hillyer art space

This Weekend: It's Guna Be (a wet) May

In case you feel like getting wet this weekend for the good of art... 

1. Contemporary Wing opens Friends with Benefits on SATURDAY from  6-8 pm [link]
2. First FRIDAY in Dupont at Hillyer, Studio Gallery and more! [link]
3. Fiction @ The Fridge opens SATURDAY from 7- 10 pm [link]
4. And interested in making the hike up Wisconsin? The Georgetown Spring Season Art Walk in FRIDAY from 6-8 pm [link]
5. Oh and as an added bonus... Let's funky on down @ the Funk Parade this Saturday May 3 [link and photo credit]

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 


First Friday: Spring has Sprung Edition

With the the weather projected to be in the 60's this Friday we are pumped for a night out on the town. Here at ArtSee we are excited to see Dupont Circle First Friday's blossoming in the DC arts community with fresh events and galleries each month. In one convenient post we have compiled a list of all the exhibitions opening this Friday, April 4th for you to check out. 

Alex Gallery

Alex Gallery will feature two local artists, exhibiting from April 2 – April 30, 2014. 
These exhibitions include Nancy Angulo: Reflections in Oil and Bronze; and Germain Bonifacio: A View from Argentina. Come take a look during the First Friday Reception from 6:30-8:00.

Foundry Gallery

The Foundry Gallery will feature local artist Judy Golbert Levey and her show ”Double Takes,” showing from April 2 through April 27, 2014. It is a show of large, vivid paintings and the small studies that inspired them. Opening Reception 6:00-8:00 

Hillyer Art Space 

First Friday Reception from 6:00-9:00 featuring "It's All About Me" by Michael Havneraas, "Change Of Place" by Kimberly Parr Roenigk, and "Cities in the Air" by Everitt Clark. Exhibitions will run until April 26th.  

Q Street Fine Arts

This spring Q Street Fine Art will feature local artist Fabiano Amin at their Dupont Circle location.  For the First Friday retrospective Fabiano Amin will exhibit the various phases of his work from 2008 to date. The retrospective show will run from April through the end of May with hours open to the public. The opening reception is from 5:00-9:00

Studio Gallery

Studio Gallery will feature a solo show and a duo show from April 2 through April 26, 2014 in their newly renovated Dupont Circle space. The upstairs gallery will feature Eleanor Kotlarik WangFloating Worlds. The downstairs gallery will feature Amy B. DavisLines, and Freda Lee-McCannAn Old Journey Revisited. Opening reception from 6:00-8:00. 

Then stop on by at ArtJamz for their First Friday specials. Click here for more information. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Mica Hartman  

December First Friday Preview

This week is the month’s first Friday and a multitude of local galleries are taking the opportunity to hold opening receptions for new exhibitions and social events. Here are a few places that are worth a stop on your First Friday Art Walk.

Out of the way from the usual walk but, the Torpedo Factory will be hosting it’s Holiday Open House 2013 from 6:30-9:00. The event is free with food and drink being served along with seasonal music. The event is a great opportunity to see interesting art and also pick up some one-of-a-kind pieces for your friends and family. For More information check out ArtSee’s Events Calendar.

Go to the Hillyer Art Space for the opening reception of their new December artists: Sherry Zvares Sanabria, Annie Farrar, and Elizabeth Holtry. The artists will be present at Hillyer along with live music by DJ Fusion. The December artist include Sherry Zvares Sanabria, a DC native, whose show "The Corrections: Prisons and Mental Hospitals," in which she captures the haunting heritage that is trapped inside historical buildings. To review all the shows at Hillyer click here

 Join the Touchstone Gallery for the opening reception of “Deck the Walls” featuring affordable art of all shapes and materials along with the opening of "INTERPLAY" by Georgia Nassikas and “The 28th Century: The Work of Charles E. Meissner.”  The exhibition of work by Charles E. Meissner is hosted by Art Enables, an inspiring non-profit art studio in D.C. devoted to adult artsits with disabilities, and the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts, a tax-exempt foundation fostered by Touchstone Gallery Artists to support emerging, local artists. For more information visit the Touchstone Gallery

Bringing the Art in DC to You
Mica Hartman

Unwrapping Unwrapped: A Performance/Installation by Monica Jahan-Bose

This past Thursday Hillyer Art Space hosted UNWRAPPED A Post-Performance Dialogue and Dinner with the artist Monica Jahan-Bose and many other women who performed the piece with Bose at the (e)merge Art Fair. Bose describes the performance piece as such: “UNWRAPPED is inspired by the Indian mythological story of Draupadi, the eternal virgin who was married to five brothers, as well as the true story of Bose’s grandmother’s marriage at age seven. Speaking to women’s rights to education and over their own bodies, the performance involves wrapping and unwrapping the body with a 216-foot sari covered with writing by women from Bose’s grandmother’s village in Bangladesh, part of a collaboration called Storytelling with Saris.”

