25+ Local Artists, from Painters and Photographers to Woodworkers and Potters, will be featured during this DC Art Extravaganza

As you know from our recent posts... Our partners at SwatchRoom, the new Shaw-based creative design and fabrication studio, will host its first annual three-day SwatchRoom Salon Party March 7th through March 9th. Curated by ArtSee, an art event services agency, and hosted by Hierarchy, the newest event space by DC’s No Kings Collective, the celebration will showcase more than 35 local artists during three distinct events. The Salon Party will be accessible to all levels of art enthusiast, beginning with a showcase of affordable work from emerging artists and culminating in a private event featuring new collections from some of DC’s most sought-after artists.

Attendees must purchase tickets to the Friday and Saturday evening events on eventbrite, here:

And the complete 2014 “SwatchRoom Salon Party” Schedule of Events is...  

FRIDAY, March 7th: Introducing DC’s Best Emerging Artists
TIME: 7pm – 12am
LOCATION: Hierarchy, 1841 Columbia Road, NW

To kickoff the Salon Party, a grouping of DC’s greatest emerging artists will be featured on Friday night. Each artist will display their latest work across all mediums: painting, photography, printmaking and more.

Artists will include:

Fabiano Amin
Leah Appel
Carolyn Becker
Amy Hughes Braden
Patrick Burns
Ellie Deneroff
Dominique Fierro
Jeremy Flick
Barb Januszkiewicz
Donna K. McGee
Cory Oberbndorfer
Brian Petro
Cristina Steadman
Radio Sebastian
Fawna Xiao

SATURDAY, MARCH 8th: Celebrating the District’s Favorite Artists
TIME: 7pm – 12am
LOCATION: Hierarchy, 1841 Columbia Road, NW

On Saturday night, collectors will have a preview to some of their favorite artists’ and designer’s newest collections. Attendees will also enjoy live painting, music, performances, and break dancing.

Artists will include:

Gregg Deal - paintings
Kate Warren- photography
Martin Swift - paintings
Jeremy Flick - paintings
Maggie O'Neill -paintings and home goods
Cory Orbendorfer - paintings
Karen Suderman - paintings
Chris Cooley - pottery
Dominique Fierro -photography
Sophie Blake - jewelry
Allison Priebe Brooks (aka Queen Bee Designs)
James Kerns - furniture and lighting
Tariq Tucker - paintings
Carbon Vintage - furniture
McNamara Designs - furniture

We hope to see you there! 

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Radio Sebastian

Radio Sebastian is the pseudonym for collaborative work done by Corwin Levi and Yumiko Blackwell. Their work is prolific and ranges from drawings to paintings, videos, sculpture and installation. Radio Sebastian's pieces are intricate and play with lines, vectors and textures. It's clear from the joint responses given by both artists that their creative minds are extremely in sync. 

There is a great sense of play and humor in Radio Sebastian's work and this sense of curiosity and joy was definitely felt when they answered a few questions for ArtSee. 

ArtSee: What's the last show that you saw that inspired you?
Radio Sebastian: We saw Gerco de Ruijter's CROPS at the Hirshhorn, with a soundtrack by Michel Banabila, that continues to dwell in the part of our memories devoted to amazing. Although we watched the piece in its entirety several times, the immensity of even five seconds of the work hit you immediately as these “found” photos combined into a whole, in collaboration, to speak to something much larger than the physical dimensions the room occupied. 

AS: What's the most indispensable item in your studio?
RS: The most productive activity we do in the studio is think and the item that most aids that thinking is a large cup of coffee (black for Corwin, with cream for Yumi). 

AS: Let's mix it up, what is your favorite food?
RS: Our favorite food is pie. Savory pie, sweet pie, shared pie, personal pie, pie in the rain, pie on a train. Although pie has not been literally represented in our art yet, it is really only a matter of time. We also had a pie-themed wedding.

AS: Sounds like a scrumptious dream wedding. I hope you have visited Dangerously Delicious Pies. Back to business, what are you most excited for at the Salon Party? 
RS: Anytime you bring design, artwork, and performance together you have the potential for wonderful and amazing things to happen. When you throw in an emphasis on collaboration and giving back to the community, you attract a set of people who cannot help but facilitate wonder.

Get a taste of Radio Sebastian here

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Mica Hartman 

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Fawna Xiao

Between splitting her time at her day job and selling out handmade prints faster than she can print them, Fawna Xiao is the definition of an emerging artist quickly on the rise. Xiao has shown at Tabula Rasa in Eastern Market, Hillyer Art Space and many more solo and group shows where almost all her pieces have gone home with a happy collector. In her salable works, Xiao plays with geometric objects, ombre effect color technique and transparency to create prints that are exceptionally bold and graphic while still feeling light and organic. She explores the natural world, examining forests, glaciers, boulders, etc. with a graceful hand creating shadows and playing with light using a rich, crisp palette. 

ArtSee had the opportunity to sit down with Fawna Xiao, a good friend of ours, and ask her a few questions regarding the upcoming Salon Party and her work process. We particularly loved the advice Xiao had for aspiring artists and believe the SwatchRoom Salon celebrates artists with this great mentality. 

ArtSee: What's the most indispensable item in your studio? 
Fawna Xiao: There’s this adorable tiny squeegee. I cannot imagine life without it. 

AS: And where is is that you currently work?
FX: I print out of Open Studio DC. It’s incredible! Carolyn Hartmann runs it and she is a gem in this city. 

