by April 19, 2011 at 11:00 am 3,666 3 Comments

Gary Fisher, Borderstan, Luis Gomez Photos, Logan Circle

Gary Fisher in his Logan Circle studio on 14th Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste of danceDC. You can follow her on Twitter @dance_DC.

Local artist Gary Fisher knows firsthand that life can change in an instant. After stopping by the Corcoran Gallery for lunch one day many years ago, he picked up a brochure for adult art classes.

According to Fisher, what looked like a fun way to spend an evening or two ended up changing his life. He discovered a passion for art, entered into early retirement from the U.S. Department of Justice and started a second career as a professional artist.


by January 4, 2011 at 5:30 am 2,432 0

Mark Parascandola

Mark Parascandola in his studio in the U Street area. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

Although photographer Mark Parascandola has lived in the D.C. area for more than 20 years, he rarely takes pictures in the District. Most of his photography is inspired by his travels to Chile, Miami, China and his mother’s homeland of Spain. Currently, he is working on a project photographing movie sets left over from the so-called Spaghetti Westerns filmed in Almeria in the 1960s and 1970s. These films include classics such as El Condor and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Parascandola enjoys taking pictures that tell the narrative of a place rather than the story of an individual or group of people. Consequently, much of his work focuses on the theme of abandoned architecture/buildings and transitional spaces.

“People think of architecture as being static or permanent, but it changes over time depending on who takes over the space and how it is affected by the surrounding environment,” Parascandola said.

In addition to his current film set project, his photographs of Miami Marine Stadium and the Carabanchel Prison in Madrid also explore this concept of abandoned architecture. After the structures were no longer in use, both were taken over by graffiti artists and transformed into an impromptu gallery of art. Carabanchel Prison has been torn down since Parascandola last photographed the structure and Miami Marine Stadium is endangered as well, but his images remain a record of how the structures once were.


by December 22, 2010 at 9:00 am 1,769 0

Loft Gallery 14th Street NW U Street NW Luis Gomez Photos

The Loft Gallery is a recent addition to the local art scene, at 1926-B 14th Street NW, just south of U Street. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC. Cecile covers the arts for Borderstan. Question or story idea for her? Send her an email.

DC Loft Gallery is one of the newest commercial galleries to enter the local art scene, at 1926-B 14th Street NW. The gallery, owned by Fairfax resident Joseph Teshome, opened its doors in September and presented its first exhibition of East African Diaspora Art a month later.

The current exhibit, “Social Network in the Neighborhood,” features the work of 12 Mid City Artists including Chuck Baxter, Groover Cleveland, Thomas Drymon, Glenn Fry, Charlie Gaynor, Regina Miele, Mark Parascandola, Dave Peterson, Richard Siegman, George H. Smith-Shomari, Bill Warrell and Robert Wiener. The work of artist Brian J. Legan is also part of the exhibition which runs until the end of the year.

Teshome envisions DC Loft Gallery as more than a gallery space for local artists; he also hopes it can serve as a convenient event space for organizations and businesses. He plans on seeking opportunities with the art community including the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and looks forward to continue working with Mid City Artists.


by December 14, 2010 at 6:00 am 2,971 0

Regina Miele "Anna"

“Anna” by Regina Miele (2005), oil on linen. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

Local artist Regina Miele knows about turning passion into a paycheck. For more than 16 years, she has made a living from selling her paintings and exhibiting her work. Although creating work on demand has its challenges, she finds the experience extremely rewarding.

Miele is one of 12 Mid City Artists currently exhibiting her work at DC Loft Gallery on 14th Street NW. According to Miele, she wanted to participate in the exhibition, Social Network in the Neighborhood, as it was a great opportunity to show with other local artists. Although she is part of Mid City Artists, she often exhibits outside the DC area. Most recently, her work has been displayed in Miami as part of Art Basel.

Miele is one of 12 Mid City Artists currently exhibiting her work at DC Loft Gallery on 14th Street NW.

