Saturday, December 30, 2006

Spring 2007 Schedule Part 1

After a year of planning, our Spring 2007 schedule was just shaken up, rearranged and then rearranged again within the past month. It's wonderful to have the flexibility to do this and thrilling to have things coming together so rapidly.

Our first event for 2007 will be a world premier of a short documentary by AU student Brandon Bloch about local artist Ming Yi Sung on January 20th. Ming crochets intricate scenes of people, monkeys, goats, plants etc. that fill a room or hang on the wall. The documentary is about the controversy caused by the hanging of her anatomically correct monkeys and people in a public space. The image above shows a work in Nevin Kelly's personal collection entitled "Settlement with Monkeys" and has fig leaves added to the naughty bits, which Ming crocheted after all the controversy (they are detachable). We so excited to be showing Brandon's documentary - which I'm told is very funny - and to be showing some of Ming's work.

Friday, December 29, 2006

An Artist's Visions for The Future of Arts in DC

Thanks to Sean Hennessey, fabulous local sculptor, for mentioning the Nevin Kelly Gallery blog in his updated wish list for Washington, DC's arts future. Sean has interesting ideas for the the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library building, Arts Fairs in DC, creating destination arts neighborhoods, increasing organized arts events and activities in the city (including Art Boat Races and Art and Beer festivals), and making DC even more of an arts destination for collectors and supporters of the arts. Sean makes the important point that the more collectors continue to support Washington, DC artists, the more their personal collections of local art will appreciate:
while many people feel that they must go to New York to purchase art, many wonderful and wildly more affordable artists live and sell in DC. With the investment in artists, the investment in artworks will grow.
Great post Sean! Read the whole thing here.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Gift of Art

What do you give someone who has everything they need and more? That's the question my fiance Mark and I were facing just last week when trying to think of a Christmas gift for his parents. There was nothing we could get them that they really needed and we couldn't get too extravagant with our gift as our budget is somewhat limited. Good thing I just curated this Attainable Art show! I happen to be very familiar with every single work in the Nevin Kelly Gallery priced under $1200, and while the $1200 was a bit out of our price range, I also knew that there were many beautiful pieces under $200 and even some under $100.

We ended up buying them a print of a robin by M.P. Bocianowski, a Polish printmaker and husband to Elzbieta Bocianowska. Bocianowski's aquatint etchings of birds are remarkably precise in their intricate details of both the bird(s) in the foreground and the natural background. We just knew that a Bocianowski print would fit in perfectly with their collection and look lovely on a wall in their home.

Is there someone on your list who cannot possibly use another sweater or pair of earrings? Come in and check out our Attainable Art show. There's a wide variety of work on the walls to fit most tastes (and budgets!). And I'll even gift wrap those last minute gifts for you! The gallery is open until 8pm on Friday, 12-8 on Saturday, and Sunday by appointment for last minute shoppers.

The work above is an aquatint etching by M.P. Bocianowski entitled "Two Birds" and is unframed.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Amy Lin "Obsession" at DCAC

Hats off to Northern Virginia artist Amy Lin and Adams Morgan’s DCAC on a terrific exhibit. “Obsession,” which opened last night, showcases 10 of Lin’s exquisitely rendered abstract works on paper. The pieces consist of parades of meticulously drawn dots (actually, many of them are open circles) that range in size from barely visible points to about the size of a looseleaf paper reinforcer. The dots follow each other in lines that are sometimes straight and angular, sometimes curvy and sometimes resembling something like ancient script. The title of the show is apt. The drawings reflect Lin’s obsessive devotion to precision and balance. But, despite Lin’s absolute control over every dot’s place on the paper, there is nothing rigid here. The dots seem to dance and sing their way across the paper. They are playful. They are meditative. They are just plain interesting to look at. This is an artist with a lot to say and a lot of promise. Be sure to catch this show before it closes in January.

