by Borderstan.com January 22, 2013 at 11:00 am 0

"Dave Peterson"

Dave Peterson, opening at Axis Salon, Thursday, January 24. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

Axis Salon is hosting an open house for a small show by Dave Peterson, a local artist, photographer and designer on January 24 from 7 to 9 pm.  Peterson first exhibited at the salon in 2011 at the request of  Joe Ireland, whose interior design company, J.D. Ireland is housed above the salon and who creates Axis Salon’s window displays.

“It’s a great venue for my work,” says Peterson, “The windows are a real focal point on that block, and the salon has an amazing staff and clientele.  When I was asked to do it again, I jumped at the chance.

Peterson started his own art and design company, branddave, in 2008. He had been drawing and working in design since graduation college and co-founded and created the artwork for Be As You Are, an apparel company. Peterson has ” felt really, really blessed” for the “great reception” branddave has received thus far.  “It’s so rewarding to have a show, and hear people laughing, and pointing things out to their friends.  That is the best feeling, and makes all those angst filled days of drawing, frustration, and self doubt worth it!”

He also had a long-standing interest in men’s fashion photography. “When I started branddave, I was just all about having fun, and doing things I really enjoyed, and letting that take me along.,” explains Peterson, “So I drew a lot, started screen printing on wood, and taking pictures.  And as I developed my website and my portfolio, I’ve just kept up with these three things.

Peterson describes both his drawing and photography style as  “freestlye.” Rather than careful planning or staging  Peterson “tend[s] to draw the same thing (and take very similar shots) over and over, just trying to get that one perfect moment.”

The same holds true for his screen printing “I never know how something will turn out until it’s finished. Especially on wood –  [a] very unpredictable surface unlike paper. ” Although it does take a certain amount planning and preparation, for Peterson there is always an element of “surprise when it works and I’m happy with it. ”

The hardest part of running his own business based on his art has been propelling  himself forward.  “I have a big to-do list associated with pursuing new venues to sell, and growing the business.  I much prefer the making to the promoting and selling.  I have been really lucky in that opportunities just seem to come along…. But I know I can’t depend on that if I want to grow.”

He has several partnerships with local businesses and others in the art community. Branddave is a sponsor of D.C. musician Tom Goss, and Peterson also illustrated for the much-loved storytelling group SpeakEasy DC. Much of this work is commission-based

Instead of showing his art in galleries, Peterson, so far, prefers non-traditional venues like the hair salon and casual food shops, like Dolcezza and Buzz Bakery. “I really like these venues because they give me great visibility and are flexible.  They are unique because people come in often, so they see the work over and over.  And most of the time I handle sales directly, so it’s a win-win for both of us”

The show opening this Thursday at Axis Salon will be up for six weeks. Peterson also has ongoing shows at Buzz Bakery in Virginia and TROHV stores in Takoma Park and Baltimore. Peterson is also a member of Mid City Artists, and his studio is on 14th Street.

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by Borderstan.com December 19, 2012 at 4:00 pm 0

It was a great year for Borderstan artists. During 2012, Borderstan’s Eliza French interviewed 11 of the creative talents in the neighborhood. Painting, sculpture, photography, graffiti, you name it, all were represented in a gallery of very talented artists who live and work in the area.

Scott G. Brooks: A Local Artist with an International Reach

Scott G. Brooks has been living and working in the DC area since moving here from Flint, Michigan in 1990. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts at University of Michigan in 1983, and considers himself “lucky” to know he wanted to be an artist from an early age. Although he has primarily worked in the world of painting and fine art over the past ten years, he also works as a children’s book illustrator and works in animation, graphic design and drawing.

Lucinda Murphy Merges Scientific Exploration and Artistic Expression

Lucinda Murphy explores profound scientific questions within the finite boundaries of her canvases. As an artist, she grapples with questions such as,”Where does energy originate and how does it convert to matter and back?” and “What is the difference between environment and entity?” Most recently, she has been addressing a question more familiar within the artistic realm — the disparities between what an object actually is and how we perceive it. As Murphy explains, “An object must ‘look’ very different depending on what is ‘seeing’ it… Right now I am trying to visualize what it means that we can only find 10 percent of our universe.”

Mark Parascandola Tells a New Story Using Forgotten Settings

Parascandola sought to capture this particular location in his native country because of its unique history as a set for several popular movies during the 1960s and 1970s. Filmmakers transformed the blank slate of the desert into America, Egypt, and everywhere in between for movies such as The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, Patton, and Cleopatra. Remnants of various fictional settings still remain scattered throughout the landscape, and Parascandola captures the transformative power still lingering in these ruins.