In addition to exhibiting her work nationally in Miami, New York and Chicago, Miele has had an impressive showing internationally. She was invited to be part of the 2009 Florence Biennale in Italy and next year she will display her work at The International Art Biennial at the Izmir International Fair Center in Turkey.

Reina Miele Mid City Artists Luis Gomez Photos

Regina Miele’s studio. She is a member of Mid City Artists. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Studied in Florence

Miele took classes in fine arts, art theory and art history while studying abroad at the Scoulo Lorenzo Di Medici Istituto Di Studi Italiani in Florence.

The technicality of painting and drawing is still what she enjoys today.

Her course work in Italy has had a dramatic influence on her painting style. While studying in Florence, she took a curriculum based on traditional painting. Many of the classes focused on the technical aspects of both painting and drawing, providing a full tool box of skills for Miele to use.


by December 7, 2010 at 6:00 am 4,025 0

Peter Alexander Romero at his studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

For Mid City Artist Peter Alexander Romero, nature is the main focus of his sculptures and paintings. The colors and textures found in the ocean, mountains and rivers all provide inspiration to the Dominican Republic native. Although his Caribbean roots are a strong influence in his work, Romero cites his visits to Hawaii as one of his biggest sources of inspiration.

Whether Romero is painting landscapes of the Caribbean or Hawaiian Islands, he is sure to use a combination of bold colors. “I’m not a soft palette painter,” he said. “I’m into the expression that color has to offer. It makes the work more interesting and dynamic. Color, movement, texture — that’s what I live for.”

Peter Alexander Romero uses the asymmetry of the human face in his art. (Luis Gomez Photos)

These three elements can also be found in his sculptures, which often depict fictional characters. These people come from Romero’s imagination and sometimes are based on strangers he sees on the street. All are given their own quirky twist.

“The more you look at human faces, the more you see their imperfections. I use that asymmetry in my sculpture,” he said.

In addition to the visual arts, Romero has a great appreciation for the performing arts – particularly dance. Before settling in DC, he had a successful career as a ballet dancer. An injury eventually prevented him from performing professionally, but he was able to share his experience as a ballet teacher at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

Today, Romero continues to inspire students in the classroom as a ceramics teacher at the Fillmore Arts Center in Georgetown. He has also been an active member of Mid City Artists since the organization’s inception. For more information about Romero, visit

Peter Alexander Romero’s art: “Color, movement, texture — that’s what I live for.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

Mid City Artist Profiles

by November 29, 2010 at 5:30 am 3,293 0

Chuck Baxter Luis Gomez Photos

Chuck Baxter in his studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

The familiar saying, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is particularly relevant to Mid City Artist Chuck Baxter. For more than 15 years, the Shaw resident has created works of art from objects found in the alleys of D.C. Basketballs, ties, yogurt containers, vodka bottles, lighters and car air fresheners have all been artistic inspiration to the area’s “foremost collector of gutter gifts.”

Whether you view his work as trash or treasure, Baxter has had great success exhibiting in the area. He has shown his work at Artomatic, Arts on Foot, Touchstone Gallery, Studio Gallery, Mid City Caffe and the 17th Street Festival, among others. Currently, he is part of a group show, “Social Network in the Neighborhood,” with 11 other Mid City Artists at DC Loft Gallery on 14th Street NW.

When it comes to his artistic process, Baxter admits that there is not much planning involved. The approach may differ for each piece, but the result is always something unique.

“I rarely have a preconceived notion of what I’m going to do,” he said. “I usually look at the materials and think about what I can do with them. Sometimes it comes to me. Sometimes I manipulate the material.”

Chuck Baxter Luis Gomez Photos

Chuck Baxter says his work is rarely political, but there was an exception at Artomatic last year. (Luis Gomez Photos)


by November 5, 2010 at 5:00 am 0

Sculptor Robert Cole in his Logan Circle studio. His studio is one of 18 on this weekend’s Mid City Artists Open Studios. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

First… Mid City Artists and the Arts District Branding Project will be hosting a Meet and Greet this Friday from 6pm to 8pm at Hounshell Real Estate/Gary Fisher Gallery at 1506 14th Street NW. Learn more about the branding project and meet some of the artists who will be opening up their studios this Saturday and Sunday.

