dArtles

by Steve Rockwell

It has been nearly 15 years since dArt magazine has stuck its digital fingers into the design and look of its online presence. It’s hardly late-breaking news that the torrent of information flowing through our devices is ever-massing. Its invasive waves lap freely into our private and public spaces. Much to the annoyance of any attendant host, a popular course at restaurant and dinner parties is digital streamfeed. True, the yen of it does offer a nourishment of a kind, but generally it comes at a social price, where its consumer is consumed in return. Yet, therein lies its power, a peculiar kind of omniscience – a social network that alternately connects and divides.

As co-publisher of the Toronto-focused publication artoronto.ca,  along with dArt editorial contributor Emese Krunák-Hajagos, and Gallery 1313 director Phil Anderson, we have come to value the flexibility of Word Press as a platform. My aim has not been to reinvent the digital wheel, but  rather seek the most efficient way to upload content. As it has been with the print version of dArt from the outset, content ought to trump clever design licks. This is not to say that this particular online incarnation is carved in stone. As the old modernist maxim averred, “form follows function.” dArt online will have to prove itself by living up to the old hackneyed credo.

D. Dominick Lombardi suggests that: “dArt International magazine’s on-line component will allow our practicing artist/writers to better cover more exhibitions without losing our ability to express our thoughts not just on the big blockbuster shows, but to continue to embrace the out-of-the-way towns and cities that have vital and thriving art scenes. Since most of our contributors are practicing professional artists, they tend to have a far different way of looking at art critically than someone who hasn’t picked up a brush, chisel or piece of charcoal since college. We know what it takes to go from inspiration, through the process of numerous challenges and decisions to the creation of something that can expose our deepest thoughts and fears. Artists put it all out there, and we know and appreciate what it takes to make the plunge into the studio and out into the public arena.”

Anyone who is an attentive reader of the Editorial Contributors column of dArt will readily learn that dArt’s U.S. editor, D. Dominick Lombardi is a serial curator. Here is a quote lifted straight from the said column “Since 1978, Lombardi has curated over 100 exhibitions in a variety of museums and galleries.” Do the math and we get a number averaging nearly three shows a year. At first glance, that may not seem like a lot – but every year for four straight decades – please! Where do you get the energy? Since no one seems able to curb Lombardi’s curating enthusiasm, we asked him to outline his ongoing curatorial projects. Here is the plan as stated in his own words:

China Marks, art, D. Dominick Lombardi
Art by China Marks for the Lombardi co-curated exhibition Water Over the Bridge at the Morean Arts Centre in St. Petersburg, Florida

“The group exhibition I have opening this May at the Morean Arts Center in St Petersburg, Florida, Water Over the Bridge, is the third of three shows that look at how the contemporary artist is responding to the landscape, the environment and climate change. The first show, Pattern Power, Chaos and Quiet, opened this past February at the Housatonic Museum of Art in Bridgeport, CT. The second, Natural Impact, was held at the Arsenal Gallery in New York City from March 8th through April 26th.

Stephen Cook, art, D. Dominick Lombardi
Artwork by Stephen Cook featured on the poster for the Lombardi curated show Where to Draw the Line.

Coming up this spring and fall is an exhibition I am curating for Lichtundfire, which is located in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. That exhibition, Parallel Fields, will show how three artists extrapolate their thoughts and observations, building a very personal iconography that nicely balance mystery with clarity. In September I will have the second version of Where to Draw the Line, a show that had its first installment at the Walter Wickiser Gallery in Chelsea from March 31st to April 25th. This second show will be held at OneWay Gallery in Narragansett, Rhode Island, and will feature the work of thirteen artists including four from the gallery’s current roster. That one opens September 14th. Then it’s out to Brooklyn for a photo-based exhibition at SRO gallery where I will select works that utilize photography in some way, while challenging the boundaries of what one would expect to see when considering the photographic image. The title of this group exhibition is pending.”

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