AS: What are some invaluable lessons or words of wisdom you have for new artists?
FX: Treat it like a business- as much as we all wish it wasn’t, it is. And treat it like the gym – just go and do it even when you don’t want to. So much of being a successful artist is showing up and trying. Oh, and say yes to everything. 

AS: What are you most excited for at the Salon Party?
FX: All the beautiful people.

Take a look at Fawna Xiao's work on her site.

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Mica Hartman

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: PJ Burns

Patrick James "PJ" Burns is probably best know for his American flag mixed media pieces that incorporate newspaper, acrylic paint and polymer resin. the materials Burns uses evokes a textured worn quality to his pieces.

Where Burns is most innovative is in is his creation of the pseudo new art category that he deems "antique pop." Antique pop is the perfect name  for these unique works that take our perceived notion of bright happy pop art prints, such as those by Andy Warhol, and turn them on their head to show the gritty side of popular culture. 

Burns shared that his favorite place to experience art was on the street and this directly corresponds to his linecut prints that are almost graffiti like in nature. This interest in  the colorful and unexpected may have influenced Burns to get his beloved Chameleon, Chameleo Estevez, who is the most valuable item in Burns' studio.

Reflecting on his muse Burns said. "he changes color a lot and is always hanging around with an interesting look on his face. Sometimes its nice to just sit around and watch him for awhile. It helps clear my head and relax." 

At ArtSee we like to examine how artists feel about collecting the work of others and thoughts and feelings on selling their own work. For Burns, the form of art collection he most enjoys is when he gets to trade his work with other artists. In congruence with this discussion, Burns had some succinct and pretty awesome advice to dole out to new artists:

Grind and hustle. No one is gonna help you so its up to you make it happen. Grind and hustle. 

Burns is looking forward to meeting other artists at the Salon Party and (of course) enjoying some wine. 

Explore the world of antique pop at

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman 

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Fabiano Amin

Brazilian artist Fabiano Amin gave  ArtSee a rich interview filled with lots of insight into the mind of an artist. Amin creates very layered, colorful, textured works, inspired by movement found in water, dance and music.  

The last show that Amin visited that inspired him was here in DC at the Phillips Collection. "Repetitions" by Van Gogh excited Amin because the viewer is given the chance to see the same object evolve and develop over a series of paintings. When not visiting galleries in DC, Amin loves to see art in New York City both in and out of art galleries. Amin emphasized that observing what was new around the city itself and seeing the fast paced movement on the streets of NYC makes his "head spin" with new ideas and visions.  

Transitioning to Amin's work process and studio life, Amin shared that the most invaluable item in his studio is his work table. At this point in his career, his work table has been so splashed and splattered with paint that it is beginning to turn into a unique piece of art. Amin's favorite color is blue, and this is pretty evident in his body of work.

Why blue? Fabian says, "I'm Brazilian... I love to 'play' with blues, all the shades of blue, I think  unconsciously it takes me back to Brasil, to the beach scene where I grew up". After learning that one of Amin's preferred colors to work with was blue it was not surprising to learn  that his favorite artist is Pablo Picasso. Amin is all about duality so he not only appreciates Picasso's work but also the style in which Picasso lived his life.

Amin succinctly summed up that he loves Picasso because he never stopped creating and his work is complex and a bit controversial. Amin also pointed out that Picasso was very successful in his field, continuing the theme that hard work and dedication will yield great results. 

Amin is ecstatic about the upcoming Salon Party and told us  "I like any place/event that is related with art! More art out, more views , more involved. Great art and a good cause together is even better! Project Soar is an mazing cause I like the idea to have more - organized alternative spaces for art in DC!" 

Take a peek out at Fabiano Amin's work here.

Bringing the Art in DC to You, 

Mica Hartman

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Artist: Brian Petro

Artist Brian Petro is all about the maintenance of a global perspective and is inspired by everything that surrounds him. His work has a large range and often features iconic images with a unique twist that alters the viewer's perception of the familiar. Petro creates a lot of interesting patterns in his work through layering and mixing of materials. This overlapping and quilting of different images challenges us to really think about what we are looking at and what we do not see.

Petro had some wonderfully eloquent responses to a few questions that we sent his way in preparation for the Salon Party that explore his journey as an artist. I noticed that his answers to these questions display his distinct  personality, which is very noticeable in his work. 

ArtSee: What do you think has changed in your art career and your work since the beginning of your career?
Brian Petro: I used to wait to be inspired to work, now I GO TO WORK!  I love to 'work,' but, I don’t rest through slow periods anymore. There is always something to do, even if not putting paint to canvas, or clicking off  photographs, finding objects in dumpsters, meeting clients, establishing relationships, approaching galleries… and  the paperwork, and business end of Art is never finished.

A.S:: What is the biggest inspiration for your art?
B.P: The realization that with the ideas in my mind, the dexterity in my hands, the view of my eye, the acquisition of stuff from the streets and dumpsters, simple materials bought off a shelf… to use those aspects, and make something never, ever made, by anyone else that has existed on this planet, is something is completely of me, and I am able to offer emotion, educate, document, titillate, inspire, offend, give joy…  and give back to society and others in my lifetime, and well after my spirit ceases in our realm.

A.S: And where do you currently create your work?
B.P: Although I have had studios in NYC, in Brooklyn, NY, and in Philadelphia over the years, presently have studios in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, and Washington DC, on 14th Street, between T and S, NW, off the lower showroom of the Amazing Interiors Showroom, Vastu.  (I’ve had a studio there for the last 10 years.)