Sondra Arkin’s “Pattern Transformation” Opens Thursday at Long View Gallery

Arkin is not only a painter, but also a curator who experiments with printmaking, sculpture and assemblage. She previously aspired to be a poet with degrees in both Writing and Literature, and later used her education to run the creative department of a marketing agency. Arkin played multiple instruments during her college years and continues to enjoy a variety of performing arts including theater, dance and poetry, making the Borderstan area an ideal place to live. “I can’t believe how lucky I am to live and work in Dupont.

Betto Ortiz: A Travel Photographer on His Artistic Journey

Local photographer Betto Ortiz has avidly photographed everything around him from a young age. He approached photography as a hobby and began to document his travels through the medium as a young adult. The Colombian artist exhibited his first show in 2003 and, ever since then, he has been pursuing photography professionally as an artist and travel photographer. Borderstan asked Ortiz about his evolution as an artist, his photographic style, and how living and working in DC has influenced him.

Miguel Perez Lem: An International Artist with an Eclectic Approach

An environmentalist who emphasizes the productive aspects of art, he frequently salvages old canvases and repurposes old furniture and found objects. His works in progress–from chairs and lamps to oil paintings and charcoal drawings– surround the space. Quotes from well-known artists in their native languages are inscribed on the floor. Glass cases filled with Lem’s small collections of objects, such as antique cameras, line the walls.

Carl Amt: Diverse Inspirations and An Enduring Collaboration

Inspired by the legacy of modern artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, Carl Amt combines words and text to produce works that function as social commentary. Citing a range of influences from Shepard Fairey to Robert Rauschenberg, Amt also incorporates elements of the street art aesthetic in his work and experiments with textural applications, such as applying candle wax to the canvas. Amt is an art collector, as well, with a special focus on New York-based street artists.

Michael D. Crossett: Approachable Art with Design in Mind

As a child in a military family, by the time he was in high school, Michael D. Crossett had lived in Hawaii, Japan, Pennsylvania, Alabama and Virginia. These drastically different cultural influences shaped his point of view and his artistic eye. In particular, he has incorporated characteristics of the Japanese aesthetic — the highly designed nature of everyday objects, the bright colors, and bold patterns. The graphic appeal and immediacy of these elements still drives his approach today.

Sally Kauffman: Reviving her Career with New Media

After taking a 20-year hiatus from her work as an artist, Sally Kauffman is reviving her career and finding camaraderie among the Mid City Artists in her studio adjacent to the Harmon Art Lab. Photography has heavily influenced her work, and recently she has drawn inspiration from her day job as a digital user experience designer.

Aniekan Udofia and the Fulfillment of Public Art

Aniekan Udofia moved back to DC to pursue a career as an artist after living in Nigeria for most of his life. As a young man, he worked mostly in colored pencil and pen illustration. He remembers studying the technique of an artist in his Nigerian village of Uwo and trying to master his style. He would also look at the political caricatures in newspapers and studying how the image mimicked the editorial content. Not surprisingly, Udofia tries to incorporate an element of social commentary in his art.

Kreg D. Kelley: Taking a Risk and Sharing the Reward

Kreg D. Kelley came to DC from Connecticut to study political science at George Washington University and pursue a career in politics. Before graduation, he changed his goals and decided he “wanted to do something…I loved, something I would want to do for the rest of…my life.” For Kelley, that “something” was art. Before he graduated, Kelley left George Washington to take a job at Galerie Lareuse in Georgetown, “an opportunity…I couldn’t refuse.”

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by Borderstan.com October 10, 2012 at 11:00 am 0

"Open Studios"

Mid City Artists: It’s Open Studios time again. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Luis Gomez. Catch his photos at One Photograph A Day. Follow him on Twitter @LuisGomezPhotos.

Fall is here and that means it’s time for the Mid City Artists Fall Open Studios. Open Studios are held twice a year during the spring and sfall, and this season’s event is this weekend, October 13 and 14.

A total of 20 artists are participating this Saturday and Sunday, all of them in the Dupont-Logan-U Street area. Mid City Artists has an easy-to-read map with participating artist studios. Studios are open in the afternoon; check the map for exact times for each artist.

There are almost 40 Dupont-Logan artists in Mid City Artists, many of whom either work out of home spaces or have studios in non-traditional spaces. Mid City Artists explains, “Everyone seems curious about how artists fit their act of creation into busy schedules that often include full time jobs and families–and spaces that may also double as dining rooms or basements, garages or carriage houses.”

Participating Artists

Below is a list of this year’s participants in the Mid City Artists Fall Open Studios. Click on the link to read the artist’s Borderstan profile.

