Monday, September 20, 2004

Fifteen artists around the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle areas of DC are opening their studios to the public this coming weekend; great opportunity to meet the artists!

The artists participating include:

dotThe Vastu Studios (1829 14th street, 14th street between T and S - enter through Vastu Gallery):
Kristina Bilonick
Colin Winterbottom
Brian Petro
Saturday and Sunday - noon till 5 PM

dotIn the studios next to Maison 14 (1327 14th street)
Gary Fisher
Charlie Jones
T Santora
John Talkington
Glenn Fry
1 pm - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday

dotIn the studio of Sondra Arkin (1764 Church Street)
1 pm - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday

dotThe studios of Kelly Towles and Virginia ArrisueƱo at 1643 13th street, NW, #1
Sunday 1- 4 PM

dotThe studio of Nicolas Shi (1500 P street, NW)
Saturday and Sunday 10am - 5 PM

dotThe studio of Robert Cole (1714 15th street)
Saturday and Sunday 1 - 4 PM

dotThe studio of Peter Alexander Romero (1320 Wallach Place - between T and U)
Saturday 12 - 5 PM
Sunday 12 - 4 PM

dotThe studio of Gina Miele at Raven Arts (1833 14th street, #201)
Saturday 11 - 6 and Sunday 11 - 5 PM

This website has some really good advise for artists on how to apply for grants.

By the way, there's no better resource in the world for connecting artists and grants than the Foundation Center, which happens to have a local office here in Washington, DC.

They also offer a CD ROM (for $75) titled Guide to Greater Washington D.C. Grantmakers that features profiles of over 2,500 grantmakers located in the DC region and funders in 40 different states that have an interest in funding DC-area projects.

DCARTNEWS reader and photographer James W. Bailey, after reading the posting about the Washington City Paper's article on the grubs, writes in with his own memoirs of them:

" ... had to email you about "the grubs" after reading the Washington City Paper article and your post.

During my 2 ½ years at the Greater Reston Arts Center, they never missed any of our openings, including fine art openings in the main gallery, Market Street Bar & Grill openings for solo artists at Reston Town Center, children’s art openings for the children who participate in Summer Art Camp and GRACE’s Art-in-the-Schools Program, it didn’t matter. If we had an opening that included wine and food, you had better believe they were there.

When I was new to Reston, several Restonians told me that they were one of the original new town pioneer couples who moved to Reston during the early 1960’s; that they had fallen on hard times and that the only thing they had left was their $600,000 Lake Anne home and were struggling to survive on their last $200,000 in the bank.

Having lived in New Orleans for 20 years - New Orleans being the poorest American city per capita - I know a thing or two about real poverty and people really down on their luck and doubted the accuracy of many of these Reston tales about them. Again, being from New Orleans their eccentric behavior and dress would merit them about one quarter of one nano second of attention in the Big Easy where Bank Officers, Corporate Executives and Baptist preachers parade around dressed like something out of a Mardi Gras nightmare. However, in Reston, they were obviously something of a spectacle. Finally, my curiosity got the better of me and I just flat out asked them who they were and what they were all about while they were munching away on imported English cheese and crackers at one of our openings.

They were kind enough to share the history of their lives and experiences (pretty much per the article) and, yes, their art interests, with me. This conversation took place in probably October or November of 2002. Later in 2003 they attended one of our catered functions at Market Street Bar & Grill (a very very popular venue for them because the Hyatt puts on quite an impressive seafood spread with decent wine) and I told them about being notified that I had been selected for a solo exhibition at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center for October of 2004.

They both gave me this profoundly disappointed look and said that they had stopped going to that venue because the artists themselves cater their own receptions and the quality of their past experiences was appalling. I promised them that being from New Orleans I could guarantee that they would leave my reception dancing in the streets with joy over the spread I would be importing from some of the finest restaurants in Louisiana. They said they would consider it as my show got closer.

On the day of my reception, 9-11-04, I was starting to panic around 2:45 pm. My reception was scheduled to run from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. During the process of taking down the food and beverage tables, along with "The Death of Film" installation piece designed by a friend of mine and fellow Board Member of the LRA, Robyn Spence, suddenly I looked up and there they were... with a look of calm hunger on both their faces. They proceeded to filter through various food items that had already been packed into the ice chests. I was so relived. I told them that I too would have considered myself a failure had they not attended my reception.

They didn’t buy any of my work. They never bought any work while attending GRACE functions to my knowledge either. It’s really a wonderful pleasure to know that there are people in this world who love art enough to protect the value of their wallets. I’m not sure just what that means that I just said, but I do know that they have promised to come to my January 2005 solo show in Reston, even though I’m not catering food and wine for that one!"