A.S: What are your thoughts on collecting art? Do you collect art yourself?
B.P: I do collect artwork.  I have very little of my own work in my home, My first real piece I ever purchased was a Rauschenberg [Petro's favorite artist] that was purchased from the savings of the first 5 pieces of my own art I ever sold.  I purchase when I travel abroad (I love skilled street artist’s work – Especially in Brasil,) and I have been very fortunate to swap artwork with artists I have met over my 16 professional art making years of artists that I love and respect.  I also have a several pieces that have just been sent to me as gifts by other artists just because they found out I liked a particular piece of theirs.  Those mean the most to me.

A.S: If you weren’t creating art what would you be doing?
B.P: I’d be a Mortician.

A.S: Finally, What are you most excited for at the Salon Party?
B.P: I really look forward to meet many new artists and art enthusiasts, learn about them, and hopefully have them visit me in my studio in the near future, so they can really see what I am all about, and how I think, and how I perceive life!

Preview Brian Petro's art on his site

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman 

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Artist: Donna K. McGee

Artist Donna K. McGee creates richly saturated paintings, primarily traditional and minimalist abstracts that trap a powerful, nostalgic quality inside them. McGee uses muted colors that make you feel as if you are watching a fading scene, that is slowly moving away from you.

In her talks with ArtSee, McGee really honed in on the ideas of mentorship, inspiration, and evolution that were critical in her success as a painter.

These are probably three of the most important facets an aspiring artist can seek out or experience and we are so fortunate that McGee shared with us. 

ArtSee: Who is the most interesting person you’ve met/know in the DC art scene? Why?
Donna K. McGee: The most interesting person has to be my mentor of twelve years, Helen Corning [McGee's favorite artist as well]. She was an abstract artist and instructor at the Yellow Barn at Glen Echo.  She died three years ago at the age of ninety. She taught classes and had a solo in Maine the last year of her life.  She was able to help every student in her class to find their own artistic self.  Each of us are are abstract students today, and each of use have a different style of painting. 

A.S: What is the biggest inspiration for your art?  
D.M: The total aesthetic awareness of nature inspires me.  There is every color and texture imaginable in nature.  When I  paint I delve into the images that color and textures create on the canvas.  It becomes a magical experience.

A.S:  Speaking of colors, what is your favorite color?
D.M: That is a difficult question to answer.  I use lot of blue in my work, but sometimes I like to concentrate on one color and see how far I can go with it.  Bronze, gold, red, becomes alive and pops when one color is juxtaposed to the next.  They all become a favorite.

A.S: What do you think has changed in your art career and your work since the beginning of your career?
D.M: I am braver. It is a very scary thing to put your work out there for others to judge. In the beginning I was more aware of "what the viewer would say" or "what would sell", instead of making it totally my creation. I am far more adventurous with color and texture.  I discovered, that as  I continue to stretch to new levels, those who have purchased my paintings continue to support my work. I have to be true to my self and continue to stretch to the next level.   

A.S: Lastly, what are you most excited for at the Salon Party?
D.M: I'm excited to be part of this opening where I have the opportunity to show my work to a new audience, and to meet others who are interested in local artists.

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Leah Appel

Photography is going to be well represented at ArtSee's Swatchroom Salon and photographer Leah Appel is showing her pension for colorful, graphic, saturated photographs that play with shot balance and depth of field.

Appel loves taking advantage of all the government supported art institutions in DC.

The latest show she visited that inspired her was at the National Portrait Gallery. The exhibition "American Cool" was adored by Appel, "I loved it! I loved seeing all the original photos that you see in magazines and in books but up close. You can really see how masterfully each one is printed by the worlds greatest photographers. So many great iconic photographs".

Appel also likes to visit the National Gallery of Art and the Corcoran. Some of Appel's favorite smaller galleries around the city are Transformer and Hillyer Art Space. 

Appel is also very excited to see works from other local artists at the Salon Party and works in different mediums. "I love seeing what artists in the DC area are working on and coming up with creatively. I get inspired by seeing artwork of all kinds". 

See what Leah Appel is all about on her website

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman

2014 SwatchRoom Salon Emerging Artist: Dominique Fierro

To get everyone revved up for ArtSee's latest collaboration with Hierarchy and SwatchRoom, we conducted a series of interviews with some of our favorite, participating local artists.

Artists chatted about what they're most looking forward to at the Salon Party, who inspires them, and all sorts of other insider tips on how they unwind, great spots in DC and so on.

The first artist we spoke with is Dominique Fierro, a photographer and designer. Fierros has a wide range of work, extending from high fashion photo shoots to fine art photography.

ArtSee: Since you've been at it for a while, do you have any words of wisdom for new artists?
Dominique Fierro:  Keep at it, nothing that’s worth it will come easily and you have to have a tough skin. It is critical in art no matter what you are doing to have patience and perseverance, the perfect shot can occur by pure accident or through painstaking time and preparation.

A.S: What's your favorite thing to do on a Sunday afternoon when you're not working?
D.F: I love to go for brunch with my husband and tromp through the woods with him and my furry four legged son.  

A.S.: What're you most excited for at the Salon Party??
D.F: To see all the other talented artists around DC.  

Dominique's will be showing on Friday night at Hierarchy from 7pm-12am. To preview Dominque Fierro's work, visit her site here

The SwatchRoom Salon is a three-day celebration of local and emerging artists, designers, and collaborations and giving back. 

