Weekend East City Event Round Up: Artist Collectives and Fever Edition

Liz Lescault Decollette, ceramic sculpture, white stoneware, 9"x11". Photo courtesy of the artist.

Liz Lescault Decollette, ceramic sculpture, white stoneware, 9″x11″. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Friday, October 24 

Pleasant Plains Workshop – 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Join Pleasant Plains Workshop for a group exhibition featuring the members of DDAY Collective. Members David Ibata, Danielle Scruggs, Alice Wonder, and Yodith Dammlash, explore the idea of art as a reflective process offering insight into the individuals who create the works. For more details about the exhibition, click here.

Pleasant Plains Workshop is located at 2608 Georgia Avenue NW

Saturday, October 25

Fontana Forge – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of Fontana Forge in Brookland-Woodridge. The new studio space is designed for artisans focusing on blacksmithing of furniture, furnishings, and giftware. The morning events are for metalworkers, sculptors, and jewelers and the afternoon events are for friends, neighbors, and colleagues; visitors are encouraged to choose which timeframe is most convenient. For more information, click here.

The opening is located at Off the Beaten Track Warehouse, 2414 Douglas Street NE.

Harmony Hall – 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Five Make Art celebrates the works of five women at the height of their careers. Pam Rogers, Liz Lescault, Ellen Cornett, Gloria Chapa, and Claudia Vess express their individual visions and passions in ways unique to themselves in this group exhibition. The variety of works span from watercolor to pastel to installations. For details about the artists and the exhibition, click here.

Harmony Hall Regional Center is located at 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, MD

Project 4 – 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann presents recent work in her solo exhibit titled Feverland. Her paintings explore the patterns that emerge from the chaos and organic environment established through her process. As her works develop, these patterns dissolve creating diverse pieces, which strain on the verge of disunity. For more information about the exhibit, click here.

Project 4 Gallery is located at 1353 U Street NW, Suite 302.

 

Jess Oros is the Production Manager of East City Art. You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook, by following them on Twitter, or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, Philip, Shows

Weekend East City Event Round Up: Mercury Retrograde Edition

Take One, oil on linen, 42” x 56”, Joey Mánlapaz.  Image courtesy and copyright gallery plan b.

Take One, oil on linen, 42” x 56”, Joey Mánlapaz. Image courtesy and copyright gallery plan b.

Thursday, October 16

Critical Exposure – 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Over 100 members of the Critical Exposure community come together to support this fundraiser. Help them kick off their 10-Year Anniversary at this celebration of their student and professional photographers. There will be an auction for participants to buy their favorite pieces. For more information about the auction and fundraiser, click here.

This event will be at DLA Piper Atrium located at 500 8th Street, NW.

Honfleur Gallery - 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Join the artists who participated in this summer’s seventh annual East of the River exhibit as they discuss their work and inspiration. The panel discussion will be moderated by photographer Susan Raab. For details about the panel, click here.

Honfleur Gallery is located at 1241 Good Hope Road, SE.

Joan Hisokoa Gallery – 6:30 p.m.

Curator Martha Jackson Jarvis and the artists of Divergence will be present for a curator and artists’ talk. Join Shaunté Gates and Njena Surae Jarvis as they discuss their influences and how they use the body as a way to explore and to redefine space. To read more about the exhibit and talk, click here.

The Joan Hisaoka Gallery is located at 1632 U Street, NW.

Washington Drawing Center Brookland – 7 p.m.

Join members of the Washington Sculptors Group as they present images of their work and speak about their process. After the presentations, artists will stay for conversation and drinks. For details about the event, click here.

Washington Drawing Center Brookland is located at 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio No. 7.

Friday, October 17

Washington Project for the Arts – 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The artists of Strange Bedfellows invite viewers to join them as they explore the meaning of intimacy in complex and unexpected ways through their work. Visitors can see how “proximity to others…shapes our individual identities.” For more information about the artists, click here.

Saturday, October 18

Gallery plan b - 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Man-made explores the urban and industrial surroundings in which we often find ourselves. This exhibition celebrates the various media of the artists showing their work; from printmaking to sculpture. For more details about the exhibit, click here.

Gallery plan b is located 1530 14th Street, NW.