 The main room at Hillyer was buzzing with activity and excitement as guests and performers discussed the performance over food and drinks. The slideshow of photographs from the performance in October captured the movement and raw emotion found in the piece so for those who had missed the live showing, the energy and expression in UNWRAPPED was still quite clear.

 The performers were eager to share their experiences and the illuminating moments they felt during the show, which spoke to Bose’s intentions behind her work. The women cited the difficulty of working with the enormous sari and the brutal external conditions, including extreme heat and wind, as a source of turmoil that intertwined all the performers and made them come together to execute Bose’s vision.

 Artist and UNWRAPPED performer, Carolyn Becker explored the many cathartic moments she had with her fellow participants and the rest of the discussion members. One could really feel the sense of strength and accomplishment that the performers felt and this idea of women’s empowerment, a main focal point behind UNWRAPPED.

 After the discussion, I asked Monica if she found the egregious conditions somewhat frustrating because they caused such a tortured and pained look on her face in the photographs and added to the difficulty of the performance about vitality and emancipation. She replied that, while yes there were unforeseen complications, these added to the work. The physical difficulty enhanced the idea of women embracing and leaning on each other to better their circumstances and liberate themselves.

 The mood of the evening was festive and inspiring. Eames Armstrong, a performance artist who collaborated with Bose on UNWRAPPED, was a great host. Performance art can be a genre that is difficult to approach at times, however, the Hillyer’s event promoted a constructive dialogue between artists, performers, and attendees that was energizing and enlightening.

For more on Storytelling with Saris click here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Mica Hartman 

Photo Credit: http://storytellingwithsaris.com/ai1ec_event/unwrapped-performance/?instance_id=

All That Glitters: Chandi Kelley Presents Nature's Understated Opulence

This month, Hillyer Art Space is embracing FotoWeek by featuring three phenomenal local photographers. The gallery has been thoughtfully curated to display the incredible range found in the art of photography, the three artists showing are Chandi Kelley, D.B. Stovall, and Pamela H. Viola. Upon entering the gallery you are hit with Stovall’s intensely saturated Americana landscapes in A Slower Way of Seeing: Photographs of the American Vernacular, the viewer is then transferred to an airy, spacious room featuring Kelley’s Unnatural Histories that contrast Stovall’s bold, colorful images.  The member-curated space presents Having a Ball, Viola’s playful, refreshing take on photography, borrowing ideas from Japanese prints and Islamic geometric patterns.

In Unnatural Histories, photographer Chandi Kelley uses gold leaf to highlight the intricate details in simple natural objects. The objects’ bright, crisp colors are highlighted by the gold and carry a new sense of luminosity. Kelley says her goal is to “manipulate these objects until they become relics of a false natural history, teetering on a line between the familiar and the unfamiliar”. Kelly brings us earthly materials in a luxurious way, with rich shades and large-format layouts that allow the item to capture the entire frame.  Aureate, Gilded Rose, and Pebble (as meteor) are three standout pieces that are captivating and display Kelley’s sense of restraint in her gold application. In these works, Kelley creates a delicate balance between rustic and sumptuous goods. In Aureate, she chooses to photograph a log on a wood-grained table. It is a risk to photograph the wood-on-wood but Kelley uses the juxtaposition between the similar, yet different, materials and effectively emphasizes the beauty of the imperfect log. Unnatural Histories is an exploration of nature that is beautiful, striking, and thought provoking. Careful placement of a few gold overlays inspires the viewer to open their eyes to the hidden treasures that create our environment.

