Semblance of a Responsible Life


Semblance of a Responsible Life
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
36 x 50 inches
May 2010

Interesting installation opp


Eastern State Penitentiary - Philadelphia, PA
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site seeks proposals for its 2011 tour season and beyond. Full details are available on the website at Here are some projects that have been done there.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of convicts. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells once held many of America's most notorious criminals, including bank robber Willie Sutton and Al Capone. Tours today include the cellblocks, solitary punishment cells, Al Capone's Cell, and Death Row. A critically-acclaimed series of artists' installations is free with admission.

Deadline for proposals: Tuesday, June 15, 2010. Eastern State Penitentiary, 2027 Fairmount Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19130

An Interview with Artist Micheline Klagsbrun


For her portion of a duo show with Thierry Guillemin, fellow Studio Gallery artist Micheline Klagsbrun draws on her exploration of a story by Ovid as well as the lotus flowers featured at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.

Keep reading for more insights into Micheline's lush show, Lotus/Lotis, May 26 - June 19, 2010 and be sure to drop by one of the receptions:

First Friday Reception June 4, 6-8 pm
Artist's Reception Saturday, June 5, 3-5 pm
Studio Gallery - 2108 R Street N.W. Washington, DC
Directions and Hours>>

Q: For this show, did you do anything differently... new techniques, subject matter, palette, etc.?

A: It's unusual for me to create an extended series of work, using a single theme and media: a continuous flow of work.

Q: Tell us more about your theme and inspiration.

A: The source: immersion in the extraordinary display of lotus at the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, at the same time as I was working on Ovid's story of Dryope (from The Metamorphoses). Dryope, a lovely young mother, plucks a lotus, unaware that this blossom is a transformed nymph, Lotis. The flower starts to drip blood, and Dryope suffers the fate of being turned into a tree.

The lotus painted by Ovid is a plant of fantasy, open to botanical interpretation, though I see her clearly as the water-lotus (botanically of the Nymphaeaceae family). She is warmblooded still, almost unique among plants in her ability to maintain her body temperature, just as she used to do when she played with human beings.

Sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism, she rises pure and glowing from the muddy riverbed. As I draw her I feel myself drawn into this tradition of worship, but also into the tradition of centuries of classical artists painting the ideal woman, all translucent skin and soft curves...perfect petal, perfect complexion.

According to the Ancient Greeks, nymphs were also guardians of the sacred spring of water that symbolizes knowledge -- knowledge that was powerful and possibly dangerous. I learned this from Roberto Calasso, who states in Literature and the Gods: "To approach a Nymph is to be seized, possessed by something, to immerse oneself in an element at once soft and unstable, that may be thrilling or may equally well prove fatal."

Q: Do you paint intuitively, with a hardcore plan, or somewhere in between?

A: Although I will often plan my work, especially if it based on one of Ovid’s stories, in this case I just stepped aside and let the work emerge in a purely intuitive flow. Maybe Lotis allowed me access to the sacred spring!

Q: What challenges does the DC area present for local artists?

A: We face the same challenges as artists everywhere: how to survive in times of economic recession, how to build creative and nurturing community, how to get exposure for and critical feedback about our work. Last month we held an Open Forum at my studio in the 52O Street Building on just these topics, and after an hour and a half of fervent dialogue no one wanted to stop! The art world in DC is bubbling with ideas in these areas.

Thanks, Micheline, for sharing these insights into your new work and the DC art scene! Can't make her show? Visit her gorgeous online portfolio at the Studio Gallery website.

An Interview with Artist Jacqui Crocetta


Jacqui Crocetta
48 x 48 inches
Photo by Ulf Wallin

Jacqui Crocetta's two-person show, extending trust, is now up at the Studio Gallery through May 22, 2010 along with Marie Straw's Creating Characters from Abstraction and Andrea Kraus's solo show, Painting in Haiku: "Surface of a petal-covered pond". I hope you have a chance to stop by to see her new work in person!

First Friday Reception: May 7, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, May 8, 4 - 6 pm
Studio Gallery ~ 2108 R Street N.W. Washington, DC
Gallery location and hours

Q: What's your favorite piece from the show and why?

A: One of my favorite paintings in the show is enduring a 48 x 48 abstract acrylic on canvas. There are actually quite a few paintings, or painting "attempts" underneath the final, resolved painting which, to me, adds an interesting dimension. The painting's history seems to add depth, just as the experiences in a person's life add character.

Q: Do you paint intuitively, with a hardcore plan, or somewhere in between?

A: My point of departure might be a specific color palette, but my only plan is to follow where the painting takes me. I begin by freely and fearlessly applying paint to the canvas, often times deliberately painting myself into a corner, until I reach the point in the process where I begin editing. The dance between chaos and control is what I love most about the process--moving back and forth in the space between inspiration and intention. I find that by easing up on control, I am rewarded by the discovery of complex colors and compositions, which I can then coax into becoming a painting.

Q: For this show, did you do anything differently... new techniques, subject matter, palette, etc.?

A: I created three-dimensional work for this show, which has given me the opportunity to work with new materials, an added dimension, and a different process/approach. I'm intrigued by the organic way in which an artist's work evolves--the three-dimensional pieces are in response to a nagging need I had to respond to some of the issues and events in life that challenge and fascinate me.

Q: Where do you see the DC art scene in five years? In ten?

A: I believe the future holds a rich, blended art scene for DC. There will be an increase in unique collaborations between artists and professionals in a range of industries... visual and performing artists, poets, scientists, architects, designers, urban planners, inventors, teachers, etc. Our understanding, definition of, and access to art will expand far greater than where it is today. There will be a greater emphasis on, and appreciation of, the significance of art and creativity in the evolution of society. Art will be more seamlessly integrated into everyday living.

Q: What challenges does the DC area present for local artists?

A: The lack of affordable studio space is a real problem. We need the equivalent of the incubators that exist for science and technology.

Q: What's your favorite part of being a Studio Gallery member?

A: I'm grateful to be part of the Studio Gallery community for many reasons... because our director, Adah Rose, is so innovative and passionate about art and artists, we have the best interns in town, and we have a diverse and talented group of member artists who are a source of endless support and inspiration.

Thank you, Jacqui, for sharing these insights into your new work plus your vision of the DC art scene in the future! For more about Jacqui, including additional work, artist statement and a link to her website, visit the Studio Gallery on the web and be sure to stop by the receptions and meet her in person.