Pete McCutchen: Photographing an Alien Landscape

Photographing an Alien Landscape: an interview between James Madison University student and budding photographer Amanda Marie Harner and Pete McCutchen concerning his solo exhibition The Thermal Zone showing at Touchstone Gallery August 31-October 2, 2016.

Harner: What drew you to photographing Yellowstone?

McCutchen: I was going on a family camping vacation, which included Yellowstone National Park along with a number of other destinations. Once I saw the thermal zone in Yellowstone, I knew immediately it was for me.

Yellowstone Thermal Zone 13

Yellowstone Thermal Zone 13

Harner: What aspect of the park thermal zone, in particular, made you feel that way?

McCutchen: I absolutely loved the colors — the rich reds, browns, very vibrant but also earthy, the lush blue of the thermal pools themselves, the steam rising from them, and the shapes and textures I found.  I’ve done work that’s very realistic, very traditionally photographic, as well as very abstract work.   But I like work that sits at the edge of abstraction – imagery that has an abstract quality to it, but still looks at least a little like the thing being photographed.

Harner: Speaking of your earlier work, much of it appears to be focused on aspects of the world that aren’t the most aesthetically pleasing – rusted surfaces, junky cars. How did you approach photographing Yellowstone? Would you say this was outside of your comfort zone in some regard?

McCutchen: It was!  One visitor to my studio — a boy about eight or nine — said, “you take gross stuff and make it look cool.”  Of course I’ve photographed things that look naturally beautiful before — roller coasters for example — but it’s true that a lot of my work focused on finding the beauty in subjects people would think of as ugly. Everybody knows Yellowstone is beautiful, so it was an interesting challenge, and as you say, a bit outside of my comfort zone.

Yellowstone Thermal Zone 2

Yellowstone Thermal Zone 2

Harner: That being said, what were your main goals? What were you trying to convey?

McCutchen: My approach to photography is to really listen to my subject. Then I convey what I’m hearing from that subject.  Sometimes the result is very traditionally photographic.  Other times less so.

In the case of the thermal zone, what spoke to me about the area was the richness and depth of the color, the wonderful abstract forms, and also, how alien the landscape seems.  In some ways, it literally is an alien landscape — the cyanobacteria that give the runoff its color can only live in those conditions.  Somebody asked me when I’d been to Mars, and it really does look that way.  But here are hints of the surrounding (Earthly) wilderness, too.  Reflections of the forest in the water, footprints of animals, trees dimly visible behind the haze.

Harner: Since you were in such an, as you say, “alien landscape” would you say that there were any unique technical challenges that you faced?

McCutchen:  Actually, yes.  All of what I’m photographing has a sheen of water on top of it — runoff from the hot springs.  As a consequence, I see a lot of very harsh highlights.  The light at that altitude was a bit harsh as well.  The camera’s light meter wants to overexpose the images I chose to deliberately underexpose by one or two stops.  This helped me retain highlight detail and also helps convey the richness of the colors.  That’s an old trick I learned in the days of shooting transparency film.

Harner: What equipment was used to create these images and how were they processed?

McCutchen: Everybody loves to talk about gear.  I think it’s more important to think about vision than about tools.  I’ve seen great images shot with an iPhone. That said, I chose to print these big, and when going big it’s important to have a technically strong image.  I shot of the images in this show with a Nikon D800E using a Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 lens — a very sweet lens. The images are all either a f/2.8, which gives very shallow depth-of-field or f/13 or f/16, which gives lots of depth of field.  Nothing is in between.  I guess in a lot of ways that’s my motto.  Nothing in between.  

Harner: How are your images printed?

McCutchen: I printed them with an HP Z3200 printer on Moab Slickrock Metallic Paper.  I love the richness and sheen the metallic paper gave this series.  A lot of photographs look better on the screen than in print, but I like the print to have enough unique strong elements that it looks better in person. The Metallic paper was by far the best for this project.

 Harner: What is the size of these printed images?

McCutchen: Most are 30×45 — one is a diptych of two panels that size, three are 40×40, and one is 30×60.

 Harner: Did anything surprise you seeing them printed that large?

McCutchen: Seeing your work that big always bring surprises.  Sometimes you get a bad surprise, because some images don’t stand up to that much enlargement.  But in this series, the surprises were all good.  So many small details came out — reflections in the water, animal tracks, subtle color shifts.  I feel like they just explode off the wall.

Harner: What makes this body of work most successful, in your opinion?

