Saturday, April 30, 2016

This Purple Rain Weekend, 4/30/2015

The last of the nice days (temperature-wise) are running out....


 Check their website for times/locations.


At the Cider Press Cafe on 600 blk of Central

Margaret Juul's Waterscapes and new works, return to The Cider Press Café, St Pete for an encore. If you missed these amazing paintings the first time, this is your chance to see them and support our local artists

Join us for our 4th annual Art on the Bay student show. Students from Beth Kokol's classes will showcase their work in our gallery. This is the perfect opportunity to see - and perhaps buy - what your friends and family have been working on!

Artists' Reception: Friday, April 29th; 5:00 - 9:00 p.m.

Gallery hours: Saturday, April 30 - Sunday, May 1st;
10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.



The evening’s discussion with Matthew Mullarkey, PhD, the Doctor of Business Administration Program Director at USF, and Susan Johnson, Theo Wujcik’s widow, will be moderated by artist Shane Pendley.

In this discussion, Theo Wujcik’s creative process and the importance of creativity’s impact on the success of a business will be brought to the audience’s attention.

Matthew Mullarkey, who holds a PhD in Business Administration, will express his interest in the archival and documentation side of Theo Wujcik’s art. Dr. Mullarkey will tie in his research on the correlation between the creative arts and successful businesses.

Susan Johnson, the current keeper of Theo’s legacy, will provide an insight to Theo’s past. She will walk the audience through Theo’s inspirations and the process behind his artwork.

Shane Pendley, owner of Parus Solution Marketing and a successful painter, will be facilitating the conversation and adding his unique perspective on combining creativity and business to the dialogue.

Theo Wujcik, one of the Tampa Bay area’s best-known artists, will be the topic of discussion. Theo was prolific, experimental, and completely dedicated to art, producing an exceptional and eclectic body of paintings and fine graphic art (drawing and printmaking).

Cocktails will be provided!

RSVP to add your name to our VIP guest list!

*FB limits the number of people we can invite, so PLEASE share this event with your friends!*


 Next door to Duncan Mc Clellan Glassworks

A Night at Duncan McClellan’s gallery - Art, Cocktails & A Movie
Hosted by: Duncan McClellan & Exquisite Corpse Int'l

Saturday April 30th, 2016 will be another magical night to remember. SAVE THE DATE. You will get the opportunity to share with like minded people in the perfect environment home, studio & gallery of Duncan McClellan.

Start the evening experiencing Duncan McClellans studio/gallery by admiring the superb art work. All work Exquisitly created by artist from all around the world.

There will be a cash bar and great weather. Once the sun sets The movie “Collab” .

“COLLAB” Directed & Produced by Justin Mullally and Ann Marie Cash Levasseur based on Exquisite Corpse International 2015 game.

The game was played in 2D (on canvas) and 3D mixed media sculpture . Based on research done by Exquisite Corpse International board members, the game has never been played in mixed media sculpture and never at the same caliber.

The game is an Initiative that St. Petersburg can call their own. By attending this magnificent “ Art, cocktails & A movie” you will get a sense of what the BUZZ around town is all about. You be the judge!
What to Expect:
7:00 - 8:30 pm - Time for Cocktails, Art & Friends
8:30 - 9:00 pm - “Collab” 30 minute documentary
9:00 - 9:30 pm - last call

There is a $10.00 fee. The entrance fee will go towards the game.
Beer & Wine cash bar and A VERY SPECIAL Food Truck will also be available.

For more information about the ECI game visit or email



On convenience versus growth.

I rarely review rent-a-wall galleries, though I frequent a few. I think of them as a collective of artists pooling their money, time and energy to insure exhibition space. The convenience lies in guaranteed exposure and accessibility to potential viewers/buyers. Most of these galleries are rarely vetted, never seem to have a persistent theme and resemble scrambled mosaics. This is not to say that there aren't good works to be found in these spaces. Most simply rent the wall to anyone with the money to do so. It's a step up from a club, and lets you avoid finding spaces and negotiating to show your art.

A vanity show is similar, except you pay  gallery a lot more for a solo show. These are usually a very good way to dump excess inventory, or for artists who work in spasms, with great bursts of output, and long periods of inactivity, which make it hard to satisfy normal gallerists. The domain of good (they have to be to afford this) but not great artists, often with strong decorative aspects. Probably the worst of these I ever saw was the Peter Max at The Morean Arts Center. It was like walking into a used car dealership. Painful to see the "show", which was weak and disgustingly commercial.
Art brokers cater to artists by finding unorthodox spaces (places where art is normally not shown) which they negotiate for, usually under the guise of providing free decoration, and potential customers, secure wall space, send out usually lame press releases, and take around 20 per cent from the sales. It is better than the 40% plus that galleries take, and another way of collectivizing - and avoiding the footwork it takes to secure a show and/or establish a relationship with a gallery. But the unorthodoxy of the space often results in low attendance. The convenience of this is significant, particularly well-suited to part-time artists and those in the netherworld between being hobbyists and transitioning up.

