Northern Virginia Art Beat

April 2, 2009 12:20 AM0 comments



Charity Aesthetics

Habatat for Healing: silent charity auction benefiting The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, at the Habatat Gallery in the Towers Crescent Complex (8020 Towers Crescent Drive Suite 125, Tysons Corner).

This exhibit runs through through Tuesday, April 7. The gallery hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday. For more information, call 703-989-7110 or visit www.habatatforhealing.com.

In addition to the 32 individual art works available during the auction, Habatat Gallery has set up a discount and donation system for the non-auction art works in the gallery. See their web site for complete details.

Wholesome Prints

Bread Art Project (www.breadartproject.com). In an effort to help eliminate hunger in America, the Grain Foods Foundation will donate $50,000 to the charity organization Feeding America. For every piece of “bread art” submitted, the Grains Food Foundation will donate an additional dollar, up to a maximum total donation of $100,000.

As of this writing, there were a scant 2,407 bread art entries, which leaves room for over 47,000 of your artistic masterpieces. It costs nothing but your time and effort. The site has a virtual art museum for all the works submitted so far. The whole thing has the general feel of that classic computer game, Myst.

When you get around to making your art work, you’re presented with a blank canvas … errr … slice of toast. With something akin to the world’s cheapest version of Adobe Painter, you can render your design or art work on said slice of bread. It’s all done through selective toasting. After you’ve burned your bread to a crisp, you can even un-toast it – no scraping necessary. When you’re done with your masterpiece, you save and submit it. For the art-phobic, you can also upload a JPEG photo to burn onto your virtual slice of bread.

No excuses: if you can eat bread, you can do this. No artistic license required.

Speaking of no artistic license required, Artomatic 2009 artist registration continues. This year’s exhibition fee is $100 per artist, plus 15 hours of event “volunteering.” Visit www.artomatic.org for more details.

Excellent Finds

Private Arts: A Designer’s Art Exhibit, at Artery 717 (717 N. St. Asaph St., Alexandria, VA. This exhibit runs through through April 17 Gallery hours are 2 – 7 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saturday – Sunday. The Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington’s (ADCMW) web site, www.adcmw.org, has more details.

It’s easy to expect too much when you hear that the ADCMW has curated an art show. After all, these are professionals who ostensibly are getting paid to judge art for editorial or advertising usage. It’s a huge show, as are all shows at the St. Asaph venue. It’s a great space with over 10,000 square feet of exhibition space. However, that much space can be as much of a liability as an asset if not used wisely. It isn’t that this is a bad show, so much as you get the general feeling that it’s flat and a good bit less interesting than it should be.

Having said that, there are excellent works on view here. The peace dove with its bloodied feet nailed down to earth so it can’t fly is a hard-hitting illustration you won’t soon forget.

The top end of the local art market is getting hammered by the economy (which might be better named the non-omy nowadays) resulting in at least five art galleries closing their doors so far this year. It might not be so worrisome if these were underfunded upstarts that couldn’t make a go of it. Quite the contrary, these five represent some of the longest-standing galleries in town. The typical storyline has the gallery owners moving their wares to exclusively online venues, where they reportedly do most of their business these days, anyway. It’s a bit like outsourcing American jobs to overseas cheap labor workers: It sounds good on paper, but we all lose in the long run when high quality galleries close. Mind you, art galleries barely make ends meet in the best of times, if they ever do. It’s a tough business to be sure, with fiduciary profiles rivaling boat ownership.

On the grassroots level things are continuing to expand. Artery 717 in Alexandria is slowly re-opening the venue left behind by Art Whino’s move to the National Harbor complex.

Similarly, the folks at artdc.org have gone brick and mortar on us, recently opening a small art gallery in the Hyattsville, Maryland Arts District, finding a permanent home in a walled-off portion of the old Lustine Chevrolet showroom on Baltimore Avenue (Rt. 1). While they have plenty of show ideas in the works, they’ve launched an open call for their May show, 12×12″, where artists can rent a one-foot square of wall space for $12 on a first-come, first-served basis. For complete details, visit artdc.org/forum/index.php?topic=11451.0.

New to the ‘hood

The Soundry (315 Dominion Rd, Vienna) is a recent addition to the suburban Virginia art scene. A combination of studio space rental, exhibition area, band practice area, and coffee shop. Of special interest, is the Faux Reel Film Festival scheduled for June 13. Cinematographers, please note: the received entry deadline is May 17. For complete details, call 703-698-0088 or visit www.soundry.net/upcoming.html.

Last but not least, Falls Church’s own Stifel & Capra has moved from its semi-out-of-the-way digs across from City Hall to a prime, visible location two blocks away, this time across the street from the Post Office. Now the company occupies the old white antiques building at 260 W. Broad St. The new expansive location has allowed for 11 artist studio spaces for rent, only two of which are still available. Artists have 24/7 working access. There will be open house events for First Fridays in Falls Church, as well as on holidays, and so on. For complete details, contact Theresa Stifel at 703-407-0770 or visit www.stifelandcapra.com.

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