Bringing the Art in DC to You

Mica Hartman 


Weekend East City Event Round Up: Winter Workshops Edition

Friday February 21
Washington Drawing Center– 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Painter Mark Bullen hosts an opening of his recent work at the Washington Drawing Center Brookland Annex on Friday.  If Bullen’s pieces inspire you, you will also have the opportunity to learn from him in a weekend-long painting workshop at the drawing center.  Course details hereThe Washington Drawing Center is located at 716 Monroe Street NE, Sudio #7

Saturday February 22
Brentwood Arts Exchange – 2 p.m

The BAE is hosting an artist talk with Bill Harris whose current exhibition combines seemingly disparate objects to create works that juxtapose freedom with struggle within a historical context of community.  For more information, click hereThe Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD (second floor)

artDC Gallery– 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

artDC Gallery hosts a group show of local talent in a multimedia exhibition titled Figure and Form Meet Abstraction.  Viewers can expect to see a wide-range of styles and mediums from the 14 exhibiting artists.  For more information, click here.

artdc Gallery is located at 5710 Baltimore Avenue, Hyattsville, MD



The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop Saturday figuring drawing courses continue this Saturday.  If you are more interested in photography, take a weekend workshop using traditional web-lab techniques.  For more course information click here.

DC GlassWorks

Try your hand at blowing glass, making a paperweight or welding at DC GlassWorks.  Details, here.

Please vote East City Art Best Arts Blog of 2014 – Click here to vote!

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitter or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

 Photo credit: Work by David Carlson (detail) at artDC gallery

Weekend East City Event Round Up: Valentine’s Blizzard Edition

Saturday February 8
39th Street Gallery– 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Sculptor Kyle Bauer discusses how he allows objects to dictate their own form when creating work.  Details found here. 9th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD (second floor)

Brentwood Arts Exchange – 4 p.m

The BAE has invited six members of the Glen Echo Glass School to discuss their work and their creative process at their art center which focuses on kiln-formed glass.  For more info, click here9th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, MD (second floor,

Anacostia Arts Center– 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The Anacostia Arts Center will present a group exhibition by local quilters.  Workshops and other events are forthcoming.  Details here. Anacostia Arts Center is located at 1231 Good Hope Road, SE

CONNERSMITH– 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Maria Friberg returns to CONNERSMITH, presenting a solo show titled between solitude and belonging.  The internationally acclaimed Swedish artist explores the disconnect between the coming generation who grew up communicating in the age of social media and an older generation whose interactions came from direct personal interaction.  Full description of exhibition here.

CONNERSMITH is located at 1358 Florida Ave. NE

***Note the SCRAP DC Invasive Plants Workshop scheduled for Saturday and Sunday has been postponed to the end of April due to the snowstorm.


Please vote East City Art Best Arts Blog of 2014 – Click here to vote!

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitter or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

Photo credit: MARIA FRIBERG, duration 1, courtesy CONNERSMITH.

Will You Be My Valentine? "Knock It Off"

If you are looking for somewhere interesting and artistic to take a date on Valentine's Day, check out Artisphere in Rossyln. Artisphere claims to be "where people and art collide" and hosts gallery space in addition to its main function as a performance art venue. There are currently five mini-shows at Artisphere that are very distinct and a pleasure to peruse. 

The featured image is from the the show "#COPING" by artist Claire Briggs. The show displays colorful crocheted quilts of various sizes with everyday expressions woven into them. The show is very tongue-and-cheek and incorporates very popular phrases that can be used casually but have strong impacts. The cheery colors of the weavings such as pale pink and sunny yellow are in direct contrast with the words interwoven, in this case, "BITCHES BE CRAZY." The show plays a lot with the common linguistics of our time and is sure to entertain the viewer while also prodding the viewer to think about the language they use. Do these supposed words of wisdom belong on the grandma's quilts of the future? Visit "#COPING" and decide. 


The visual arts programming at Artisphere also features an artist in residence series in their art studio. The opportunity to see an artist working is unique and hard to find in traditional small galleries. The current artist working and performing is Emily Francisco. Her piece in progress is "May I Have The Piano Delivered To You?" in which Francisco desires to reassemble pieces of a deconstructed antique baby grand piano into new performance and sculptural forms. Francisco's aim is to recreate the piano while maintaing its history magnitude as a whole. The chance to take a glimpse at the creative process of an aspiring artist is very intriguing and you may even find yourself getting increasingly invested in the work and the direction the project is currently going in or a even a new way you envision.

 Check out the rest of the arts programming at Artisphere here.

Also if you wish to continue your Valentine's Day at Artisphere, catch a screening of the beautiful and witty French Film Amelie, find all the details at Artisphere Film & New Media.

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Mica Hartman  

Image courtesy of

The Stunning Intersection of Technology and Art

It's hard to know where to start when reviewing the newest show at the Mansion at Strathmore, "What's Up: New Technologies in Art." The works by the nine participating artists challenged the fundamentals of art itself, enticing, exciting, and befalling the viewer. New materials and mediums were encapsulated in  the classical manor at the Strathmore, making the old home appear to come alive, clashing with the past  and embracing the  contemporary and near future. A novel dissecting this beautifully curated show by Harriet Lesser  and analyzing the new direction of the art world could most certainly be written. I'm going to focus on four artists that crafted striking works using extremely different methods to address the changing landscape of art and technology. 

Local Baltimore artist Chris Bathgate  transformed his role to that of an inventor and engineer. Bathgate's intricate blueprints of industrial objects he created called into question how we look at line and shape. The incredibly intricate blueprints were very traditional in design but they depict sculptures that can be seen more as entities  with an ambiguous utility that must be envisioned by the viewer. Bathgate's sculptures appear to be made by machines and our precisely pieced together. The resulting metal objects seem very stiff but when the observer reflects on the sculptures and blueprints as whole, the lines in the complex drawings indicate movement and display a sense of liveliness in the pieces. 