Attainable Art Reviewed

Katie Tuss of Lenny Campello's MidAtlantic Art News was in the gallery earlier this week and just posted a review of the Attainable Art show currently up in the gallery. She tells Lenny's readers that the show "provides area collectors with an unbeatable opportunity to acquire some of Nevin Kelly's finest for the tightest budgets, as well as the chance to discover new work all month long." She mentions Sondra Arkin's encaustic pieces in the show (at left). Unfortunately, the work she goes into detail about, "Revelation II," is gift wrapped and on it's way to California as a Christmas present, but there are six more Arkin encaustics in the show (the five at left and one not pictured). Katie also discusses Ellyn Weiss's two etching monoprints from the "Time of War" series which she calls "elegant and evocative" and Molly Brose's watercolors which she says have "a magical luminosity." Thanks Katie!

Read the entire review here.

Also, stay tuned today for Nevin's First Blog Post.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tea Time!

Behold the Nevin Kelly Gallery's shiny new (to us) electric kettle (with reflection of the gallery and me as proof of shininess). Inspired by having read three PG Wodehouse novels since Thanksgiving (like candy, they are), I decided that I would like to have afternoon tea every day and have been ranting about it to Sondra Arkin, Denise Graveline, Nevin, my fiance Mark and just about everyone else who would listen to me. Well, Denise happened to have an extra shiny kettle hanging around and brought it in to the gallery today to make my teatime dreams come true. Thank you Denise!
So now there is an open invitation for all who read the blog to stop in and have tea in the gallery some afternoon. And while you're here you can pick up a Christmas present for someone on your list. Our current show, "Attainable Art," features works priced under $1200 (and even some under $100!). See you at tea time!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Up In The Gallery

I've decided to make "Up In The Gallery" a series where I discuss briefly one or a few works currently up on the walls of the gallery. Since it's Thursday afternoon now, let's say I'll do it every Thursday afternoon. Be sure to tune in!

The two works above are monotypes by Melissa P. Hackmann entitled "Awake" and "Landing." I met Melissa through gallery "auntie" and Blogging for your Business PR maven Denise Graveline about three months ago. Melissa also has a blog from which I learned that she had done an open studio event that I missed. I asked her if I could still visit her studio and she graciously hostessed me, feeding me snacks and showing me her fantastic work, which ranges from flat collage, to 3D assemblage, to painting, to book making, to print making, to drawing. What struck me most about Melissa as an artist and Melissa as a person is that she LOVES texture. Her work in monotype is all about how the textures of different objects translate when pressed into paper.

To clarify, the monotype process is a printing process that creates, rather than a series of prints, one print. Classic monotype is achieved by drawing a design on the plate with printing ink and then running the plate through the printing press while the ink is still wet to transfer the image onto a sheet of paper. A monotype only has one impression (occasionally there will be a second, much lighter impression), which makes the process interesting as a typically serial process, printing, is used to produce an original work of art that cannot be reprinted.

In the above works and the one below, Melissa has used ink, what looks like cheesecloth, and a process called chine colle to produce the final image on the paper (more on chine colle later). The cheesecloth adds both texture and white space to the image. The original plate may have been entirely inked, but with the addition of the fabric, the ink was only transferred to the paper around and through the holes in the fabric, which is evident in the white space added by the loosely woven fabric in "Warmed By You," below.
Art Lesson #2: roughly translated "chine" means tissue paper, since the tissue paper originally used in the process was imported from Asia, and "colle" (with an accent on the E that I can't achieve in Blogger) means paste. The process involves printing the image from the plate onto the tissue paper, which then, either from the addition of paste or from the sheer pressure of the printing press, gets stuck to a heavier sheet of paper placed behind it. Originally chine colle was used to print an image on a whole sheet of tissue paper because the tissue made it easier to see the fine details in the printed image. But the tissue wasn't strong enough on its own and needed to be attached to a heavier sheet of paper, hence the "colle" part. Most of the chine colle I see now is done more for the added interest of collaged bits of tissue paper on a print than for the image-holding properties of the tissue itself.

