by February 8, 2012 at 9:55 am 2,254 0

"Borderstan""Aniekan Udofia"

“Hard Boy,” “Hard Girl,” Friendly Boy,” “Friendly Girl” by Aniekan Udofia. (Photo of piece by Eliza French)

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

The works in Aniekan Udofia’s “The Village B-boy” at Lamont Bishop Gallery provide vivid glimpses of a vibrant fusion of cultures. From 1982 to 1999 (age 7 to 24), Udofia lived with his family in Uyo, Nigeria. American hip-hop pervaded the culture there, where the sounds, symbols, and style that characterized the genre blended with the patterns of village life. The music and culture of hip-hop, so far removed from their urban American origins, struck a resonant chord within the community of Uyo.

You can see “The Village B-boy” tonight, February 8, from 6 to 9 pm at Lamont Bishop Gallery during the Shaw Art Walk, or Thursday through Sunday during the gallery’s normal hours. The gallery is at 1314 9th Street NW.

All around the gallery walls, the faces of that community stare back at you — waving, smiling, holding cassettes, listening to boom boxes, wearing baseball caps. Udofia’s approach includes subtly coded symbolism that underscores the synchronicity between African village life and American hip-hop culture, and also a bold aesthetic of contrast that highlights the dissonance between the two.

"Mama Said Knock You Out"

“Mama Said Knock You Out” by Aniekan Udofia. (Photo of piece by Eliza French)

Many of the characters are young boys, girls, and women of varying ages. The young boys and girls playfully mimic the fashion and gestures of hip-hop artists and begin to inhabit the empowered, invincible persona projected by them.

Udofia’s technique itself adopts elements the visual vocabulary of graffiti art. His signature appears on almost every work like the tags on a graffiti wall and the application of paint on the canvas often simulates spray paint.

At times, the recurring motif of transparent cassettes floating in the background can seem disjointed from the lively figures in the foreground. At its best, this visual mash-up provokes the viewer to consider how the music’s purely sonic presence began to change the material and physical reality of Uyo.

In “Ngozi,” a mother carrying her baby on her back smiles confidently back at the viewer, flashing the peace symbol as the ubiquitous cassettes sail in the air behind her. The music, the work seems to suggest, is there with her in spirit, rendering her momentarily impervious to the burdens of motherhood.


“Ngozi” by Aniekan Udofia. (Photo of  piece by Eliza French)

In “Mama Said Knock You Out,” a weathered old woman stares knowingly out of the canvas. Her brightly patterned headscarf and the simple shelter in the background evoke traditional village life, and heighten the incongruity with the woman’s T-shirt emblazoned with the iconic LL Cool J Lyrics. Here, hip-hop’s influence is visually present, but the woman is likely unaware of her shirt’s message and its context.

The exhibition also includes smaller scale works, like “Hard Boy,” “Hard Girl,” “Friendly Boy” and “Friendly Girl,” that show the transformative potential of the hip-hop culture.

by August 25, 2011 at 11:00 am 4,043 0

Irvine Contemporary, Logan Circle art galleries, 14th Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos

Irvine Contemporary closes this weekend after five years on 14th Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Matty Rhoades

Irvine Contemporary wraps up five years at its 14th Street NW location with a “Grand Finale Block Party” this Saturday night. On June 1 the gallery announced it was closing, citing rising rents and economic conditions. The party starts at 6 pm in the gallery space at 1412 14th NW and into the back alley area — DJ and music sessions with Yoko K and Will Eastman.

Over the summer, Irvine has recognized a number of its artists with two Tribute exhibitions. The current exhibtion,  “Artist Tribute 2” is on display through Saturday. Artists are Shepard Fairey, Gaia, Melissa Ichiuji, Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi, Akemi Maegawa, Sebastian Martorana, Alexa Meade, Susana Raab, Kerry Skarbakka and Oliver Vernon.

