Small Works Make a Big Impression at Hemphill

Hemphill Fine Arts

Current Exhibit: “Keeping It Alive” by William Willis and “Works on Paper” by Steven Cushner are showing June 8 to July 28, 2012 at Hemphill.

William Willis, Spiral, 2011-2012, 12” X 16”. Courtesy of Hemphill.

Highlights From the Show:  We were very drawn to Willis’ “Spiral” (pictured above) for it’s dynamic geometric construction. The piece sells for $5,500.  We also loved the delicate symmetry of Cushner’s “Untitled” (pictured below). We are thrilled for the artist and the gallery for the piece has sold!

Steven Cushner, “Untitled,” 2012, 21” X 17 3/4”. Courtesy of Hemphill, now sold.

A Little About the Artists:  William Willis’ work is driven by experiences both individual and universal across cultures. His use of graphic geometry stems from his personal reverence for the primitive, the ritualistic, and the repetitive in forms and shapes. Willis is well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at The Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection.

Steven Cushner’s works on paper are a visual testament of the possibilities of painting and process. His works transcend the paper medium as complete and meaningful works of art. Cushner is also well-represented in public and private collections throughout the country, including locally at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and The Corcoran Gallery of Art.

For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit Hemphill.

Bringing the Art in DC to you,


July Gallery Shows to See

  • Addison Ripley – June 8th – July 14th (CLICK: TIME & SPACE)
  • Heiner Contemporary - June 15th - July 28th (Winging It)
  • Longview Gallery – June 18th – July 18th(Long View in the City)
  • Gallery 555dc – July 3rd – July 27th (“Kohiki and Canvas”: Ron Lloyd - Kohiki Ceramic & Jodi - Textured Canvas + Ceramic Overlay)
  • Touchstone Gallery – July 4th – July 29th  (A 3D Collage the Adventure: David Alfuth & Being Affected: Charles St. Charles)

  • Foundry Gallery – July 4th – July 29th (Call & Response)
  • The Art League (Alexandria,VA) – July 6th – August 6th(GENIUS LOCI: Paintings by Cecily Corcoran)
  • Hillyer – July 6th – August 5th (Anecdotes and Paraphernalia: Mark Earnhart, Smoke Signals: Elizabeth Kauffmann, Paint on Known: Deborah Anzinger & Chajana denHarder)
  • Studio – July 6th – July 14th(Solo Show: De Minimis - Jan Willem van der Vossen New Member Exhibitions: (Un)seen (Un)known - Rosabel Goodman-Everard & Les Grandes Figures Shahrzad Jalinous)
  • Conner Contemporary – July 7th – August 18th  (Academy 2012 - Annual MFA / BFA Invitational)
  • Honfleur Gallery – July 13th – September 8th  (East of the River Exhibit)
  • Gallery Plan B – July 26th – August 26th  (PLAN B GOES INTERNATIONAL - work from artists of Jordan, Myanmar, and Montenegro)

Eve Stockton's Brings the Natural World In at Long View

Long View Gallery

Current Exhibit: Eve Stockton - Ensembles: Landscapes in Transition III June 14 through July 15, 2012.

Highlight from the show: Ensemble IV: Water 1- Var. F & H 1/1, Seascape Landscape 1& 2, woodcut on paper, 36 x 36 inches, $3,200 for each panel.

A little bit about the artist:

Eve Stockton creates large scale, multi-layered woodcut prints inspired by the natural world. The graphic repeating patterns, bright colors – each carved from a different woodblock - and size of each panel (3’ x 3’) create new molecular landscapes that straddle abstract and representational images.

This is her first solo show at the Long View Gallery. Her work can also be seen in public and private collections including Housatonic Museum of Art, Bridgeport, CT,  Nature Genetics Magazine, New York, NY, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT, and The Epstein Collection, Washington, D.C. Stockton earned her BA from Princeton in 1978 and her Masters in Architecture from Yale in 1984.

For more information on the exhibit and the artist, please visit

Ensemble IV: Water 1- Var. F & H 1/1, Seascape Landscape 1 & 2, woodcut on paper, 36 x 36 inches each

Ensemble VII- Neutral Network Diptych 1/1 (detail), Left and Right & Oval Lenses #2 1/1 (detail), woodcut on paper, 36 x 36 inches each

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


Next Artist Showcase: July 11 at Local 16 ft. Tonette Griffin

ArtSee is hosting its second artist showcase of the season at Local 16 this Wednesday, July 11. 

