On display: May 4 – 29, 2016
TOUCHSTONE GALLERY CELEBRATES ITS 40th YEAR IN BUSINESS
CHAMPAGNE GALA RECEPTION: Friday, May 13, 6-8:30 PM
Hors d’Oeuvres provided by Acadiana Restaurant
Brazilian music by Tom Rohde, guitar and Pablo Regis de Oliveira, cavaquinho
(Free and open to the public)
Washington, DC -- Touchstone Gallery, one of the longest-tenured and most highly regarded artist-owned galleries in Washington, DC, will celebrate its 40th year in Washington on May 13th with an Anniversary Gala and May 4-29 member artists show, featuring solo artists, Paula Lantz and Colleen Sabo, and works by 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 in which it operates.
“The gallery was created as an art space with a social conscience, concerned with the community beyond its walls, and this is a defining part of our structure that sets us apart from many of our peers,” 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.”
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 History
1976: Touchstone Gallery was established as an artist-owned gallery and opened its doors at a large gallery at 2130 P St. NW in Dupont Circle, then the prime gallery area in Washington. The opening crowd was so large that P Street was gridlocked for several hours. Touchstone operated from the P St. location for thirteen great years.
1990: Touchstone moved to a commercial space at the corner of R St and Connecticut Avenue NW, the old Toast and Strawberries building. The space was rented “as is” and was quickly renovated with the financial and in-kind support of donors and a local builder.
1995: Motivated to grow its membership, Touchstone relocated to 406 7th St. NW, in what is now known as the historic Penn Quarter section of Washington. The new gallery offered an expansive exhibition space and quickly became a “destination gallery” in a very active art scene that included several exhibition spaces and five other galleries. Touchstone enjoyed 15 years of successful exhibitions on 7th St., but was forced to move when the building was closed for renovation in 2009.
“Many in the Penn Quarter neighborhood were saddened to learn that 406 7th Street’s owner planned on renovating the building, requiring the tenants, including Touchstone Gallery, to find new spaces to lease. Happily, Touchstone Gallery eventually found a home at Boston Properties new building on New York Avenue. Their presence continues to contribute to the Penn Quarter arts scene and delight both those who live and work here with its ever changing exhibits.” Jo-Ann Neuhaus, Executive Director,
Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association.
2010: Touchstone Gallery moved to its current location into custom-built space at 901 New York Avenue NW. With street-level prominence, it is the most elegant space to date, and is located between the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center; it is also just across from CityCenterDC and near three other art galleries.
Touchstone Gallery is open Wednesday-Friday 11-6 and Saturday-Sunday 12-5. The gallery offers its unique space for special event rentals.
Exhibiting Artists: Lina Alattar, Steve Alderton, David Alfuth, Linda Bankerd, Ann Barbieri, David Beers, Harmon Biddle, Jo Ann Block, Jill E. Brantley, Richard Braswell, Dana Brotman, Chica Brunsvold, Roberto Carvalho, Danny Conant, Marcia Coppel, Tory Cowles, Charlie Dale, Lionel Daniels, Mari DeMaris, Anthony Dortch, Susan De Serio Faden, Susan Feller, Connie Fleres, Elaine Florimonte, Michelle Frazier, Pamela Frederick, Jeanne Garant, Judith Giuliani, Robert Goebel, M. Alexander Gray, Marco Gutierrez Zevallos, Patricia Helsing, Angela Herbert Hodges, Carolyn Johnson, Timothy Johnson, Leslie A. Johnston, Peter Karp, Aleksandra Katargina, Nihal Kececi, Makda Kibour, Ai-Wen Wu Kratz, Chee-Keong Kung, Harvey Kupferberg, Michael Lang, Paula Lantz, Cathy Leaycraft, Carl Lennartson, Francine Livaditis, Teresa RobertsLogan, Carol Lopatin, Marge Loudon Moody, Shelley Lowenstein, Rosemary Luckett, Mary H. Lynch, Kate McConnell, Pete McCutchen, JoAnn McInnis, McCain McMurray, Newton S. More, Bill Mould, Georgia Nassikas, Minna Nathanson, Aina Nergaard-Nammack, Leslie M. Nolan, Nancy Novick, Mary D. Ott , Mark Palmer, Cheryl Parsons, Wendy Plotkin-Mates, Lauren Rader, BD Richardson, Ron Riley, April Rimpo, Michelle Rogers, Colleen Sabo, Amy Sabrin, Claudia Samper, Rhona LK Schonwald, Rima Schulkind, Janathel Shaw, Connie Slack, Janos Somogyi, Maureen M. Squires, Tre, Mary Trent Scott, Lisa Tureson, Rosa Vera, Gail Vogels, Gale Wallar, Jonathan Wassom, Ellyn Weiss, Janet Wheeler, Melissa Widerkehr, Patricia Williams.