The Studio Gallery on R St has graciously allowed the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium to host a benefit for the past two years. In doing so, they have exposed our patrons to the wonderful world of local artists. The Studio Gallery features American and International artists residing in the greater Washington, DC Metro Area who are as diverse as they are talented. The Gallery also takes part in First Fridays, a coordinated open house of the galleries on R St.
I had the opportunity to attend this past month’s open house and to my delight found a new medium of visual artistry. I also met the artist who created these works which will be exhibited during our EALS Benefit Reception. Featured on the first floor of the Gallery, Elizabeth Grusin-Howe’s work is, from every angle and lighting possible, in a word: stunning.
Although I am not myself a visual artist, I know true art when I see it (or should I say feel). Her collection of prints inspire and remind without unnecessary nostalgia attached. The works are created starting with a photograph, then are transformed with a process involving layers of wax and powders. This layering and finishing gives the prints the appearance of eternity, an otherworldly effect that relates not to your outright self, but the inward expressive self.
Pictures of these works do not do justice to the emotive quality and vibrancy they produce. While there are many prints of the same original photograph, the treatment with which Grusin-Howe applies varies the feeling and the purpose of the piece. A few works are done in burnt-orange and sienna wax and powder that you see to the left, and above – which give these an unusual quality of familiarity while remaining intangible.
Grusin-Howe’s work invites the audience to transport themselves to an alternate reality. I can remember as a child wanting to make the old new again, whether that be by polishing silver until it shone or repurposing old clothing. What Grusin-Howe has done is similar – making the old new but in a not so gentle fashion. Her work, though incredibly pleasing to the eye is challenging to thought. With the introduction of blues and silvers, Grusin-Howe opens a world of stark contrast and transparency.
I had the chance to chat with Elizabeth about her work and the upcoming EALS Benefit Reception. When I spoke to her I asked what her favorite work in the exhibition was. (To me that would have been impossible to decide). Her answer was, “They’re all my babies, but if I had to chose, it would be this one [featured at left]. It’s serene.” And serene it is, this piece along with many others are immersive. She has created dreamscapes from reality and asked us to step into them. The subtlety of her inquiry is not light, as it is impossible to be disenchanted by these prints.
You can see all of these prints and many others from the collection at the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium Benefit coming up on February 25th from 8PM – 10PM. Tickets include an open wine bar, hor d’oeuvres, live jazz, creative conversation, and of course access to a collection of art that you will remember for years to come.
Please purchase your tickets now at: http://ealsbenefit.eventbrite.com/
All proceeds support EALS.