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Art and the City

The water moves—shimmers, reflects and distorts. It can leave a photostatic, but fluid image on your optic nerve. It’s a vision circulating among your neurons and it can get stuck in your head and run through your mind like the echoes of a musical refrain.

The water paintings of Jillian Macedonia bring you home to where it all began eons ago—a float in an environment so natural, so blessing, yet so threatening and threatened. Humans swim or frolic in lakes or near shorelines. Boats ride softly and comfortably in protected ports. Water simply flows downstream or bubbles from a fountain. She is able to capture a substance so familiar, yet so mysterious.

Fallen, oil on canvas, 36″ x 52″, Jillian Macedonia

Jillian revels in each of her topics, from landscapes to harbors, to people going about their lives in the Tuscany region of Italy. She has been a repeating resident of La Macina di San Cresci, an artist residency in Greve in Chianti, Italy, since 2009.

Jillian grew up in Detroit and received a masters degree in art from American University and stayed in the DC area. She has a studio in Edgewater and teaches art at a middle school in Glen Burnie.

Whether precisely visually defined or abstracted—flowing waters, village scenes and portraits in everyday settings—the paintings of Jillian Macedonia capture that moment that registers in your mind, then disappears into the currents of time.

You can find her work now at the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland. {See: At the Galleries] and at other venues throughout the region.


Mermaid, oil on canvas, 25″ x 31″, Jillian Macedonia

Jim Magner’s Thoughts on Art
Water is more enigma than thing—contracting when frigid, then expanding when frozen. We need it to live, yet it’s nature’s strongest solvent. To an artist it can be sparkling or stagnant, flowing softly in streams, roaring down mountains, crashing against cliffs or chasing itself in river eddies. It can absorb colors or reflect them. It’s forever fascinating.

Over the centuries, thousands of artists, both famous and not, have been captivated, by its ever-changing character and appearance. The challenge is to make it seem so natural in any environment that viewers immediately accept it for what it is. If it looks strained or worked over, the whole painting suffers…regardless of how small a proportion of the canvas it covers.

There are practically as many techniques as there are artists. Watercolor painters like Winslow Homer and Thomas Eakins let the media be itself and flow over and into the surface of the paper.

It can also be mastered in oils. J.M.W. Turner, Claude Monet and others celebrated water as a life form—dramatic and alive. It often becomes the essence of the work—even the subject itself.

Jillian Macedonia, [see Artist Profile] can get as much fluidity and visual excitement in her paintings of water as any of the celebrated masters. It can easily become fixating. If you look long enough, it welcomes you home.

At the Galleries
The Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW)
545 7th St., SE
Jan. 7 — Feb. 16
Reception: Fri., Feb.1, 6 -7
Lenora Yerkes is the recipient of the 2019 Gallery Artist Residency, a six-week paid residency in the CHAW’s gallery where she will work and display her daily drawings, creating a total narrative experience. Lenora will be drawing in the gallery on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays beginning January 7th from 5:00-8:00, and on Saturdays 12-3. Lenora will also teach a workshop: “How to Narrate Your Life in Comics” on Saturday, February 16, from 2—4. All events are free and open to everyone.

Hill Center
921 Pennsylvania Ave. SW
Jan., 10 – March 3
Reception: Jan. 16, 6:30-8:30
The Hill Center’s first juried exhibition of the year lists 84 artists from throughout the region. The juror, Caitlin Berry, Associate Director at Hemphill Fine Arts, “faced a difficult task of selecting 100 pieces of work from over 600 submitted pieces from 130 artists.” During the reception on January 16, she will announce the top three prize winners.

Tory Cowles
Touchstone Gallery
901 New York Ave, NW
Jan 2 — 31
Reception: Sat., Jan. 5, 4 – 6
Artist talk: Sat., Jan. 19, 4 – 6
This is Tory’s inventive solo sculpture show that includes body sculptures that you can wear as well as stationary installations. The opening reception is a celebration not just of art but the art of movement. A dance troupe, wearing the body sculptures will lead the dance and offer the sculptures to others who may join in. Tory promises that the opening will be “pretty improvisational.”

Bradley Stevens
Zenith Gallery
1429 Iris St NW
—Jan 19
You still have time to visit Zenith to see the new Bradley Stevens series of paintings, “Museum Studies II: Honoring the Female Perspective.” Stevens recreates the interior of National Gallery, with individual masterpieces. He features women experiencing art so that “the physical and psychological act of “looking” is the subject.”

“Three Figurative Painters”
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland
6500 Cherrywood Lane
Greenbelt, MD.
The Court is the venue for three very good “figurative” painters. Julian Macedonia, (see: Artist Profile) is exhibiting new paintings from her “Swimmers” series and her La Macina di San Cresci series. Steve Schulman captivates with expressive portraits of everyday life. Lora Moran-Collins captures the emotion of a time and place and the people sharing that time.

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