5 Things For An Art Filled Weekend

It's summer, it's hot, but get out and get #artsee with these 5 things... 

1. Opening TONIGHT at Studio Gallery from 6:30-8:30 PM, The Last Picture Show from faculty and students of the Corcoran  [link]
2. And down in Anacostia... Honfleur opens the 7th Annual East of the River Exhibition TONIGHT [link]
3. TONIGHT - DCAC will open You Can't Put Art on a Pedestal [link]
4. On SATURDAY, Open Studio DC will host a moving/opening party at their NE location from 7:00-9:00 PM [link]
5. And then SATURDAY NIGHT is double the fun at Connersmith with the (e)merge party and opening of Academy 2014 [link]

Hope we see you there! 

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


Photo Credit: Connersmith, Work of Emerson Myers

This Weekend: Spring Into Art

So since May starts next week and it's Spring... Right? Here are 5 things to help you Spring Into Art...

1. TONIGHT - Next to Last featuring Corcoran art students at WPA opens from 
2. Just when we thought it was warmer... Shiver opens on FRIDAY night at 7 pm
3. Amateur Status with Transformer and the DC Library Foundation on SATURDAY from 2-4 pm 
4. Back to School - AU opens their student show FREESPACE featuring our very own Shira Karsen on SATURDAY at 6 pm
5. Annnd we celebrated Earth Day this week with 5 local artists - CHECK THEM OUT! 

Photo Credit: Georgia Nassikas

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


Transformer Auction: ArtSee Picks

As we started with (e)merge, the ArtSee team has decided to pick our favorites from the lineup for the 10th Annual Transformer Auction & Benefit Party.  For the last decade, Transformer has been hosting their annual fundraiser at the Corcoran to include an array of the best of the best in DC's art scene. The organization puts on the event every year to provide the necessary funding for a year of programming and exhibitions. In its' 10th year, the auction will include 200 original pieces by local artists and those from Colombia, in honor of the Auction Diplomatic Chair, Carlos Urrutia, The Ambassador of Columbia. The event is a one-of-a-kind chance to interact with local artists, collectors and other arts enthusiasts, like us! 

Read on for our favorite picks... 

Elizabeth Grazioli, ArSee Founder and Creative Operations Director

Rachel Farbiarz, Study (with rockers)
Starting Bid: ???

As not only an ArtSee favorite, but one of my personal favorite artists, it was easy to select Farbiarz's work as my pick for this years' auction. Her piece, Study (with rockers) is a drawing of perhaps the beginning thoughts of one of her sculptural pieces that was recently featured in Heiner Contemporary's Take Me With You. Farbiarz has focused much of her recent work on displacement and migration of people and cultures, but this piece perhaps simplifies those thoughts to a collection of chairs. Although being auctioned off on Friday, the piece was part of her show at Heiner and when I saw it, I was immediately drawn to it. The way in which Farbiarz can use drawing to transformer her work is so unique. I am sure, even without a starting bid, that it will be a big winner of the night! 

Shira Karsen, ArtSee Creative Assistant

Joshua Johnson, Bractea
Starting Bid: $350

One of my favorite pieces in this year's auction is Joshua Johnson's Bractea, a hand-sewn, hand-painted and hand-worn mash-up of multiple centuries worth of armor details. Johnson's inspiration is "historical flatness," the idea of taking the romanticized ideals, fashions, stories and legends from different centuries, and incorrectly flattening them into a more specific time period. This piece, having seen it in person during its many stages, was worked and reworked to ensure that everything, down to the fake gold leaf, was done with purpose. Bractea is also a living work. As it ages, specks of the leaf will fall off the fabric, eventually cracking the superficial surface and creating a forced "vintage" look. 

Naomi Minkoff, ArtSee Creative Intern

Brooke Bronner, Project Life – Ft. Green
Starting Bid: $900

I enjoy Bronner's works because they take an interesting perspective on urban life. Though she has experienced three different cities—born in Brooklyn, raised in Asia, and now living in DC—there is a sameness in the way Bronner depicts the cities while still visually depicting the small details which make each one recognizably distinct. She uses a zoomed out perspective of cityscapes to emphasize their blocky and repetitive natures. Still, somehow these landscapes appear to be very personal as each building and each floor is different from one another. The viewer is drawn in to ponder life in these cities and the people who, like the artist, live in this geometric maze.

