“Pinned.” Reception

Our reception was a powerful event with an unrepeatable atmosphere due to the art and the brave patrons that fought back roads to work their way past the tremendous emergency presence from the fire across the street.  We made the best of a tough situation, and Steve, Antoinette, and I were so pleased to see friends, art collectors and dealers visit our reception.  At “Pinned,” we had a wide range of work, and we were pleased to find a great number of people who asked many questions about our work and what it means to us.

We decided to add to the atmosphere by Inviting Grayson Brown to play our event.  Some of you may know him from David Fogel’s “X” events.  Some said that the rhythmic energy of the lights from multiple emergency response vehicles added to an environment where art and music mixed.

Crowd at the reception

Crowd at the reception

Steve, Antoinette, and Jesse

Steve, Antoinette, and Jesse

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There was a fire across the street  from our gallery minutes before the artist’s reception. A warehouse burst into flames producing a brilliant blaze with a significant amount of smoke with the scent ranging from burnt plastic to burn rubber. This is a first for us to witness a natural disaster during a gallery reception. Something tells me that our higher powers were playing a game with us. Rain is one thing, but who sends fire? Luckily the warehouse was not occupied as far as we know, there were no injuries. After the smell had permeated the gallery, we started to look around for a short in a wire, only to see the smoke developing from the warehouse. As the smoke grew, our shock increased.

Check out these intense images.  I rattled off to many, it’s close to 2am after the fire, but I wanted to get this up on the site so you can have a feeling for our situation.  More later…

Dense Smoke!

Dense Smoke!

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20781 Gallery / Studio

We’re pleased to be in MD as the artdc Gallery in Hyattsville. The space is a little over 950 square feet or so. 500 is set up as an art gallery, and the rest is a studio and storage room. The space is unique with a lot of auto showroom memorabilia. The gallery is curated by Fine Art Ventures, LLC, and the studio is used by resident artists like an art gym. It’s a group studio where several artists share the same space keeping it active and affordable. Every time we visit the studio and gallery, it evokes a sense of awe. The fact that we’re in this amazing space is so exciting. Look at these windows!

Shot of the gallery windows durring the "Pinned." exhibition.
(check out the amazing tall windows, can you imagine painting in this kind of light?)

Front doors of the gallery!
(Here we can see the original entrance to the space when it was a show room.  See the yellow tiled arrow.  Yes. Yes.  I know, why not show the actual walls where the art is hung?  We haven’t had the opening reception for “Pinned.” yet, so we can’t give it all away!)

Then we have the studio space which is gorgeous, clean, and full of great work space.  It’s exciting to see artists active here!
20781 Studio
(see Adam Eig’s Steel Gazelle Sculpture as inspiration!)

20781 studio second shot
Look at this space, just screaming to be occupied by mass creative force!  We plan on filling the space with more benches, and acquireing some group use equipment!  I look forward to seeing what’s next!

20002 space change

Sunday morning, I was off to the 20002 studio to meet Steve for some business.  We’re sad to announce that we’re losing an artist, Bill Pabst.  He’s moved on to a studio in his own home.   So now along with rent and utility increases, it’s time to re-evaluate our studio situation.  We decided to open a call for a replacement for Bill, and find a new artist to share the dark room.

Here’s the space that Bill is giving up:
The space that Bill is leaving.
We guesstimate that this space is between 150 to 200 square feet.  All with usage of this space, there’s also a large shared group area, along with access to Steve’s wood shop.

Jen's Studio.  Next to Bill's space
(here we have Jenn in her studio.  Bill’s neighbor.)

Shot of the darkroom

It’s been a pleasure to have a private Darkroom get away, but it’s extremely exciting to know that there’s going to be a new creative force taking advantage if this great space.  Here we see 2 10ft benches at different heights, 2 omega enlargers, a cobbled together UV exposure box, and more toys!  Lauren Pond signed the lease and we’re looking forward to seeing what  she creates here.  We’ve found that more creative activity from other artists in the same space raises each artist’s  inspiration to do more.  We think this is something that is often lost when artists leave college and move into their own secluded private spaces.

Lauren Pond in the dark room!
Welcome Lauren!  On the first day, the light box is on, ready for negatives!  Long live the use of film!
We’re still sifting through applications for Bill’s space, but we’ll keep you up-to-date.

Installation, auction, & more

We met at the gallery in the morning to finish the install of  “Pinned.”   The final details included the addition of number pins to correspond with the price list.  Here’s a quick preview of works by Antoinette and Ceci:

Antoinette Wysocki - "MMMme"
Antoinette Wysocki
Title: “MMMme”
Price: $1600

Ceci Cole McInturff
Ceci Cole McInturff

Number Pin
Note the number pins.  It took some real research to find these amazing little number pins.  We’ve had quite a few discussions on the subject; to label or to number.  Often the discussion leads to the question do we want to feed the viewer information as they look at the work, or do we want them to expereince the art first?   Personally, we think it’s extremely important to let the viewer expereince the art on it’s own, free from attachment to the artist’s name, title, or statement, then make it information available through the price list or statement binder.  Several guest curators have thought the opposite, and did not want to make the viewers work by flipping through a the price list.  We look forward to more discussion on the subject.

