doris-mae Art Gallery, a curatorial project by Thomas Drymon, is now open at 1716 14th Street NW. In the space formerly occupied harmon art lab, doris-mae will include six exhibitions through May 2013 with painting, photography, installation and video by artists from the DC area.
This weekend, doris-mae will host its inaugural exhibition featuring the work of four painters (Pat Goslee, Becca Kallem, Paul Pietsch and William Whitaker) and a video project by Will Copps. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, September 15 from 6 until 9 pm, and the show runs through October 14, 2012.
During the exhibition season, doris-mae will also host two series of discussions, including an ongoing series of conversations called “The 21st Century Artist.”
If you’re looking for something a little more unconventional, then perhaps the gallery’s impromptu series, “Ask A Caged Artist Anything,” is for you. During these impromptu events, doris-mae will install two local artists in a cage on the front of the building and then allow the public to engage the artists about their practice, politics, art and life. Apparently, no questions are off-limits!
For more information on the gallery and its upcoming events and shows, visit the website, www.doris-mae.com.
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.
From Kate Hays
The art world can be an intimidating place: the lingo, the crowd, the opinions.
Intimidation is exactly what Harmon Art Lab (or HAL) doesn’t want you to experience at their 14th Street NW digs. Founders Peter Harper and Thomas Drymon met at an art opening a few years ago, and started chatting about the art scene. They saw a void. Where could an artist display work in the hopes that real people (not just collectors or critics) would look, interpret and enjoy new art? Where could these real people go and feel welcome to their own perspectives and opinions about art?
Several years later, they finally have realized that dream in HAL. In the midst of their second show, they hope to be a drop-in spot for neighborhood residents and visitors.
There’s something transparent about Modell’s paintings. They range from those that made me giggle at their humor (check out “Kin But Not Kind”), to those that provoked me to deeper contemplation of our world (like “War Cry” or “Empress Who”). All her paintings have an inviting quality of something the viewer could try on, perhaps because of the humor Modell infuses into her treatment of more intense topics, or perhaps even because of the way she uses her paint, in washes.
Johnson’s installation of sheets is a mix of whimsy and peacefulness. As someone who grew up around paint chips and palates, there’s always something very soothing to me about a color spectrum. Take that spectrum and make it 3-D, and popping out of floors or tucked behind a radiator, and out of sleeping materials to boot? I wasn’t sure if I wanted a chair to look at it for an hour, a la a Rothko painting, or a cot to cozy in for a nap. But I liked being in that room.
Don’t take my word for it — that’s not what HAL would want, anyway. See for yourself: HAL will be open this weekend during the Mid City Artists Open Studios. And check out their schedule of openings; each one comes with an artist Q&A where artists talk about their work and field questions. Drop in and register your own opinions; they’re welcome. They are located upstairs at 1716 14th Street NW.
From Cecile Oreste
He’s back in DC now, but when artist Thomas Drymon was living in New Orleans people said that “beauty is in the decay of the city.” But Drymon said it was difficult to look past the hardships of the city to find it. His earlier paintings, with heavy brush strokes and a dark palette, reflected his emotions at that time.
Surprisingly, it was the devastation of Hurricane Katrina that marked a turning point in his style.
“I was reacting to the natural environment I was in. I was struck by the poverty, injustice and racism of the area, and was really angry,” he said.
“I started looking inward after Hurricane Katrina. I appreciated New Orleans more as I began to learn about its importance to its residents and started finding beauty in the city.”
This experience, along with advice from a friend, prompted Drymon to balance the darkness of his earlier paintings with a more positive energy. He started using a lighter hand with his brush strokes and experimented with the juxtaposition of pastel colors.
Today, Drymon challenges the conventional definition of beauty in the man-made world through his paintings.
“I make messy paintings with loose, informal lines and use colors that are not necessarily attractive side by side,” Drymon said. “I want people to see my hand in the work. I think it creates a deeper connection for my audience.”
He also achieves this through the medium of photography. “There are a lot of similarities in the way I paint and how I shoot,” Drymon said.
“I create flaws in my prints by covering the lens with my thumb, shooting out of focus or cutting off objects. I want to show that the traditional definition of a good picture could be broader.”
Since moving back to DC a few years ago, Drymon has become a member of Mid City Artists and has exhibited his work at various galleries in the area including Nevin Kelly Gallery, Studio Gallery, Gallery Neptune in Bethesda and the Athenaeum in Alexandria. He has also shown at several local businesses such as Biagio Fine Chocolate on 18th Street NW, Caramel on U Street and Vastu on 14th Street NW.
In addition to creating original artwork, Drymon is a freelance graphic designer. He has primarily worked with nonprofits including Smithsonian Contributing Membership, Holocaust Museum, and World Wildlife Fund among others.
Drymon recently started Thomas Drymon Selects, a curatorial project which shows provocative, contemporary work from experienced artists in exhibitions three times per year. He also plans to experiment with different media in the future including film making and sculpture.