Second, if you haven’t partaken of a Mid City Artists Open Studios weekend, it’s a great opportunity to discover artists in the neighborhood and take in the sites and sounds of the Dupont-Logan-U Street area.

You’ll have the chance to meet some great local artists, eight of which have previously been featured on Borderstan — check out the list below.

Download a Mid City Artists map with studio locations and hours for Nov. 6-7. Total of 18 studios will be open this weekend.

Mid City Artist Profiles



by November 4, 2010 at 5:00 am 3,567 1 Comment

Isabelle Spicer with “Black and White.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

Before settling in the U Street area, French painter Isabelle Spicer lived in a variety of countries including France, Belgium, Germany, Russia and Poland. Although she has only lived in the District for about three years, she has quickly become part of the local arts community.

She has taken art classes at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria and also at the Smithsonian. Her work has been exhibited at Mid City Caffe and sold at the 17th Street Festival. Just last year, she joined Mid City Artists and recently she curated her first art show titled (Re)Discover at Bistro La Bonne on U Street.

(Re)Discover features paintings from Spicer, as well as work from Charlie Gaynor, IURRO (Jiri Stavovcik) and Deborah Saks. According to Spicer, the idea for the show was not only to exhibit work she enjoyed, but also to help her rediscover her home country of France.

Despite growing up just outside of Paris, Spicer found little inspiration from her experiences in France. She remembered the landscapes to be mostly gray and was surprised at other artists’ colorful representations of her homeland. In regards to Gaynor’s photography, she said, “He found colors everywhere in Paris. I was completely speechless.”


by October 29, 2010 at 11:48 pm 4,592 1 Comment

Robert Wiener spent 20 years in accounting and finance before taking his first art glass class. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste at danceDC

About seven years ago, DC native Robert Wiener attended the visual and performing art showcase Artomatic. At the event, a glass installation caught his eye and he decided to purchase the piece. He later ran into the artist who created the glass installation and was invited to attend an art glass class at his school. Twenty or so classes later, Wiener knew that creating glass art was something he wanted to pursue.

In addition to taking classes in the DC area, Wiener learned different glass art techniques from instructors at The Studio at the Corning Museum of Glass in New York. At Corning, one of his teachers encouraged Wiener to take a step back and explore what glass art meant to him. In response, he stopped taking classes to focus on creating his own style which he continues to refine today.

You can tour Wiener’s studio space on Corcoran Street NW during Mid City Artists Open Studios weekend, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 6-7.

Wiener’s glass art has a distinct look. Most of his work is part of the Colorbar Murrine Series, which he developed by joining the hot glass technique with the kilnformed, warm glass process. He also incorporates mosaic techniques to create impressive multi-color designs. According to Wiener, one of the biggest compliments he receives is when people recognize his work even if it is not clearly labeled with his name.

When Wiener first started out, he participated in wholesale retail shows in Baltimore, Philadelphia and other major cities. He would exhibit his work at a booth and would be approached by gallery and store owners alike. Wiener preferred using this method to generate interest in his work instead of sending information in the mail to various art organizations.


by June 15, 2010 at 11:05 pm 4,148 0

Joren Lindhom Mid City Artists 14th Street NW portrait photography

How does painter Joren Lindholm compare the DC and New York art scenes? (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste

Although Joren Lindholm recently joined DC’s Mid City Artists, he is no stranger to the local art scene. He has shown his work at the Studio Gallery in Dupont Circle and Willow Street Gallery in Takoma Park. His work has also been featured locally by Exhibit 9, Gallery Slye and area businesses including the former Common Grounds (now Murkey Coffee) in Arlington, and Habitat Real Estate in Mount Pleasant. Most recently, his work has been featured at, and donated to LOTTOheart and the Camp Rehoboth gay and lesbian community center auction raffle.