McCutchen: The thing I’m most proud of is the fact that I took a subject that is very heavily photographed and put my own stamp on it.  These are my unique images. Does that answer your question?

 Harner: Sure!

McCutchen: Oh and I should add that Yellowstone Thermal Zone 13 will be appearing in the Berlin Photo Biennale  in October, along with two of my other images.

Harner:  Congratulations!

McCutchen: Thank you.

Harner: Well, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions! It has been very interesting hearing about your approach to creating this show. You did an incredible job, as usual. Congratulations again!

McCutchen: Thank you!  Hope you get a chance to see the show in all its glory.

Pete McCutchen

Pete McCutchen

Pete McCutchen’s The Thermal Zone show is up at Touchstone Gallery August 31-October 2, 2016..  Opening: Friday, September 9, from 6:00 to 8:30.  McCutchen’s Artist Talk: Sunday the 25th at 2:00 PM.

Wed-Fri 11-6 and Sat-Sun 12-5.  info@touchstonegallery.com

202-347-2787.

Judy Giuliani: Creating Structure and Spirit through Color

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Judy Giuliani

Judy Giuliani

A Tokyo shopping street smelling of sandalwood.

Ume and Kiku flowers embroidered on silk kimonos.

A one-man band of bells, drums and other music-makers entertaining children.

Rotting hulks of ships in a Philippine harbor turning its water brown.

The texture and temperature of air in each place.

A plethora of sights and sounds like these greeted Judy Giuliani in the far-off places where her military families were assigned.  First with her parents in the Navy and then with her husband in the Air Force.  All this traveling meant that she lived in 36 different locations in 36 years!    She could have lamented the fact that she was missing out on a typical American childhood. Instead, she chose to enjoy and absorb what each new place had to offer, eagerly observing the art and traditions of other cultures.  Over time distinctive details were stored away in her mind’s eye until the urge to take up the brush lead her to include them in paintings.

Fiore-Forty-Three

Fiore Forty Three

For many years, her adult life focused on family and work, but she was able to take advantage of sporadic opportunities to indulge her artistic appetite. She studied art as the lessons presented themselves.  While in Texas, a friend taught her Tole painting.  An artist in Arizona instructed her on how to stretch the limits of one color in a series of monochromatic still life paintings on canvas.

But art classes were put mostly on hold while she cared for her small children, studied for a bachelor’s degree in American Studies (1972), and acquired a masters in Organizations and Organizational Behavior.  By the time she completed her master’s studies, Judy was living in Washington DC and had a job as director of admission for the dental school at Georgetown University. Subsequently she spent ten years as a graphic designer developing the technical processes of editing images and  forming design effective layouts.  In addition to numerous university catalogs, she worked on a particularly intriguing book for a United Nations Landmine Symposium.

Fiore Fifty One

Fiore Fifty One

After her design job ended, Judy segued easily into art classes.  Taking a basic drawing class with her daughter at the Art League School in Alexandria VA was the final nudge pushing her over into a career in the fine arts.  Deanna Schwartzberg’s abstract class and then Rob Vanderzee’s expert coaching encouraged her to find her own personal expression. In each class she asked, “What can I do to push the logical left brain thinking aside so I can paint more loosely?”

“No matter where I am or what I am looking at, color grabs me,” Judy reflects.  Some of her paintings start with a fresh white canvas and a limited palette of colors.  Others make use of salvaged old paintings.  She ponders as she works on her current series, “How can I push this, make it more playful or funky?” As with the French Fauve painters of the early 1900’s, the answers are found in juxtaposing high intensity colors with abstracted floral motifs–subtracting out some things and focusing on what remains. Judy, like Matisse and others,  separates color from its descriptive, representational purpose, thus allowing it to exist on the canvas as an independent element. Color projects a mood and establishes a structure on the canvas without having to be true to the three dimensional natural world. Judy’s current work is an emotional response to flowers, a unique intuitive expression.

Fiore Forty Two

Fiore Forty Two

“Right brain thinking has changed how I see everything–from 17 shades of gray in the side of a barn to outlandish pink in the clouds.” The fun for her in painting is to put a few arbitrary marks on the canvas in hopes that they will become a dialogue between her passion for color and the joy of brushing on the paint. Judy Giuliani’s first Touchstone Gallery solo exhibit is Tutto sui Fiori (It’s All About Flowers).  Viewers will experience the freedom, warmth, and joy in Judy’s colorful, intuitive, abstracted Fauvist flower paintings. Rosemary Luckett

Tutto sui Fiori,  Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC. August 31, October 2,2016.  Opening: Friday, September 9, 6-8:30 pm.