Art Works Now – 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Maryland State Delegate, Heather Mizeur, guest hosts the Fall Fundraiser for Art Works Now. Join them for live and silent auctions to benefit Art Works Now programs. Make sure to purchase tickets in advance. For information about purchasing tickets, click here.

The event is located at 4800 Rhode Island Avenue in Hyattsville.  

Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19

Mid City Studio Tour - 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This free event offers both self-guided and guided tours to the public as local artists invite visitors into their studios. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and learn about the process of creation throughout the weekend. Guided tours are on a first come first serve basis; visitors can reserve tours in advance. For details about the weekend and on reserving a tour, click here.

Mid City Studios run from Dupont Circle, to U Street and Logan Circle.

 

Jess Oros is the Production Manager of East City Art. You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook, by following them on Twitter, or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, Philip, Shows

Editorial: NoMa Deserves Engaging, Artist-Driven Public Art

This editorial by Eric Hope first appeared at East City Art.  Plan to attend the community meeting tomorrow (Thursday) evening.  Register here

IMG_4271copy

This M Street NE underpass directly outside the NoMa metro station is about to undergo artistic transformation. Photo by Eric Hope for East City Art.

The NoMa neighborhood due north of Union Station has seen its share of transformation in recent years as apartment and office buildings replace parking lots. However, that sense of discovery ends abruptly upon entering one of the many underpasses on the neighborhood’s eastern side. While the underpasses provide easy access beneath the Metro and Amtrak tracks, few pedestrians would consider those spaces–cloaked in dank darkness–engaging or imaginative. As the sun sets, they feel more like desolate obstacles to hurry through than welcoming neighborhood connectors.

That feeling will hopefully change early next year when the winners of the NoMa BID’s underpass design competition will create “stunning contemporary art exhibitions” according to the NoMa Business Improvement District (BID), beneath the underpasses at Florida Avenue,  M, L and K Streets NE.   Ten finalists were announced on August 14, 2014 and while it is unfortunate that no DC-based artist made the final cut, four of the proposals include artists as sole or co-executors of the design teams. We encourage the selection committee to give greater weight to these artist-centric proposals.

The underpass project is a game-changer for the neighborhood underwritten by a hefty $1.75 million dollar budget. It is also a chance for the NoMa BID to showcase the importance of the visual arts within the context of neighborhood growth and identity, also known as “Creative Placemaking.” An independent panel of judges is overseeing the selection process and a community presentation is scheduled for fall 2014 to display the final proposals to the pubic. While not spelled out in the request for proposals, based on a survey of the finalists’ websites, it appears the jury is focused on installations that will bathe the underpasses in cutting-edge displays of light. This preference for light as a primary medium makes sense in such a dimly-lit space and may help to explain why artists focused on murals or other surface treatments did not make the final cut.

The fine arts and applied design, while often-times complimentary, are not synonymous.

That said, we can not help but notice that the roster of finalists is skewed towards architecture and design firms. While there may be practical or logistical reasons for this–architectural firms may, for example, be in a better position than individual artists to demonstrate a track record of project management–we worry that this reliance on “design” will result in work that is derivative and lack true artistic engagement. Our concern is underscored by the results of the NoMa BID’s first foray into public sculpture, unveiled earlier this spring at the corner of 1st and M Streets NE.

Torqued Tensility, 2014 NADAAA Design Firm Photo by Eric Hope for East City Art

Torqued Tensility, 2014 NADAAA Design Firm Photo by Eric Hope for East City Art

A ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 30, 2014 introduced Torqued Tensility to area residents and office workers. Situated on a concrete plinth, three steel beams rise vertically into the air with a fourth beam held in suspension between them by torqued wires. The sculpture rises three stories high and is meant to be a focal point at the intersection. You would be forgiven if you assumed at first glance, as I did, that the piece was created by American artist Kenneth Snelson whose work also can also be seen blocks away at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In actuality, the selection committee chose NADAAA, a New York City and Boston-based firm specializing in architecture, landscape and urban design. Perhaps the designers at NADAAA were unaware of Snelson’s decades-long exploration of three-dimensional space, but the distinction between his artistry and their over-wrought design quickly becomes apparent upon closer inspection.

