Thursday, May 16, 2024

This weekend in Reston: The Tephra Fine Arts Festival!

I'll be in booth 626 at the Tephra Fine Arts Festival in the Reston Town Center this weekend!

I checked out all their artists online, and here are my top picks, which I will confirm on Saturday!

I liked Lauren deSerres' art (she's in booth 925) - she notes that she "is a mixed media painter who creates whimsical imagery of nature and animals to create stories addressing the human experience and our impact on the world." 

Ning Lee in booth 909 is a wondrous landscape painter.

Matthew Miller in booth 510 is easily the best trompe l'oeil painter in the outdoor fine arts field - his work is simply spectacular and he'd be my Best in Show winner at any show!

"Pamplemousse" 12"x9" Oil on panel by Matthew Miller
"Pamplemousse" 12"x9" Oil on panel by Matthew Miller

Kristin Moger's highly sophisticated animal-themed work is also notable (in booth 935)! She writes:

My meticulously patterned ink art reflects my love of nature, biology, geology, art history, ethnic art from around the world and textiles. I notice patterns in everything, from grande to microscopic. I harken back to these loves as I draw my joy and compassion-infused art. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Festival Season: Time to Pitch the Tent and Sell the Art!

Guest post from Michele Banks!

In May, outdoor art and craft shows begin to spring up like dandelions, ranging from small, local events lasting a few hours to four-day extravaganzas with hundreds of elaborate booths.

In my 20 years of making and selling art, I’ve participated in hundreds of outdoor art and craft shows. I vastly prefer festivals to gallery shows, for one simple reason – people buy my work.  At my last gallery opening, after devoting months of work to creating a meaningful and cohesive exhibition, I sold one small painting. The very next day, I set up a tent at a festival and sold twelve.

The Michele Banks tent!
The Little Shop of Science: set up and ready to go
And I absolutely get it! A tent on the street is much less intimidating than an art gallery, where you often have a vague sense that you’re doing something wrong and it’s mysterious how you might go about buying something, or if you’re even supposed to. In the tent, the work is clearly for sale, the price is on the tag, and you can take it with you.

One of the best things about art festivals is getting direct feedback on your work. It’s incredibly instructive to observe which pieces people look at and which ones they choose to buy, and how those categories diverge. Festivals are also great opportunities to describe or explain your work to people (over and over and over), honing your message as you discover which images and words make people’s eyes light up.

There are, of course, major drawbacks to showing art at festivals. Obviously, the success of outdoor events is highly dependent on the weather.  No amount of marketing will bring out a crowd to look at art outdoors in a rainstorm, and even the strongest tent is no match for high winds.

Also, doing festivals is hard physical work. All my stuff - paintings, tables, tent, weights, display walls, bags, and more - has to be schlepped from home to car, car to tent, set up, taken down, tent to car, car to home again. It might take two hours to set up my tent for a five-hour event, not including loading in and out and driving to and from the venue.

The top outdoor art festivals are competitive and expensive, with some selecting one in 10 applicants and charging up to $1000 for a 10x10 foot space. In theory, I could get on the circuit and do these major festivals, where I could probably sell higher-priced work. However, assembling the infrastructure to do the big shows (heavy-duty booth, portable walls, lighting, etc.) practically demands that you have a van and lots of storage space - and I live in a condo and drive a Prius.

So I end up generally doing the best one-day events I can find that are close to my home in Washington, DC. And that’s where you’ll find me, in my traveling Little Shop of Science, about a dozen times a year. My next stops are at SoweboFest in Baltimore on May 26 and Glover Park Day in DC on June 1.

I’d love to see you there! I expect to be adding more events around DC to my calendar soon, and as always, if you can’t make it, you can shop online.

While on the subject, I'll be in booth 626 at the Tephra Fine Arts Festival in the Reston Town Center this weekend!

Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The curious case of King Charles III portrait

 Cough... cough...

official portrait of King Charles III by British artist Jonathan Yeo
Official portrait of King Charles III by British artist Jonathan Yeo

Monday, May 13, 2024

Susan LaMont at Susan Calloway Fine Art

The immensely talented Susan LaMont will open "Personality and Place" with a reception this Saturday at Susan Calloway Fine Art from 4 to 6 p.m.

The Garden Room, oil on panel, 20"h x 24"w by Susan LaMont
The Garden Room, oil on panel, 20"h x 24"w by Susan LaMont

Susan Calloway Fine Art and Consulting

1643 Wisconsin Avenue NW Georgetown

Saturday, May 11, 2024

Open Studios this weekend!

