By Cecile Oreste
Although Glenn Fry had a successful career as an advertising graphic designer and art director, he felt that his creativity was not being fully utilized.
“Advertising is very specific and business minded,” said Fry. “Companies are focused on money and often play it safe rather than doing something creative and different.”
Tired of the corporate advertising world, Glenn decided to move to the District and pursue his passion for art full time. After settling in Logan Circle, he enrolled in classes at the Corcoran College of Art and Design and the Torpedo Factory’s Art League. Classes helped bring Fry back into the artistic mindset and he began developing the unique style that he brings to his silkscreen works.
“The transition into the art world has been a lot of work, but has also been very fulfilling,” he said.
Since then, the Federal Reserve commissioned Fry to produce work for their permanent collection and MTV commissioned him to create silkscreens for the Real World DC house. Fry said he was very excited and also humbled by these commissions: “I’m from a small country town in Pennsylvania. Who would have thought?”
Fry’s “Visualize Having” is a collection of rainbow colored bills prominently displayed in the Federal Reserve Building. Rainbows are a symbol of promise and the rainbow colored bills represent a promise of wealth. “Let’s focus on having money, instead of not having money,” said Fry. “What we focus on, we can bring about which is especially relevant because of today’s economy.”
As for the Real World DC house silkscreen collection, a local resident saw Fry’s work during one of the episodes of the show and purchased the pieces at a sale Fry hosted at his 14th Street studio.
In general, Fry says his art is about capturing everyday life situations. “All my art has stories to it. Because I use words, viewers are forced to have a dialogue with me. The art does engage you because you want to know, ‘what does he mean by that?'”
Overall, Fry has had a positive experience in DC. “What’s exciting is that people think DC is all about politics, but it’s not. There is an art scene here. It’s just different,” he said. “It’s slightly under the radar, but it’s like finding a gem in a place where you wouldn’t normally look for one.”
You can schedule an appointment with Fry to view his work, or visit his studio during the next Mid City Artists open studios weekend in May. His work will also be featured during the upcoming season of Bravo’s Real Housewives of DC.