Makda Kibour, a quiet gentle woman who immigrated to the United States from Ethiopia by way of Zambia, has under gone many transformations on her way to becoming an artist. After reaching Pennsylvania, she become part of a Mennonite family for five years, learning to navigate that religion’s discipline of “the simple life." This austere Bible-based faith was quite a contrast to ancient traditional rituals of the Greek Orthodox Church she grew up knowing in Ethiopia. Her artistic sensibilities responded to the expert woodworking and hand sewn quilts pieced with deep reds, blues and other dark colors that were part of the Mennonite culture.Read More
Touchstone oil painter Jeanne Garant paints abstractly. For a painter like Jeanne, abstract means to focus on a particular shape and color noticed at any given moment and then to discard the rest. She draws from the jumble of life rather than trying to capture it all in a photographic or three-dimensional way. Garant's attitude in creating the flat or one-perspective paintings, 275 Stripes, mirrors that of New England painter Milton Avery. “I try to construct a picture in which shapes, spaces, colors, form a set of unique relationships, independent of any subject matter. At the same time I try to capture and translate the excitement and emotion aroused in me by the impact with the original idea.”Read More
Janathel Shaw’s April solo show, SOLIDAREity! is a reflection upon the status of Blacks in America: a series of figurative pieces and portraits of men, women and children looking boldly into the present and the future. Inspiration for this new series derives from the lost souls, activists and community of people who are part and parcel of the American landscape—people who enrich that landscape in both hidden and overt ways. The portraits incorporate texture, rich deep lines and are anchored in contrast. Several are rooted in a defiant solidarity of consciousness, soulfulness, and personal voice. Some are dark in tone in recognition of ongoing struggles.Read More
Once Lisa Tureson decided to leave her career in the insurance industry, there was no stopping her from exploring and learning about the many techniques, materials and tools artists use to express themselves. Actually, she probably always did have a curious and exploratory bent. At age four Lisa often watched her artist-teacher mother at the easel. Thusly inspired, her first murals were created out of her mother’s lip stick on her sisters’ bedroom walls. Whether she was chastised for her use of the lipstick medium or praised for her ambitious wall-size art expression, this “project” proved a precursor to the large paintings in her present day solo exhibit Scribbles: An Urban Art Expression at Touchstone Gallery during March 2017.Read More
For Rob Goebel soccer, swimming and tennis were the sports that filled his young life. Maybe it had something to do with living in Toms River, New Jersey. The beach was nearby and surfing with friends a fun pastime. By the time Rob was a senior in high school his swim team ranked in the top 10 in the state. While some TV specials, like HBO's Boardwalk Empire, were filmed here, the town of fewer than 100,00 friendly folks was rated one of the safest small cities in the nation in 2006 and 2007. Add to the beach life an annual Halloween parade touted to be the second-largest in the world, and you have a genial place in which to grow up.Read More
Washington, DC, artist Dee Levinson learned at an early age to collage imagery and colors together. As a child she began by pasting small museum art reproductions into little booklets her mother provided. This seemingly inconsequential activity instilled in Levinson the notion that one could mix just about anything together to make a piece of art. Today she does this “collaging” by mixing classical forms painted in a linear manner with highly saturated colors reminiscent of early 20th century German Expressionists.
John Blee, a Washington DC artist, explores new spatial and emotional dimensions in Orchard Suite, his latest series of acrylic paintings on exhibit at Touchstone Gallery. While most of his works vibrate with the intense spring blossom hues that are signature to his palette, several other paintings offer deeper, nocturnal shades, reflecting inverse color themes. Playful geometries activate abstract, luminous sky-and-earth compositions and dance with one another to create an unlikely balance and playfulness. The effect in the viewer is usually an uplifted spirit one might call joie de vivre.
Miriam's Kitchen Studio Artists are homeless individuals trying to find jobs and homes in Washington DC. During this process they participate in art activities that nurture their creative sides. Some of their works are on exhibit at Touchstone Gallery during the month of November 2015: "Handpicked: Works from Miriam's Kitchen Studio Artists."Read More
It's not surprising that Gail Vogels was inspired by the novel All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr when she set out to construct her new multi-media art works. She's been interested in literature most of her life, studying it in college and coming away with a bachelor's degree in the field. "That book was a launching point for me. I wanted to explore micro and macro themes happening simultaneously--those natural forces and choices that make us human beings. Using mixed media elements -instead of painting - I tried to figure out how to make various themes intersect on a picture plane. Plus, using scissors and glue is fun. The process is old school and the experience evokes your childhood."Read More
Bill is a ceramic sculptor — one who works at taking clay from the earth and transforming it into sculptures, which recall ancient myths. The clay, heavy to begin with, becomes light and intensely fragile as he works with it.Read More
Touchstone sculptors Wheeler, Shaw, Luckett, Frazier and Brotman transform earthen materials and detritus into elegant sculptural forms using fire, colorants, adhesives, carving tools and imaginations keyed into limitless possibilities of three dimensional construction. They share a love of materials, storytelling, and an internal inclination to build--to transform one form into another form.Read More