To see more from Chandi Kelley visit http://chandikelley.virb.com/

Don’t Miss Artist’s Talks with D.B. Stovall and Pamela H. Viola this Thursday, November 7th from 7:00-9:00 PM at Hillyer.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,
Mica Hartman 

The Built vs. Natural Worlds: Pam Rogers and Radio Sebastian at AAC


As many of our readers know, I am a HUGE fan of Radio Sebastian. I featured several of their pieces on my holiday wish list last year for Panda Head Magazine (which were later acquired by the DC Art Bank). This summer, they teamed up with Pam Rogers to open the two-person show Agri Interior at the Arlington Arts Center on June 29. Radio Sebastian will continue the show with a live Ikebana arranging on Thursday, September 12, 2013, followed by a closing reception on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  Their mixed media exhibition explores dual realities through ruptures in the intersection of the built and natural worlds.

RadioSebastian04 (1)


Pam Rogers is an AAC artist in residence that first showed together with the dynamic artist duo Radio Sebastian in 2010 at Hillyer Art Space. For their new show, Radio Sebastian and Rogers created pieces for this show that incorporate their past experiences into artwork. They are true mixed media artists using plants, rubber, polymer clay, books, video, and wall paneling. In this exhibit, Rogers and Radio question familiar reality and ask the viewer to look at what lurks beneath—whether it delights or makes us eerily uncomfortable.

"Faint Fields Faucet no. 5"; 2013; Sculpey on fixtures

Described as one of the highlights of the Arlington Arts Center's summer exhibits by Pinkline Project, Agri Interior will, on September 12, host a live Ikebana sculptural experience.  Directly in response to their organic work, Reiko Blackwell will create flower sculptures in the traditional Japanese style. “Viewers are encouraged to come appreciate the harmony of line, color and shape as they learn about Ikebana [and] sip wine,” says the Arlington Arts Center.

 I personally am looking forward to seeing how the show’s end will coincide with the great vision of these artists. See you there! 

Hillyer's Calls For Submission

Hillyer Art Space
invites artists to submit to its current Open Call for Artists for the 2014-2015 exhibition season. We pride ourselves in exhibiting talented artists working in all media and subject matter.  Hillyer presents monthly exhibitions and each accepted artist is given a room in our three room gallery space to present their work. Accepted artists also benefit from our Mentorship Program, where our highly qualified Artist Advisory Committee work individually with each artist to help them prepare their exhibitions and establish themselves in the DC arts community. Artists are chosen by the Artist Advisory Committee and will be notified of selection in February 2014.

Artist of the Week: Hsin-Hsi Chen

In the corner of the Members’ Gallery at Hillyer Art Space, an illuminated geometric structure made of polystyrene, radiates glowing white light. Luminescence pulses with the vibrancy of life and extends into the viewer’s immediate space, inviting the plastic work’s human counterpart to reveal elements of his inner soul, to expose what is typically hidden under his hard and restrictive shell.

Hsin-Hsi Chen’s new series, LUX explores the optical and cognitive effects of light and shadow when juxtaposed with illusionary or surreal light. Her study successfully elicits questions of fact versus fiction and confronts the opposing duo’s interplay within everyday life. Just as it is at times perplexing to distinguish the corporeal shadows made by paper folds from the phantom darkness developed by diligent pencil shading, it is often difficult, sometimes confusing or impossible, to separate authenticity from fraud.

Some of Chen’s artworks are limited in material, using only pencil on paper, to create complex planes. These images are capable of confounding the viewer who strives to match his visual perception of the drawing with his thoroughly convinced feelings for space and depth. Grotto is the most interesting of the series, for when seen at close gaze, the viewer is transported into the pictorial frame, as if he is standing within Jean Dubuffet’s Cave that exists in its permanent home at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

Chen abstracts two-dimensional cuts, angles and lines of her drawings into medium-sized three-dimensional paper and wood models. Enhanced by LED lights, these works challenge the viewer’s ability to examine and realize the overlaps between created and natural space and shadow. Such exercise requires focused attention and inquisitive eyes.

Some thee-dimensional works adopt futuristic personas. Alien light softly glows below machine-precise edges to create an illusion reminiscent of a science fiction hovercraft. Others convey thoughts of fantasy, more naturally formed with imperfect curves. Like the brain that produces dreams, these objects have mysterious openings that emit an enticing light from an unknown source. 

Together, pencil drawings, paper and wood objects, and a polystyrene structure, engage in dialogue with one another, creating a visual progression marking Chen’s artistic process—from two to three-dimensions—as well as posing intriguing questions concerning illusionary and real space in everyday life

LUX is on display at Hillyer Art Space until April 26, 2013.

