1. Art17 Opens Amy Flatten on February 7

    Next Thursday, D.C. based scientist and artist; Amy K. Flatten will fill the space of Coldwell Baker’s office space on 17th NW.  The show will open with a reception on Thursday February 7, 2013. In a science environment by day, Amy very deliberately breaks away from her scientific training in her artwork. Her work has consistently teetered on the edged of logic and imagination, often letting imagination win. 

    For over a decade, she has focused on creating abstract works that challenge her creativity and take her away from her daily routine of lines and numbers. Although at first her work seems like a random gathering of colors, lines and shapes, if you dive deeper you can translate them into something of your every day life.  Amy’s work seems to bring the viewer to a joyful place where a simple object can take on new, bright colors and form.  Amy took some time to sit down with ArtSee and talk about her inspirations, work and career.

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    ArtSee: What’s the last show that you saw (not yours) that inspired you?

    Amy Flatten: While this wasn’t the most recent show I’ve seen, one that really inspired me was an exhibit in 2008, in a small gallery space in Venice, Italy.  It was just a few small rooms off of a side street.  The exhibit featured the works of the artist Morago, (www.Moarago.net).  I was inspired by his use of black, red and white, so much so, that I bought a book of his works and often look through before I begin painting (in any color).  Today, even just seeing his pieces on the pages of a book, long after seeing the actual exhibit, seems to put me into a creative frame of mind.

    AS: What’s your favorite place to see art?

    AF: Small quiet galleries are one favorite—maybe with just a few folks lingering.  I like big galleries, but absorbing everything can seem daunting.

    AS:  Where are you finding ideas for your work?  

    AF: My artist’s statement mentions that I draw my ideas from everyday life—those simple things we see throughout the Washington DC area.”  That’s really true….and especially when I notice colors of our surroundings.  For example, black asphalt roads with yellow taxis and red traffic lights (I have a piece with those colors in this show).  Recently, I saw a display in a store window that combined 3 colors in a new way—I took a picture so that I might use them together in a painting sometime in the future.   

    AS: Do you remember the first piece you ever sold? 

    AF:  I remember first putting a few pieces in a coffee shop…and being flabbergasted that they sold!  That gave me more confidence to do things more “formally” and I remember selling my first piece at a more “professional price.”  The couple had considered a few paintings of various artists for their dining room and eventually selected mine.  They sent me an email later on to tell me they had installed an accent light to highlight it in its space on the wall.  I will never forget that couple—and the confidence they gave me from their interest in my art and the careful selection and care of my piece.

    AS: What are you looking forward to most about your upcoming show? 

    AF: That’s a hard question, as I am very excited about the opportunity in general.  I think I am most looking forward to learning more about the art scene in DC, and meeting others in the local art community.  It has been a good challenge to prepare the number of pieces I am exhibiting, and I look forward to seeing the reactions to the art from people I haven’t yet met. 

    AS: What do you think has changed in your work since the beginning of your career? 

    AF: When I first started using acrylic paint, my paintings had a very soft, watery, fluid feeling.  While I liked many of those pieces, I worked hard to learn to give my pieces more texture.  I now incorporate texture by using different palette knives and then smoothing and softening areas with damp brushes.  I like to layer the paint such that hidden objects and lines underneath reveal new findings in an often-viewed piece. 

    AS: Where do you currently create your work? 

    AF:  I either create my work in classes that I take through the Art League of Alexandria, or in my home.  I have a room at home set up with an easel, drop cloth and big table…and I feel comfortable just leaving it a mess while I am in the middle of some work.

    AS: What is the biggest inspiration for your art? 

    AF: In all sincerity—I am most inspired by other artists.  That can sound kind of trite, but one of the main reasons I continue to take classes is the chance to just chat with and learn from my own classmates, and get their feedback on a piece that’s challenging me, or where I just feel stuck.  I also love the chance to talk with them about something new they are doing in a painting – we all use each other for “sanity checks” and as “sounding boards.”  I love that about taking class.

    AS: What’s the last show that surprised you? Why?  

    AF: That would be the most recent Artomatic that was held in Crystal City, VA last May-June 2012.  At first, I was just glad to enter, but as the show drew nearer and I was preparing my exhibit space, I surprised myself by how strong my reaction was to the opportunity.  Beyond just hanging my pieces, I was surprised by just how passionate I felt about doing my absolute best on all aspects of the exhibit—hanging lights, painting my wall, getting exactly the right lettering for my name, on and on and on.  No matter what it took, I really wanted to feel like I had “knocked it out of the park” in my effort to make my exhibit as professional as I possibly could.  So it wasn’t any one aspect of the show itself that surprised me, but my excitement and commitment to the opportunity it provided.  In all seriousness, that single show has motivated me to push myself to learn as much as I can about finding new exhibit opportunities, and presenting my work to the public. I was also very very aware and appreciative of all of the volunteer organizers that enabled that Artomatic, and I owe them a debt of gratitude, as participating that show was sincerely a turning point for me. 