  • Sondra N. Arkin – Painter, Mixed Media. 1764 Church Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm.
  • Chuck Baxter – Found Art Sculpture. 914 Westminster Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Scott G. Brooks  – Painting. 929 Florida Avenue NW, Apt 7008. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Robert Cole – Metal Sculpture and Susan Cole – Painting/Drawing. 1714 REAR 15th Street NW (Carriage House) – Go down the alley at 1708 15th Street. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Aster da Fonseca – Abstract Painting. 1327 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 1-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 1-5 pm.
  • Thomas Drymon – Painting. doris-mae studio. The studios at 1716 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Gary Fisher – Painting. 1327 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Glenn Fry – Silk Screen Artist. 1327 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Charlie Jones – Painting. 2125 14 Street NW #317W. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm.
  • Sally Kauffman – Painting. The studios at 1716 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Miguel Perez Lem – Painting, Photography, Mixed Media. Lem Design. 1843 14th Street NW, 3rd floor. Saturday, October 13, 12-6 pm, Sunday, October 14, 1-7 pm.
  • Regina Miele Painting. [email protected] 1830 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Lucinda Murphy – Painting. 1704 Florida Avenue NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Dave Peterson – Painting, Printmaking. The studios at 1716 14th Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Brian Petro – Abstract Painting, Photography. 1829 14th Street NW (below Vastu). Saturday, October 13, 12-6:30 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-4:30 pm.
  • Peter Alexander Romero – Painting, Sculpture. 1320 Wallach Place NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • George Smith-Shomari – Painting. 912 Westminster Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 12-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Robert Wiener – Art Glass. DC Art Glass, 1322 Corcoran Street NW. Saturday, October 13, 11-5 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-5 pm.
  • Colin Winterbottom – Photography. 1829 14th Street NW, lower level (below Vastu). Saturday, October 13, 12-6:30 pm, Sunday, October 14, 12-4:30 pm.

Enjoy the art and meeting the artists at the Mid City Artists Open Studios — many of them truly are your talented neighbors!

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by Borderstan.com October 9, 2012 at 4:00 pm 1,495 0

"Murphy"

Lucinda Murphy. See more examples of her work at the bottom of this story. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

Lucinda Murphy explores profound scientific questions within the finite boundaries of her canvases. As an artist, she grapples with questions such as,”Where does energy originate and how does it convert to matter and back?” and “What is the difference between environment and entity?”

Most recently, she has been addressing a question more familiar within the artistic realm — the disparities between what an object actually is and how we perceive it. As Murphy explains, “An object must ‘look’ very different depending on what is ‘seeing’ it… Right now I am trying to visualize what it means that we can only find 10 percent of our universe.”

Murphy didn’t always have such a coherent vision and clear focus as an artist. In fact, she didn’t go to art school until she was 40. Before becoming a full-time artist, Murphy worked as a landscape architect for 20 years During the first 12 years of her career as an artist, she focused on traditional still life, landscape and other figurative depiction before realizing that “the unanswered questions about the evolution of our universe and us” interested her the most.

Murphy spent most of her life in DC. Her family has been in the city since her great-grandmother moved to Dupont Circle, and Murphy has lived within the neighborhood with her husband since 1976. She has a studio on Florida Avenue NW and also recently started working at a studio in Delaware, where the larger space allows her to work on eight- and nine-foot canvases.

Murphy works primary in paint in collage. She also works with different applications, like needle pens that let her “draw” with the paint and black roofing paper, which she uses as a background that mimics the blackness of most of matter in the universe. In her collage works, Murphy says, she can reveal the underlying importance of layers.

Aside from science, Murphy also draws inspiration from living and studying art abroad. She has lived in Geneva, Switzerland; Beirut, Lebanon; Guadalajara, Mexico; Olomuz, Czechoslovakia; and Xiamen, China. Each place left its on distinctive impression on her artistic style.

Despite her extensive travels, Murphy says that “living and studying in Washington has been the best gift of all.” She cites the easy access to rich resources like the Smithsonian museums and the Phillips Collection, and the local institutions such as the Corcoran College of Art and Design and American University as among the many advantages of being an artist in DC.

"Murphy"

Lucinda Murphy’s work. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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by Borderstan.com August 14, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,631 0

"Dafna Steinberg"

Dafna Steinberg at her studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania and Luis Gomez.

Local artist-photographer, Dafna Steinberg was seven when she received her first camera – and she hasn’t stopped snapping pictures since.

The DC native and U Street resident finds inspiration for her art in everything – including her art-driven childhood, her neighborhood and DC’s arts community.

“My mother would take me to museums and galleries all over,” said Steinberg. “In fact, she was the one that gave me my first camera.”