The next artist, Joseph Corcoran, a glass blower manipulates his material so they takes on the likeness of other materials. In Genetic and Somewhere Else, glass is blown to look like metal as a way to challenge the sanctity of materials. Corcoran's work makes the viewer question what is the pure? The technique of glass blowing creates a very organic warped reality. Corcoran attempts to transform rather than manipulate the glass, perhaps as a statement addressing the creation of new materials.


Scott Draves is a software artist and his work Electric Sheep is visually extraordinary and rather daunting. Electric Sheep (see featured image) is "a collective intelligence consisting of 450,000 computers and people that uses mathematics and genetic algorithms to create an infinite abstract animation." After printing the description of the piece there may be nothing more to say.  I can best describe my feelings while in the work as contemplative and calm. The endless swirls of colors, lights, and shapes floating around you almost makes you feel as if you are underwater while simultaneously being conscious in a dream. Scott Draves is certainly a pioneering artist in a variety of fields including digital, modern and software art. 

The last artist the reader is to explore also uses modern technologies to examine the past and the future. In Kiss by New York performer and artist, R. Luke Dubois, the artist takes 50 iconic Hollywood kisses and regenerates them, essentially vectorizing them so all we see our outlines of the figures and lines of color connecting all the shapes in the video. The piece was chilly and the music was rather haunting because it sounded like a  grinding infestation of insects. The piece seemed to depict  the dark side of love and romance, creating a sense of uneasiness. The visual quality of the work, while  technically falling to the category of videography was very reminiscent of pop art. 


"What's Up: New technologies in Art" is an incredible and revolutionary show that should not be missed. The exhibition explores the very exciting direction that art is heading in and will elicit a passionate response from the viewer. For full details on the show visit the Strathmore. Also don't miss the launching of  the Laser At the Mansion, an additional part of this exhibition that will be running on select evenings from February 12th to March 2nd. 

Special Thanks to Kayleigh Bryant, Mansion Programming Coordinator 

Bringing the  Art in  DC to You,

Mica Hartman 

ArtSee Picks: February 10

5 Art Happenings that can BRIGHTEN your week... Here are your ArtSee Picks for February 10

1. Cool news:  Art + Feminism Wikipedia-thon. Now that's what we call tech-savvy. 
2. This Opened: A brand new art/event space in AdMo from the guys of No Kings Collective called Hierarchy, the first show features locals DECOY and Cory Oberndorfer. 
3. Go See: Transformer opened their February show Homocats with smashing success and vibrancy
4. Call for Submission: With the DCCAH for the Light Arts Project and we have the scoop  
5. And then there was this up North in case you missed it... At least this means people care, right? Good ol' realistic sculptures...

Bringing the Art in DC to You,


Weekend East City Event Round Up: Warmer Weather through Imagery Edition

Saturday February 1
The 39th Street Gallery (11am - 3pm)

Ever coveted thy neighbor’s art supply collection? Well now is your chance to riffle through it and grab what you want!  The late Manon Cleary’s entire collection of supplies, easels and equipment will be for sale at the 39th Street Gallery.  Proceeds benefit an upcoming exhibition in April at the Arts Club of Washington.  More information here. The 39th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD (Upstairs)

Brentwood Arts Exchange (2-5pm)

A panel of local film professionals selected the experimental videos, documentaries and fiction pieces of 19 artists whose work was limited to a running time of ten minutes.   A cash prize will be awarded at the end of the viewing.  Forget the popcorn- Hyattsville Brewery Franklin’s will supply locally crafted beer and their famous chili!  Information on participating artists here. Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD (Downstairs)

Honfleur Gallery (2pm & 2:45pm)

At 2pm Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah will discuss Adrift, a photography exhibition of Moroccan and Turkish landscapes. Then, at 2:45pm, Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann & Michael B. Platt will discuss how both artists came to coproduce Common GroundInformation about the exhibitions here. Honfleur Gallery is located at 1241 Good Hope Road SE

Corner Store Arts (6pm to 8pm)

If the landscapes of Morocco and Turkey don’t warm you up, go Cuban! For a $10 suggested donation, The Swantelier Cuban Journals or “Fiesta of Photography” buys you homemade tapas, Havana Street Music and handmade books from Matanzas, Cuba.  Details found here. Corner Store Arts is located at 900 South Carolina Avenue SE

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.

Photo credit: Katherine Mann and Michael Platt.  Photo Courtesy Honfleur Gallery

Weekend East City Event Round Up: New Year’s Openings

Friday January 10

Honfleur Gallery (6pm to 9pm)
Common Ground explores the collaborative works of Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann and Michael B. Platt. The artists work together to combine their disparate visual languages and create a common space. The opening reception on Friday will be in conjuncture with The Gallery at Vivid Solutions. For details, click here.
Honfleur Gallery is located at 1241 Good Hope RD (Downstairs)

The Gallery at Vivid Solutions (6pm to 9pm)
The Gallery at Vivid Solutions opens an exhibit that utilize layered imagery to explore themes surrounding shared experience and identity. Adrift at The Gallery at Vivid Solutions showcases multiple in-camera exposure landscapes by Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah. For detail, click here.
The Gallery at Vivid Solutions is located at 1241 Good Hope RD (Upstairs).

Saturday January 11

Art Enables’ Off-Rhode Gallery (1pm to 4pm)
If you were unable to see the exhibit at Touchstone Gallery, now is your chance to see the works of Charles Meissner. There will be a reception for his solo show The 28th Century this Saturday. For details, click here.
Off-Rhode Gallery at Art Enables is located at 2204 Rhode Island Ave NE.