Tuesday- Friday 12- 6 PM, Monday and Saturday 12- 5 PM, Closed Sunday

9 Hillyer Court, NW

Bringin the Art in DC to You,

Roxanne Goldberg


Gallery Round-Up: Weekend of April 5

Friday, April 5:
Opening: MUMBO SAUCE at Contemporary Wing
1414 14th Street, NW // 6:00- 10:00 PM

MUMBO SAUCE is a survey of artists with deep roots in Washington, D.C., and explores how such factors as Go-Go, graffiti, punk, hardcore, graphic design and fine art have shaped and influenced the work of these artists. MUMBO SAUCE is curated jointly by Roger Gastman, curator of the Corcoran’s “Pump Me Up” show, and Lauren Gentile, founder of Contemporary Wing.

Opening: LOST LAND at Hillyer Art Space
9 Hillyer Court, NW // Friday 6:00- 9:00 PM

LOST LAND is about landforms, both real and imagined. Printmaker Fawna Xiao creates an abstracted landscape captured in a series of screenprinted monotypes that are a tribute to mountains, canyons, glaciers, and Martian rocks. Xiao’s work is minimalist: rich colors and lively geometrics are embraced by a generous sea of paper. A complex mountain shards into blue and silver; a glacier is simplified to white and seafoam crystals; an entire mountain range is expressed in two colors. The work is focused on the mountain distilled – free of plants, tourists, and creatures. Lost Land reveals land masses both alien and familiar, in their most raw and essential forms.

Opening: Athena Tacha: Drawings: From Public to Private, 1977- 2007 at Marsha Mateyka Gallery
2012 R Street, NW // 4:00- 6:00 PM

Greek artist Athena Tacha has been widely exhibited worldwide since the late 1970s. Her many commissions for public sculpture in Rome and 10 US states. Athena Tacha: From Public to Private is a comprehensive, 40-year retrospective traveling exhibition that includes over 100 works and originally opened in Greece.

Opening: Journey to Lo Manthang” Paintings by Leslie Johnston at Touchstone Contemporary Art Gallery
901 New York Avenue, NW // 6:00- 8:30 PM

This exhibition features a new series of paintings by DC-based artist Leslie Johnston following her journey to Lo Manthang, Nepal.

Opening: OUTLOUD at Foundry Gallery
1314 18th St., NW, 1st Floor //  6:00- 8:00 PM

Non-representational, intuitive paintings range from bold, explosive multimedia collages to subtle, many layered mysterious paintings. The members of OUTLOUD Artists have exhibited widely nationally and internationally.  Many are affiliated with area galleries.  Several are teachers of the arts or art therapists. They have exhibited together as the OUTLOUD Artists at the Arts Club of Washington, Touchstone Gallery, Black Rock Arts Center, Sandy Springs Museum, and the Yellow Barn of Glen Echo, MD. Members of the group began painting together about 12 years ago, and they enjoy the synergy of critiquing each other, painting together, and showing together.

Saturday, April 6:

Opening: Pia Mater at The Fridge
516 ½ 8th Street, SE // 7:00- 11:00 PM    

The pia mater is the innermost layer of membrane surrounding the brain, the final delicate veil guarding the center of the nervous system. For their exhibition of the same name, Jenny Sawle, Emily Francisco and Ashleigh Werner will dissect the concept of vulnerability through drawing, video, sculpture and performance. 

Opening: Gathering Space at Hamiltonian
1353 U Street, NW // 7:00- 9:00 PM    

Timothy Thompson broadens his exploration on the perception of place in Gathering Space, a site-specific installation that intersects Hamiltonian's 1,800 square foot gallery. Abandoning his usual sculptural materials such as iron and wood for hand-sewn nylon fabric and fiberglass rods, Thompson creates sculptures that act as both conduits through the gallery and formidable monumental barriers. As they move amongst the sculptures, viewers are asked to reconsider how they navigate and perceive a physical space.

Bringing the art in DC to you,
Roxanne Goldberg 

Photos Courtesy of Contemporary Wing, Hamiltonian and The Fridge.

Last Chance: Garth Fry at Hillyer Art Space

Garth Fry pushes the limit in his solo show at Hillyer Art Space by taking his delicate technique of coiled paper to the next level with both large and small scale exhibitions. Fry revisits this technique with an emphasis on the viewing experience, focusing on the ethereal, delicate properties of paper coils.

His solo exhibition at Hillyer Art Space, which closes this Friday March 29th, showcases his push to enhance his work by reexamining the coiled paper technique and by creating works that can be viewed independently while providing an impactful viewing experience for the viewer.

