Monday, February 18, 2008

For More Inspiration Visit an Icon at National Portrait Gallery: Kate

The National Portrait Gallery is featuring the exhibit "One Life: Kate. A Centennial Celebration," which we were fortunate enough to see last evening. Of all the early year memorabilia (much of it from the Katharine Hepburn Estate) the 1909 silver gelatin of Kate and her brother Tom (and the story interwoven in the photograph) make Ms. Hepburn's rise to fame and her four Oscars all the more glorious.

You'll see photographs and movie posters from African Queen, On Golden Pond, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and Philadelphia Story to name a few. Perhaps the most striking piece in the exhibit is the 1982 oil portrait accomplished by Everett Raymond Kinstler, but you can decide if that or Ms. Hepburn's signature red sweater steals the show.

Need a new muse? See National Geographic Frogs

If you need a new muse, or just a brush with nature, the Frog exhibit over at National Geographic is an absolute must see for kids AND adults! Not only did we learn that the Dart Frog's poison can kill up to 20,000 mice or 10 people, but we awed at the milk frog (picture 4) and jewel frogs (not shown) supplied by Clyde Peeling's Reptiland. The show also features incredibly acute photography from Mark W. Moffett in his exhibition, "Face to Face with Frogs." Runs through May 11, 2008.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Call to DC Art Organizations: Collaborate on Global CHALK4PEACE Event Sept. 19 - 21, 2008

Many in the Washington DC arts community may know Dr. John Aaron, a prior award winning director and curator for the Museum of Modern Arf in Arlington, VA. John's gone on out to California and is now busily spearheading a global non-profit organization called CHALK4PEACE, recently featured in the Chronicle of Philanthropy (9/14/06). Since 2006, John's efforts have contributed to over 12 - 14 football fields worth of original, intergenerational, and inspirational temporary art for the sake of peace.

This year, Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is honored to announce we will be working in conjunction with Dr. Aaron and Ms. Marielle Mariano of Woodlawn Elementary School to promote a concentrated Washington DC effort. Our goal is to help expand the work being conducted by CHALK4PEACE. There is simply no better time (prior to elections) and no better location (the Nation's Capitol) to educate, communicate, participate, and enjoy this great activity.

Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is seeking collaborative partnerships (at no cost) from metropolitan DC area arts organizations, art galleries, artists, and public/non-profit spaces. If you or your organization can offer a physical forum for chalk activities, we need to hear from you. CHALK4PEACE is an event to be held September 19 - 21, 2008 and is best described from the organization's website text (copied in its entirety below.)

More information about CHALK4PEACE is at or Information about Dr. Aaron can be found at and he can be reached at Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is at or

From its beginnings in 2003 in Arlington, VA, as a Sunday sidewalk chalk project for children to its recognition by the Arlington Arts Commission, the DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities, the DC Mayor's Office, the Humanities Project of Arlington and Whole Foods Markets, CHALK4PEACE has grown through the efforts of hundreds of events organizers, teachers, parents, community outreach coordinators, libraries, arts centers and other peace minded individuals and organizations.

The campaign to make CHALK4PEACE worldwide began on July 16, 2005, the day after the first CHALK4PEACE event at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC. John Aaron, the Global Project Founder of CHALK4PEACE and chalk events coordinator, began a print and email campaign, sending out more than 5,000 personalized emails and 6,000 full color brochures about CHALK4PEACE for 2005-6. You may have received one or two along the way...

The global campaign spread coast to coast across the United States, to Cape Town, South Africa and in places in Europe. Last year, more than one hundred individually organized sites with authorized clearances chalked out their messages and visions for a more peaceful planet.
CHALK4PEACE is not encouraged as an anti-war demonstration; rather, it is a creative presentation for young artists of all ages utilizing the theme of Peace.

This year, we expect CHALK4PEACE to grow even larger than last year, as it is now happening on four continents and most of the sites from last year have enlisted others to join in and/or create their own sites. Mr. Aaron is a long time artist, sculptor, painter, educator and events coordinator who is internationally recognized for his contributions to his artforms and for creating the atmosphere conducive to make CHALK4PEACE a global event.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

An Art Advisor & Art Consultant Shares a Week's Activities

We want to continue to keep you updated on our weekly art activities. Below is a list of some of the things Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory spent time on in an effort to continue to position ourselves as your premier source for art advisory and art consultation in the metropolitan Washington DC corridor.

