In this week's bulletin, Alexandra Peers reports gallery movement in the ever-institutionalizing world of street art, and job openings at national museums.


Fairey Godmother


In the art world, no "bad" deed goes unrewarded: Street artist and "banned in Boston" painter Shepard Fairey has signed with art impresario Jeffrey Deitch. Rumored for weeks, the gallery has confirmed the partnership, which has Fairey leaving New York dealer Jonathan LeVine.

Deitch has a history of getting press for his artists, but Fairey has already been much in the news. Earlier this month, the star, who emerged from the skateboarding scene, pleaded guilty to charges of vandalism in Boston and agreed to alert local officials of any plans to visit the city; he is also prohibited from carrying graffiti materials in the county unless it is used for "authorized" art installations. He got two years probation for defacing public property and for wanton destruction of property.



Shepard Fairey. Photo by Ian Witln



Deitch could not be reached for comment, but his expertise in building controversial young art stars and in art-appropriation controversies (Jeff Koons is a friend and he has made a market in his work) may help Fairey. Fairey is involved in a lawsuit against the Associated Press, which charges that the artist's famous "Hope" poster, featuring President Obama, violated copyright laws because it is based on an AP photo. Fairey has acknowledged altering that image, but has said he materially changed it in the making of his art.

There was another high-profile signing in the supposedly quiet summer art world: Perry Rubenstein has brought in Faile Collective, the Brooklyn-based artist collective of stencil taggers, who have wheatpasted and painted on buildings internationally.


View at the Top

Who says there are no jobs? While the Philadelphia Museum of Art has filled its directorship, there are still about a dozen top positions open at art museums, according to the Association of Art Museum Directors. Prime placements include the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and the San Diego Museum of Art. The top job at the Cleveland Museum of Art just opened up as director Tim Rub moved to Philadelphia. Other posts are open in Ohio, Michigan and Idaho.

But perhaps the most tempting berth? Palm Beach. While the current, longtime Norton Museum of Art director, Christina Orr-Cahall, announced in March she was stepping down to head Seattle's Experience Music Project, executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles only recently posted a job opening for the Florida job, indicating the search may be widening. The Norton says applications are being accepted now and interviews will take place in the fall.

It's not Venice, but....

A grant to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art will fund a three-year program and launch a new contemporary festival to occur every four years, starting in 2010. The William Penn Foundation earlier this week announced a $440,000 gift to the Academy, where artists such as Mary Cassatt and Alexander Calder have studied. Founded in 1805, the museum is the oldest art museum and school in the coutnry.