The very things these methods of showing free you from are extremely important things every artist should learn to do for themselves. Every artist should learn his local art landscape, the hierarchy of exhibition spaces and their character. Not to mention location and which venues their work fits into. All artists should know the relevant media in whatever area they exhibit, and how to write a proper press release. Postponing the acquisition of these skills limits your progress.

                                                                          --- Luis

Thursday, April 28, 2016

The mess many artists leave behind. Your estate.

" I mean they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing, and a second time when someone says your name for the  last time."        ---- Banksy

I have a friend who is a painter. Her mother, also a painter, recently passed away. My friend told me that when she went to her Mom's house to sort things out, she discovered hoarded paintings in the garage, closets, under the beds, etc. 200 plus. She was totally overwhelmed. After some thought, she ended up picking out a handful she wanted to keep, and most, if not all the others, were donated into good homes.
The burden upon those who survive us is emotionally substantial. Estate planning (no, I am not selling any, nor are there any advertisers on this blog) can help ease the frequent terrible squabbles that often happen after someone dies. Artists have other concerns besides the usual inheritance/property issues which any lawyer can help you with.
It is probably a good idea to hold on to some works, and reduce (sell) the inventory. Maybe destroy the weaker pieces. You will be known by what is shown. Photographers, whose output tends to be prodigious, sometimes do what is called a Final Edit, where they pare down what they want to be known for, and burn the rest.
Are you leaving archives? Box them, or find someone to help you do so. Don't overdo it, and remember the bigger they are, the less likely they are to find a home without a major benefactor, something few artists can muster. Number your works. This serves dual purposes. It helps prevent knock-offs and fakes, because most are copied from photographs, and your ID number will be on the verso of the work, invisible to copiers. It can be referenced and serves to authenticate. It also allows one to make a very clear inventory - and designate which of your heirs get which pieces and which gallerists get to sell it. 

                                                                                           ---- Luis

Monday, April 25, 2016

What remains: Theo Wucjik

“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you're there."
                                                                              Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451


East wall of Theo Wujcik's studio/loft, with paintings stacked in racks.

A recent conversation with Kirk Ke Wang at Tempus about Theo's estate and the Creative Loafing article on Susan Johnson in the Ybor issue created the sense of urgency that brought me here. The two interlocking hearts graffiti are gone, as is the 'theo' that was on the lower right of that big, black steel industrial door at the entrance of Theo Wujcik's studio/loft in Ybor City. I tap on the door, hear Susan Johnson saying something from the inside, and the door opens. My eyes need a minute to adjust and the space is much bigger than I remembered. The skylights give it a kind of medieval religious painting aura in daytime. I am also greeted by Frankie's effervescent, well-behaved brindle Pit Bull.

SE corner of the studio.

I knew Theo mostly through the art shows and followed his moves for decades through the Tampa Bay area Art scene. Personal note: I own one little thing he gave me, and a portrait of him that at one time he expressed great interested in acquiring, going so far as to offer a trade (which I should have taken him up on). The story of his legacy and what will happen to it is important. Theo was one of a handful of local artists whose work has been shown nationally and is in the collections of several major Museums. Theo left behind several dozen works. They are mostly stacked in the wooden racks along the East wall of the studio, a few pulled out, including his last painting.

Susan Johnson was Theo's second wife and mother of his third daughter, Frankie, and his caregiver during his battle with cancer. She tells me in an anguish-tinted and loving voice that during that time "We had many good days". Her voice has that terse grounding that survivors' voices do.

The works in her possession are presently worth a considerable amount of money and are part of the inheritance of Susan and Theo's three daughters (two by his first wife). They are also his personal -  and a significant part of this city's - cultural legacy/history. It's complicated. Susan tells me she reached out to USF, where Theo worked as a beloved professor until his retirement, TMA, and the City of Tampa, and they have surprisingly shown no interest. This is not the only time I have personally heard of the apparent disinterest of local institutions as to the historic legacy of the 70's to the present. I have also heard the exact same thing about Saint Petersburg. I am aware of the financial pressures on institutions, the difficulties of raising funds, and that everyone is hanging by a thread, but this is a part of our history: work that garnered major national attention, people that forged present-day Tampa culture and will play a major role in its future. The City thinks nothing about dropping 20 plus million into a ferry; this could be done for a fraction of that. It's about more than Susan Johnson and Theo's daughters.


Now in the Studio area in the back of the space, I'm trying to grasp the amount of work, the creative outpouring that took place here. The cat on another table is so quiet and still it looks like a cat from a Balthus painting. Susan pulls down a box from shelves full of boxes.

Theo's archives. 

Theo kept meticulous, unusually complete records, artifacts, found objects, photographs, you name it. And diaries. Details and documentations, the rare kind of provenance that makes an art historian's heart race. Susan knows the contents. She has organized the archives, which go back to the Tamarind days. It's not just the history of his work and life, but that of an artist and his time. At the bottom of one box I spy a weather-worn faded Madonna peppered with nicks, hands fused in fervent prayer, and a very small doll of a man that appears, much larger, in at least a couple of his paintings. There are detailed records of works, who they were sold or given to, ......drawings.....then Susan pulls out a yellowing, delicate stencil for the chainlink paintings. I almost lose it upon seeing this, but press the camera to my face and loosen a too-long string of exposures. Memory lingers but the moment doesn't.