After discovering the darkroom at age 13, Steinberg knew she wanted to pursue photography.

“I think it was the photographic process [that captured me],” said Steinberg. “From taking the photo on film, to developing it and then printing it – it’s like magic.”

Steinberg’s photographic art has evolved over the years; these days, she is very involved with mixed media and collage.

“Collage is a different creative process all together, but it still holds a sense of magic,” explained the artist. “It’s taking bits and pieces of my images or other found images and turning them into something new and interesting.”

Living in DC has propelled Steinberg’s creative drive and has given the artist opportunities she never imagined having. Steinberg shares a studio space close to her apartment with six other DC-based artists.

“It’s like having my own little art community,” said Steinberg, who also mentioned that she appreciates the constant feedback from her studio-mates.

In addition to creating her own art and staying active in DC’s art community, Steinberg finds and sells vintage clothes and accessories at DC Flea, a monthly pop up vintage market, of which she is a co-founder. In her spare time, she also boxes, tweets and drinks lots and lots of coffee.

Steinberg is currently working on a project about food culture and emotional eating. The project will result in an installation and performance sometime next year at Doris Mae, a gallery opening up on 14th Street.

As part of the project, Steinberg started a blog called “Eat What I Feel” where she collects photos of people eating food and their experience of eating.

For more information on the artist, visit her website: www.dafnasteinberg.com.

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by Borderstan.com July 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm 2,533 0

"Diana Cruz"

Diana Cruz working at her studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Rachel Nania and Luis Gomez.

When navigating your way through an arts community, it’s important to develop a brand for yourself – something distinctive that sets you apart from other artists. One local artist took this idea literally. Instead of developing a brand for herself, DC-based artist, Diana Cruz, brands her art with a custom device.

The idea of searing her name into her art came from stories relayed to Cruz from her Salvadoran father, who, growing up, would brand his horses and cattle in El Salvador. Designed in the shape of lips, Cruz’s custom brander puts her mark on her love of art, a skill she developed at an early age.

A daughter of two Salvadoran immigrants who settled in Takoma Park, Maryland, Cruz spent much of her childhood drawing to help her grandmother, a dress-maker, outline human figures and dresses from magazines.

Cruz eventually relocated to California, but came back to DC for a short vacation in 2009 — and she never left. While on vacation in DC, Cruz helped organize a launch party for Ready Set DC at Long View Gallery. She was asked to contribute a piece to the evening’s show. Her artwork was seen by 900 people and sold that evening. For Cruz, the show was an artist awakening. She continued to create after that evening, and developed a series of paintings that kept selling.

Cruz decided to stay in the city, and settled into a studio on U Street, below Local 16. The owners of the local establishment, who have been good friends with Cruz for a long time, offered Cruz the space, as well as the opportunity to showcase her art on the walls of the restaurant.

Cruz is continuing her partnership the owner, Aman Ayoubi, who recently commissioned the artist to work on recycled pieces for his new restaurant, Tropicalia. For this venture, Cruz hand-painted more than 60 chairs, giving the new space a Sixties vibe.

A Borderstan resident for almost three years now, Cruz’s art often reflects her home and familiar surroundings. Many of her paintings allude to her love for the city, with images of Metro maps, DC flags and cherry blossoms sprinkled throughout her work. In her pieces, Cruz uses mixed media, experimenting with different materials to produce different textures.

“Experimenting is part of what every artist should do,” explained Cruz.

In addition to designing the décor for Tropicalia, Cruz is also working on a series of continuing pieces of faceless paintings engaging in everyday activities. Cruz describes the series as day-to-day life without a connecting feeling. Unlike Cruz’s experiences, life for her has been a series of connections between supportive friends and family, and she contributes much of her success to her support network.

When she is not working on her current projects, Cruz teaches drawing classes at Living Social once a week. “I find it fulfilling in every way; I learn so much when I am teaching,” said Cruz.

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by Borderstan.com June 23, 2012 at 8:00 am 0

"La Chanca"

“La Chanca” is by Borderstan-area artist Mark Parascandola. (Kate Hays)

From Kate Hays. Follow her on Twitter @kateyhays and email her at [email protected].

Featured image is of a piece from DC Creepers; photo by Kate Hays. 

I know, I know. Artomatic 2012 is in Crystal City. Not only is Crystal City not in Borderstan, it is (gasp!) across the river in the wilds of Virginia. The location is 1851 South Bell Street, to be exact — and yes, Crystal City is in Arlington. There’s also music with DJ Cosmo on the Jam Stage from 4 to 10:30 pm.

But here’s why I went, and why you should go, too: Four Borderstan-area artists are displaying their work.

