by Borderstan.com June 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm 0

Smith Center will hold a flash sale this weekend at 1632 U Street NW. (Borderstan).

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

If you weren’t able to make it to last week’s pop-up boutique at the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, then fear not. The Center will hold a flash sale this weekend to clear out its designer inventory (including pieces by Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Diane Von Furstenberg and Kate Spade), and to raise more money to benefit programs for community members living with cancer.

Throughout the weekend, almost every item will be 50% off. The Smith Center for Healing and the Arts’ boutique will be open on Friday, June 29 and Saturday, June 30 from 11 am until 6 pm.

Last weekend’s sales event raised over $5,000. One hundred percent of proceeds from the event benefit the Smith Center, located at 1628 U Street NW.

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by Borderstan.com June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

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

If you find yourself walking down U Street on June 22 and 23, you may come across a list of designer labels like Oscar de la Renta, Yves Saint Laurent, Diane Von Furstenberg and Kate Spade, just to name a few.

"Smith Center for the Healing Arts"

Smith Center for the Healing Arts is at 1628 U Street NW. (Borderstan)

No, U Street is not building a Saks; the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts is hosting a pop-up boutique to benefit the center’s programs for community members living with cancer. The boutique, 1628 U Street NW, will be open Friday, June 22 from 11 am until 8 pm and Saturday, June 23 from 11 am until 5 pm. One hundred percent of all sales will support the Smith Center.

For more information on shopping at, or donating to, the boutique, contact development[AT]smithcenter.org.

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by Borderstan.com June 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm 0

"Joan Hisaoka Gallery"

Joan Hisaoka Galley on U Street NW. (Luis Gomez Photos)

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

It feels as though summer just got here and yet, it is almost July.

If, like me, this recent realization has you instantly cramming in pool time, firing up the grill and flaunting a pedicure in strappy sandals, then the summer solstice may be the last thing you want to celebrate.

But as always, all good things must come to an end. And this year, the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts on U Street NW is hosting a workshop on June 21 that fully explores this annual time of solar transition. Yes, the summer solstice is the longest day of the year, but it is also the beginning of shorter days and longer nights — and (sigh) cooler weather a couple of months down the road.

The U Street center’s workshop, which will take place on June 21 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m., focuses on mandala imagery, movement and meditative practice to explore the meaning of this seasonal shift.

Previous art experience is not needed in order to benefit from this program; the workshop is designed for all ranges of artistic experience.

Registration is $25. For more information call 202-483-8600 or visit the Smith Farm Center website.

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by Borderstan.com October 4, 2011 at 11:00 am 1,014 0

Joan Hisaoka Gallery, U Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos, Borderstan

The renovated gallery space at Joan Hisaoka Gallery on U Street at the opening of “VESSEL.” The entrances to the multipurpose room and rock garden are in the rear. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Borderstan welcomes a new contributor, Kate Hays, who will be writing about art and theater. Contact Hays on Twitter @kateyhays or email her at [email protected]

From Kate Hays

This past September, Joan Hisaoka Gallery launched “VESSEL.” Pieces in the show range in type and character, but all point to the tension of holding, but lightly, with openness. This vision of a place of openness, growth, and safe-keeping has long been a part of the gallery.

Hisaoka’s origins take us back 15 years, when the Smith Center for Healing and the Arts began. It started with a focus on providing resources for cancer patients. From art therapy to movement workshops to support groups, Smith Farm provided an open place to hold the concerns of people facing devastating illness.

Joan Hisaoka Gallery, U Street NW, Luis Gomez Photos, Borderstan

An outdoor rock garden at at the back of the gallery is part of the renovated Joan Hisaoka Gallery. The multipurpose is visible straight ahead. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Joan Hisaoka was an a participant in that program, and it was her time in art therapy classes through Smith Farm that convinced her of the healing nature of art; not as a cure, but as a safe place to work through the dimensions of the disease. The gallery was dedicated to Hisaoka’s memory in 2008, when she passed away.

Now, VESSEL opens up a new exhibit in a newly redesigned and expanded gallery. A new glassed-in courtyard adds light and dimension to the space; an almost-complete roof deck opens to the sky. A multipurpose room in the back hosts cooking classes and yoga practice. And the gallery in front feels lighter for the addition.

To commemorate the new space, gallery director Brooke Seidelmann curated a show with the works of some of her favorite artists. From Ani Kasten’s “Cairns” to Jenny Freestone’s title piece “VESSEL,” the show prompts viewers to examine their own places of holding. This show is exactly the right mix to show off the vessel the Hisaoka Gallery has become.

“VESSEL” runs through October 22, 2011. Next in line? Shifting its focus to visions outward, the Joan Hisaoka Gallery will feature the U Street neighborhood in a show featuring Tom Wolff photos. The show will open November 4. Stop in and take a look at 1632 U Street NW.

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