Explorations: New Member Show at Studio Gallery


Nine new members. Two floors of art to explore. 

If you're local, please drop by and say hello during one of the three receptions being held. I have several pieces up as well as fellow SG members Pam Frederick, Elizabeth Grusin-Howe, Carolee Jakes, Flora Kanter, Peter Karp, Gene Markowski, Veronica Szalus, and Angelika Wamsler. I'd love to see you there!

Exhibit Dates: June 23 - July 17, 2010
Artist's Reception: Saturday, June 26, 4 - 6 pm
First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): July 2, 6 - 8 pm
Reception: Friday, July 9, 6 - 8 pm

2108 R Street N.W. Washington, DC 20008
Gallery Hours:
Wednesday and Thursday, 1 - 7pm
Friday, 1 - 8pm
Saturday, 1 - 6pm

An Interview with Nancy Frankel

Water Falls by Nancy Frankel


In her solo show, Summer Steel +, Nancy Frankel’s new steel sculptures combine the interplay of space and form, delicate balance, and playfulness. Also on display are her fired clay reliefs, which grew out of an experience two years ago in a Plein Air group with Russian and Bulgarian artists in Bulgaria.

To see Water Falls and Nancy’s other wonderful work on display, drop by Studio Gallery during one of the receptions and talk with this wonderful artist who has given so much to the local arts scene.

June 23 - July 17, 2010
First Friday Reception (as part of the Dupont Circle Galleries openings): July 2, 6 - 8 pm
Reception: Friday, July 9, 6 - 8 pm
Artist's Reception: Saturday, June 26, 4 - 6 pm

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

A:  Usually my favorite piece is the one I’ve just finished but that isn’t the case this time. The frame for Water Falls had been given to me in the past and had been in my studio for a year. I like that it’s using color, and that it’s curvilinear. Water Falls wasn’t created in the typical way I work -- I didn’t plan it ahead of time, and I had to create it by bending and curving the steel then attach the steel to the frame. I had no preconceived idea about what it would look like completed. My steel pieces have to be thought out ahead time, even though when working with wax and playing with sketches I can be spontaneous until something takes hold. Once I get the specific idea down, I then have to be very careful about the model.  With Water Falls, I could take a very different approach.

Q: What kinds of opportunities have you had as artist in the DC area during your career?

A: I’ve been in DC a long time -- 40 years -- and have been active as an artist with several organizations during this period. I’ve been with Studio Gallery since the 1980s, and it’s been a great place for me to connect with other artists and get good exposure. Here, there is no dictation about what to display or what sells. I’m also a part of the Washington Sculptors Group, and they exist to provide opportunities to show and make connections. I’m also a member of a group of women artists who meet once a month -- the First Sunday Group. It’s a fluid group with a solid core.

Q: If you could wish for one major change in the local art scene, what would it be?

A:  The DC art scene’s shortcoming is the lack of attention to given to arts and lack of  respect for local artists. The local papers often ignore local artists. Maybe this lack of interest is due to the fact that we’re surrounded by national galleries and also how close we are to New York. I wish people would pay attention to the vibrant art scene here, which unfortunately seems mostly underground.

New DC Area Art Rag: Stamp Magazine


Artist/Designer Jason Nickens is publishing a new art magazine to answer the question, "Where has all the good art gone?" Here's a teaser of the magazine to give people a view of the publication before its printed. It features the work of Washington Metropolitan artists.  It's funded by the DC Commission and will be distributed throughout the city.

From the STAMP blog:

STAMP is a new catalog style magazine, created to be a platform that will serve as a voice for artists to promote and share their artistic expression throughout the community and beyond. STAMP offers the opportunity for any artist with a passion for their work to be promoted on the blog and perhaps the magazine. We encourage all artists who wish to have their work seen, or just need a visual stage, to submit their work to STAMP. To be considered for any of the upcoming issues or the blog, simply email STAMP at stampmagazine@jasonnickens.com. Please include a short biography, any contact information (website, email), and at least 5 hi-res works you want featured. That's it!!! Enjoy the artists and uploads on STAMP!!!

Out and About


I really enjoyed Don't Feed the Art over at artdc Gallery in Hyattsville. Those disembodied faces? You had to walk a gauntlet of them to get into the show. Be sure to check it out before it closes July 10th.