Local Artists at Artomatic

  • My first stop was to pass by Mark Parascandola’s booth. His one piece, La Chanca, shows Almeria, Spain. At first glance, it’s a photo of a city. But take a look from different angles, get close, and look at what’s happening. A closer inspection shows life underway – a deflated kiddie pool on a roof, a man in his backyard. And every angle is a different view of life in this Spanish town.
  • Right there, I turned to Sally Kauffman’s display. Sally does large, abstract pieces — sorbet swooshes, which come to animal life in Piggy.
  • Moving down to floor 9, I swung by Dave Peterson’s gallery. Whimsical, cartoonish, and funny, I loved both his tongue in cheek t-shirts, and his bossy Squirrel and mantis playing Monkey.
  • Our last Borderstan stop was on floor 4, to check out Chuck Baxter’s work, made from found objects. His pieces included daisies made from old cassette tapes and a spinning ceiling mounted plastic piece (aptly titled Faux Chihuly).

And if those four aren’t enough, plenty of others in the show are taking a look at our neighborhood and our city and are displaying their interpretations of city life. The DC Creepers, as the name might imply, creep around, sketching people on buses and and metro lines, and they turn these studies into art. I’m not pointing fingers, but if you’re a “Missed Connections” lurker, these sketches snatched in passing might appeal to you. And of course, you should not miss the ever famous kitschy Peeps, and Borderstan makes the cut with “Black Peep” — a model of our beloved Black Cat.

So take a deep breath, pull out that SmarTrip card, and take a trip over to Crystal City for some local art. Brave the wild suburbs to see and support some of our local artists.

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by Borderstan.com June 12, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,334 0

"Carl Amt"

Carl Amt at his studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

Inspired by the legacy of modern artists like Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, Carl Amt combines words and text to produce works that function as social commentary. Citing a range of influences from Shepard Fairey to Robert Rauschenberg, Amt also incorporates elements of the street art aesthetic in his work and experiments with textural applications, such as applying candle wax to the canvas. Amt is an art collector, as well, with a special focus on New York-based street artists.

Amt has been living and practicing art in Borderstan for more than 20 years. He works in a shared studio on 14th Street in Logan Circle and frequently visits neighborhood galleries and local museums. Throughout his career, Amt has worked in mixed-media collage. Either an image or a particular phrase for a piece strikes him, and then he finds the right text or image to complete the message and composition of the work.  In his current projects, Amt is revisiting sketches and older pieces, reworking old paintings and collages, and fleshing out partial sketches into fully realized works.

Most recently, Amt is revamping his 12-year-old collaboration with local artists Susan Engle, Aster da Fonseca and Mark Palmer. The group began exhibiting together as S.C.A.M. in 2000. Amt’s cousin, Paula Amt, brought the group together 12 years ago when she introduced the four artists to each other. Rather than sharing a “common thread” or guiding principle that unites their work, Amt says, the artist group relies on its diversity to create unique exhibitions. In its latest iteration, S.C.A.M., has expanded to S.C.A.M.P., and now includes Paula Amt of gallery plan b, who has continued to be involved with the group and its works since its inception.

See Amt’s latest works in S.C.A.M.P., June 20 to July 29, 2012 at gallery plan b, 1530 14th Street NW.

 

"Carl Amt Collage"

Carl Amt and his work. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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by Borderstan.com June 2, 2012 at 10:30 am 1,033 0

From Rachel Nania. Check out her blog, Sear, Simmer & Stir. Follow Nania on Twitter @rnania, email her at rachel[AT]borderstan.com.

"Capital Pride" "Art Fair"

The 2012 Capital Pride Festival on Sunday, June 10, will feature an Art Fair (Luis Gomez Photos)

DC’s Capital Pride Festival is not a new event on the Pride Week calendar. But after 37 years, Capital Pride is welcoming a new event to its jam-packed calendar: The Festival Art Fair. The Art Fair will feature local and emerging LGBTQ artists and their work under one tent in the Arts Stage Area on Sunday, June 10, from 11 am until 6 pm.

The Festival is currently seeking artists to participate in the inaugural event. Interested artists should email Amanda.Lineweber[AT]gmail.com with the following information: name and address, price range, number of available pieces, samples of work (via JPEG or website link) and contact information.

The fee for commercial artists is $50 for 7′ x 10′ of display space; a limited number of free spaces are available. For more information on the Art Fair and submission guidelines, contact Lineweber.

Borderstan.com is proud to be among the sponsors of Capital Pride 2012.