Artist Talk: Sunday, September 25, 2pm. Wed-Fri 11-6 and Sat-Sun 12-5.  info@touchstonegallery.com 202-347-2787.

Fiore Seven

Fiore Seven

 

Art as Politics: American Artists Describe the State of the Union

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Test Tube USA by Fredrico Ruiz

Test Tube USA by Fredrico Ruiz

Touchstone Gallery’s August 2016 national juried exhibit Art as Politics reflects the “state of the union” as seen through the eyes of artists who don’t often get asked for their views on anything.   The 250 artists who answered the call to make work about the tumultuous 2016 election cycle didn’t disappoint juror Jayme McClellan. They submitted 400 boisterous pieces of art. McClellan chose 127 works by 90 artists. It’s an all-media show of wall pieces, video installations and sculpture.

The astounding array was produced by a geographically diverse group of artists, some from as far away as California, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Maine, Ohio, and Iowa.  Virginia, Maryland, and Washington DC are also well represented.  A broad spectrum of views addresses social issues of the day: presidential candidates, money in politics, gun violence, immigration, war, freedom of speech, environmental degradation, racism, and women’s rights. “This show is dense in numbers and dense in content,” states Touchstone member Janet Wheeler.  “It’s a show viewers will want to spend some time with.” What is described below is only a fraction of the art in this exhibit.

The current  presidential election breaks new ground because it includes the first woman candidate nominated by a major political party in the nation’s 240 year history. During this time span, women though excluded from direct participation in government,  banded together to discuss politics and sew patriotic quilts using national symbols like the eagle, heroes of their day, and variations on the flag.  Quilt artists fostered a sense of patriotic duty and an awareness of national history first gleaned through word of mouth, then radio, then television and now the internet.  Bed-size quilts were, in a sense, giant posters when hung on family clothes lines, easily readable from the nearest roadside.  The Art as Politics artists who bring this rich fiber tradition into the present include: Misty Cole – Political Circus, Penny Mateer– Damn Good Whacking #5 Protest Series, Eileen Doughty —Taking Liberties, and Rose Beckham — Untitled #50.

Polical Circus by Misty Cole

Polical Circus by Misty Cole

In the mid 1800’s politically significant quilts were hung on fences and clothes lines to mark safe houses for escaping slaves on their way north—networking codes for the Underground Railroad. After the Civil War such issues as ongoing “Jim Crow” laws in the South, decades of racial segregation, the turmoil surrounding the Civil Rights Movement in the ‘60’s, and continuing sporadic eruptions of racial bigotry associated with arrests of African American men continue to plague the American social landscape.   The number of black men incarcerated has swelled to 67% of jail and prison populations, and video witnesses to shootings have pushed racial tensions to the breaking point in 2016.  This topic elicited many searing responses:   Stoddard – Black Angel, Christopher Chinn – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, Kelly Burke – Black Lives Matter,  and others.

Black Angel by Ann Stoddard

Black Angel by Ann Stoddard

Whether racial, sexist, or related to war and immigration,  “wall” or “barrier” expressions are a major theme in this exhibit: Janathel Shaw’s clay and wood sculpture  Still A N_____/No Entry, for instance, explicitly addresses the wall that exists between white people and those of color.  “The door in my installation represents a structure that we must demand to walk through with dignity and accomplishment,” she says. Her piece shows how prejudice is like a solidly palpable wall for African Americans. In contrast this wall is either ephemeral or completely unseen by many in the majority.

Still a N____/No Entry

Still a N____/No Entry by Janathel Shaw

Another seemingly invisible wall of privilege and power separates Glenn Kessler’s painting of a powerful royally-robed President George W. Bush from the nearby painting of a homeless man.  A poignant and troubling contrast.

Leadership by Glenn Kessler (detail)

Leadership by Glenn Kessler (detail)

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner by Christopher Chinn

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner by Christopher Chinn

The Wall by Augustine Chavez

The Wall by Augustine Chavez

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A more active barrier scenario, The Day of Contempt, painted by Ali Onur Sengul shows peaceful demonstrators facing violence from a wall of police water hoses and tear gas. Augustine Chavez’ The Wall, a 96 inch wide painting of a wall, under construction to keep immigrants out of the country, invites consideration of the merits of exclusion by a country built on a foundation of inclusion.