In her work Melissa uses both plain colored tissue paper to add color and printed tissue to add texture and visual interest. In all three of the pieces above she uses a black and white dotted tissue that adds a lot of visual punch. In "Warmed By You," she has taken the possibilities of chine colle a step farther by attaching two separate sheets of paper together with the tissue paper and printing on both sheets to create a diptych monotype.

Melissa has impeccable color and design sense. I get a sense of almost unbridled enthusiasm from her work, but I also feel that she really knows when to stop. There are moments of swirling chaos as well as calm serenity in each of her pieces. But what really makes her work stand out for me is her use of texture to bring the work together, literally in the case of "Warmed By You," and transform each piece from a pretty picture into something really interesting to look at.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Thank you all!

Thanks to everyone who came out to the Holiday Open House last night! It was so fun to have all the artists and their families, friends and admirers here along with the friends, families and admirers of the Nevin Kelly Gallery. Many small works found their homes last night including my favorite Bocianowska print "Forest," which went home with gallery artist and graphic designer Mary Beth Ramsey. I couldn't think of a better home for it.
Here's a picture of Nevin with Pauline (proud new owner of a Huculak landscape) admiring a Lubomir Tomaszewski (Loob-O-meer Tome-ah-shev-ski) sculpture with a Sondra Arkin canvas in the background.
The lovely and talented Molly Brose poses in front of one of her paintings.
Sondra Arkin, Ellyn Weiss and Melissa P. Hackmann chat in front of works by Ellyn, Molly Brose, and Robert Saunders.

Thanks to Molly's mother Alexis for taking pictures for me!

Friday, December 08, 2006

They're here!

The five etchings by Elzbieta Bocianowska (Polish lesson #2: Elz-bee-etta Boch-ee-nove-ska) have arrived in the gallery and will be on the wall before I leave this evening. Promise! Three of the prints pictured above. You can view one other here. The fifth is a surprise that you'll have to come in to see. I recommend coming by the gallery for the Holiday Open House tomorrow, Saturday, between 4:00 and 7:00 pm. There will be cookies and cider and wine and other goodies and lots of perfect presents. We'll even wrap them for you!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Attainable Art

I know I promised installation shots of the Attainable Art show yesterday, but, well, it's still a bit messy in the gallery and there's still a blank wall waiting for some Polish prints that remain at the framer (they'll be up tomorrow). So in lieu of a shot of the gallery (which you will all see on Saturday at the Holiday Open House from 4-7pm anyways), I'm putting up some images of works included in the show. Above is a watercolor by Molly Brose entitled "Cold Outside." When I visited Molly's studio on Monday to see what works she might have for this show I particularly admired a smaller painting of a corkscrew that she had done as a thank you gift for a friend. That night she stayed up until 5am painting a new, larger corkscrew for my show! The result is absolutely beautiful and would make a perfect gift for a wine lover or fabulous host/hostess.
"Still Life with Four Objects" by Lukasz Huculak, gouache on paper. I don't speak Polish, but when I started at the gallery Nevin gave me a handy Polish pronunciation chart. I will post that in another entry. Let's just start with this artist. Lukasz is pronounced "woo-kush" with a short "U" sound on the second syllable. Huculak is pronounced "hoot-sue-luck." Say it with me now, Woo-kush Hoot-sue-luck. Lukasz Huculak. Good. Huculak uses gouache in a different manner from most, building it up and then scraping down - in some places scraping it down so far that he wears through the paper. Those dots and splotches on the blue background are holes in the paper.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Please Join Us:

Saturday, December 9th, 4 - 7 pm

Nevin Kelly Gallery | 1517 U Street NW | Washington DC

Featuring the exhibition:

Smaller works
by Nevin Kelly Gallery artists
Nevin Kelly Gallery | 1517 U Street NW | Washington DC
December 7 - 31, 2006

This show, curated by yours truly, will feature small work by many of the Nevin Kelly Gallery's artists. We will also be introducing the work of Molly Brose and Melissa P. Hackmann. We're so excited to be showing these ladies' work! I'm hanging the show today and will post many more pictures shortly.