Lindholm’s main medium is painting, which he uses to create synthetic images that convey reflective themes. They explore emotional or psychological issues, and are frequently inspired by the tension in male-female relationships:

“My work’s premise also has to do with time–a juxtaposition between now and future possibilities,” he said. His art “consistently walks the line between abstract and representation,” provoking viewers to start questioning their perception and to realize that things are not always what they seem.

Joren Lindhom Mid City Artists 14th Street NW Luis Gomez Photos

Joren Lindholm. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Lindholm works on his narrative painting full time at his new studio location at 1716 14th Street NW, just above Cork Wine Bar. Previously, he held several art-related occupations. Lindhom worked as an art handler, an associate college art teacher and even worked with the National Gallery of Art publications/sales division.

In addition, Lindholm has extensive knowledge of art through his education. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, a Master of Fine Arts from American University and spent two years painting and drawing from the model at the New York Studio School.

When asked about the District compared to the city that doesn’t sleep, he noted that DC is much more manageable than New York. He sees DC as having a unique centralized culture. “I like it because it’s a city that is both cosmopolitan and compact,” he said.

In regards to the cities’ respective art scenes, Lindholm thinks there is more of a mixing and blending together of different niches in DC, which has both positive and negative implications. According to Lindholm, “there is less environmental support to achieve what you want but the good thing is that people question a lot more and are exposed to more things.”

Lindholm hopes his participation with Mid City Artists will over time help his work coalesce with that of artists who work in a similar vein. He also hopes to further develop his blog IMX matter, which he uses to make highlights on art and to sharpen his art critical skills.

Joren Lindhom Mid City Artists 14th Street NW portrait photography

Painter Joren Lindholm in his 14th Street studio. (Luis Gomez Photos)

by June 10, 2010 at 9:34 pm 3,864 1 Comment

Dave Peterson Mid City Artists Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

Dave Peterson with “Regretful Mosquito.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Cecile Oreste

Rockville native Dave Peterson did not seek to start a business. But, after graduating from Wheaton College near Chicago and returning to the District he became an integral part of launching Be As You Are. It is an apparel company based in Georgetown that sells ‘fun and funky stuff’ including tee shirts, hats, flip flops and more.

Peterson’s involvement happened by chance when his former business partner contacted him after seeing fliers Peterson made to advertise his own tee shirt designs. The company has expanded and become successful over time thanks in part to Dave’s artistic contributions.

Two years ago, Peterson branched out to explore other artistic endeavors and has been actively involved with the DC arts scene ever since. He has participated in the month-long art festival Artomatic multiple times and recently joined Mid City Artists after relocating to a studio space near 14th Street’s Cork Wine Bar.

Local dog owners will also recognize his work at the Shaw Dog Park on 11th Street–the welcome sign includes one of Peterson’s dog drawings.

Dave Peterson Mid City Artists Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

Dave Peterson with “Dog.” Another one of Peterson’s dogs graces the welcome sign to Shaw Dog Park at 11th and R NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Peterson admits that when he first started his career as an artist that he didn’t really know what he was going to do. All he did know was that he wanted to live a life where he wasn’t afraid to take risks. Today, he experiments with a number of different materials including wood, pegboard, Styrofoam and plastics for his screen printing designs.

According to Peterson, “it’s fun to experiment with different materials. They add more texture and substance to the work. I also never want to have too much of the same thing. I like to mix up combinations of graphics and captions.”

Peterson’s work often features subjects like people, dogs, birds and, recently, pickles. The process of creating his screen print designs is surprisingly not that thought out:

“I like everything to be spontaneous so I don’t do a lot of editing. I try to make things funny, but at the same time not too cartoony. I like it to be kind of ambiguous although sometimes it is helpful to add titles and tell people what it is.”