Legacy II by Byron Taylor

Legacy II by Byron Taylor

Sexist barriers that keep women at a disadvantage are described in unsettling terms by Ashley Danes – Shhhh and It’s Not Rape, and Julia Dzikiewicz – Strip & Search: Suffragette Lucy Burns Experience at the Occoquan Workhouse. Cathy Wilkin’s distressing Help Yourself painting of a reclining nude, that lies bare before the Supreme Court as they debate her reproductive options, is hung near Byron Taylor’s painting of a bleeding woman at the pharmacy door.  Tim Johnson tongue-in-cheek painting 1st to 45th …Pantaloons to Pantsuit and Rosemary Luckett’s Hillary Athena Campaigns lighten an otherwise somber group of paintings and photographs.

1st to 45th Pantaloons to Pantsuit by Timothy Johnson (detail)

1st to 45th Pantaloons to Pantsuit by Timothy Johnson (detail)

 

Athena Hillary Campaigns by Rosemary Luckett

Athena Hillary Campaigns by Rosemary Luckett

Even the works in which people are wrapped in the flag, vis a vis flag garments, bespeak the seriousness of what ails our country this year.  Patricia’s Turner’s Mayhem in the Middle East connects the dots between American oil consumption and on-going war.  Likewise environmentalist artists connect the dots between hyper consumption and the coal- generated pollution that is a by-product of the manufacturing process and electricity production.

Kryptonite 2012 by Kathryn Circincione

Kryptonite 2012 by Kathryn Circincione

Mayhem in the Middle East by Patricia Turner

Mayhem in the Middle East by Patricia Turner (detail)

Several small paintings by Michael Auger and K. M. Copham offer humorous alternatives to the mostly serious portrayals of presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders, President Obama, Michele Obama and Vladimir Putin.  One just has to smile at presidential candidates Nudes Playing Chess (paint on cutting board), Whose Hair are You Voting For?, Boobies on Capitol Hill, and Trumpty Dumpty.  Janos Somogyi’s abstract Pro Pacem III offers a quiet expression of peace.

Art as Politics is a fresh alternative to the expounding pundits and talking heads who dominate media coverage of the election process.  You’ll never see another exhibit quite like it! Rosemary Luckett

Nudes Playing Chess by K. M. Copham

Nudes Playing Chess by K. M. Copham

View the exhibit between now and August 25 at Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC.  Wed-Fri 11-6 and Sat-Sun 12-5.  info@touchstonegallery.com 202-347-2787.

 Art As Politics Award Winners

1st Place – $750, Augustine Chavez; “The Wall”; Oil on Panel; 48 x 84 in.; $8000

2nd Place – $500; Kevin Grass; “The Thinker”; Acrylic on Panel; 33.25 x 25 in.; $4800; http://www.kevingrass.com/

3rd Place – $250;Kelly Burke Artworks; “Black Lives Matter; Oil on Canvas; 54 x 108 in.;POR; http://www.kellyburke-artworks.com/

Honorable Mentions

Ann Stoddard Art; “Black Angel”;Video Installation Social Sculpture; 42 x 75 x 12 in.; $7500; http://www.annstoddard.net/

Ali Onur Sengul; “The day of Contempt”; Oil Painting on Masonite Board; 41.5 x 48.5 in. $3200

Janathel Shaw; “Still A N___/No Entry”; Ceramics Stoneware, Wood and Metal; 15 x 19 x 25 in. ;POR

Glen Kessler Art and Teachin; “Leadership”;Oil on Canvas; 96 72 in.; $12000;  http://www.glenkessler.com/

Jenny Wu; “Wall, Wall. Wall? Wall. Wall!”; Video Installation; POR;  http://www.jennywuart.com/wall/

Lina Alattar: The Unscripted Experience of Painting

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Lina Alattar

Lina Alattar

“Abstract work has its own way of explaining itself,” says Lina Alattar, an abstract painter at Touchstone Gallery who works in acrylics on canvas.  To understand how her paintings speak, she tunes into each one by being consciously aware and open.  “I just respond to the marks, because it’s the experience of painting that drives the painting.”  Knowing that nothing is scripted opens the door to tolerance for “accidents” that happen during the painting process.  For Lina, these unexpected happenings in the creative process preempt any preconceived ideas.  Each one shows her the possibility of going in a different direction, a road less traveled perhaps.  American contemporary painter Helen Frankenthaler summed it up saying, “You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognize it, how to control it, or ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks complete and born all at once.”