Around 1pm we left the gallery for lunch.  Around 3:30pm, Amy and I left to make Cheryl Edward’s Art Auction Benifit for Gonzaga‘s basketball team at Lavinia Wohlfarth‘s gallery.  I donated two photographs to aid the cause, and we figured we’d get there early to help, however, Cheryl’s team was so organized, there was nothing to do, so a small group went to restaraunt across the street for an early dinner.
A photo of the crowd at the auction!
(Photo of the crowd at the auction)

The event was a success, they were able to raise a good chunk of cash and move a significant amount of art.  As far as I know, this is Cheryl’s 3rd auction that she’s planned.  One for MOCA, one for the development of our gallery space, and now this event.  With each event, the expereince keeps improving.
Vinni and Cheryl working to gether to sell Cheryl's painting
(Cheryl and Vinni working discussing the details in Cheryl’s painting of the team.  #52 is her son!)

The painting sold and the price was split by two collectors who then donated the work to the school since they thought it was only appropriate that they should own this painting of their team in action.  We left for the night with a positive feeling.  I’ve always that that altruism in art donation is limited since you feel good knowing you’ve helped out a good cause.  Both of my photos sold, and that means a lot!

A beautiful thing.

Yes, we swear, there will be an end to superlatives soon, but we must share a beautiful thing.   Last weekend, we made a run to the hardware store, and picked up 3 new industrial style shelves with the hope of organizing the storage closet for the Hyattsville Studio  and Gallery.   This won’t be the end of our organizational efforts, but it’s a welcomed improvement.  With several hours of work we transformed this space into what you see here.  It would have been worth a before shot, since the space was cluttered to the point that it was near impossible to walk through the room.  With the thought adding more artists to the space, we knew that something had to be done.  So here they are, according to the box, capable of holding 4,000lbs each:

Storage in the studio / gallery
We’ll probably add another unit or 2 on the other wall to make room for more art work and studio supplies, followed by a large drying rack for paintings!

After working on the shelves, we paid our neighbors, DC Glass Works a visit for their open house.  If you’re searching for art, community, and a source of  all around positive energy, they certainly are a great place to start.  DCGW are alive with the DIY Spirit in the sense that they’ve built their own space.  They started with an empty warehouse and added a mass of amazing equipment including 3 glory holes, and a large furnace that keeps 500lb’s of molten glass hot.

Every 4 to 6 weeks, they have an open house and bring in a band, food, and beverages to give the public a chance to witness what they do.  DCGW is a teach space, so this is an opportunity for the public to sample or at least get a feel for what they’d learn in classes there.  The staff is inviting, and they are happy to talk about what they do.  Maybe there’s something about the heat, the fire, or just the people, but every time I visit, I walk out inspired by not only the art they create, but the energy required to build a space like that.    I know from our work with our space, what it means to build something like this.

DC Glass Works 2 Open House 9-12-09
Above is a fairly tight shot of the space while Joe Corcoran was giving a demo producing a vessel out of clear glass.  We wanted you to see the bulk of the space and their activity in the room, and in the process we missed the crowd!  The place was packed. It took time to actually make your way to the table with beverages!  It’s a wonderful thing to see that many people who wanted to come to Hyattsville, wach the glass, hear the music, and enjoy the creative atmosphere.

Watch a video snap shot of Joe’s demo as the transfer the vessel to work on the other end here:

We wrapped up the day with a studio visit to the EZ Storage studios with Cheryl and Tonya,  followed by a preview tour of the “Pinned.” show for the EYA residents.  It was a very positive day packed full of creativity.


artdc Gallery in Hyattsville
“Pinned.” Antoinette Wysocki, Stephen Mead, Ceci Cole McInturff, and Jesse Cohen
(art pinned, nailed, or screwed. No Traditional frames allowed.)
September 5th, 2009 to Oct 3rd
Reception: September 25th 6-9pm

artdc Gallery in Hyattsville
5710 Baltimore Ave
Hyattsville, MD 20781

Antoinette Wysocki, "Stowed Away Forever"
Antoinette Wysocki
“Stowed Away Forever”

“Pinned.” is inspired by the time spent in our shared studio on NY where Stephen and Antoinette notriously work on surfaces pinned or nailed to the wall.

We developed this studio as a result of artdc.org which developed from a single post on craigslist in 2004. In March ’04, Antoinette posted about change she wanted in the DC area art scene. She wanted more social interaction between the public and the arts like her experiences in San Fransisco where the art scene is part of the social scene. One goes to a gallery, talks about art, then has dinner and drinks. In response to this CL ad, we all met at Teasim on D st. to talk about change. We mused about starting a co-op and bringing energy to rough neighborhoods. We thought about the changes that we could make. Then we looked in our wallets, and said the hell with that.