Dave hopes to expand his current business of designing tee shirts and prints into designs for furniture and home décor like pillows. He also sees potential in partnering with interior designers to create innovative spaces and in the near future plans to focus on marketing Branddave, his ‘one-stop-shop’ for his various creative endeavors.

Peterson’s work was incorporated into the design concept of Barbara Franceski, who designed the guest sitting room of the 2010 DC Design House in Chevy Chase. His ‘Gaggle’ artwork was the first piece in the entire house to sell. Peterson has also exhibited at Baked & Wired in Georgetown and will be exhibiting his work at local area businesses Mid City Caffe and Caramel come September.

For more information about Dave or to view and purchase his work, visit

Dave Peterson Mid City Artists Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan

Dave Peterson, center, with several of his creations in his studio, from left: “Gaggle,” “Take Out,” “Bird Seed,” and “Jack.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

by May 20, 2010 at 10:30 am 0

Mid City Artists holds open studios this weekend. A total of 22 artists are participating. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Mid City Artists holds one of its twice yearly open studios events this weekend, May 22-23. A total of 22 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 and the group hold open studios in the late spring and fall. Many of the artists 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 fulltime jobs and families–and spaces that may also double as dining rooms or basements, garages or carriage houses.”

Profiles of Mid City Artists

Check out these profiles of Mid City artists from Cecile Oreste:

by April 27, 2010 at 1:00 pm 4,354 0

dc portrait photographers Luis Gomez Photos Glenn Fry

Glenn Fry with one of his silkscreen works, “Snap Out of It.” (Luis Gomez Photos)

Logan Circle Borderstan Glenn Fry Luis Gomez Photos dc portraits

Glenn Fry at work in his 14th Street studio in the Logan Circle neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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. (more…)

by March 29, 2010 at 7:00 am 4,365 0


Robert Cole in his studio, which is located between 15th and 16th Streets NW. Photos of the studio are featured at Apartment Therapy. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Robert Cole Studios Luis Gomez Photos Borderstan portraits

Robert Cole outside his studio with one of his metal sculptures. His works can be found throughout the Dupont-Logan area. (Luis Gomez Photos)

by Cecile Oreste

Before settling down in the Dupont-Logan area more than two decades ago, sculptor Robert Cole lived across the United States– from Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he was born, to Pennsylvania, Louisiana and California. Cole has also lived in both Japan and Germany, and also traveled throughout Europe to experience the art of the region first hand.

Family matters eventually brought Cole to the DC area where he began networking with local artists. But it was a club owner in the U Street area that commissioned one of his first metal sculpture projects in the District.

Today, Robert’s pieces can be found all over the world, from Maryland and Connecticut to Florence, Italy–where he won a gold medal at the Florence Biannual for his sculpture, “Madre Della Pace” (Mother of Peace).

Cole’s metal sculptures are part of the neighborhood landscape with work featured at Studio Cole off 15th Street, in the city dog park at 17th and S Streets… on the front of Dupont Optical, Java House and Adams Bank, all on 17th Street NW. His work is also a fixture at Lotus Lounge and Tattoo Bar, two clubs in downtown DC, as well as the Naylor Road Metro station.


by January 23, 2010 at 9:37 am 0

Mid City Artists have an open house today from 1 to 4 p.m. at Coldwell Banker Art 17 at 1606 17th Street NW. The exhibit is “Friend Request: 12 Members invite 12 Friends” and runs through January 29.

“Friend Request” includes work by Sondra N. Arkin, Chuck Baxter, James Cassell, Robert Dodge, Thomas Drymon, Bill Harris, Harriet Lesser, Charlie Jones, Doris Kennedy, Bridget Sue Lambert, Lucinda Murphy, Juan Palomo, Mark Parascandola, Zade Ramsey, Ron Riley, Fabian H. Rios Rubino, Deborah Saks, Nikolas Schiller, Nicolas Shi, George Smith-Shomari, Clara de Soto, Isabelle Spicer, Trish Tillman, Ellyn Weiss.


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