Mark Vallen's Newsletter © Dec '04
Art Activism & Social Change
Artworks by Mark Vallen
A R T  F O R   A  C H A N G E


1) - THE LOUVRE FOR ALL!... An international protest action for art access
2) - PAPER POLITICS... Open call to all printmakers
3) - NEW YORK ART SHOW CENSORED... Group show shut down for political reasons
4) -
RESISTANCE, DIGNITY, AND PRIDE... New book on LA's African American Artists

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Solidarité internationale!
The Louvre, FREE for all!

An international protest action for art access

Mark Vallen's weblog was the first English language source to report the following story. The renowned
Louvre Museum
of Paris has canceled its policy of free admission for artists, teachers, and foreign art students. The annulment went into effect last September after the museum 's price of admission increased by 13%, despite public disapproval. In response, a national - international demonstration of artists has been called for Saturday, January 22, 2005 in front of the Pyramid of the Louvre.

The organizers of the protest, "The Louvre For All", are calling upon all artists, art students, teachers, and supporters of the arts... including art lovers from around the world, to join the protest against the growing commercialization of the Louvre. The protest will not only call for the immediate re-establishment of price exemptions for art students and teachers both foreign and domestic, but it will also demand the Louvre drop admission charges altogether to become a free museum. The protest organizers cite the Los Angeles Getty Museum -,
as an example of a major art museum being free and open to the public.

Take a moment to sign the international petition to be presented to the Louvre on January 22nd. Simply send an e-mail to: - indicating your last name, first name, profession, city, country, and website (if any). Visit the French language The Louvre For All website, at:
You can always drop that url into Altavista's Babel Fish universal translator, to find out more details in any language. Spread the word - Solidarité internationale!


PAPER POLITICS... Open Call to All Printmakers

Seattle Print Arts (SPA), have issued an artist's call for an upcoming show, PAPER POLITICS -West: A Show of Socially Engaged Printmaking. SPA is calling on artists of all experience levels and backgrounds to submit prints focusing on themes of social justice and global equity that will engage community members in political conversation. The following will be accepted: monotypes, lithographs, silk-screen, letterpress, stenciling, etching, block prints, hand-processed photo prints, and digital prints if combined with traditional technique. In essence, any kind of printing on paper that retains some evidence of the human hand. Submission deadline is January 15th, 2005. The exhibit is set for April, 2005. Full details on how to enter the show are available in .pdf form at:

Group show shut down for political reasons

In New York, the Chelsea Market had a good reputation for offering public exhibition space for artists amid its coffee shops, bakeries, vegetable stalls and other retail shops. That is... until artist Chris Savido came along.

Savido and Bush Monkeys

The artist was part of a group show featuring artworks slated to appear in an upcoming issue of Animal Magazine, a quarterly publication showcasing emerging artists. More than 2,000 people attended the opening night of the exhibit to view the 60 artworks on display. That's when the management of the Chelsea Market took a closer look at Savido's painting titled, Bush Monkeys. At first glance the acrylic on canvas appears to be nothing more than a portrait Mr. Bush, but a close up inspection reveals the likeness to be made up of chimps frolicking around a pond. An outraged manager of the Chelsea Market created a public scene by bellowing, "The show is over! Get this work down!" The management not only insisted that Savido's painting be removed, but that the entire group show be taken down. Show organizer Bucky Turco was threatened with arrest unless the exhibit was immediately closed. Turco complied, taking down the pieces that would have been displayed for a month and moving them to his small downtown Animal Gallery.

Savido called the closing "a blatant act of censorship", and said he would auction his painting and donate the proceeds to an organization dedicated to freedom of expression. "This is much deeper than art," said the artist. "This is fundamental American rights, freedom of speech. To see that something like this can happen, especially in a place like New York City is mind boggling and scary."


Mark Vallen's weblog broke the story of the upcoming Louvre protests to the English speaking world... follow those and other important developments on his blog. Recent posts include: The IBM Museum of Art (the future of museums?) Stencil Pirates (Josh MacPhee's book on international stencil art), Can't draw or paint, must be an artist (essay on the Turner Prize for art), Aztec Art - Roots of Modernism (story on the Guggenheim Museum of New York City and its current exhibition of Aztec art).

African American Art in Los Angeles

Paul Von Blum, Senior Lecturer of African American Studies and Communications Studies at UCLA, and noted author on the traditions of socially conscious art (The Critical Vision and Other Voices: Women Political Artists in Los Angeles), has a new book out on the subject of African American artists in Southern California.

Resistance, Dignity, and Pride: African American Art in Los Angeles, is the first comprehensive look at the African American artists of LA. The volume covers 16 contemporary artists whose works are critical of racism, sexism, and other social ills. Von Blum's work acknowledges the powerful contributions to African American art history made by notable artists like John Outterbride, Ruth Waddy, Charles White and others. Von Blum's book is the first effort specifically directed to the critical analysis and discovery of black Los Angeles artists. This important book is now available from CAAS Publications, 160 Haines Hall, Box 951545, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1545. Phone: (310) 206-6340. Fax: (310) 825-5019. Web:


Signed and numbered limited edition Serigraphs, Lithographs, and Giclée prints by Mark Vallen are available for purchase off the Art For A Change website. For your convenience, artworks can be purchased using the secure online "shopping cart" Paypal system. To view the prints, visit:

Lithograph by Vallen (detail)
Detail of Lithograph by Mark Vallen
The ART FOR A CHANGE © newsletter encourages and promotes the creation of artworks that envision a just, peaceful world. If you wish to be added or removed from the AFC mailing list, or if you'd rather receive text only versions of this mailing, send an e-mail request.
"They always say time changes things, but you actually
have to change them yourself."

~ Andy Warhol