Garth Fry 2

ArtSee had a chance to sit down and chat with our friend Garth to discuss his exhibition at Hillyer Art Space, what it’s like to be an artist, and just what it takes to be the upbeat and positive Garth Fry we know and love.

 ArtSee: What's the last show that you saw (not yours) that inspired you?

Garth Fry: The Ai Weiwei exhibit, "According To What" at the Hirshhorn Museum. Biggest take away there for me was his craftsmanship displayed in China Log. Ai built logs from dismantled Qing Dynasty (1644–1911) temple posts. He then carved an opening through the center of the log that displays the shape of China. The materials used in the log creation reference China's past, while his carving techniques become symbolic of the counties future. Ai designs mystery in a simple yet complex manner with this piece; elements that I enjoy and try to incorporate in my own work.  


AS: Where is your favorite place to see art?

GF: I really enjoy the Hirshhorn Museum and keeping up with a few DC galleries like Hillyer Art Space, The Fridge, and RandScottProjects.


AS: What inspired the body of work in your exhibition “A Deeper Look Inside” on display now at Hillyer Art Space?

GF: The images I created with coils have been inspired by events that have happened throughout my life; from affairs as simple as everyday occurrences to monumentally life changing circumstances. Even the origin of the coiling process developed during a routine life event. I noticed large sheet of torn paper beginning to roll into itself while moving my studio from Arlington, VA to Richmond, VA. The simple paper rolling phenomena transformed into a regular studio practice while living in Richmond because I had little room and no funds to support my regular Printmaking habit. I began making images inspired by trivial situations and my daily surroundings. Most recently, in this show specifically, I've tried to push myself to expand within the paper coil theme and create works that could stand alone without being framed.

 Garth Fry

AS: What do you think has changed in your art career and your work since the beginning of your career?

GF: As an artist I've learned to follow my gut and intuition.  Early on in my career I leaned heavily on traditional means of expression, from materials used to the process of creation.  Overtime, I've been able to build on those conventional artistic practices to create new techniques with different forms of articulation.


AS: Who is your favorite artist dead/alive and why?

GF: Damien Hirst, for his ability to create works that feed on peoples fears and emotion so decoratively. 


AS: If you weren’t creating art what would you be doing? 

GF: Surfing


AS: What is you favorite food?

GF: I love a good burrito, but I'm not a picky eater and enjoy foods of all types.


Thanks so much for chatting with us, Garth! Be sure to catch his show “A Deeper Look Inside” before it closes THIS Friday at Hillyer Art Space. Also, you can check out more of his work on his website: www.garthfryart.com


A Deeper Look Inside is open until March 29th, 2013 at Hillyer Art Space 9 Hillyer Court, NW in Dupont Circle. Hillyer Art Space is open 12-6 Tuesday – Friday & 12-5 Monday’s and Saturday’s. 

Andy Grundberg and The Art of Curation

The Hillyer is an intimate gallery hidden down one of DuPont’s bustling streets. On Monday, November 12, Andy Grundberg was the featured curator in this month’s Curator Lecture Series. In an open room of the gallery with paintings surrounding the audience, Grundberg spoke about a wide range of topics related to art and his career. Although it was not a one-on-one conversation, it was a comfortable and casual atmosphere in which it was acceptable for the audience to ask any question that crossed the mind. 

            Andy Grundberg is a curator and professor at the Corcoran School of Art. His lecture focused on photography as a fine art. Soon it became clear why he is such a well-respected curator. Not only is he well educated about the arts, he is passionate about them. Grundberg spoke with precision and elegance describing the significance and value of photography in the fine art world. He stated, “Photography is swimming in the same pond as contemporary art.” Keeping the talk personable and relatable, he also added in many details about the history of photography becoming a fine art. He mentioned Andy Warhol’s use of photography in screens in paintings and how that was when they first entered the realm of fine art in the 1960’s. This was an arena in which someone with a degree in fine arts or art history could learn so much, but also someone who had little to no background in the arts would be able to comprehend and enjoy Grundberg’s lecture.

During the talk he discussed not only his career path but also specific artists whose exhibits he has been the curator of. One of the most famous photographers he has worked with is Anne Leibovitz. He graciously discussed what an honor he thought working with a living artist was, and admits that it was one of his first goals as a curator. Although what he did not expect was the challenges that living artist pose when setting up an exhibit, this he comments on with a chuckle, and state this helped him improve his compromising skills.