Throughout the evening, local artist, Tonette Griffin, will showcase her latest work from her two series, “Womanhood” and “Wanderlust.”

A recent graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Griffin explores identity, self-perception and youth culture through her photography and print work.

“Photography has always been a vessel of expression for me,” said Griffin.  “I am heavily inspired by human experiences. Pieces in my latest series are based on the notions of perception, identity, and sentience. I focus on formulating a grasp of myself within certain environments and the transitions that occur during that time.”

The showcase will begin at 6 pm and go until 8 pm. Local 16 is located at 1602 U Street, NW. More information is available on the ArtSee Facebook page

Finding a Good Place for Performance Art: Eleanor Barba

A recent graduate from Corcoran College of Art + Design, Eleanor Barba is a performance artist who isn’t afraid to take artistic risks. Through her performances she explores the “tragic humor of sexuality in the 21st century” especially in the context of the lack of communication in families. She uses her body to create loaded messages to members of her family and to the audience.

In her latest piece performed at the Hillyer Art Space’s Blowout! DC Performance Art Festival on Saturday June 16, she did a bit of role playing with the audience. While speaking to us as if we were her grandmother, she talked about the tenuous relationships between grandmother, mother, and daughter – the mother’s guilt from the daughter’s sins, etc. - while potting and un-potting plants and wearing a negligée. She then created a powerful message using the soil, “I’m not sorry. I’m not happy.”

I caught up with her after the performance to talk about her work and performance art as a medium.

[The following interview was audio recorded and edited.]

Jamie Hurst: Tell me a little bit about yourself and your background as an artist.

Eleanor Barba: I am a recent Corcoran graduate and I guess like when I was younger I just always liked art, and I loved abstract art and the non-representational things and I always thought that was really cool and I really liked the badass people. My parents are really supportive they always took me to different art museums and things. My brother… hated art so there was always that funny tension between us.

So then when it came down to college, it was more like college made me into an artist. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do until I got into art school … And it’s proven to be so nice and interesting to be always surrounded artists when that is what your mindset is like; and has been since you were a child. We [artists] always think a little bit differently.

All those artists that I saw that were cool and the original badasses, it was like now you can become one of them, and I’m blessed to surround myself with people like that.

JH: Yeah, it makes you feel more normal.

EB: Exactly.

JH: So when did you start working in performance art, did you know that [it] was the medium you wanted to use?

EB: Not at all. Performance art is still something new to me. I have not done a lot of it. The piece I did for my thesis, the painting on my belly, I did that a few times, and it was really just kind of like just different ways to explore.

JH: I like the history of performance art and conceptual art, and think a lot about the art object as the refuse of the performance, and the artist as object.

EB: That’s why I like doing my work and that’s something that I like about that I can make something physical. Creating the stage like a play and then leaving it there. Leaving it in the gallery and having a video to show how it was made, because I think that is really interesting too.  But I think performance art is really new to me and there are a lot of things I need to learn about it. I was the class speaker at graduation and the coaching advice I got was you know you’re going to make a mistake and the audience is really forgiving because they aren’t the one on stage, you know? I don’t know if it cheapens the performance or just make it a little bit better because there is a step of bravery to it? I think so, performance art more than others.

JH: I think it is brave physically, politically, and artistically because you are doing something in front of an audience. It’s not like you are hiding in your studio and no one knows the process. It’s just really vulnerable as a medium.

EB: Yeah, then there are other categories [to consider] like what if you are directing and not actually in the piece, is it still yours? It is a newer medium and I think it’s one that people… people who don’t… I’ll just use the word philistine. They come to these things are just flabbergasted that this it is happening. But when you go to art school you see so much crazy stuff.

JH: You become… numb.

EB: yeah, you become numb to it like, I’ve seen that before. So it’s this challenge of how to keep your work exciting but visually appealing to people who do just like paintings. And that’s why I like setting up the stage – or for my thesis, the pulley system – last time I was here [Hillyer] I rigged up a fern and taped it to a wall, I like having the set and setting up the stage for someone to continue to look at.

JH: Yeah, leaving the object behind.

EB: I think people like that too.

JH: And do you have other performance artists that you look to for inspiration?

