Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Congrats to Matt and Dana

They are Washington painters through and through. He watches al-Jazeera and "Democracy Now." She exults in living next to the Portrait Gallery. They rendezvous and shop at Whole Foods because it's halfway between their places. Every July they make a painting a day based on the news. She studied art. He's self-taught. They get drunk in Adams Morgan, or in their studios as they paint. They're vegetarians.

Everyone says they're perfect for each other, but no one thought they'd get married. They decided to do it when they realized they could craft a show called "Till Death Do Us Part." They'd paint about their impending nuptials, hang the art in a gallery, have a ceremony at the opening, invite the public, maybe cast themselves as a power couple in the D.C. art world -- hopefully modeled on the harmonious De Koonings rather than tempestuous Frida and Diego.
Read a terrific article by the WaPo's Dan Zak on the marriage of Matt Sesow and Dana Ellyn here.

Update: If you missed the event, Matt and Dana will be back at Long View Gallery this coming Friday Feb. 12 for a happy hour from 5-6pm. Come by to check out the show and ask them questions about the paintings, marriage, etc.

Snowcalypse Stories (Part III)

Earlier I described the series of events associated with the DC Snowcalypse of 2010 and left you at the point where we had spent a chilly night without electricity.

Soon after waking up on Sunday morning I lit another fire, and a few minutes later I heard the hum of electricity return to the house. It lasted for 30 seconds or so before it died again.

Thinking that maybe the fuses had blown, I checked them and they were good. Soon my Blackberry was buzzing with neighbors sending notes about the short burst of electricity. It seems like it happened to all of us.

By now it had stopped snowing, and WTOP was saying that the snow was over and done with (and another one coming), so I went outside to face the white world of my neighborhood. In the back of my mind I kept trying to ignore the fact that it was Super Bowl Sunday and that it was beginning to look like I was going to miss it.

Several neighbors more arduous than me had already begun shoveling their driveways, but the most immediate issue was the fact that when the snow plows went through the neighborhood, they left in their snow wake a six foot tall wall of snow in front of everyone's driveway. That alone looked like several hours worth of shoveling by itself, never mind the driveway.

But, as my neighbor across the street warned me, by tomorrow the snow would be rock hard, so today was the only window of opportunity to remove it. He also proved that you reap what you sow.

You see, the day before I had come over to his house and offered him firewood. He had thanked me but declined, since he had his own stash.

And today, he came over and offered me his snow blower. "I've had it for 30 years," he claimed. He then explained that a few decades ago, he and another neighbor had proposed to all the neighbors in the cul de sac to chip in $100 each and they'd all contribute to buying a professional snow remover for all to share. Only one neighbor agreed to do so, and thus he and the other guy ended up buying a small snow Toro snow blower which they used for years between them. And today he was offering it to me, provided that I somehow cleared the snow mountain in front of my driveway.

Help came via a truckload of Central Americans who showed up at another neighbor's house to clear their driveway. I asked their jefe how much they would charge me to clear my driveway. He told me that they were already booked all day through the neighborhood. I switched to Spanish and he told me that maybe he could squeeze me in after 4PM and that it would be $160.

Being the lazy snow remover that I am, I was willing to shell out the exorbitant sum - after all, there was a lot a snow in that driveway - but the more stingy half of the family shot it down as she strapped Little Junes on her baby carrier and began attacking the wall. A six foot wall of snow just doesn't scare those hardworking Swedes.

"See how much they charge you just to remove the wall," suggested the kind neighbor whose offer of his snow blowing machine dangled before my eyes like a carrot on a stick. He must have seen the horror in my eyes as I contemplated spending the entire day shoveling snow.

Sixty bucks later the wall was gone and now the entire neighborhood was after the work crew to have them clear their walls. Somehow the crew managed to escape with a bunch of snow shovel wielding neighbors chasing them down.

Using the ancient Toro snow blower, I attacked the driveway, and even with mechanical help it took me about four hours to cut a path wide enough for one car to get through.

And I forgot to mention that electricity had come back in the interim and the real problem of Snowcalypse 2010 had been solved: the Super Bowl was back on!

Wanna go to an opening and talk in Alexandria tomorrow?

The Torpedo Factory’s Target Gallery opens Imprint, an exhibition that examines contemporary printmaking.

Thirty-seven artists from across the country are a part of this exhibition united by one common theme and that is the printmaking process. Eight of the artists in the exhibition are from the DC Metro area. Juror for this exhibition, Jane Haslem, owner of Jane Haslem Gallery, will also be on hand at the reception on February 11 at 7pm providing a brief gallery talk about her selections. Immediately following the gallery talk, the public is invited to visit Printmakers’ Inc. located on the third floor of the Torpedo Factory in studio 325 for a printmaking demonstration.

In this exhibition, the artists employed a variety of techniques. Some of the artists in the show are traditionalists, such as Lari Gibbons from Texas, who created an intimate print of a tiny bird ready for flight, “Flight II” using mezzotint, an intaglio process. Many are not traditionalists but employ traditional techniques to make a very contemporary statement, as can be seen in Indiana artist, Dora Rosenbaum’s installation of 15 soft ground etchings (intaglio process) of women’s lingerie, titled “Prospect (fuschia)”.

Jane Haslem, juror and print expert, chose a variety of work that serves as a testament to the vast array of techniques that printmakers across the country are using in their work today. The printmaking processes in Imprint include mezzotints, etchings, lithographs, woodblock and linocuts, silkscreen, monotypes, collagraphs, cyanotypes, and digital prints.

The entire exhibition is online here. The gallery is open daily from 10-6 and until 9pm on Thursdays.

Exhibition – January 21- February 21, 2010
Opening Reception - Second Thursday Art Night, February 11, 6-9pm
Jane Haslem speaker at 7pm followed by printmaking demonstration by the Printmakers’ Inc. located in the Torpedo Factory, Studio 325.