B-Tree II 1981-2006 Kenneth Snelson stainless steel 35 x 38 x 42 ft. 10.6 x 11.6 x 12.8 m. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. Image Courtesy of the Artist.

B-Tree II 1981-2006 Kenneth Snelson stainless steel 35 x 38 x 42 ft. 10.6 x 11.6 x 12.8 m. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park Image Courtesy of the Artist.

Where Snelson’s creations celebrate the weightlessness of their core materials, the derivative Torqued Tensility feels trapped by its reliance on geometry as its focal aesthetic. Wires zigzag smugly without touching, clever enough, but they serve little purpose, creating a piece that is overbearing rather than inviting. Larger cables anchoring the three vertical pillars to the plinth reinforce this image, making the piece feel more like an extension of the adjacent building’s structure instead of a discrete artwork. Rather than subtly commenting on or expanding upon an already-established artistic paradigm, Torqued Tensility woos passersby with a sense of banal hipness.

Rather than another missed opportunity, we hope the selection committee’s upcoming decision values artistic ingenuity and exploration over derivative design.

That is a forceful critique to write, but it needs to be said. The fine arts and applied design, while often-times complimentary, are not synonymous.

Where Torqued Tensility defines an intersection, the underpass project may define a neighborhood. It is grander in scale and budget, making the final artistic selections much more important. Rather than another missed opportunity, we hope the selection committee’s upcoming decision values artistic ingenuity and exploration over derivative design.

We encourage readers to attend the NoMa BID’s public presentation of the ten proposals which will take place sometime in the fall of 2014 (see below).  East City art will publish the details of that event when they are announced.  More information about the project can be found at www.nomabid.org/underpass-competition

 

 

 

Editor’s Note:  The image provided by Kenneth Snelson is for illustrative purposes only.  East City Art is solely responsible for the opinions expressed in this editorial.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, How To, Philip

Weekend East City Event Round Up: Outside on the Inside Edition

"Image Courtesy Art Enables. Art Enables hosts ninth annual Outsider Art Inside the Beltway outsider art exhibition"

“Image Courtesy Art Enables. Art Enables hosts ninth annual Outsider Art Inside the Beltway outsider art exhibition”

Saturday, October 11

Art Enables – 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The ninth annual installment of the area’s largest folk and self-taught art exhibition, Outsider Art Inside the Beltway hosts artists from across the country and welcomes visitors to view works selected from over 300 submissions. For more information about the exhibition, click here.

The Art Enables Studio is located at 2204 Rhode Island Ave. NE.

HEMPHILL Fine Art- 6 p.m. to 8 a.m.

HEMPHILL exhibits Thirteen Studies for Painting by Alma Thomas, a member of the Washington Color School. While many art historians have written an almost pejorative narrative of Thomas’ abstraction process, claiming that the artist painted randomly or by intuition, Hemphill Fine Arts’ exhibition attempts to dispel this myth by examining the depth of preparedness required to elaborate Thomas’ aesthetic and the underlying “intellectual power” behind her work.  To read more about Thomas’s studies, click here.

HEMPHILL Fine Art is located at 1515 14th Street NW, second floor.

Sunday, October 12

Joe’s Movement Emporium - 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

James Landry’s show The Word Paintings and Music From The Film Blog Photographs features acrylic paintings, color photographs, and a “photoblog” exploring the ideas of size, space, and perspective. Landry abstracts traditional artistic subjects, such as portraits and still lifes, to make the viewer think twice about the ordinary. For details about the exhibition, click here.

Joe’s Movement Emporium is located at 3309 Bunker Hill Road in Mount Rainier, MD.

 

Jess Oros is the Production Manager of East City Art. You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook, by following them on Twitter, or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, Philip, West

Support Guitars Not Guns at the Howard Theater October 11

pic courtesy of DC Music Download

pic courtesy of DC Music Download

Want to see some local DC acts perform while supporting a worthy organization?  Mark your calendar for next Saturday, October 11!

D.C. Music Download is proud to support Guitars Not Guns this fall.  Guitars Not Guns is a local non-profit that provides free guitar instruction and instruments to local youth. GNG partners students with a local mentor, who inspire beyond music and creativity.

