November: I was one of twenty-nine arts journalists chosen to participate in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellowship program. I originally participated in this fellowship in 2007. This time, for the project's tenth anniversary, they invited some of us former fellows back to create a pop-up journalism lab. We spent ten days working in teams on six projects that – as the website puts it – "poked and prodded notions of what arts journalism is ... or might be." The results can be seen at Engine29.org.
My team worked on the "Cultural Context Machine," a digital timeline that pinpoints some of the seminal cultural events that took place in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. (Of all the projects, ours was the most closely related to Pacific Standard Time, another Getty-funded initiative that resulted in 68 shows about the area's art history between fall 2011 and spring 2012.) Because our team included three art journalists (me, Kim Levin, and Carolina Miranda) and one pop music journalist (Randall Roberts of the Los Angeles Times), it is heavy on art and pop music. And because we generated all the content in a frantic two days, the information is by no means complete! But it's still a lot of fun, and illuminating, so please take a look.
November: My essay about Blek le Rat (aka Xavier Prou), the street stencil art pioneer who taught Banksy everything he knows, was published in "Blek le Rat: the Thirty Year Anniversary Retrospective." Other contributors include Shepard Fairey, Carlo McCormick, and Waldemar Januszczak of the London Sunday Times. The publisher is Art Publishing, Ltd. in San Francisco.
July: I was one of three judges for the annual awards ceremony of the Coast Guard Art Program, or COGAP. My fellow judges were Vice Admiral Sally Brice-O'Hara, Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard, and Claudia Seymour, president of the Salmagundi Club in New York, which administers COGAP. We awarded the annual George Gray Award for artistic excellence to Robert C. Semler for his painting "Law enforcement training at Station Cortez," which depicts a Coast Guard law enforcement training exercise. We three judges were all intrigued by this painting because the scene it depicts is so ambiguous and confusing. At first glance it's very reminiscent of one of those photographs of prisoners being rounded up in Afghanistan or Iraq--an impression that's subliminally enhanced by the fact that the mat the prisoner kneels on suggests a Muslim prayer rug. At first Claudia Seymour and I also assumed that the man on the left was distracted by his cellphone; but then Vice Admiral Brice-O'Hara pointed out that he was probably just timing the exercise with a stopwatch.
The artwork can be seen here: "Law enforcement training at Station Cortez" by Robert C. Semler. An interview with me that ran in the Coast Guard Compass, the official blog of the U.S. Coast Guard, is here: Capturing the Coast Guard on Canvas.
July: I was interviewed by Clyde Haberman for New York 1 about my Marine combat art story ("With Sketchpads and Guns, Semper Fi") which ran July 18 on the cover of the New York Times Arts & Leisure section. The interview aired throughout the weekend as part of "The New York Times Close Up," a program about the top stories in each Sunday's paper.
March-May: My video about Maya Lin's "Wave Field" appeared on Jet Blue's inflight programming throughout spring 2009. It was also republished by the New York Times on May 15, to coincide with the official launch of "Wave Field" at Storm King Art Center in upstate New York. The piece was made in collaboration with Erik Olsen of the New York Times.
December: Rock and Shift, the first major book on the work of the artist Suzanne McClelland, was published by Hard Press Editions; I contributed the primary essay, "Story of OOO."
May: I have been elected to the executive board of the U.S. Chapter of the International Association of Art Critics.
January: I curated my first show, "Dominick Lombardi - The Post Apocalyptic Tattoo: A Ten Year Survey," for Blue Star Contemporary Art Space, a non-profit exhibition space in San Antonio, Texas. It runs January 31 through March 23, 2008, and will travel to several other U.S. venues during 2009 and 2010.
December: I was one of five judges for the launch of GEISAI Miami, an artist-run art fair. (The name "GEISAI" is adapted from the Japanese word for "art festival.") It was founded in 2001 by the artist Takashi Murakami – lord of the multicolored Louis Vuitton logo – and is held twice a year in Tokyo. This is its first American incarnation. The fruits of our deliberations will be on view at PULSE Contemporary Art Fair in Miami, Dec. 5 – 9, 2007. Click here for more information.
November: I was interviewed by Celeste Headlee of NPR about the controversial reinstallation of the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The story aired on Day to Day on Nov. 27.
August: My essay "Kunst und Geld in New York" ("Art and Money in New York") was included in the book "NYC: Das vermessene Paradies – Position zu New York" ("The Measured Paradise – Positions on New York"). It was published on the occasion of "New York," an exhibition, film and discussion series held in at Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin, from Aug. 24, 2007 to Nov. 4, 2007.
May-June: I was one of seven arts journalists chosen from around the world to participate in the 2007 USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism fellowship program. We were accompanied by an additional "senior fellow" – the journalist Kurt Andersen. Starting in late May, our group spent three action-packed weeks in Los Angeles, discussing the future of our profession, exploring new ideas, and immersing ourselves in the city's extensive cultural scene.