Balance Beam

Balance Beam

This kind of spontaneity contrasts mightily with today’s automated, highly scheduled, perfectionist world—a world in which one is expected to fit alongside everyone else into cultural and corporate standards and boundaries. An end result is often the erasure of one’s innermost self and the death of aesthetic meanings that are so life-giving.  “The craving for this beauty and serenity is not satisfied by materials the marketplace has to offer, but can only be sated through creative thinking and the wholeness-of-being that connecting with art can provide.” Lina notes that “cultures which value art are less focused on guns and violence than those that lack the appreciation and freedom to create and cultivate the arts.”

Islands in the Stream

Islands in the Stream

During her childhood Lina’s family lived on three continents in ten years before settling in Nashville, Tennessee.  No matter where they lived she practiced art, because at age five she knew she wanted to be a painter. With this goal in mind Lina obtained a degree in art at the Middle Tennessee State University and an art study program in Italy following graduation.  Then she was ready to enter the corporate worlds of Kiplinger, the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University.  Finally the call to devote her time and skills to art was strong enough to cause a change in her career path.  She quit the corporate job world and set up a studio so she could enhance the community with her abstract expressionist paintings.  Lina relates to the work of contemporary California artist Richard Diebenkorn, who wrote, “What I do is face the blank canvas and put a few arbitrary marks on it that start me on some sort of dialogue.”  From those tracks and traces a complete and integral painting eventually appears, giving meaning to her life and to those who view her work.  Her Unscripted paintings will give viewers a life-giving boost during the month of July, 2016 at Touchstone Gallery.

July 1-31, 2016;   Opening Reception: Friday, July 22, 6-8:30pm;  Artist Talk: Saturday, July 30, 2-4 pm

Touchstone Gallery, 901 New York Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001; www.touchstonegallery.com

Promises

Promises

McCain McMurray: Stained Paintings

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Think about diving into  the waters of the Caribbean.  Imagine feeling the sensations of being under and in the water off St. Bart’s, St. Johns or Martinique.  Cooling blues and greens float with muted reds, yellows or oranges.  Then visit the newest paintings by McCain McMurray in his solo exhibit Immersion at Touchstone Gallery during the month of July.  You’ll see slices of the Caribbean in his long vertical paintings—painted essays defining the essence of this watery space and the experience of exploring life in it.

Anse de Lorient

Anse de Lorient

Working in acrylic, McMurray pours multiple layers of thinned paint onto the unprimed canvas and allows the pigment to seep into the fabric to actually stain the canvas. This staining process creates a flow that is different from his previous works on board. “This process results in freedom to take advantage of serendipity and the surprises it can bring,” he states.

McCain McMurray

McCain McMurray

Trowels are used to spread the acrylic.  Wet paint is poured into wet paint or wet paint over dry to create either blends of colors or edges of color.  Ink and wax pencils are used for additional mark making.

Many paintings are covered by 15 to 20 layers of pigment before they are finished, resulting in very rich deep colors. These paintings offer a version of McMurray’s reality, a reality that “has to be digested…to be transmuted by paint,” as American abstract expressionist painter Richard Diebenkorn observed.

Immersion: Paintings by McCain McMurray

http://www.mccainmcmurray.com

July 1-31, 2016: Opening Reception: Friday, July 22, 6-8:30 pm; Artist Talk: Saturday, July 30, 2-4 pm

Touchstone Gallery,  901 New York Avenue NW,  Washington DC 20001; www.touchstonegallery.com

Anse de Toiny

Anse de Toiny

Linda Bankerd: A Delicate Balance

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Linda Bankerd

Linda Bankerd

Riding a bike the way Linda does takes a lot of exertion.  That she burns calories as she whizzes through the landscape there is no doubt.  But what she gains is more subtle.  Forms blur their way into her brain, are stored there and often make an appearance in her abstract paintings.  Likewise everyday colorful home objects and special rooms in the interior of her home, also penetrate her psyche and accumulate there until called upon when she faces a new blank canvas.  With brush in hand and acrylic paints at the ready, those stockpiled sensations emerge and turn into colorful complex shapes and forms.

For Linda, painting is a delicate balance between discipline and careful planning (which works well in most of the other aspects of her life) and freedom.  “Although I establish some limitations and parameters in painting, the objective for me is freedom.  Freedom of expression and freedom from some preconceived image or idea.  With artistic expression one is bound, indeed one must, produce that which is innovative and original.  This kind of freedom is demanding!”