Public Art Coalitions. We researched the Metropolitan Public Art Coalition and did general information collecting on new public art projects. Our focus was on public art policy and private business interest and how that prompts developers to include public art work in their projects. We're also looking at large-scale installation art and examining how public art may be seen as an amenity that helps sell buildings to potential tenants. We're striving to understand where sculpture, art for the public, public art, and installation art co-exist and cross boundaries. We've looked at the Public Monuments and Sculptures Association to get a better handle on what they do, and we're considering a bid for large sculpture works in Florida. We received some very exciting news on two public art work installations where we are waiting for bid closure.

Plane Project. We're preparing to start our awarded public art plane painting project with our Crystal City Flight Planes. We received our vintage luggage tags for Marriott's plane; we re-thought our design for Boeing's plane; and we worked with a local graphics shop to get 3M film ready for the Marine Corps Marathon plane. We viewed some gorgeous photography of human faces by Patrick de Wilde and have contacted his publisher for re-use permissions on the Marine Corps plane. We've been keeping up with the Crystal City's blog on the plane project and we've been collecting our thoughts on how to best proceed.

Art & Science. In conjunction with the above, we read Arakka's statements asserting that 40% of young adults who buy art are art lovers and that youngsters should know art enriches a person's mood and life. Art therapy, he states, is popular globally because it increases your life span. Dr. Gene Cohen, GWU Director of Center on Aging, Health & Humanities would agree. He believes creative activity can stimulate the brain and works to keep people healthy as they age. For more information on art therapy and creativity, see the Society for Arts in Healthcare and the American Art Therapy Association. We'll continue to explore creativity and therapy in the arts, particularly in visionary art. Charles H. Parkhurst said, "The heart has eyes that the brain knows nothing of." Accordingly, this week we're reading 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die by Stephen Farthing and in honor of Black History Month, Life on the Color Line by Gregory Howard Williams. My heart hurts when I physically read both, but for completely different reasons.

Art and Self-Esteem. We began thinking about creating a new published work on Art and Self Esteem - this work would be oriented to middle and high school students to demonstrate how adversity, persistence, and creativity has propelled some of today's world famous artists out of very austere circumstances. The goal is to inspire students to see a world of possibility within themselves, we are collecting well known works in an image library and will explore various publishing opportunties.

Art Consulting. This week, we took a look at Vivienne Lassman's work in Washington, DC; Gerry Weinberg's work in "Secrets of Consulting"; and Eric Vogt's work in "The Art & Architecture of Powerful Questions." We've been watching Gina Hurst's art consultant blog out of Huntsville, Texas (and Gina if you read this, please get a hold of us!) As we went about registering our firm with various association entities, we had to learn about the nuances of SSIC codes and found ourselves as an art advisory/art consultant caught between museum and art galleries at 8412 and business services commercial art at 7336. An art advisory is neither a gallery or commercial art and and an art consultant isn't necessarily a business services firm. What to do? While we leave that on the back burner, we turn our heads towards leading luxury real estate brokerages, land, and commercial developers and are looking at how liaisons with this group can further pave pathways for local artists, gallerists, and art patrons alike.

Advertising & Business Matters. We finalized and received our design for our third mailing campaign; we selected a design for our vehicle advertising; we approved our business checks and checking accounts; and we're networking with the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, the Alexandria Professional Women's Network, the Eisenhower Partnership, and the West End Partnership to understand our place in the local business environment. Beyond local politics, we're gathering information on resources available to small business woman-owned enterprises and their inherent procurement possibilities, grant possibilities, and formal certifications. We're also shopping around for appropriate insurances and dialoguing with the National Association of the Self-Employed (a group that carries formidable health care plans for those who may not have coverage).

