Hill Center Galleries Opening Reception

By Editorial Team on September 5, 2013
Locked by Rindy O'Brien. Photo courtesy of The Hill Center Galleries.
Locked by Rindy O’Brien. Photo courtesy of The Hill Center Galleries.
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 12 from 6pm to 8pm


The exhibition runs September 6 to November 3, 2013.

Hill Center Galleries hosts the work of seven featured artists during a new exhibition that offers a wide arrange of painting, mixed media on paper, photography, circuit boards, and more.

Hill Center Galleries featured artists include:

  • Alan Braley
  • Kimberley Bursic
  • Eric Celarier
  • Betsy Glassie
  • Cynthia Farrell Johnson
  • Glen Kessler
  • Rindy O’Brien

In the Words of the Artists
Artist Eric Celarier finds inspiration in the American scrap quilt and garbage for his new series Wasteland. Waste says a lot about who we are and what we do. Of the 300 million electrical items that were thrown out from American households in 2005, two-thirds of them still worked.

Wasteland explores the boundary between the useful and worthless. The juxtaposition of cold electronics with the warmth of leather invites the observer to explore the hidden machinations lying just under the surface our everyday lives,” says Celarier.

Viewers report interpretations as far ranging as microbial structures to aerial photographs of landscapes. The work can be examined closely for its detail or scanned as a whole for a complete composition. The mural-sized designs have the ability to completely erase the peripheral vision, allowing the onlooker to compare boards without the imposition of a boundary.

Continuing on the digital front is artist Glen Kessler, who believes a digital revolution is altering our world. The easy use and affordable cost of computers has permitted technology into all facets of our existence. A new landscape is unfolding all around us.

“This Modern World is the allegorical subject of my paintings. Meant to allude to the urban landscape, my paintings are in actuality images of computer circuit boards,” explains Kessler. “I depict these tiny labyrinths of technology from what you could call “street level” to allow the viewer to feel as if they are inhabitants in its cities, industrial plants, harbors, etc. Lighting, composition, color, and focus are carefully orchestrated to keep my paintings teetering on the edge of macro landscape and microchip.”

Artist Betsy Glassie’s series Rearrangements offers a bit of whimsy. In this series, Glassie selected images from her artistic mentors and playfully given them new contexts.

“I wondered, for example, what if Matisse’s flowers decorated my porch? Could I create an interesting new still life borrowing elements from Van Gogh and Matisse rearranged like cherished collectibles? Could I use a Bonnard composition and add my own elements,” says Glassie. “I discovered that the power of the iconic images of artists like Van Gogh and Matisse remain even in whimsical reassemblies and do in fact energize new creativity.”

Painter Kimberley Bursic’s work captures the abstract landscapes of her travels, dreams, and personal history. The paintings are a portrait of a location suspended in a moment of great change – sinking, flowing, growing, or exploding.

“I overlay a catalog of symbols that measure and track the changes the landscape is undergoing using numbers, measurements such as timelines,” explains Bursic.

Cynthia Farrell Johnson’s paintings bring a world full of rich, beautiful colors. “My mission is to record as much of life’s beauty as possible, using the richest combinations that I can devise. My goal is to remember that every day there are more individuals committing acts of love and kindness than of hate and violence. In telling these stories with vibrant hues, I hope to inspire or comfort others.”

What if the past could shake loose and reveal its secrets to us? That is the question at the heart of Rindy O’Brien’s most recent work. Her photographs are dedicated to revealing the colors and objects that she finds hidden under the layers of time. Rindy’s images merge a documentary style with a heightened sense of light, shape, and color. “I’m interested not in looking backwards, but in looking deeper. Being present therefore means both being open to what is now and aware of what always has been.”

For Alan Braley, “In this different language of paint we can only rely on partial statements or the power of suggestion. My primary concern is creating my own shapes and colors, fitting nature and objects into them afterwards.”

Gallery Hours:

  • Monday through Friday: 10am to 7pm
  • Saturdays: 10am to 5pm
  • Sundays: 12 noon to 5pm

Hill Center Galleries is located at 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE. For more information, visit hillcenterdc.org.

Hill Center Galleries consists of six distinct exhibition spaces. The galleries are enhanced by 14-foot ceilings and natural light that streams in through eight-foot windows. Hill Center presents a year-round schedule of rotating exhibits highlighting contemporary works by emerging and established regional artists. All artwork is available for purchase. Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital provides a vibrant home for culture, education and city life on Capitol Hill. As a hub for community and personal enrichment, Hill Center offers programming in eight focus areas: Arts & Performances; Children, Teen & Family; Computers & Technology; Food & Garden; Hobbies, Crafts & Games; Language & Humanities; Lectures & Conversations; and Mindful Motion & Health. Hill Center also hosts a Non-Profit Office Center, which provides reduced cost office space for non-profit organizations. Hill Center offers patrons the unique experience of quality programming in a restored Civil War-era naval hospital commissioned by President Lincoln.