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In Case You Missed It- A Brief Overview of The Gateway Open Studio Tour May 14, 2011

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

Joe's Movement Emporium, site of Alberto Garcias' Mujeres Exhibition. Photo Copyright East City Art.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood | EVENTS – PROFILES |

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Last Saturday I attended the Gateway Open Studio Tour sponsored by the Gateway Community Development Corporation and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.  Lining the route 1 corridor in Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Hyattsville, collectively known as the Gateway Arts District, are over one hundred studios, art schools and galleries.  Our attempt at East City Art was not to exhaustively cover every venue in 2011 but to focus our attention on a few locations.  Eric Hope reported on the ArtsDC gallery in Hyattsville while I tried to cover as much of Mount Rainier as possible.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

"Mujeres" Mother Theresa, Edith Piaf and Marie Curie. Photo Copyright East City Art.

The first stop I made was to Joe’s Movement Emporium an organization dedicated to the arts in all of its forms from the performing arts to the visual arts.  This was the first opportunity I had to view the Alberto Garcia Mujeres exhibition.  Garcia, a resident of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, created this mixed media series to pay homage to women who have influenced our culture.  I was especially fond of the series above which included Mother Theresa, Edith Piaf and Marie Curie, because of their contrasting backgrounds.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

A charming barn converted into a workshop somewhere in Vermont? No, this it is Alan Binstock's studio and showroom in Mount Rainier! Photo Copyright East City Art.

Next, I drove up 34th Street to the studios of Alan Binstock.  Binstock is known for creating both glass objects and very large glass sculptures.  His studio sits at the end of his driveway in what could only be described as a seemingly rural setting, particularly that Saturday, as the week’s rains had transformed his property into a lush, verdant retreat.   Inside Binstock’s studio, visitors not only had an opportunity to view his work but to tap into the process he uses to make his art. Surrounding his Studio and property lay several of Binstock’s larger pieces awaiting shipment to an exhibition in Brooklyn.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

Looking down from the loft in Alan Binstock's Studio. Photo Copyright East City Art.

Finally, I arrived at a large cluster of warehouses that were built to take advantage of the nearby rail line back in the days when freight trains more commonly moved goods across the eastern seaboard.   Today, while these warehouses retain their original structures, they have been re-purposed to house dozens of artists and organizations such as the Washington Glass School, Flux Studios and Red Dirt Studios, just to name a few.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

One of the many studios in Mount Rainier that have repurposed old warehouse space into artist workshops. Photo Copyright East City Art.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

The main lobby at Flux Studios where artists Mila Kagan, Novie Trump, Elena Patiño, Laurel Lukaszewski, Judit Varga and Noah Armstrong labor to produce art. Photo Copyright East City Art.

I was happy to catch up with Nancy Donnelly at the Washington Glass School just a few days before their 10 year retrospective at the Longview Gallery.  Newly inspired from a recent trip to Syria (she flew out the day of the first uprisings), Donnelly created a  beautiful glass piece depicting a street scene with three women seen from behind.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

Nancy Donnelly displaying her latest glass work inpired by a recent trip to Syria. Photo Copyright East City Art.

At Red Dirt Studios, I had the opportunity to chat with Margaret Boozer, the owner and founder of the space.  She was currently working on an installation piece that she was going to assemble and install in Africa.   I also had the opportunity to meet resident artist J.J. McCracken who recently exhibited Earth to Table~ a fundraiser for hunger, the Philadelphia project at the Kathryn E. Narrow Educational Resource Center in Philadelphia.  We spoke about the exhibit which sought to shed light not only on urban food deserts in large cities like Philadelphia and Washington but to bring awareness to the plight of impoverished nations like Haiti where residents are forced to eat clay to stave off their hunger and in so doing, only exacerbate their condition as the consumption of clay leaches nutrients out of their already malnourished bodies.

Gateway Open Studio Tour Galleries artists Washington DC Mount Rainier Hyattsville Brentwood

An installation piece by Margaret Boozer coming together in the workspace of Red Dirt Studios. Photo Copyright East City Art.

Seven years running, the Gateway Open Studio tour is an annual event which takes place in the Spring.   It is impossible to see every venue, so next year, plan, pace yourself and know that there is always the following year to catch up on what you’ve missed! You can always check back with East City Art for information about openings at galleries within the Gateway Arts District.

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Phil Hutinet
Authored by: Phil Hutinet

Phil Hutinet, a third generation Capitol Hill resident, is the publisher of East City Art which he began in 2010 to document and promote the growing contemporary art movement in the eastern communities of Washington, DC. In 2012-2013, his consultancy work east of the river yielded the Anacostia Playhouse, Craig Kraft Studios, the Anacostia Arts Center and the 2012-2013 LUMEN8ANACOSTIA festivals. He currently produces EMULSION, East City Art's annual regional juried show. In 2015, he coordinated the Gateway Open Studio Tour and continues to consult on numerous regional art projects. Hutinet has been interviewed by or has made appearances on the BBC, Capital Community News, Washingtonian, Washington City Paper, The Washington Post, WOL Radio, WJLA ABC News Channel 7/Channel 8, WTOP and other local and national media.