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See Lego House Doppelganger at the AMA

Home Sweet Home
at the AMA

The Arlington Museum of Art's Home Sweet Home auction show ends with an art auction and gala Saturday February 9, 2002 tickets are $75, attendance limited to the first 350. 817 275-4600. Participating artists include Anne Allen, George Allen, Helen Altman, Joy Anderson, Dale Andrews, Bill Barminski, Mary Barminski Johnson, Bill Barter, Jill Bedgood, Christine Bisetto, Ed Blackburn, Linda Blackburn, Dan Blagg, Sue Blevins, Rosalyn Bodycomb, Rachel Bounds, Maureen Brouillette, Johnny Bryant, Jennifer Bushee, Kathy Cherry, Kelli Connell, Kendall Davis, Courtney De Angelis, Barrett DeBusk, Tom Delaney, Lori Dreier, Brigitte Edery, Joan Fabian, Vincent Falsetta, Bennie Flores Ansell, Mary Foster, Julian George GintoleSonjia Gladbach, Tere Goldstein, Ellna Goodrum, Joe Gregg, Jeff Gusky, Susan Harrington, Billy Hassell, Jane Helslander, Gregory Horndeski, Etty Horowitz, Benito Huerta, Kiba Jacobson, Elliott Johnson, Libby Johnson, Marilyn Jolly, Loli Kantor, Norman Kary, David Keens, Dwain Kelley, Patrick Kelly, Ted Kincaid, Wanda Leigh Kitchens, Nancy Lamb, Dick Lane, Annette Lawrence, Julie Lazarus, Elisa Lendvay, Ken Little, Shelly Long, Keitha Lowrence, Pamela Mahaffey, Jerry Mahle, Milred Manning, Dalton Maroney, Joyce Martin, Monte Martin, R. Carolyn McAdams, Angelica Mcauley, William McEwen, Leighton McWilliams, Gene Mittler, Jessica Neary, Cindy Norris, Kenda North, Melba Northum, Andrew Ortiz, Sherry Owens, Tuba Oztekin, Nancy Palmeri, Dennis Placke, Claude Rainey, Margaret Ratelle, Elise Ridenour, Linda Ridgway, Rebecca Roamanek Johnson, Luis Santoyo, Yolanda Santoyo Smith, Cam Schoepp, Charlotte Seifert, Scott Simons, Greg Stadler, Brice Star, Jennifer Stark, Juergen Strunck, Beata Szechy, Elaine Taylor, Kay Thomas, Terri Thornton, Helen Frances Tuchman, Janet Tyson, Tom Vanderzyl, James Wade, Jr., Steven Watson, Karen Weinman, Angela White, Derrick White, Walt Williams, Ann Wood, Nicholas Wood, Jim Woodson, Dick Wray, and Dotty Zamora.

 The Show

Remembering that this is an art auction — not a real exhibition — was difficult. JR hadn't been to the Arlington Museum of Art for more than five years. Kathy donated a painting last year, but not this.

Neither of us has seen any shows there since former director Joan Davidow, who had brought the "museum" to regional prominence, left suddenly last year.

Downstairs was full of work by renowned local artists. Obviously the best place to be. Upstairs was not. However, AMA staffer Rachel Bounds' work was up there, and that's where they stuck Kathy's work last year, but then she's used to getting stuck in the back room somewhere.

It's hard to talk about any spectacular work. But we just can't.


Norman Kary Night Walk, collage

We spoke with Dallas artist Norman Kary, who is a favorite of both of ours. He was upstairs looking for his piece, having missed it over the front desk, in the second best placement of the show. The best featured a floral arrangement.

Norman doesn't donate work every year, and the piece in this show is from the 80s, when he was working more with translucence, not projections.

He no longer donates new, original work. We think many artists have adopted this practice. Auctions are lately trying to entice artists with sliding-scale percentages of the sale, but artists still have little control over the sales of their own work in auctions.

Few can afford to risk making only a few dollars on an otherwise salable work. Many avoid auctions altogether. More and more art auctions prohibit sale of prints instead of original work.

Vincent Falsetta Untitled oil on panel

Probably JR's most aesthetic discovery at the show were the sweet potato chips, although he was delighted to see a small oil by Vincent Falsetta [ above ), whose works JR has missed seeing over the last few years.

But soon as we came in the door, Kathy bee-lined to Nancy Lamb's, narrative photorealistic painting of a cocktail party, The Spill [ below ]. It had movement and drama, and it was large and colorful.


The Politics

It was an evening characterized by what was not said. No one was exuberant or even talkative about the new AMA director, Ann Allen. Or the direction she's set for the museum since the controversial departure last year of Joan Davidow. Ann did man the microphone for welcoming announcements and upcoming news, but she really had a hard time getting anybody's attention.

Nancy Lamb - The Spill

We assume that, after Joan, the AMA board needed a stealth director, a competent administrator without an agressive aesthetic agenda.

Also to the point was that none of the staffers we spoke to knew much about recent AMA history. We'd heard about an architect and exciting new building design. But they looked at us like we were from outer space. Maybe they're all playing stupid so they don't have to talk about former AMA director Joan Davidow.

A board member admited to the new elevator going in. Then, at our insistence, he remembered the architect who'd designed a whole new facility a few years ago, but he'd never had a building actually built, and the matter seemed financially remote.

The silence was deafening. After being inundated with all the confusing and contradictory agendas for Dallas' DCRAP and The MAC, we came away knowing nothing about the future of the AMA, much less how the auction proceeds would be spent.

Back to the Show


Kathy liked Rosalyn Bodycomb's Scott monoprint [ above ], which evokes Francis Bacon.

We watched a little boy about nine — an art critic in the making — discover Slumber Party, a photograph of topless girls. The child looked up, threw his hands over his mouth in astonishment, but never took his eyes off the picture, as his father smiled and strolled on.

Janet Tyson's little red plastic house [ above ] was one of the few pieces that actually pertained to the auction's Home Sweet Home theme.

See Lego House Doppelganger

- JR Compton and Kathleen DelloStritto


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