A person who appears to be ambling aimlessly, but is secretly in search of adventure.


Art goes above ground?

Check out today's Washington Post Style & Arts section to read a very nice piece about our fair city's cool art scene. Lavanya Ramanathan and Rachel Beckman report on four arty events that were unconventional in unique ways. Though the Hirshhorn's After Hours takes place in a traditional museum setting, the gathering didn't feel like a conventional stodgy museum event at all. What I have particularly liked about this series of happenings at the Hirshhorn is that they are reaching out to DC residents, which helps bridge the huge gap between the city's federal art institutions and our thriving local art scene. Hurray for the Hirshhorn! Over at Civilian Art Projects, I love the many ways in which Jayme McLellan connects DC's rich music past with the best of DC's emerging contemporary artists. (I can't believe I missed a puppet show!) Finally, I love that Art Whino provides a great (and as far as I know, only) venue for showing street and graffiti art, and they throw a great party too!

Of course, they covered The Pink Line Project's Fixation event a couple weeks ago....
Sunday, November 30, 2008; M14

Washington has a vibrant, under-the-radar art party scene that has long been visible only to those in the know. But thanks in part to a growing community of art socialites, bloggers and paparazzi, nearly 3,000 people are suddenly pounding down the doors of a museum on a Friday night, and 700 are lining up in the rain to get into a crumbling skate park to see photography. Party organizers sometimes lament the new notoriety, but the crowds keep coming. This month, we fanned out to four events to capture a slice of the action.

-- Rachel Beckman and Lavanya Ramanathan

Fight Club, "Fixation," Nov. 14:

Getting to Fight Club, an underground skateboarding, art and music space near the Convention Center, involved stumbling down a brick, high-heels-unfriendly alley and waiting in a long line. In the rain.

Until the opening of "Fixation," a photography exhibit that was part of FotoWeek DC, the space was pretty much one of Washington's great hipster myths. (Even the name of the place is taken from the 1999 movie about a secret society: First rule of Fight Club, you do not talk about Fight Club.)

"We're not open. We're not anything," co-founder Dan Zeman told me warily. "We don't do any business here."

And that was part of the allure; more than 700 people -- posh galleristas, Howard students, moms, well-groomed men in blazers, skateboarders -- poured into that night's bash, which, despite the crowd, felt like a house party, with kegs and the whole standing-around thing.

The exhibit was sponsored by the Pink Line Project, which curates events in support of visual arts, and Ten Miles Square, a new group that fosters photography in the city. Philippa Hughes, Pink Line's founder, attributed the evening's success to a scene that's gone "viral." "You didn't need to announce it on the radio. . . . They just came, I don't know."

-- L.R.


Preparing for Basel Miami

For those of you going to Art Basel Miami next week, here's some good advice for you from David Hickey in Vanity Fair. He slogged through the Frieze Art Fair last year and learned a few things that he'd like to share with you. My favorite line:
But never think about art at an art fair. It’s tacky, and one is better served by decoding the dazzle that has you reaching for your purse.

Christmas trees

My buddy Frank Asher is selling Christmas trees starting today.

902 N Street NW
On the corner of the corner of 9th and N.
Near the convention center.

November 28 through December 24
Hours of operation:
Mon-Fri. 3-8
Sat. 10-7


Clean out your attic

Here's your chance to exhibit in the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Artist Jean Shin is calling for donations of trophies for a large-scale art installation called Everyday Monuments. Learn more about the project and how to donate your old trophies by December 13 here.


Look at those legs!

Photo Credit: By Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post Photo

This woman is 69 years old!!! More about Tina Turner's concert last night here.

Past is the present, Imperfect

A very special person and good friend Tom Minter will have one of his plays read at The Warehouse on Saturday. You should go because he is great.

Playreading Series hosted by the City Artistic Partnerships
Featuring Tom Minter
Past is the present, Imperfect

Saturday, November 29
3 pm
@ The Warehouse
1017 7th Street, NW
Tom Minter—Born in New York, raised in Philadelphia, Black American playwright Tom Minter studied play writing at Pomona College, Claremont California. In 1991, Minter moved to London, England, where his work was initially nurtured by The New Playwright’s Trust, and subsequently performed in London and Berlin. He has collaborated with several British directors, but was especially mentored through working with Areta Breeze. In 1996 Minter was commissioned by The London New Play Festival to write Sempre Suburbia! The work premiered in the Festival’s program that year. His play Fragments of a Dream was produced at The Riverside Studios, in Hammersmith, London. His work Exposition was premiered at The Arts Theatre, in London’s West End, in 1997. In 1998 The Brave Hearts Theater in Minneapolis premiered 2 one act plays by Minter: Strawberry dwarves and other lies, and Hostage. Minter moved back to the states in 2000. His work has been championed by the New York based Hansberry Project, and has been presented at The Henry Street Settlement, and The Lark Theater in Manhattan. Minter has had two full scale works produced in Philadelphia; Perfection Unspeakable, in 2005, and in 2006, Cakewalk, a production created in collaboration with digital animation artist Victor Ingrassia. Minter lives in DC.

