce, Project, 1712 E. Douglas, and Kansas African American Museum, 601 N. Water (River City Biennale receptions); 7-10 p.m. at Finn Lofts, 430 S. Commerce (Gary Buettgenbach/Kristin Manning/music by Phil Burress/Bob Hamrick/Jeff Pickering/Ted Farha); 7-11 p.m. at Tangent Lab, Rock Island Market Building, 143 N. Rock Island, Third Floor ( David Murano/Jack Wilson/Emma Murano, with music by Nikki Modelmogg); 7-11 p.m. at Walnut Street Gallery, 112 S. Walnut (Roger Adams encore presenation and silent auction). Free admission and trolley rides to most venues.
Picture Framing #1, Midwest Center for Photography Workshop Series, noon-2 p.m., Center Gallery, 111 S. Ellis. Cost $50. Information, 316-269-1250.
"Womanly Pursuits: Gardening, Writing and Needlework," program by Joyce Suellentrop, 2 p.m., Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, 204 S. Main. Included with admission. Information, 316-265-9314.
Opening reception for "Make it POP!" 2-4 p.m., Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd. Free. Information, 316-268-4921.
"David Salle and the Death of Intent," lecture by Jake Euker, 3 p.m., Fisch Haus, 524 S. Commerce. Free. Information, 316-265-7137.
Opening for six new exhibitions, 4:30-6:30 p.m., Lowell D. Holmes Museum of Anthropology, Neff Hall, WSU. Hours 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri., except holidays. Free. Information, 316-978-3195.
Annie Strader, Art for Lunch Lecture, noon-1 p.m., Steckline Gallery, De Mattias Fine Arts Center, Newman University. Free. Light lunch available to first 20 guests. Information, 316-942-4291, ext. 2483, online at
"James McNeill Whistler: His Etchings," video, 12:30 p.m., Wichita Art Museum, 1400 W. Museum Blvd. Included with admission. Information, 316-268-4921.
"Armida," live New York Metropolitan Opera simulcast for The Met: Live in HD Series, noon, Louise C. Murdock Theatre, 20th Century Center, 536 N. Broadway. Tickets $18, $12 for students at Information, 316-263-1665.
A Tribute to Benny Goodman, Wichita Symphony Orchestra Pops Concert with the Dave Bennett Band, 8 p.m., Century II Convention Hall. Tickets $5-$40 at, or by calling 316-267-7658.
Concert Band, 3 p.m., Rose Window Plaza, Friends University. Free. Information, 316-295-5537.
Nova Deco, violin duo recital, 4:30 p.m., Visitors Center, Old Cowtown Museum, 1865 Museum Blvd. Free; donations accepted for the scholarship program of the France Committee of the Wichita Area Sister Cities. Information, 316-685-6134.
Chamber Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, spring concert, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th, North Newton. Free. Information, 316-284-5281.
"A ... My Name is Alice," musical revue, 8 p.m. today-Sat., Wichita Community Theatre, 258 N. Fountain. Contains adult content. Tickets $12, $10 for military, seniors and students. Information, 316-686-1282.
"Curtain Up!" musical, 7:30 p.m. today-Sat., De Mattias Performance Hall, Newman University. Tickets $8, $5 for students. Information, 316-942-4291.
"Junie B. Jones & A Little Monkey Business," children's musical-comedy, through June 12, Crown Uptown Professional Children's Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Matinee buffet 11:15 a.m. Fri.-Sat. Additional matinees added on select Mon.-Wed.; call for availability. Tickets $8.95. Information, 316-681-1566, online at
"Kyle & Monte: The Musical! The Men, the Myth, the Medleys" musical-comedy revue, through May 29, Cabaret Oldtown, 412 1/2 E. Douglas. Shows 8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., doors open at 7. Tickets $18. Reservations recommended by calling 316-265-4400.
"Sedgwick County Bandstand," melodrama followed by the Party Nights Country Style Musical Comedy Revue, through May 22, Mosley Street Melodrama, 234 N. Mosley. Buffet 6:15 p.m. Thu-Sat., curtain at 7:50. Dinner/show $26; show only $16. Discounts available. Reservations, 316-263-0222.
"Church Basement Ladies: A Second Helping," musical-comedy, through June 13, Crown Uptown Theatre, 3207 E. Douglas. Buffet 6 p.m. Thu.-Sat., doors open at 5:45; buffet 4:15 p.m. Sun., doors open at 4. Matinee buffet 11:15 a.m. Thu., May 6, 13, 20 and 27, June 3; doors open at 11. Tickets $26.95-$33.95, $14.95 for children 12-under. Information, 316-681-1566, online at
Shock the Yard Midwest Step Show, competition, 7 p.m., the Orpheum, 200 N. Broadway. Tickets $10 at Select-A-Seat outlets, and by calling 316-755-SEAT.
"Visitors From Philadelphia," "Visitors From Chicago," and "Christmas Spirits," student-directed one-act plays, 7 p.m., Krehbiel Auditorium, Bethel College, 300 E. 27th, North Newton. Free. Information, 316-284-5281.
"The Father," drama, 7:30 p.m. Wed.-May 7, 2 and 7:30 p.m. May 8, 2 p.m. May 9, Welsbacher Theatre, WSU Metropolitan Complex, 5015 E. 29th St. North. For mature audiences. Tickets $10, $6 for students. Box office, 316-978-3233.
Books, lectures
Mikrokosmos Reading, Wichita State University literary magazine, 6 p.m., Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. Free. Information, 316-682-1181.
James Trotter, book-signing by the author of "You Must: Basic Rules for Living the Best Life You Can," 2-4 p.m., Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. Free. Information, 316-682-1181.
Anche Min, reading and book-signing by the author of "Pearl of China," 7 p.m., Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. Free. Information, 316-682-1181.
Mike Smith, book-signing by the author of "Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather," 7-9 p.m., Watermark Books, 4701 E. Douglas. Free. Information, 316-682-1181.