The above image is an etching/aquatint by Elzbieta Bocianowska. It will be framed and available in the show. Unfortunately our overworked framer hasn't finished framing it yet, so if you come to the show before Friday expect one blank wall waiting for 4 lovely prints by Polish artists.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

And we're back!

I just arrived back from a fantastic (and chilly!) Thanksgiving week up in Maine and I'm so glad to be back in the gallery with these warm, summery Eugene Healy paintings!

Sadly, they're only up through this Sunday at which point we'll be putting up Attainable Art, a small works show (think Christmas presents!) curated by yours truly and featuring the artists of the gallery. We'll have prints up by Polish artists Elzbieta Bocianowska, Renata Zolcinska and Maciej Deja. If all that is a mouthful for you, we'll also have new oil pastels and small encaustics from Sondra Arkin, oil bar works and a couple of fantastic new prints by Ellyn Weiss, mixed media assemblage boxes by Mary Beth Ramsey (whose new show Numerology is opening this weekend in Rehoboth), drawings by Robert Saunders, small acrylic paintings by Thomas Walsh, and much much more!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Up in the Back Room

Apologies for the sparseness of posts in the past couple weeks. My computer crashed and, guess what! I'm the IT department here at the gallery. Actually my partner Mark was very helpful in donating his time to help me get all my files back. If it weren't for him, every image of every work of art that's come through the gallery would have been lost in the internet ether. And he worked for cheeseburgers!

Anyways, now that (almost) everything is back in order, I wanted to post some shots of the work we're featuring in the back room for the month of November. The Healy takes up the front room and two of the walls in the back, but we also have up the work of New York watercolorist Gretchen Feldman and DC abstract artist Sondra Arkin. Please excuse the picture quality, Photoshop is one of the programs I have yet to re-install.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Today and Tomorrow: Midcity Artists Open Studios

This weekend is the Midcity Artists Open Studios event. The Nevin Kelly Gallery is an MCA supporting business and we will have work out by MCA members Sondra Arkin (whose studio isn't open this time around), Mary Beth Ramsey, and Mark Parascandola (whose open studio is around the corner from us at 2002 15th St.). Mary Beth's work can also be found at Bos|Scott on 1610 11th St. Click here for a map of participating studios and supporting businesses. Pictured is Sondra Arkin's triptych Orange Tide, encaustic on Dibond each panel 32"x23".

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Healys Have Arrived!

Gene Healy drove down from Connecticut this morning and arrived at the gallery at 2:30 this afternoon. His gallerist on Nantucket, Doerte Nuedert of the Art Cabinet Nantucket, arrived yesterday.
Here's a shot of the paintings being laid out around the room.

Nevin and Doerte Hang Granite Bay and Tuxis Island.

Nevin Hangs Point Lookout. (Also pictured: Sands Point and East Wharf)

In all there are 16 works by Gene Healy in the gallery. It looks absolutely beautiful.

Stop by the gallery (1517 U St. NW) Saturday night, 5-8 pm to see this gorgeuous work, meet Gene and Doerte, and have a glass of wine.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bare Walls

The Weiss show came down earlier today and the Healy show goes up tomorrow, so in the meantime the gallery's walls are empty. It is very stark and gloomy with no color on the walls. I couldn't work in an environment without art.

During the opening of the City Hall art collection on Tuesday evening, people who worked in the building - guards, city council members, government employees - kept coming up to Sondra, the DCCAH staff and me and thanking us for filling the building with art. Mayor Anthony Williams remarked in his speech that with art on the walls, the building became more than just the place that housed the city government; it became the city government's home.