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    Art17 featuring the works of Amy K. Flatten 
    OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday,February 7, 2013

    TIME: 6:00PM till 9:00PM

    LOCATION: Coldwell Banker Dupont, 1606 17th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

    The show can also be viewed 9:00 am – 5:00 pm every weekday until April 23, 2013

    For more information about Amy Flatten, please see her website at www.AmyFlatten.com

  2. Kimberly Iles Exhibits “Multiverse” at Vastu

    (Photo courtesy of Kimberly Iles)

    Now through September 23, 2012, works by local artist, Kimberly Iles, are on display at the 14th Street contemporary furnishing store, Vastu.

    Iles’ current exhibit, “Multiverse,” explores the concept of multiple realities and parallel universes. 

    “It’s a vey exciting time to be alive,” said Iles, who is inspired by science and has a background in designing graphics for government sponsored science education projects. “And a very exciting time to blend the two unlikely worlds of art and science.”

    After graduating from college with a degree in Fine Arts, Iles eventually established her own graphic design company and relocated to the DC area to work with clients like the White House, the National Science Foundation and the National Gallery of Art.

    However, after working 15 years in the government, private and nonprofit sectors, Iles realized that she was missing something essential from her creative process. The artist – who in addition to painting also loves photography, calligraphy, drawing and printmaking – missed working with physical materials. Iles also missed the actual tactile experience obtained from creating fine art.

    A few years ago, she decided to trade in her computer screen for her paintbrush, and currently dedicates all her time to creating fine art.

    “So much of your environment goes into the work, so you surround yourself with the things you love the most,” said Iles.

    Most of Iles’ work is rooted in Abstract Expressionism, and she practices similar painting styles (splash, stain, throw, drip, etc.) to the era’s artists.

    The pieces in “Multiverse” are abstract, mixed media paintings that consist primarily of alkyd paint, oil sticks, paper, graphite pencil, charcoal, china markers and wax.

    “Personally for me it is not about the final piece, but the process,” said Iles. “The creative process is as important as the art itself.”

    Vastu is located at 1829 14th Street, NW; hours for viewing “Multiverse” are Monday through Saturday, 11 am until 7pm and Sunday, noon until 5 pm.

    Bringing the Art in DC to You,

    Rachel Nania

  3. Why social media is an artist’s best friend… How to market your portfolio online (and kick ass while doing it)!

    Now, more than ever, it’s up to independent artists to learn how to market themselves through the wonderful world of the interwebs. Whether you’re a journalist, a painter, a sculptor, a musician, or any other creative professional, it’s up to you to get your name out there and to get your work seen/heard by the masses!

    How are you going to do that? Through utilizing these essential online resources.

    Your website

    Your website is going to be your most powerful tool. All of your work needs to be linked back to the website you create – aka to the brand you work so hard to build online! This is your online home where people will find your social media sites, samples of your work, your contact information, and a little bit of personal info about you!

    It’s super important to have your own domain name for your website, too. A customized domain name like www.AwesomeAtArt.com is 10x better than a non-customized domain name such as www.AwesomeAtArt.Tumblr.com. Keep that in mind when starting up your online portfolio… it’s definitely worth the investment.

    I use BlueHost to host my website…(they also have an awesome affiliate program if you’re interested in monetizing your new site)! Think about purchasing your own domain name, and then do a simple Wordpress install to get your portfolio rockin’ online! I make it super easy for you to get started in this step-by-step guide to creating your own website.

    Niche platforms:

    While the big guys such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are certainly going to be a huge help to you, which I’ll cover in a minute, don’t overlook the importance of joining in with your niche networks – platforms that cater specifically to artists such as yourself! ArtSlant and deviantART are some of the big players in the social art market, and of course, ArtSee

    ArtSee is going to be HUGELY beneficial for the local aspect to your online marketing. This community of artists is intended to help you discover, exchange, and promote art in your local city, and you’ll encounter new faces and new friends in your particular art scene through local events and venues. They offer an array of promo services to and often feature artists, so it’s worth looking into to help get your name out there! It’s also fun (and helpful) to build a network  like this – you never know what can happen, who you’ll meet, where you’ll find inspiration, and what opportunities will come your way.