Perhaps a Museum of Modernist Art, muses Susan. Granted, it is not a good time for a new museum, but it is not a bad idea. She mentions several names of other artists that would be a good fit, and I agree. The significance of all this is overwhelming. I can only imagine how it must be for her. The lease on the space goes until the end of the year. I take some pictures, nowhere nearly enough (I could spend a long time here), but just enough to give an idea of what is here. I think all of this needs to be digitized immediately, before anything happens (but that would also require money), not just to make it accessible but to preserve its integrity. Frankly, I'm amazed no one has already swooped in and cherry-picked from the works.

Susan tells me she's not good at asking for money, a skill that is hypercritical at this juncture with eight months before the end of the lease. Tremendous pressure. She needs interns (a grand opportunity for any budding art history student), a grants writer, and a fund raiser. Plus as time passes, there is the inevitability of chronological fading. Perhaps a crowdfunding effort. Theo had a lot of friends who know their way around a camera.

Two early Theo Wujcik paintings.

Ideally, a donor can be found to purchase the archives and put them in care of a Museum. Struck with grief and the urgency of the situation, I sort of babble through a conversation with Susan a bit before leaving. On the way out, daylight hits me like a solar avalanche and my thoughts turn to Tampa's former Black Art Museum, a two-story gem of interesting, historical, good-quality works that was bypassed decades ago. When it fell on hard times, the city of Tampa just couldn't find the 30K to rescue it. The Board of Directors, wanting to preserve its integrity, sold it to Baltimore, if I remember, where it became a successful attraction there.





Friday, April 22, 2016

Jobs in local Museums.

Three Bay Area museums have openings for staff.
There are quite a few opportunities for museum-related positions in the Bay area right now if you have the right skills. Florida Holocaust Museum, St. Petersburg Museum Registrar Raiser’s Edge Development Specialist Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art, Tarpon Springs Museum Curator Museum of Science…Read mo…

The Missing Picasso.

The case of the billionaire, the maid, the Miami art dealer and the missing Picasso.
Billionaire socialite Wilma Tisch sued over a Picasso on sale, which she says was stolen from her Scarsdale home "unbeknownst to her."

Roy Striker's own way of cancelling negatives.

Roy Striker ' s way of editing.
Spend some time browsing the 145,000 negatives at the Library of Congress from the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and an odd pattern will emerge.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vanessa Diaz installations at St Pete Museum of Fine Art.

Vanessa Diaz "Beginning at the Cornice, not the Foundation" opening at the MFA last night. With Hal Freedman, Steven Kenny and others. The artist alters interiors with clever, fairly subtle additions. I actually missed one! It felt like being in one of those cartoons of the "What's missing in this picture" variety. Very meditative.


Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A word for non-profits.

A word for non profits. I hear a lot of complaints from job applicants,
Hi everyone. I am in Washington DC giving a keynote at the Nonprofit Talent and Culture Summit on the importance of our sector’s investment in our most valuable…

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

How ink is made. Gooey deliciousness.

How ink is made.
[Chromatic, gooey porn]
A Chief Ink Maker shows how color and ink is created from the raw ingredients — powder, varnish, and passion. And my god it is beautiful.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Perfect SHORT Press release (The one that gets put up and widely read).

The perfect press release. All in poster form, in a very visual package, all the information a potential goer needs. I see so many lengthy written out, derailed explanations that drone on in FB...with the visual part wasted or empty. Make a poster, have it relate to the event. Have it in an attractive form, with the info someone needs to know and go there. And that includes the address and time!

Camera porn. Listing for only 48k...
The XF 100MP Camera System is the culmination of 20 years dedication to digital image quality. The XF 100MP Camera System creates the ultimate experience for professional photographers who demand for the best in image quality and creative…

Vincent Kral Vinstagram show at Tempus Gallery

The Vinstagram show at Tempus. Vince Vincent J Kral is etched in my mind at one of Maida Millan 's legendary shows at Santaella. Here was Vince dressed up as Princess Leia, playing a passionate guitar. The artist has a series of phone photographs at Tempus. His Force of Nature personality (he *is* larger than life), incisive observation, sense of color, earthiness, love for his daughters and life runs clearly through his work, including these IG photographs.

Hildebrando Bellizio @ Tempus Gallery

Venezuelan-born, Seattle-based Hildebrando Bellizio ' s "Desorden" at Tempus. Fueled by punk posters, zines and skater culture (and perhaps fine art), his works are simultaneously ecstatic and methodical. Self-mocking, too. A primal energy, personal and tribal, runs through his work. A very good show.
[And if my friend Erika Schneider says it's great, we should all see it. Maybe twice!]

Happy Second Birthday at Carla Bristol 's Gallerie 909!
With everyone, and a celebratory show by Atlanta based painter/muralist Melissa Mitchell.

Andreas Goff doing live sculpting at the 909 2nd Birthday party.

Budding artist working on community Melissa Mitchell mural.

Artist Melissa Mitchell with her work.