Thursday, December 29, 2011

Revisiting My Pipe Dreams

5 years ago I expressed 9 Pipe Dreams for the artworld in DC  and I wanted to revisit them and see whats' what for 2011. I also wanted to take the time to think of new dreams.

Here are the dreams I expressed in 2006 and my sense of where things are now.

1. MLK- the national center for the creative arts.
My Dream Then:
To turn MLK library into a National Center for the Creative Arts.
What's What 2011:
The fate of MLK library is still undecided. It seems likely that it will be altered in some way, and no chance in hell it will become an arts center. In fact, I've heard no talk of any interest in a DC arts center at all, national or citywide. I still like the idea. I'd still love to see something of this nature move forward. So, still a dream. still a pipe dream.

2. DC Arts on Foot

My Dream Then:
To expand Arts on Foot
What's What 2011:

Arts on Foot did expand! One year, it lasted a handful of days and expanded a few blocks. There was art, foor
d, drink, aerialists even! I had a great time. This year it was 2 days, so a bit smaller than its peak. One issue for me was that Arts on Foot once paid artists to participate. Now it costs quite a bit of money to participate. The last time I participated, Food was given center court in the middle of the street, and artists were put into an art tent alley on the sidewalk. People still bought art, but it did bother me a bit that we were shoved to the side. i wasn't able to make it this year, but i think they fixed that aspect. I hope it can continue to grow and maintain the visual arts as a focus. 


My Dream Then:
To have a large scale serious art fair in DC
What's What 2011:
Well, first we got artDC. a large scale international arts extravaganza at the Walter Washington Convention Center. I liked it. But it didn't come back for a repeat performance.  Then, this year, we got (e)merge. I loved it. It was a pipe dream come true! Cool galleries from around the world, cool art, great performances, lots of dc artists were included. AND it's going to happen again next year. Definitely the most significant Arts event in DC in the past 5 years. yay!! Maybe someday a gallery would want to include my work. Anyone? Class? Anyone? Bueller? 
My new pipe dream is that i get to actually participate in something like this.

4. A Grand Arts District Along North Capitol

My Dream Then:
Swamppoodle Arts Center on North Capitol, and a flood of galleries to the North Capitol Corridor.
What's What 2011:
North Capitol @Quincy Street, facing South

Nothing. well, nothing much. I live in this corridor of the city, and i've worked to chronicle things in my hood, so this one is more personal than the others on my list. so what IS going on? NPR is building its headquarters along North Capitol in an old Smithsonian space. A Fab Lab is coming. I've read that Artomatic may come back to NoMa, but we'll see.  Not much else going on. That old firehouse pictured in my original post from 5 years ago? still empty.
But i mentioned FabLab. I'm actually totally stoked about that. and we did have the Bloomingdale Arts Walk
I still hold on to a dream that North Capitol will be a home to more arts usage.

north capitol street dc.
North Capitol Street, facing north
Still a pipe dream.

5. DC will become a destination to buy and support arts. 

My Dream Then:
Fewer Washingtonians would think they have to go to NYC to buy art. and some may visit DC because of the arts here.
What's What 2011:
I think that this is changing. it's a good direction, and things like (e)merge, and the reactionary show that it spurred, are helping. Another great force since 2006 has been Philippa Hughes and her Pinkline Project. She wrote an article on Huffington Post concerning this topic. The population in DC  is still growing and there is now a lot of self respect and a growing desire to support DC artists.   
It's very promising. Pipe Dream halfway there!


6. More galleries will open in centralized locations.

My Dream Then:
To have a more centralized gallery scene.
What's What 2011:
Not so much. Virtually no galleries in "Gallery Place". The 14th street galleries are closing or moving. Trinidad has become host to a few galleries, but for the most part, our art scene is very spread out. I guess that's like most places anyway. Still a pipedream.

7. An ArtBoat Regatta on the Anacostia

My Dream Then:
Art Barges on the Anacostia!!!!!
What's What 2011:
DC is still seriously lacking in martime artistic endeavors.

down by the river

Maybe the Georgetown Canal.
walked along the canal today.

This maintains a water pipedream.

8. The Great Great American Beer and Art Fest.

My Dream Then:
Beer + Art. and lots of both. 
What's What 2011
One thing that I could not possibly foresee is that DC has Three breweries now in our fair city!!!!!! DC Brau,  Chocolate City Brewery and 3 Stars Brewing ! Amazing! Both have artwork decorating their walls. Maybe this could still happen!!!!! Maybe now just a dream, not a pipe dream.


9.  More galleries will start a blog.

My Dream Then:
I wanted to see more dynamic sites from galleries. I wanted more interaction between galleries and collectors and artists. I wanted to grow our social and cultural networks.

What's What 2011:
Do people still blog? well... i guess they do. But interactive content has made a huge jump to facebook and twitter. Nowadays pretty much everyone has made the leap to at least one of the 3 things. the ones that haven't have become invisible. maybe that works for them. But, things are way more accesible and interactive than they were 5 years ago. the shift in this is obvious to everyone but the olde thyme institutions that don't wish to have an audience under 50. I think this pipe dream has become irrelevant.

All in all DC seems to have come a long way in the past five years. I look forward to the next five with the hopes of even greater improvements. If anyone reads this, i'd love to hear your thoughts on what you would love to see for the arts in dc ( or your own town). 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

the future of lighting

I'm blown away by the coolness and the possibilities of OLED's. The old Edison bulbs that i love to use in my art work are already being phased out and will be looked back on the way we look back on ENIAC. I'd love to utilize this light source into work that i'm currently creating.