EB: I’m so bad with names my teachers would be killing me right now. I think Marina Abramavic is an obvious one, although I have a love hate relationship with her. I look at a lot of more feminist art and I look to a lot of video art to grab inspiration…I really like Jeannine Antonelli, she’s not necessarily a performance artist but she does put herself in these weird positions, like with her body. She did one where she does plasters of her body. She did this one [piece] called Lick and Lather where she took busts of her head (27 of them). Lather, was made of soap. She washed them away, every single one of them. Then the other one [Lick] she cast them [the busts] in chocolate and she licked away her own faces. So I don’t really know what that means conceptually compared to my work but it’s something like using your body like that to create work is really interesting to me - kind of like with the painting on my belly, it’s sort of like Yves Kline.

JH: That’s totally what I thought of when I saw it.

EB: So I think a lot of comparisons that, again, don’t really fit in conceptually, but using your body as a tool is neat to me.

JH: Thinking about DC specifically, is there a place you like to go for inspiration or a place you like to hangout, like here [Hillyer]?

EB: These performance nights are a great. It’s an awesome opportunity… I think DC is up and coming on these performance nights and I think people like that. People like to go to performance art, it’s like going to a play. And it’s nice for things like this where there are so many performance artists and you get to see a wide array. You can see all the different ways you can do performance art. Just like paintings, performance can be used in different ways.

Where else do I go? I go to the movies a lot. I always feel inspired after I go to the movies. I also feel inspired after I leave IKEA. I don’t know why, yeah, I’m such a messy person, I know my house will never be that clean, so I try to take that energy and put it into something else.

JH: I’m always fascinated by performance art versus the commercial market of art - you aren’t making an object to sell. How do you deal with that?

EB: It is interesting; people would ask me that for the senior thesis because it stayed up so long. So if [someone] wanted to buy the banners I would obviously sell it to them or if they wanted to buy a video I would make a set of [them]. But it is hard because it’s not a pretty painting they can hang over their sofa. It’s really raw, it’s an experience. Performances are never as good taped as they are live, you know? And so it is a little bit more difficult. Performance artists could make a better living if more of these events happened - there is a Soap Box the third Thursday of every month.

JH: Well, thank you so much!

EB: Thank you!

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


The Good Boys – Now Showing…

Last week I had the amazing opportunity of seeing two shows. One that has been open that I have been dying to go to and the other that just opened. Here are a few thoughts to hopefully entice you to see them before they are gone….

Conner Contemporary is currently showing Leo Villareal through June 30.  This is Villareal’s fifth solo show with the gallery and is certainly a huge success.  Using LEDs, Villareal creates abstract imagery that glows so brightly, even in the light of day. Although minimalist in nature his latest body of work, at Conner now, truly is larger than life and captivating.  My personal favorite from the show, Invisible Hand, stands alone in a dark room.  It alternates between colors and patterns of flashing light; it kept my eyes locked to it for some time.  Recently, it was announced that Villareal’s work would be joining the permanent collection at the Phillips Collection.  Villareal’s work is no stranger to the walls of some of the world’s greatest collections, including the concourse of between the east and west buildings of the National Gallery of Art.  This is definitely a show worth seeing before his work is included in the price of admission. 

The second show, that just opened, is that of the queer collective, Boys Be Good.  Like the rest of Washington, through Metro Weekly and other channels, I had been following along as the latest collective of artists prepared for their June show.  The opening was buzzing with people who, like me, wanted to see the latest from the work of the members of the collective but it was the work of one artist that had me there until the very end, Cassidy Duhon.  A photographer by trade, Duhon’s created three large word prints reflecting deep sentiments of being a homosexual.  His work is powerful and really makes you wonder the circumstances in which these were created. Within the words you can vaguely make out the figures of people, but only from a few feet away. Boys Be Good will be showing Duhon and many other artists now through July 17 at Arts@1830 with a performance piece on June 19th.

For more information on Leo Villareal at Conner Contemporary visit their website here. And for more information on Cassidy Duhon and Boys Be Good visit their website here.

If you have time… Don’t miss both of these boys (and more)!

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


'Call + Response' Challenges Artistic Norms

Recently opened at the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street was the third annual “Call + Response.” Writers and visual artists are paired together for a unique experience: the writer creates a work - the “call”, and the artist creates a work in return - the “response.”

This year for the first time ever the writers were invited to see the artists’ responses and then create a final re-response to complete the exchange. At the gallery opening the audience was encouraged to continue the exchange by using pieces of paper to create a “call” in response to the exhibit, for which their neighbor would return a “response.” All of these paper exchanges are now tacked onto the gallery walls.