39th Street Gallery (5:30pm to 8pm)
After viewing the exhibit at Off-Rhode Gallery, stop by 39th Street Gallery and see the works of sculptor Kyle Bauer. Bauer exhibits his carefully constructed pieces at the opening of LATITUTDE this Saturday. For details, click here.
39th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD (Upstairs)

Washington Glass School (6pm to 8pm)
While you’re out viewing the opening at 39th Street Gallery, be sure to stop by Washington Glass School and see the new collection of works by Audrey Wilson at her first solo show. The show will feature her mixed media sculptures that are a blend of created and altered elements. For details, click here.
Washington Glass School is located at 3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD.

Catalyst Projects (6pm to 9pm)
Wrap up the evening by checking out the new exhibition: Identimorph – Identity Portraits, which features the works of two artists, who transcend the visible and hint at the underlying psychology of the subjects. See the works of Sharon Shapiro and Jessika Dene Tarr this weekend at the opening reception. For details, click here.
Catalyst Projects is located Monroe Street Market in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.

East City Art is now in Print! 
Get your free copy of the East City Art Quarterly Guide to the Visual Arts in the Winter editions of the Hill Rag or East of the River MonthliesPhil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitter or click here to sign up for their newsletter.

Image Credit: Jessika Dene Tarr's work Melancholy Bliss I, 2013, gouache and ink. Courtesy of Catalyst Projects.

"Play By Play" Reveals Childhood Idiosyncrasies

Children are anything but angels.

Any mother, father, aunt, grandfather, older sister or brother has had the experience of seeing little Johnny rip off GI Joe’s head, and young Caroline strip Barbie and Ken of his and her clothes. 

Opening at Project 4 on January 11, Play by Play exposes the humor and darkness present in childhood playtime

The first exhibition curated by DC-native and ArtSee alumna Kayleigh Bryant in collaboration with FLEX, the temporary exhibitions group led by Calder Brannock of Camper Contemporary, this group show highlights the taboo gap between childhood innocence and adult reality, by re-contextualizing such mature themes as war and sex, within the context of children’s play.

Entering the first floor of the two-story exhibition space, the viewer is confronted with Amy Hughes Braden’s poignant portraits of children and their parents.

Academically trained as a portrait painter at Pratt and the Corcoran, Braden has a unique ability to render harrowing emotion through painted facial expressions. Instinctive feelings of sorrow that leap off the canvas and assault the viewer are deepened and emphasized through shaded areas, highlighted with bright blues, fiery reds and neon yellows. Gazing at Braden’s paintings, one experiences the sense of solitude that is so common to children and teens coming out of innocence.

“They have this kind of like eeriness, like there’s something underneath. There’s a little darkness,” said Bryant of Braden’s work. 

Amy Hughes Braden, "Bridget (Shy)" (2011- 2013) Amy Hughes Braden, Madonna of a Questionable Descent (2013) Amy Hughes Braden, Reed (2013)

Just when Braden’s Bridget (Shy) and Reed settle into the viewer’s psyche, he finds himself in the upstairs gallery, cheerfully lost in the whimsical worlds of Bridget Sue Lambert, Mark Williams, and Janelle Whisenant.

“I think there is a lot of playfulness happening in the art world now, and I think the idea of humor has been graced as a legitimate form of expression or form of talking about social issues,” said Bryant.

BSL, let me knowBridget Sue Lambert, I Never Thought It Would Feel This Way (2012)

Lambert’s large-format pigment print Let Me Know offers a glimpse into an empty bedroom. The black and white color scheme, speckled with a burst of red color from the lamp and flower on opposing sides of the room, creates an image of sophistication. However, open drawers and miscellaneous items on the floor complicate the image and the viewer wonders what transpired to leave this room such a wreck. Upon closer examination, one notices handcuffs and a Bible lying on the bed, illuminated by an unknown light source.

Taking the new discoveries into consideration, along with the realization that this is no ordinary bedroom, but is in fact, that of a dollhouse, it becomes impossible to resist the temptation of a coy smirk. 

“They’re meant to be a little over the edge of what people are comfortable with,” explained Lambert who says her artworks, in which she stages and photographs dolls and dollhouses, use humor, sincerity, and playfulness, to explore relationships.

Lambert’s dollhouse environments are apt counterparts to Williams’ staged toy soldiers, sometimes manipulated with play-doh, other times appearing alongside plastic animals.

Mark Williams, Beach (2003)

“I started going to Toys R Us and seeing how war toys were expanding and how camouflage started becoming much more popular. I even saw camouflage Easter Eggs,” explained the Connecticut-based Williams, who, while in graduate school at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, created the works in response to the US invasion in Iraq in 2003.

Williams’ deliberate choice of materials was informed by his awareness that items like toy soldiers and play-doh were becoming increasingly available to young children during wartime, and that children often stage toys in shocking compositions, such as Butt Plug, in which a soldier kneels on one knee with his gun touching a horse’s rear.

Mark Williams, Butt Plug (2003)

Like Lambert’s sexually curious dolls, Williams’ soldiers are posed in jest, yet retain somber undertones. In United Nations, a dark green soldier is surrounded by plastic animals — ducks, donkeys, rabbits, dogs and deer — poking fun at the idea of the United States as an ego-centric entity capable of ordering the animal-like nations of the world to do America’s bidding.

