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Chris Vroom

born: 1965
born in: New York
lives in: New York
I'm the President and Chief Executive Officer of Art+Culture, Inc. If I had a manifesto, it would say: I. Art is really important. It gives us not only amazing visions of beauty and diverse ways of seeing the world around us,... [more]


“Hello Chris, Happy New Year! Please visit my new website. There are pages that are under construction yet.”
Posted over 3 years ago
“Hi Chris. I am really impressed about your work!”
Posted over 3 years ago
“Hey check out my work please.”
Posted over 4 years ago
“Thank you Mr.Chris, now I try to improve and add new stuff to the profile of the Organization SGI Soka Gakkai.It´s an organization with base in Japan, with many locations around the world, teaching about the Philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism and happiness in my country too. I owe you for the opportunity Mr.Chris.”
Posted over 5 years ago
“Hey Mr.Chris thank so much for your message,Iam only a Boy,a litle Maind,I want to share and to know abouve this Beautifull Web Page,So the Artist!! I see what you are a important person dedicate to support and help information,jaja,very nice Soy latino y me gusta practicar mi Ingles-Gracias y espero luego exponer Pinturas digitales con mas dedicacion!!”
Posted over 5 years ago
Isabelle says:
“Thank you, Chris! I am so excited about this site - just discovered it yesterday and found it remarkably inspiring.”
Posted over 5 years ago
Lubomir says:
“Chris,great site, keep on with good work”
Posted over 5 years ago
citykitty says:
“Hey Chris! Any chance you are going to be in Miami for Art Basel in December? Let me know! I'm down here on an artist residency.”
Posted over 5 years ago
“Chris Vroom, is there any way you can kindly post the version (in full) you uploaded of Triste Plaisir et Douloureuse Joye here or in YouTube? Many thanks in advance.”
Posted over 5 years ago
“Your work is great! I love the Bird image. Is it a modified photo or a totally digital image?”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Supporting Visual Arts

Artadia The Fund for Art and Dialogue Emily Todd Published: Summer 2003 in "Grantmakers in the Arts" Artadia, formerly known as The ArtCouncil, revolves around visual artists. Chris Vroom founded Artadia on the belief that direct support for artists will make an impact on the development of the nation's cultural heritage. Artadia is constantly searching for new ways to introduce artists to a larger audience. Success is measured by following the careers of the artists who have received grants or assistance – with the expectation that this support contributes to their careers as professional artists and also positions them to be active participants in a society that embraces them and their ideas. Artadia founder and principal funder Chris Vroom had a career as a research analyst in the financial industry. After realizing that the perpetual travel and long hours of this work stifled his other intellectually satisfying interests, he brought his well-honed analytical skills to support of the arts. After spending nine months talking with people, Vroom came to believe that making the art and culture of one's time relevant requires a systematic and professional approach. He fixed on support for individual artists as an area where his philanthropy could make a difference. Until then Vroom had been an art collector and a member of the art audience. His support of the arts took a quantum leap when he founded The ArtCouncil in 1997. Launched in San Francisco, the program supported individual artists (through grants and an exhibition) and arts-in-education. In 2000, Vroom left his job and dedicated his time to Artadia. Supporting artists through direct grants and professional development is Artadia's mission: building a dynamic national network of artist support through grants and dialogue is Artadia's vision. Grants to individual artists are intended to encourage recipients to complete or start new work. Applications are distributed in an open call. Artists in each city (San Francisco, Chicago, and Houston, so far) apply and a jury of arts professionals (curators, academics, and artists) selects the grantees. Stipends are now for one year and are $20,000. The San Francisco program is in its fourth year and has awarded grants to fifty-three artists. Since it was started there in 2001, the Chicago program has made grants to twenty-nine artists. In Houston five artists recently received grants. Artists selected have subsequently had their work exhibited in museum, gallery, and university venues. Two Artadia grant recipients were represented in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. To date, The ArtCouncil and Artadia have given almost $700,000 to visual artists. The artists have pointed to the exhibition and award as playing an important role in their subsequent success. Vroom expects that Artadia will strengthen the connections between local institutions as well as links between artists, curators, and institutions across the nation. Artadia has a seven-member board and a respected advisory board. The board will expand to include representatives of the cities in which it has programs. Vroom recently hired Alexander Gray (formerly on the staff of ArtPace in San Antonio and of Visual AIDS and Art Matters in Manhattan) as executive director of Artadia. Vroom will continue as a catalyst, introducing the Artadia concept to other individuals. He seeks to inspire others with the possibilities inherent in the Artadia idea. To date, he has enlisted partners in several cities and raised funds for Artadia programs in San Francisco, Chicago, Houston and is in discussion with prospective donors in Miami, Boston, Denver, Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and Baltimore/Washington. He anticipates that Artadia will expand to ten metro¬politan areas by 2007. Vroom sees Artadia's role as assisting in building a sustainable program and he intends these programs to become permanent and funded locally. Vroom believes that the creative core of our society is neglected. He believes that by having an impact on artists' lives through grants and exhibitions, his work contributes to a better America. Vroom is an optimist. His enthusiasm is contagious. He is a compelling and persuasive spokesperson for artists. Vroom believes that we in this country do not appreciate our cultural assets and that we undervalue artists' views on important societal concerns. As long as our culture puts primary value on money, it will always be a challenge for artists' perspectives to be transmitted. Each generation of artists communicates its values to successive generations. Art thus chronicles our cultural heritage and becomes a con¬tinuum of ideas realized creatively. Chris Vroom believes that the arts give meaning to life and that our nation's hopes and aspirations are transmitted through the arts. He has invested substantial amounts of his own time and money in Artadia. Based on his success to date, one can expect that he will be able to leverage significant funding from individuals through his leadership. Artadia is a celebration of our nation's diversity and the culture that arises from this melding of aesthetics and histories.