Past is the present, Imperfect—Locked in suburbia over three days at Christmas, a son wrestles with his mother’s fastidious delusions; an aunt deals with the repercussions of her act of self sacrifice, and a wife strains to keep the knives out of everyone’s hands–especially her own. Past is the present, Imperfect is a biting look at how one family copes with a holiday revelation, which exposes the consequential lies that have shaped dysfunction.

Arty stuff this week...

Creation 3, Tim Rollins and the Kids of Survival

Grand re-Opening Celebration of Pyramid Atlantic Community Arts Store! Activities include:

Hands-on arts and crafts activities for children, noon time poetry reading, ice cream sampling champagne and fresh strawberries, outdoor skateboard demonstration and skateboarder art screening of FRAGILE, a digital film by New Orleans based artist John Lawson, author's talk led by Mr. Dennis Forbes author of "Studios and Work spaces of Black American Artists", live music courtesy of Bill Williams and the Jelly Roll Mortals

Friday, November 28
8am - 10pm

@ Pyramid Atlantic Community Arts Store
924 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring


Arty girls go to Baltimore

Fabulous DC arty girls Kelly and Veronica took a road trip with me to Baltimore yesterday to check out Charm City's art scene and we were absolutely charmed by it! First stop, Gallery 4 to see a group show that included some works by Maggie Michael (a great DC-based artist who just opened a show over the weekend at G Fine Art). Super impressive art space! Sure wish we had more like that in DC.

I particularly liked this series of photographs by an artist named Nyktas who shoots the insides of bottles of things like mustard and hair conditioner. I think this one is the inside of a bottle of industrial hand cleaner.

We popped in on the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore to see these works by Kianga Ford who creates site-specific pieces that explore the narrative spaces between people. Nifty little museum space that does great work.

Coffee break at Donna's.

Standing in front of a Franz West piece outside the Baltimore Museum of Art where we saw a great retrospective of his work. Loved the way his art engaged his audience. Side note: I didn't know Franz West liked using pink so much. What a genius. On one of the gallery walls was written this in large letters: Every time you think of me, we die, a little. I thought that was kinda cool though I am still pondering its meaning.

At Bernhard Hildebrandt's uber cool studio. I think Bernhard needs to make me some wallpaper. (Are you reading this Bernhard!?) He's working on a series of diptychs in which he paints an abstract shape on a glossy surface and then photographs those shapes/surfaces and places them side by side. Really cool expression of how a human eye views something as compared to how a machine like a camera views it.

Sparkling wine break with Bernhard.

Last stop: The Library, an artist studio, living space, and gallery run by Jason Hughes. At the invitation of the awesome Curators Office, we went to see Cliff Evans monumental five channel video called Empyrean. It's a six and a half minute video loop that I must have watched 10 times and I still kept seeing new things in it. This guy is intense.

Gaia rocks

Wooster Collective likes Gaia as much as I do! They interviewed him a couple days ago and reading it reminded me of how impressive this kid is.

Gaia describes his work:

My emotional relationship with the important people within my life is what inspires the content of my work. My art is deeply personal and cathartic. I try to maintain an honest articulation of both my frustrations and felicity in each piece. Whether it is the celebration of a burgeoning young boy who I once babysat or the valediction of a person who lives in my past, I want to express a feeling that can be fundamentally understood by the viewer. I am very interested in communicating these passions on the street and in an attempt to relate to others through the imagery.

I put my work up in order to reactivate a space and reconsider our modern notion of property and domain. By applying my work to a surface or installing an environment in an urban setting, I am establishing a new significance and understanding of a particular space.


Memories of summer

I enjoyed laying in the grass and dreaming about summer last night despite the wind and chill (thank you heat lamps!). Joanie Turbek created this fun installation piece called Prosthetic Lawn, which was set up in Project 4 Gallery's new rooftop space at 14th and U. Way cool. Go take a roll in the grass when you get a chance.

Thomas Campbell on creativity

Thomas Campbell at home in his studio in Bonny Doon, California. Photo: Chris Burkard.