Art & Politics. We read with interest several articles on the Presidential candidates and their relative positions in arts policies, one of the better articles is at We did a little reading on democracy, data, and communications. And we voted. We hope you did too! In the scope of issues facing our nation, a candidate's position on arts may not seem up in the top ten list. Voting and volunteering are sure fire ways to engage in effective arts advocacy. If you don't speak up for art when you can, who will? Speaking of which, remember that Arts Advocacy Day with Americans for the Arts is March 31st with the Nancy Hanks Lecture and Emerging Leaders Reception the same day. The Congressional Arts Breakfast follows on April 1, 2008.

Art Competitions. There are two interesting and large dollar figure current art competitions presenting unique challenges, one requires Puerto Rico residency over the past five years and another requires Toronto's Junction neighborhood residency. We had an interesting week trying to work with and find collaborators for these projects. Amazingly, artists seemed more reluctant to collaborate via the Internet (even when big dollars are involved) and we want to take the opportunity to say that many competitions allow artists to enter as a collaborative unit. This is a great way to spread the wealth, spread the success, and spread the shared experience of creating. Sadly, we had more "hits" on an art deco Stendig table and chair set we are selling through Craigslist (which is still available if you're interested). What is the world coming to?

Art Fraud & Art Crimes. With the very sad loss of major art works in Switzerland (and the unbelievable lack of security therein), and the concurrent increases in actual sales dollars over estimates at major art auctions, we spent time understanding in greater detail, the continuing nature of art fraud, art crimes, and underground markets.

As you can see, Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory is busy with arts advising and arts consulting -attending to business matters, and concentrating on our four business art pillars: writing, designing, coaching, and consulting. In the past few weeks, it seems the public arts arena and arts administration have been at the forefront of our activities, but this is all designed to be of greater ultimate service to you. In honor of Valentines Day, doing what you love and loving what you do, we offer these words from Marlene Dietrich. "Love for the joy of loving, and not for the offerings of someone else's heart." Whether you embrace Valentines or are celebrating your own anti-Valentines Day demonstration, always remember that more art is more to love. To Alexander, Matthew, Christian, Lauren, Philip, and Sebastian - YOU are loved like no other.

Friday, February 8, 2008

why your favorite washington dc arts advisor has been so quiet lately: we're working for YOU!!

It's Like Bingo: Sometimes You Win, Sometimes You Lose (Section; SLL 2008)

We've been very busy over the last week with two new major public arts competition proposals; a campaign mailing to metropolitan DC architecture firms; a concentrated effort in producing new works in ephemera and collage; and we mounted a small and lovely show of detailed printers blocks at Alexandria City Hall.

We watched the Super Bowl commercials with avid interest; we missed a promising Italian serenade at the National Gallery of Art; we took one single mental health day for an "inactivity strike" (absolutely NO work got done); we placed several orders for upcoming marketing supplies; and we spoke with a displaced New Orleans arts gallerist who relocated to Baltimore and has a promising corner on an exclusive and reclusive artist.

We visited the noted Weschler's Auction House to learn more about their open appraisal days and upcoming shows in European furniture and art; we collaborated with a great IT friend in making our services available to attendees at the 10th Maryland Arts Day in Annapolis; we helped two or three emerging artists find a launching pad in the local area; and we looked into corporate memberships with several national arts associations. Oh, and we also explored how we can bring art book reviews to you as well as keeping you updated on exciting international events such as what's happening with the boom in Dubai's art arena.

In the next few days, Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory will be visiting a vanity gallery primarily organized for jewelry makers to try to understand in more detail the nuances of these kinds of showcase opportunities. We will be visiting a local woman who is well educated in antique music devices, and we hope to make it to Studio Gallery's Opening, Capitol Hill Art League's Opening, and/or District Fine Arts Opening all being held this Saturday evening. On Sunday, I will celebrate my first wedding anniversary with my partner, co-founder, architect, husband, and best friend.

While Shauna Lee Lange Arts Advisory tries to model what it is to be a successful advisor or consultant in the art world today (the seeming ability to be all things to all people and the ability to respond to a variety of demands in an organized and thoughtful fashion), we are also re-thinking and re-engineering our ability to re-invent ourselves through mindful creativity. Maya Angelo is credited with saying life is pure adventure and the sooner we realize that, the quicker we will be able to treat life as art ... We need to remember that we are created creative and can invent new scenarios as frequently as they are needed. With that in mind, we plan to participate in Echart Tolle's upcoming Internet Discussion Group on his new bestselling work, "A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" and we will share what we learn there.