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by Borderstan.com May 10, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,832 1 Comment

"Borderstan""Sally Kaufman"

Sally Kauffman at her studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

After taking a 20-year hiatus from her work as an artist, Sally Kauffman is reviving her career and finding camaraderie among the Mid City Artists in her studio adjacent to the Harmon Art Lab. Photography has heavily influenced her work, and recently she has drawn inspiration from her day job as a digital user experience designer.

She sat down last week to answer our questions about living and working as an artist and Borderstan and about how and where she finds inspiration for her current works.

Borderstan: How long have you lived/worked in the Borderstan area (Dupont/Logan/U Street) and how did you come to live here?

Kauffman: I moved to the area a couple of years ago, seeking a more urban lifestyle that was culturally rich and not dependent on a car.

Borderstan: How have you or your art been inspired by the Borderstan area? And what are your favorite places to go in the Borderstan area?

Kauffman: The sense of community and the friends I have made in the past couple of years make me very happy. I love watching the U Street/14th Street area change, but I worry that the very culture I was seeking will be driven out. I was very sad to see Utopia close, my husband and I loved stopping by and having a drink and listening to fabulous jazz.

Borderstan: How did you first get interested in the interplay between art and photography? How has this influenced your artistic style and major works?

Kauffman: I started photographing friends at my dinner table as a source of content for my paintings, using the images to capture the experience. The viewfinder is a great compositional tool, it allows you to isolate your subject and alter the spatial relationship between them. In my “Intimate Feasts” series, the objects on the table became the focus. The scale of the objects in the foreground dwarfed the figures in the background.

Borderstan: What have been your greatest sources of inspiration to date?

Kauffman: A trip to Oaxaca, touring local galleries and artist’s studios, inspired me to start painting after a 20-year hiatus. The rich imagery and culture have produced a group of contemporary painters creating powerful work. I returned and signed up for a class at the Corcoran with Judy Southerland. Judy was a great mentor, focusing me on what matters to me, drawing from personal experience. She introduced me to painters that I admire and share the same influences. I find [both] Cecily Brown’s rich, luscious paint and bad girl content, and Jenny Saville’s portrayal of flesh, beautiful and morbid at the same time… . Of course I saw the [Museum of Modern Art’s] de Kooning exhibit in New York and renewed my enthusiasm for his work.

Borderstan: Do you experiment with other types of art (drawing, sculpture, music, dance, etc.)?

Kauffman: Yes, that 20-year gap was spent exploring technology and interactive media, and [I’m] ready to bring the technology into my art practice. I’m taking the intro classes in Processing, a programming language designed for artists, and how to use the Arduino, a board that senses input such as sound, movement and light at Artisphere this month. I hope to be creating interactive digital installations in the near future.

Borderstan: What are your other interests and hobbies outside of art?

Kauffman: I travel with my husband and friends, exploring local culture, art, food and wine. I work in product development as a user experience designer.

Borderstan: Where can we see your work at local exhibits, galleries, restaurants, or homes? 

Kauffman: I am exhibiting at Artomatic this year, Friday, May 18th to Sunday, June 24th, and you can find me on the 11th floor. I will be in my studio at 1716 14th Street on Saturday, May 19th for Mid City Artists Open Studios. The 1716 studios are planning some parties and open houses as well.

 

"Borderstan""Sally Kaufman"

Sally Kauffman and her work. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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by Borderstan.com April 26, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,087 0

"Borderstan""Charlie Gaynor""Photographer"

Captured,  Charlie Gaynor at his studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Alden Leonard. Contact him at alden[AT]borderstan.com and follow him @aldenleonard on Twitter.

Charlie Gaynor is something of a “superlocal.” Not only has he been a Borderstan resident longer than most, but through his work and his art, Gaynor has become a superlative purveyor of our turf. In addition to his 9-to-5 as a realtor with City Houses, LLC, Gaynor spends his time documenting Borderstan through his unusual, iconic photography.

Gaynor discovered his interest in photography in school in his home state of Kansas, and after a brief stint as an Army photographer in Vietnam, he found himself snapping the streets of DC. He ultimately entered real estate, but his passion for photography persisted. Today he shows his work at multiple area galleries, as well as in Florida.

More than anything, Gaynor’s photography reflects the locale he knows and loves. “How can you not be inspired by the rich diversity of Borderstan’s architecture and people?” he asks.

Gaynor has focused on Borderstan since long before it was trendy. He bought his Swann Street home in 1977, just nine years after the infamous riots that scarred the area. “I saw great potential in this beautiful tree-lined street with its brick sidewalks, iron street lamps and Victorian facades. I knew it would come back someday, and obviously I was right!”