As noted back in June, Irvine will be the third gallery since 2009 to leave the 14th Street corridor due to rising rents. The corridor is still home to gallery plan b (at 1530),  plus Adamson Gallery, Curator’s Office and Hemphill Fine Arts (all 1515). Along the U Street corridor are Hamiltonian Gallery, Project 4 (both at 1353) and the Joan Hisaoka Healing Arts Gallery (at 1632). On 9th Street NW are Long View Gallery (at 1234) and the recently opened Lamont Bishop Gallery (at 1314).

Openings and Closings This Weekend

“Local Color” wraps up on Sunday at gallery plan b, 1530 14th Street NW: “Works in various media depicting scenes of local DC neighborhoods by Chad Andrews, Michael Crossett, Ron Donoughe, Charlie Gaynor, Isabella Spicer, David Ballinger, David Kalamar, Joey Manlapaz, Luis Gomez, Steven Stichter and more.” Note: The gallery says that the show will stay up through September 4 and that hours for August 29 through the 4th are “by chance or appointment.”

“ReFresh” closes Sunday at Long View Gallery, 1234 9th Street NW: “New work by some of the gallery’s favorites. You can expect to see pieces by Mike Weber, Scott Brooks, Tony Savoie ,Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Marie Ringwald, Anne Marchand, Zach Sherif, Tom Burkett, Mary Chairamonte, Paula Crawford, Ryan McCoy, Cheryl Wassenaar and many more.”

The Demont “Peekaso” Pinder Exhibition opens this Friday with a 7:30 pm reception at the Lamont Bishop Gallery, 1314 9th Street NW: “The creator and resident on-stage artist for Raheem DeVaughn, ‘Peekaso’ creates unique paintings based on prominent figures in the Hip Hop and urban community.”

Get more details below on the 12 galleries in the Logan-Shaw-U Street area. (more…)

by August 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm 1,908 0

Tony Savoie, Long View Gallery

At Long View: Tony Savoie, “Flounder in the Void”, 50×50, reverse painted acrylic, mixed media. (Courtesy Long View Gallery)

The summer theater season in the Borderstan area is in its annual summertime lull, but not so with local galleries. There are exhibitions at 10 of 12 local galleries.

Transformer, 1404 P Street NW: “E8: Sculpture” is a series with the third and final artist on display — Sean Lundgren: “Nave.” His exhibition opens Thursday, August 4 and runs through the 13th.

Hamilton Gallery, 1353 U Street NW: “Fellows Converge: Broadly Thinking” closes Sunday, August 6, at the Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street.

Also, you’ve got nine more days to catch “Thomas Canavan and Arijit Das: Paint, Canvas, Walls, People” over at the Lamont Bishop Gallery, 1314 9th Street NW. It runs to August 13.

Two new exhibitions opened last week in the area. “Local Color” at gallery plan b on 14th Street NW features the works of more than 10 local artists and runs to August 28. See Large Crowd for Opening of “Local Color” Exhibition.

Over on 9th Street NW at Long View Gallery, “ReFresh“runs to August 28 and features “new work by some of the gallery’s favorites… pieces by Mike Weber, Scott Brooks, Tony Savoie, Michelle Peterson-Albandoz, Marie Ringwald, Anne Marchand, Zach Sherif, Tom Burkett, Mary Chairamonte, Paula Crawford, Ryan McCoy, Cheryl Wassenaar and many more.” (Long View)

Get more details below on the 12 galleries in the Logan-Shaw-U Street area. (more…)

by July 7, 2011 at 10:30 am 2,129 0

Oreen Cohen, Transformer Gallery

Oreen Cohen, “Running Drill,” photo collage sketch, 2011. Part of E8: Sculpture exhibition at Transformer. (Courtesy Transformer Gallery)

Two new exhibitions open this week at local galleries. At Transformer on P Street NW, “E8: Sculpture” with Oreen Cohen opens Thursday, July 7 with a reception from 6 to 8 pm. She is the first of three artists in the exhibition and her work will be on display through July 16. At the Lamont Bishop Gallery on 9th Street NW, “Thomas Canavan and Arijit Das: Paint, Canvas, Walls, People” opens Saturday, July 9, with a reception from 6 to 10 pm.