February has some exciting opening receptions, we hope to see you there and see you here for some sample reviews. So stay strong, stay busy, stay happy and remember that Katherine Butler Hathaway said, "It is only by following your deepest instinct that you can lead a rich life, and if you let your fear of consequence prevent you from following your deepest instict then your life will be safe, expedient, and thin. (That means more chocolate for everyone on Valentine's!)

There's much more to come, this month brings the Philadelphia Buyers Market Show; a promising Women in the Arts Workshop on Role Modeling; the much anticipated ArtLeague fundraiser; the American Craft Wholesale Show at the Baltimore Convention Center; the Georgetown Glass Show; a whole host of wonderful Black History Month celebrations; and one of my personal all time favorites, the Art Expo Trade Days in New York City. We'll be bringing you what's new and what's not at that venue and will be sharing tips on creating art collectors for a lifetime of business.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Migration: A Gallery – Charlottesville’s Art Venue Continues to Grow

Last month we wrote about a husband and wife artistic team from Martinsburg, West Virginia who are defining what it is to live and work together. We now turn our attention to Charlottesville, Virginia where husband and wife art gallerists, Rob and Laura Jones, share some perspectives on their young enterprise.

Migration: A Gallery is a name and concept originally derived by Laura Jones to honor the gallerists’ belief in the natural connotations of the word “migration.” The couple places credence in the truism that art can literally transform and move people. Migration: A Gallery originated from ideas of works which explore the natural world and the personal journey required when one embarks on a brainchild of expression and communication.

The Jones’ are exploring their own personal arts journey in the celebration of their gallery’s two year anniversary. Their business is improving and the gallerists hope for great things in the future. The first year of gallery ownership was terrific and the couple received tons of press. They enjoyed representing their artists. Within that year, and despite their other successes, the gallerists found themselves challenged when they needed to break into the arts fair world.

artDC was the first fair where they exhibited. They received a great reception and realized good sales. However, when they applied to SOFA with six divergent artists, it was confusing at first for show organizers and patrons alike to see a variety of media represented in three dimensional works. Patrons there were used to seeing single media galleries whereas the Jones’ saw their collection as encompassing a curatorial focus. For their booth, they had taken a subset of artists that merged and worked with a lot of layers. In the end, the idea worked to everyone’s advantage even though the exhibiting approach took some testing and convincing.

Last year was also highlighted with making joyful sales matched only by meeting great people. Although the gallerists faced common challenges in meeting expenses, they felt it was most important to be able to write checks to support their artists with sales, to stay true to their own vision, and to be of service to the community.

For this reason, the Jones’ chose to bring national works to an area of local focus. They select artists from across the country whose work touches them greatly and who are additionally terrific people to work with. Some artists are emerging; others are established (indeed even prominent). The gallerists believe a vibrant arts community in a small, rural town is achieved by exhibiting high quality work from outside the region. This encourages all to thrive and grow and helps work “migrate” to the gallery from afar.

While Charlottesville sales growth is steady, the Jones’ need to continue to look beyond the immediate local vicinity to ensure their gallery's long term success. Charlottesville enjoys an arts corridor resembling a long, skinny European public square. It includes a pedestrian mall, restaurants, caf├ęs, several other galleries, and a series of small coffee houses. There are two other commercial galleries and a well known non-profit space that does a great job of bringing in new shows. Within four blocks of Migration: A Gallery, there are a dozen non-traditional places for rotating art shows. This interest in the arts has helped to make Charlottesville a quickly emerging premier tourist destination.

Operating a gallery in small, rural America means lower rents, nicer gallery spaces, a slower pace of life, and for the Jones’, it also means being centrally located on the east coast. Still, the couple worries if they have the right recipe. The gallerists had selected Charlottesville as a home town following a move from Atlanta. They lived in the area for five years before opening their exhibition space. They knew they wanted to stay on the east coast and Charlottesville was attractive due to its proximity to the
University of Virginia.