Through his photography, Gaynor continues to see the neighborhood in a way others often miss. He focuses on “found objects” — things that go unnoticed by many, but under the scrutiny of an artist’s eye can become iconic — and how they interact with their surroundings. Gaynor then manipulates the camera to juxtapose and layer these dissimilar subjects.

“I see things that make a design in a rectangular or square format and then capture that,” he explains. At just the right angle, close-up shots of peeling paint or a wrought-iron shadow sit side-by side against Borderstan’s ubiquitous row houses and brick alleyways.

The effect is so striking, Gaynor says, that he is frequently asked if he digitally doctors his images (he does not). “Once I was asked if I use clip art!” he remarks. “I was not offended in the least. If a viewer thinks I have somehow manipulated the image… fantastic!” In an effort to give his images as much visual presence as possible, Gaynor mounts his work on unusual surfaces like brushed aluminum, white metal and plexiglass.

Beyond photography, Gaynor fancies himself a gardener, wine taster, and foodie, but more than anything he is a tried-and-true advocate of Borderstan. Gaynor loves the open air movies on V St and the Saturday market at 14th and U.  He praises his local haunts Bistro LeBonne and DC Noodles, and bemoans the loss of his old favorites, Noi Chudnoff and her store, go mama go! (now the site of Current Boutique).

But change is what Borderstan is about, and Gaynor knows this. Take one of his favorite subjects, the alley behind Marvin at 14th and U Streets NW, which is prominent for its vibrant street art. When the city recently painted the alley beige, covering up years of living history, Gaynor was unfazed.

“No problem,” he said. “The alley is just getting a new look. The graffiti will find its way back. These areas are constantly changing, and I’m here to record it.”

Check out Gaynor’s photography at www.charliegaynor.com, where you can get in touch with him and arrange to see his work in person at his Borderstan studio. Gaynor is also a member of the Mid City Artists, which has Open Studios coming up on May 19 and 20.

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by Borderstan.com April 19, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,505 0

"Aniekan Udofia" "Borderstan""U Street NW"

Aniekan Udofia at the corner of 15th and U Streets NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at eliza[AT]borderstan.com.

Aniekan Udofia moved back to DC to pursue a career as an artist after living in Nigeria for most of his life.

As a young man, he worked mostly in colored pencil and pen illustration. He remembers studying the technique of an artist in his Nigerian village of Uwo and trying to master his style. He would also look at the political caricatures in newspapers and studying how the image mimicked the editorial content. Not surprisingly, Udofia tries to incorporate an element of social commentary in his art.

At the beginning of his career, Udofia worked mostly as an illustrator for magazines. His other early works were mostly hip-hop portraits that translated lyrics into images. He got his big break in 2005, when he and over 20 other artists were commissioned to work on an advertorial mural for the TLC show, “Miami Ink.”

The payment from the commission made him realize he could finally turn art into a viable career.

U and 15th Streets NW Street Mural of George Washington. (Luis Gomez Photos)

He continued to work on a large-scale projects and made a name for himself in the local arts scene working on public art murals, like the George Washington mural at 15th and U Streets NW and the Duke Ellington at 2121 Ward Court NW.

Udofia finds these public works fulfilling because of the opportunity for feedback from the neighborhood about his work. Passers-by can see the painting process, ask questions and interact with the artist and the work. For him, the high visibility for these murals is  “refreshing.”

Udofia says that securing offers for these murals has been more that just luck.

After he moved to the area, he “was immediately attracted to the art community.” He started building a circle of friends when he was out at events or even just playing basketball in the park. “Since then, same people and same circle have been helpful in getting jobs. …Over the years building the relationship has been great for me.”

Earlier this year, Udofia exhibited his works in a solo show, “The Village B-boy” at Lamont Bishop Gallery. His latest project is “The Sickness,” a series that deals with different issues important to the artist. Currently, in “The Sickness 4: Reloaded,” Udofia is trying to “study the mind and how it works” when confronted with “violence, motivation, inspiration,” etc., and so on. Udofia also hopes to combine works from past works and series in a comprehensive exhibit.

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by Borderstan.com February 16, 2012 at 10:00 am 1,451 1 Comment

"Borderstan""Kreg Kelley", Luis Gomez Photos, DC artists

Kreg D. Kelley at his studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Eliza French. Follow her on Twitter @elizaenbref; email her at [email protected].

Kreg D. Kelley came to DC from Connecticut to study political science at George Washington University and pursue a career in politics. Before graduation, he changed his goals and decided he “wanted to do something … I loved, something I would want to do for the rest of … my life.

For Kelley, that “something” was art. Before he graduated, Kelley left George Washington to take a job at Galerie Lareuse in Georgetown, “an opportunity … I couldn’t refuse.”

