Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Follow this link to the new(ish) NEJAR

We're still working out the kinks (see funny carnival mirror photo stretching), but our site tinkering is ready (kind of) for unveiling. Follow this link to our new site (at our old URL):

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Technical difficulties

Dear Reader(s),

We at The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research have gotten behind in our efforts to tinker with the design of the site and other important technical issues that will produce a brighter future for us all. We’re aiming to get these issues worked out – at least in our trademark half-assed way – over the next few days. In the interim, we’re going to be focusing our efforts on these issues, so posting will be light.

Thank you for continuing to bear with us.

– The Management

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bratton named president of Museum School

Christopher Bratton, president and chief executive officer at San Francisco Art Institute since 2004, has been named the new president of the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and deputy director of Boston's Museum of Fine Arts. He is expected to begin work here on July 1.

He replaces Dean Deborah Dluhy who is retiring June 30 after being at the school for three decades, including serving as dean since 1993. The school reports that, "The title was changed from dean to president to more accurately reflect the responsibilities of the head of the school. ... The current dean of the school has been performing as president without the title."

The School of the Museum of Fine Art says in San Francisco "Bratton revitalized the college by initiating new curricula, creating new schools within the college and diversifying funding and supporters. Bratton also increased the college’s global visibility with international partnerships with China, Mexico, Korea, France and Russia."

However Bratton faced criticism after he announced plans last year to lay off nine tenured faculty members, a quarter of the San Francisco Art Institute's total, due, he said, to the affects on the world economic crisis on the school, which also had the school reducing its overall workforce by 10 percent and cutting staff pay. Bratton also shut down a 2008 Adel Abdessemed exhibit at the school, which featured video of animals being beaten to death, because, he told the San Francisco Chronicle, "We've gotten dozens of threatening phone calls that targeted specific staff people with death threats, threats of violence and threats of sexual assaults. We remain committed to freedom of speech as fundamental to this institution, but we have to take people's safety very seriously."

Prior to leading the San Francisco Art Institute, Bratton was chair of the department of video at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1993 to 1995 and from 1997 to 2000, chair of the department of film, video and new media from 2000 to 2002, and dean of undergraduate studies from 2002 to 2004. He previously served as an assistant professor, associate professor and professor at the Chicago art school and visiting professor at Brown University in Providence. Bratton is also co-founder of Video Machete, a community-based youth organizing project in Chicago focused on media and technology-based arts education.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Dodge plans NYC gallery

With Judi Rotenberg Gallery on Boston's Newbury Street scheduled to close on June 19, the gallery's director Kristen Dodge now says she plans to open her own Dodge Gallery on New York's Lower East Side this September.

Dodge, who has worked at Rotenberg for six years, says, "The core of the roster will be Boston artists who are exhibiting in New York for the first time." She plans for her first solo artist show this fall to feature Dave Cole of Providence.

Patton Hindle, Rotenberg's gallery manager, plans to work for Dodge in New York, where Dodge says she'll manage "artist relations, press outreach, general gallery morale, and occasional fashion tips."

Dumont leaving Montserrat gallery

Shana Dumont, assistant director and assistant curator of Montserrat College of Art's gallery in Beverly, Massachusetts, since August 2005, will be leaving in June. Dumont says she's moving to North Carolina to pursue a doctoral degree in art history.

Among the exhibits Dumont organized at Montserrat are "Merging Influence: Eastern Elements in New American Art" in 2007, "Many Kinds of Nothing" in 2008, "Fixed Chaos" in 2009, and "The Morning Exciting," which opens at Montserrat this fall.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Slade named curator at Photo Resource Center

George Slade has been named program manager and curator at the Photographic Resource Center at Boston University. He is expected to begin work there on May 17, replacing Jason Landry, who is leaving to run the Boston photo gallery Panopticon.

Slade was artistic director of the Minnesota Center for Photography in Minneapolis from 2003 to 2008, organizing a retrospective of Jerome Liebling of Amherst and the exhibit "Three Gorges," which surveying work by 22 Chinese, European, and North American photographers documenting China's Three Gorges Dam. He served as an adjunct assistant curator of photographs at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts in 2008. And from 1998 to 2008, he was director of the McKnight Artist Fellowship for Photographers Program, which makes four $25,000 awards to Minnesota photographers annually.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Allison named curator at Brown's Bell Gallery

Maya Allison has been named curator at Brown University's Bell Gallery. She is expected to begin work on June 1, according to Bell Director Jo-Ann Conklin.

The position has been open since curator Vesela Sretenovic left in 2008. The gallery was close to hiring a new curator when the university instituted a hiring freeze that November. But as the school is preparing its budget for the next school year, it has decided to fill the curator post, Conklin says.

