Girl Power is Alive and Well in the DMV Art Scene
By F. Lennox Campello
According to the research done by the Washington City Paper in 2017, the term “DMV” to refer to the District, Maryland and Virginia first appeared in a DC ART NEWS blog post that I wrote in 2003 – And yes! I therefore do claim that I invented it!
The Greater Washington, D.C., capital region (the DMV) is not only home to some of the best art museums in the world, dozens of art galleries, non-profit art spaces, alternative art venues, and art organizations, but it also supports fertilizes of the best and most creative visual art scenes in the nation.
This scene is kindled and ignited to a large extent by female artists of all ages, races and ethnicities – an artistic female universe significantly more diverse than just about any of other major city on the planet. By the same logic and path, the artwork created by these fertile minds examine every possible corner of the visual arts genres and creative corners.
Celebrating this art scene, I want to use part of this month’s column to announce that I have and am compiling works by a number of leading and talented emerging contemporary female visual artists who represent the tens of thousands of women artists working in this culturally and ethnically diverse region in order to assemble a group show to showcase the immense power of the visual arts being created by these artists.
Let me repeat myself: Equally diverse as the artists, are the artistic styles and media you will see in this curated exhibition, the first of its kind for the capital area.
With more than 100 works of art potentially available for curatorial selection, this exhibition will offer a primer for both the experienced art eye and the beginning art aficionado, highlighting a selection of talented artists who usually deserve more attention on a local, regional and national scale.
And now for some recent local shows…
- Jordan Bruns has been a resident artist at Glen Echo’s Stone Tower Gallery for 15 years, but currently he has a solo a Glen Echo’s Popcorn Gallery, which according to the news release:
The Popcorn Gallery is proud to present Playing with Reality: 15 Years at Glen Echo Park a solo exhibition by Glen Echo Park Resident Artist J. Jordan Bruns. Bruns has been creating a wide range of paintings in the Stone Tower Studio since joining the Park 15 years ago. He is known for his large-scale abstractions depicting themes of order vs. chaos. This retrospective show celebrates his range as an artist, featuring a stunning collection of paintings with varying degrees of realism. From portraits and landscapes that evoke mood and personality to still life paintings that border on “trompe l’oeil” realism, utilizing expert oil painting techniques, demonstrating the breadth of his artistic output.
I went to see the show a few days ago and was immensely impressed by the artist’s facility with the brush in a show that at first glance would seem to be a two-person show!
First we see a series of acrylic wash painting which were executed when Bruns lived in Japan for a few years and explored that nation’s artistic ancestry – both in media and subject. We see temples and images which one would swear come from the trained hand of a Japanese master artist, but it is quite clear that Bruns’ Japanese period works speak for their own – they tell the visual tale of a brush master absorbing the Japanese scenery with the facility of a seasoned Japanese brush painter; they are nonetheless fresh and contemporary – this is a rare marriage indeed.
But it is Bruns immensely fresh series of studio portraits which (in my opinion) tend to dominate the show, not only for the facility and deceptive ease with which Bruns delivers the brushy color application to define the subject with immense freshness and skill, but also by the unintended juxtapositioning that they deliver to the show when paired with the Japanese paintings – it is as if two master artists decided to hold a two person show: One a master color-wash painter, the other a master of the color scale. And it works!
This is a terrific example of an artist’s artists show – it allows Bruns to flex his formidable painting skills in two opposite directions and showcase his mastery over both! It also allows the viewer to absorb the painting traditions of two cultures superbly delivered by a seasoned and skilled master artist.
Who to watch for at my Show:
Jennifer Kahn Barlow
Shanti Chandra Sekar
Carol Brown Goldberg
About the Author: F. Lennox Campello’s art news, information, gallery openings, commentary, criticism, happenings, opportunities, and everything associated with the global visual arts scene with a special focus on the Greater Washington, DC area has been a premier source for the art community for over 20 years. Since 2003, his blog has been the 11th highest ranked art blog on the planet with over SIX million visitors.