That opportunity turned into a long career, and Kelley now works as a curator at the gallery. He considers himself lucky to be “constantly surrounded by the greatest artists ever” and feels “motivated and inspired” everyday.  As he works on restoring the pieces, he relishes the chance to touch and examine their details so intimately.  He remembers handling the only etching Vincent van Gogh ever made: “It was the first time ever in my life I was speechless. I was in awe.”

Like many of the great masters whose work he handles on a daily basis, Kelley finds inspiration from his neighborhood and city. Kelley has lived in the neighborhood for almost 10 years and has enjoyed being a part of its growth and change.”Lautrec is the best example,” he says, of the way he incorporates the creative influences of his surroundings in his own work. “I have the best view from my apartment.” A view, he adds, that he painted in “Night in the City Series, Washington DC,” the 2010 ACLU National Calendar Contest Winner.

His greatest source of inspiration continues to be his audience. “People’s reaction has been my biggest fuel to keep on creating,” he explains. Although he has works across the nation, many of his pieces hang in the Borderstan area.  “My first paintings, works of canvases, are all on the same five- or ten-block radius. That makes me feel welcomed and supported by my community. It makes me feel honored and motivates me to keep making people happy.”

Kelley’s commitment to charity underscores his connection to the community. He was “hugely involved” with charity work as a student — when he was unable to donate money to charity as a young artist, he donated works instead. “It’s hugely important to give back to your community, especially when you have your own business and you can be in a position to give back. I’m fortunate to do that.” This year, he has transitioned from donating single works of art to splitting a set percentage of all proceeds among four charities.

Most of all, Kelley says he loves “knowing that I can make people happy, touch peoples’ lives, and know that what I’ve done is going to be enjoyed… long after I’m around.” He sees art as “a way to give back to the world and make the world a better place to live in. You have to do what you love…. When you do what you love, everything else falls together.”

You can see Kelley’s work throughout the area. MOVA DC, Tonic Restaurant in Mount Pleasant, Last Exit Lounge, and Ulah Bistro all feature some Kelley’s art. His “Works on Canvas” exhibition opened January 27 at the Century 21 Redwood office at 17th and Q Streets NW, and he plans to participate in a forthcoming group show at Galerie Lareuse in March.

"Borderstan""Kreg Kelley", Luis Gomez Photos

Kreg Kelley with his work. (Luis Gomez Photos)

by Borderstan.com April 7, 2010 at 11:00 am 4,442 5 Comments

Betsy Karasik Luis Gomez Photos Dupont Circle Borderstan

Betsy Karasik in her Dupont Circle studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Betsy Karasik Luis Gomez Photos Dupont Circle Borderstan

Betsy Karasik with one of her paintings (Luis Gomez Photos)

by Cecile Oreste

Betsy Karasik‘s professional career began a long way from her current life and work as an artist. A resident of the Borderstan area since 1984, currently on the Dupont side, she was born in New York and raised in Bethesda, Karasik moved back to the DC area after law school and spent over a decade doing negligence, product liability and insurance unfair claims litigation.

Although Karasik found her legal career to be “exciting,” it left little time for much else. In 1998, she decided to pursue art and enrolled in classes at Corcoran College of Art and Design. “I am often asked if I miss practicing law and the answer is no,” Karasik said.

Karasik had minimal formal training in art before attending Corcoran, but the interest was always there: “I was always considered the ‘class artist’ in school and was frequently enlisted to design the yearbook cover, classroom murals and similar projects.”

The final push for Karasik occurred during the end of her tenure as a lawyer.

“A year or so before I switched to painting full time, the landlord at my law office offered me the opportunity to work in a spare room of the building, and donated a drafting table and chair, generous gestures which got me started,” Karasik said.

(more…)

by Borderstan.com March 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm 1,144 0

khayat

Marwan Khayat is a painter who lives in Borderstan. (Photo: Wiser with Art Blog.)

Meet Borderstan artist Marwan Khayat, a painter. (He says he is a physical therapist in his “real life.”) Here is how Khayat describes himself and his painting on his blog, Wiser with Art:

I moved to Washington DC from Israel several years ago. Living in Dupont neighborhood had a very positive impact on my ability and desire to paint more and to become an artist. I guess if categorized, I would fall into the undiscovered, self-taught artist, Israeli, Palestinian, Arab, Christian or any combination of the above.

Continue reading about Khayat and see photos of his paintings on his blog.

I first found out that Khayat was a painter after meeting him and his wife with their dog. (You learn a lot about your neighbors when you have a dog.) Are you a Borderstan artist with work to share? Do you know someone in Borderstan we can feature? Send an email to [email protected].

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