            As he proceeds on with the lecture, a slide show of exhibits he was the curator for is playing. Occasionally he’ll stop to admire some of the work and tell a story. One of Leibovitz landscapes crosses the screen and he drifts into a story about the dark beauty of her photography and how she views things in a transcendentalist manner. At one part while discussing Leibovitz landscapes, he stops and looked up at the audience and said, “the beauty of the outside world is perceived in different ways, therefore each artist can bring something different to a photo.” His passion translates to the audience, encouraging us to look closer at a picture. After an hour that went by surprisingly quickly, Grundberg thanked the audience and the presentation comes to a close.  

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


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, 


ArtSee's Collection of Gallery Shows: April

ArtSee hit the pavement this month and stopped by some of our favorite galleries to checkout the city’s latest and greatest exhibits. So here are our highlights and recommendations for your reading (and viewing) pleasure! 

Gallery Plan B
Current Exhibit: “dis donc!” paintings by Kathy Beynette is showing at Gallery Plan B April 11 through May 13, 2012.

Highlights From the Show: Checkout the oil painting on canvas, “Armadillo Callaloo.” This piece, created in 2012, is priced at $4,500.

A Little About the Artist: Beynette’s work, which is described as whimsical and playful, is a work of fictional poetry, reminiscent of vibrant folk drawings. Her work has been translated into both postcards and puzzles, and she is even in the process of creating a children’s book due out this fall. Beynette is a local artist, currently working out of her studio at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria

For more information on the exhibit and the artist, please visit http://www.galleryplanb.com/

Current Exhibit: “Bread and Butter: Artistic Perspectives on Food and Culture” is showing at Transformer April 7 through May 9, 2012. Guest curator, Carolina Mayorga, and artists Chanan Delivuk, Sara Pomerance, Kari Scott and Shannon Young explore our relationship with food through installation, photography, sculpture, performance and more.

Highlights From the Show: We loved “This is Not Cake” by Kari Scott, created in 2012. All pieces in the exhibit are very reasonably priced, with works starting at $150. 

A Little About the Artists: This joint show is a first for all of the exhibiting artists at Transformer (Delivuk, Pomerance, Scott and Young). The artists bring together a collection of mixed medias (photography, installations, video, and sculpture art) in this interactive exhibit to discuss and question food: Is it really just food? Or is food symbolic of class and  identity?

For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visithttp://transformerdc.org/

Long View Gallery
Current Exhibit: “Urban Forest” by Michelle Peterson-Albandoz is showing April 12 through May 20, 2012 at Long View Gallery.

Highlights From the Show: We loved Peterson-Albandoz’s “Urban Series # 8” on reclaimed wood. The piece sells for $3,350. We also adored the six large totems placed in the middle of the gallery – they make the space feel especially “reclaimed,” as they reconstruct a forest for the viewer. 

A Little About the Artist: Peterson-Albandoz’s work is driven by nature, and is especially driven by a desire to shine light on the destructive relationship humans and technology have on nature. She uses others’ “trash” and turns it into “treasure” in her recreated wood and mixed media pieces. “Urban Forest” is the third solo show for Michelle Peterson-Albandoz since Long View Gallery’s re-opening in October of 2009.

For more information on the exhibit and the artist, please visithttp://longviewgallery.com/

Hillyer Art Space
Current Exhibit: “Infinite Set 3” by Tomomi Nitta is showing April 6 through April 28, 2012 at Hillyer Art Space.

Highlights From the Show: We loved all of Nitta’s pieces, but especially “Infinite Set 29” and “Infinite Set 30.” The artists’ installation depicts various female forms (all faceless yet cast in vibrant colors), floating in a space of nothingness.

A Little About the Artist: Nitta was born in Nara, Japan and studied at University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Corcoran College of Art and Design and Tama Art University in Tokyo Japan, where she received her BFA.

For more information on the exhibit and the artist, please visithttp://www.artsandartists.org/hillyer.html

Touchstone Gallery 
Current Exhibit: “String Theory” by Elena Tchernomazova is showing April 4 through April 29, 2012 at Touchstone Gallery.

Highlights From the Show: We loved “Sun Song.” This piece encompasses Tchernomazova’s inspiration from ancient Greek mythological traditions, as well as music.  

A Little About the Artist: Tchernomazova is a Russian-born physicist. In particle physics, String Theory is a contender for a universal theory of everything. Tchernomazova works in white stoneware with varied under-glazes to create hand-built ceramics Her works often combines the human face or figure with architectural elements, musical instruments, and mythological or real animals.

