The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco has announced that Colin B. Bailey will be its new director, after 15 months without a leader.
From the NY Times: "After 15 months without a director, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco announced Wednesday that the board has chosen Colin B. Bailey, a deputy director at the Frick Collection in New York, as the new chief. Mr. Bailey said in an interview that he is excited about his new position and unfazed about the turmoil among the staff that the museums have been experiencing.
In the past year, the museums have gone through bitter labor negotiations, a string of dismissals of senior staff, and pointed criticism of the board president, Diane Wilsey, who has been accused of exercising too much control over daily operations."
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (YBCA) and Art Practical are thrilled to announce that Chris E. Vargas is the YBCA Community Engagement Artist in Residence 2013.
Selected by a panel of jurors comprised of YBCA Department of Community Engagement staff, Art Practical contributors, and community stakeholders, Vargas was among a pool of 125 applicants and was one of three finalists; Xandra Ibarra and Carrie Leilam Love were the other two finalists. The residency will begin on April 1 and culminate on June 30, 2013; Vargas, who receives a $10,000 grant as part of the residency, will work with the Department of Community Engagement throughout the spring to produce programs that will reach both YBCA’s constituencies and new audiences. The residency will also include a feature-length profile and an artist project on Art Practical.
Vargas is a film and video maker based in Oakland, CA, whose thematic interests include queer radicalism, transgender hirstory, and imperfect role models. He earned his MFA in Art Practice from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2011. Since 2008, he has been making, in collaboration with Greg Youmans, the web-based trans/cisgender sitcom Falling In Love...with Chris and Greg. Episodes of the series have screened at numerous film festivals and art venues, including MIX NYC, SF Camerawork, and the Tate Modern. With Eric Stanley, Vargas co-directed the movie Homotopia (2006) and its feature-length sequel Criminal Queers (2012), which have been screened at Palais de Tokyo, LACE, Centre for Contemporary Arts Glasgow, and the New Museum, among other venues.
After over a year and a half without a leader, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit has appointed Elysia Borowy-Reeder as its executive director.
From the NY Times: "Detroit might not be doing so well – it was placed this month under the control of an emergency manager as it tries to stave off financial default. But its contemporary-art scene is thriving and on Tuesday the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit announced that it had selected a new director after more than a year and a half without a permanent leader. Elysia Borowy-Reeder, who was most recently the director of the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh, N.C., where she focused on strengthening that museum’s education programs, will take over in early April."
Today was the first day of oral arguments for the landmark gay marriage case in the Supreme Court.
From the NY Times: "As the Supreme Court on Tuesday weighed the very meaning of marriage, several justices seemed to have developed a case of buyer’s remorse about the case before them. Some wondered aloud if the court had moved too fast to address whether gay and lesbian couples have a constitutional right to marry.
'I just wonder if this case was properly granted,' said Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, who probably holds the decisive vote."
Chicago public schools officials have ordered teachers to remove Persepolis from its classrooms, an autobiographical graphic novel by Iranian author and filmmaker Marjane Satrapi.
From Salon: "On March 14, the Chicago Public School system ordered a district-wide ban on Marjane Satrapi’s critically acclaimed graphic novel Persepolis, citing concerns over 'graphic illustrations and language,' 'developmental preparedness' and 'student readiness.'
Satrapi’s bestselling novel, which in 2007 was adapted to film, is part political history and part memoir, and recounts the author’s experiences as a girl growing up in Iran during an unsure era of Marxism, war and increasingly Western influences. Ironically, the book revolves around issues of identity, freedom and expression."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be open seven days a week, started July 1st. It has been closed on Mondays since 1971.
From Artforum: "The Metropolitan Museum of Art will now be open seven days a week, effective July 1...Said director Thomas Campbell: 'Art is a seven-day-a-week passion and we want the Met to be accessible whenever visitors have the urge to experience this great museum. Last year we had a record-breaking attendance of 6.28 million visitors and yet were turning away many thousands on Mondays, when we have traditionally been closed.' The museum will now be closed only three days of the year: Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day."
The Santa Barbara Museum of Art has received a gift of $650,000 to support its curator of contemporary art.
From Noozhawk: "The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is pleased to announce that a gift of $655,000 was recently pledged by an anonymous donor to help support the position of the curator of contemporary art, to be distributed over the next five years. Julie Joyce is the esteemed beneficiary of this generous gift as SBMA’s current curator of contemporary art since 2008."
The LA MoCA now says it wishes to remain an independent museum, in an apparent reversal after rumors of a merger with LACMA.
From Artforum: "Just days after news broke the Los Angeles County Museum of Art officially proposed to acquire the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the latter’s board has released a statement declaring that it remains committed to preserving LA MoCA’s independence: 'The board is in agreement that the best future for LA MoCA would be as an independent institution. The board understands that this will require a significant increase in LA MoCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve.' Though the details of LACMA’s proposal weren’t made public, LA MoCA reportedly initiated negotiations, in stark contrast to the board’s latest position."
The FBI says it knows who pulled off the infamous 1990 Boston art heist– and that it might be able to find the stolen art.
From the LA Times: "As far as crimes go, the heist itself was a work of art. On March 18, 1990, two men in police uniforms talked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, where they tied up the security guards. After disabling the security cameras, they proceeded to make off with 13 works valued at $500 million.
The theft has flummoxed investigators for 23 years -- a streak the Federal Bureau of Investigation is now asking the public to help break.
On Monday, officials revealed that they think they know the identities of the two men who took the art -- which included works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Degas -- and that the art may still be in the Northeast."
NADA has announced the galleries that will be participating in its second New York City art fair, NADA NYC.
