Congratulations Theodore Harris+Douglas Witmer! Plus, we brake for dreamy pictures+Martin Creed’s whimsical The Back Door, And Finally, Opportunities and Artblog news

Today's News contains some dreamy pictures and whimsical videos along with a couple great opportunities and congratulations. -- Artblog editor


Armchair travelers! I am with you. Longing for travel, I return to pictures of previous trips, like this one of the Rapeseed flowers growing in Germany seen from a speeding TGV train going to Paris. (Rapeseed plants are used to make canola oil.) I told you about the trip in 2013. The colors are somehow cheerful and the suggestion of open space is refreshing for urban eyeballs. Hope you enjoy this fantasy image at a time when we all need some beauty and dreaming. Here’s the post.

travel picture of rapeseed plants, used to make canola oil
Rapeseed plants growing in Germany. Canola oil is made from these beauties. Photo by Roberta, taken from a speeding TGV train between Karlsruhe Germany and Paris France in 2013

Artblog mascotMacarena the cat is in the great beyond, but I think we need a mascot, don’t you? I nominate the bunny pictured below, who hopped on through the Artblog neighborhood last weekend. How about we call the bunny E. Hopper.

Rabbit on driveway
Artblog mascot? I nominate this charming rabbit.

Gallery News – Pentimenti Gallery will be closed for renovation until Aug. 25. From Christine Pfister, Gallery Director:

We really can’t believe that August is almost here! We’ve had a great start of the summer so far, but now it is time for renovation and the gallery staff to indulge in a little rest.

The gallery is closed to the public until August 25.
While we are closed to visitors, please send any inquiries via email

Enjoy your summer and be prepared for some great exhibitions this fall!

Music of a dreamy variety is always in order. Here are two brief videos from the exceedingly fun and dreamy Martin Creed, The Back Door, at the Park Avenue Armory. I suggest you play both videos simultaneously to get the flavor of the installation. If you haven’t experienced it, go. The installation ends Aug. 7.


Friend of Artblog, Douglas Witmer writes about a show he’s organized focusing on abstract art as the antidote to our fractious political season. Read his heartfelt note and click over to Douglas’s curator’s statement for a concise argument for art in the time of chaos and desperation. Click here to read.

Dear Roberta,
The U.S. political conventions have just ended in Philadelphia. And an extended heat wave here has subsided. I’m certain both the weather and the sense of political anxiety will heat up once again quite soon. But in between painting tasks on this cooler day in the studio, my thoughts return to questions I’ve been pondering my whole life:
– How does the contemporary abstract artist embed a personal sense of social responsibility into the artwork?
– Does art making compel the artist to take social action or does social action compel the artist to make the work?
In our time, as art becomes increasingly commodified, I look for any opportunity to do what the museum world calls “outreach” to engage and explore these questions. One such opportunity presented itself just a few days ago, and I jumped on it. The result is an exhibition of 8 artists from around the world whose work I’ve admired for some time. I’m using it to emphasize an idea that reductive abstraction comes from and presents a connected kind of “other-ness” in the world we inhabit, and therein lies an invitation to possibility.

In addition to bringing the works together, I’ve written a pointed statement to accompany the show, which you can read here.

Reductive abstraction in the midst of dark times
Steven Alexander (US), Mary Bucci McCoy (US), Matthew Feyld (CAN) Emma Langridge (AU), Linn Meyers (US), Jon Poblador (US/CN) , Tim Schwartz (US), Nicholas Szymanski (US)
Curated by Douglas Witmer
August 5-22
1001 E 2nd St, 2nd fl
Dayton OH
(…and yes…fans of The Smiths will recognize the source of the exhibition title…)

Congratulations, Theodore Harris, for a terrific and well-deserved shout out in Stan Mir’s thoughtful take on art during the DNC last week. Be sure to scroll to the bottom to catch all the pictures.

From Artblog’s Flora Ward — The artist Fletcher Williams III, who was featured in her post from Charleston is included in a great-sounding exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn. Also in the show is Philadelphia’s Shawn Theodore, who Jennifer interviewed for a podcast earlier this year. From Flora’s note:

I wanted to bring to your attention an exhibition opening at the Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts in Brooklyn, by Charleston local Fletcher Williams III, whom I have written about. Here’s the blurb:

Upcoming Exhibition /
MoCada (Brooklyn NY) August 4th 2016
OFF WHITE – Curated by Akintola Hanif | August 4 – November 6, 2016
Opening Reception on Thursday, August 4 | 7-10PM
Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts

Through photography, film, design, and sculpture, OFF WHITE bears witness to the exclusionary systems of power that simultaneously privilege and ostracize individuals on the condition of race. Together, works by Akintola Hanif, Khalik Allah, Nema Etebar, Shawn Theodore, Fletcher Williams III, Jamel Shabazz, Asif Farooq, and Adrian Franks provide a counter-narrative to implicating the suffering in their own violent oppressions, while challenging the viewer to re-examine inherited and personal notions of responsibility.

Come celebrate the opening of OFF WHITE with the exhibiting artists.
Music by P.U.D.G.E.MENTAL


#1 – Thank you, thank you so much, friends and readers of Artblog, for helping us reach our Board Challenge fundraising goal!   It’s not too late to contribute. Here’s the link to the campaign page.

#1 – I will interview the co-founders and editors of the spunky online arts publication, Curate This, Julius Ferraro and Amanda Wagner, on August 10 at 5:30 PM, in a live Galleries at Moore radio broadcast. Julius and Amanda will be doing a guest-editing spot on Artblog this fall. Last Spring, I did a guest curating spot on Curate This, which featured Beth Heinly and Tyler Kline.

#2 – I was interviewed recently by Matt Kalasky at the Galleries at Moore Mixlr radio, for the series “Art Work.” Matt asked me about the various hats I wear as editor of Artblog and Executive Director of our non-profit, TheArtblog, Inc. Listen to the 25-minute podcast here.


Via Ms. Kari Scott’s WHAT Newsletter
Part-time Graphic Designer (10 hours/week): Feminist Apparel is an independent, feminist clothing company based in Philadelphia, PA (1720 N. 5th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19122). We sell clothing products that promote social justice, raise awareness, and create dialogue. These sales then allow us to put on events and fund activist projects here in our community. Must be proficient in Illustrator and Photoshop, punctual, focused, and take pride in their work. If you’re interested, shoot us an email at with the subject line “(Name): (School Year), Graphic Designer“. (7/15)

Two from the Cultural Alliance Job Bank
Public Installation Guide
The Fabric Workshop and Museum
The Fabric Workshop and Museum (FWM), seeks Public Installation Guides, temporary positions that will be part of a team providing coverage at Municipal Pier 9 for Ann Hamilton: habitus.
Complete information here.

Community Arts Coordinator
University City Arts League
The University City Arts League is seeking a part-time Community Arts Coordinator to maintain and grow our Art in Schools programs, and manage other off-site class and exhibition opportunities.
Complete information here.