Visit the largest Open Studios event in the DMV.

The Gateway Arts District - Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville, MD. Four towns, one community.

Over 250 participating artists along the Rt. 1 corridor.

Just at Otis Street Arts Projects (OSAP): Ebtisam Abdulaziz, Jason Bulluck, Stephanie Cobb, Ceci Cole McInturff, Chris Combs, Beth Curren, Art Drauglis, Kendra Lee, Liz Lescault, Kirsty Little, Shelley Lowenstein, Becky McFall, Lisa Rosenstein, Gloria Vasquez, David Mordini and resident artists Jasmine Adams.

Right next to them is the Washington Glass School!

You can also visit uberartist Robin Bell this Saturday! May 11, 12-5PM.

Robin Bell will be at OSAP all Saturday talking about his current exhibition "Objects." 

About the exhibition:

Robin Bell fuses his 3D and sample-based structural art with light interventions in the OSAP’s gallery. The space serves as a canvas for displaying, creating, and expanding his work over two-months. Visitors are encouraged to witness the evolution of the piece by attending both at the start and end of his show. Through this exhibition, Robin hopes to push himself and other DMV artists to confront and comprehend our shared challenges with site-specific interventions.

About Robin Bell:

Robin Bell, founder of Bell Visuals, is an award-winning editor, video journalist, and multimedia artist based in Washington DC. Robin works on a range of creative, political and public interest projects.

Building upon his formal training as a classical printmaker, Robin developed a unique style of live video collage which he has performed at well-known venues, including The Kennedy Center, 9:30 Club, The Phillips Collection in Washington DC, Central Park Summer Stage in NYC, and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California. Robin was the lead video editor for PBS television show Foreign Exchange with Fareed Zakaria. He also taught video classes at the Corcoran College of Art and Design.

In addition to his ongoing work with ephemeral media forms, Robin creates permanent public art installations, and is the director and producer of the Directed Actions Live Film Series.

This weekend: Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

On May 11 & 12, 20234, the Bethesda Fine Arts Festival takes over Woodmont Triangle, along Norfolk, Auburn & Del Ray Avenues, welcoming over 100 of the nation's best artists, live entertainment, and Bethesda restaurants. Take a glance at the artists attending this year's festival by clicking the link below.

Take a glance at the artists attending this year's festival by clicking here

Admission to the festival is FREE and free parking is available in the public parking garage on Auburn Avenue. This event is held rain or shine. 

My picks? In painting Cassie Taggart in booth 94 and Letitia Lee in booth 55.  Top abstract painter was Jorge Caliguri from Philly in booth 99.

In mixed media I like Susan Roche in booth 71 and Kate Norris' gorgeous collages in booth 19.

And there's not one pedestrian photographer in the show! They are all really good! My personal top pick is John Deng in booth 44.

John Deng
John Deng's booth
See all the photographers here.

Art by Susan Roche
Art by Susan Roche

Thursday, May 09, 2024

The Home I Never Knew; Ni De Aquí, Ni De Allá


Guest Curated by Flor Herrera-Picasso, Casa Azul de Wilson

Opening in June 2024, the Greenville Museum of Art (GMoA) will host The Home I Never Knew: Ni de Aqui, Ni de Alla, a group exhibition of artwork by Latino/a/x artists from or currently residing in the southeast region of the United States.

Accepting artworks by artists ages 15+ and working in all media, the GMoA aims to provide a space for artists identifying within the Latino/a/x community to share about their lives growing up in this region, including hardships, triumphs, and everything in between.

Reclaiming the idea of “ni de aqui, ni de alla,” or “not from here, nor there,” we will highlight the range of individual and shared experiences associated with being both “from here” AND “from there,” belonging or not belonging, or feeling mentally, emotionally, or culturally from elsewhere.

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

"Space Between" by Anne Marchand at Zenith

 SPACE BETWEEN Paintings by Anne Marchand

May 10 - June 15, 2024
1429 Iris Street NW, Washington DC 20012
Open: Wed-Sat Noon-6pm or by Appointment

MEET THE ARTIST RECEPTIONS: Friday May 10, 4-8 pm & Saturday May 11, 2-6 pm
ARTIST TALK: Saturday, June 1, 2-4 pm

“Space Between” delves into the complexities of the human condition, exploring the unseen realms that shape our existence. This exhibition utilizes the power of art to illuminate the spaces between myth and reality, consciousness and subconscious, and intuition and logic.

Art by Anne Marchand at Zenith Gallery