2018: The Year in Review

a note from donna...

Hello everyone we are still here. Much has happened this year and I for one am glad to see 2018 fade into the background and welcome 2019.

Thank you for sticking with us. We’ve listened to your feedback and will make purchasing art easier in 2019!

We wish you all a healthy & happy new year.


a note from cecily...

It feels like 2018 flew by, as many of you have noticed Donna and I have both been extremely busy which unfortunately meant d+c contemporary was neglected for what seems like the entire year!!!

But we are back and still completely committed and dedicated to making time for this passion project!    

In 2018 I had the pleasure of working with Space Gallery owner and artist Björn Nordén! This summer in partnership with Splace Gallery and the Embassy of Sweden in Japan for Sweden Japan 150 Anniversary I curated the exhibition Space/Time in Sweden/Japan it was an exhibit of Björn Nordèn’s minimal works on paper and a series of his new garden pots. The space was curated so that the viewer would be more aware of the idea of space, the space in-between and the cultural similarities between Sweden and Japan. The vernissage took place June 29th and the exhibit continued through the Annual Kultur & Skördefest. I am proud that this project was just the first phase the next phases will continue through 2019 you can follow the project at #spacetimeswedenjapan

space/time in sweden/japan- vernissage photo credit cecily ferguson

space/time in sweden/japan- vernissage photo credit cecily ferguson

 In addition, in April I was offered a part-time/temp job with Mariestad’s Kommun ( a government job) I was literally in shock for the first 3 months because I have been looking, waiting and hoping for some type of part-time employment- and this job just happened to line up perfectly with my educational background and professional experiences. I was hired as the project leader for a pilot art and gardening program called Off Season Art Gardening and my responsibilities included contextualizing the program, developing an artist criteria, managing an artist call, establishing a jury, conceptualizing the brand, working with the three artists that were selected, curating online content, and marketing and promoting. I could not have even dreamed of an opportunity like this here in #mymariestad! And even though my part of the project has come to end I am incredibly tacksam for the opportunity I was offered to work with Mariestad’s Kommun because of the overall experience, the people I have connected with and the new partnerships that are just developing!

vadsbo museum summer work shop for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

vadsbo museum summer work shop for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

jette mellgren    for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

jette mellgren for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

ninette koning    for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

ninette koning for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

jenni ward    for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

jenni ward for off season art gardening: photo credit cecily ferguson

 And my intentions for us going into 2018 though they were not executed they have not changed so here is a reminder…

 Donna and I met while attending Howard University as graduate students in the art history department.  We both focused on Caribbean and Latin American art and took a special interest with exile, expat and diaspora artists. We are passionate about migration and immigration! And I believe that D+C Contemporary has arrived to a place that will begin to tell a story about the expat art experience. This is a unique experience that reflects not only one’s history and roots but also a connection to the place that they call home (or their 2nd home).  Moving forward the artists featured and the exhibitions will predominately, but not exclusively, explore the expat experience.

 And we are STILL incredibly grateful for all the artists, curators, and collectors that continue to inspire us!

 Wishing you all an artsy new year! xox

From The Editor's Desk: July 2017

Do you remember your first experience with public art? I remember mine like it was yesterday. I was about 8 years old and completely mesmerized by  Dr. Virgil D. Cantini’s sculpture titled the Joy of Life (1969) , that was in front of East Liberty’s Presbyterian Church when I was growing up.  Made entirely of steel it is a somewhat simple and clean construction, the base is a pedestal that is also a fountain – I remember during the hot, humid summer months it was always the most popular stop because of the cool mist that bounced off of the figures that are on top of the pedestal. The most striking part of the sculpture are 5-6 full body, lifelike structures that create a circle by linking arms together, this gesture represents the human connection and the idea of unity. I would often walk around the sculpture closely examining the geometric forms and the repeated characteristics of minimalism. This sculpture left an incredible impact on me as a young child and I looked forward to seeing it several times during weekly visits to East Liberty with Nana.

