May Openings at Touchstone Gallery

By Editorial Team on April 28, 2015

Fri, 01 May 2015 - Sun, 31 May 2015

In Pursuit of Happiness by Aleksandra Katargina. Courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.
In Pursuit of Happiness by Aleksandra Katargina. Courtesy of Touchstone Gallery.


Opening Reception: Friday, May 1 from 6pm to 8:30pm


In Pursuit of Happiness Paintings by Aleksandra Katargina

Quick Portrait Event: Sunday, May 31, 2-4pm

For most of us, life is spent in a pursuit of happiness. But how can we obtain happiness? It is so easy to get trapped in the daily routine and squabble of life, which may or may not be fulfilling at all.

Aleksandra Katargina’s first solo show at Touchstone Gallery “In Pursuit of Happiness” consists of figurative paintings executed in the realist manner. Through exquisitely rendered imagery, Katargina opens up a dialogue about different definitions of happiness and multiple paths that might be taken in its pursuit. The artist focuses her exploration to two opposite trajectories on the course to happiness.

The first path is pressure relief, and it comes in many forms. For example, in Katargina’s painting “Three Wise Monkeys,” the focus is on the chase and the achievement of a goal—which becomes the sole purpose to life. In “Displacement of a Random Urbanite” the figure sinks into oblivion and the sweet embrace of slumber avoiding the reality of life. “Foolish Stargazers” hide deep emotional discontent surrounded by the artificial stars. These allegorical stories are seductively rendered, and suggest how widespread attempts to relieve pressure really don’t make one happy in the end.

The second path explored in this exhibit is one in which a person opens up and tries to become comfortable with oneself and one’s surroundings. This path is short if you are brave enough to face self imposed limitations. In “Lonely Melody” time becomes still and the music of one’s heartstrings spreads through the night. It is a moment where loneliness turns into a moment alone with one’s inner world. “Rain” washes away the grime of everyday and the figure shines with joy of simply being. “In Pursuit of Happiness,” comes alive with splashes color and movement; it is the spirit of childhood at play, a moment of pure bliss.

With the mastery of techniques and the deep philosophical subtext Katargina’s show is a visual feast and a subject for contemplation.

Aleksandra Katargina was born in 1987 in Moscow, Russia. In 2001 she moved to the United States. Her love for drawing and creativity started from the time her fingers could grasp the colored crayons Aleksandra has received BFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2009 and MFA at Towson University in 2013. Her work has been in numerous group exhibitions in the area and can be found in private collections.

For more information about the artist can be found at

I Belong Here Art of the Shaw Community

In January, March and April 2015 Touchstone Gallery artists, Paula Lantz, David Beers, Shelley Lowenstein, Mary D. Ott and Judy Giuliani worked with youth and adults at New Community ArtSpace to create works of art in a variety of media through a program called Touchstone@ArtSpace. A vibrant selection of the work produced during those workshops will be on display at the Touchstone Gallery through the end of May. Touchstone@ArtSpace is supported by a Community Arts Project grant from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and by the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts.

About New Community ArtSpace
ArtSpace has been serving the Shaw and surrounding neighborhoods since 1999 by providing an affordable avenue for artists of all ages and walks of life to express themselves, share and gather skills, create economic opportunities and find common ground through art while adding signficant value and renewal to the city. Our rich variety of programs are offered all year round and are taught by amazing working artists and experienced volunteer teachers.

About the Touchstone Foundation for the Arts
The Foundation is a tax-exempt organization created by the artists of Touchstone Gallery to create opportunities for emerging artists through its Emerging Artists Fellowship program and to support art-related programs that engage a broader community. The support of the Foundation made this project possible. See more at

Gallery Hours:

  • Wednesday – Friday: 12pm to 6pm
  • Saturday – Sunday: 12pm to 5pm

Touchstone Gallery is located at 901 New York Ave. NW. Please see the gallery’s for additional information, or call 202-347-2787. For more information contact Ksenia Grishkova, Director, 202-347-2787 or email