East City Art’s Mid-City Gallery Exhibitions and News
This January, Foundry Gallery celebrates its 45th anniversary and its first year at the Shaw location. In 1971 four students of colorist painter and teacher Gene Davis began the gallery. At the time, Davis showed work at the Duval Foundry in Georgetown. The next spring the four founders attended the Conference for Women in the Visual Arts at the Corcoran. Inspired by June Wayne's call for women to work together, they expanded and organized as Foundry Artists. By the 1980s the gallery had become coed. In 2000 the gallery gained nonprofit status and shifted its mission to exhibiting work of member artists and offering public programs in education and art appreciation.
Foundry had several homes before finding its current location. In 1973 Foundry Artists moved to 33rd Street NW, above Cannon Seafood. Subsequent locations include Indiana Avenue NW, Seventh and P streets NW, and Hillyer Court, where the gallery resided from 1985 until 2004. In 2005 it moved across Dupont Circle to 18th Street NW. Most recently, in November 2015 it opened its new space at 2118 Eighth Street NW, around the corner from the 9:30 Club.
Gallery Neptune & Brown
Ben Tolman will open his first solo exhibition with Gallery Neptune & Brown. “WELTSCHMERZ” will showcase Tolman’s most recent drawings in ink and gouache on paper. From the German, “Weltschmerz” translates as “world-pain.” The artist’s work reflects the overwhelming feeling that affects the United States and many parts of the world given the current geopolitical shift to the extreme right.
Extensive travels in Serbia and Germany during 2015 and 2016 informed and influenced Tolman’s most recent work. He explores the urban fabric through detailed ink drawings of cityscapes. Woven into his imaginary cities are the trapping of quotidian urban life, from the revered to the repellent, moving in parallel with the dense architectural structures and forms he creates. Social, political, and environmental commentary unfolds within the painstaking details of Tolman’s work. He studied at the Corcoran and at American University and has exhibited drawings in the Washington area since 2005.
Non-juried group exhibition “What’s Next?” fills all three gallery spaces at Touchstone in January. Each member artist invited a friend to show work side-by-side. Comprised of all media, works by 90 local contemporary artists examine today’s society, along with challenges and solutions.
According to Touchstone Gallery’s press release, “Characters on the television series ‘The West Wing’ would say, ‘What's Next? at the end of each episode to indicate that there was a long list of issues to resolve at any given moment.” Drawing inspiration from this concept, participating artists believe that understanding what’s next has never been more salient than in today’s America. Artists reflect contemporaneity, consciously and sometimes subconsciously, and in so doing give audiences the opportunity to reflect on the zeitgeist and discuss it.
Washington Project for the Arts
Sara Dittrich’s “Room for a Score” is a 1,000-square-foot, experimental music notation. It comprises a false floor resembling staff paper, sound sensors, and an amplifier. The daily movements of gallery visitors and staff mark and score the floor, producing an accidental composition to be interpreted and performed by musicians.
An interdisciplinary artist working primarily in Baltimore, Dittrich creates objects, installations, and performances using the forms of musical instruments and interactive electronic technologies to investigate the acts of listening, communicating, and moving. She received her BFA in interdisciplinary sculpture from the Maryland Institute College of Art and has exhibited frequently including a solo show at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, Mich. She has exhibited internationally in the Czech Republic, where she studied at the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague with Dominik Lang. Dittrich received the 2013 Beers Contemporary Award for Emerging Art and has been awarded residencies at Sculpture Space, Vermont Studio Center, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts.
On the heels of the Washington Project for the Arts’ successful run of “Broken Scissors, A Ghost, and Some More Old News,” an exhibit of art books at its Shaw location, the organization has invited artist-run Bookish to return this winter and spring. Bookish, a nomadic bookshop that began in Baltimore in April 2016 and operates out of a converted 1980s Chevy Stepvan, offers an excellent selection of artist books, poetry, theory, and criticism. For more information about Bookish visit www.bookishbaltimore.com.
Exhibitions on View