Romance is the word for today. These films rank high on ...


El Anatsui is a Ghananian artist currently living in Nigeria. Throughout his career, he has utilized found objects and transformed them into objects of great beauty; objects that reflect not only African traditions but also western contemporary influences.

We had an opportunity to visit with El during his visit to Houston where he installed a show at the Rice Art Gallery. The show incorporated his tapestry-like sculptures made from found bottle caps, bands from liquor bottles and other scrap metal. Newer sculptures reveal an airyness not found in previous work.

El Anatsui at The Rice Art Gallery (click HERE for exhibition details)


El Anatsui at Jack Shainman Gallery 513 West 20th through March 13th (click HERE for details)

Jack Shainman recently opened a show of El's wall sculptures. They are incredibly beautiful, monumental works.





To read Alexi Worth's New York Times Magazine article on El Anantsui's work...Click HERE




“They look beautiful! The one at the Met is great.”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Guy Overfelt


Visual Arts
Conceptual Art



Guy Overfelt is a San Fransisco-based conceptual artist and 2001 Artadia Award recipient. His practice is heavily invested in car culture, a focus of his upcoming exhibition at the Oakland Museum which opens Thursday January 21, 2010. There will be an opening from 5:00 - 7:00pm at the Museum.

A video of his signature 'burnout' can be found on vimeo HERE


Guy Overfelt : Freebird @ Oakland Museum
by Monica Bowman of The Butcher's Daughter Gallery, Detroit


Guy Overfelt utilizes language embedded in American car culture. Specifically originating with that established in 1977 with the release of the Universal Pictures film Smokey and The Bandit starring Burt Reynolds and Sally Field.

This film (to anyone who hasn’t seen or doesn’t remember it) personifies archetypal role of Modern blue-collar American masculinity. Prevalent in late 1970s and early 80s media and television, the typical associations were a penchant for anti-authority behavior (e.g., boot legging is the film’s central theme), material obsession (car centric focus) and sexually heroic behavior (rescuing a runaway bride from the sheriff’s son).

Overfelt is interested in the mechanisms and outcomes of the embedded social codes expressed by the film and subsequently mass marketed through film sequels and merchandising.

The artist uses a 1977 Smokey and The Bandit-replica, Pontiac Firebird (and concepts associated with the movie) to explore social archetypes and the contextual relevancy in the crossover of gear-head culture into the fine arts environment. The objects seen in the gallery (i.e., photographs, tire burnouts on linen or Arches paper) are but evidence to the experimentation, planning and purposeful mark-making present in Overfelt’s work.

Overfelt builds and handles the maintenance of his Firebird (he is at work on his second) and works to tirelessly repair and perfect the functionality of the car to achieve peak performance. Documentation of the process of making (e.g., greasy rags, notebook schematics, garage photographs, etc.) often accompany his work to indicate the action unseen in this process of making.

The artist describes the projects as

“a 13 year degenerative process at work that address failure of achievement and the dissolution of the American dream in real time. What started out as a fully functional classic muscle car has dissolved into a deflated wrecked poetic and prophetic carnage of the US car industry and the phoenix which once brilliant stood upon the hood of this Hollywood icon, The Smokey and The Bandit Pontiac Trans AM.”

