Art and the City

Nicole Santiago “Second Time Around.” Image courtesy The Athenaeum Gallery & the artist

The Athenaeum Gallery
Nicole Santiago Through March 19. Artist Talk: March 19 at 2 p.m.

Nicole Santiago, whose paintings are currently on view at Athenaeum Gallery in Alexandria, Virginia, took third place at the prestigious annual Bethesda Painting Awards in 2019. Her paintings portray family-scenes familiar enough to immediately draw-in the viewer and many of them feature cake in some form, either sliced or in their entirely. Santiago explains in her artist statement that the work is quite intimate and reveals that she “intends to construct something more universal that stretches beyond the limits of her own experiences, expanding into broader familiar themes. “The scenes of daily life which initially draw you in suddenly become interrupted by out-of-place behavior. For example, in “Second Time Around” a seemingly intoxicated woman sits in her undergarments with her legs apart in very public view of children and other guests. A young girl covers her mouth as if shocked by the adult’s behavior.  Santiago’s paintings are exquisitely rendered and her clever visual storylines ask more questions then they answer. 201 Prince Street, Alexandria, VA. Hours: Thu-Sun: 12-4 pm. 703-548-0035

Glen Echo Partnership for the Arts Popcorn Gallery
Otis Street Arts Project “Rending…Rendering” – Through March 26

Glen Echo Partnership for the Arts has extensive facilities on a walkable campus adjacent to the Potomac River just over the Maryland line from DC. At the Popcorn Gallery, one of several galleries at Glen Echo, ten artists from Mount Rainier, Maryland’s Otis Street Arts Project, including Ceci Cole McInturff, Chris Combs, Elizabeth Curren, Art Drauglis, David Mordini, Liz Lescault, Kirsty Little, Shelley Lowenstein, Lisa Rosenstein, Gloria Vasquez, present a wide-array of works centered around a common theme. The theme of the exhibition, as the artists describe it, is the “the duality of construction and deconstruction in new work.” The artists also ask, “Can a creation exist without some kind of destruction? Are ashes required to sprout?” Processes used to answer questions about death and rebirth include the use of shredding, weaving and welding materials such as pulp, plastic trash, and palm husks. 7300 MacArthur Blvd. Glen Echo, MD. Hours: Saturdays & Sundays, 12-6 pm. 301-634-2222.

David C. Driskell “Woman in Interior II..” Image courtesy Raven Editions & Pyramid Atlantic Art Center

Pyramid Atlantic Art Center
“A Collaboration of Creativity: Print Work of David C. Driskell” – Through March 19

Artist and professor Curlee Raven Holton has curated a series of 30 prints by the late David C. Driskell (1931-2020) in an exhibition titled “A Collaboration of Creativity: Print Work of David C. Driskell.” Driskell, a prominent artist and historian, is credited as being one of the most influential advocates and scholars in the field of African American art. His legacy lives on at his namesake institution at the University of Maryland College Park where a rigorously programmed gallery, a vast repository of artwork and an extensive archive offer both visitors and researchers an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and appreciation of African American art. For over 30 years, Holton has worked with renowned artists such as Faith Ringgold, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Chakaia Booker and Robert Beachum. In 2006, Holton founded his own print studio, Raven Editions. For his first project, Holton turned to friend and fellow artist David Driskell to create a series of prints. The first work in the series, “Woman in Interior” can be seen–and purchased–at Pyramid Atlantic. The curated collection of work includes colored serigraphs as well as black-and-white relief prints. 4318 Gallatin Street, Hyattsville MD, 20781. Hours: Wed-Thu: 10:00 am–8:00 pm. Fri-Sun: 10:00 am-6:00 pm.| Mon-Tue: Closed. 301-608-9101.

Lisa K. Rosenstein “Wild.” Image courtesy of Portico Gallery.

Portico Gallery
“Unfettered” – Mixed Media assemblages by Liz Lescault and Lisa Rosenstein Through March 18

In a joint exhibition curated by John Paradiso entitled “Unfettered” at Portico Gallery, the works of Liz Lescault and Lisa Rosenstein engage in a dialog of deconstruction and reconstruction by way of an artistic process which uses discarded materials such as plastic. These are then reassembled into forms which look uncannily familiar. Lescault explains it this way: “My current sculptural pieces are primarily constructed with extruded plastic filament, sometimes combined with mixed media and found objects.” Similarly, Rosenstein describes her art as being, “about deconstruction and reconstruction. My process is one of breaking/tearing and repairing—weaving something new out of the fragments.” What is especially remarkable is that the artists create works which trick the senses into believing that these forms are “real” and naturally occurring. 3807 Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood, MD. Hours: Saturday 12-3 p.m. and by appointment. 202-487-8458.

Chris Combs “Cluster.” Image courtesy of the artist.

East City Art’s Capital Art Book Fair
Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2
Saturday: noon-8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Eastern Market’s North Hall

The first edition of East City Art’s Capital Art Book Fair takes place at Eastern Market’s North Hall. The event is open to the public, free of charge. Over 30 exhibitors from Canada, Mexico and the US will display books as works of art, editions about art or artists, limited run books as well as DIY zines, graphic novels, prints and art magazines. The exhibitors include artists, independent publishers, small presses, illustrators and photographers. For this edition, East City Art has partnered with Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and Hill Center to co-locate programming during the fair. Programming includes panel discussions on art publishing, artist talks, exhibitions and free children’s art workshops. 

Phil Hutinet is the founding publisher of East City Art, DC’s visual art journal of record. For more information visit