Also showing in the neighborhood are:

Get more details  below on the 12 galleries in the Logan-Shaw-U Street area.


by June 23, 2011 at 10:16 am 1,563 0

Hamiltonian Fellows, Hamiltonian Gallery, Borderstan

At the Hamiltonian Gallery: Magnolia Laurie’s “regarding the disregarded, to confuse the subject,” oil on panel 15″ x 16″, 2011. (Image courtesy Hamiltonian Gallery)

Starting tonight it’s a busy weekend at the galleries in the Borderstan area. Three new exhibitions are opening and three more are closing. All three new exhibitions open with receptions with the artists and another exhibition closes with a party.

Mix It Up

Thursday. Two new exhibitions open Thursday evening with receptions — at Long View Gallery on 9th Street NW from 6:30 to 8:30 pm… and at 14th Street’s gallery plan b from 6 to 8 pm.

“Creative Process: Four Artists’ Expressions Through Uniquely Different Mediums” is coming to Long View tonight… while over at gallery plan b, “PODS” opens for a month run.

Friday. There is a closing reception for “ChickenVille” at the Lamont Bishop Gallery on 9th Street on Friday, June 24, from 6:30 to 10 pm.

Saturday. Then on Saturday head to Hamiltonian Gallery on U Street NW for a reception with 10 Hamiltonian Fellows as they open “Fellows Converge: Broadly Thinking,” the annual show of the Fellows. The party is from 7 to 9 pm on June 25.

Exhibitions Closing

Exhibitions are closing this weekend at Curator’s Office (Saturday), Lamont Bishop Gallery (closing reception Friday) and Transformer (Saturday).

Find out what’s showing at 12 galleries in the Logan-Shaw-U Street area below the fold.


by May 20, 2011 at 2:30 pm 1,307 0

Brandon Hill, "ChickenVille," Lamont Bishop Gallery

Brandon Hill’s “ChickenVille” opens May 21 at Lamont Bishop Gallery on 9th Street NW. Pictured is “Deck Chair.” (Photo courtesy Brandon Hill)

From Jana Petersen

ChickenVille opens this weekend — but don’t come to Lamont Bishop expecting a “baby chicken.” ChickenVille is the name of the newest art exhibition at Lamont Bishop featuring the work of D.C.-based artist Brandon Hill. The opening reception begins at 7 pm on May 21.

ChickenVille, as described by the artist, is a ” jubilant mixture of Americana, technical proficiency of craft and ideas of pop-culture, sci-fi, lore and legend, all meeting on the same plateau” (Lamont Bishop); each piece reflects his unique perspective of both the serious and trivial nature of commonplace objects and concepts.

What does this mean for the viewer? A robust collection of deck art, two-dimensional works, sculpture and light installation, featuring subjects ranging from boxer Max Schmeling to the all-too-familiar Robocop.

This Saturday is also the opening of “This IS Hawai’i” at the Transformer Gallery. This IS Hawai’i artists Solomon Enos, Puni Kukahiko, Carl F. K. Pao and Maika’i Tubbs explore — through site-specific installation, artistic actions and public programs — what it means to be “Hawaiian” in the 21st century. Artists Maika’i Tubbs and Puni Kukahiko will be at Transformer from 2  to 3:30 pm this Saturday to discuss their art; the full opening event runs from 1 to 7 pm on Saturday.

Find out what’s showing at 12 galleries in the Logan-Shaw-U Street area below the fold.


by March 24, 2011 at 9:00 am 1,363 0

Borderstan, Galleries,

What’s showing at 12 galleries in the Dupont-Logan area?

What’s happening at 12 galleries in the neighborhood? There are exhibitions at eight galleries — see the complete list below the fold.