When I move into a new apartment, it never really becomes my home until I begin to hang art. And like many others, I spend more of my waking hours at work than at home. My office becomes my home away from home, which makes it all the more important that there be art on the walls. So I will put up with these bare walls until tomorrow, when some gorgeous new art comes in to brighten the place up.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

A Summery Healy Painting to Brighten Our Fall

Eugene Healy just sent me this image of "Bar Beach," another work to be included in his November solo show at the gallery. Gene will drive down Friday morning from Connecticut, and we'll be hanging the show Friday afternoon. The opening reception is this Saturday from 5-8pm. Please come out and welcome Gene back to Washington for his first solo show in DC.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Tuesday Night - City Hall Art Collection Opening Reception

Nevin Kelly Gallery artist Sondra Arkin has been working hard for the past year with the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities as curator of the City Hall Art Collection. She's developed a vision for the a growing collection, looked at 4000 works submitted for the collection (153 were chosen by the Selection Panel and another 22 were taken from the Art Bank), put together a beautiful catalog (with the graphic design skill of Mary Beth Ramsey, who was featured in the gallery's June/July 06 show and who also designs many of the gallery's ads), and helped to plan a fabulous opening reception. And for the past few months, I, your trusty deputy director, have been assisting Sondra on this project oustide of my regular gallery duties (I'm listed as editorial assistant in the catalog - hooray!) 12 Linear Feet, a work by Ellyn Weiss, whose work is currently up in the gallery, is included in the collection. Ellyn painted this work on site at Artomatic 2004, and it was this piece that first attracted Nevin to Ellyn's work - her impeccable sense of color and composition allowed Ellyn to "jump off a cliff" and create a gorgeous work of art in public with no knowledge of how the work would turn out. Also included in the collection is a piece by Joan Belmar whose work will be included in a group show at the gallery in the spring of '07.

This is a very important collection for DC area artists and the largest collection of work by DC artists on exhibition downtown open daily for visitors. For those artists whose work is not included, the DCCAH is committed to adding work every few years, so there will be future calls. It is important for any artist and those concerned with the art world in DC to show our elected officials strong support for this program and for the arts in DC.

The John A. Wilson Building
City Hall Art Collection Opening Reception
Tuesday, October 31, 2006 from 5 to 7pm - Remarks at 6pm

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC

In the past year, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities' DC Creates Public Art Program has collected 175 works of art representing the work of 100 metropolitan area artists for the inaugural phase of the new John A. Wilson Building City Hall Art Collection. Work is located on the Ground through 5th floors in public hallways. 80% of the artists reside in DC and it is the largest collection of local art open to the public. Established and emerging artists are represented in this important City Hall Art Collection.

General Public is invited; Photo ID Required to enter this building
RSVP Requested:; (202) 724-2042

Parking is tight so take the Metro to Metro Center or Federal Triangle — or take a cab.

Please feel free to pass this information on -- we want to fill City Hall and show our elected officials strong support for this program.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

New Paintings by Eugene Healy

Eugene Healy, the artist featured in our November show at the gallery, emailed us some images of works that he'll be bringing down with him to hang on Thursday. Healy is a Connecticut artist who is represented by our friend Doerte Neudert at the Art Cabinet Nantucket. For the past three years we've been featuring Doerte's artists in one of our fall shows. Gene was included in a group show here at the gallery two years ago, but this will be his first solo in Washington, DC.

He has been working nonstop for the past few months on pieces for this show, and the results look stunning. His abstract, mixed media works on canvas are reminiscent of the seaside. Check back soon for a full bio on Gene Healy and see select images of his works here.

The work on the right is entitled "Tuxis Island" and measures 30"x32", the work on the right "Granite Bay 2" measures 30"x18.5".

The show opens next Saturday, November 4 from 5-8 pm. Please stop in and welcome Gene and Doerte back to Washington.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

The gallery gets a nod in Travel and Leisure

In her article for the November issue of Travel and Leisure Magazine about the Midcity section of Washington, DC, Meeghan Truelove refers to the Nevin Kelly Gallery as "a delightful hybrid of old-world skillfulness and new-world dash." Midcity galleries also mentioned in the article are Irvine Contemporary and Project 4. Read the entire article here.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Welcome to our new interns!

Today was our first day working with Larissa, the newest Nevin Kelly Gallery intern.

