PATRICK EWING, ARTIST
Joining Tony Bennet, Peter Falk and Elke Sommer in front of the artist's easel is New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing, who recently announced that he is not only an artist in the paint, but also in painting. "I am a little realistic and a little abstract. I don't want to pigeonhole myself," said Ewing, who actually majored in fine art. His work appears on a new credit card as well as in his forthcoming children's book.
SENATE VOTES YEA ON NEA
As expected, a US Senate subcommittee has voted to keep the National Endowment for the Arts alive through 2002 and appropriated $105 million for the embattled arts agency. Earlier this month the House voted to eliminate NEA; the Senate view of things is expected eventually to prevail. Somehow, the National Endowment for the Humanities has managed to extricate itself from the grasp of the philistines, and was approved for a $175 million budget next year.
NO MO AT MOMA Village Voice art critic Peter Schjeldahl has gone out on a limb and coined the term No Mo to define the painting that has followed Modernism and Postmodernism -- specifically, the wan figurative work of Luc Tuymans , Elizabeth Peyton and John Currin presently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (through Sept. 8). It has "formal cogency, poetic tradition, and scandalous bite," says Schjeldahl.
The Museum of Monuments and Museum of Cinema in Paris suffered as much as $8 million in fire damage on July 22, according to the New York Times. At the monument museum about 100 rare plaster casts of Gothic art were damaged or destroyed. The blaze was accidentally started by soldering work on the renovation of the neighboring Palais de Chaillot.
TATE TURNS 100
The Tate Gallery in London celebrated its 100th birthday on July 21. Prince Charles led the toasts, according to Reuters.
IRISH FAMINE MEMORIAL
A memorial to the Great Famine in Ireland 150 years ago was dedicated on July 23 in Cambridge, Mass. The $100,000 memorial, designed by Irish artist Maurice Hannon, depicts a mother and her dead child.
BELT-TIGHTENING AT WALTERS
Facing a $281,000 reduction in its city subsidy, the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore will now be closed on Tuesdays and eliminate free admission on Saturday mornings. The budget cuts were at one point over $500,000, but when Walters director Gary Vikan threatened to charge admission to Baltimore schoolchildren for their class visits, the city relented.
NAVAL BASE BOHEMIA
The arts-friendly Seattle city council plans to transform an abandoned Naval base into an art-world Disneyland. The Naval Station Puget Sound at Sand Point has 151 acres with over 40 industrial buildings. Said one performance artist, "It's our dream location. It's the size of two football fields, it's completely concrete and there are water hydrants right there!"
NEW ART SCHOOL
The new Delaware College of Art and Design -- a joint undertaking of the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC, and New York's Pratt Institute -- opens in September in downtown Wilmington. Some 45 students are slated to attend classes in the college's newly renovated Art Deco building. The $5-million project was launched by Wilmington 2000, a group of business leaders.
BAALBEK RESUMES AFTER 23 YEARS
On July 25 Lebanon opened the new Baalbek Arts Festival , last held in 1974, in front of ruins of temples of Jupiter and Baachus. Among the performers are the Caracalla dance troupe and cellist Mstislav Rostopovitch. Lebanon President Elias Hrawi told the some 2,500 guests, "Our peace is not measured in words, our peace is a will to live."