Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium

+ ART.


benefit reception

Tickets now on sale for EALS Benefit

Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Tickets have official gone on sale for the 2013 EALS Benefit. Buy them HERE.

The EALS Benefit is a soiree designed to support the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium.  The benefit will pay homage to the era of AMC’s hit series, MadMen.

Guests are encouraged to dress accordingly and enjoy an evening of socializing, refreshments, and dancing worth of a 1960’s era Madison Avenue. So come dressed in your slickest suit or hippest dress and drink fine white wine. The benefit will be held at the hip Hamiltonian Gallery (1353 U Street NW, Washington, DC).

A superb jazz trio will provide live music. Also, take part in the silent auction to benefit the 6th annual Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium that will take place on April 7. Items include tickets to shows, restaurants, and art.

So come join us for an evening of art, jazz, food, wine, and fun at the EALS Benefit on February 23, 2013.

Admission to the benefit is only $20 (for unlimited wine, food, art, and jazz?!? WOW!), and you can register HERE.

Benefit Banner image

EALS Benefit Reception Photographs: Thank you to Everyone!

Thank you to our 2012 Sponsors! Your talents and expertise truly made the Benefit Reception for the Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium a special event for all! Please continue to thank our sponsors and visit their websites to learn about upcoming events, specials, news and more!

Studio Gallery;
Wineboy Wegman;
Cedric Terrell Photography;
The Burning Wicks;
College of Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Council;

A special thank you to everyone who came out and supported us!


Benefit TONIGHT: A Guide to Dressing the Part

In mere hours, (well 11) wine will be a flowin’, conversation a hummin’ and the arts leaders of today and tomorrow will be celebrated starting at 8 pm at the EALS Benefit at Studio Gallery. All proceeds of the benefit will go to putting on April 15th’s Emerging Arts Leader’s Symposium.

Buy your tickets here or at the door for $15!

Now you may be coming to enjoy the incredible art (Elizabeth Grusin-Howe), guzzle wine with the witty Wineboy (Ryan Wegman), jam along to the live jazz (The Burning Wicks), have your picture snapped by DC’s best dynamic photographer (Cedric Terrell) or perhaps because you are/know/were once an emerging arts leader and want to show your support.

Or maybe you’re coming, as I am, for this very line:

Dress with the inspiration of your favorite art

Hell, yeah.

I LOVE dressing up. In college I went greek mostly for the joy of attending mixers with questionable titles such as “Hoes and Bros” (I may have made an appearance to that one as Lil Wayne, all photographic evidence has been since destroyed). Halloween was always a three night extravaganza where each party warranted a wardrobe change. While these days running around a fraternity house in a get-up made mostly of duct tape sounds about as appealing as plunging my entire head into hot oil, I do miss the “getting ready” part.  That’s the creative part where you use clothing, make-up and a variety of hair styling tools that look like torture devices to literally make an entirely different creation with yourself as the canvas.

Tonight’s benefit is an opportunity to do just that. Dress like your favorite artists, your favorite art form, or even your favorite art piece. Our very lovely hostess, Jennie Sue, will be appearing as Pollock’s Number 7 (she has a dress, I’m told).  So the question remains, what will you wear?

For those of you who are lacking the inspiration or decided the best mode of action would be to ignore line, “Dress with the inspiration of your favorite art” I have created the below GUIDE to help you inspire you while picking your fancy dress this evening.

EALS Benefit: A Guide to Dressing the Part

Inspiration: SALVADOR DALÍ

When it comes to eccentricity, Dali will always be my king. The artist had a great interest in fashion from his 1936 Aphrodisiac Jacket to the infamous 1937 Lobster Dress . To achieve either of these looks is simple:

Dress: Find white dress and lobster stickers or stamps. Combine. Presto!

Jacket: Steal your father’s dinner coat and hot glue on 81 various types of drink-ware. Filling glasses with creme de menthe and dead flies is elective.

Still stumped? Glue on some freaky facial hair, walk around with an expression of permanent surprise and go as the artist himself. Rooster optional.

Inspiration: RAY CHARLES

Called by Sinatra, “the only true genius in show business”, Ray Charles is a classic dress-up option. While you may not have his talent nor his glaucoma, stealing his style is easy!

It’s all in the sunglasses.

While you are unlikely to be in possession of a pair of Billy Stickles originals, you can still fake it for cheap or shell out like a hipster. From there add a snazzy suit (I suggest pin stripes) and bow tie and you’re ready to make some “Sweet Memories.”

Inspiration: FRIDA KAHLO

Doesn’t matter how you feel about her use of (or lack of use of) tweezers there’s not denying Kahlo was a brilliant and passionate artist. While it may be a tall order to grow out your unibrow by 8 pm tonight, a little eyeliner can go a long way.

Frida was all about lavish layers of colors. Pull on a brightly patterned frock and drape yourself with as many shawls you can handle.

Check out this girl’s video on Frida inspired hair and make-up then top it all off with a pair of big Chandelier earrings and you’re ready to stare angrily across the room at your artist lover, and possibly throw a drink at his head.

Inspiration: The Son of Man by René Magritte

Magritte’s witty and thought provoking works always encourage viewers to look twice. Your Son of Man outfit is sure to do the same.

While only the double jointed can mimic the man’s off putting left arm, the recipe for an outfit of mystery is relatively painless. A classic gray overcoat + red tie (learn how to tie one here)+ Chaplin hat + a leafy Granny Smith = one enigmatic outfit.

Plus if you get hungry after the benefit, you can always eat the apple..

Inspiration: Ambassadeurs: Aristide Bruant dans son cabaret by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

Best part of dressing like Ambassadeurs is that you really only need two items to make the outfit work: one long red scarf plus one floppy black hat and your in business.

Aristide Bruant, the cabaret singer in the painting, wore a red shirt, black velvet jacket, high boots, and a long red scarf when performing at the club Le Chat Noir.

Brown gloves are encouraged but we will ask you to relinquish and kind of stick-like item before entering the gallery.

Ultimately we don’t care what you wear, as long as you show up!

Looking forward to seeing you tonight!

Gallery Artist Elizabeth Grusin-Howe

Artist Elizabeth Grusin-Howe

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.

Basillica de San Marco, 2011 - Courtesy of E. Grusin-Howe

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.

View from the Campanile, Venice, 2012 - Courtesy of E. Grusin-Howe


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.

Basilica di San Marco, 2011 - Courtesy of E. Grusin-Howe

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.

Laguna Veneta, 2012 - Courtesy of E. Grusin-Howe


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:

All proceeds support EALS.

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