La Casa en Merida 22 x 30

La Casa en Merida 22 x 30

Structure and discipline provide the playground for Linda’s openness to inventive expression.  Being vulnerable to one’s intuition concerning chosen places or objects (which are the roots of her paintings), allows Linda creative leeway.  Summarizing, she affirms, “I allow myself to leave parts in, leave parts out, come in close, back up (but not so much), choose colors that I like that day, add drawing, and add collage if I want to.”  After painting extemporaneously for a while, she begins to make judgments and decisions.  “If I’m lucky, the painting may be finished or close to finished in one session,” says Linda, “If so, the painting has painted itself, or at least it seems that way.”

Such ease is rarely the case, however, so changes need to be made to some colors or shapes until all is harmonious. “That’s when I apply reason and knowledge of the basic principles of art–composition, color, etc. Sometimes it helps to look back at the source for ideas.  Sometimes it is better to proceed from the stopping point using what is suggested from the painting itself.  Sometime it is better to start a new painting,” Linda reflects.

Linda’s June solo at Touchstone Gallery, Home is where the Art Is, reflects her way of painting.  Through texture, emotional content, and layers upon layer of nuanced paint, viewers will discern the beauty of living at the center or heart of her home: the place where painting and freedom of expression thrives.  Rosemary Luckett

June 3-26 Touchstone Gallery; Opening Reception June 3, 6-8:30 pm

901 New York Avenue NW Washington DC 20001          202-­347-­2787 www.touchstonegallery.com         info@touchstonegallery.com

Hours: Wednesday ­ Friday 11-­6, Saturday ­ Sunday 12-­5

Interior with Piano 36 x 36

Interior with Piano 36 x 36

The Touchstone Community: History Highlights

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TOUCHSTONE IS COMMUNITY

Artist-owned Touchstone Gallery has maintained a reputation for exhibiting contemporary work of high quality, vision and innovation by top-notch artists. Since the beginning, Touchstone’s mission remains unaltered: to enrich the lives of the community through exhibits of diverse contemporary collections of visual art; to promote a rich variety of artistic talent in the DC region;  to connect collectors with its artists; and to foster continuing artistic and career growth of participating artist through encouragement and support.  As a member owned and managed gallery, Touchstone artists enjoy the right to guide gallery policies and control their solo exhibitions.   For each piece seen in any given monthly exhibit, countless others are located in each artist’s studio.  Our director, artists and staffers are readily available for discussing all artwork types, techniques, and commission possibilities.

2016 members copy2016 Members (partial) L-R back: Alex Gray, Carolyn Johnson, Janet Wheeler, April Rimpo, Claudia Samper, Timothy Johnson, Pete McCutchen, Linda Bankerd, Mary Ott, David Alfuth, Colleen Sabo, Gale Wallar, JoAnne Block, Janathel Shaw, Jeanne Garrant. L-R Front: Mike Lang, Shelley Lowenstein, Ksenia Grishkova (director), Rosa Vera, Rosemary Luckett Not pictured: Steve Alderton, Lina Alattar, Jill Brantley, Marcia Coppel, Charlie Dale, Mari DeMaris, Elaine Florimonte, Judith Guiliani, Robert Goebel, Leslie Johnston, Makda Kibour, Harvey Kupferberg, Kate McConnell, McCain McMurray, Amy Sabrin, Maureen Squires, Lisa Tureson, Pat Williams, Lionel Daniels, Dana Brotman, Betsy Forster, Paula Lantz, Georgia Nassikas, BD Richardson, Richard Braswell, Jonathan Wassom, Harmon Biddle, David Beers, Newton More, Gail Vogels

TOUCHSTONE IS CONNECTING    

“Touchstone Gallery has allowed me to discover and explore artists in an amazing variety of shows. This artist collective allows a collector to meet and understand the artist’s perspective on their works – which enhances the personal connection to the art and the world it portrays.  My collection has grown and matured from beautiful watercolor paintings to vibrant mixed media works from talented artists in the Mid-Atlantic region.” Chad Thyes, private collector

Touchstone Gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-6 and Saturday-Sunday 12-5.  In addition to showing artwork, the Gallery offers its unique space for special event rentals.