From ARTINFO: "Today the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) announced the galleries that will be participating in its second New York City fair, slated to coincide with Frieze New York’s sophomore outing in May. The more than 60 participating galleries that will take over the Basketball City complex on the East River’s Pier 36 skew heavily toward the typical Lower East Side and Brooklyn set, including regulars like Lisa Cooley, Feature Inc., Interstate Projects, and more, but also New York City art blog Art F City (formerly Art Fag City) and a couple of local non-profits:SculptureCenter and Independent Curators International. The international exhibitors include Sweden’s LOYAL, Tel Aviv’s Braverman Gallery, and Temnikova & Kasela out of Estonia." See link for the full list.
Anthony Huberman has been named as the new director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts.
From the CCA press release: "Anthony Huberman, director of The Artist’s Institute in New York, has been named the new director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, it was announced today by Stephen Beal, president of California College of the Arts (CCA).
Huberman will be responsible for the development and presentation of exhibitions and public programs in venues on CCA’s San Francisco campus, including the college’s new facility on Kansas Street, which includes the Logan Galleries and a dynamic event space. Huberman will start at CCA in August 2013."
Venice Biennale has announced the list of artists for their 2013 exhibition.
From Gallerist NY: "Big news! The artists participating in Massimiliano Gioni’s Venice Biennale exhibition, 'The Encyclopedic Palace,' were just announced. The show, which will run from June 1 to Nov. 24, will feature a dizzying array of artists (as well as cultural items like 'Shaker Gift Drawings' and 'Haitian Vodou Flags')." See link for the full list.
Engineers from UCLA are in the process of studying stability of the Watts Towers in LA.
From The LA Times: "The Watts Towers in South Los Angeles will be the subject of a new study conducted by experts from UCLA to determine the stability of the historic sculptures, which were completed by Simon Rodia in 1954. The study, now underway, is expected to be completed by early next year.
Chief among the concerns are cracks that have plagued the towers for many years. Sensors have been placed around the site to measure variables such as wind and sun exposure. Experts are also measuring the effects that earthquakes have had on the sculptures."
The widely discussed merger between MOCA and LACMA might not come to fruition.
From The NY Times: "Struggling to maintain its independence in the face of dwindling resources, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is close to working out a five-year agreement with the National Gallery of Art in Washington to collaborate on programming, research and exhibitions, according to the chairman of the Gallery’s board of trustees.
Any agreement would not include financial or fund-raising assistance for the Los Angeles museum, leaving its fiscal problems unsolved. But an agreement could help lift its own efforts to raise money and ward off, at least temporarily, a merger with a wealthier and more powerful neighbor: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art or the University of Southern California."
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has announced he is recording a heavy metal album, with song titles like "The Great Firewall of China."
From The NY Times: "When Chinese authorities jailed the dissident sculptor Ai Weiwei for 81 days in 2011, they may have created a monster, of sorts: now Mr. Ai has announced that he is recording a heavy metal album, and he has traced the roots of his interest in music to his incarceration, when his guards asked him to sing, and he realized that he knew only Chinese revolutionary songs.
The enbalmed body of Venezuela's former president Hugo Chavez is going to become an exhibit at the Military Museum in Caracas.
From Voice of America: "Venezuela's Vice President Nicolas Maduro has announced that the late President Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and his body displayed forever in a Caracas military museum. Mr. Maduro compared the late president to other revolutionary leaders whose bodies also have been preserved, including Russia's Lenin and China's Mao. He said President Chavez will lie in state for seven more days to give more Venezuelans the chance to pay their respect."
Talks are underway for LACMA to take over MOCA in a merger of two L.A. art giants.
From the LA Tmes: "The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has made a formal proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, which has been struggling with financial troubles and staff and board defections.
LACMA Director Michael Govan and the two co-chairs of his board made the offer in a Feb. 24 letter to the MOCA board co-chairs, laying out the rationale for an acquisition.
The letter said that LACMA would preserve MOCA’s two downtown locations and operate them under the MOCA name, according to people who have seen the letter but were not authorized to discuss it publicly."
Artist Duke Riley is giving away prints at the Armory Show– you just have to make them yourself.
From ARTINFO: "Budget buyers looking for a bargain at this year’s Armory Show should head straight to the “Focus:USA” section, where Duke Riley has set up a makeshift printing facility in his solo booth at Magnan Metz, and is giving away prints for free, the only catch being that you have to make them yourself — and wait in line a considerable while in order to do so. 'Given the financial exclusivity of most of the works exhibited in art fairs, I decided to give the print away for free,' Riley wrote on Facebook this morning. 'Its exclusivity is of a different nature. The catch is you have to be willing to wait in line and take the time to print it yourself, on site.'"
The Gold Rush-era jewelry box that was stolen from the Oakland Museum in January has been recovered.
From the SJ Mercury: "A Gold Rush-era jewelry box swiped from the Oakland Museum of California in a brazen January burglary has been recovered, and a parolee with 10 prior felony convictions has been charged with the crime.
'We were so happy. We thought we were in the movie "National Treasure,"' Oakland police investigating Officer Michael Igualdo said Tuesday in announcing the discovery and arrest at a museum news conference.
The box, valued at $805,000, was recovered Monday at a business police declined to name. The box may have been damaged, but the extent of any possible damage has yet to be determined."
The Bay Bridge will get its chance to shine tonight as it gets transformed into the world's largest L.E.D. light sculpture.
From the NY Times: "For decades the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge has been considered, when it is considered at all, as a headache for commuters and a place not to be in an earthquake.But that reputation is set to change Tuesday night when the artist Leo Villareal will switch on what is being billed as the world’s largest L.E.D. light sculpture. The public art installation, “The Bay Lights,” will illuminate the bridge’s 1.8-mile western span with 25,000 undulating white lights.
'My inspiration comes from the motion around the bridge, the kinetic activity of boats, water, clouds, traffic,' Mr. Villareal said."