One of the many reasons I admire surfer and artist Thomas Campbell:

"It's just fun to take creative ideas and apply them to whatever there is in life to be creative with," he says slowly. "I like to look at my creative movement like that: See what's in front of me and try to apply my creativity to it. It's not like I'm a painter or only a producer, or whatever. I just like being creative, and there's a lot of different ways to be creative."
More about him on Surfline.


Don't jump!

Mark Jenkins caused a stir when he placed this sculpture on the terrace of Roanoke's Taubman Museum of Art. People driving by called 911 and others banged on the museum doors to alert staff that someone was about to jump. The local news station reported on all the excitement here.

Cool public art

Joshua Callaghan disguises utility boxes by pasting pictures onto them of the scenery behind, thereby creating the illusion of an uninterrupted view
(Picture: Joshua Callaghan / Misha de Ridder / Rex Features)
See more images here.

Longboard surfing record

From the BBC:
A Brazilian has broken the record for surfing on the longest board after staying on a 30ft (9.16m) long surfboard for over 10 seconds. Rico de Souza, who broke his own record from 2006, said that it was a challenging but thrilling experience.
Watch the video here.

Art in unconventional spaces

IV Inter-American Biennial of Video Art
December 1, 2008 to January 23, 2009

Gallery hours:
Monday through Friday
11 am to 6 pm
@IDB Cultural Center
1300 New York Avenue, NW

More info here.


Tomorrow: Underexposed

Transformer partners with Honfluer Gallery for FotoWeek DC to bring you:

Framework Panel #8
Underexposed: Self-Publishing Your Photo Book

Panelists include Melissa Catanese, Chan Chao, Lely Constantinople, Ed Panar, and Max Hirshfeld.

Saturday, November 22
2 pm
@ Honfleur Gallery 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE
Honfleur Gallery in Anacostia

Tonight! Albus Cavus at Dekka


Tonight! A must see.

86 Minutes to Ponder...
Featuring Rick Maue & David London

Two shows in one thought-provoking night!

"Psychic Phenomena...and other lies" with Rick Maue
(insert title here) - An Evening with David London

When: Thursday, November 20, 2008 @ 8:00 PM
Where: The Writers Center
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
Cost: $12 ONLINE or $15 at the door
Buy tickets here.

Surfer chick chic

Being included in the nightlife section of Washington Life magazine's current style issue is kinda funny. Sure I am out at night a lot, but usually at nerdy art events like the Cultural Development Corporation gala, which is where this picture was taken last May! I also think it's funny that I get to be in a style issue at all having been such a tomboy all my life. But I do like a cute dress. Like this one, which I picked up at Terra. Also note the super cool furry cuff made by Annamario Hernandez, which I got at the Civilian Art Projects "gift" shop. (Recycled fur so please don't throw any red paint on me!) At least my hair looked ok that night. Sort of a retro flip.

What they had to say about me:
Philippa Hughes, queen bee of the D.C. creative scene and founder of the Pink Line Project - dedicated to promoting local artists, paints the town in unique fashions that no one else is wearing.

Photo by Tony Powell. Courtesy of Washington Life Magazine.


I was robbed!

See me bidding on the awesome piece of art below made by legendary DC artist Robin Rose, which was up for grabs at the Transformer auction on Saturday night. (The event was sensational if I say so myself.) A certain dastardly character (also initials P and H) used a proxy (puh-leeze!) to outbid me and several others and ended up buying this cool objet for $3,000! I really really wanted it. I am, however, ecstatic about the Zoe Charlton print I ended up with. More pictures from the auction soon to follow. (Thanks Darren Santos for these great pictures!)


Fixation event images

If you see your picture here (taken by Graham Meyer) and want a FREE copy, please contact me at info@thepinklineproject.com, or the fine folks at info@eightyeightdc.com, and we will send it to you. Did you see that? I said FREE!

"Official event photographer" Vincent Gallegos took these pictures here.

The Fixation photography exhibit will be on display through this weekend. You can stop by 1250 9th Street, NW between noon and 7 pm every day this week to see the show.

It being a photography show and it also being the start of FotoWeekDC and all, not surprising that numerous photographers were on hand to document the night with their cameras. Stirling Elmendorf took some great shots. Here are a few from Brian Knight. Max Cook posted some images too! The lovely and talented Dakota Fine here.

Tracy Clayton made this nifty video:

Arty stuff this week...

