Hill Center Galleries Presents Five Concurrent Exhibitions

By Editorial Team on May 4, 2016

Thu, 05 May 2016 - Sun, 26 June 2016

Bait and Tackle by Lesley Giles. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.
Bait and Tackle by Lesley Giles. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.


Opening Reception: Tuesday, May 17 from 6pm to 8pm


Hill Center Galleries welcomes a series of shows featuring dynamic artists whose work spans topics from the earth and nature to stunning faces to implied words. The show, which runs May 5-June 26, features an opening reception with the artists on May 17.

Nita Adams: Song of the Earth
I feel to be a serious artist one must paint what one is passionate about. For me, this is exploring themes of land and water.

My art comes from nature speaking to me. This collection has been created from locations where I live and the areas surrounding. I create work both in the field and in my studio. I frequently begin painting on location and complete the work in

Nature is a rich inspiration. It is rough, sublime, tough and serene all at the same time. My paintings take the lead and I follow. When my senses take control, I allow my paintings to dictate their direction or path to completion.

Lesley Giles: Around the Water’s Edge
I started painting around the edge in the 70s when I was hiking the coastal cliff trails around the UK. I was inspired by the different colors the breeze brought to the ocean and the strange objects that were left uncovered on the beach. A decade later I painted images along the Dungeness peninsular in Kent on the English Channel.

When I moved to Florida, in 2003, I had a very long water’s edge to explore. I traveled along the edge of the Atlantic Ocean all the way to Key West. I was fascinated by the gas stations, beach patrol towers, old rusty malls, palm trees and the bridges that cross the intracoastal waterway. After three hurricanes in 2004, the water and wind had devastated vast stretches of Central Florida creating a sea of blue roofs. Every other building was wrapped in a blue tarp. The water had invaded the land.

I have lived on the Eastern Shore since 2012. My studio overlooks the Choptank River and I am embraced by the waters of the Chesapeake. I work with traditional media to focus on contemporary issues like the effect that urban development can have on our landscape. My style is formalized and post-cubist. Important influences are Hopper, Braque, Sel Cotman and fellow alumnus Hockney.

Carol Phifer: Gather In
It began with a trip in April two years ago to Skagit Valley, Washington State, to see the commercial tulip fields. While there, I was intrigued by the barns. With their small windows and large ship-like structures, they feel as though they are rooted in medieval architecture. After several years of painting flower fields and the occasional house or small building on the horizon, these great barns have taken center stage in my work. Most are from Washington, but some are local and a few are from the Yorkshire Dales in England. The barns evoke for me feelings of connection to the land and farming culture.

My paintings are very much informed by pastel sketches in which I quickly work out my color ideas. For the sketches I choose a paper color that will underlie and unify the other colors. When I begin the painting, I use that color as an under painting which the other colors are keyed to. The surface texture of the painting is amplified with several applications of a fine grain sanded medium. This roughness softly mimics the sanded pastel paper.

Did You Do as You Do by Spencer Dormitzer. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.
Did You Do as You Do by Spencer Dormitzer. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.

Spencer Dormitzer: This Ellipsis…That Ellipsis -These Ellipses…Those Ellipses
Conceptualization of my work mostly comes from an instinctive, trusted place. The true endeavor is carrying out the idea. Scribbling seems so easy; a natural, even simple form of artistic gesture. To carry out an idea through a mere scribble can bring about a strange and often difficult process, where many emotions rise and fall throughout the completion of a drawing.

I consider myself a broken storyteller, using abstract and inanimate forms to ambiguously unite with a title. This connection forms an abstruse conversation between artist, the artwork and the audience.

The Ellipsis has always stood as the most important punctuation to me. Although the definition states an ellipsis is “the omission of an implied word,” I have always used it as a vague continuation of a finished sentence… a trailing off, so to speak. I find myself using this punctuation often, maybe because I never feel finished with a thought or, more likely, I don’t want the person I am corresponding with, through art or letter, to be finished with my thought.

Jay Coleman, Chanel Compton and Luis Peralta Del Valle: Faces

Mayor 4 Life by Jay Coleman. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.
Mayor 4 Life by Jay Coleman. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.

Faces reflect the inner soul and daily grind of their wearers. Portraits are successfully achieved by capturing the eyes, the window of the soul. Individuals may lose or gain weight, earn scars and age, yet the eyes remain unchanged.

I am excited about this exhibit as it allows three portrait artists to depict how the spirit of each painted subject speaks to them and how we as artists speak through our media.

Young Malcolm by Chanel Compton. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.
Young Malcolm by Chanel Compton. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.

In this series of mixed media portraits, I am fascinated by or have a personal connection with the subjects, be they musicians, historical figures, family members, celebrities, or friends. I deconstruct and reconstruct these portraits with layers of paper, paint, and charcoal. Within my work, I search to physically express the emotional elements of each person I paint, layer by layer, piece by piece.

I work as an artist and live by the strong belief that art is a vehicle to connect people. I create these portraits as a way to connect not only myself to those I paint, but to connect the viewer/audience with the world around them. I have an artist studio, where I continue to create artwork in the historic neighborhood of Anacostia in Washington, D.C.

Loving Father by Luis Peralta Del Valle. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.
Loving Father by Luis Peralta Del Valle. Courtesy of Hill Center Galleries.

Del Valle
Faces are the proverbial windows to the soul; my art serves a similar function. Through vibrant colors that merge graffiti art with surreal and traditional concepts and techniques, I connect the viewer to raw emotion.

Billie Holiday screams from her canvas, demanding the viewer to stop and experience her passion. The intensity, focus, and dedication of the bassist and ballerina emanate from their canvases, causing us to reflect on our own commitment. The dedication of our veterans, teachers, and community leaders is mirrored in the positive behaviors of the next generation. This dedication is expressed across generations as our pasts, presents, and futures are inscribed and continuously reconfigured in the natural and social world, proving that Freedom is Organic.

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