    “Traditional” Social media

    Once you’ve got your website set up, you’ve joined the ArtSee community, and your portfolio is ready to share with the world, we gotta help people find you online! This is going to happen in a number of ways:

    1.     By continuously creating great content – photos, videos, links, blogs

    2.     By connecting with fans on social sites – Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube… pick your poison. The only thing worse than being on TOO many social sites is being on none at all. The big social media platforms are all free – so use them to your advantage!

    Some marketers suggest sticking to no more than 5 social platforms, or else it becomes impossible to manage and can actually be counterproductive. I think that’s a good rule of thumb! However, you may find that you only want to use 3 or 4. Find where your audience is hanging out, and stick to those core sites. And if you can’t… Let ArtSee help you!

    A note about Facebook: While promoting your work on your personal Facebook page is important, it’s going to help you a TON if you also create a brand page for your work. Your personal page is only going to be found by friends and family, a brand page can be found by perfect strangers just waaaittting to be inspired by your art! Create a brand page, update it regularly, and connect with your fans!

    Don’t forget to join the ArtSee community on Facebook! If you have any social media marketing questions along the way to stardom, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via email at any time or contact ArtSee about their services.

    As Jeff Goins says, “being an artist means to be generous.” So be generous, and help the non-artistically talented folks (like myself), find your work online! We’d love to see it, and we’d love to share it.

    -Jessie Spielvogel, Split Aces Media

    Photo Credit: Jessie Spielvogel and LVK Photography

  4. Brian Petro at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty

    DC-based artist, Brian Petro, will showcase two of his latest collections, Supermarket Series and Roman Series, at TTR Sotheby’s International Realty of Chevy Chase from July 24 through September 28.

    The opening reception for the exhibit will take place on Tuesday, July 24 from 6 until 8 p.m. at 5454 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Chevy Chase, MD.

    At the reception, guests will have the opportunity to view Petro’s work and meet with the artist. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will also be provided.

    Petro’s mixed media paintings in Supermarket Series, as well as his photographic thermal transfer monoprints in Roman Series, pay homage to the artist’s former childhood and adolescent experiences.

    This showcase is part of the TTR Sotheby’s International Realty’s Artist Showcase series. For more information on the event, visit ArtSee’s Facebook page.

    We hope to see you there! 

    Brain Petro paints his Supermarket Series 

  5. ArtSeeDC and Local 16 Host Garth Fry where Art and Happy Hour Collide

    Join ArtSeeDC and Local 16 on June 6 from 6 pm – 8 pm for the first of a monthly series to celebrate local artists over happy hour.

    Next Wednesday, local mixed media artist, Garth Fry, will exhibit some of his latest work within the popular U Street bar and restaurant.

    Fry has exhibited in several locations and galleries throughout the greater D.C. area. Through his continual experimentation with various printmaking techniques, Fry recently developed a more sculptural means of capturing his imagery. He uses coiled paper and glue to create familiar patterns and forms that survey the psychology of isolation.

    The partnership between ArtSeeDC and Local 16 provides support to the D.C. art community by exposing local artists and showcasing their work to new audiences. Future pop up exhibits hosted by ArtSeeDC and Local 16 are scheduled for July 11, August 8, and September 12.

      

    Local 16 is located at 1602 U St NW.

    For more information, contact ArtSee at contact@artseedc.com. 

  6. Sundays With ArtSee: March 25 featuring Celeste Chen

    ArtSee DC is hosting its third event in its featured series, Sundays With ArtSee, on Sunday, March 25 at Tryst in Adams Morgan from 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

    The afternoon will feature work from local artist, Celeste Chen, and will provide artists and enthusiasts an opportunity to casually gather, discuss and appreciate local art.

    Chen is a Boston-born, District resident and current studio art and neurobiology student at Georgetown University. She focuses on depicting moments of transition and inner turmoil with regard to the formation of character. For her, these temporal spaces of identity shifts are best translated into an image-based lexicon of color rather than a vernacular constricted by synthetic rules of arbitrary and forced agreement.

    Chen’s most recent work, which includes drawings and paintings, investigates the interaction between environment and self in the deconstruction and recreation of self-image.

                                                                       

    Sundays With ArtSee is free and open to the public. For more information on Sunday’s event click here, or if you are interested in becoming a featured artist in one of our events, please email us at contact@artseedc.com.

About me

"Bringing the Art in DC to You." Art lovers dedicated to giving you the who, what, where and when in your local arts scene.