His performances, like Video documentation of the creation of Burnout Drawings, Pier 70, San Francisco, CA, 1998 (below), illustrate the performative actions and purposeful mark making that is largely unseen by or recorded for gallery audiences.

Overfelt cites Modern masters as artistic influences: Barnett Newman (think: Zips)Richard Serra (Steel and the physicality of making)Gordon Matta Clark (building cuts). These American artists, beginning in the era of the Abstract Expressionists, personified their generation’s idealism for strong masculine leaders or cowboys, if you will, consuming materials and conquering artistic frontiers.

While Smokey and The Bandit is but a mere memory (if at all) to most, Overfelt uses the film to trace a specifically American pursuit of freedom through the cult of the automobile. This concept of automobile as process, performance and mark making tool that can be viewed as a codex of which the pages are the wide open asphalt of the American road.

Currently the second incarnation of Overfelt’s 1977 Trans Am is in the process of being built. However, if you’re in California you can see the artist’s original vehicle on display (in its current form), as well as an inflatable version, at the Oakland Museum of California at City Center on exhibition January 21 - April 30, 2010.

Overfelt’s work can also be seen at The Butcher’s Daughter Gallery through February 20, 2010 and a comprehensive overview of work is available on the artist’s website (


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William Kentridge





Metropolitan Opera
Russian Opera

This spring the Metroplitan Opera will present "The Nose", the Shostakovich opera inspired by Nikolai Gogol's 1936 short story about a man whose nose leaves his face and develops a life of its own. William Kentridge, the South African artist guiding the adaption, see the nose as a metaphor for the parts of our selves in conflict - when the protoganist catches up with his errant olafactory organ, it refuses to return to its former position.

The opera is a particularly satirical, particularly Russian work. When it premiered in Russia in 1930, the Rusian Association of Proletarian Musicians deemed it "too formalist" and it closed after 17 performances and was not shown again in Russian until 1974.

Kentridge, well known for his amazing drawings, animation and performance work will present the Nose on stage, in archival film footage, his own animations and films.

The last performative work by Kentridge - a production of Mozart's Die Zauberfloete - proved to be the artistic event of 2008 (I, sadly, gave my ticket away and once the reviews came out from the first night, there was no chance of gaining another). We're excited to see how Kentridge transforms this piece.

Where: The Metropolitan Opera (co-produced with the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence, and the Opéra National de Lyon, France)

When: opens March 5 for six performances (March 11, 13, 18, 25)

Link: NYT Article on the William Kentridge exhibition at SFMOMA.



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javari says:
“For the true origin, source, and aetiology of Kentridge's forthcoming direction of Shostakovich "The Nose" at Met Opera, New York March 2010, see "Freud Futures" by Jennifer Arlene Stone on "iMishMashUps" App; and "Kentridge" App [paperbacks on amazon] For Kentridge's film instruction, see "iAuteurs" App 18 "javari" Apps for iPhone and iPod touch on iTunes Cybereditor New York NY”
Posted over 5 years ago
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The art world converges on Miami this week for a constellation of fairs centered around Art Basel | Basel. We had a chance to preview works and catch up with collectors, curators, artists and dealers. Overall, there is renewed vitality at the fair this year, a great deal of work on display seemed either recent work or historically relevant - not quite so much secondary market repetition. While we like to visit with friends, we focus on exploring new galleries with whom we are unfamiliar and want to highlight two great installations and give a shout out to specific works presented by old friends.

Gallery Lia Rumma / Milan: Booth T5

Shame on us for not being familiar with the program of this gallery from Milan. At the entrance to three well-curated section were placed two important documentations of Marina Abramovic performances including 'Breathing In / Breathing Out from 1977.

Entering the booth, we found interesting Pistoletto mirror paintings presented alongside late 1970s examples of Gino De Dominicis' work and that of Enrico Castellani.

The second room featured two large-scale Thomas Ruff photographs from the Nudes series flanking an industrial landscape.

In the last room, a series of William Kentridge drawings rounded out an outstanding presentation of new and historical work. Bravissimo!

Carlier Gebauer / Berlin: Booth A5

This Berlin-based gallery presented new and iconic erasure works by Paul Pffeifer, new work by Amy Sillman, intimate watercolors by Julie Mehretu along with strong work by the South African artist, Robin Rhode.


Two further shoutouts to:

Alexander Gray Associates / New York. S1. Alex's excellent program is rooted in a keen curatorial eye. Well-earned, this spot at the most important art fair in the United States and impressive given the relative youth of the program. Gray is showing an outstanding installation by the artist, writer and critic Lorraine O'Grady. We had a chance to meet this great artist at the fair; this work is both beautiful, conceptually important and moving. 

