Hill Center Presents Mike McSorley Introspection/Inspection

Wed, May 8 2019 — Sun, June 23 2019

Work by Mike McSorley. Courtesy of the artist.
Opening Reception: Wednesday, May 8 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Local artist Mike McSorley will have a solo show at the Hill Center in South East Washington, DC, from May 2 through June 23, 2019.

The exhibit will be located at the entry level of 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE, at the site of the Old Naval Hospital. As you enter you will be greeted by an array of paintings of various subjects, mostly tools and teapots.

McSorley paints in detail about everyday objects. His focus is on describing the things around us so the viewer can appreciate their unique qualities. His belief is that observing through intense looking leads to a quieting and slowing down. The process can become endless as more is revealed the longer one observes. This is touched upon in his show announcement. “A dive into the rabbit hole of looking intently”. This isolation of elements elevates their stature and leads to a realism that borders on surreal.

“As a child, I filled the margins of my notebooks; turning circles into spheres, extruding words, creating 3 dimensional objects from any shape. Attributing personality and life to objects I engaged with developed into an empathy which is present in my current work”.

About the artist:
Mike’s work has been shown in regional and national shows, a handful of solo shows and won several awards. Some awards were First Place at the Falls Church Festival in 2017, First at the Paint Berlin! (MD) in 2016, and Second at the Strokes of Genius National Painting Exhibit held at the Circle Gallery, Annapolis, MD. In 2016, his piece, Eckington Korner was acquired for The Washingtonia Collection through the DC Creates! Public Art Program. He had a solo show in 2018 at The Art League in Alexandria, VA. Fall 2015, was a solo show at the 43rd Street Gallery in Pittsburgh, PA and in 2014 he had an exhibit at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg, PA.  Later that year the piece Possessions was created for the Westmoreland’s “Peddling Personalities” exhibit. A Fellowship to the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts was in 2015. He maintains a studio in Washington, DC.

The original techniques of shading and extruding have been augmented with color theory, atmosphere, edge quality and experimentation.  The image is drawn using graphite and brushed around with turpentine.  The shadows are blocked in, pulling the graphite into the paint and using it to darken and tone the edges.  This layer is thin, and the ground of the board is allowed to reflect back through the paint layer. This increases the intensity of the color and by brushing, scraping and rubbing; the color can be augmented.  Sometimes the lines are still visible in the finished painting and at other times they are redrawn to add strength.

Solo Artists:

  • Paula Cleggett: Shine the Light (oil painting)
  • Elizabeth Dranitzke: Portraits of Women (photographs)
  • Jenny McGee: Reality No More (oil painting)
  • Mike McSorley: Introspection/Inspection (oil painting)
  • Andrea Ottesen: B o t a n i k a ! (photography, acrylic painting, mixed media)
  • Yemenja Smalls: MetamorphoSIS (mixed media)
  • Desiree Sterbini: With These Hands (oil paintings)


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  • Friday: 8am – 6pm
  • Saturday: 9am – 5pm
  • Sunday: 10am – 5 pm

Please note hours are general guidelines and subject to change for special events and programming. Hill Center Galleries are open during their regular business hours.

There are occasional closings for special events. Call (202) 549-4172 to confirm availability.

Hill Center is located at 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.