  • We are pleased to add a new gallery to our weekly listing: the Lamont Bishop Gallery at 1314 9th Street NW. They had their grand opening last week and the first exhibition is “Annie Kielman | Mirror Rim.” “Her work stems from an exploration of a deliberate distortion of the human form–not in a violent or grotesque manner, but rather with subtle tweaks that create intrigue simply because they are counter-intuitive.”
  • The DCist Exposed photography exhibition runs through Sunday, March 27. This year’s venue is Long View Gallery, 1234 9th Street NW.
  • “Viewing Rm.” at Hemphill Fine Arts, 1515 14th Street NW. Final day is Saturday, March 26.
  • Check out this event on Saturday that a local gallery Transformer is helping sponsor: “The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, along with partners Transformer and the National Coalition Against Censorship will present ‘Culture Wars: Then and Now,’ a free one-day symposium examining past and current debates about freedom of expression and public support for the arts. A reception for panelists and attendees will follow in the Corcoran Atrium from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Pre-registration is encouraged.”

Gallery listings for the U Street-Logan-Shaw area below.


by March 22, 2011 at 8:20 pm 2,552 0

ArtJamz, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos

March 17 at Lamont Bishop Gallery, 1314 9th Street NW: ArtJamz unleashes your inner artist. Founder Michael Clements is in the lower right-hand corner. Click above for images. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste of danceDC

ArtJamz hosted a session last Thursday and Friday at Lamont Bishop Gallery on 9th Street NW. Borderstan reached out to Founder Michael M. Clements to learn more. For additional information about ArtJamz, visit their website.

Borderstan: How would you describe ArtJamz to someone who has never experienced it?

Clements: ArtJamz is a simple idea. We get anywhere from 15 to 50 people together to eat, drink and create. Each person gets an easel and paints, a canvas they get to paint and take home, and lots of wine, beer, good food and music. I can also tell you what ArtJamz ISN’T… it’s not a class. There is no structure. No teachers. People are encouraged to simply create. But our hosts are always around to give some inspiration.

See photos from last Thursday’s ArtJamz session at Lamont Bishop Gallery.

Borderstan: How did ArtJamz get started?

Clements: ArtJamz was the first project of my company Genki Media LLC. Our mission is to incubate creative businesses. In short, I was tired of the creative scene never being participatory. There was “the artist” and “the viewer” as if the creative community didn’t trust people in D.C. to be creative. They were essentially saying, “leave the creative stuff to us, you just come and watch, and if you can, please, buy something.” I wanted to flip the script and let the audience be the artist. Empower people to tap into their creative sides.

Borderstan: What makes the Shaw neighborhood one of the most creative corridors in D.C.?

Clements: It was really one of the first “off the grid” creative spots in D.C. It started with skaters squatting and creating “Fight Club” in Blagden Alley. One World Studio also in the alley is one of the few practice studios in D.C., and now Long View Gallery and Lamont Bishop Gallery are bringing cutting edge work, focusing on local artists. On the other side of the convention center, The Passenger and the Columbia Room are extremely creative F&B concepts, and RJ Cooper, previously of Vidalia, will be opening his boutique restaurant concept Rogue 24 soon in Blagden Alley.

by March 17, 2011 at 9:24 am 1,700 2 Comments

Neil MacLean,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! What are your options for the weekend… after the Wearing of the Green? (Logo from Neil MacLean,Six-Five Design Group.)

From Laura Herman. Follow her on Twitter @Lmhhabs.

I don’t know about you, but daylight savings made this week rough. I may never forgive those farmers for stealing that hour back every year… Regardless, I am READY for the weekend.

This Thursday night is a no-brainer. Throw on a green shirt and head out to any of these neighborhood Irish bars to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day.

Need tips for tonight? St. Patrick’s Day: Five Places to Celebrate in the Hood

Some people may be taking it easy on Friday night but my sassy gay best friend is visiting this weekend and I’ve promised to show him around (show him off?) Logan Circle and 17th Street in the hopes that he’ll love it… and just move here already. We’re quite excited for Cobalt‘s standard Friday-night dance party, with their weekly open (rail) vodka bar special that runs from 11 pm to midnight (one of best kept secrets in town).



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