art opening

Leah Appel at Tabula Rasa

Opening on July 11, 2013, ArtSee will open the third artist showcase at Tabula Rasa on 8th St SE to feature the work of photographer Leah Appel. The exhibition will run through July 29th, 2013. ArtSee is partnering with Tabula Rasa to bring local emerging artists in to their modern, flexible space in Eastern Market. Tabula Rasa is a new event space and meeting place located in the heart of 8th St SE. The unique space lends itself perfectly to a non-traditional gallery. Leah Appel, the third artist in the showcase, was chosen because of her bright, thrilling and abstract take on photography. For more information click here

Coming Home to Heiner Contemporary: A Group Show

An antique wooden cart piled high with seemingly ordinary objects dares visitors to engage, to take a close examination, crouching on their knees in an effort to investigate the pots and pans, standing on their toes to scrutinize the saws and hammers. 

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In Housebound, a new exhibition at Heiner Contemporary, each artwork invites visitors to participate in an intimate viewing of domestic space.

The experience begins upon approaching the Book Hill neighborhood gallery, where one is confronted by an abstracted interior standing in the window. A curious installation featuring hanging stairwell banisters and a traditional wooden chair holding an aged sewing machine immediately draws the onlooker’s attention with its baby pink, sea foam green and white color scheme reminiscent of the 1950’s home.

 “It’s all about what you leave behind once you’ve made the hard choices and you’re running out the door,” said artist Rachel Farbiarz of her original work I Wish I Could, “There are certain details you don’t notice in your home, like the shingles on your roof, but at any point in life you would recognize them.”

 “Your home is where you keep your memories and as you grow so does your home. It becomes a reflection of the self and the rooms become an extension of one’s personality,” said Assistant Director Elizabeth Parkman, who in collaboration with gallery owner Margaret Heiner, first envisioned an exhibition exploring the varying definitions of ‘home’ in 2010, a year before opening Heiner.

Shortly after realizing their vision, the curatorial duo set out collecting such artworks as Ann Toebbe’s flat, birds-eye view drawings of friends’ apartments rendered entirely from memory, and Allison Reimus’ delightfully playful and optically intriguing Vessel paintings that abstract architectural and design elements to create a three-dimensional space on a flat surface, executed with such genuine tactility that one must restrain himself from running his fingers along what appears to be lace or gauze.

 Parkman is interested in the psychology of the home, and the exhibition succeeds at questioning the affect a home has on a person and the effect an individual can have on a domestic space.

 ”I had to imagine what it would be like to take your domestic space with you. What happens when it becomes the exterior and you have to take your home on the go?” said Farbiarz of her work Take me with you that is evocative of the refugee experience and echoes the carts characteristically used by the homeless to carry possessions.

Though Farbiarz’s works were constructed mostly from items purchased in thrift stores, the carefully selected fond objects are similar to the Housebound works on paper,in their evocation of highly personalized, yet universal motifs.

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Pieces from a crystal chandelier are suggestive of Farbiarz’s grandmother’s prized possessions, and the sewing machine is an homage to a photograph of a woman in the Democratic Republic of Congo who when forced to leave her home, took the one object that cultivated her livelihood. The sewing machine as not only her source of income, but also her genesis of pride, inspired the saws and hammers as an expression of the artist’s father who after escaping the horrors of WWII took the tools necessary to find work.

 Housebound is on display until January 5, 2013. More information can be found on the Heiner Contemporary here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Roxanne Goldberg

D's Nails: Proving Manicures can be Art

            If you are in search of a funky unique atmosphere that is sure to engage, then you must check out the Fridge Art Gallery. It’s one of a kind, tucked in a back alley way near Eastern Market. On Saturday, November third, local artist Decoy had her show D’s Nails opened at the gallery.

            Walking into the gallery space, the vibe was energetic and youthful. Decoy’s art is a mixture of medias and has a technique that is one-of-a-kind. Upon the walls were large painting and gel transfers on wood. The wood was layered to create the silhouettes. There were four different designs on the walls; two were the silhouettes of women, another two hands spelling D.C., and lastly ten fingernails. The style has a cartoon aspect, yet it is also very whimsical.

When coming through the door into the Fridge, one wall was covered with large pieces of wood cut to the shape of human nails, each nail was roughly a foot wide and painted with one of Decoy’s personal nail designs. In front of this piece, a small table is set up with two chairs. Decoy plans on painting nails for anyone interested in having a spunky and never before seen manicure. Each Saturday of November Decoy will be at the fridge painting nails from 11-4 p.m. for $30.

Nail art is not something that is often seen in galleries. So, I was curious and asked Decoy what inspired her to do manicures. She discussed how up until recently she had a nail biting issue. She doubted that she would ever be able to stop biting her nails, and therefore she’d never get to have her nails painted in bright colors. However, one day she decided to stop her bad habit. Decoy says the confidences of successfully ending this habit gave her confidence in other areas of her life.

 Not just is there art related to nail art, Decoy includes depictions of herself as well as a girl that she works with in a community center in Sursum Corda, one of D.C.’s most underprivileged neighborhoods. Talking with Decoy about the work she does, is such a joy. She is an inspirational woman who works hard to influence the world. The girl depicted in one of Decoy’s large wooden silhouettes, is someone that it is apparent that Decoy cares deeply about. Recently, she started making hair bows with the children at the center, the children seem to love the projects. Decoy smiled as she reminisced on how one of the children refers to it as “the bow company.” Decoy is helping revive D.C. and inspire the youth with art. In fact, you can find some of these bows on sale at the gallery.

So, if you find yourself near Eastern Market or in search of a personalized manicure, D’s Nail is the show to check out at the Fridge. Decoy’s work will leave you with a sense of whimsy and optimism. For more information and schedule of events click here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Abby