Last December, Donna and I featured an end of the year review in which we highlighted Biennale visits during the summer. It turned out, our most memorable experiences were when we engaged with public sculptures, exhibitions, street art and installations. At that time, we discussed our appreciation for public art. Public art removes the notion that art is elitist, or even a luxury item because anyone and everyone can enjoy and discuss public art. Donna and I are committed to contributing to and promoting public art (and street art) throughout the States, Europe, and our travels.   

This month we are highlighting some of our favorite public art works. And I am thrilled to announce that because of our commitment to public art, every July we will share our favorite public works from Spain, Sweden, the States and our travels.Easy Access: Public Art features photos of public art, public sculptures and street art from our home country, the countries we both call home now and recent travels. We both believe summer is the best time to explore and experience public art. We encourage you all to hang out in your cities and towns a little bit longer to really engage with public art and seek it out during your travels.  And please share your public art experiences with #easyaccesspublicart and we will show some #regram appreciation!  

If you are interested in public art, organizations such as: Public Art Fund, Public Art Agency Sweden, The Association for Public Art, Artscape Örebro Open ART (public art biennial), Street Art Barcelona, and Public Art Online are committed to public art projects and we recommend that you check them out and follow them via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! 

Have a fabulous summer!

 

2015: The Year in Review


A Note from Donna...
 
Cecily and I met in graduate school in Washington, DC. We studied art history as undergraduates and were continuing our studies at the graduate level. Our love of art, food, and wine cemented our friendship. We dreamed of one day having an art gallery and sharing our passion with others, but the cost of a physical gallery proved prohibitive.  


We both moved to Europe and although we lived in different countries, we kept in touch. Our dream of an art collaboration remained.
Enter, 2015. Finally, our dream became a reality. We decided to follow in the footsteps of other online art platforms and D+C Contemporary was born.
D+C Contemporary consists of two parts, a boutique online gallery representing a handful of international artists and the district: contemporary art journal, our online art blog. We launched both parts in October of this year. In our blog, we highlighted artists from Australia, Germany, South Africa, Sweden, and the U.S. On our gallery, we featured Joshua D Neidermeier in October and Carolina Mayorga in November.


We are looking forward to a full year of exhibitions in 2016 where we will expand to bring you more of the things we love: art & travel, art & wine, and art from multiple countries. We welcome you to join us on our international art journey. Please follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Tell your friends and family about D+C Contemporary.

Have a great New Year & remember to support the arts!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


A Note from Cecily...

What an amazing year, I cannot believe it has come to an end so quickly!
To think D+C Contemporary started from a creative Skype chat and has grown into a contemporary online gallery and art blog. We are definitely inspired by the Artsy and ArtStack platforms, and also love online galleries such as ArtShare, Tappan Collective and The Agora Culture. Similar in method, our goal is to contribute to online art galleries and platforms with a transcultural approach. We know so many amazing, talented, emerging, and established artists, curators and collectors from the States, but we are excited because by living abroad our network has expanded.


We had the opportunity to attend three international art biennials this year. Donna travelled the farthest from Germany to Cuba and I attended two that took place right here in Sweden. You can see highlights from our experiences at 2015: Biennial Highlights. The next online exhibition takes place early in the year and features an artist from Durham, NC. His works celebrate the music industry and also examine American pop culture. We will share more details during the holiday season.


The District: Contemporary Art Journal has several essays featuring artists from around the world and we have new essays in the pipeline. There are artists from Scandinavia, Washington DC, Chicago IL, and Durham, NC whose stories I am super excited to share. We will also launch a new series titled Conversation with the Collector. So far, we have a collector from Washington, DC and one from Mariestad, Sweden. Donna and I will share bits of our collection as well. Inspired by our travels, we have started a new series titled Art Travels – there you can read more about Donna’s experience in Cuba. Later in the year, we will launch a podcast that focuses on art and wine. 


We want to say thank you to all of the artrepreneurs, curators, and collectors that inspire us. In 2015 we were just warming up. 2016 promises to be even more exciting, so stay tuned!!   