I recently received a grant to create a series of mixed and multimedia sculptures using glass, concrete, steel, sound and video based on the Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I would love to be able to incorporate this type of lighting source. I've been considering LED's. If i can catch up to speed quickly on OLED's i may use them instead. anyone know where to get some affordably? or know how to use them?

I mean look, how insane are these images:

oh, did i mention that they can be flexible and transparent?
everything that uses a light will change very soon. your lights, your tv, your computer monitor, you phone. even your windows and windshields and eyeglasses.

Monday, December 12, 2011

This Sunday: Bloomingdale Holiday Art Market

It's happening again! The Bloomingdale Holiday Art Market at Big Bear Cafe in Washington, DC, will take place on Sunday, December 18, 5–9pm.

Shop local and support your favorite artisans and designers at DC's best coffee shop. Vendors include Sean HennesseyDe*Nada DesignTigerflightVan Wagoner Studios, andGoshdarnknit.

We'll help you finish your holiday gift shopping list as you pick up some treats for yourself, sing along with the carolers, and enjoy everyone's favorite winter treat, spiked cider!

What: Bloomingdale Holiday Art Market
Where: Big Bear Cafe (First and R St NW, DC)
When: Sunday, December 18
Time: 5-9pm

Friday, December 09, 2011

Black Cat Rock and Shop

Black Cat's Annual Rock n Shop is this Sunday night.

I'll be set up with some small pieces that will make great gifts!
come out, have a beer, listen to music, and buy some gifts.

Sunday, December 11, doors open 8pm
Black Cat | 1811 14th St NW | Washington, DC

More Progress on Trumpet

I'm still working away on creating the Trumpet for the Howard Theater.
I last left off as I was finishing up the model.

Here are some more images of the mold making process.

half mold

mold release

pouring mold

mold curing

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Winter Open Studio:: This Saturday!!!

Come on out to Mount Rainier and see some art! Both the Washington Glass School and Flux Studios will be hosting our winter open studios and you are invited.


The Washington Glass School presents its 10th annual Winter Sculpture Show and Holiday Open Housefeaturing works by artists and instructors of the Washington Glass School.
Some of the region’s leading mixed media sculptors and artists work from the studios on the edge of DC, and artwork both large and small will be on sale.

I've been creating new Glass and Concrete Panels and I'd love for you to come check them out. 
waiting for the invention of power

I also created something that is a unique approach. I created a series of  small glass panels for an installation in the Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. In doing so I made a few molds of some of the pieces to create a small run in concrete. Playing around in the studio, I make a few wax castings from the mold. Working with our former Studio Manager Rob Kincheloe, I made a glass casting of one of the folded waxes. Robs expertise in casting and kiln schedules enabled us to create a fantastic free standing cast. The iterations of ideas as they transform from initial concept through a metamorphosis of techniques and process and materials is deeply fascinating to me. So, come check out this piece.

new casting
This is a perfect opportunity to pick up one of my pieces if you've been thinking about it.

There are also many other artists work to check out too! Here is a piece by Michael Janis fresh from his exhibition at the Fuller Museum of Craft.

Fused Glass Panel Sculpture by Michael Janis

This event is more than an art open house – its an experience!
Next-door’s Flux Studios and Ellyn Weiss Studio will also be open on the day. Check out what’s happening in THE Creative Arts Center of the DC area!
Mixed media sculpture by Tim Tate

Cast Glass by Debra Ruzinsky

 Glass School Winter Sculpture Show
1pm – 5 pm
Saturday, Dec 10, 2011
Washington Glass School, 3700 Otis Street, Mount Rainier, MD 20712

The Washington Glass School is located 2 blocks outside of Washington, DC in Mount Rainier, Maryland.

From DC:
Follow Rhode Island Avenue East.
Take the first turn off of the Mount Rainier traffic circle.
Make a left onto Otis Street.
You'll see us straight ahead!

By Metro:
Take the 83 or 84 Bus from the Rhode Island Avenue Station.

From Maryland:

Follow Rhode Island Avenue/ Route 1 West.
Take the 3rd turn off of the Mount Rainier traffic circle onto 34th Street, heading south.
Make a left onto Otis Street.
You'll see us straight ahead!

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Howard Theater Trumpet

trumpetmodelpainted by Scenic Artisan
trumpetmodelpainted, a photo by Scenic Artisan on Flickr.

This is my model for the Howard Theatre restoration project that I am working on. This is the finished model. I painted it white to give it a consistant surface over the various materials its made from. it also gives me a better look at the curves and any imperfections that i might want to fix. next, i'll make a rubber mold of this. Once the mold is cured, i will remove the model, set a stainless steel armature in place, close up the mold and pour concrete into an opening. Once the concrete is cured i will remove it from the mold, clean up the edges, and add the glass bell.

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Hey! Come buy your holiday art gifts at these 3 events I'm participating in this December

1. Washington Glass School Winter Sculpture Show
Our semiannual open studio is a great way to check out the school and studios, see lots of art work, see works in progress, and score a great gift or piece for your personal collection.

Saturday, December 10, 2011, 1–5pm

Washington Glass School
3700 Otis Street | Mount Rainier, MD 20712
Click here for directions

2. Black Cat's Rock n Shop
This fun yearly event has all kinds of stuff. art, posters, vintage clothes, junk, records. all fun stuff. I'll be selling my door sculptures.

Sunday, December 11, doors open 8pm
Black Cat | 1811 14th St NW | Washington, DC

3. Bloomingdale Holiday Arts Market
Our neighborhood holiday show at the Big Bear Cafe. small venue with a few select artists. christmas trees and cider. caroling. always funs and a good time to get together with neighbors, or check out this fantastic neighborhood.

Holiday Art Market at Big Bear Cafe. 
Sunday, December 18, 5–9pm
Big Bear Cafe | First and R St NW | Washington, DC