Also stopped by the Fraser Gallery to see work selected for the Bethesda Painting Awards. I think there was only one red dot among these wonderful and very reasonably priced pieces. Very dismayed to see that. I'd never seen the work of First Place winner Nora Sturges. Lovely, rich pieces that I kept coming back to. I remember seeing work by James Halloran at Artomatic 2009. His Hallway was my favorite single piece. This show closes June 26th. If you're at all interested in painting, this show is a must-see.

MD Sculptors: Get Your Fund On


Maryland State Arts Council Individual Artist Awards are made to Maryland artists to encourage and sustain their pursuit of artistic excellence. The categories offered for 2011 include classical music composition and solo performance, choreography, dance solo performance, poetry, sculpture, and world music composition and solo performance
(FYI - 2012 will rotate to include crafts and photography; 2013 has painting, media/digital/electronic arts, & works on paper).

A limited number of awards of $1,000, $3,000, and $6,000 will be offered. The application deadline for the 2011 Maryland program is August 4, 2010.

See guidelines and access the online application>>

Who May Apply: Individuals who are Maryland residents, 18 years of age or older may apply. Applicants must have established residence and be living in Maryland at least six months prior to the application deadline, and must be residents living in Maryland at the time the award is granted by MSAC. Proof of residency may be required.

Who May Not Apply:
- Individuals enrolled in high school or any undergraduate classes or programs during FY 2011 (July 1, 2010 - June 30, 2011).
- Individuals pursuing graduate instruction in any MSAC IAA artistic category during FY 2011 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011).
- Collaborating artists may not apply for their collaborative work.
- Artists who received a $6,000 MSAC Individual Artist Award for FY 2009 or FY 2010.

Turn-about is fair play...


Two of the wonderful Studio Gallery interns interviewed me today, and it was fun being on the other side of the questions, which dealt with process, using text, and my take on why you should experience local art. Check it out at the Dupont Circle Arts blog.

The Art, It's Hungry...


Don’t feed the art, because it may bite... This show coming up at artdc Gallery encompasses a wide range of techniques that are powered by motors and the viewer, creating motion ranging from random physical movements to very defined circles. It's wind-powered. It's moving disembodied faces. It's a bunch of parts that "crank, buzz, flap, blink and jitter," notes gallery director Jesse Cohen.

How can you resist moving disembodied faces?

Jesse adds, "In a room overflowing with tweaker-like energy, Sarah Martin’s paintings jump out and grab your attention with calming power."

artdc Gallery
5710 Baltimore Ave.
Hyattsville, MD 20781
Dates: June 5th to July 10th 2010

Reception: Saturday June 18th 7:30 to 10pm

Visit the artists' sites below, and be sure to check out the 2-D work by Christian and Peter. I love their surfaces.

Zac Jackson
Christian Benefiel
Grayson Heck
Peter Gordon
Sarah Martin

Small Boxes... Some on Fire


Had a full day in the studio yesterday and came up with the title for my September two-person show. Here are two relatively small pieces I hope to include that got wrapped up yesterday.

Things She Wanted To Be
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
12 x 16 inches

Shadow Lessons
Acrylic and Charcoal on Canvas
12 x 16 inches

Meet the Artists at Iona


Artist in Residence Melanie Grishman (art featured above), Special Guest Artist Chuck Baxter and Poet in Residence Anne Becker join the Gallery at Iona for a Meet the Artist Reception on Thursday, June 17 from 5 - 7 pm. The exhibit continues through August 23. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9 to 5, and the gallery is located at 4125 Albemarle Street, NW in DC.

At Iona, we understand the relationship between wellness and arts and aging well. We offer a whole host of creative arts activities ranging from a chorale group to short story clubs. We also are very proud of The Gallery at Iona which features the works of highly talented senior artists in the community.

For more information about the Artist in residence program, special workshops and events, please call Gallery Coordinator Patricia Dubroof at (202) 895-9407 or email pdubroof@iona.org.