Roughly around midnight March 28, 2004, the night of the meeting, the start of artdc.org was born with the goal of developing a strong community of artists without large financial backers. Later that year, we had our first public exhibition in an alternative space with David Fogel’s help, where he coined the term, “Art in Transition” which we’ve happily continued for several exhibitions. “Pinned.” pays homage to that exhibition where the work of Jesse Cohen, Antoinette Wysocki, Stephen Mead, and Ceci Cole McInturff all met for the first time in a room off of Eastern Ave.

Since then, we’ve spent serious time and energy bringing community, exhibitions, and activities to the Greater Washington, DC area. Recently we opened our Gallery, 5 years after our initial meeting, and it only seemed apropriate to say thank you to these Founding artists with a show in the space. The art consists of a strong group of works from mixed media to paintings, sculpture, and palladium prints. “Pinned.” boasts of bright colors, deep contrast, dreams, and emotions.

There’s an effortless energy to the way that elements of Antoinette’s work blend together. There’s depth to the layers that she creates with objects moving in and out of the drips and blur. Steve’s art moves with the hard rock that he hears while he paints. In one work you can see sets of Angel’s wings develop out of his mathematical strokes on the canvas.

We look forward to your reactions to this work.

uninstall maddnes

While some enjoyed the labor day weekend with relaxation and beverages by the pool, we spent it handling art.  We created a nightmare by planning the close of two shows on the same day.    All in all it worked out with excellent timing.  On Saturday the 5th we arrived at the Hyattsville space at 11 am to conduct one final tour of the Glass Show.  I’m so sad to see this exhibition end.  We received great attention and so much positive energy from the artists!

At 11:55am we were a little concerned with uninstall fears.  At 11:58am, the first group of artists showed, and they worked like magicians turning the gallery into a clean white walled space, once again.  We have to seriously thank the Washington Glass School, and DC Glass Works for their efforts, professional conduct and hard work.  By 12:45, the walls were clean and new.  We have thank EYA for providing us with the paint specs, so we found the proper white paint to blend in and fix any dings in the walls.

Memory of Straw bale by Steven Jones
Steven Jones from DC Glass Works using a Hydraulic lift to remove his Memory of Straw bale.   I’m sad to see this work go.  I would love to see this work live in front of the gallery.  It’s a joy to work in a gallery as you can develop bonds with amazing work on a regular basis.  However, there’s the dark side where you have to give up the work once a month.

Joe Corcoran Uninstalled byt Steven Jones
Megan Van Wagoner and Steven worked quickly and safely removed Joe Corcoran’s work.  While these two images are from DC Glass Works artists (I only had a second to snap a few images), I must say that everyone from both studios  worked hard to bring the space back to it’s original condition.  Many thanks to Erwin Timmers, Michael Janis, Dave D’orio, and all of the artists and patrons who support these two studios.

After letting the paint dry for a moment, Cheryl Edwards, Michael Winger, and I installed the next show, “Pinned.”  with work by Antoinette Wysocki, Ceci Cole McInturff, Stephen Mead, and Jesse Cohen.  Details to come on this show.  No traditional frames are allowed for this exhibition.  Raw canvas, paintings on paper, and photographs are hung bare on the wall while Ceci’s sculpture provides great contrast with the work.  With a great deal of experimentation in hanging Steve’s work, including an attempt at flying the canvas in the middle of the room with finshing line, we decide to pin it to the wall like Antoinette’s since we wanted all of the work to have an equal weight to it.  The reception for this show is on the 25th of September.  Details TBA.

We left the Hyattsville space by 4:30pm in order to rush to the Arlington pop-up gallery where we were holding the close of the ZIP Code Show in partnership with Artoutlet.  (We ended up returning to Hyattsville on the 7th to install Ceci’s work! )

For us, it was quite sad to know that this was the celebration marking the close of a phenomenal expereince in Arlington.  We successfully brought phenominal art by local artists in front of the eyes of many with the support of our sponsors.  We are so thankful.

Steven Dobbin Uninstall discussion with Dan
Here’s an image of Steven Dobbin talking to Dan while uninstialling his work Saturday night at 10pm.  We learned about his obcessions with creating art, the fact that it goes beyond the joy of creating something beautyful, that for him, it’s a necessity that he can’t stop.  It’s something he has to do.  There’s a force pushing him forward to create art weather he likes it or not.  The process is important for him.  The rust is actually induced on the metal cans with acid, while he has some unique proccesses for developing actual rust on the plastic cans.

For the past week, it has been a joy to spend time in this Transitional art space, we were quite happy with the fact that people visited the location to view the art, and really expereince it.  On the week days, visitors came, and stood in front of each work, expereinced it, then they read the statements.  Durring the openings there was a mass of attendancee which even included members of the Arlington County board!  This is exactly what we wanted.  We look forward to great things in the future.  Many thanks to our ZIP Code Show partner Artoutlet, and the ZIP Code exhibition sponsors The Halstead, and CPRO!