For more information on the exhibit and the artist, please visit http://www.touchstonegallery.com/

Hamiltonian Gallery
Current Exhibit: “Tropical Obsessions” by Jessica van Brakle and Joshua Wade Smith. Showing April 21 through May 18, 2012.

Highlights From the Show:  We are especially fond of “Through the Bamboo,” created by Jessica van Brakle in 2012.  

A Little About the Artists: Hamiltonian Fellows, Jessica van Brakle and Joshua Wade Smith, exhibit paintings, sculptures and installations in this exhibit that questions the human affects on nature, including landscapes, tropical foliage, water and islands. In addition to the exhibition, the artists will be hosting a talk on Thursday, May 17, 2012, at 7:00 p.m.

For more information on the exhibit and the artists, please visit http://hamiltoniangallery.com/

Photo Credit: Hamiltonian

Studio Gallery

Current Exhibit: “This Where You Are” by Elizabeth Harris is showing at Studio Gallery now through May 19, 2012. Joyce McCarten and Bud Hensgen are also exhibiting in the downstairs portion of the gallery.

Highlights From the Show: We’re crazy about Harris’ ink and pastel on paper piece, “Lightness of Being,” as well as  “Desert Night,” an oil on canvas painting priced at $1,100.

A Little About the Artist: This is McNeil Harris’ first solo show at Studio Gallery and it features some of her intensely emotional ink and pastel drawings. Harris’ work is minimalist, leaving the focus directly on the figures. She possesses a raw line style that exudes effortlessness with each stroke.

McCarten is similar to Harris in her use of sketches and charcoal on paper. McCarten comments on women in contemporary life, and does so by giving them a mysterious presence. Years of outdoor landscape painting and figure drawing influences McCarten’s abstract work.

In contrast, Hensgen uses bands of color to depict beauty in the simplest form. He layers acrylics, charcoals and oil pastels to create depth and build tension in color and form.  

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Rachel Nania

Better Late Than Never: February Show Review

On February 3 I ventured out for the usual First Friday openings.  The line-up for the night was set, starting with the preview of DC’s newest – Contemporary Wing.

I was particularly looking forward to attending the preview for the Contemporary Wing show NEXT.  Although it was missing work from our fair city and featured artists mostly from Chicago and NYC, it is a wonderful parallel with the recently closed 30 Americans show at the Corcoran and it is always exciting when a new gallery opens its doors! Perfectly placed in the Shaw neighborhood, the physical space within this new gallery is fantastic, although still a little rough around the edges with no restroom yet…

Although the strategically placed pile of combs, entitled Seven Layer Tangle by Sonya Clark, that stands as the signature piece of the show is pushed to the back room, you are immediately greeted with the sparkling works of Jayson Keeling.  My personal favorite, ROY G BIV a canvas covered in black glitter, was initially hard to decipher but after probing deeper you can see the colors of the rainbow clearly.  Keeling’s technique of slowing me down to actually see the connection between the title and the work itself certainly worked – BEAUTIFULLY!

Since admittedly, I am always drawn to photography, Wyatt Gallery’s work in NEXT has to be mentioned. His work, from his series Tent Life: Haiti, is very powerful and curated perfectly to really dominate the space.  My personal favorite Blue Tent Interior, Airport Camp really brought me in with its bold blue colors and almost washes away the meaning and story behind the series.  Contemporary Wing is also selling Wyatt Gallery’s book of Tent Life: Haiti for just $40. Wyatt Gallery - Blue Tent Interior, Airport Camp

After wrapping up at the exciting preview of NEXT, I headed across town to Dupont for the real First Friday openings at the Hillyer and Studio Gallery.  To say that they were crowded with people would be an understatement, which makes for a great win in the art world!  The highlight for me at the Hillyer Art Space was again photography by David Myers.     His work will be up through February in the front gallery space at Hillyer.  Myers work creates a documentary of his experiences and surroundings, many depicting animals.  A must see!

Ending my tour de Dupont on Friday I stopped in to the Studio Gallery and this time it was not photography that caught my attention but rather the sculptures of Trish Palasik’s Moments: Taking Shape.  Her Degas-esque work Ballerina is truly stunning and puts a modern look on a timeless beauty. 

Overall, all three galleries are a must see this month and I look forward to seeing more from these artists.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,