Wednesday, October 05, 2016

The Athenaeum Invitational Exhibition runs through November 6, 2016

Athenaeum logo, hexadecimal
TTR | Sotheby's International Realty
Underwriting the Athenaeum Invitational
and Providing $2,500 in Prizes for Artists
Megan Beyer Determining Prize Winners
David Carlson Being Awarded the Invited Artist Prize
Karen Fitzgerald Being Awarded the Open-Call Artist Prize

  The Invited Artist Prize Winner: David Carlson, The Other Side of Empty, oil and acrylic on canvas, 60 x 72", 2016

The Athenaeum Gallery is dedicated to the excellent art being created in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV). We strive to include the best of a broad array of styles and genres, the full complement of media, and to reflect the diverse ethnic and cultural fabric of this region. And then we try to add a layer of context, so viewers have more than a purely visual experience. Even if someone doesn't "like" what is on the walls - we hope they will find it compelling, relevant, and thought-provoking. If nothing else, we hope visitors will leave the Athenaeum Gallery with a greater appreciation for the creative forces at work around them - as we do.

  Left Photo: Jennifer Brewer Stone, Tori Cowles and Invited Artist, Sheep Jones. Right Photo: Invited Artist Winner Dave Carlson,
  Open Call Artist Prize Winner Karen Fitzgerald, Rob Carney, TTR | Sotheby's International Realty, Amy Heiden, President of the NVFAA
 Board of Trustees, Twig Murray, NVFAA Board Member and Gallery Director, and Megan Beyer, Executive Director for the President's
 Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Theme: Oh! The Joy!
The theme invited artists to reflect on a moment of pure joy. It was inspired by  Lewis and Clark's expedition across the unchartered North American continent to reach the Pacific Ocean. After an arduous, two-year trek, William Clark crested a hill, saw the vast body of water and cried, "The Ocean in view. Oh! The joy!" It was suggested that artists might explore that singular burst of relief and satisfaction after enduring a difficult task, the magic of being struck by something unexpected and delightful, or the sudden transformation that is experienced in sheer ebullience. 

In fact, at the moment those words were uttered by Clark, the expedition was actually facing an estuary of the Columbia River, not the open ocean. This presented another aspect of the theme for artists to consider: whether a moment of joy is 'valid' when it is later learned that the reason or impetus for the emotion was wrong or undeserved.

  Left: Chris Brandel, Together, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 54", 2016,   Right: Robin Goree, Orange Garden, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 36", 2014

The Athenaeum Invitational Process: 

After deciding on the theme, we selected a small number of artists who have exhibited with us before to create a work specially for the show. Then we posted an 'open call' for submissions to any artist living or working the the DMV. Artists included in the show were selected by Gallery Director Twig Murray. Megan Beyer, Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, reviewed the exhibition and determined that the $1,500 Invited Artist Prize would go to David Carlson, and that the $1,000 Open-Call Artist Prize would go to Karen Fitzgerald. The checks were awarded by Rob Carney of TTR | Sotheby's International Realty.
  Left Photo: Invited artist Anne Marchand and Open Call artist Terry Sitz (image courtesy of Anne Marchand Studio), Open Call artist Michael
  Gessner sports his whimsical sculpture, Joy Helmet.

The Invited Artists are:David CarlsonMimi Frank, Sheep Jones, Hannale Lahti, Anne Marchand, Carol Reed, Suzanne Stryk
The Open-Call Artists are:
Kathlyn Avila-Reyes, Carol Barsha, Christine Bernstein, Dennis Bartsch, Chris Brandell, Stephen Estrada, Karen Fitzgerald, Michael Gessner, Robin Goree, Marty Guthrie, Patricia Howard, Joanne Kent, Francois Lampietti, Peter McClintock, Mike McConnell, Lorie McCown, Lilianne Milgrom, Leslie Nolan, Lynn Putney, Cherie Redlinger, Randi Reiss-McCormack, Terry Sitz, Eve Stockton,  David Terrar, Alex Tolstoy, Nanci Varipapa, Suzanne Vigil,  Richard Weiblinger

  The Open-Call Artist Prize Winner: Karen Fitzgerald, Obey All the Rules, Miss All the Fun (II), expired gallery cards and UV resin, 24 x 60", 2016

This exhibit will be on view through November 6, 2016.

 Katie Baines and Amy Chan | Color Disorder
 November 10 - January 8
  Left: Katie Baines, Ichthyology, acrylic on panel, 36 x 48", 2014
  Right: Amy Chan, Grass of Parnassus, gouache, acrylic, and screen print on paper mounted on panel, 22 x 30", 2014

Both artists use diverse painting materials such as acrylic, gouache, airbrush and screen print to build energized abstract paintings. The richly layered surfaces conjure the formal elements of color, shape, and line, while also taking cues from bizarre real life objects such as coral, bolts of lightning or diatoms. Baines and Chan share an interest in color palettes that evoke meaning and the use of meticulous brushstrokes to convey control in an otherwise uncertain process. With intensely jarring color that flirts with the viewer, their works combine moments of intense observation with a tangible sense of humor to form textured meditations on abstraction and the natural world.
Katie Baines and Amy Chan teach at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Athenaeum Gallery  | 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, Va 22314  |  703.548.0035 /

The Athenaeum Gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Sunday from 12 to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 1 to 4 pm.  It is closed on holidays. Admission is free.

The NVFAA is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all forms of art, and to establishing programs that will enrich the cultural life of Northern Virginia and the surrounding metropolitan area. The Athenaeum Gallery exhibits work created solely by artists living or working in the region and strives to present visitors with a wide variety of excellent art and unique experiences.

The NVFAA is partially supported by funding from the Alexandria Commission for the Arts.The NVFAA is committed to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. To request a reasonable accommodation or materials in an alternative format contact us at or call 703.548.0035.
The Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association, 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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