Wishing you all a happy, healthy holiday season and New Year!

                                                                                                                                


Entre la idea y la experiencia | Between the idea and experience


                               

The Havana Biennial was established in 1984. This year marks its 12th installment. What started as a Latin American and Caribbean exhibition has grown to include artists from around the world. Yet, the Havana Biennial continues to be an important stage for non-European art. This year's event features 200 artists from 44 countries, and d+c contemporary was there.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

 

The Biennial is not confined to a single venue; instead, art is strategically exhibited throughout the city in galleries, museums, hotels, and other alternative spaces.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

 

The Hotel Conde de Villanueva, for example, showcases the photographs of Julio Larramendi. He captures the beauty of otherwise banal daily activities by focusing on the individuals' humanity.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

The courtyard of the Hotel Marqués de Prado Ameno proves a perfect space for Movimiento by Herman Skretting and Orlando Gutierrez Yedra. There is something poetic about the visitors' ability to freely move through the open space while viewing the images of two young boys interacting with their environment.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

The fact that the Biennial is not limited to a single exhibition locale transforms Havana into an open air museum. The city feels alive with art. Already culturally rich, the Biennial widens the possibility of encountering even more art at each turned corner.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

Throughout the city, there are sculptures paying tribute to important historical figures such as Jose Martí.

Art is literally everywhere. A stroll to the Chocolate Museum is briefly interrupted as performers sing and dance in the streets.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

While walking through this teeming city, we happen upon the courtyard of Art is literally everywhere. A stroll to the Chocolate Museum is briefly interrupted as performers sing and dance in the streets.La Casa de Benito Juarez which is a museum that highlights Mexico's history, culture, and relationship with Cuba. I see this beautiful intricately designed mural.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

The Biennial along with the public and street art allows for a continuous flow of traffic inside buildings, courtyards, gardens, and public squares.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

An enclosed space is needed for the video installation Interrogatorio (2009) by Ignas Krunglevicius. This installation is one of the most provocative I have ever seen. In Interrogatorio, the 'unknown' is what makes it compelling.

Victor Ekpuk's Meditaciones sobre recuerdos (2015) is a site specific work. His desire is "to create a contemporary shrine of memory of the Ibibio, Ejagham, Kwa, Efut, and Efik ancestors who were brought in slave ships to Cuba."

Upon entering the room, the visitor has a feeling of constraint. The high walls and ceiling along with the rectangular shape of the room aid in this regard. The walls bear drawings of countless figures symbolizing individuals forced through the Middle Passage. Undulating lines representing ocean waves encase the room.

While physically a drawing, Meditaciones sobre recuerdos is much more. According to Ekpuk, it is poetry, song, and incantation to honour "these ancestors in the Diaspora."

At the end of the Biennial, the drawing is erased. This final act "exemplifies the notion of memory (identity) as [an] ephemeral condition that is contantly being affected, reshaped and redefined by circumstances."

On our last day, soon after leaving the exhibition Transparencias featuring thepaintings of Isabel Bustos and José Eduardo Yanes, we encounter a performance by Danza Teatro Retazos choreographed by the multitalented Bustos. She is a painter and choreographer. I have the privilege of meeting Bustos and sitting next to her during the performance.

Photo Credit: Donna Banks

As she watches the dancers, her body sways gently, her foot taps, and her hand raises and delicately sweeps up, down, and side to side. Her gestures are that of an orchestral director or, in her case, as that of a painter. With smiling nods of approval and subtle indications to adjust an article of clothing, Bustos remains connected with each dancer.

Bustos embodies art. As I watch the performance, I feel that I am also experiencing one of her paintings. The sweeping movement of a brush and the swaying movement of a body. Each with careful and exact precision yet organic in its individual flow. It is art in motion, it is profoundly moving, and it is the perfect way to end our time in Cuba.

The Havana Biennial is a great experience and d+c contemporary is grateful to have been in attendance.

Stay tuned for our next adventure!