While Lambert displays her final artworks as large-format photographs that enthrall the viewer with minute details of settled dust on door frames or glimmering reflections in mirrors, Williams’ 4 x 6 inch one-hour photos, and his small-scaled diorama with a 4 x 6 inch opening revealing a black-lit interior battle scene, entice the viewer to interact with the images on a personal level.  Furthermore, the viewer is reminded of ways in which families used to send memories to their loved ones over seas, prior to the popularization of printing digital photographs at home.

Rounding out the exhibition, the fiber-based sculptures of University of Maryland, College Park MFA Candidate Janelle Whisenant provide an extra dimension within the exhibition space

Janelle Whisenant, Self Serving Mediocrity (2013)

Made by manipulating stuffed animals, pulling them apart at the seams, and turning them inside out, Janelle’s action-based sculptures articulate the process many children enact when altering their own toys, whether out of anger or curiosity. Placed among Lambert and Williams' satirical artworks, Whisenant's tormented sculptures spark conversation with Braden's somber paintings downstairs, reminding the viewer that a child's subversive play may not simply be, all fun and games.

Splendidly curated by Bryant, Play By Play inspires controversial and socially relevant discussion, while keeping the joyful spirit of the naive child alive. As Williams says, “As an artist, you’re always told while you’re working, that your innocence is at play. It’s very imaginative and harkens back to being a kid and doing your own thing,”

Bringing the Art in DC to You,

Roxanne Goldberg

Play By Play opens with a reception with the artists January 11, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, at Project 4 Gallery, 1353 U Street NW.

The exhibition runs through February 1. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday- Sunday, 12:00 - 6:00 PM.

Sculpting the Invisible: A Review of Alicia Eggert's Solo Exhibition, "Everything You are Looking For"

A group of strangers gravitate toward one another, gathering around a black structure that hangs on the wall. The chalkboard-like surface is filled with dozens of half circles of various sizes, composed at differing angles. Black wires chaotically cascade to the floor and connect to white power strips. Whereas the mechanics could easily be concealed, they are deliberately shown in connection to the black clock hands with small white squares that twitch when approached.

“Can you see it?” a man in a black coat asks a young woman with cropped blonde hair.

She has been looking at the sculpture inquisitively for the past few minutes and responds, “No, but it moves when we move. You stand back and I’ll move. Tell me when you see it.”

“Wonder,” featured in Alicia Eggert’s solo exhibition, Everything You Are Looking For, at Artisphere in Rosslyn, VA, is emblematic of the curiosity evoked within each of the artist’s works, and a paradigm of the power to create community through the confounding principles of time, science and religion, all of which are invisible to the naked eye.


In “Wonder,” sensors move when the viewer approaches, causing the white tips to form the word “Wonder.” However, like a pointillist painting, when the viewer is close enough to make the sculpture move, he is too close to read the words, forcing a collaboration to take place between viewers-turned-participants in order to read, and thus complete the work.

“The undercurrent of spirituality or religion is something I think about a lot,” explained Eggert who describes wonder as an encounter that is awe-inspiring and unexplainable.

The artist and 2013 TED Fellow was raised in South Africa where her parents were Episcopalian missionaries. Though the 32-year old artist does not remember speaking Afrikaans, her parents tell stories of a young Eggert switching between English and Afrikaans with ease. Anecdotes like these fascinate Eggert and inspire her to attempt to make sense of language by converting intangible words into physical constructions.

“I still very much work more like a designer than an artist,” explained Eggert who graduated with an interior design degree from Drexel University in 2004. “For a lot of artists, their practice is very processed based. They work with a material and don’t really know what the outcome will be [..] But as a designer, I was trained to come up with a concept and think very intentional decisions along the way to produce a very specific result.”

Eggert’s design-informed artworks are clean and modern, and their simple and accessible styles makes their subject matters increasingly intriguing.


“Eternity,” one of Egget's first collaborations with photographer Mike Flemming, is composed of the hour and minute hands of thirty electric clocks on a white plexiglass surface. The hands revolve to spell the word “ETERNITY” every twelve hours. Artisphere visitors can see the transformation at 7 PM each day. Standing in front of “Eternity” as the letters slowly disappear, one cannot help but to question the truth of the term.

In contrast to the gradual transfiguration of “Eternity,” “AHA” directly confronts the viewer with the sense of wonder, humor and joy that Eggert seeks to elicit from her audience. Life-size black letters are reflected in a mirror to spell the word “AHA.” Like “Wonder,” the viewer is required to finish the artwork by reading the word, while also seeing oneself reflected in that particular moment in time. What does it mean to be here, in this moment of ‘aha,’ of now?


“It’s funny because the present is so intangible. Like moments sort of go by and if you are not the sentimental type, it’s easy to forget so many things that have happened, so many special moments,” said Eggert who says her goal is to live in the present as much as possible.

While on the surface Eggert’s kinetic works focus on the confounding notion of time, they are teeming with layers of meaning.

In revealing the mechanical inner workings of the moving sculptures, the mystery of science pushes to be understood. However, the largely disordered wires suggest a complicated process that is nearly impossible to untangle.

The use of neon, particularly in “You Are (On) An Island,” a public artwork that had previously traveled to Australia, Brooklyn, Maine, and the UK before coming to D.C., evokes questions about marketing and makes a connection between synthetic materials and false advertising. Themes of promotion pulse through several works, including the billboard sized "YAY," which comes to life when box fans animate glittering streamers. When the fans turn off, the viewer becomes aware of the absence of noise and movement, and the once jubilant structure suddenly feels empty. 