During the University’s winter break, gallery business is slower. There is a significant increase in traffic when school is in session. To date, the Jones’ have found that University parents mostly look for alumni related art (such as photographs of the school's rotunda). To compensate for these business trends, the gallerists are specifically trying to foster a good relationship with students and the community at large. Memberships in the
American Craft Council and in Piedmont Council for the Arts help to lend credibility, calendar support, and a network of arts liaisons. A trial membership in the Society for Arts in Healthcare was an academic enterprise – one the gallerists may not renew. They found the organization catered to a more scientific audience and membership brought forth no discernable art patron interest.

Surprisingly, in light of the gallery’s great location, the bulk of Migration: A Gallery's business is not pedestrian traffic. Rather, aggressive marketing is a huge part of the Jones’ daily business. Charlottesville sponsors monthly First Friday Nights (public art openings). On a good First Friday, more than three hundred people may traffic in and out of the gallery spaces depending on weather. The gallerists focus a lot on walk in exposure, but there is even more background work in terms of follow up and behind the scenes art patron cultivation. The Jones’ call it "shoe leather marketing."

Shoe leather marketing is one of the reasons the Jones’ gallery partnership works like a dream. Laura Jones spent the first part of her working life as a lawyer, but grew up in the galleries, museums, and artists studios of her native North Carolina. Her father was an avid collector of emerging artists, and also did legal work for several local artists (for which he was usually paid in trade). She says she couldn’t image a home or a life devoid of art and books.

Rob Jones brings a background in art history with a tremendous amount of time previously focused on museums. It is very important for him to be arts-physical, to have the art work on hand, to be able to see it and touch it, versus relying only on new trends in on-line marketing or in trying to make a determination whether works are good (or relatable) based on an image.

The gallerists aren’t entirely sure where e-galleries are going in the marketplace and they won't stand by on the sidelines waiting to see. Over the last six months, they've put more effort into the electronic process through their updated website and blog. The Jones’ are interested in collecting opinions and reviews and they want to get their artists’ names out in the mainstream.
However, Migration: A Gallery is not set up as an Internet shop. While the gallerists do publish on-line images and lists of their artists’ works, and people do contact the gallery after seeing an image online, this type of art presentation feels incongruent with what the Jones’ want to do in term of bringing works forth. They acknowledge that the electronic arts age may be the wave of arts’ future.

Recently, the Jones’ have been happily surprised to see the amount of site hits and ensuing discussions around one of Migration: A Gallery's featured artists;
Randy Stoltzfus. The gallerists believe his work will continue to take off, but it has been interesting to them to see how many people are talking about Stoltzfus, not just through the website, but also through the gallery's blog.

The world of small, rural galleries is a leap of faith and for Migration: A Gallery, it seems that over the last ten years, art fairs seem to be the major venue for other galleries’ vitality. Whether that trend will continue is also very debatable. Are the only people purchasing affordable art re-buying pieces in the secondary market, or are they purchasing easily transportable art sold in coffee shops? Are people simply searching for something to place above the sofa or are they looking to make long term investments? The gallerists consider these questions and find in the end, art is fluid. Work pricing at times seems undeterminable, inconsistent, and illogical – much like the world of any two-year old toddler.

This is one of the reasons Migration: A Gallery is trying to educate, train, and “parent” by offering a large display and assortment of various artisans. The gallerists see a unifying theme, regardless of media, as expressing a relationship to the natural world. They actively look for works expressing a conceptual unification. Presently, there's not a whole lot of work they show in clay – even though that is an example of work that is very organic and naturally suited for the gallerists’ artistic vision. The Jones’ personal taste runs the entire field. Not only are they gallerists, business people, and art lovers, but they also collect pieces and enjoy the high end crafts.

A gallerist or a business person has to find his or her edge. Rob and Laura Jones are walking on the new edge of all the changes inherent in today's vibrant art environment. If they had a magic wand, Laura would work to change how art is segregated. Rob would edit and display clean designs in hopes of making a dent in the level of engagement the public has with galleries. When asked what other new themes they're currently considering, the gallerists look at their little gallery mascot dog, Piper, and answer in the form of a question much asked in art circles. Is art a luxury or a necessity? For the owners of Migration: A Gallery, it's a whole reason to be human and a whole reason to look forward to turning three.