Friday, April 16, 2010

Open House This Saturday - Meet The Artists

Pyramid Atlantic and the Washington Printmakers Gallery will be hosting an Open House on Saturday, April 17 from 1 pm to 4 pm at Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center, 8230 Georgia Avenue.

City Gallery

A new cooperative gallery on the H Street corridor NE
By Bruce McKaig

Last month, a group of artists formed a new cooperative gallery on the second floor at 804 H Street NE. City Gallery, with approximately 20 member artists, opened March 6th, 2010 with a members group show and will cycle through the membership hosting solo exhibits for most of the year ahead. Members work in diverse media; painting, drawing, photography, sculpture etc.

The gallery’s principals, Philip Hutinet, Geoff Ault, and Ellen Cornett make the decisions about membership and exhibition scheduling, but all members can participate in meetings as part of the decision making process. Membership exists at two levels: full membership and associate membership. Each category has different terms and perks.

When the trio decided to open a gallery, they took a look at how other cooperatives work to assess strengths and weaknesses. One thing they felt important: do not require members to take on gallery responsibilities. As a new facility, they are still forging some of the policies and practices they will eventually establish and hope to develop relationships with other art groups in the area and eventually beyond to bring member art to other venues and perhaps host nonmember work in their space. As well as hosting exhibitions, City Gallery also provides gallery space rental and catering, art advisory and curatorial services, art installation and new collector consultations.

The current exhibition, Magical Realism, displays watercolors and collages by local artist Gina Clapp.

A long-term personality in the Capitol Hill arts scene, Gina’s works demonstrate a rigorous understanding and control of her medium though the subject matter sometimes sits shallow. Gina’s meticulous control of the medium stands out in the gallery, despite the diversity in sizes, eclectic framing and assorted subjects.

Song of late summer. Watercolor by Gina Clapp

The exhibition also includes recently made collages. These collages also demonstrate Gina’s firm grip on visual composition, but with surprising material choices, including sequined cloth. Whereas her mastering of materials is part of what holds the watercolors together, somehow it seems a bit unresolved in the collages. With the more adventurous, want-to-be playful choice of materials, perhaps the collages are waiting for a looser, more playful gesture in their construction.

In Gina’s words:
My watercolor work often takes weeks/months to paint. Collage takes less time and is relaxing and more cerebral. I like to arrange the shapes and colors to depict a mood without having to do the intense realistic studies beforehand. The other aspect of collage that I enjoy is collecting and using odd bits of Japanese papers, exotic or florid fabrics, and papers with unique textures. Combining these scraps with some watercolor, I create collages that are more symbolic of a mood, time of day, landscape, or place. They are rather abstract, the watercolors more realistic. Yet in both I strive to suggest the motion, life, and magic of living things, and their relationships with objects that surround them.
City Gallery’s presence on the H Street corridor brings the number of galleries in the area to seven. The various galleries are pursuing possible ways to collaboratively work to bring more artists and art aficionados to the area.

The next exhibition at City Gallery will be Light and Allusion, showcasing works by Nancy Donnelly (glass) and Jill Finsen (painting) May 1-29. The opening is May 1st, 6-9pm.

City Gallery
804 H Street NE Washington, DC 20002
Hours: Friday 1-5, Saturday 1-5 and by appointment
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Wanna go to an artist's talk tomorrow?

Our own Rosetta DeBerardinis is giving an Artist Talk on Sat. April 17th at 7pm in conjunction with her solo exhibit, "Coming Home: A Collection of Works by Rosetta DeBerardinis" at the Corner Store.

The Corner Store is at 900 South Carolina Ave., S.E. @ 9th Street near the Eastern Market. The band Gessford Court to follow. Contact Kris Swanson @202-544-5807 for additional info.