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Friday, February 19, 2010

Group Show at Park Cafe

H Street Icon | EXHIBITIONS |

Park Café is currently hosting a show of the work of three Capitol Hill Artists, Anne Oman, M’El Abrecht and Ida Mae Mantel whose watercolors and colored pencil drawings, all inspired from a trip to Peru, are on display through March 13th. Park Café owner, Alcione Vinet, has long been a champion of local artists, displaying hosting exhibits at his intimate bistro at Lincoln Park . The opening reception for the “Peru” show will be on Sunday, February 21st, from 5:30 -6:30 pm. Stop by for a glass of wine and view an example of what Capitol Hill Artists have to offer. Stay for a sumptuous meal at Park Café, located at 106 13th Street SE at Lincoln Park. For reservations, call 202.543.0184 and visit www.parkcafedc.com to discover more.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Provocative Photography for your Valentine’s Pleasure

H Street Icon | ART OPENINGS |

What better way to spend your Valentine’s weekend than with images of sex, death and forest frivolity?

Grab your date du jour and head over to the Evolve Urban Arts Project’s opening reception for Orchestrated Misbehavior, featuring photographer Erica Riccardell, MFA, Saturday, February 13th from 4-7pm. The Project space is located in the Pierce School Lofts at 1375 Maryland Avenue, NE, in the H Street Arts and Entertainment District.

Orchestrated Misbehavior stems from Ms. Riccardelli’s penchant for carefully arranging her pictorial components into fanciful tableaux vivants. Born in Germany, this self-described “army brat” spent most of her formative years transferring between her father’s multiple postings throughout the U.S. On the long car rides spent driving from one “home” to another “home”, she passed time by gazing at the landscape whirring by, imagining herself as a princess, or a damsel imbued with magical powers. With a self-described “fondness for the absurd”, Ms. Riccardelli now brings these daydreams to reality by inserting herself into engaging juxtapositions that simultaneously reflect her dark humor and romantic aesthetic.

This exhibition includes images from two ongoing series of work. Migration is a Promise posits that species’ biological impulse to migrate creates a form of order in an often chaotic world – a form of order which “promises” the continuation of life. To investigate this behavior, the artist began her own migration, traveling into the forest where she becomes the protagonist in ritualized performances caught on film. The second series, Petite Mort/e, examines the subtle ironies in language used to describe human biological processes involved in both the beginning and end of life. Petite mort (“little death”) is a French phrase used to describe the physical and mental characteristics of an orgasm. Here Riccardelli toys with the idea that the moment of orgasm, like the moment of death, is an instant when we slip away from conscious reality. Using a smattering of props, a 4x5 camera and her own body as a corpse, she creates staged, post-mortem images of women passed (or petite morte) in scenes ranging from made-for-TV dramatics to the darkly humorous.

Erica Riccardelli: Orchestrated Misbehavior runs February 6 through March 27, 2010. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday from 1 – 4pm. Other times are available through appointment. The Evolve Urban Arts Project enriches the lives of residents, neighbors in the H Street Community, and Washington, DC at large by providing free exhibition space to artists based in the metropolitan area.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Polishing Your Drawing Skills

H Street Icon | CLASSES |

When a drawing is going well time stops. Hours will pass and I am only dimly aware that my cup of coffee has gone stone cold and the sun has set outside my studio window. In Drawing II beginning February 9, students will have the chance to experience a zen-like concentration as we explore some challenging subjects in graphite. There is still room in the class for people interested in developing their drawing skills.

For information, go to the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, www.chaw.org and look for Drawing II, Tuesday evenings from 6:30-9pm or call 202 547-6839.

Cut Glass Vase by Srinjoy Mitra