More Than Just
All Student Exhibition
November 17 - 28

Tuesday, November 18
5 - 7pm

@ Classroom 102, Smith Hall of Art
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW

Panel discussion with Jonathan B. French, Michael Dax Iacovone & Anne Chan

Tuesday, November 18

@ Hamiltonian Gallery
1353 U Street NW

Picture Equality: An Evening of Empowerment Through Photography

Reception and silent auction:
Wednesday, November 19
6:30 - 8:30pm

@ L2 Lounge
3315 Cady's Alley NW
Tickets $75

Phelan Meek, Scott Hunter, Marielle Mariano, Gina Eppolito, Marianne Philbin, Marcus Lundell
A Healthy Dose of Art at Results the Gym

Wednesday, November 19
7 - 8:30pm

@ Results the Gym
315 G Street NW

Mural Unveiling in Columbia Heights

Thursday, November 20

@ Boys and Girls Club
2500 14th Street NW

Kerry Skarbakka
The Fight Club

Opening reception:
Thursday, November 20
6:30 - 9pm

@ Irvine Contemporary
1412 14th Street

Lecture by Professor Norton T. Dodge
From Soviet Nonconformist to Gorbachev's freedom of art in the time period of Glasnost and Perestroikia

Thursday, November 20
6:30 - 8:30pm

@ Historical Society of Washington
801 K Street NW

H.G. Esch & Robert B. Haas

Thursday, November 20
6 - 11pm

@ LUMAS Gallery
3307 M Street

Anne Pellicciotto
Photographs from Brazil

Artists talk and reception:
Thursday, November 20
6:30 - 9pm

@ International Visions the Gallery
2626 Connecticut Ave NW

Herman Asselberghs, Futur Anterieur, image copyright Jonathan Groger

When Absence Becomes Presence
November 2 - December 23

Opening reception:
Thursday, November 20
7 - 9pm

2023 Massachusetts Ave NW

David London & Rick Maue
86 Minutes to Ponder

Thursday, November 20

@ The Writers Center
4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda
$15 at the door

More Than You Know
Friday, November 21
6 - 9 pm
@ Parish Gallery

Elena Volkova
November 21 - December 2

Opening reception:
Friday, November 21
5 - 7pm

@ Gallery at Flashpoint
916 G Street NW

Aperture - The Photography of the Coolout

Friday, November 21
8 - 11pm

@ Tangy Sweet
2029 P Street NW

Art Auction

Friday, November 21
6 - 9pm

1054 31st Street NW

One Big Table Arts Collective
Art Show

Saturday, November 22
3 - 6 pm

@ Vic and Lita's place
1930 Columbia Rd NW #711

Ken Ashton

ARTist Forum 1: Photographers

Saturday, November 22

@ Civilian Art Projects
406 7th Street NW

Transformer partners with Honfluer Gallery for FotoWeek DC to bring you:

Framework Panel #8
Underexposed: Self-Publishing Your Photo Book

Panelists include Melissa Catanese, Chan Chao, Lely Constantinople, Ed Panar, and Max Hirshfeld.

Saturday, November 22
2 pm
@ Honfleur Gallery 1241 Good Hope Rd. SE
Honfleur Gallery in Anacostia

Chris Anthony
i'm the most normal person i know

Closing reception:
Saturday, November 22
4 - 6pm

@ Randall Scott Gallery
1326 14th Street NW

Maggie Michael in her Washington DC studio

Maggie Michael

All at Once
November 22 - January 3

Opening reception:
Saturday, November 22
6:30 - 8:30

@ G Fine Art
1515 14th Street NW

American University's 2008 Mid-Atlantic MFA Invitational
A FRIEND INDEED: Contemporary Art and the Academy
November 3 - 28

Reception and AU MFA open studios:
Saturday, November 22
6 - 9pm

@ The Katzen Arts Center Rotunda
4400 Massachusetts Ave NW

Alen J. Salerian
JFK: Symbols on Canvas

Opening reception:
Saturday, November 22
7:30 - 9:30pm

@ 5225 Wisconsin Ave NW
Please RSVP at (202) 244-9000

Red Light Source
Come Celebrate the New Source Theater!

Saturday, November 22
10pm - 2am

@ Source Theater
1835 14th Street NW
Tickets: $20 in advance, $25 at the door

Ben Floeter
BAM BAM DILLA: Traveling Riddims

Opening reception:
Saturday, November 22
6 - midnight
w/ special performance by Jeremy Sole

@ Art Whino
173 Waterfront Street, National Harbor MD

Sarah Thibodeaux, Mary Early, Eastern Market Pottery & DURKL
Open House at the Carriage House

Sunday, November 23
1 - 5pm

@ 320 3rd Street NE