Allison had launched her own curatorial venture, Maya Allison Projects, after the closing in February of 5 Traverse Gallery in Providence, where she had been co-director since November 2008. Her background also includes organizing the annual Pixilerations new media festival in Providence and three years as contemporary art curatorial assistant at the RISD Museum.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Art of the Aquapocalypse

Update: Adam Gaffin of Universal Hub has unveiled another Aquapocalypse design (above), now available on T-shirts, mousepads and mugs (which we think is a particularly nice touch since, uh, you're not supposed to drink the water – and thus coffee or tea – in greater Boston right now). This new design by Holly Gordon is quite catchy, but we must say it lacks a certain je ne sais quoi of Aquapocalypse classic (below).

We salute Boston blogger Adam Gaffin of UniversalHub for his great community service in creating the above souvenir/artwork to commemorate the 2010 Boston Aquapocalypse. Buy one now, they're only a bit less rare than clean drinking water in greater Boston.

If you've seen other great – or even not so great – Aquapocalypse art, please let us know.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Czekaj debuts hip hoppy kids book Sunday

Jef Czekaj, a pal of ours whose comics you might recognize from regular appearances of his "Grandpa and Julie: Shark Hunters" in Nickelodeon Magazine over the past decade, has turned to authoring and illustrating children's picture books. And he's having a free "book reading/dance party for kids" at Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline, Massachusetts, at 11 a.m. this Sunday, May 2, to debut his new book "Hip and Hop, Don't Stop!" which is published by Disney Hyperion. It's the story of a slow-rapping turtle and a fast-rapping bunny competing in a big, funny rap-off. Czekaj is a very charming and talented and kid-friendly guy. He says, "I'm gonna read/rap my book, there will be snacks, some sort of activity, and a dance party DJ'd by DJ Pink Sweatshirt (aka T.D. from Big Digits)."

Sept. 15, 2009: Jef Czekaj's more grown-up "The Gallant Prince."

MassArt announces $140M campaign, expansion

Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston has announced a $140 million fundraising campaign to build a new residence hall and Center for Design and New Media, renovate its galleries and campus center, expand its endowment, and increase its financial support for its students. MassArt reports that it already "has reached 63 percent of the $140 million goal."

The proposed renovation of the school's Bakalar and Paine galleries will offer a new more prominent Huntington Avenue entrance to the galleries, which presently are hidden inside the school. The galleries project aims to also construct a new reception lobby; a 125-seat lecture hall; curatorial, receiving and building spaces; and climate control systems. The planned 21-story residence hall on Huntington Avenue, with 493 beds, would double the school's housing.

A groundbreaking for the residence hall was held Tuesday, construction is expected to begin shortly, with the building scheduled to open in fall 2012. Work on the campus center is already underway, and is expected to be finished this summer. Feasibility studies for the galleries and Center for Design and New Media were done in 2009, and construction is expected to take place in the next few years – depending on fundraising.

MassArt aims to increase its endowment from $9 million to $17 million to help fund student financial aid as well as faculty fellowships, staff development, visiting artists, and the school's Center for Art & Community Partnerships.

Additionally, the school aims to increase its fundraising for its MassArt Fund from $1.5 million to $2 million each year beginning in 2012. It's "primary use," according to the school, is student financial aid, but it also supports academic programs and faculty development through research and fellowships.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rose announces fall exhibits

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University has announced that it plans to present "Atmospheric Conditions," a three-person exhibit featuring Eric Fischl, April Gornik and Bill Viola this September. The show, which is being organized by Rose Director of Museum Operations Roy Dawes, will display borrowed artworks, according to Andrew Gully, Brandeis's senior vice president of communications and external affairs.

Also in September, the Rose plans to offer "WaterWays," an exhibit showcasing works "that utilize water as form, muse, metaphor and inspiration" by John Marin, Fairfield Porter, Milton Avery, Neil Welliver and Roy Lichtenstein from the museum's permanent collection.

The Rose's current exhibit, "The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis: Works from the Collection" has been extended, and is now scheduled to run through June 20. Afterward the museum expects to close until the new shows open in September.

NEJAR revamping

Dear Reader(s),

The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research is in the midst of tinkering with our design and moving some of our archives around and so on — as mentioned previously. This is a messy, clumsy process, so for now NEJAR is temporarily located at

You should be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, but our friends at Blogger may not have quite set this up correctly, so you may need to click here.

Sorry for any inconvenience. We hope to resolve all this over the next week. As always, thank you, dear Reader(s), for your help and support and patience.

— The Management

Monday, April 26, 2010

“The Armenian Genocide" at URI Feinstein

From our review of “The Armenian Genocide: 95 Years Later, In Remembrance” at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence Campus:
In April 1915, Turks of the Ottoman Empire began killing the Armenians in their midst. Soldiers rounded up hundreds of Armenian clergy, intellectuals, and members of parliament. Many were shot. Other Armenians were “deported” — forced to march or packed into trains, without food or shelter, across mountains and desert to concentration camps. The empire was crumbling and Turks apparently feared the growing strength and nationalism of the Armenian community.

News reports told of torture; crucifixions; rapes; a thousand men, women and children burned to death inside a locked building; dozens of Armenians tied together and thrown into a lake to drown. To this day Turkey does not acknowledge the extent of the killing, but some 1.5 million Armenians perished.