Lastly, there is an amazing new Anish Kapoor sculpture at Lisson gallery. Executed in 2009, this untitled piece is stainless steel, with a concave surface of hundreds of squares which serve as an acoustic amplifier, allowing whatever is said nearby to be perfectly discernible across the room. It's really great.

More to come from the satellite fairs...send your observations/shout-outs/picks/pans to and we'll feature them at



“Thank you for this post - now I can enjoy the fair vicariously!”
Posted over 5 years ago
“Sounds great. Too bad I waited to get my stuff together. I would have loved to been down there again this year.”
Posted over 5 years ago
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Interview with Breda Kennedy / Executive Director of the Dumbo Arts Center

CEV: Breda, first of all, thanks for taking the time to talk with Art and Culture, I know you're in full gear preparing for the opening of the festival on the 25th. Could you talk a bit about your background and the genesis of this great event?

BK: Thanks Chris. I came on board in August 2006, just before the 10th festival was about to begin. The previous director (and Founder, along with Rodney Trice, Margaret Champagne, Tyson Daugherty, and others), Joy Glidden, had just resigned and so it was a sink or swim situation for me. I had previously been the program manager at ISCP so had a lot of experience working with artists but not as much working at the community level and had certainly never produced an event of this scale before. The festival had started ten years before in 1997. At that time, there were thousands of artists making art and thereby doing what artists do to blighted neighborhoods - they improve them. The festival was a guerrilla adventure with live performances, open studios and music throughout the neighborhood. Today, although the population of artists living and working in Dumbo has drastically diminished because they can no longer afford to be here, the neighborhood remains vibrant through the cluster of arts non-profits and the stimulus of young artists who participate in visual arts residencies e.g. Smack Mellon, the Marie Sharp Walsh Foundation and Triangle. This year, we'll have 77 open studios and over 80 artist projects.

CEV: The term 'public art' is oftentimes a pejorative, connoting a kind of watered-down, consensus driven, politically-correct expression. That doesn't seem to be the case here at all.

BK: No, this is public art presented in a different way. First, it's temporary so doesn't go through the same type of consensus building you reference. It is dynamic, risk-taking and unpredictable and happens in every sort of site imaginable - the waterfront, in the streets, in store fronts and gallery spaces. It's really quite amazing. We do however, go through a process. Every proposal is carefully considered - we received nearly 300 applications this year. We go through a dialogue with the artist during a two month review process and then work with landlords, businesses, the Departments of Transportation and Parks, among others, to determine the best fit. Local business has been incredibly supportive; the festival brings over 100,000 visitors to the neighborhood. In addition to the artist projects, open studios and performances, Caspar Stracke and Gabriella Monroy have curated a video festival with 50 video artists.

CEV: How much influence do outside people have on the curatorial process and do you,  internally, seek out a particular thematic thread for the projects that are included?

BK: We do not approach the projects with a particular bias in mind however, our objective is to give artists total freedom in an urban space for this one weekend and so the projects do tend to reflect the moment. For example, for the 12th Festival, there were projects that dealt with the elections and the political climate of the day.

CEV: So do you see a 'recessional aesthetic' emerging at this year's festival?

BK: There are projects that deal with the current economic climate. Ryan Rhodes, for example, has created a performance that features an untamed businessman werewolf-like creature. The environment is also very topical. John Monteith is doing a street installation of oyster shells that recalls their use as an industrial material while celebrating their current deployment to clean up the environment. There is an incredible range of projects here reflecting the diversity of artistic practice in Brooklyn and around the city. this is not a biennial, it is not cube art. We are attempting to create an oasis where anything can happen. I think that is very very important to preserve here in New York.

CEV: We totally agree. Thanks for taking the time Breda and congratulations on building a fantastic showcase for artistic innovation.

Dumbo Art Center is the sponsor of the "Art Under the Bridge Festival" taking place in Brooklyn from September 25 through Sunday Septemer 27th. For more information including details on festival artists. Please visit:

Here are some images from past and current year's festival, underscoring the diversity of artistic practice presented. Don't Miss It!


Detail from "My Sweet Home" by Nung-Hsin Hu (click to read artist's profile)


"Public Feeding'' by Cat Del Buono

"The Cardboard Gallery" by Marta Gazicka


Christopher Vroom
President and Chief Executive Officer
Art and Culture, Inc.

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