For more information, contact: Ksenia Grishkova, Director, email info@touchstonegallery.com or call 202-347-2787

rack card cv ctr lg thumbnails3 copy

Just a few of the hundreds of artworks made by Touchstone Members: http://www.touchstonegallery.com

TOUCHSTONE IS BRICKS AND MORTAR (History Highlights)

1976:  Touchstone Gallery was established as an artist-owned gallery and opened its doors at a large gallery at 2130 P St. NW in DuPont Circle, then the prime gallery area in Washington. Story has it that the opening crowd was so large that P Street was gridlocked for several hours. Touchstone operated from the P St. location for thirteen great years.

1990:  Touchstone moved to a new space at the corner of R St and Connecticut Avenue NW, the old Toast and Strawberries building. The space was rented “as is” and was quickly renovated with the financial and in-kind support of donors and a local builder.

1995:  Motivated to grow its membership and to associate itself with a cluster other galleries, Touchstone relocated to 406 7th St. NW, in what is now known as the historic Penn Quarter section of Washington. The new gallery offered an expansive exhibition space and quickly became a “destination gallery” in a very active art scene that included several exhibition spaces and five other galleries.

Touchstone enjoyed 15 years of successful exhibitions on 7th St., but decided to move to street level after the building was closed for renovation in 2009.   “Many in the Penn Quarter neighborhood were saddened to learn that 406 7th Street’s owner planned on renovating the building, requiring the tenants, including Touchstone Gallery, to find new spaces to lease.  Happily, Touchstone Gallery eventually found a home at Boston Properties new building on New York Avenue.  Their presence continues to contribute to the Penn Quarter arts scene and delight both those who live and work here with its ever changing exhibits.” Jo-Ann Neuhaus, Executive Director,  Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association.

2010:  Touchstone Gallery moved a couple of blocks off 7th to its current location, a custom-built space at 901 New York Avenue NW.  With street-level prominence, it is the most elegant space to date, and is located between the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Located just across from City Center DC Touchstone, continues to serve the community, its members and its collectors.

The dedicated Touchstone members who took up the challenge to move from 7th Street to 901 New York Ave NW pictured below.

Touchstone Group-high res 3

L-R Back (pictured members): Charlie Dale, Mike Lang, Mary Trent Scott, Newt More, Janet Wheeler, Betsy Forster, Rima Schulkind, Marcia Coppel, Mary Ott, Cynthia Young, Joshua Gomez, Rosemary Luckett, Steve Alderton, Gary Bergel, Harriett Rosenbaum, Charles St. Charles. L-R Front: Janathel Shaw, Michele Cormier, Dina Volkova, Ksenia Grishkova (director)    (not pictured): Teresa Logan, Nancy Novick, Paula Lantz, Peter Karp, Michele Rogers, Mari DeMaris, Tory Cowles

Build out in process at the new Touchstone Gallery 901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

Build out in process at the new Touchstone Gallery 901 New York Ave NW, Washington DC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2009 Boston Properties building team

2009 Boston Properties building team

TG interior wide

Finished Interior of the new Touchstone Gallery

901 New York Ave NW building City Center901 New York Ave NW building City Center

 

 

Touchstone Gallery Celebrates Its 40th Anniversary!

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s 2016 and Touchstone Gallery is in a celebratory mood!  Being one of the longest-tenured and most highly regarded artist-owned galleries in Washington, DC, Touchstone will celebrate its 40th year in Washington on May 13th with an Anniversary Gala and a May 4-29 member artists show, featuring solo artists, Paula Lantz and Colleen Sabo, and works by present and former members. The gala and show are open to the public.

Touchstone Opening at 901 New York Ave N W

Touchstone Opening at 901 New York Ave NW

Touchstone Gallery was founded in 1976 by 30 talented and committed artists and has become an institution in the DC arts community.  The Gallery has earned a well-deserved reputation for showcasing a wide range of award-winning contemporary art, including painting, prints, sculpture, mixed media, and photography.

“Touchstone continues to be a collective creation of DC area artists,” explained Rosemary Luckett, a Touchstone collage artist and art teacher. “Our goal is to enrich the community by promoting art, making it accessible, available, and affordable.”

Goebel opening

Over its history, Touchstone has been home to over 300 member artists and it has provided a show venue for guest artists who were part of national and local juried shows. It has also collaborated with local organizations, such as Art Enables, Miriam’s Kitchen Studio, the Duke Ellington High School of the Arts, Capital Fringe, The Prisons Foundation and many others.  And it has partnered with embassies to exhibit international artists, including France, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Afghanistan.