Four talented local bands (Teen Mom, The Sea Life, Lowercase Letters, and Typefigher) will be taking the stage at the famed Howard Theatre on October 11, to help raise money for this noble cause. They’ll be aided by a gifted local comic, Andrew Bucket, as MC. The celebration of local creative ventures will also feature giveaways from &pizza, live screen-printing and art.

D.C. Music Download is excited to end 2014 with another large charitable showcase — “we started the year by selling out the 9:30 Club with another local showcase, for Girls Rock! DC. We are again partnering with our friends, Raise Your City.”

More info on Facebook; tickets are on pre-sale at $16.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, Shows, Uncategorized

Southwest Arts Fest Surrounds (e)merge Art Fair

5x5_web

If you’re headed to the Southwest Waterfront for the (e)merge art fair this weekend, make sure to also check out these free events.

  • Arena Stage: National Hand Dance Association (Sunday, 12-5pm)  1101 6th St. SW

Join the National Hand Dance Association from noon to 5 PM for Hand Dance demonstrations, lessons in basic hand dance and audience dancing.  Free and open to the public.

  • Art Whino: G40 Art Summit (Exhibit Open Thursday – Sunday)  700 Delaware Ave. SW

An Art Whino Production hosted at Blind Whino Art Whino comes back for it’s 5th annual G40 Art Summit! Join artists as they showcase stunning three dimensional and installation art as this year’s G40 theme.  Following the mission of G40s past, we will once again bring exposure to low brow’s many faces and, as always, present what new facets emerge within this ever growing movement.

  • Blind Whino: Outdoor Arts Festival

An Art Whino Production hosted at Blind Whino  ​​​(Saturday 11am-4pm)  700 Delaware Ave. SW

Explore unique and amazing goods made by local artisans and painters in a casual atmosphere. Find new favorites and reconnect with your favorite artists.  A sampling of the communities treasures such as Westminster Jazz, and much more.

  • Lance Fung’s “Nonuments” as part of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities 5×5 Project

1000 4th St. SW (open lot by Southwest CVS) (September 6 – October 6, 2014, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week​Free Exhibition)
Washington DC, our nation’s capital, is renowned for its grand monuments honoring the history and achievements of great Americans. But behind the federal face of official Washington, there is a real city with distinctive neighborhoods filled with passionate citizens living their lives. For this 5 x 5 project, Fung Collaboratives has curated Nonuments, a temporary sculpture park featuring “monuments” devoted not to the great but to ordinary people, to the ideals of democracy, and to the common struggles of humanity.  Artists:  Jonathan Fung, Cameron Hockenson, Peter Hutchinson, Naranjo-Morse, Jennifer Wen Ma.  Local partners are Washington Project for the Arts and the Phillips Collection.

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, Shows, West

Weekend East City Event Round Up: Art All Night Edition

"Shaw Library at prior Art All Night festival. Photo Credit: Dakota Fine."

“Shaw Library at prior Art All Night festival. Photo Credit: Dakota Fine.”

Saturday, September 27

Red Dirt Studio – 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Join Red Dirt Studio as they celebrate their new space at the old Mount Rainier firehouse. Events will consist of activities for children followed by a new composition by InnerLoop and a reserved keg of Franklin’s limited edition special brew for adults. To learn more about the fundraiser, click here.

The Old Mt. Rainier firehouse is located at 4051 34th Street, Mt. Rainier, MD.

Art All Night DC - 7 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Art All Night: Nuit Blanche DC has expanded across the city this year. The festival gives residents the chance to meet local artist through live painting, performances, poetry readings, and exterior lighting displays. For more information about the festival, click here.

The event takes place at Dupont Circle, North Capitol Street, H Street NE, Congress Heights, and Shaw.

Saturday and Sunday, September 27-28

FIGMENT DC - 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This free event will transform Anacostia Park into “artist playground.” Make sure to come with fun outfits or costumes and food for a picnic. FIGMENT DC 2014 will have a variety of interactive games and projects for children of all ages to enjoy. For details about the event, click here.

FIGMENT will be at Anacostia Park – Section E on the eastern bank of the river

 

Jess Oros is the Production Manager of East City Art. You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook, by following them on Twitter, or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Arts, East, Philip, Shows