Alicia Eggart exhibit in Terrace Gallery
“The Way,” hangs at the back of the exhibition space. The photograph shows an idyllic field of yellow dandelions, manipulated to reveal the shape of an upward arrow in a flattened circle of green grass. Eggert tells the story of her and Flemming spending an afternoon this past summer pulling each flower by hand and placing them in the shape of the arrow. She says this is only the first of future iterations.

The photograph is installed in a light box originally manufactured for beer advertisements, and is hung slightly away from the wall so the picture is encircled by a halo-like glow. The religious undertones of ‘The Way’ are uncanny and with the deliberate use of materials, Eggert presents clear commentary on selling religion as a similar process to selling beer in convenience store windows.


Perhaps most emblematic of the many questions Eggert tackles in Everything You Are Looking For, “Present Perfect,” is composed of a large meteor-like rock sitting on a MacBook opened to Microsoft Word, typing “YYYYYYY” for eternity.

“I think it’s funny that a computer would question its own existence or why this is happening,” said Eggert, “Why, why. It’s a question everyone asks.”

Bringing the Art in DC to You,
Roxanne Goldberg 

Everything You Are Looking For is on display at Artisphere until February 2, 2014 in the Terrace Gallery. 

**Photographs courtesy of Alicia Eggert 

East City Art: Last Call 2013 Weekend Round Up

Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (6:30pm to 8:30pm)

Make the most of your Friday Happy Hour- why not Sip ‘n Paint?  Taught by working artists Ellen Cornett and Shepard Bear, this activity offers a great opportunity to socialize, enjoy libations while creating your own masterpiece.  For more information and to register, click here.

CHAW is located at 545 7th ST SE. 

Cheryl Edwards Studios (5pm to 8pm)
Join artist Cheryl Edwards at her new studio in the Brookland Art Walk for an artist talk, tour and description of her process.  Please RSVP if you plan to attend. For more information, click here.

Cheryl Edwards’s studio is located in the Brookland Art Walk at 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio #9

Saturday December 14

Catalyst Projects (6pm to 9pm)
The newly opened Brookland Gallery opens The Straight- Contemporary Geometric Abstraction introducing the “pictorial language of geometric abstraction” to DC audiences.  The group exhibition features five local artists and a sixth from New York.  For more information, click here.

Catalyst Projects is located in the Brookland Art Walk at 716 Monroe Street NE, Studio 13

Sunday December 15

39th Street Gallery (2pm to 4pm)
This Sunday, join Pat Goslee for a discussion about her process and four month residency with the Gateway CDC.  For more information, click here. 

 39th Street Gallery is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD (upstairs)

 Holiday Art Markets
Don’t forget to Buy Local, Buy Art this Weekend

Art Enables (Saturday 1-4pm)
Annual Holiday Sale and Card Workshop
Art Enables is located at 2204 Rhode Island Avenue NE. More info here.

Flux Studios (Saturday 1-4pm)
First Annual Cups Show
Flux Studios is located at 3708 Wells Avenue, Mount Rainier, MD.  More info here.

Washington Glass School (Saturday noon-5pm)
Holiday Market
The WGS is located at 3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD.  More info here.

The East City Art Quarterly Guide to the Visual Arts Winter 2013 Edition
is out in the Hill Rag, East of the River and at select locations.  The Round-Ups will resume January 16, 2014.

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.


Weekend East City Round Up: We've Forgotten All About Miami Edition

Saturday December 7

US Postal Museum (1pm to 5:30pm)

Make your own holiday card at the US Postal Museum.  All supplies and tools are included but not the postage!  For more information, click here.

The US Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue NE

Brentwood Arts Exchange (2pm)

Join artists Cianne Fragione and Ellyn Weiss for a discussion on their work, process and current exhibitions at the BAE.  For more information, click here.

 Brentwood Arts Exchange is located at 3901 Rhode Island Avenue, Brentwood, MD (Downstairs)

The Anacostia Arts Center (6pm to 8pm)

In Preface: A Glimpse into New Media Storytelling, graduating Corcoran College of Art + Design New Media Photojournalism students present their thesis work to the public. For more information, click here.

The Anacostia Arts Center is located at 1231 Good Hope Road SE.

The Fridge (7pm to 11pm)

Albus Cavus collective member Chanel Compton debuts a series of portraits at the Fridge.  Created with bold brush strokes and contracting colors, Pieces of You captures the essence of subjects known by the artist whom she finds fascinating.  For more information, click here

The Fridge is located in the alley at 516 1/2 8th Street, SE

Holiday Art Markets

Don’t forget to Buy Local, Buy Art this Weekend

  • Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (Saturday 12-8pm)
    Annual WRAP IT UP Sale and Holiday Fête
    CHAW is located at 545 7th ST SE.  More info here.
  • DC Glassworks (Saturday 1-6pm)
    Holiday Sale and Glass Ornament Workshop (make your own!)
    DC Glassworks is located at 5346 46th Avenue, Hyattsville, MD. More info here.
  • Joe’s Movement Emporium (Saturday 10am to 5pm)
    19th Annual Mount Rainier Holiday Craft Sale
    Joes’ is located at 3309 Bunker Hill RD, Mount Rainier, MD.  More info here.
  • SCRAP DC (Sunday 12-5pm)
    Environmentally Friendly Holiday Market
    SCRAP DC is located at 3101 12th St NE.  More info here.

The East City Art Quarterly Guide to the Visual Arts Winter 2013 Edition comes out December 7 in the Hill Rag and December 14 in East of the River.

Phil Hutinet is the Editor-in-Chief of East City Art.  You can get more information about East City Art on Facebook  by follow them on Twitteror click here to sign up for their newsletter.