Where on can you find three floors filled wall-to-wall with art? At the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, a landmark on Capitol Hill. This 150 year old community center offers classes, outdoor concerts, films, performances, lectures, rental space for special events and cultural programs along with six art installation spaces, for five exhibits each year. Since 2011, hundreds of artists have exhibited their work at Hill Center. Now until October 1, 2017, the annual Hill Center Regional Juried Exhibition, featuring over 100 local artists is featured.
This year’s juror, Claude L. Elliott, curator and art consultant, took on the daunting task of viewing more than 560 images submitted digitally from 120 artists for the annual competition. 104 art works were chosen, 3-D wall sculptures, photographs, textile art, mixed media and paintings of all mediums.
“Most important is the power of the image and its emotional impact, i.e., a work that makes you think or feel,” Elliott said, explaining the criteria for his judging. He complimented the positioning and installation of the exhibit credited to Nicky Cymrot, Director of the Hill Center Galleries.
“The process of installing a group exhibition by many artists always requires a careful look at the pieces of work to recognize whether there are themes or trends that should emphasized,” Cymrot said. She added, “In our current exhibit, our juror, Claude Elliott, definitely chose a large selection of works related to social justice issues and it became obvious that those pieces should be installed together. The result is spectacular.”
On June 28 the doors of the Hill Center opened at night for the reception and premiere of the exhibit; artists along with more than 400 visitors poured into the Hill Center. Mr. Elliott was introduced by Nicky Cymrot at the awards ceremony and the winners, all present with one exception, happily accepted their awards. Elliott’s advice: “My wish is that you visit often and take the time to look closely.”
All artwork is available for purchase with a portion of proceeds supporting free programs at Hill Center. The Hill Center Galleries are open seven days a week. Check website for exact hours. www.hillcenterdc.org
Closing Reception: On September 20, 7:30-9:00 pm The Hill Center invites everyone to a closing reception for this exhibit. Come and talk with the artists and bring your friends for an art-filled night. Free.
1st Place: Claudia Gibson-Hunter, “Boundless Ritual #1”.
A combination of assemblage and printmaking, this winning piece is the 4th and last of a series. Created after the passing of her father, Claudia explains, “I was his caretaker, his life guard. It is the re-entry after taking a rest from the challenges of life. It is that point at which one has gathered the courage and tensity to continue to explore one’s humanity….boundlessness.” Her work is included in the Washington DC Art Bank, the John A. Wilson Building Permanent Art collection and other notable collections. Claudia Gibson-Hunter Studio, Washington, DC, Email: [email protected]
2nd Place: Judith Peck, “Pendulum”.
Inspired by a quote by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, ”A great man once said that the true symbol of the United States is not the bald eagle. It is the pendulum”, Peck reinterpreted the pendulum theory. She says, “ This country has often gained some semblance of justice just to swing to extremes.” I had my model look to the future, past and present and stand up for what is right in each case.” Peck’s technique of using broken shards wedged between layers of gesso in the painting has a purpose, “I use it to show the broken world we live in and how if you see people with compassion you might heal the shards by focusing on the people.” http://judithpeck.net/ and Aug. 4-Aug. 24, Touchstone Gallery, Washington, DC
3rd Place: Ju Yun, “Birth of Nature”.
Yun says her work, “Invites a void into the visual space. Inside the empty space the objects stop or pass; they struggle with each other or become engulfed in themselves; they boast or dally; they reach for the top or fade away”, exactly as nature does. Her colors are deliberately brilliant with a sense of movement that jumps out and yet this piece has a quiet sense of spirituality and creativity. https://www.absolutearts.com/portfolios/j/juyun/ and https://www.saatchiart.com/jartstudio
Justyne Fischer, “Loosie Law”. www.justynefischer.com/home
Kay Fuller, “Finding My Way”. www.kayfullerart.portfoliolounge.com/
Gediyon Kifle, “Gray I”. www.facebook.com/GediyonKiflePhotography
Morgan Monceaux, Slim Jones morgan-monceaux.com/
Richard Weiblinger, “Jetty Danger 9252” Weiblingerphotography.smugmug.com
Karen Cohen is a Jersey girl now calling Capitol Hill her home and is a seasoned professional photojournalist. Her rock and roll journals were inducted into the library archives of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. A member of Capitol Hill Art League, Professional Women Photographers, Arlington Arts Alliance, she exhibits her photographs at galleries across the States and monthly at Gallery Underground in Arlington, VA. [email protected]