“For 40 years, Touchstone has been home to many outstanding artists,” said sculptor Janet Wheeler, a founding member. “We have worked hard to promote a rich variety of area talent, to connect collectors with our artists, and to foster the artistic and career growth of participating artists. I continue to be proud of the impact we’ve had on our members and the contributions we have made to DC’s cultural and artistic community.”

static1.squarespace

“Touchstone’s founders envisioned not just a gallery providing an exceptional home to area artists, but also a vibrant contributor to the broader community.  The gallery is concerned with the community beyond its walls, a defining part of its structure that sets us apart from many other galleries,” said Ksenia Grishkova, Gallery Director. “We host student art shows and art exhibitions that are a result  of art therapy programs, thereby supporting our local community, and sometimes contribute a percentage of sales to local service organizations.”

With community on its mind, in 2012 the gallery created the nonprofit Touchstone Foundation for the Arts (TFA).  TFA organizes art classes for children and adults in the Shaw neighborhood, showcases the works of artists from DC non-profit agencies, and sponsors fellowships for emerging artists, which include mentoring, two years of gallery membership and a solo exhibit.   Alexander Padro, Executive Director of Shaw Main Streets, Inc., says, “Congratulations to Touchstone Gallery for four decades of exposing the work of new and established DMV artists to DC art lovers. Shaw has a great tradition and history as the home of great artists, from Alma Thomas to ‘Duke’ Ellington, and Touchstone is an important part of what makes Shaw one of Washington’s premier arts destinations.”

Touchstone Gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-6 and Saturday-Sunday 12-5.  The gallery offers its unique space for special event rentals.

For more information, contact: Ksenia Grishkova, Director, email info@touchstonegallery.com or call

TG interior wide

The Abstract Icons of Paula Lantz

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

Paula Lantz head shot copy

Paula Lantz

Paula Lantz always watches people as she goes about her day–in a restaurant, on the Metro, in a park or grocery store.  Or at the mall.  These folks aren’t doing much;  just going about the business of living, but Paula wonders what each one is thinking or feeling, and makes a mental note of her guesses.

It may seem odd to others, but this ordinary activity inspires Paula to paint abstracted portraits.   “Using bold colors, collage, energetic brushwork, and simple shapes, I seek emotional impact,” she states.

Do I know You by Paula Lantz - pr

Do I Know You?

Back in her studio, Paula is alone as she turns on the music and begins each painting.
She allows her mind “go into the zone,” as the popular phrase goes.  This meditative stance helps her to connect to the spirit she intuited in each person she has observed. While painting abstractly, she seeks the subtlety and drama that connects us all as part of the human family. Thus each of these figures becomes an icon or artifact recognized by viewers as representing some aspect of our common cultural identity.

2 (1)

Anonymous Caller

Look for Paula’s May solo exhibition of figures Do I Know You?   at Touchstone Gallery from May 4 – 29, 2016   Reception: Friday May 13, 6-8:30pm     http://www.touchstonegallery.com

Colleen Sabo: Playing Favorites with Oil

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Colleen with Dunn Cove painting

Colleen with Dunn Cove painting

In her May 2016 Touchstone Gallery solo exhibition, A Few of My Favorite Things, Colleen Sabo introduces her new body of work in oils.  Long a color painter in water media, Colleen shifted her focus to oil several years ago and has not looked back since.

Blueberry State

Blueberry State

“I began a love affair with oil painting because I like using oil’s vibrant color.  I choose to paint colors,  interesting shapes, and edges, because they  reveal to me a deep sense of what is important in my life,” says Sabo.  Painting is a way of life for Sabo. She is inspired by her daily environment, her travels, and an absolute awe of nature.  She loves the colorful world in which she lives on the Chesapeake Bay.  Brilliant sunny days, wild nor’easter storms, rolling hills and bucolic scenes of southern Maryland are part of every-day life and viewed from her studio and home. Her loose abstractions also capture forests, water scenes, the streets of Paris and markets along the Champs Elysees.

 

Christmas Market on the Champs Elysee, Paris

Christmas Market on the Champs Elysee, Paris

A Few of My Favorite Things is Sabo’s third solo exhibit at Touchstone Gallery.    She is an award-winning member of the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in New York City, established in 1896, and a signature member of the Allied Artists of America, also of New York City.

See Colleen’s exhibit between May 6-29, 2016; Touchstone Gallery, 901 NY AVE NW, Washington DC; opening reception May 13 6:00-8:30 pm