Artist exchange permeates the entire exhibit. During a vivid opening panel discussion the writers and artists were surprisingly forthcoming about the collaborative experience.

Though it is obvious that the artist pairings were not randomly selected, most of the pairings admitted that the project was a significant departure from their normal creative processes — some even claiming that the whole experience changed the way they think about their art-making.

In spite of the fact that “Call + Response” is only open for 2 weeks, it is not a mere blip on the D.C. art scene. The artists’ lack of simply creating direct illustrations to accompany the authors’ writing reveals a surprising aesthetic moving away from visual narrative.

Each pairings’ work is somehow a distinct, yet related, entity. The masterful collaborations of “Call + Response” not only encourage artists involvement - but also invent new modes for artistic demonstration.

The artists included in the project are: Michael Kimball (writer) and Trever Young (artist), Reb Livingston (writer) and Matthen Mann (artist), Danielle Evans (writer) and Lisa Marie Thalhammer (artist), Amber Sparks (writer) and Yay Team! (artists), Kyle Dargan (writer) and Mia Feuer (artist). “Call + Response” was open at the Hamiltonian Gallery from June 2 - June 16, 2012. The Hamiltonian Gallery is located at 1353 U St. N.W. Washington, D.C.

Bringing the Art in DC to You


Rachel Farbiarz makes Artomatic personal with 'The Genizah Project'

Artomatic brings the capital the most overwhelming art experience imaginable - an 11 story building packed full of artisans, craft merchants, emerging fine artists, skilled area performers, and energetic workshop instructors. Thousands of diverse artists enthusiastically mix their talents in this decadent hyperactive whirlwind of artistic exploration and adventure. Local and national sponsors provide a variety of resources for the thriving bazaar to continue to serve the Capital in all things art.

In a sea of colorful paintings, ceramics, and sculpture, the din of excited patrons and performance artists, lies an elegantly understated installation of memories. Stepping up to the little corner room on the 9th floor your eyes scroll over the thousands of paper histories in greeting cards, diary pages, photographs strewn across bookshelves, filing cabinets, a desk, a dresser, and the floor. The tiny room holds several lifetimes of the Capital’s personal histories.

Rachel Farbiarz has gathered the district’s personal histories for display with “The Genizah Project.” It’s a beautifully simple idea - the same idea that sparked “The Museum of Broken Relationships.” Art is by nature personal. This artwork is a visual demonstration of the place of art in our lives. Set up as an ordinary home office, “The Genizah Project” is a room of contemplation, propelling your artful soul into personal recollection and thoughtful reverence for those who gave the pieces of their lives to the installation. 

Tucked away in a tiny corner on the 9th floor of Artomatic Farbiarz’s installation quietly awaits the contemplative art viewer. From the doorway the array of strewn letters, cards, brochures, and photographs beckon you in for a closer, more intimate, look. You can vaguely make out the eerie sounds of the performers nearby as your eyes take in the mass collection of discarded memories. But as you examine each scrap more closely you realize that none of these works on paper are meaninglessly rejected from the original owner. Each piece was sent to Farbiarz consciously, purposefully.

Farbiarz has collected our sacred memories and treated them with the respect our nagging conscious tells us they deserve. The room pays homage to the randomness we have kept in our lives. Letting the depth of each memory soak into you, you feel the room is the making of a beginner-hoarder, unable to fully let go of the past but unable to give ample space for each memory to maintain a stronghold in the present.

Farbiarz speaks to our humanity, our sensitivity, and our humility. While the rest of Artomatic maintains an entertaining quality, “The Genizah Project” reminds us of the fullness in which art captivates us - mind and soul.

You can find out more about Rachel Farbiarz and “The Genizah Project” by clicking here. And visit the Artomatic website Artomatic is open in Crystal City through June 23. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


ArtSeeDC and Local 16 Host Garth Fry where Art and Happy Hour Collide

Join ArtSeeDC and Local 16 on June 6 from 6 pm – 8 pm for the first of a monthly series to celebrate local artists over happy hour.

Next Wednesday, local mixed media artist, Garth Fry, will exhibit some of his latest work within the popular U Street bar and restaurant.