Exhibit: Through Their Eyes: Haitian Artists' Visions of Home


Haitian Children & Artists Use Art to Tell Their Stories

Washington, DC - June 23, 2010 - The Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery located at 1632 U Street, NW announces the opening of Through Their Eyes: Haitian Artists' Visions of Home, also featuring the work of National Geographic photojournalist, Maggie Steber. Haitian artworks provided by the American Visionary Art Museum, Zanmi Lakay and the Art Creation Foundation for Children. Opening Reception: Friday, June 25, 6:00-8:00PM. The exhibition runs from June 23 to August 7. Gallery hours are Wednesday-Friday 11AM-5PM, Saturday 11AM-3PM and by appointment.

Haiti's January 12th earthquake may seem like a distant memory for those of us safely grounded here in the U.S., but for Haitians the tragedy of that day is an everyday reality and far from over.

Those who survived the earthquake are now falling victim to infection and disease, and up to a million have been rendered homeless. From our vantage point in the US we can only speculate how Haitians find the strength and hope to face the daily suffering surrounding them. Yet, in this rare exhibition, Maggie Steber, award-winning National Geographic photographer, and over 30 Haitian artists offer us a window into how Haitians perceive their disrupted world and a glimpse at their extraordinary strength of spirit and unwavering faith.

"Through Their Eyes" exhibits the work of artists and children currently living in Haiti and actively using the arts to heal: Featuring over 100 photographs and handcrafts produced by children, and traditional Vodou flags hand-sequined by seasoned artisans. Alongside the Haitian artists' surprisingly uplifting visions, we are also showing Maggie Steber's poignant pre and post-earthquake works, which capture the "tortured, enchanted place" she has fallen in love with over her 20 years covering Haiti and its remarkable people.

The American Visionary Art Museum, Zanmi Lakay and Art Creation Foundation For Children have generously provided the exhibition's Haitian artworks. All works are available for purchase with 100% of the proceeds donated to Haiti relief.

IMAGE: Man Doing A Handstand by the River, 2010 by Cheldine Bazile, 15 years old, Jacmel, Haiti

An Interview with Artist Thierry Guillemin


Into the Mystic
Thierry Guillemin

For his portion of a duo show with Micheline Klagsburn, fellow Studio Gallery artist Thierry Guillemin talks about why the work for this show Something in Common is different from his past pieces. Be sure to stop by and see his energetic paintings, up through June 19th at Studio Gallery.

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

A: My favorite piece in the show is “Into the Mystic”. I am very much in tune with what it reflects and at the same time it surprises me, which I expect every strong work to do. It is a very interesting synthesis. I made it in a very physical way, and yet it has the serenity of inner silence and the transparency of water. I “action painted” it but many people who see it tell me that it reminds them of Monet. Water lilies? My childhood in little villages of the “France profonde” must be coming back to me, in quite unexpected ways. The title of this work comes from a song of Van Morrison that I love and listened to continuously when I painted this work.

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

A: I paint intuitively and try to be open to what happens. A plan would interfere with the attention that is needed and would waste precious energy. The quality of the work depends entirely on the quality of my attention. If I am present to my work, the work has a good chance to be alive. If I lose myself in plans, or any other intellectual day dream, life is drained from the painting and it begins to lie, and at some point to die.

Q: Who is your biggest influence and why?

A: I am certainly influenced by many things: lights, perfumes, places, strong emotional moments, people I love, music, poems, personalities, sincerity, honesty, energy. Many great artists, whether writers, painters or musicians have been a strong source of inspiration when I was younger: Nabokov, Matisse, Coltrane, Hendrix, and a very long list of contemporary painters. But a lot is happening now. I keep discovering amazing artists who create now. Gabriela Proksch in Austria, Jean-Francois Provost and Jean-Pierre Lafrance in Canada, Eeva-Leena Airaksinen in Finland are all incredibly strong and original abstract painters who fascinate me.

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

A: This is a little show with 6 pieces, 4 of them very recent. I let energy flow much more freely than I used to, the paints I use are more fluid “soft-body” type, the colors richer and I use more elements of language, like projections of paint or long black lines. There is a watery quality to my most recent work, more depth and transparencies. These are directions I feel compelled to explore, there is more to find there.

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

A: My favorite parts of being a Studio gallery member are the friendship of many artists, the love and energy Adah Rose gives us all, and the blessing of being part of a group where the main ambition and focus is to make our art grow and develop.

Thanks, Thierry, for sharing insights into your paintings! I look forward to seeing them in person this week.