Denver Gallery's Cannabis Club Busted, Sequester Slams Smithsonian, and More

Denver Gallery's Cannabis Club Busted, Sequester Slams Smithsonian, and More

– Gallery's Pot-for-Donations Club Busted: The co-directors of 530 Art & Upcycle, Adam Zimmerli and Devon Hawk Hazard, are facing felony charges for hosting a club that gave away free marijuana in exchange for donations to the art space. Undercover police claim they received hundreds of dollars worth of weed in exchange for donations. "We didn’t sell marijuana to anyone, we never distributed marijuana, we did have a private marijuana club," said Zimmerli. "We never broke a law. We really were just there for the people, giving them a safe place to be," Hazard added. "We were abiding by the law that the state voted for." The Cannabis Club of Denver is asking for online donations to fight the charges, believing that the case could set a precedent. [CBS4, Cannabis Club of Denver]

– Sequester Hits Smithsonian: Due to the budget reductions resulting from sequestration, many of the Smithsonian Institute's art museums — which include the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Renwick Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery — will be forced to close selected galleries on a rolling basis, possibly beginning as early as next month. They will remain open seven days per week, though several museums will also cut back by foregoing the typically extended summer schedules in coming months. "The goal is to keep our museums open," said Smithsonian secretary G. Wayne Clough. [WaPoWaPo]


– Kelley's Masterpiece Reaches Home Stretch: The late L.A.-based, Detroit-born artist Mike Kelley was preparing the ambitious and deeply personal "Mobile Homestead" — a full-scale replica of his childhood home — at the time of his death, and now the work has been installed on an empty downtown lot near the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), which will unveil it to the public on May 11. "He kept saying to me, 'This is never going to happen — it’s a joke,' because that’s the way he was," Marsha Miro, MOCAD's founding director, said of Kelley's attitude toward the project. "But he also said he thought it would be one of the most important things he ever did, partly because it would keep on being a living piece." [NYT]

– McCall's Olympic Art Megalith Lost: After more than a year of delays and over £500,000 in funding from Arts Council EnglandAnthony McCall's ambitious plan to create a six-mile-high column of vapor in Liverpool that was originally slated to be part of the cultural programming for the 2012 Olympics, has finally been called off. "It is with profound disappointment that we have decided to draw our project to a close," McCall said. "My team has worked long and hard but, due to the many regulatory and technical challenges, we have not been able to bring Column to completion." [BBC]

– Louvre Abu Dhabi Won't Be Censored: Yesterday, during a preview of some 130 works from the permanent collection of the Louvre Abu Dhabi, which is slated to open in two years, curator Laurence Des Cars said that the new institution won't shy away from artworks engaging subjects like sexuality and religion, which have frequently been removed from exhibitions at galleries, museums, and fairs in the United Arab Emirates. The Louvre's outpost will show all types of work, Des Cars said, but it won't "shock just to be shocking," adding: "The idea is to create connections between different civilizations." [AFPAP]

– Ceramic How-To Videos Go Viral: San Francisco sculptor Hien-Chuen Lin's elegantly shot but otherwise straightforward YouTube tutorials, shot in his backyard shed in which the ceramicist demonstrates techniques for working at a throwing wheel, have gathered a huge online following nearly on par with the woman who inspired him to start making them three years ago — Susan Boyle. "She sang and everybody went crazy and she got a lot of views. It pushed me into it," Lin says. "After I die, people can still learn from me. I say to my sons, next time when I'm not in this world they can see me online." [San Francisco Chronicle]

– Stolen Fabergé Egg Case Cracked: A jewel-covered, golden Fabergé egg worth €1 million that was stolen from a Kuwaiti firm based in Geneva in 2009 was recovered following a routine road stop in France near the Swiss border, French police revealed Monday. It was discovered in a "suspect" BMW, according to police, which was being driven by two Belarusian men who, along with a third in a trailing car, were arrested at the scene. [AFP]

– Louvre's German Exhibition the Wurst?: Two major German newspapers, the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and left-leaning Die Zeit have attacked the Louvre for the portrayal of Germany in its new exhibition "Germany (1800-1939), from Friedrich to Beckman," which they claim presents a cliché portrait of a nation with a "singular German voice" and a problematic narrative built up over the course of its more than 200 artworks leading inexorably towards the horrors of World War II. "National Socialism, with which the exhibition concludes, is presented as the inevitable destiny that was foreshadowed in art," a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung editorial says, "rather than as a political development among many others that never came to pass." [AFP]

– Curiger Goes for Van Gogh Job: The globe-trotting Swiss curator Bice Curiger has opted for an unexpected place to touch down: She is the new artistic director of the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles in the south of France. The curator of the 2011 Venice Biennale and co-founder of Parkett will oversee the 30-year-old Van Gogh Foundation's upcoming relocation to a historic hotel. [TAN]

– Chinese Gallerist Goes Back to Jail: The Chinese art dealer Gao Ping, who operates galleries in Madrid and Beijing and was arrested last October for his suspected connection to an international money-laundering scheme based in Spain, has been ordered back to prison for fear that he might flee while a possible trial is pending. Gao is one of several dozen suspects accused of laundering as much as €300,000 annually, bribing officials, dodging taxes, and falsifying documents. [AFP]


One of San Francisco sculptor Hien-Chuen Lin's ceramics how-to vids


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