Larissa is a senior at George Washington University studying art history. She is cheerful and helpful and speaks Ukrainian. She will be helping us to update our client and inventory database. This database was set up a while ago by our dear friend Ron Childress to more efficiently track our inventory - what comes in, stays here, goes out (and with whom it leaves) - and our mailing list, but we've been so swamped with all of the day-to-day gallery operations that we just kept using our old (far more primitive) systems. So we finally decided that if the project of adding our entire three-year-long inventory history to this database is ever going to get done, we need to bring in someone who can dedicate herself to this task (and who will work for coffee and snacks).

We advertised with the George Washington University Art History Department for two internship positions and found a couple of great interns.

Our other intern, Elizabeth, started this year in GW's Masters of Art History program and is very active in the Washington Junior League. Elizabeth is helping us with a marketing project. We're so happy and grateful to have such smart, capable people helping us in the gallery.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The word is out!

Welcome Midatlantic Art News readers and thanks, Lenny, for blogging about our new blog! We're always astonished at how quickly you discover arts-related stuff on the "internets."

The blog is still in experimental stages, but we're happy for the advance publicity. Soon we will have the blog linkable from the gallery website, and we'll be up and posting frequently. The blog is a great way to let our friends and clients know about news and goings-on at the gallery in a more timely manner than monthly website updates and emails. Each time we get in new work by one of our artists, get works framed, sign on a fabulous new artist, have a reception or event, or just have something to say, we'll blog about it. And who are we? We are Julia Morelli, deputy director of the gallery and Nevin Kelly, owner and gallery director.

We'd also like to thank Denise Graveline who helped us set up the blog and gave us tremendous advice about blogging.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Current Exhibition: Ellyn Weiss

Our current exhibition at the Nevin Kelly Gallery is entitled Ellyn Weiss: Circular Reasoning. The show looks absolutely wonderful and is only up for another week or so, so please stop in and take a look.

Pictured: Ellyn Weiss, Energetic Dissassembly (2006), oil bar on masonite, 24"x24"

See more works from the show on our website.

Does Art Scare You?

Many people come into our gallery and are surprised at what a warm, inviting atmosphere it is. This sometimes saddens us, because the implication is that people feel threatened by most art galleries. With comfy chairs, books, two lazy dogs, and a *super-friendly* assistant director, our visitors and clients feel at home and unpressured in the environment we set out for them. We love to visit other galleries and check out the local art scene, but we do understand that for non-art-world-types these big white boxes with (gasp!) no furry pets can feel threatening. We aim to create an environment where any person can feel comfortable coming in off the street and checking out the art. Because we are passionate about our artists and passionate about getting them exposure. You don't need to be able to afford to buy art to just come in and look at the gorgeous, skilled work we have on view (and you might be surprised at what you actually can afford). We're in this business because we love art and we particularly love the artists we represent. So, come on in, pet the dogs, relax in the chairs, and chat with us about the work on the walls. You can even bring in your coffee and cupcakes from Love Cafe (we do, yum!).

So... What do you think?

We at the Nevin Kelly Gallery know that there are some art galleries who blog out there in the world. We're not familiar with many here in the DC area though. While there are many wonderful art blogs around town, we did a Google search and were unable to find any gallery-specific blogs.

So maybe we're breaking new ground here. We're asking you, our friends and clients: what do you think about an art gallery blog? Perhaps it's too soon to tell without many posts up so far. If you're unsure about what you think about an art gallery blog, let us know what you'd like to see up here - what kind of info you think we should keep you updated about. Post a comment below or email me at to let us know.

Welcome to the Nevin Kelly Gallery Blog!

Here is where you will find the latest updates on goings on at the Nevin Kelly Gallery - exhibition openings, receptions, artist information, press releases, thoughts from the director and assistant director, images of newly available artworks, and more.

The Nevin Kelly Gallery takes a fresh look at contemporary art. It is our pledge to be a different kind of art gallery--from our warm and inviting environment to our focus on local and international works of high technical, cultural and academic merit.