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.