Roxanne Goldberg, ArtSee Creative Writer

Mei Mei Chang, Untitled 1
Starting Bid: $290

Mei Mei Chang has had a fantastic year. Most recently exhibited in Brooklyn, Dallas, and Berlin, in addition to a number of galleries in the DC-area, the artist’s complex and multilayered works offer opportunities for viewers to glimpse into the artist’s mind. At auction, Chang’s 2012 Untitled 1 is a small-scale mixed-media work on handmade paper. The object’s size entices the viewer to approach the work, and thus to confront his perception with that of Chiang. Seen at close proximity, one identifies muted grey houses overcome by yellow, blue and white geometries that together, reference an Asian screen, intended to shield oneself in modesty. This play on peeking is complemented by a bridge coming from an anonymous source. It’s as if we are invited, given permission to surpass the barrier. Given Chiang’s alluring subject matter and her upcoming solo show at The Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center in Silver Spring, Untitled 1, previously exhibited at (e)merge art fair and the Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, NC is an excellent buy for both its aesthetic qualities and market investment.  

Mica Hartman, ArtSee Creative Writer

Breck Brunson, HA! and YEA!
Starting Bid: $50

Corcoran College of Art + Design alum, Breck Brunson has two works featured in the Transformer auction. HA! and YEA! are book paper collages with used frames. Brunson’s use of these aged materials creates a vintage-inspired quality. The images contain soft, muted colors to enhance this timeless look. Brunson’s use of very delicate napkin cutouts, overlaid atop the faces of his now anonymous subjects is very intriguing and is a continuation of this antiquated, lost but preserved in time feeling evoked in HA! and YEA! The retail value is “Priceless!” while the starting bid is $50. This is interesting commentary within the construct of the trash-to-treasure nature of thrift goods. It will be very interesting to see how much these works are auctioned for, adding yet another layer to the “history” of these unique pieces.

For more information on the Transformer 10th Annual Auction, visit the website here. And for a complete list of artists, click here

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 
The ArtSee Team 

Museologist? What will it take to Save the Corcoran...

Just to recap all of the other recaps from yesterday big news at the Corcoran…

  1. Corcoran is partnering with NGA for shows of their collection while the East Wing is under renovations.
  2. University of Maryland and the Corcoran have entered in to a Memorandum of Understanding that will begin the conversation of a future partnership.
  3. Museologist, Peggy Loar will now serve the Corcoran as the new Consulting Director.

This news left some a little disappointed and some angry, but for me, I was happy to hear progress.  While I praise the board on their efforts to push things forward, I question where these changes would only further solidify the end of the Corcoran as an independent organization. WHAT is a Museologist, you might ask? According to the interwebs, they are a person who studies the establishment and development of a museum and the museum industry.  But is hiring Peggy Loar another move that is too little, too late for the mighty Corcoran? I think so. In conjunction with the partnership with NGA, what is the point in Peggy coming on board? Other than the mention of her assisting in the negotiations with UMD, what can she really change to a museum that is already established, failing, but off and running nonetheless? Her resume, however impressive, does not include “saving” any of the organizations that she has spent time nurturing.  What I wish we could have heard yesterday are some of her immediate or long term plans for change, similar to what the Save the Corcoran endorsed Wayne Reynolds has made clear in his campaign to serve the organization.  This is not to say that I am in support of Mr. Reynolds, but he has valid points and a plan of action that we have yet to see from Ms. Loar.

As for said partnerships, as someone who has always been a supporter of the Corcoran, I hope they are beneficial, but I don’t see how they could be.  The Corcoran has sold its’ soul to the NGA “devil” and I would be surprised if it get’s it back.  Now, I’m not on the board and I imagine they reviewed documents carefully and crossed T’s and dotted I’s, but I would be surprised if this partnership wasn’t difficult to get out of, or worse yet that NGA in time will just claim the amazing Corcoran collection as their own.  Do we want the work that has belonged to the Corcoran for so long to become part of a greater collection where it will be seen less often? I don’t. But on the other hand, I am thankful that masterpieces that are a part of NGA’s collection won’t sit in storage. So I will leave this verdict on this particular partnership for future analysis as things unfold. As for the UMD announcement however, I am in favor. Not only do I feel that this partnership could only help the students that the Corcoran engages, but at a certain the Corcoran needs to decide if it’s first a museum or first a school. And by joining with UMD, which has a great program and helpful resources, the Corcoran can focus on being first a museum and second a school.  Students will be exposed to greater resources and their work to a wider audience of teachers and critics. I do hope that in her time as Consulting Director, that Ms. Loar that a long look at the advantages of this partnership.

While a lot remains to be seen with what impact this all has on the Corcoran and the greater DC art community as a whole, I hope we can all agree that this is a step in a direction, right or wrong remains to be seen…

For more write-ups, recaps and resources on the Corcoran see below.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


Washington City Paper
Washington Post
The Corcoran Website

Save the Corcoran


 Image Courtesy of the Corcoran.