It’s 2016 and Touchstone Gallery is in a celebratory mood! Being one of the longest-tenured and most highly regarded artist-owned galleries in Washington, DC, Touchstone will celebrate its 40th year in Washington on May 13th with an Anniversary Gala and a May 4-29 member artists show, featuring solo artists, Paula Lantz and Colleen Sabo, and works by present and former members. The gala and show are open to the public.
Touchstone Gallery was founded in 1976 by 30 talented and committed artists and has become an institution in the DC arts community. The Gallery has earned a well-deserved reputation for showcasing a wide range of award-winning contemporary art, including painting, prints, sculpture, mixed media, and photography.
“Touchstone continues to be a collective creation of DC area artists,” explained Rosemary Luckett, a Touchstone collage artist and art teacher. “Our goal is to enrich the community by promoting art, making it accessible, available, and affordable.”
Over its history, Touchstone has been home to over 300 member artists and it has provided a show venue for guest artists who were part of national and local juried shows. It has also collaborated with local organizations, such as Art Enables, Miriam's Kitchen Studio, the Duke Ellington High School of the Arts, Capital Fringe, The Prisons Foundation and many others. And it has partnered with embassies to exhibit international artists, including France, Estonia, the Netherlands, and Afghanistan.
“For 40 years, Touchstone has been home to many outstanding artists,” said sculptor Janet Wheeler, a founding member. “We have worked hard to promote a rich variety of area talent, to connect collectors with our artists, and to foster the artistic and career growth of participating artists. I continue to be proud of the impact we’ve had on our members and the contributions we have made to DC’s cultural and artistic community.”
“Touchstone’s founders envisioned not just a gallery providing an exceptional home to area artists, but also a vibrant contributor to the broader community. The gallery is concerned with the community beyond its walls, a defining part of its structure that sets us apart from many other galleries,” said Ksenia Grishkova, Gallery Director. “We host student art shows and art exhibitions that are a result of art therapy programs, thereby supporting our local community, and sometimes contribute a percentage of sales to local service organizations.”
With community on its mind, in 2012 the gallery created the nonprofit Touchstone Foundation for the Arts (TFA). TFA organizes art classes for children and adults in the Shaw neighborhood, showcases the works of artists from DC non-profit agencies, and sponsors fellowships for emerging artists, which include mentoring, two years of gallery membership and a solo exhibit. Alexander Padro, Executive Director of Shaw Main Streets, Inc., says, “Congratulations to Touchstone Gallery for four decades of exposing the work of new and established DMV artists to DC art lovers. Shaw has a great tradition and history as the home of great artists, from Alma Thomas to ‘Duke’ Ellington, and Touchstone is an important part of what makes Shaw one of Washington’s premier arts destinations.”
Touchstone Gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-6 and Saturday-Sunday 12-5. The gallery offers its unique space for special event rentals.
For more information, contact: Ksenia Grishkova, Director, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call