The initial impetus for the award came after I received an electronic invitation to the opening of Jason Eskenazi’s “Wonderland: A Fairytale of the Soviet Monolith.”  I am familiar with Jason’s work and knew that it wasn’t receiving the attention it deserved so I spontaneously gave him this award and forwarded the email to everyone on my list.

I told Derek Stroup the story of how I made up this award and he laughed.  He was very encouraging and said, “Just keep doing it, the next thing you know people will be sending you their portfolios.”

A month or so later, Jay Nubile happened to send me a You Tube link to a video he and Toby Kaplowitz made for an experimental video workshop.  I tried giving him five stars but the You Tube software had a bug in it and only three stars were given!  This made me mad so I gave Jay what he rightfully deserved -– 6 GOLD STARS ******!

The idea stems partially from my discomfort with traditional media’s methodology for reviewing books, films, art, etc.  I feel these large entities have too much power over what is promoted nationally.  How often does the New York Times review a photography or multimedia book?????  Most of the decisions to review something are coming from editors with an expertise only in writing and editing text.  The visual arts are so dominant in our society yet only a handful of these editors have a strong background in this area.

I’ve always had complex feelings about awards because they foster competition and if someone doesn’t win, the individual often feels sad.  I’m not a person who likes competition or believes people need to be validated by awards, especially in journalism, photography and the arts.  However, awards often promote stuff that might go unnoticed and the psychology behind an award is still very powerful……so the intent is for this to be a friendly, quirky, happy, nice award.

The name of the 6 GOLD STAR AWARD is derived from my early pre-internet days in photography when I used to star my favorite slides so the editors would know which ones to choose.  The best slides were exuberantly given numerous stars.  Despite my not so subtle efforts, these editors have a mind of their own and often choose photographs I don’t want published.  As anyone in field of communications knows these listening skill problems persist to this very day.

And of course….we can’t forget our days in elementary school when we eagerly awaited our gold stars.


Wednesday, November 7, 2007



Dear Friends, Acquaintances and Colleagues,

******I am happy to announce DEREK STROUP has just received the STEVE LEHMAN 6 GOLD STAR AWARD for doing EXTREMELY COOL ART and liking my 6 GOLD STAR AWARD idea. He is the one who suggested I keep giving out the awards.

I met Derek this summer at a reunion. We are "laoxiang" (this is a Chinese expression that means coming from the same place....). It's interesting for me because we are both visual artists and grew up within a mile of one another in CT. I'm several years older so we didn't know each other when we were younger but we have several things in common.

Please come to the opening reception of Derek Stroup's new work EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY at A. M. Richard Fine Art. The space is a cool apartment gallery in a Brooklyn neighborhood.

Installation and Works on Paper

On View November 16th-December 16th, 2007
Opening reception
Friday November 16th, 2007, 6-9pm

Gallery Hours: Weekends, 1-6pm
Weekdays by appointment
Tel: (917) 570-1476 e-mail:

328 Berry Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11211

For a sampling of his art, please check out his websites


For immediate release:

A.M. Richard Fine Art is pleased to announce:
EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY a site-specific installation by DEREK STROUP.
November 16th 2007-December 16th, 2007
Opening Reception: Friday November 16th -6-9pm
Gallery Hours: weekdays by appointment • weekends 1-6 pm
Gallery Contact: A.M. Richard (917) 570-1476 or

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is a large scale installation by conceptual artist
Derek Stroup. The installation will occupy the main space of the gallery and
continue into an adjoining room. An exhibition of small works on paper - also by
Mr. Stroup - each measuring 6” x 9”, numbering 60, entitled, Unrented Billboards,
will be presented in the project space of the gallery. This is the first time they are
publicly exhibited.

DEREK STROUP is an artist presently consumed with investigating the experience
of language, the communication of information, and the visual perception of
the common conduit of intelligible data.

The sculpture, EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is conceived on a monumental scale.
Each letter, approximately 24 inches in height, is cut from plywood, painted red
and subsequently hinged with wire to the next letter forming the word of the
sentence. Completed the sentence measures 18 feet long. Each letter is hinged
to gently move. The sentence, visible from all angles is akin to a roller coaster
configuration. Words snake, hang and sprout from the confinement and
restriction of the gallery space. The experience of reading, traditionally a passive
moment in time, is challenged by the architecture of the installation. Ultimately,
the artist is asking the spectator to be physically engaged with the act of
consuming information. He is deconstructing language for the viewer to better
experience its codified significance.

EVERY DAY IS A GOOD DAY, is one from a series of sculptures the artist has been
working on since 2006. Mr. Stroup is the author of Field Guide (2002), Rope Swing
Manifesto (2004) and Candy (2006). A selection of Mr. Stroup’s books will be
available at the gallery. Mr. Stroup’s books are also available at Printed Matter,
Inc. (195 Tenth Avenue New York, NY 10011). The online version of Rope Swing
Manifesto can be viewed at

This is Mr. Stroup’s first solo exhibition at the A.M. Richard gallery.

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