Spring Art and Art Festivals: Art and The City

Dominique Paul, “Maquette Damoiseaux,” 2021. Image: Courtesy of the artist

OAS AMA | Art Museum of the Americas
Dominique Paul, “Silent Fall”
April 22-July 20 • www.museum.oas.org

Montreal native Dominique Paul, who now calls Brooklyn home, will exhibit a series of work at the Organization of American States’ Art Museum of the Americas which examines human impacts on the environment, specifically on wildlife. “Silent Fall” is curated by New York-based Ayelet Danielle Aldouby. Paul will use a wide range of mediums including photography and video to address the disappearance of at-risk animal species. The title is inspired by biologist Rachel Carson’s ground-breaking book “Silent Spring.” Aldouby explains that Paul’s work “inspires us to collaborate as compassionate beings and reclaim our role as temporary guardians of a vanishing world.” Paul has spent years researching and evolving this project. 201 18th St. NW. Hours: Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Call (202) 370-0147 or query artmus@oas.org.

IA&A at Hillyer May Solo Exhibitions
Concurrent solo exhibitions by Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter,
Amber Robles-Gordon and Zhenya Parish
May 6-28 • www.athillyer.org

• Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter, “Flight School.” Hunter sees flight as “a spiritual technology,” a means to reach an altered state of being which offers both protection and transcendence. Through a series of abstract mixed-media works, Hunter explores this idea by drawing inspiration from Zora Neale Hurston, Alvin Ailey’s “Revelation” and gospel music lyrics.

• Amber Robles-Gordon, “Remnants: A Visual Journey of Memory and Renewal.” Robles-Gordon’s series addresses the bits and pieces in life that make up memory and loss. By examining the notion of “remnants,” “slivers” and “fragments,” Robles-Gordon recompiles found parts into collages which represent “a journey of self-awareness and growth.” “Together,” she explains, “these artworks present a visual telling of love, loss, and healing.”

Claudia “Aziza” Gibson-Hunter, “Dawn Flight_ Flight Dawn” (detail), 2022, acrylic paint, colored pencil, 25 x 30 x 4 inches. Photo: John Woo

• Zhenya Parish, “The Art of Letting Go.” Like Robles-Gordon, Parish examines fragmentation and loss through a series of recent paintings which examine the “symbology of perceived experiences.” Parish hopes that the pieces “will challenge the viewer to find a new point of relation and help create a moment of understanding, appreciation, or feeling. We live in flux. Embrace it.” 9 Hillyer Court NW. Hours: Tues.-Fri., 12-6 p.m., and Sat.-Sun., 12-5 p.m. Call (202) 338-0680 or query hillyerdirector@artsandartists.org.

New Art Installation Connects Art and Urban Farming

A new series of public art funded by the Darryl Chappell Foundation in partnership with Building Bridges across the River and the District government seeks to connect urban farming with the community through visual markers. Created by local artist Sonia Jones while a resident at the National Children’s Center (NCC) Baby Bloomers Urban Farm, the work connects Ward 8 students with the environment and healthy eating. “I’m honored to be a part of the story of this innovative space that is tackling food insecurity and creating inclusive spaces for children with special needs, while serving as an anchor for continued community engagement,” said Jones. “As a mother who enjoyed my first harvest from my home garden this year,” she added, “I wanted to use my artistic talents to support organizations that teach the next generation to be self-sufficient.”

Spring Art Festival Season

With the arrival of good weather, outdoor art festivals abound. Free of charge, these events are the opportunity to see hundreds of artists and artisans, experience live performances and try new food. Here is a chronological listing of events:

Baby mural. Photo: Ayanah George

VisArts’ 11th Annual Rockville Arts Festival
Sat. & Sun., May 6 & 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The festival features 130 fine artists and artisans, Raku demonstrations by VisArts instructors and community art projects including printmaking and chalk art. Along Maryland Avenue between Beall Avenue and East Middle Lane, Rockville, Maryland. Metro accessible; public parking garages nearby.

Gateway Open Studio Tour | Arts, Beats & Eats
Studio Tour, Sat., May 13, from 12 to5 p.m.
After-party at miXt Food Hall, Sat.,
May 13, from 5 to 8 p.m.

If you’ve ever wanted to explore the region’s largest art district, this is the day to do it. Over 150 artists live and work between Eastern Avenue and College Park. I recommend targeting a few studios this year and planning to come back in 2024. There are too many venues to see in one day. Then, at 5 p.m., go to miXt Food Hall for an after-party and meet the locals. The Gateway Open Studio Tour takes place in Mount Rainier, Brentwood, North Brentwood and Hyattsville, Maryland. Scroll down the website above for all participating locations. miXt Food is at 3809 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood, Maryland. After-party parking at Brentwood Fire Station, 3716 Rhode Island Ave., Brentwood.

Bethesda Fine Arts Festival

Sat., May 13, from 10 a.m. to 6p.m.;
Sun., May 14, 10 a.m.-5 pm.


The Bethesda Fine Arts Festival features artists and artisans from around the nation, selling everything from artwork to handmade furniture to clothing. A stage on Del Ray Avenue will feature live musical performances all weekend. The festival takes place on Del Ray, Auburn and Norfolk avenues. Metro accessible; public parking garages available.

Tephra ICA Festival

Sat., May 20, from 10 a.m. to 6p.m.; Sun., May 21, 10 a.m.-5 pm.


Now in its 32nd year, the event was formerly known as the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival. It boasts over 200 artisans and artists from around the US and features live music as well. Of particular note, artist Hoesy Corona presents “Hacia la Vida” (Toward Life), a performance piece about climate change and its impact on immigration. The artist has created “sculptural costumes” which will be worn by performers  marching in procession through the festival. Reston Town Center, Market Street. Now accessible by Metro’s Silver Line; parking garages nearby.

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