Fry has exhibited in several locations and galleries throughout the greater D.C. area. Through his continual experimentation with various printmaking techniques, Fry recently developed a more sculptural means of capturing his imagery. He uses coiled paper and glue to create familiar patterns and forms that survey the psychology of isolation.

The partnership between ArtSeeDC and Local 16 provides support to the D.C. art community by exposing local artists and showcasing their work to new audiences. Future pop up exhibits hosted by ArtSeeDC and Local 16 are scheduled for July 11, August 8, and September 12.


Local 16 is located at 1602 U St NW.

For more information, contact ArtSee at 

Meet the Bloggers of ArtSee in DC

In the last few months we have been hard at work bring you all the information we can on the DC art scene and connecting you with artists we love. It is about time you meet the fabulous women that are so passionate about ArtSee and the art of DC! They are our enthusiasts of words…


Rachel Nania, our chief writing enthusiast, covers our gallery reviews, artist interviews and all of ArtSee’s news. She is a freelance writer based in Washington, D.C., tackling a variety of topics from art, to food, lifestyle, news and events. A former health communication and public relations professional, Rachel brings a unique perspective to the ArtSee team. When not writing, she now enjoys the chaotic mix of nannying and practicing yoga whenever she can. You can follow Rachel on Twitter at @rnania or on her amazing blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir where she indulges in her passion for the culinary arts.


Jamie, our DC and abroad life enthusiast, is a fashion, food, and happy hour lover, with a background in art history. She finds pleasure and intrigue in the design of objects, images, and stories. She has a wanderlust-y soul and travels the world with her husband, who she affectionately refers to as Gman. When she’s not traveling, she explores the bars, restaurants, art museums, and shops of Washington D.C. You can also find her curled up in her great-grandmother’s chair, drinking coffee or wine, while perusing magazines and blogs. Check out her stories in art, fashion, travel, and wine over at her blog High Heeled Traveler or on twitter @HighHeeldTravlr while she continues to cover the gallery scene and artist spotlights for ArtSee!


And last but not least…


Kayleigh Bryant, our art history enthusiast, will bring you the intersections between art and history in the DC art scene. She is a D.C. native, a young fine artist and frequent D.C. gallery and museum visitor. Her lifelong fascination with art and its place in our lives has moved her to explore the themes; techniques and media artists have employed to express their ideas from ancient to contemporary times. She believes Oscar Wilde got it right when he wrote: “Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life.” She has studied the visual and fine arts, art history, and exhibition design and conceptualization. Kayleigh has received a Master of Arts degree in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History from the University of Maryland, College Park. Follow Kayleigh @kayleighbindc!


Bringing the Art in DC to You,


Elizabeth (and the entire ArtSee team…)

Janet Biggs’ Kawah Ijen - Now Showing At Conner Contemporary Art

On Saturday, March 17, Conner Contemporary Art opened its doors to the public for a reception to celebrate and welcome the gallery’s two newest exhibitions, including Janet Biggs and her video installation, Kawah Ijen.

The New York-based artist, known primarily for her work in video, photography and performance art, is currently exhibiting her multi-channel installation and single-channel video, “A Step on the Sun,” alongside performance and sculpture artist, Wilmer Wilson IV’s Domestic Exchange. Both exhibits run though May 5, 2012.

Biggs’ documentary-style installation, Kawah Ijen, evokes a mixture of “natural beauty and human exploitation,” as it chronicles the laborious tasks of a sulfur miner in the breathtakingly beautiful, yet perilous, Ijen volcano in the East Java province of Indonesia. The piece is accompanied by a soundtrack of noises recorded inside the volcanic mine, and the video depicting the sulfur miner at work is juxtaposed with images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and MIT photos of an experimental weather balloon launch.

Biggs’ work has been exhibited, among other institutions, at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, NY; Gibbes Museum of Art, South Carolina; Rhode Island School of Design Museum; Vantaa Art Museum, Finland; Linkopings Konsthall, Passagen, Sweden; the Oberosterreichisches Landesmuseum, Austria; and the Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Australia.

She recently had solo exhibitions at The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC and the Tampa Museum of Art, Tampa, FL and will show at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal in the Fall of 2012. Perhaps this show will keep Biggs working in DC more? We hope so! 

Visit for more information on the exhibit and gallery times.

Bringing the Art in DC to You 


A Step on the Sun (installation view), 2012
5 channel video installation, 9 minutes 22 seconds
Copyright Janet Biggs, courtesy Conner Contemporary Art