Berge Ara Zobian, owner of Gallery Z in Providence, has assembled works by more than 40 artists in “The Armenian Genocide: 95 Years Later, In Remembrance,” at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence Campus (80 Washington Street, through April 30). It’s an important subject, deserving serious attention, but the art is disappointingly amateurish, ranging from overwrought goth to cutesy folk to late Cubism.
Read the rest here.

“The Armenian Genocide: 95 Years Later, In Remembrance,” at the University of Rhode Island’s Feinstein Providence Campus, 80 Washington Street, Providence, April 1 to 30, 2010.

Pictured from top to bottom: Kevork Mourad’s painting from the series "Fireflies Over the Euphrates" and Stephen Koharian's painting "Turkishness 2."

Friday, April 23, 2010

Ben Jones in "Thirty Days NY"

Providence artist Ben Jones, of the collaborative Paper Rad, has created some sort of installation/furniture (photo of it in progress) in his signature eye-popping neon stripes for the pop-up gallery "Thirty Days NY," 70 Franklin St., New York City, from April 7 to May 6, 2010 (or thereabouts).

Pssst: If you're a local museum having trouble finding a local artist to feature, consider this MassArt grad who has shown at Deitch Projects, The Museum of Modern Art, The New Museum, Yerba Buena, and Tate Britain. Do you want to be the last museum to figure out that this hometown guy is worth paying attention to?

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hames, Snowden, Lima at AS220

From our review of Seamus Hames, Mary Snowden and LauraBerth Lima at AS220 in Providence:
Mary Snowden and LauraBerth Lima offer chickens and risqué vegetables. Snowden’s photo-realist paintings of chickens bring out the ruddy details — a Spanish chicken, with its black body, white face, and fleshy red comb and cheeks. The birds could feel more alive, but Snowden nails their threatening alien stare.
Read the rest here.

Mary Snowden and LauraBerth Lima at AS220’s Main Gallery, 115 Empire St., Providence. Seamus Hames at AS220’s Project Space, 93 Mathewson St., Providence. All April 4 to 24, 2010.

Pictured from top to bottom two drawings by Seamus Hames, paintings of chickens by Mary Snowden, and two works by LauraBerth Lima.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New gig for Brandeis pres, PR folks not so lucky

Also no future Rose exhibits have been announced.

Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz (at left), a key leader in the January 2009 proposal to shut down the Waltham university’s Rose Art Museum and sell off its collection, has landed a new job leading the Mandel Foundation, the university reports. Meanwhile three members of the school’s office of communications have been fired as part of a “restructuring,” according to a report by the Brandeis student newspaper The Justice.

Reinharz announced last September that he would be stepping down, eventually. Last week the school announced that he will become president of the Mandel Foundation, “an internationally recognized philanthropy that provides leadership to non-profits in the United States and Israel.” The foundation has made major donations to Brandeis, including helping fund the Mandel Center for the Humanities, which is scheduled to open this fall. Reinharz has been at trustee of the Mandel Foundation since 2005. Barbara Mandel, wife of the foundation’s current chairman and CEO of the foundation, Morton Mandel, has been a Brandeis trustee since 2005 – which means she was one of the folks approving the plan to kill the Rose.

Brandeis reports that Reinharz will continue working as the university’s president until “a new president arrives on campus” or June 30, 2011, whichever comes first. A search for Reinharz’s replacement at Brandeis is underway, the school reports.

The Justice reports that Brandeis Assistant Vice President of Communications Ken Gornstein, Director of Media Relations Dennis Nealon and Communications Operations Supervisor Sossy Megerdichian have been canned. Senior Vice President of Communications and External Affairs Andrew Gully did not respond to our questions about this – including whether these changes had anything to do with the changes at the Rose. Remember that the crisis management public relations firm Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications was hired by Brandeis early last year – funded with a 10 percent pay cut from Reinharz and Brandeis Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Peter French – to help deal with outcry over their handling of the Rose. Gully told the Justice: "The Communications Department has been restructured so we can be better positioned to reach the long-term communications and marketing goals that we're developing for Brandeis. The changes are the result of an assessment I began when I arrived on campus in November."

Also there seems to be no news yet about the search for a new education director for the Rose and a curator/arts coordinator for Brandeis’s Women’s Studies Research Center, which was founded and is run by Reinharz’s wife Shula. The center will be presenting a new exhibit “Science of Art: Recent work by Guhapriya Ranganathan and Nancy Selvage” from April 28 to June 30, which means that the center will present three exhibitions this school year (earlier it offered Roberta Paul and Andi Arnovitz) compared to just one at the Rose. “The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis: Works from the Collection” exhibit, which has been on view since Oct. 28, is scheduled to close on May 23. No future Rose exhibitions or events have been announced.

We asked Gully about all these things. He responded on Friday: “We're almost ready to announce those details, but need a few more days. Hope to share them with you mid- to late next week.” Stay tuned.