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.
The Shaw Dog Park Association has a new look – and it launched this week. The newly redesigned website provides visitors with a fresh new look and an easier way to navigate information on the Shaw Dog Park and the Shaw community.
The new platform also allows gives park volunteers an easier way to register for events! And if you recognize the homepage’s graphic, you’re not alone — it’s from local artist, Dave Peterson.
The Shaw Dog Park is located at 1673 11th Street NW (between Rhode Island and R) and is open Monday through Friday from 7 am until 10 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 8 am until 10 pm.
Mid City Artists presents its bi-annual Open Studios Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20 from 12 pm to 5 pm. Twenty-seven artists, including Thomas Drymon and Dave Peterson, will be participating in the event which takes place in and around the Dupont Circle and Logan Circle neighborhoods. Open Studios offers art enthusiasts an opportunity to go behind the scenes and learn more about the talented artists who live in our area. To get background information on a few of these artists, you can read some of their interviews in Borderstan. To see a full list of participating artists and to download a tour map of artist studios, please visit Mid CityArtists.
Thomas Drymon has been a Mid City Artist for more than four years and has participated in five Open Studios Tours. He has been working on a couple of new series including painting, 3D work and some interesting photographic work that will be on display at 1716 14th Street NW. Visitors will also have a chance to learn about Drymon’s data project and participate by having photos of their faces taken.
Just down the hall from Drymon’s studio, visitors will have a chance to catch up with Dave Peterson. Most of his new work is currently at local exhibits and stores including the upcoming Artomatic festival and Dolcezza in Dupont Circle, but Peterson plans to present older work that has never been displayed. You’ll also be able to buy new greeting cards and t-shirts with his unique designs. Be sure to also visit Sally Kauffman, who shares studio space with Drymon and Peterson.
If he wasn’t participating in the event, Drymon says he would go over to Westminster Street NW to see Chuck Baxter and George Smith-Shomari. He also recommends paying a visit to Marie Ringwald and Regina Miele. Peterson suggests taking a trip down 14th Street to see Gary Fisher and Glenn Fry. Fry will be having a 50% off sale on all works on paper for the weekend. Please visit his website to see what is available.
Mid City Artists is a talented group of more than 40 professional artists who have banded together to promote their work and create an artists’ community in a central part of the nation’s capital. A number of Mid City Artists members are well known and represented by galleries, while others are emerging artists. The Open Studios Tour occurs every spring and fall.