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Artists Studios Anchor Shaw’s East End; Annual Open House Set

By P.L. Wolff

[Note: Photographs accompanying this news story in the print edition can be viewed in the full PDF copy in the Current & Back Issues Archive.]

Once again, 52 O Street Artist Studios will be hosting its annual Open Studios event featuring over 25 artists working in one building in a wide range of media and styles – painting, graphic design, photography, sculpture, jewelry, woodworking, and mixed-media. These artists will be opening their studios for a rare glimpse into the influences and process behind their art.

Among the many works that will be on display will be Matt Hollis’ giant installation knitting sculpture that expresses what he calls his “abstract organic” art; work by Lisa Marie Thalhammer, the artist who created Boxer Girl, the mural featuring an empowered woman with rainbows that adorns the side of a neighborhood row house; painting by Ben Tolman, whose portrait of his wife is currently on exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

Just a short walk from the New York Avenue Metro Red Line station, this free event on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. will afford visitors the opportunity to view myriad works of art and to meet the artists in their studios. For more information, visit www.52ostreetstudios.org.

Occupying 28,000 square feet over four floors, 52 O Street Studios is one of the largest and oldest buildings dedicated to use by artists in the city. An historic structure in its own right, the building was the subject of a “Scenes from the Past” feature in this newspaper’s October 2005 issue, the PDF of which is available in the Current & Back issues Archive at www.intowner.com. Today’s “colony” of artists seek to continue and advance the guiding principle behind the building’s opening in 1979, thanks to its purchase the previous year by Eric Rudd who went on to found the Contemporary Artist Center in North Adams, Massachusetts, “to create an affordable working space for artists in Washington DC.” (See, “Art a Major Force in the East End; ‘Open Studios’ Event Rewards Art Lovers,” InTowner, December 2002, page 1; PDF also available in on-line archive.)